Finding Your Path Tales of Right Livelihood

by Jim Natichioni

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Today there are more opportunities than ever before to follow a path that holds purpose and relevancy. With the burgeoning green business movement, the healthy growth of an increasingly sustainable economy and the vast treasure of people giving of themselves and their resources the climate is ripe for the proliferation of ‘right livelihood’. Baby boomers with a vision for the future and young people asking prospective employers about social responsibility are the new trendsetters for the new age where the field of action is the workplace. The book is a primer in life-work 101. In it I summarize the practical and financial, the intellectual and emotional, the creative and the spiritual do’s and don’ts of one’s life work. Finding your path considers both seeking and not-seeking, more about going with the flow than forcing an outcome. This is an eclectic journey full of interesting tales about friends from all walks of life, enigmatic historical figures and fictional characters all who are on the path. There are many guides and guideposts here to help you on your journey and a hundred inspiring stories about how people found their path and what motivated them: from the most humble elder to the richest entrepreneur; from the bravest woman to a man who was afraid of his own shadow; from hippies and Taoists and non-conformists to the blue collar work ethic. The story is told from my perspective as one who has dedicated his life to discovering my own right livelihood.

Chapter outlines
For more detailed chapter summaries, read our White Papers here on the Resource page.

Finding Your Path
Follow Your Myth And Your Bliss
Know Who You Are and Make the Most Of It
A Worthy Path is Filled with Passion and Obstacles
The Transition into Right Livelihood
The Makeup of an Entrepreneur
Choosing Motives that Serve Your Purpose
Sales and Marketing Strategies
Lessons in Attracting Clients
People Skills and Prosperity
The Counter Culture and Following Your Dreams
Authors Perspectives on Money, Fulfillment, Simplicity
The Nature Of Success and Failure in Business and in Life
Intelligence and the Team Concept
Emotional Maturity and Recapturing the passion of Youth
The Power Of Intuition and Wisdom
Art, Music, and Courage
Working On The Fringes Of The System

(1) Finding Your Path: Finding the right map; Jesus and the path of service, Using self-expression as your guide, Myrtle Fillmore and following your faith, Martin Luther King, Jr. and asking guiding questions. Your deeper values as signposts; Paul Hawken the health food pioneer, For the love of sustainable products, Career model; Balance the feminine values with the masculine. The (spiritual and practical) symmetry of right livelihood: ; Gramp’s work gives meaning to his life, The ancestor of Zen who sold his wares at market, Karma yoga, Grow rich with peace of mind. Guideposts to finding your path; The breeders favorite reading subject, Look for the middle path, Steps that can help with the process. Back to Top

(2) Follow Your Myth And Your Bliss: Following your bliss; The power of place, Oren and the bluff: connecting to who we are, Don’t be reluctant to follow your bliss, Identify your passion. The American myth; Mother culture’s story, Legends and cowboys and Indians, The urban cowboy, Marty and the Navajo tribe, Rites of passage. The past and inner helpers as guides; Saint Francis the prodigal son, Christina’s childhood reveals her touchstone, A colorful family background, Mystical mentors, Personal milestones reveal the path. Back to Top

(3) Know Who You Are and Make the Most Of It: The significance of a humble profession; The electrician, the priest and the politician, Identify what type of person you are, Dunlap and his lawn mower, Identify your element, The venerable coach from Framingham. Bring clarity and simplicity into your life; Travelers lost in a forest, The ordinariness of a Zen tea ceremony, The idea of owning a retreat center, Repeating the rags to riches cycle, Willoughby: a train trip back to the good old days, The farmer and the diamonds. Destiny; Following the course of stars, The flawless Book of Changes, Milarepa finds his purpose through his trials. Back to Top

(4) A Worthy Path is Filled with Passion and Obstacles: Success follows those who cultivate self-esteem; Doing what you love as a key to success, Having a vision and getting your priorities in order, Bridgett’s magnetism and volition propel her career. Inner conflicts; Channeling abuse constructively, You deserve your good do not resist it, Introspection can help un-mask your conflicts. Appropriate action; Doing what you love and heightened awareness, Akido is love in action, Enjoy the strawberries don’t worry about the tigers, Acting appropriately in crisis situations, Water does not insist on control yet accomplishes its goal. The way of the warrior is to choose a path with heart; Acquisitiveness and a long journey with no goal, Teaching the way is a humble affair and not self serving, Even the humblest among us can make a difference. Back to Top

(5) The Transition into Right Livelihood: Advocacy takes risks and sacrifices; He sacrificed his large inheritance to benefit animals, She faced violent threats for blowing the whistle, They braved monetary losses, their credibility and free speech, The postman risked his health for workers rights. Happiness is knowing you are headed in the right direction; Being negative is heading the wrong way, The ragpicker: your weakness may be your strength, If it is laborious you may not stick it out. Do what you have to do to pursue your right work; Staying too long in a path that has lost its meaning, Undergoing the rigors of training to continue their tradition, He quit his position at the top to start at the bottom, Janet takes a job as a janitor to further her music ministry, Doing what it takes to make enough money to chase your dream. Back to Top

(6) The Makeup of an Entrepreneur: The unpredictable nature of the rich; Money doesn’t grow on trees, The riverboat gambler and the money river, The rich are no different, The genius and foresight behind the first personal computer, Necessary trade skills, The changing image of an entrepreneur. Different approaches to being an entrepreneur; The daydreamer who lacks imagination, The tofu factory and investing prudently, How to earn money without a job, Long hairs and one person operations. Originality and finding your niche; The truth is you are one of a kind, yoga and modifying an ancient original, Dworkis finds his niche after contracting MS. Self-dependent rugged individualists; Martha Stewart; jack-of-all-trades, Entrepreneurs from the state of Maine, Tom’s of Maine and the first natural products, From selling beeswax in the back of a pickup to Burt’s Bees, LL Bean and pioneering the mail order catalogue, Living the good life off of a self-sufficient homestead. Back to Top

(7) Choosing Motives that Serve Your Purpose: The motivation of an amateur: Seeking approval and popularity leads to conformity, Instead of seeking improvement follow your appetites, Forget doing the safe thing and go out and dance. Self-motivation and external factors; The kid from Framingham needs prodding, Teaching with a kind heart and without admonition, Idyllic is nice but challenges are better, The big why behind success and failure, The scribe who ‘preferred not to’ work. Great women with strong purpose; Inspired by her sensitivity to the underprivileged, Feminists provoked and galvanized by gender bias, Touched by humanitarian interests, The unmitigated defiance of Annie Besant. The work itself, fear and principles as motivators; The fear of being fired, A strong enough incentive powers incredible feats, What motivates most is the work itself, A similar goal but vastly different paths. Back to Top

(8) Sales and Marketing Strategies: The do’s and don’ts of selling: The mock interview that forecasts your sales aptitude, The wherewithal to look at the big picture, The ability to close, To embrace lead generation as an ongoing project, The seven or so secrets to sensational selling success, It is easier to change careers than too change who you are. Starting small and growing through prospecting and marketing; The art of marketing to yourself, Branding and promoting an image, Start in your hometown and spiral out, The anatomy of the greatest salesman. My experience with marketing small businesses; The coca cola promotion and the gas station, The business and pleasure of painting, where upside meets downside, Our unique selling proposition. Keep working in the right direction and don’t complain; If you can’t beat them outwork them, Keep your energy moving, Complaining will get you nowhere. Back to Top

(9) Lessons in Attracting Clients: The willingness to manage your database; Unwillingness to ‘sell’ your business leads to stagnation, Managing your client database is your business, Taking small steps to continue the cycle. Getting clients to do what they don’t want to do; It feels like a wrestling match, It takes savvy, psychology and treats to motivate a Maltese, The feel the pain workshop. Cold calling is the advantage of top producers; Give yourself and your prospect a reason to call, The double talk technique of attraction, The personal approach and going for the no. Showing up is half the battle; Ross Perot and ‘can I finish,’ The lighthouse brigade and holding your ground, Hide and seek, My wife motivates herself to get out of the car. Customer service as your primary marketing tool; The Japanese express their sincere gratitude, Toyota gives consumers what they want, Establishing credibility earns trust, You can’t fake sincerity. Back to Top

(10) People Skills and Prosperity: How to influence people; Communication skills and body language, Clarity of values sends a congruent message, Dale Carnegie and being considerate. Prosperity consciousness and manifestation; They want prosperity but wonder if they should seek it, Is the love of money a bad thing?, Putting the law of manifestation into practice, The power of positive thinking, Make no distinctions about money. The polarity of abundance and scarcity; Beware of negative pictures held in your mind, Spiritual economics: Aligning with the ever-present substance, Overcoming your insecurities by changing your ‘internal’ representations, Don’t buy into scarcity consciousness, American visionaries and the philosophy of plenty. Back to Top

(11) The Counter Culture and Following Your Dreams: The 60’s path of anti-capitalism and non-conformity; The amateur hippie, Following rebels with a cause. The progenitors of hippiedom; Jack Kerouac’s On The Road personifies the nomadic lifestyle, Living in nature with the nature boys, Light Conversationalists; The first counter-culturists. Greg Chelius: From hippie to executive; All we are saying, Stay focused during your college days, Twin sister Jewells and climbing the sales ladder, There is always a price to pay, The Trust for Public Land. Following your dreams; From hippie crasher to small business person of the year, Lifelong dream turns into nightmare, Black Elk fails to fulfill his vision like a warrior, The dream of a ski utopia, Working with the bank robber, the counterfeiter, and the gunslinger, Mister Moz realizes his dream at the lumber yard. Back to Top

(12) Authors Perspectives on Money, Fulfillment, Simplicity: Too much of money, things and status can be harmful; Our insatiable appetites and is more better?, Retaining our standard of living but at what cost?, Fulfillment is the point where enough meets too much. Trading your life energy for money; Informed choices to guide your earning and spending habits, Work as our identity, Earning the highest pay commensurate with your values. Four authors and their adventures on the path toward simplicity; Bach struggles with finances and finding a career, Adventures and passions bridge the gap to success, Tolstoy abandons the life of wealth to live amongst the peasants, Thoreau’s experiment in simple living on the fringes, Blofield shuns monetary reward to wander and record the way of the orient. The transition of this writer from one end of the good life to the other; Parking the truck and enjoying the bike ride, My journey to find me in a new place is circuitous, ‘Still runnin’ against the wind.’ Back to Top

(13) The Nature Of Success and Failure in Business and in Life: Organizing and operating a successful business; My friend the real estate tycoon and the value of a business plan, Don’t sacrifice long-term goals for short-term gains, Push, push, push the envelope, Sharing the wealth and the employer/employee relationship. Operating from the principal of intentional action without force; The Gourd immortal and accomplishing your goal without strain, The secret to finding your path. Assume that you can do anything you set your mind to; The ‘can do’ spirit, Creating wealth by changing your assumptions, Overcoming all odds to lead a productive life, Endure and do not be afraid to fail, Presentiment and a mighty big heart in a mighty small girl. Mark Hansen, America’s business motivator; From going broke to sitting on top of he world, Multiplr sources of income, The book that inspires: Chicken Soup for the Soul, The do’s and don’ts of the real estate profession; Include an exit plan in your original strategy, The inability to choose a path with heart causes challenges, The trailer queen: Throw away the stereotypes and go sell yourself; If all else fails, don’t worry be happy; Nobody wants to do business with a sad sack, My happy Mexican friends put work in perspective, Fighting failure and depression to become great at his job. Back to Top

(14) Intelligence and the Team Concept: Intelligence skills and making good business decisions; The expert can read minds and personalities, Don’t underrate the importance of smarts in the workplace. The source and inspiration of intelligence; Is life a natural process or the result of infinite intelligence?, Luther Burbank and the platypus kone, Science is able to detect laws but not the framer, The universe looks more like a great thought than a great machine. The makeup and downfall of genius; A genius knows what they want to do and assumes they can do it, Tesla did his theoretical work inside the laboratory of his own mind, Even with genius, industriousness and timing you still may fail, Thinking deliberately and writing research papers he discovers the universe. Getting the most out of our brain power; or not; The dark side of the moon; taking control of our mind or losing it, Complacency and indecision have no place in the creative process, Know what you want, decide it must happen and act on the decision. My SAT scores and doing what it takes to be smart, Positive environment and attitude can help you achieve excellence, An invention squashed due to lack of boldness, Summa cum laude becomes a vagabond. The team concept is indispensable; The sense of a goose to work in unison, The gritty bike racer who at first falls short of greatness, His coaches, support system and his team come to the rescue. Back to Top

(15) Emotional Maturity and Recapturing the passion of Youth: Emotional intelligence as the premier factor for success; Rocky fights his fierce temper to become a champion, What distinguishes the superior person is unpretentiousness, Turning volatile situations into win/win deals, Expressing emotions under stress gets you to the top level, The king of comedy is the king of equanimity. Anger management as the first step to progressing on the path; Don’t allow anger and negativity to sabotage your relationships and work, Controlling your mind is essential to material success, The correlation between stress, anger, emotional maturity and struggle. The storm of discontent and conflicts with nature; Our relationship with nature is one of practical business, Violent storms reflect the conflicts that rage within our psyche’s. Don’t indulge your predilections or base neurosis’; You add suffering to the world when you take offense, Don’t harbor ill will or use harsh words; let it go, An instant of anger can erase a life’s worth of merit. Guiding emotions and behavior to work for you, not against you; Transmuting anger into power, Developing a tolerant attitude toward external sources leads to success, Anger can be used as a map to show you the way. Bad habits can be harmful to your health and your career; Give your resolution enough time to ripen into a habit, A blocked expression of the desire to contribute leads to breakdown, The good habits of caring and usefulness are a boon to society. The complimentary values of maturity and youth; Put away childish things and become a man, Energy and experience and the passion of youth are still in demand, Merriment never grows old; even in retirement. Back to Top

(16) The Power Of Intuition and Wisdom: Transcending this reality by invoking your intuitive powers; Heeding your intuition as a prime cause for making good decisions, yoga and paying attention to the details, Paradox and humor can be powerful elixirs. Induced states of euphoria help us find where we are needed; How ordinary moments and epiphanies gave shape to my path, Meditation as the best way to discover and fulfill our purpose, You may travel many paths but never step foot on the way, Kindness can change the worlds reality and ours. A separate reality and how it can show us the way; I escape the mysterious portal, ‘Seeing’ happens when we sneak between the cracks of the two worlds, Learning commitment and resiliency from an extraordinary cat. Finding your soul mate and your path can be similar journeys; Picturing your desires and watching them manifest, Stay open and receptive to your good and don’t expect perfection, Once you find your path (or your mate) don’t take it for granted. Dreams show us the future and the light; Weaving dreams that reveal answers, Mental telepathy with her soul mate to the rescue. Wisdom as the greatest asset: Confucius meets Lao-tzu; Lao-tzu uses all of his metaphysical gifts to write the great book. He married, them became a soldier, the Keeper of the Archives and the face of Taoism, He teaches the teacher lessons in humility. Back to Top

(17) Art, Music, and Courage: The Tao Of Art, The Way Of The Artist, Synchronicity, The Italian Horse, Leonardo DaVinci, Curiosity, Demonstration and Perception, Music, Van The Man Morrison, Mystical Songs, John Lennon, Uncle Mario And Jack Kennedy, Imagine, Mahatma Gandhi A Man Of Courage, Mastering The Human Condition, Hockey And First Courage, Bubbas Courageous Cat, Captain Mike Wakola, Sea Captain Paul Watson, The Tibetan Dalai Lama. Back to Top

(18) Working On The Fringes Of The System: Living Intentionally for a Commonality of Purpose: Empowering the artisan vs. centralized industry; The honest work of humble hands, A settlement that is ecologically and economically sustainable, A cooperative with god and the elemental worlds, The farm industries are thriving and purposeful. When the system conspires to screw up the people and the environment; How 3 businessmen manipulated the destiny and ecology of our country, The ruling administrations stifle renewable resources. Real estate development in a nutshell; Compare a starry desert night with an urban landscape, The birth of the suburbs precedes the dearth of sustainable communities, European communities as models to pattern after, An ‘amalgam of boomtown, worlds fair, highway robbery’ and ecological disaster. The value of the magnificent tree; The deck is stacked against old growth and rain forest trees, The Menominee Indians sustainable tree harvests. Restoring the economic system so it works for us and the environment; The recent proliferation of green businesses, The grass roots campaign that helped turn the tide, It takes a leap of faith to make a difference. Back to Top
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Thank you for your interest!
Your Path Guide,

Jim Natichioni