Ep. 55: The Price of Giving a Shit

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Show notes

As a culture, we tend to glorify the idea of chasing your passion. We've all heard the adage, "Find something you love and you'll never work another day in your life." What we don't hear about all that often, though, is the real price of giving a shit about your work.

This week, we answer a letter from "Basic Millennial." He's at a crossroads, between jobs, trying to figure out how he can do something he really loves and finds meaning in, while also being a breadwinner.

We talked about

  • coming back from a skiing vacation, yoga fetal positions, and news from Laura

  • the fascinating Free Solo documentary film about rock climber Alex Honnold

  • WATL and receiving a letter from a male listener self-title “Basic Millenial” 

  • slightly demystifying the glorification of striving for fulfilling, passionate work

  • what we actually feel fulfilled by regarding our work lives

  • ways to avoid seeking meaning from your life and keeping your work at arms length

  • the price you have to pay for giving a shit about your work

  • the simplicity of making money and building wealth

  • what the letter reveals about the Basic Millenial’s money mindset and the two games he can’t play simultaneously

  • the reality of choosing entrepreneurship

  • what we both did when pressure came to bear and it was time to make a choice

  • how nothing you’ve done in the past has to be perceived by you as a waste

  • the existence of that something that refuses to leave you alone, even when you’re working at something else

  • refusing to take any opportunities in fear of taking the “wrong” one

  • paying your dues, book proposal rejections, and difficulty itself being fulfilling

  • that depressive feeling you get if you don’t know what you love doing, or don’t think you love doing anything

  • not valuing what you’re actually doing and the need to shift perspective

  • what Laura would do for Meadow if left to her own devices

  • final words of advice and encouragement for Basic Millenial and all of you.


“If you know anything about these people’s lives, you don’t have to look too far to see the darkness there also. And what they had to give up in order to have that life.”

“To become profitable, you have to think that way. You have to. You run your life in a way that creates profit.”

“The people that I know who have continually just gone searching for the thing that just makes their heart sing typically just don’t do a lot. They don’t actually take the opportunities because they’re so worried about taking the wrong one, and you only figure shit out by trying it.”

Ask yourself

  • Are you fulfilled by your work? (Or are you more fulfilled by your work now than previous jobs)?

  • Is the “dream life” you see others having and envy really something you want? What are your true priorities?

  • Do you have some thing that just won’t leave you alone? What else are you always thinking about and loving and already doing anyway? What would you do for free for the next 10 years? 


“We Are the Luckiest” and “The Bigger Yes” courses

“Reply All” Podcast 

National Geographic’s Free Solo movie

Rob Bell

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Spiritualish, Meadow, and Laura

Music by Izzy DeVor.

Spiritualish is hosted by Laura McKowen and Meadow DeVor. Sometimes spiritual, always inappropriate. New episodes drop every Thursday.

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