Inspired & Unstoppable
Wildly Succeeding in Your Life's Work!
“You are meant to succeed in the work you love. Your desire will take you all the way.” — Tama J. Kieves
What if everything you thought you needed to do to succeed was actually standing in the way of your success?
Tama Kieves, Harvard-lawyer-turned-career-coach, has spent the last decade crossing the United States and Canada, speaking to tens of thousands of people and sharing her inspiring story of moving from a career that was killing her to a life that has uplifted her, chronicled in her first book, This Time I Dance!: Creating the Work You Love. She has mentored thousands of people who, with her help, have followed their passion, and now live their dream lives.
And now she takes us to the next step in our journey…
Within you is your purpose—your destiny—that will lead you to your greatest fulfillment, and your greatest success. What Kieves discovered in her own journey is that the way to success is an inspired path, not a linear one. She brings her mentoring ideas and actions together in her latest work, Inspired and Unstoppable. In this motivating book, Kieves teaches that it is only in unleashing this purpose that you can become truly happy and satisfied.
Through these teachings, she will help you move into your “brilliant power.” She shares the mental and emotional impact of this journey—the fears, doubts, and boogeymen that arise—and how to become an unstoppable warrior for your life’s work and desires. This book will help you stay connected to your desires and shift your innermost thinking. When you do, inspired actions will seem to fall directly out of the sky, and onto your plate. You will naturally outpace anything any expert could ever tell you. You don’t need the steps, when you have the moves.
Beautifully written, Inspired & Unstoppable also includes success stories from Tama’s life and the lives of others who have made their dreams their reality, as well as practices that will create positive momentum, and “Inspired Successisms”—delightful, quick bites of wisdom peppered throughout the book. It also includes guidelines on how to create your own “Inspired Success Circle”—a way of moving forward with the support of friends and loved ones.
Practical, empowering, inspirational, galvanizing—Inspired & Unstoppable is the touchstone to (finally) living your wildest dreams and greatest desires.
Your Success Partner On This Wildly Inspired Adventure
Welcome, My Courageous Friend Who Is About to Soar . . .
I am honored to have you reading these words. This book is a door that can open you to the most important power in your life, the power of your inspired strength. This is what want you to know and, maybe someday, take to the streets like a liberated fool:
You’re meant to succeed in the work you love.Your desire will take you all the way.
Welcome to this amazing frontier of good.
Bit About My Background
At the most dramatic turning point of my life, I left my career as an over-worked attorney to follow my soul’s haunting desire to become a writer. I had graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and worked in the litigation department of a huge, elite law firm. While there, I traded my life for societal slaps on the back, more money, and more grinding work assignments. I made partnership track. But I was desperate to be free, exhausted in my good, safe job, dying of meaninglessness, suffocating the life out of my creative soul. Finally, a friend asked me a vital question:
If you’re this successful doing work you don’t love,what could you do with work you do love?
I decided to answer that question with my life. I left the practice of law to undergo the art, practice, and baptism of listening to myself in this lifetime. I wrote about this amazing journey of transition in my first book, This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love.
A Bit About This Book
This book is about wildly succeeding in your life’s work: taking what you came here to do to the next level.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t want to just “follow my bliss.” I wanted to follow my bliss, say, to a bank, or to a bestseller list, or to some kind of explosive expression in the world. It had never been my dream to leave my law practice to end up as an incompetent entrepreneur or a starving artist. But I also didn’t leave one falsely successful life, only to turn myself into a sock puppet again, swallow my spirit, and “get with the program” so I could “make it in the big time.”
I was going for the holy grail of wild success, the deluxe spirit package, passion, sweetness, and inspired prosperity. I wanted creative independence and security, worldly fanfare and peace of mind, and the experience that abundance came from doing the work I came to do, the way I came to do it. The only problem was, I could name my desires until the cows came home—and kicked back with Netflix, cud, and apple martinis—but I wasn’t sure how to create this “everything comes together” life.
Yes, I’d practiced law and maybe I should have known how to project business goals in the “real world.” But the truth is, I have a poet-philosopher’s heart and tend to process life in metaphors and fires-in-the-belly, more than data and numbers. While I’m ambitious and logical, I’m also part rebel, gypsy, and lightning-bolt bearer. That means, for instance, that when well-meaning folks suggested conventional means like business plans, I tried not to start speaking in tongues or bite them.
Still, I craved commercial success, recognition, and reach, so I turned to marketing advice, success books, and popular titles in the business, self-help, and motivational world. But the more I read, the more disillusioned I felt. I had finally found a dream that gave me life—but everything I read about succeeding in it felt soul-numbing. I just knew I had the mojo, but “the getting it out there,” the pipelines to income and opportunities, seemed to be governed by a mechanical, harsh, or clannishly linear world. It didn’t matter if I had twelve thousand diamonds; the jewelers wore blindfolds. Everything made it clear that real success required what I didn’t have, and without a “mind meld” with Anthony Robbins, Donald Trump, or, say, “The Terminator” never would have.
Like so many of us, I didn’t realize that I already possessed an inspired way to succeed. It hadn’t dawned on me yet that the electricity that in-spires our dreams also inspires the means.
But this is the truth I know now: Taking what you love into the world has little to do with conventional techniques, established reality, or the formulas of the marketplace. Following your true desire or calling is an initiation of soul. It’s a rite of passage. It’s a whole new game board with exciting new rules. Bring your diamonds.This is the question that divides the paths: Will you honor your Inspired Self or will you listen to the one who talks you down from the mountain and persuades you to adjust what you desire? Sometimes the fearful, critical voice within poses as “good judgment”; it feels practical and reassuringly in sync with the prevailing culture around you. But is the opinion of an often empty, bitter, tired culture the voice of good judgment for you?
Let’s face it. There aren’t many voices in the world that will encourage you to follow your inner rock star or anointed one and get out there on the window ledge of ordinary life, mock gravity, and fly. Yet some of us are just called to fly. We won’t succeed through traditional means because force, fear, and standard projections do not motivate us. We are moved by bold ideas, big love, and intuitive, flawless direction. We hear new frequencies, promise, and urgencies wailing in the wind. We did not come here to do what’s been done before. We came here to expand—inspire, heal, express, create, and realize the exhilaration of being everything we are meant to be.
I should tell you right here that, personally, I struggled with the whole “trusting your inner-voice thing,” or believing in a God, Inspired Self, Cosmic Coddler, or any energetic force beyond my five senses or the Dow Jones. A friend dubbed me “the reluctant mystic,” and it’s a true description. As an attorney, I’d been trained in logic and liabilities. And as a once incredulous New Yorker, I felt like anything remotely transcendental was just a crutch for those who couldn’t cut it. But these days, I’d shout from the rooftops with a bullhorn, and elbow my way past the other fanatics to do it, because I see infinite possibility as a torch, and “reality” as the crutch. Still, trusting an invisible mechanism of genius or wellspring of new resources has oft en nettled my overindulged intellect. I suppose it’s what makes me a good teacher. Because if you have a bundle of suspicions and doubts, trust me, I’ve had a bigger knapsack.
That’s why I’d love to assist you on this journey and make sure you get where you belong. You probably have a voice of fear telling you to play it safe, heed convention, and turn back altogether. I want to represent your other voice, the one that tells you to really play it safe, by following your desire and strength. I hope you will consider me your success partner, your paper mentor, and your noisiest, most outrageous advocate screaming from the bleachers. In these pages, I hope to inspire you to live and work from your power and magnificence. Fear diminishes your strength. I plan to help you undo that fear and set free the astonishing faculties and life strategies you already have.
This book is not a cookbook of how-to steps. As a leading career and success coach, I’ve found it works better to share real-life experience, let someone come into the kitchen with me and feel the heat. Your natural intelligence will absorb what you need to know better this way. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never gotten much from the “8 easy steps” kinds of books. They made things sound so simple that even a garden-variety moron could have an Internet business, and be a billionaire by Tuesday. Me, I’d still be groping through my days, wondering how I could have graduated from Harvard Law School and yet be flunking “easy” self-help programs. Turns out, I didn’t thrive on “simple, practical advice” because intelligence is complex, and I’m a thinking, feeling, developing human being—not a robot. Go figure.
So I’ll help you move into your brilliant power. I’ll share the mental and emotional journey of this awesome ride with you; the fears, doubts, and bogeymen that arise, and how to become an unstoppable warrior for your life’s work and desires. Because I know that if I can help you stay connected to your desires and shift your innermost thinking, then you will take actions like nobody’s business, inspired actions that seem to fall directly out of the sky and onto your pretty plate. You will naturally outpace anything any expert could ever tell you. You don’t need the steps—when you have the moves. Now that sounds practical to me.
By the way, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a business plan or follow an expert’s marketing or financial advice. I am never negating logic, linear analysis, or any source of input that helps you accomplish your dreams. Some of you will need to listen to your business coach, lawyer, or accountant, and build temples around the columns of your spreadsheets. Others may take their cues from a late-night tarot card reading over the phone or from a neighbor’s border collie who shows up in a dream with a telegram from Atlantis or an Akashic record in its mouth. Some may rely on a passage in the Bible; others on the passages of the planets. Some of you may do all of the above, repeat, and then become a life coach, I just don’t know. I couldn’t possibly anticipate where your direction, clarity, and power will come from, but I do know that I want your every choice to feel alive and peaceful in the middle marrow of your bones. That’s your authority and my only goal. You have your own success path and I want to keep you on it.
At this point in my career, I have traveled throughout the United States and other parts of the world, offering keynotes and doing workshops in prestigious venues. I’ve been featured on national television, Oprah Radio, and in one of those supercool TEDx talks, and have even been noted in Forbes, a premier business publication. As a career and success coach, I have helped thousands of others discover their own inner voice, their own unique business and creativity consultant, and take outrageously visionary steps leading to an explosion of business, success, and happiness. Through my own personal experiences and through guiding others, I know there is another way to succeed. It’s a nonlinear way. It’s an inspired way. I hope you’ll make it your way—because it’s where the times are heading.
Remember: You’re meant to succeed in the work you love. Your desire will take you all the way.I invite you, dear one, to use your extraordinary resources. The world awaits you now more than ever. Please know I’m holding this vision for you. I’m rooting for you in the bleachers. I’m whispering in the hard times. I’m dancing in the good ones. And though you might not feel as though you know where this is going, I do. And I’m here to remind you.
How To Get The Most Juice Out Of This Book And Maybe Your Life
I have no way of knowing where you are on your path. But I do know this: The principles that are true in the beginning of this path are also true in the middle and at the end. That’s the nature of truth. It sings on many levels. Each of these stories is multilayered with meanings, so that even if you’re way further down the road, the “beginning” lessons may continue to help. Likewise, even if you’re just starting out on the path of your dreams, the later stories can inspire your path. That’s why you might want to read the whole thing. But you might not, and that’s fine with me (well, just as long as you never tell me). Actually, I designed this book so that you can read any vignette alone. If you want to jump around this book, jump, baby, jump. This whole book is about following your instincts, so far be it from me to get in your way.
As to the order of this book, my stories leap around in time, from different parts of my professional life. I’m not really trying to tell you my story. I’m hoping to offer insights into your story. But just in case the poor left hemisphere of your brain tries to piece things together thataren’t that clear in the book, I thought I’d just give you a bit of back-ground here: I spent years teaching workshops, leading retreats, and coaching while writing my first book, This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love. I self-published This Time I Dance! and was discovered by a “fairy godmother” who got it to the publisher of my dreams. Then I got a literary agent to represent me. A few years down the road, the publisher relaunched the book with a different cover and some new material. I think that’s about what you need to know. Those are the basic facts. The rest of it is the story, the lessons, and the leaps.
Now about those lessons. Please keep in mind that each lesson is a suggestion, a fluid example, not a formula. Nothing in this book is meant to be applied in every situation. For me, wisdom always breathes. There are exceptions to everything. I believe in common sense and your un-common personal genius. Please run everything through the unique filter of your situation. And always trust your innate wisdom, more than any-thing you read.
The Practices and Exercises Are at the End of the Book
I’m one of those people who reads books and feels guilty when I see exercises, especially the books that tell you not to go on and keep reading until you stop and do the exercises. I look over my shoulder, in case the author has secret superpowers. I start to feel like I did when I began making out with my boyfriend as a teenager, hoping my mother wouldn’t somehow smell guilt on my clothes. So about those exercises: I think we all process information in our own way and you as an adult have the right to decide if you want to do the exercises or not, and when.
That’s why I put the daily practices and exercises in the back of the book. I want you to dive into them when you feel ready. Sometimes, may read a book that’s making you think, and you don’t want to lose the flow and continuity of ideas. I don’t want to break that spell. You may see this book as a conversation, a deep and exciting conversation, and I don’t want to interrupt it with mental calisthenics. The calisthenics will be good for you. But so is the conversation. I want to unlock the re-sources within you. I want to whisper in your ear, chant secret things to a secret part of you that awakens and remembers—and blows the roof off the house. I don’t want to interrupt the spell.
Still, I don’t know how this needs to work for you. You may need to digest each section, put it to use, build a home for it. You may need to do the exercises while you’re inspired and under that spell. Please use your own navigation here. This isn’t a time to be polite. We’re talking about storming the world with your dreams. So please read and use this book in the way that empowers you. I’m not looking over your shoulder. Actually, I’m looking into the distance where you’re going, waiting to see your sparkling face on the horizon.
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