creating meaningful work


Hello, my friends! …and welcome to episode number 124 of the daring romantic with Lindsey Eryn, and — I’m Lindsey Eryn.

so, last week I went to Joshua Tree in Palm Desert for a couple of days. I actually extended my trip, because we got to our second Hotel — so me and my friend Alex, Alex Michael May, shout-out to her, if you do not follow her, you definitely should.

she’s such a creative human being, and one of the most tender-hearted people I know. but, we took off to Joshua Tree and just had a little work-cation / Escape — which I felt like, was much needed. and — we stayed at the cutest little Airbnb in Joshua Tree, and then the next day we went to a hotel in Palm Desert. and, we got to the hotel and honestly it was so incredibly magical that, 10 minutes of being at the hotel, we were like, “okay we’re staying another night!”

and, it was just really refreshing to get away, and to be in the desert — I love being in the desert! – it does something so good to my soul. I think it’s just being out in the middle of nowhere, and moving at such a slower Pace, with slower Wi-Fi, recognizing that everything doesn’t have to be this urgent thing, and we don’t have to be connected all the time.

I don’t know, it’s refreshing and renewing to me. but, while we were gone, I had a little bit of a viral moment on Pinterest! which, I mean, guys, if you’re not on Pinterest, you really should be. I’m telling you — it is such an underrated platform. This podcast episode is not about Pinterest, but I’m just going to say: be on Pinterest.

we can have a conversation about this later, and what that looks like, but Pinterest is where it’s at — I’m so confident of that, like 1000%.

In fact, literally it’s why third story is what it is today, and why I’ve had so much success with my website templates from third story apartment, and even my app — peptalks — which, BTW, Shameless plug, if you have not downloaded my app, peptalks, go download it. it is in the Apple App Store and in Google play. so, go download that — it’ll add so much value to your life.

okay so — this comes full circle, back to Pinterest, because — so, in the app, I had written a pep talk about how you are needed, and how your voice is important, and how you ought to get off the sidelines and be an active part of society.

and — I had written this piece back in June, and post it to Instagram, and then had pinned it to Pinterest, and so that was back in June. and here in August, that pin went viral — and when I talk about it went viral, it had over 13,000 repins on Pinterest, and for a solid 7 Days, basically the only notification that I was getting, was that people were reposting this pin, saying that “you are needed.”

and, one — it was just so cool to have a viral moment, because those are few and far between as we all know. but two — it just made me realize, wow, more than anything, that’s what we all want to know — that we’re needed and that we’re valuable, and that we have something to contribute to this world. like, it just made me realize how thirsty and how hungry we all are for purpose. and that we want our lives to mean something. something so much more than a 4 by 4 Square on Instagram or 16 by 19 film strip on Tik Tok can ever give us.

and so, it was just this really beautiful and Powerful moment in time, where I just realized, “man, more than ever, we want purpose. more than ever, we want to know that we are needed and that we belong and that we have something valuable to contribute to this world”

which I guess brings me into today’s podcast episode — because, it all comes back to this idea of meaning. and, one of the conversations that I’ve been having with myself and with friends and with even strangers — is this idea of producing meaningful work.

Because — I think that right now in our culture, we’re in this weird limbo and shift, and I think partially it’s due to the pandemic, but then partially it’s just a long time coming, where our culture has fed off of things that are viral, things that are surface-y, things that hit the spot in the moment, but don’t actually bring fulfillment — and we’re ready for something more. and then you topple on the pandemic, and it’s like, we’re consuming so much content from all these different platforms, that the surface stuff isn’t actually hitting home anymore.

And the surface stuff doesn’t actually mean anything to us, and it feels more like cheap candy than a good steak — if you know what I mean. you know, like, it doesn’t bring fulfillment. because we’ve soaked in so much because there’s so much time on our hands now, because we’re not going on our commutes to work, we’re not in an office 9 to 5, we’re not going to the gym like we used to, our lives have of completely transformed, so we’re soaking in so much more social media, and even just like with everything that’s going on, right, like the climate of the culture, with everything going on with race and with the economy and with the elections, and with everything — there’s just such a heaviness, that the surface stuff is a Band-Aid, but it’s not actually healing us and nourishing our souls.

and so, there’s this tension that’s existing, and I feel like it’s more prevalent than ever because I’ve been having so many conversations about it, where people want to start producing meaning. they want to start producing work that has significance and that adds value — like, real value to this world, instead of just the stuff that they know will go viral.

but more than ever, this tension exists because we want to grow, we want to experience wild success, we want to experience those viral moments, but we recognize sometimes that the work that goes viral isn’t the works that has deep meaning and purpose and significance — but it’s the work that’s on-trend, or that creates a trend. deep Soul work is so different and deep meaning is so different than something that is trendy, and I think creators in every arena are experiencing this.

I was talking to a friend who makes music, and they said that they feel this tension. Because here on Tik Tok, right, the songs that are going viral on Tik toks are the ones that have a good beat and you can make a good Tik Tok dance to. but it doesn’t mean that that song actually has meaning and lyrics that transform somebody’s heart and that somebody can connect with.

and I’ve talked to influencers who want to share more than just an outfit post or a makeup tutorial, but they want to share work that actually helps people, and empowers them to live their best life. and I’ve received emails from strangers who say the same thing — in every industry, people are experiencing this tension of, “how do I grow and become successful, but how do I also create work that is Meaningful, and fills a void in people’s lives?”

because, for whatever reason, purposeful work is not always seen and praised in the same way that Viral Trends are. But right now I think that we’re at an interesting place in culture, and it’s becoming so visible and tangible — this ache for something more — people want purpose, they want meaning, they want to know that they belong, they want to know that their life amounts to something else, to something greater.

and I think that it’s so visible with how everybody’s been acting and showing up in the past few months. people are fighting for causes that they believe in more than ever — because they want their life to count for something, they want it to mean something. I really do feel like we are moving into this new wave of creation — especially after what’s happening with the pandemic, where people don’t just want what’s cheap and surface-y. they want something with heart and soul, and meaning — something that connects with the most inward parts of them.

so, this podcast episode is for anybody who’s feeling that itch, to create something of meaning, to add value and purpose to your work. to not just create for the sake of creating, or to create something that will go viral, but for the people who want to create something that actually transforms people’s lives.

this episode is for you. this episode is a message to encourage you to follow your heart, to follow the conviction that tells you to dig deeper, and to produce something of significance and deep purpose. and here’s why, number one, because we are all connected as human beings. I firmly believe this. I believe that if one person feels something, then chances are, somebody else is feeling the same thing.

and so, the fact that you are feeling this ache to produce meaning, produce significance, to add something deeper into your work, then just what is industry standard — then chances are, other people in your industry are craving the same thing, or other people who are looking to your industry for guidance, are craving that Thing, too.

part of being a leader is leaning into those aches and those convictions that we have, and following through with them. realizing that, we are all connected.

That is why I love repeated themes so much, because I feel like there’s a connectivity, and there is purpose in it. and, I don’t think that it’s a surprise that I’ve been feeling this, my friends have been feeling this, strangers have been feeling this — I truly believe that there’s an Awakening happening within our culture, where we want something deeper than ever before.

and so, if you are feeling that — if you are feeling that ache inside of you, that craving inside of you, for something more, for something deeper, to produce something that is going to be meaningful and transform people’s lives, transform the way that they see things, and interpret things, and encounter things — then lean into that. there is purpose in that.

number two — is we are three-part beings: we are Spirit, mind, and body.

and so, oftentimes we create for our minds and for our bodies, but we neglect our spirit. and when we neglect our spirit, when we neglect the innermost parts of us, we’re malnourished human beings. it’s like having a teepee that has three different sticks, and expecting the teepee to stand up properly, but only on two sticks. right, like that’s exactly how it is when we only nourish our minds and our bodies, but neglect our spirit.

we can’t neglect the spirit — because it is just as essential and vital as our mind and our body.

And I get it, doing soul work and producing work that reaches people’s hearts and souls, it’s not always the popular work. but it’s the life-changing work. it may not be popular in the moment, but it’ll be the work that transforms people’s lives and leaves a lasting Legacy. because when you touch somebody’s Soul, when you create something that literally connects with the innermost parts of them, and changes the way that they see themselves, or their future, or their situation, or changes their mindset, or gives them hope — you are touching something that no viral thing could ever touch. you’re impacting them in a way that the most popular Trends will never impact them. you’re transforming their life — and that’s more powerful than anything that is ever popular.

it’s like the idea that you can eat a bowl full of candy, and be full but still not be fulfilled. and, our culture does this all the time, right? we fill ourselves with cheap music and literature and ideas and entertainment — but we’re never fulfilled or satisfied, because it’s not reaching our innermost being, our spirit. and so, with that said, if you’re feeling this inkling, this crave, this desire to create meaning in your work, to do something deeper, then do it! because not only will it bring you fulfillment, it’ll bring fulfillment to everybody who encounters your work. and that is powerful!

okay, so if we’re doing points, the third thing — is that we were created for a purpose. we were created on purpose for a purpose! each of us, despite where we’re from, despite where we grew up, despite our education, despite what language we speak, despite X Y and Z, we all have a Divine Purpose and calling on our lives. and our obedience to follow our dreams and live out our purpose has a direct impact on other people’s destinies. there is so much more to life than going viral on Tik Tok or having thousands and thousands of followers on Instagram, or having a huge email list. those are surface achievements. are they great? yeah, sure, they’re awesome. But, they don’t mean everything. they don’t mean that you’ve lived out your purpose. they don’t mean that you’ve actually achieved success.

because success isn’t just about the vain metrics. In part, it’s about fulfillment, it’s about purpose. Part of success is being fulfilled in your work. looking at your work and feeling confident that you are living out your purpose, and that you are making the kind of impact in the world that you were created to.

When I’m 87 years old, it’s not going to matter how many likes I got on a photo, or how viral something did or didn’t go, or if somebody approved or validated my work.

when I’m 87 years old, I’m going to look back at my life and I’m going to ask myself, “did I fulfill my purpose? did I use my skills and my talent and my knowledge in order to serve people? in order to create something of meaning and add purpose and significance? Did i use the gifts that I have in order to bring people hope? in order to transform the way that they think and they see themselves, and they see their situations?”

that’s how I’ll measure success.

When I’m 87 years old, I’m not going to be sending out emails. I’m not going to care about an email list. I’m not going to be caring about Instagram. Instagram probably won’t even be around by then!

so we can’t be measuring our success and our purpose, based on these vain metrics. we have to go deeper, because we were created for a purpose. and the truth is, we can’t take anything that we achieve here on Earth with us to the afterlife. none of this is coming with us to heaven. and so, when I get to 87 years old, hopefully I’m still creating — but I hope that when I ask myself, “did I achieve success?” I will say “YES,” because I lived out my purpose — regardless of how popular or unpopular I was in culture.

which leads me to the next thing — popularity does not determine influence or impact.

I think that sometimes we look at numbers, and we look at how popular somebody is, and we’re like, “wow, they’re so powerful, they’re so influential.”

but it’s like — when we actually look, what are they influencing? what are they impacting? how are they creating positive change in the world?

I think that some of the greatest influences I know, have really small followings, and are undiscovered gems. I think we’ve put too much emphasis on popularity, thinking that that is the end-all — but it’s not.

just because something is popular doesn’t mean that it’s good for us, or that it’s impactful, or that it’s actually influential in any good way, shape, or form. popularity isn’t the determining factor for those things. I think sometimes — in all honesty — we treat life like it’s high school still!

we’re out here trying to be popular, instead of trying to live out our purpose. and if we were actually to live out our purpose in the way that we were created to, I think that we would find that people are genuinely attracted to that, and that people are gravitated towards us, and that there’s something so compelling about us, because we are so authentically ourselves!

not trying to fit in or be this or be that in order to be well-liked, but, we’re so unapologetically who we were created to be that, it is actually having this magnetic force that draws people in, that makes people curious about us.

and I think that as creators, if we can get to a space where we’re more about being so incredibly true to who we are, and how we were created, and so incredibly true to the convictions that we have in our heart, and the convictions that we have to create, then we would find that our work is so attractive — that people are attracted to us from Every Which Way, from all different walks of life, from all different backgrounds, from all different Industries — because the most attractive thing, is somebody being so incredibly true to themselves. and if we can do that in terms of Creation, in terms of creating what we were created to create, and living out our purpose, then I think that we would find, that in the end it all becomes full circle! and we will have the influence and the audience That We crave. all because we stayed so incredibly true to our calling, and to the convictions that we have in our hearts.

But if we just create to create what’s popular, we are going to find ourselves feeling so empty, feeling so unsatisfied. and I think that, if we follow that path, and when we get to the end of our Lives, we’ll be a little bit disappointed — because we’ll realize that we did what was popular, and sure, we had Fame and popularity, but we didn’t leave a lasting Legacy.

we didn’t build an Empire that was going to be known for Generations. our work was but a vapor, a one-hit wonder, popular one moment — and gone the next.

So, all that to say, don’t let popularity distract you from creating something of purpose. and don’t let the idea of popularity tell you that just because your work is not widely popular, that it’s not influential. because at the end of the day — it’s not about the masses, it’s about the one.

I’ve had this thing for years — do it for the one. and, I can distinctly remember where I was when this saying came to me.

I was at a stoplight, about to come home, so tired. because my whole entire life, my whole entire career, I believed in meaning, I believed in purpose, I believed in adding significance to this world. and, if I’m being truthful, choosing this route, choosing to add meaning to the world, choosing to do work that has significance, and that isn’t just vainly popular — it takes a lot of grit and determination, it takes a lot of willpower to stay in the game, it takes a lot of remembering that you’re in this for the Long Haul.

and it was at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, and I was just so tired because I felt like so many people were getting ahead of me. and, they were seeing all this success, and I wasn’t seeing it.

and, I was just like, “do I give up? do I just follow the trends and do what everybody else is doing?”

and I just remember, I sat in my car, I was at a stoplight, and I was crying, and I just felt this small, still voice say, “Do It For The One. Lindsey — keep on showing up in the way that you know you ought to, for the one person that it might impact.”

and so, since 2012, that’s been my Mantra — is, do it for the one. everything that I do, my podcast, my app, my writings, even third story apartment, I’m doing it all for one person. I’m doing it for one person who might be impacted — because I decided to show up. I’m doing it for one person that might see themselves a little bit differently or might have hope, for the first time in a long time.

I’m doing it for the one person who has been struggling to believe in themselves. I’m doing it for the one person who needs freedom from old mentalities and old habits, and who might stumble across my work, and finally find the keys that they need in order to unlock their future. everything that I do is for one person. and if it impacts more than one person, then awesome! job well done.

But, if it only impacts one person, then it was worth it! because, who knows who that one person may go on to influence and impact. who knows what that one person will go on to do. That’s how we leave a lasting Legacy — we show up for the one person, knowing that our work has a ripple effect. When our work actually transforms somebody and transforms their lives, it’s not still, it’s not stagnant — it goes on, it continues to create, it continues to move, and it continues to impact people. and so then, you realize that it’s not just about what you can do on your own, and how many numbers you can attract, but all the other people that are impacted, because you impacted one person.

today, I woke up to a message from somebody in my DMs, and they said that every single day, they end up screenshotting things and affirmations that come through on the app and sending them to their friends, and to their students, and to their family members.

and if this was the only person that was impacted by my app, then it’s worth it.

because it impacted her so much that she passed on all of that goodness, all of that hope, all of that joy, all of that gratitude — on to other people. and so the one person that I impact, maybe they went on and impacted 10 other people, and maybe those 10 people went on and they impacted 10 people themselves, and it became this movement — and so, gosh! yeah, this is why I believe in the one. because it becomes something tangible, instead of this unknown statistic, and at the end of the day — when you’re producing deep and meaningful work, there’s always more than one. there’s always more than one person that you’re impacting. but it’s this beautiful thing, because instead of these just random numbers of, “oh I have 1.5 million followers…” it’s like — no, I have Nicole, and I have Abby, and I have Amber, and I have Kimberly, and I have so-and-so. it’s all these different people who you have a tangible experience with. and that’s powerful!

And sure, you may never know their names, but they’re more than just a number, when you do it for the one.

okay, last but not least — if you are on the fence, feeling like there’s this ache in your soul in order to create meaningful work, and you’re not sure if you should, or if you should continue just to do what’s popular and what will get you seen and noticed and help you to “grow” — then pause long enough to ask yourself this question — “do you want to be known for a moment or remembered for a lifetime?”

because that answer alone will tell you what you should do. if you want to be known for a moment, then go ahead — continue down the route you’re going, and just create content that you know people will like and that you know will be popular, and that you know will get a reaction out of people.

but if you want to be known for a lifetime — if you want to disrupt culture and leave a lasting Legacy — then stay true to your convictions.

when your spirit is telling you to dig deep, then dig deep. produce work that you’re proud of, that brings you fulfillment, and that will bring others fulfillment, too. produce work that you’re proud of — that when you’re 87 years old, you can sit in your little rocking chair with your grandkids, and tell them story after story of how your work impacted people. you can tell them story after story of the Transformations that happened, or the movements that happened, or the great things that came about because your work existed in the world. I promise you, if you lean into this deep ache that you’re feeling inside of you, to produce meaning, to produce work that adds significance and value to this world — then you will be fulfilled, and you will be satisfied, and you will end the day feeling like you accomplished something great.

because it doesn’t matter how many people see it — it just matters that one person saw it, and was transformed. because that is the greatest impact that we could ever make in this world — is impacting someone enough in order to bring them hope, and to bring them joy, and to help them believe in themselves, and help them chase after their dream. that’s work that we can be proud of. and sometimes that work doesn’t always get seen and appreciated and noticed in ways that we want — but that’s okay. because we can end our day knowing that we did a job well done.

and when we get to the end of our Lives, we’ll look back at all of the stories that are lining up, of how our work impacted people, and that’s what matters.

all right — so I’m going to wrap this up. but if you are feeling that tension inside of yourself, of wanting to grow, and wanting to create work that is light, but also wanting to create something that adds deeper meaning to the world — then I encourage you to ask yourself the hard questions. think about the stories that you want to tell when you’re 87 years older, or 110.

what brings you fulfillment? go create that kind of work. I think that’s what it comes down to, because, when you feel fulfilled in your work, purpose is there, because you’re living out your purpose and the Divine calling that’s on your life.

don’t worry about the metrics or about the money or about anything else. when you are doing what you are called to do, you will be a wild success. It may not look the same as everybody else, but it’ll come — and it’ll be worth it. and, no amount of money or no amount of Fame could take away from the fulfillment that you have by producing meaningful work in the world — that I can promise you.

all right, my friend — you got this. I believe in you — I am cheering you on. and I believe that as you lean into your convictions, and you create work that you are proud of and that fulfills you, that you will in turn create work that brings value to people’s lives, and that contributes something Monumental to this world.

you are needed. your ideas are needed. and the convictions that you have inside of your heart, they will not lead you astray. you are a three-part human being — Spirit, mind, and body.

so as you create, don’t be afraid to lean into that third part — to lean into your spirit, to lean into your intuition, and your gut. because that’s where the magic is. when you as a Creator don’t just create with your mind, but create with your heart and your soul.

You’ve got this, my friend. I fully believe in you, and I’m thankful that you’re here, and that you exist in the world.

so let’s do this. let’s go out into the world this week and make some magic. we got this!