Podcast – Episode 0260 – Surrender To The Work

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about what it means to surrender to the work of building something significant. 

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Many people are seduced by the idea that they can build an online business that brings passive income and runs entirely on its own.
  • “Make money while you sleep.”
  • Self-discipline is required.
  • How do you stay engaged as you age?
  • Instead of resisting the work, surrender to it.
  • It’s about the journey, not the destination.
  • When we resist work, it is because we don’t feel our work has purpose or value.
  • Following your passions is a win-win
  • The seduction is: “When you follow your passions you never work a day in your life.”
  • It’s unprecedented in human history to have so many options open to every one of us.
  • Most of us struggle with knowing what we want to do.
  • So we think we deserve a cushy situation then resist the hustle or the need to work from the bottom.
  • “You mean I have to work hard at the things I consider beneath me?”
  • “You mean I have to work hard in a relationship?”
  • “I shouldn’t have to do the labor to explain my message. Everyone else should come to me.”
  • When you surrender to the work and stop punting it over to somebody else, you realize that you are responsible for yourself, your livelihood, and your message.
  • Self-esteem comes after your surrender to the work and accomplish the things you want
  • Return on investment is high when you surrender to the work
  • The universe doesn’t care if you are too good to do menial tasks. It still needs to get done.
  • Focus on the elements of beauty in the process.
  • Resistance is an energy hog.
  • Surrender is effortless.
  • If you are complaining about something, you are resisting
  • Twice the effort for half the return (resistance) vs. half the effort for twice the return (surrender)
  • The ‘Luxury’ Fyre Music Festival Has Turned Into a ‘Hunger Games for Rich People’
  • Black box thinking: 20-somethings don’t know what goes into all the things they benefit from.
  • GenXers sometimes struggle to surrender to leadership.
  • Xers don’t like being in the cross-hairs. 
  • Millennials often think they should be leaders right out of the hatch. They struggle to surrender to the menial tasks that lead to leadership.
  • Xers don’t resist hard work, just leadership.
  • Millennials need to do the work, so they become seasoned leaders as they age.
  • Surrendering to the work looks different depending on who you are.
  • Older generations can let go of control and be advisors to the rest of us.
  • Younger generations need to respect and honor the wisdom of the older generations.

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Showing 13 comments
  • Léa

    First thing I want to say is thank you. I’ve been binging the podcast and got my mum to buy me the book for christmas. I really enjoy your content and it’s a great help. So really, thanks for the work and effort and the sharing.

    I don’t usually comment on stuff but after listening to that episode I feel I need to confess something : Joel, I’m currently training myself to become a Data Protection Officer as the GDPR defines it.

    While I understand your pain I actually think that regulation, if applied in a constructive way, can be a leverage point for individuals, companies and other organization (I actually have many ideas about this!)

    So… sorry but not sorry!
    One of those europeans

  • Jeff Klassen

    I find solace in the idea that I never have to totally surrender to boredom. There is usually a thought or presence waiting for me on the other side, or through it all.

    Surrendering to leadership for me has involved building up character, and using character to maintain success. I am an young Xer/ old millennial..

  • Marlene

    Is it possible that the reason Antonia has an “easier” time surrendering to the work than Joel is because she uses Fe more often than Fi? My INTJ friend disagreed with the lesson here, insisting that negative emotions should be energized productively, that is, referenced now and then in order to keep the hope of a solution alive. As an INTP, I find emotion referencing to be useless when you have already resolved to “surrender to the work” or other plan. He complains that it is because people surrender to the work too much and too often that we don’t have improved systems in place. Doesn’t this seem to be an Fi-Te vs Fe-Ti debate? “We are right to be upset and we need this feeling to find solutions.” vs “Use the upsetness for as long as you need the drive, then drop it — i.e., for as little time as it’s productive or it will negatively affect necessary work.” Perhaps Fi masters can surrender to the work and to the emotions with great wisdom. The rest of us need the podcast. I certainly needed to hear it to surrender to some of that demonchild Fe work!

  • Kathleen Erickson

    Surrendering is a cornerstone of spiritual growth and 12-step programs, so glad to hear you talking about its benefits. In my 70s, and in forced semi-retirement (laid off), I am looking at what do I want to do now that I could actually put some time toward “it”. So looking at your “passions, talents, interests” definition to see where they might intersect in my life and work, and taking more leadership roles in various organizations I belong to. Don’t know where it will all lead, but surrendering anyway.

  • Ingebjørg Bærø

    Love you! But that GDPR-rant made me cringe. We’ve had to do this at my old workplace this summer, and sure it was hard, but you just need to have policies in place, and get updated consents from people subscribing to stuff if you haven’t already got their consent. Map what data you store and why (i.e. participants at training programs), and make contracts with 3rd party data providers (like your webpage, facebook, mailchimp etc) to make sure they are in compliance as well (which they probably will be). https://www.codeinwp.com/blog/gdpr-compliance/

    I could most certainly be wrong, but I do not believe you need a lawyer! However, if it takes up a lot of your time it might be more cost effective. Your ENTJ should be able to sort this out 😉

    Good luck! From fellow Ne-dom 😉

    PS: Cambridge Analytica was very much involved in the US election, and Facebook originates from the US, so it is absolutely not a European problem only. Felt the need to inform you as a European (although not EU) citizen.

  • Genevieve

    “I’m above being above that.”

  • Rachel

    Usually, I love all your podcasts, but I found this one quite disconnected from reality. This is not the first time in the history of humanity that this is easy for some. We have lived in societies for centuries where things are indecently easy for some and incredibly difficult for others. Although I sincerely love what you do, you are also an example of people for whom things are much easier than for others.
    Lots of love and looking forward to the next podcast.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Regardless of whether or not things are easy for some and difficult for others, the principle still stands – everyone has to surrender to work they may not want to do. It’s a message that is even more relevant for people who have things easy and could otherwise coast. Those are the ones that are more likely to resist necessary work.

      Thanks for the comment.


  • Phillip Jacobs

    But I don’t want to work. I want to dance. Real cool guys thinks for bringing up some tender emotions. I’m going home and watch some more breakfast club.

  • Tine

    This was an excellent podcast to listen to on my “I’m just gonna run for an hour and see where it gets me” evening. Not exactly what you were talking about, but it felt in the spirit.

    You guys should come to Brussels and I’ll buy you a delicious hot cocoa and listen to you bitch about GDPR. Lots of love from Belgium 😉

  • Stacy Egan

    Great podcast, I love it when you discuss the nature of generations! I’m an older Gen-X (born 1963) and relate to what you are saying. I will have to keep in mind the suggestion for surrendering into leadership roles. Regarding the nature of work itself, I am fortunate to have been heavily influenced by my grandfather, a 2nd-generation German born in 1890 (so talk about old school). He would always put my father and I to work when we visited, and would harp on the virtue of work and using your head “for more than a place to hang your hat”. Yes, he was quite a task-master but I am grateful for his early lessons. I agree we in our plush western society tend to forget how easy we have it. The black box phenomenon is actually quite scary. I sometimes think, if infrastructure were to collapse, how ill-prepared we are for basic survival.

  • Abi Cullum

    Thank you so much for this podcast, so helpful and at a great time for me! Really connect with all you said about Gen X and lots of food for thought. Really good to hear from both your perspectives about where the resistance to work is. By the way, I’m from the UK and we still have to do GDPR and we all hate it! Everyone is suffering with you man! 😉

  • Laura Nickel

    A lot of excellent thoughts here on this podcast! I love the insight that resistance requires energy and that is better spent changing your mindset. I love the recognition that surrendering to the work may also mean changing the focus of the attention to what needs to happen to make things work. Surrendering to the boring chores is good, surrendering to a more productive leadership role, is also fruitful. To many good points to name. This is a “must listen to” podcast for anyone interested in more satisfying work.

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