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August 2009


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Note From Erik:

What kind of lesson can a man learn from sitting at the shore of the most beautiful lake in the world (Lake Tahoe), journaling thoughts, and, all of a sudden, a harmless looking bird with good aim *splats* right on his notebook? Well, it’s a good one, so read on, my friend!

By the way, thank you for all the great feedback on my facebook application/quiz I created called “Are you fulfilling your calling?” It can be found here: It’s a quick, fun quiz that will encourage you. You can become my friend on facebook by clicking here.

To Living Above the Line,


Above The Line Article:                                                                       Bookmark and Share

"Don’t 'Should' Yourself"

By Erik Carlson

What’s ironic about the fact that the bird gave me a direct hit on my journal is that I just happened to be writing about how I sometimes get caught up in doing things that I think I SHOULD do, just because I think other people will think that’s what I should be doing.

Here’s the irony: I heard someone in church one time preach about how we need to not “should ourselves”; in other words, getting caught up in that life-wasting game of doing what we think others would want us to be doing. I actually had just written down “don’t should yourself” and then…splat… the bird proceeds to ‘should’ all over my paper.

I guess it was an excrement-ation… I mean, an exclamation point on the lesson I needed to hear. A perfect example of this is found in a Wall Street Journal article I read last week (the one paper I read regularly).

On Friday August 7th, an article on Evelyn Stevens told of how she stumbled upon a gift even SHE did not know she possessed. Only a year ago, she was a 50-hour a week Wall Street associate who liked to jog occasionally, until one day she bought a bike.

As I write this, she is competing in the Route de France six-day race that draws some of the world’s top female cyclists…and she just might win. She is being trained by a coach who raced against the likes of Lance Armstrong, who thinks one day she’ll be world champion.

I can just hear it... “You mean you left a prestigious Wall Street job to ride a bike??” I heard words like that when I left my post at the Children’s Hospital as staff Orthotist, to pursue singing in an A Cappella group, ‘Second Glance’. Had I caved into the critics, I would have missed out on touring Western and Eastern Europe, recording two Albums, winning grand prize at the Christian Artists’ talent contest in Estes Park, Colorado, and singing on the same stage with Rich Mullins (he wrote ‘Awesome God’), Cathy Tricolli, and other chart-toppers of the early 90’s.

My encouragement to anybody who needs a bird to get your attention, (hey… that’s ME!!) is this: Let’s stop doing what we ‘should’ be doing, and start listening to that still, quiet voice that knows exactly what we NEED to be doing. You know what I mean… doing what we can’t NOT do; pursuing those dreams that we cannot get out of our minds. I’m up here at Lake Tahoe on a personal retreat, and this is precisely why I take these personal retreats; to get a message like this one. As I have said before, we’re in this together!

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About Erik Carlson:

Erik Carlson is a sought after speaker and entertainer. His keynote topics blend the experiences and wisdom from his successful business career, and couples it with side splitting comedy magic that will leave your audience astonished and inspired.

Erik is the author and creator of his pathfinder self study course which is a step-by-step roadmap to discovering true prosperity in your career.

Watch Erik's Promo Video or book Erik for a speaking engagement.

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