Throughout this site, the term "role" refers to the different parts we play in different situations. Our motivations, our goals, even our behavior can vary greatly depending on the role we play. In the Pilot Fire Simple System for Everything, designing a balanced, passionate life depends on learning about our roles and tuning them for our unique skills and interests. The power comes from understanding why we do what we do, pursuing what it means to be our best, and finding people who support us through their modeling, honest feedback, inspiration, collaboration, and love, especially when we fail.

Every decision, goal, every plan, every action we take is enhanced by our understanding of our roles.

As we grow in our roles, they become very powerful and help us:

  • Focus on what is most important in every situation.
  • Develop deep skills in areas that matter most.
  • Achieve goals that give us purpose.
  • Feel better about who we are and why we make certain decisions.
  • Stay motivated.

To get started, try this simple exercise.

If Reality Matters to You, Use a Timesheet

Do you really know how you spent your attention last week? When you imagine something specific about the coming week, do you know you'll feel? Turns out, probably not. To make decisions about … more

A Continuous Creation Timeline

Could you take 6 or 7 minutes to look over a picture? I spent last weekend doing Joel Zaslofsky's Continuous Creation Challenge and documented almost everything I did in a single infographic. I … more

What are You Wearing? Playing the Part Means Knowing Your Role

He wears a red flannel shirt on Saturday mornings. That's his costume. The waffle iron is his prop and the woods where we play his realm. As I write this I feel the air from the furnace of my … more

How Will You Get the Cash? The Role of the Breadwinner

Do you need cash? How are you going to get it? I need cash. In my role as Artist I don't generate cash— not much. And as an Entrepreneur I have yet to build most of the cash machines I've designed. … more

On Owning the Role of Artist: How Labels and Comparisons Strengthen Creativity

Denise Urena over at Nurturing Creativity offers grounded insight into creativity and artistry and an active community of readers and commenters. When she wrote about how labels can weaken our … more

When Does Empathy Really Open Doors and Minds?

A woman cries. The caption reads, "Dad's bone scan came back." My eyes well up, and my face contorts like hers. I feel her anguish even though this photograph and caption are all I know about … more

As Victim, as Offender, It’s Our Job to Change the Story

I wrote this article in direct response to your candid answers. Thank you. In my last tirade I yelled at the namby-pamby Advice Flingers-Around who praise the purity of "finding your purpose." … more

Find Your Purpose? I Say, F#@k Your Purpose.

Find your purpose! Follow your passion! Really? Fuck you! I'm sick of reading, hearing, and seeing that advice. It's not helpful. In fact it hurts. I have too many big important interests that … more

Name the Roles Your Helpers Play and Make Your Requests Specific

"Ask and ye shall receive,"† is often quoted ironically when something bad comes from an off-hand wish. When requests are well crafted, however, you may find the saying quite a handy reminder. As Mick … more

Before I Die, I Want To…

Look into the unknown future and make a wish. It's one of the best ways I know to build a clear picture of what's really important to you. And having that picture helps you focus on the present. Every … more