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Believe in dreams

Two years ago I went to India. At the time I was frustrated and uninspired but had revisited a list I wrote many years prior; the Taj Mahal was on that list.

I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, so I went, alone, determined to make this dream come true. 

I will never forget the feeling of awe and accomplishment when I arrived: A long-time vision made tangible. I watched sunset and returned for sunrise and walked around in a daze.

When I visited Mount Rushmore, I was disappointed; the size and the proportions didn’t seem to match what I had seen in history books. Yet this. This marvel exceeded my imagination.

Only now do I recognize the strength, courage, and resilience it took for me to get there.

For all those fighting silent battles;

For dreamers who remain committed to their visions;

For those stubborn enough to persist against all odds;

And for the few who dare to create and build: I see you.

Keep dreaming. Believe in your dreams like your life depends on it (it does).

Mindset makes the difference

Abundance and scarcity doesn’t simply refer to money; it’s a way of life.

Whether you view options as limited or limitless will determine what opportunities come your way, the quality of your relationships, your daily mood, and your chances of success.

An abundant mindset sends people out into the world generously. These are the most connected people you meet, the ones who take wins and professional setbacks in stride.

Those with a scarcity mentality see breakups and career blunders as devastating blows. The soul mate who got away. The Big Chance that will never happen again.

An abundant mind recognizes there are many potential paths and options for love and happiness.

There’s always another chance.

Miracle Questions

Miracle questions can be helpful when you are trying to power through roadblocks or identify the direction of your truest dreams. Social workers and therapists around the world use miracle questions as tools to help clients solve problems creatively and positively.

These types kinds of questions help shift an individual’s perspective from one that is problem-centric to solutions-focused:

If you had a million dollars, what would you do?

If you woke up and no longer had to deal with ____, what would your day look like?

What would be a sign that you’re feeling 100%?

For more on miracle questions (and how to use them), check out the following links:

empty highway overlooking mountain under dark skies

A manual for daily adventure

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Go to work, come home, throw together dinner, veg out on the couch.
You’ll never live the life you secretly wish for if you become routine’s slave. You have to shake things up.
When you enjoy your life, you’ll inspire people around you to test limits they’ve drawn for themselves. Passion and excitement are contagious. Improved relationships, enhanced creativity, boosted productivity, discovery of yourself and the world around you are just a few byproducts of a life with fire behind it.
Sounds great, but how does this happen? Certainly not overnight.
Here are 80 ways to get you started.
We all have different thresholds for daring and adventure, so pick a few that feel brave to you and dive in. Let me know how it goes.

  1. Pack a lunch. For a friend.
  2. Go see a movie by yourself.
  3. Bring a slinky to the office.
  4. Rotate a stack of favorite photos in your wallet.
  5. Buy sidewalk chalk.
  6. Invite people you don’t know very well over for dinner.
  7. Dance.
  8. Call a friend unexpectedly, for no particular reason.
  9. Put Play-Doh on your desk.
  10. Write a love letter. To yourself.
  11. Stroll through a bookstore and notice which section pulls you in.
  12. Buy the Sunday paper and savor it with a treat.
  13. Do something to fail. Something you know you’re miserable at. And enjoy.
  14. Ride a bike. Rent if you don’t own one.
  15. Host a themed party.
  16. Take public transportation, even if you think it’s slower.
  17. Start a scrapbook with images you tear out of magazines, newspapers, funny office memos.
  18. Schedule a coffee date with someone you admire.
  19. Write a pageful of questions. Don’t worry about answers.
  20. Try a new restaurant.
  21. Mail a thank you note.
  22. Walk home from work a different way.
  23. Book a trip.
  24. Stare out the window.
  25. Set aside fifteen minutes to write. About anything.
  26. Make a themed playlist.
  27. Ask a friend for a book recommendation.
  28. List 100 things you’d like to do before you die.
  29. Sign up for a class.
  30. Teach a class.
  31. Move! Jump. Climb. Skip.
  32. Bake lasagna for the local firehouse.
  33. Compliment a stranger.
  34. Brush your teeth with opposite hand.
  35. Run an extra 5 (minutes, miles, blocks, laps).
  36. Concentrate on nothing except pouring yourself a cup of tea.
  37. Host a trivia night at your place.
  38. List 10 “self care” items. Aim to do 2-3 each day.
  39. Order in. Unplug and turn off everything. Eat by candlelight.
  40. Support a local business owner.
  41. Take your workout outside.
  42. Don’t send an email. Walk over to your colleague’s desk.
  43. Smile at a kid who isn’t yours.
  44. Find a recipe and cook.
  45. Look up. See the sky.
  46. List 4 things you are thankful for in this moment.
  47. Pick up your favorite book and head to the park.
  48. Watch a black and white movie.
  49. Make yourself feel uncomfortable.
  50. Consider the book you’d write.
  51. Bake something — a pie, cookies, bread. Wrap it in pretty paper and give it away.
  52. Set a new fitness goal.
  53. Initiate conversation at the coffee shop.
  54. Volunteer.
  55. Do 1 thing today that really excites you. Tell no one.
  56. Sing loudly in the shower/your car/your backyard.
  57. Doodle.
  58. Plant something.
  59. Allow yourself 5 minutes of nothing.
  60. Set out to scare yourself.
  61. Paint. Draw. Make something. It doesn’t have to be good.
  62. Visit a farmers market.
  63. Count your breaths, 6 seconds for each: Inhale. Pause. Exhale.
  64. Buy yourself flowers.
  65. Book a massage.
  66. Style your hair differently.
  67. Hide a note for your partner to find.
  68. Put your other shoe on first.
  69. Be a slob. Don’t make the bed. Leave it on the floor.
  70. Daydream.
  71. For one day, don’t make any plans.
  72. Write on a napkin.
  73. Eat with chopsticks.
  74. Act like a tourist.
  75. Clean. Throw out junk. Organize.
  76. Build a tent in your living room.
  77. Pretend you’re famous.
  78. Ask yourself: “If you could do anything, anywhere, what would it be?”
  79. Donate money to a cause you’re interested in.
  80. Write down what your life looks like this time next year. Five years from now. Next week.

Write your own fairytale (or have a really grand adventure)

Happily-ever-afters. Great escapes. Exotic adventures. Fairytales. You’ve read them, you’ve dreamed of them, you listen enviously as your friends tell them. “They can’t be real,” you skeptically reason.

STOP.

This isn’t stuff reserved for children’s tales. It isn’t luck. You can live one, too.

But it won’t happen magically. You’ll have to do some work. Here are some tips to help you on your way:

1. Get honest. 

Find a place with no distractions. Create time in your schedule to be there without needing to answer emails or rush off to meetings. If you must send yourself an invite, do it.

List things you’re really good at on a piece of paper (or a cocktail napkin). This list doesn’t necessarily need to be things you like or enjoy. You’re writing down your skills and key areas of competency — things you know you can rock out in your sleep.

Use another sheet of paper to list things that bring you joy. You don’t need to “be good” at these; you just need to love doing them. If you have a really, really, really shitty day, where do you turn to lift your spirits?

 2. Dream big. 

Don’t sell yourself short with this. Ask yourself: If you could do ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, what would it be?

Turn off that voice that laughs or says, “Impossible.”

Are you a professional writer living out of your Cape Cod beach home with a golden retriever and an adoring partner?

Have fun with this. And be specific.

 3. Start small. 

Rome wasn’t built in one day; yours won’t be either. Looking at the big picture can be overwhelming. Small, tiny steps will do just fine.

Maybe it starts with a stroll through your local bookstore to see which sections excite you. Maybe it’s taking a day off work to shadow someone at a local agency or maybe you visit a museum.

Before you begin to obsess about writing business plans, finding part-time work, or quitting your job, move in manageable bursts.

 4. You will get frustrated. 

Read that again.

It will happen. You will want to give up. You’ll be pissed at yourself for trying; the obstacles will become insurmountable. You won’t feel like you’re making any progress. IT IS OK. Accept this, acknowledge your frustration, and move on.

Sometimes, functioning is fine.

Take yourself to a movie that inspires you. Regain your strength. The important thing is not to lose momentum.

 5. Orient yourself. 

As long as you’re moving, you’re golden. It’s being stuck that will raise red flags (or white). For now, it doesn’t matter the direction. Just move.

6. You need someone. 

Have one person in your corner. There will be times you don’t believe in yourself. Know someone who does, someone who is OK with seeing you at your worst.

 7. Self care. 

Make a list of ten things that bring you comfort. They can be small — something like listening to music or lighting a candle — or big — booking a massage or buying a plane ticket. Commit to two each day.

Let me know how it goes.