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Get a celebrity on the phone

Tim Ferriss told a group of Princeton college students that he’d buy them a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world if they could get a celebrity on the phone. Out of the group of twenty eager jet-setters, not one attempted the challenge. He posed the same contest to a different set of students one year later. In two days, over 35% came back with results.

Why?

They believed they could.

The separating factor between these two groups is action. It’s easy to come up with excuses, set low expectations, or dismiss the successes of others. It’s difficult to commit to your own goals and dreams. Action takes courage, confidence, and commitment.

Sometimes you need to set an expectation that seems unrealistic; a mark so audaciously high and unfathomable you convince yourself to try it. Maybe you hit that banner, maybe you fall short. Either way, you’re propelling yourself into action. And that action alone sets you apart from the rest of the crowd.

Tell me what unrealistic goals you’re setting @redheadlefthand.

The case for risk

We’re afraid of making our desires known. It’s scary to show pieces of ourselves to another, parts that make us vulnerable, the gentle spaces we perceive as fragile. It’s easier to hide behind accomplishment and labels and somebody else’s dreams.

what if I’m alone

what if I can’t make rent

what if it never happens

what if I’m found out

what if I fail

Fear morphs into competitive comparison as we scan the lives of colleagues and peers, anxiously wondering if we measure up. Our minds stop us from living, from allowing ourselves to just be.

Imagine if all that watching and playing it safe on the sidelines turned into focused energy.

Who do you want to be?

What do you want to do?

When I finally pushed doubt to the side, I became a writer. I became generous, forgiving, loving, and daring because I stopped caring about what didn’t matter in the first place and started paying attention to moments that made my heart swell.

I’m scared often.

I’ve had to get comfortable living with little in my bank account and not having a neatly packaged answer when people ask, “What’s next?”

But because of that, I’ve experienced beautiful mysteries I would have otherwise missed.

Life shouldn’t be neatly laid out.

Not the life I want to live.

Modified from this original post.

Bookmark your dreams

Many years ago, a coach gave me an assignment that changed my life.

Write down 50 – 100 things you’d like to do.

My original list contained almost 90 items, goals ranging from learning to tie a necktie to finishing a marathon. I revisit this list from time to time. It has served as a guidepost for sorting out impulse and helping me decide whether my choices are circumstantial or made with intention.

It’s impossible to forge ahead if you don’t have a direction. (I didn’t always know this.) When you focus your efforts, you’re much more likely to get it done.

Step 1: Make time

Mark your calendar and commit. Set aside one undisturbed hour in a space you feel comfortable.

Step 2: Write

While writing your list, let yourself play and dream. Don’t pause to question. Don’t edit. Just write.

Step 3: Bookmark

Place your list someplace safe so you can return to it and reassess whether these goals are where you’d like to concentrate your energy. It’s never “too late” to dream.

Modified from Dream Chasers, posted December 2012.

2 weeks, 30-minute conversations, good things only

Every day for the next two weeks I am committing to one thirty-minute conversation focused only on Good Things.

Good Things include: Goals, ideas, projects, dreams, successes, accomplishments, moments that bring satisfaction and contentment, creation, acts of kindness.

Call it pro-bono coaching, but this is as much for me as it might be for you.

Interested? Sign up here.

A manual for at-home daily adventure

Some folks are pretty bummed at the prospect of cancelled events, social quarantine, and days spent at home. Others are thrilled: Time to catch up on Netflix, read those books on the shelf, spend time with family, or just chill on the couch.

Life doesn’t have to become boring because social calendars are reduced. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do to shake things up, test limits, have some fun, and inspire others to do the same — right from the comfort of your own home.

We all have different thresholds for excitement and adventure, so pick what feels brave and fun to you. 

  1. Watch an inspiring documentary.
  2. Make something with Play-Doh or clay.
  3. Create a collage with newspapers, magazines, or other things you find around the house.
  4. Join a virtual dance party.
  5. Call a friend.
  6. Write a love letter.
  7. Savor a hot cup of coffee.
  8. Draw something with your opposite hand.
  9. Write a pageful of questions. Don’t worry about the answers.
  10. Plan a trip.
  11. Take a virtual tour of a famous museum.
  12. Stare out the window. Daydream.
  13. Make a themed playlist.
  14. Ask friends for book recommendations.
  15. Write a note to someone who has inspired you.
  16. List 100 things you’d like to do within the next 30 years.
  17. Sign up for an online class.
  18. Move! Jump. Skip. Do some pushups.
  19. Bake something or try a new recipe.
  20. Compliment a stranger online.
  21. Brush your teeth with your opposite hand.
  22. Concentrate on nothing except pouring yourself a cup of tea.
  23. Host an online trivia night with friends.
  24. List 10 “self care” items. Aim to do 2-3 each day.
  25. Unplug and turn off everything. Eat by candlelight.
  26. Think of ways to support local business owners.
  27. Stargaze.
  28. List 4 things you are thankful for in this moment.
  29. Grab your favorite book and sit in the sun.
  30. Think about the book you’d like to write.
  31. Set a new fitness goal.
  32. Initiate conversation.
  33. Sing loudly in the shower/your car/your backyard.
  34. Doodle.
  35. Plant something.
  36. Allow yourself 5 minutes of doing nothing.
  37. Paint. Draw. Make something. It doesn’t have to be good.
  38. Count your breath: 6 seconds for each inhale, pause, exhale.
  39. Style your hair differently.
  40. Hide a note for someone to find.
  41. Be a slob. Don’t make the bed. Leave it on the floor.
  42. Eat with chopsticks.
  43. Build a tent in your living room.
  44. Pretend you’re famous.
  45. Ask yourself: “If you could do anything, anywhere, what would it be?”
  46. Clean. Throw out junk. Organize.
  47. Put together the wackiest outfit you can think of.
  48. Donate money to a cause you’re interested in.
  49. Write down what your life looks next year. Five years from now.
  50. Try at-home yoga.

Let me know how it goes.

Modified from A Manual for Daily Adventure.