To be passionate about your dreams is one thing. To realize your dreams and create with purpose is completely another. Oh the danger of being drunk with passion and intoxicated with ideas.
When all we have is passion, we fall prey to being impatient while assuming we will succeed while overcoming our limitations. Limitations are real and something we need to see clearly or we will never make progress. Self-denial about our limitations let us miss where we need to grow and go. We risk the chance of becoming blinded by naive enthusiasm. We promise ourselves more than we can muster. It’s a delusional place to be.
But oh how much fun it can be.
We all know the loop. Take an idea, what seems like a very good idea and become really excited about that idea. Pumped. Stoked. On fire. We are filled with unbridled enthusiasm, perhaps what many people call passion.
That passion you feel, that deep desire to fulfill that dream, it’s the fire that fuels. Passion may very well be what kicks your ass out of bed in the morning and charges you to move forward, to go forth, to get on with it.
The Alchemy of Passion
Read: The Surprising Alchemy of Passion & Science from the MIT Leadership Center.
But, passion without execution and the ability to fail and endure is a trap.
Turning Passion into Progress
Turning your passion into reality requires something more. It requires progress. Sometimes painful progress. Progression – making headway towards your goals – can and should be measured and tracked with a daily dose of reality. What your passion requires is honesty and clarity.
It might also need a plan. A deliberate disciplined action strategy and of course the discipline to honor that purposeful plan every day. A blueprint of sorts. A guide. A map.
But how do you know if you’re really making progress? Harness the data. Measure the feedback. Track how far you’ve come and how far you need to go before your dream(s) are reality.
Planning the process and producing a bit each day, making progress. This is what transforms passion into progress. What makes those dreams come true.
Passionate activity without purpose is just noise. It might even mean just being busy.
Busy without being productive will keep you spinning your wheels while never making any real progress.
We can ward off that danger of being drunk with passion by being realistic about what we are doing. Staying in the moment, measuring our progress and making corrections to our course each day.
A Critical Look at Our Faults & Failures
The ability to evaluate one’s own ability and progress is an important skill to turning passion into progress. It requires a critical look at what needs to be improved. Including your skills. How good are you right now, really? How much more do you need to improve? to practice? to plan? to execute.
How are you sure that what you are doing is moving you forward?
Ryan Holiday’s Ego is the Enemy should be required reading for everyone, especially those with a dream, a vision and or a passion. I am finding his book to be one of the most grounding pieces of writing I have read in a very long time. Thank you Ryan.
Illustrator Ruben Ireland
Thoughts today on creating awesome experiences. Memorable ones – like the time my husband and I took our four daughters on an 18-day bareboat charter around the British and US Virgin Islands. They were ages 8, 6 and the twins 4 years old. They were young and fun.
The Future of Travel
Just how close do you think virtual reality arm chair travel can get to replicating a real barefoot beach combing, dolphin swimming, colada sipping vacation for you?
Imagine all the travel pleasures without the annoying TSA security check points, baggage claim blunders and long exhausting lines.
While I still think there is plenty of reason to travel IRL (in real life), like new friends to make, dishes to try, terrain to hike and air to breathe, I can also imagine enhancing your weekends with even more jet-setting and globe hopping in the comfort of your own cozy family room.
A Virtual Bucket List
What an amazing gift a virtual reality vacation would be for my housebound mom and dad, who are too ill to travel, but can simulate the relaxation and adventure of a vacation while checking off cherished places on their bucket list.
I am fascinated by the future of virtual reality travel. Are you?
“By its very definition, virtual reality is a simulation of being somewhere different, and if you’re in need of an immediate break from your current reality, stepping into a virtual one in a matter of moments is the ultimate form of escapism.” – read more about Occulus Rift and how technology will take you anywhere with 360 degree video experiences here
The British Columbia tourism bureau filmed this virtual reality video to lure in vacationers –here
“To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.” Rolf Potts, Author of Vagabonding.
Most of you will agree that we can read, listen and study for hours upon end on how to enhance our minds and become 1% better versions of ourselves daily, but the greatest lessons in life are from actual experience.
Mapping Out a Successful Day
I am a professional list maker and note taker. If I don’t write it down, my wild and creative crazy nine year old inner child takes over and the next thing you know I have 20 projects that I have begun but will probably never finish. This is one of the things that I struggle with daily, so I have decided that as I begin to declutter my life and brain, I will become more mindful of my approach and system to tackling the day.
Listening to an interview with one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear I love the way she handles the creative younger sister in her mind, the one who wants to do everything at once. She calms her down by devoting 15 minutes a day to letting her mind run free and capturing those creative thoughts on index cards and in notebooks – to do later on. Listen to her interview with Rob Bell here.
The Morning Journal, Master List and the Top 5 for the Day
As for prioritizing my daily to do list, I have a new approach. I have come to appreciate the wild and creative mind that I have as just an excitable version of me that wants it ALL and that is okay. I love that about me, I just know that I can’t do it ALL right now. So here are my steps/system to making it happen over time.
The Morning Journal
After a five minute gratitude journal moment, I write down my goals and tasks for the day/week/month in Evernote. I love how Evernote is accessible from everywhere – my phone, desktop, tablet and laptop and automatically syncs my lists so they are always updated.
Organizing My Tasks – The Master List
I organize these tasks in three categories: Personal, Work and Creating (writing, photography, making things). I dump everything I want to include in this master list – things like outlining my book, clients I have to call, learning more about social media strategy and tools like Periscope, etc.
My Daily Top Five
I then take a notebook from Muji (love this Japanese store) and write down the Top 5 tasks I will complete for the day – or start for the month. I am sure to include at least one thing from each area of my life to keep it balanced. I prioritize by sense of urgency and importance.
I also use Moleskin note books and Pinterest to help keep track of things that inspiring me throughout the day.
Recording Daily Activities
Try this with me. I am now committed to taking an extra 90 seconds a day and recording not only what I have achieved, but how it felt to accomplish the task. This will include my personal and work achievements because I don’t believe any one of my clients is recording my wins. This job journal will come in handy later on when I decide to raise my fees and move towards more.
If you love journals and notebooks and have developed a system for creating tasks and documenting wins I would love to hear more about what works for you. Be sure to comment in the section below.
Not just for wandering the world, Midori Traveler’s Notebook Brown Leather (1, 1 LB)
Because inspiration can spark at any time. . .
On your road to greatness, the details make all the difference. Write them down.
This post includes a few tips, tricks and trends to help you travel, wander and move about a bit easier and healthier.
Napcabs at the Airport – as long as they are maintained and sanitized, I am all in for a moment of quiet meditation at JFK.
Smartphone Hotel Keys – This can’t happen soon enough. How many times have you had to return to the front desk with a plastic card key that just didn’t turn that tiny light green?? Now available at select Hilton Hotels.
A few more travel tips . . .
1Above creates drinks that will help people avoid jet lag. The brand’s products are available in refillable bottles and concentrates, which help to feed the body with six electrolytes and six essential vitamins to help the body naturally release energy. Available on Amazon JetLag Drink
LinkNYC is the ambitious plan to replace all of New York’s obsolete phone booths with Wi-Fi-broadcasting towers.
My favorite Umbrella ever – covers you and never blows out in gusty Manhattan storms.
Available here. . . Totes Luggage Bubble Umbrella, Clear
And for sunnier days and warmer seasons – an awesome idea. Free public sunscreen. This summer the city of Boston installed sunscreen dispensaries at no cost to taxpayers, thanks to skin cancer organizations like the Melanoma Foundation of New England and Make Big Change.
“Be the person with embarrassing goals and impressive results instead of one of the many people with impressive goals and embarrassing results.”
Today’s thoughts inspired by a seriously smart book: Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
I travel to Manhattan for work each day (some people call it commuting). I intentionally take my travel to New York City each day and I view it as a big adventure. The big apple, right here in my own back yard, a playground that I get to rediscover over and over again. The dreaded 90-minute “commute” has become a part of a mindful and magical journey. Well, sometimes not that “magical”, but you get what you put into it, okay?
Lately I’m very sad about the growing number of homeless men and women I see while I am walking downtown to my office from midtown to Soho. Counting 5, 6, 7 people per block, I thank God I haven’t become numb to this sorrowful situation.
I became angrier and angrier at DiBlasio, at the system, at the crumbling world economy. I thought about creating a video and filming what others may not see. Heroin addicts, veterans, the mentally disabled lying down on the sidewalk with cardboard as their mattress and torn blankets as their cover. But other than devoting time to volunteering at a homeless shelter, what can I do?
Well a dear friend had a wonderful idea that helped me the other day. Bring them lunch. Pack extra lunches to hand out to those who are hungry as I walk to work.
And so I did. I started with one sandwich yesterday. I am thankful to say that it was well received and I made a real connection with someone. A older woman who thanked me. A soulful moment of compassion in a very crazy city.
This act of giving is not a new idea, but for months I was so concerned about the huge homeless problem I didn’t know where to begin. I got caught up in the amount of time, effort and energy it would take to do something, anything. Whenever we are trying to solve a problem that is bothering us this greatly we sometimes tend to get caught up in the enormity of it.
Perhaps you want to lose weight, hit the gym, save money, develop a new skill, invest in the market. My recommendation to you, is to start small, with mini-habits, that when practiced daily and consistently really do work.
Think about it, your goals may be too lofty and setting you up for failure. Yes it’s okay to dream big, but if you are having trouble failing, take this tip and advice from the author of Mini-Habits.
Some ideas . . .
Big Goal: Travel the world by the time your 30.
Small Habit: Begin by saving $10.00 a day by making lunch. Research the economical benefits of a round the world ticket. Read: Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
“Vagabonding is an attitude—a friendly interest in people, places, and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word. Vagabonding is not a lifestyle, nor is it a trend. It’s just an uncommon way of looking at life—a value adjustment from which action naturally follows. And, as much as anything, vagabonding is about time—our only real commodity—and how we choose to use it.” Quote from Vagabonding.
Big Goal: Lose 25 lbs by your 25th birthday.
Small Habit: Start with 1 less teaspoon of sugar in your coffee each day. Start with a 10 minute walk around the block.
Big Goal: Learn how to code your own website.
Small Habit: Start with a 5 minute session of a class each day on Lynda.com, or Udemy.com
Big Goal: 100 pushups a day by halloween.
Small Habit: Do one push up right now. Maybe two tomorrow. Grow slow. Grow slow and steady.
Big Goal: Write the book.
Small Habit: Write one true sentence a day. (a wonderful piece of advice from Ernest Hemingway.)
Break it down. Do it daily. Be consistent.
Looking for inspiration? Check out the author’s Mini-Habit Ideas Mini Habits
Living mostly in our minds we notice that it travels constantly between the past and the future. It rarely ever stops for a visit in the present moment.
Questioning Your Limiting Beliefs
Training oneself to awaken to the moment right now, to just stop the senseless, ruminating thoughts and mindless chatter in the brain for just a second can help us break through false limits we have created for ourselves.
How it Works
Here were some of my limiting beliefs this morning.
I can’t run. I’m just not a runner. (I have seriously told myself this my whole life).
During my workout on the beach I challenged myself to run 50 seconds at a time. Interval running. I did it.
By questioning my false limitations, I re-frame the story I am telling myself. Now I know, I can run.
Second false belief, I’m not creative. I don’t have the talent. I can’t draw, paint or photograph to save my life.
I challenged myself again. I took out my phone and recorded some video and photographs and used a VSCO filter.
Look at that, I can take a photograph.
Third False Belief
I don’t have the time to do what I want to do today. I’m so damn busy.
And now, I challenge that belief. My plan today is to challenge the way I waste time. I am committing myself to asking the question about everything I have on my list today –
Will this activity bring me closer to my intention? One step nearer to my goal? If not, I will replace that activity with something that will. As I become more mindful of what I am doing all day, I will find the time for what is most important to me.
Think about it. What limiting belief is holding you back from breaking through and becoming a better version of you today? I’d love to hear how you are challenging your false beliefs today.
Pro tip – As you challenge yourself, re-frame your questions –
Don’t ask Can I? ask How will I?
How will I find the time? How will I learn something new today? How will I honor myself?
Inspired by the book Mindfulness by Ellen J. Langer
Read more here – Mindfulness, 25th anniversary edition (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)