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Beginning 2014… with the End of it in Mind

A great way to stick those New Year’s “resolutions” or those seemingly insurmountable goals for 2014, is to begin the year with the end point in mind.

You’re creating for yourself a map and working backwards, establishing little checkpoints for yourself along the way. 

Maybe in July you swerve off of the path a little bit, but because of the map you created for yourself in the beginning of the year, you know the entry way to get back on that trail.

The best way to eat a 300 lb. elephant (tofu elephant for my vegan friends ;) ) is one bite at a time.

This creation of a map works with short-term projects, partnerships, and how you want to spend the working parts of your week. 

One point of note: don’t keep your nose buried in your map because there are wonderful treasures and sights, and magnificent people to meet along the way. You can’t miss them or your journey will not be as grand.

Second point of note: In this game, there are no expert cartographers.

So, what Dec. 31, 2014 look like for you? What kind of map will you create? What are the first steps in helping it unfold?

Picking Up Good Vibrations—How to Have a Healthy Love/Hate Relationship with Your Job, Goal, or Project

Last week, I met with artist and author who wanted my advice on how she could sell more of her books. 

It was a friendly meeting as a favor to a friend, so without going into painstaking detail, I simply recommended she create partnerships with companies who relate to the subject matter of her book. The crux of my plan for her was to go out in the world, make relationships with the right people, and hustle her way (in an ethical manner) to getting the results she wanted.

Before I could finish my thought, she interrupted me with something about how she didn’t want to do that because it didn’t “flow with her vibrations” and she wanted to live in her joy all day long.

To which I responded, “How are you going to live in your joy if you’re going hungry from not selling any books?”

The rest of the conversation was a bit of a blur, and we parted cordially, but she couldn’t part with the idea that it’s simply impossible to not get your hands dirty in the pursuit of your goals. 

This is life. You’re not going to love every single minute of every day. You’re not going to enjoy every part of your job. 

I work for myself and have wonderful clients, and speaking gigs, and book signings… and it sounds so darn glamorous (maybe, ha!) and that I’m “living in my joy” BUT… it is hard work and I don’t love all of it. It can be stressful and irritating and it can make you want to cry. But all of it can be super sweet and a great way to live.

Your relationship with your goals can be much like a friendship or romantic partnership. You can truly be in love but there are things about the relationship you might not love (your partner’s snoring, your mother-in-law) but you deal with it or manage it because the good grossly outweighs the bad. 

With a goal, job, or project; find ways to eliminate or outsource as much as possible, the work that you find undesirable. Play to your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.

Always kill the toxicity in bad relationships with employees, co-workers, employers, and partners. This should be something on which you don’t compromise.

Yes, it’s possible for you to “live in your joy” but not every single minute of every day. Get your hands dirty. Acknowledge the valleys so that you can appreciate the peaks—it will make that joy you’re trying to live in much more delightful. 

What's the Worst That Could Happen?

In our wildest dreams we calculate and wonder is what the worst thing that could happen should we pursue what it is that we want. 
  • I might fail.
  • I might fail… again. 
  • I might lose all of my money. 
  • He or she might reject my affections.
  • The casting director could hate my work and send me back to Iowa.
  • My business partner could be a thief.
  • My children might resent me.
  • I might become homeless.
  • My family might spurn me. 
All of those are scary. They’re discomforting and potentially painful. 
But these are not permanent defeats. These are things from which you can recover. 
The worst that could happen is that you never take action, that you wait till it’s too late, that you stop trying. Living out the rest of your days as a zombie may truly be the worst thing that could happen.
Reach for the stars. Tell her how you feel. Push harder than you ever thought you could. TRY. Keeping trying. Never give up. 
The best thing is not the end point but the evolution of self that happens along the way to that desired end point. The sights, sounds, and experiences along the “Journey of Trying” all combine to become the sweetest nectar from which you’ll draw life and strength.

Failure: A Lesson Learned on the Way to Success

'Tis a lesson you should heed:
Try, try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try, try again.

Not gonna lie, I had a weird week. I failed a bit and it was painful and scary. Below are a few words I wrote to myself to help me get out of the "failure funk." I hope you find the words useful :) 

So you failed at something. You feel and skinned your knee. You got egg on your face.
It sucks. It hurts. It’s painful...  But it’s not the end of the world. Being upset and frustrated is okay but prolonged sulking doesn’t help you get where you want to go.
Recalibrate. Renew. Readjust. View every angle and dissect every piece of information to learn why you came up short. Can you shore up those “weaknesses” and turn them into strengths?
Craft a new plan. Set dates and deadlines. Ask for help. Ask for advice. Find a consultant in your field to brainstorm with, learn from, and to tell it like it is.
Success rarely happens overnight. If you want something in life that you’ve never had, you’ll have to do things you’ve never done before.
Don’t be’s just life and you have people around you who won’t let you get hurt. What’s the worst that can happen? Hint: it’s not failure. It’s never having tried (with a real effort) at all.