Tag Archives: goals

SerenDestiny #68: You’ve Already Made It

You've already made it

“When my book was an answer to a “Jeopardy’ question.”

The response author Rebecca Skloot (whose book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” has been on the bestseller list for 100+ weeks) gave when asked by a reporter, “When did you feel you’d made it as an author?”

What would change if you decided, right here, right now, that you’ve already “made it?”

How would you feel if you started believing today that success is not out there in your future, dependent on achieving some goal you’ve set for yourself – you already are successful?

Too often people achieve something they set out to do … only to discover it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I remember hanging out with bestselling authors in the penthouse of the Grand Wailea Resort in Hawaii back in the days I emceed the Maui Writers Conference.

Many of these authors were household names. They’d sold millions of books and had millions of fans. They had achieved the “holy grail” that the hundreds of would-be writers attending the conference aspired to.

Yet, what did they talk about? Did they talk about how rewarding it was to do work they loved? Did they talk about how much they appreciated having the freedom to, as Stephen King says, “Get paid to hang out in their imagination all day?”

Well, sometimes they did.

But more often they complained.

They complained that their publisher didn’t get their books in the stores in time for their Oprah appearance. They complained about the hardships of being on the road for 3 weeks straight, on an all-expenses paid, cross-country media tour. They complained about their editor not getting back to them in a timely way.

By many people’s standards, these high-profile authors had achieved “success.”

But once they got there, it was not nearly as satisfying as they thought it would be. It just came with a new set of standards of what it would take to make them happy.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a better way.

And it doesn’t cost you a thing. Anyone can do it, anytime they want. You can do it, right here, right now.

Look around you.

Have you ever thought about it this way?

You’ve already “made it.”

You’ve made it to the age you are. Many people didn’t.

You made it by being able to see, walk, speak, hear. Many people can’t.

You’ve made it by having people in your life who love you and who you love. Not everyone can claim that.

Sure, there are things you want to see and achieve. That’s wonderful.

Just don’t think that success will automatically show up when you do.

Unless you change the way you perceive success, you’ll never really feel successful.

Success is not something you receive upon achieving something new; it’s something you feel when you appreciate all you’ve achieved.

Start seeing yourself as successful, right here, right now.

Start understanding and embracing the fact that … in the ways that count … you’ve already made it.

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SerenDestiny #67: People Can’t Jump on your Bandwagon – If It’s Parked in the Garage

bandwagon_sized

“If you don’t go, you’ll never know.” – Robert De Niro

Many of us operate with the opposite of Robert De Niro’s insight.

If we don’t know; we don’t go.

The problem with that?

By definition, with any new venture, we DON’T KNOW what we’re doing.

If we use “knowing what we’re doing” as a prerequisite for moving forward … we never move forward.

Yikes.

That’s where GTS comes in.

What’s GTS?

Let me explain.

A year after my son Andrew graduated from VA Tech with a business degree, we were having dinner.

Andrew had “lucked out” and found a job as an executive recruiter. He was the envy of his college buddies because he was working in a classy downtown building, making good money and working for a respected, well-connected industry icon who was arranging for him to do neat things like work at events with President Obama and Tony Bennett. Not the normal career trajectory.

Yet, as I looked into Andrew’s eyes that night, there was no spark.

In fact, he used a word I’d never heard him use before. Exhausted.

I asked, “So, are you going down to VA Tech this weekend to see the game?”

“Nah. By the time I’d drive down there, I’d only have a few hours and then I’d have to turn around and come back. I just don’t have the energy. I’m exhausted.”

Exhausted?!? How could that be? How was it that this formerly energetic 20-something was burned out?

I asked, “Andrew, what’s up?”

He said, “Mom, I want to quit. I know I should be grateful for this job, and I am, but sitting at a computer all day researching job openings and making cold calls is not what I was born to do.”

“What do you want to do?”

Andrew immediately became more animated. “I want to start a non-profit.”

I have to admit, this conservative person I didn’t even know existed popped up and almost caused me to blurt out, “Non-profit?! Do you know how many non-profits are going out of business these days because donations have dried up? How are you going to pay bills? What about health insurance?”

Thank heaven a wiser voice prevailed. I thought to myself, “Isn’t this exactly what 20-somethings ought to be doing at this stage of their life? Andrew’s 23. If he doesn’t go for what he wants now, he may never get a chance to later. Good for him for wanting to do work he’s proud of. I should be supporting him, not shutting him down.”

So, I said, “Andrew, you’ve always been resourceful. If you apply yourself, I know you can pull this off.”

You may be thinking, “But how could Andrew pull this off? He’d never run a non-profit before.”

That’s true … and that’s where GTS comes in.

GTS stands for Google that … stuff. (As you can imagine, Millennials sometimes substitute another word for stuff.)

Andrew thanked his boss for giving him that job opportunity right out of college – and then promptly got online and Googled “How can I start a non-profit?”

Up came dozens of resources – all telling Andrew exactly what steps he needed to take to get a license, find a team and get funding.

In the course of one year, Andrew recruited a team of 20 (!) interns and found a collaborative work space at the Affinity Lab in Washington DC.

It was the ideal environment to get other people on his bandwagon. Someone a couple desks over would ask, “Andrew, what are you working on today?”

Andrew would say, “I’m applying for a grant” and they would say, “Oh, I did that last year. You can borrow the proposal I filled out and use it as a template.”

Andrew never had to go it alone as he was surrounded by others who shared his vision and had his back … and front.

The result?

Dreams for Kids – DC – http://dreamsforkids.org/blankman/dc/ – has sponsored dozens of adaptive athletic programs for kids and gotten them off the sidelines and into the games of life. They have sponsored Extreme Recess clinics with the Washington Nationals baseball players, Capitals hockey players, Wizard and Mystic basketball players and United soccer players.

Dreams for Kids – DC has made a positive difference for thousands of young people through their Dream Leader programs in local schools and through their annual Holiday for Hope program at Howard University.

All because Andrew didn’t quit before he started because he “didn’t know what he was doing.”

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years interviewing people about their SerenDestiny – a life where the light is on in your eyes because you’re doing what you love most and do best – it’s that PEOPLE CAN’T JUMP ON YOUR BANDWAGON – IF ITS PARKED IN THE GARAGE.

What do you want to do? What would put the light on in your eyes?

Are you hesitating because you don’t know what to do?

Remember – you don’t have to know to go.

Get online right now. Phrase what you want to do as a question and put it into your favorite search engine. GTS your dream goal – and up will come dozens of resources to help you on your way.

Whether you want to write a book, become a ballroom dancer or launch your own business … those online resources will tell you how to take your first steps.

Do you want this year to be your best ever? Do you want the light on in your eyes?

Don’t wait, initiate.

GTS what you want to do. And then get your bandwagon out of the garage and get moving.

SerenDestiny #66: One Day You’ll Wake Up and There Won’t Be Any More Time To Do The Things You’ve Always Wanted

Paulo Coelho - Someday, You Will Wake Up ...

What wise words from Alchemist author, Paulo Coelho, “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.”

I don’t think it’s morbid to think of our mortality; I think it’s motivating.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh said, “Perhaps we never really appreciate anything until it’s challenged.”

She’s right. We tend to take life for granted.

We focus on what time to set the alarm, getting the kids off to school, the commute, our appointments for the day, what we’re going to have for dinner, what’s on TV that night.

We don’t usually take time to stop, look around and fill ourselves with gratitude for the fact that we’re alive, healthy, free.

We don’t often make time to absorb and appreciate the incredible abundance that surrounds us each and every day.

It’s easy to take tomorrow for granted.

We think about what we want to do – write that book, take that trip, spend more time with our loved ones – and it’s always, “I’ll do it later. Later when I’m not so busy. Later when I have more time. Later.”

What if later never comes?

What regrets would we have for perpetually postponing those things we always meant to do … someday?

I love January.

I love making new year’s resolutions.

I love the hope that goes along with the premise that we can have a fresh start anytime we want. That we can do things differently; that we can begin that priority we’ve put off.

What’s that for you?

For me, it’s writing.

I’ve had a blessed couple of years. Lots of speaking. Lots of coaching/consulting. Lots of business expansion.

And I’m grateful for it.

It’s a privilege to work with people who thrill me and to facilitate and expedite them getting their valuable messages out of their head and into the world.

2013 is my turn.

Time to schedule time on the calendar for my books – for my writing.

Doesn’t it make sense to honor our ideas as much as we honor others’?

How about you?

I am going to guess that you too have been facilitating other people’s work – other people’s growth – other people’s success. And it is a gift to be able to do that.

The question is, have you been doing that at the cost of your own contribution?

If so, how are you going to carve out time to honor your contribution as much as you honor others’?

I know what I’m going to do. I am going to write a half hour every morning.

Even when I have a day filled with consults. Even when I’m on the road traveling. Even when I’m speaking at conferences or hosting retreats.

A half hour. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Care to join me?

Are you ready to commit a half hour every morning for YOUR heartfelt priority?

What is that for you?

I look forward to hearing from you as you embark on a year of “half hour a day” commitments to your “Paulo Coelho priority.”

Imagine what you will have accomplished by the end of the year.

Imagine how happy you will be looking back.

Happy that you acted on what you wanted to do.

Happy that you no longer put off your “Paulo Coelho Priority.”

Happy that you took responsibility for making your life what you want it to be now, not someday.

This has been my half hour for today … what’s your’s?

SerenDestiny® #62: How Do You Get Through the Desert of Your Dream?

“I didn’t think I would play tennis again at one point. I just wanted to make it out of the hospital.” – Wimbledon Champ Serena Williams

From Liz Clarke’s July 8th Washington Post article, “After winning her fifth Wimbledon championship to snap a two-year drought of major titles, Williams clambered up the Centre Court stands to her guest box to share the triumph with the loved ones she said made it possible.

Having missed nearly a year of competition after a series of setbacks that included two foot surgeries and a pulmonary embolism, Williams proved that she is still the most formidable player in women’s tennis.

What’s different is Williams’ appreciation that she could not have done it alone. “Those people in that box were all with me when I went through everything I went through. I just felt I don’t say ‘thank you’ enough.'”

It has been inspiring watching Serena come back from what she thought were career-ending injuries.

The path to our SerenDestiny® is rarely straight.

It’s more of a roller-coaster ride. Ups and downs. Highs and lows.

What keeps us going in those lows?

A team who has our back and front, certainly.

Another necessary ingredient is our ability to continue to SEE ourselves successfully achieving our dream … even when it is not apparent to others.

It is crucial to maintain clarity and conviction that what we’re pursuing is worthwhile … even when we’re stalled and it looks like it may never happen.

It is persevering when we’re in the desert of our dream that provides the impetus to keep moving toward it.

Because forward motion is a non-negotiable.

If you stop. if you give up and abandon your vision … it will not happen.

So, it is up to you to hang on to your belief that what you’re trying to create and accomplish is possible and worthwhile.

If you do, you give it a chance. You are doing your half.

And when you do your half, the universe steps up and does its half.

Soren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards.”

There will always be setbacks along the way to our SerenDestiny. It is the nature of life. And, at the time, those obstacles may seem insurmountable. They may drain our will and cause us to doubt.

It is at that point, that we must transcend our doubts and summon our will to proceed. If we choose to carry on through our doubts and down times, we can re-establish momentum and move closer to realizing our dream.

I can only imagine that Serena was tempted to give up when she was in pain, when she had to go back for surgery, when she lost her mobility.

But Serena wasn’t finished.

She believed she still had greatness in her, she still had championships to win.

So, she re-dedicated herself. She worked hard and re-committed to being and doing her best.

And, as a result of persevering through the desert of her dream, she has reached a blessed, rewarding oasis.

And the beauty of this is; it is not a mirage; it’s a well-earned reality.

How about you?

Are you in the desert of your SerenDestiny® dream?

Could you choose to “pull a Serena?”

Could you re-dedicate yourself?

Your dream is still a possibility … if you choose to keep it a possibility.