How to Really Enjoy Your Life

I was lucky. I grew up in a home with two parents who did what they wanted for their work. My mom loved to write, sing and play the piano. Outside of her children, she loved her creative projects. My dad moved the family to Michigan so that he could pursue his love of creating prototypes in the auto industry. Cars were his passion from the age of 5 and even though no one before or since has been an engineer--he has followed that passion. While we didn’t live in a huge home with lots of designer items we had a nice living and were probably one of the wealthier families on our block in the suburbs of Detroit.

My parents also had the same life dream to travel all over the country in a trailer. When I was growing up we hauled our pop-up trailer around the country every summer to a new destination. Now that they’re both retired, they spend 4-6 months a year traveling the country in a trailer--just as they dreamed of doing. It’s not the most conventional nor cost effective thing but it is one of the most important things for them and so they do it.

Unlike many other parents they didn’t tell me that I had to be one thing or another. There was never any pressure to go to law school or business school--though two of my siblings did that on their own volition. My parents seemed most focused on whether I was a good person and if I was happy. They did want me to make money so that I was stable but otherwise they never tried to sway me when I wanted to do something which for me was usually creative and often just a little ahead of my time. I’ve followed my creative leanings and given into my passions and this has largely worked out for me. Like I said, I was lucky to grow up in the house I did with parents who cared about this as well. If you didn’t, don’t worry. It’s not to late. It’s never to late to follow the stirrings of your heart.

I know that we live on physical planet and  have to live so sometimes you need to take a job “just for the money.” I know I certainly have. Just make sure that you don’t only take only jobs just for the money.

 

"If you say money is the most important you'll be spending you life completely wasting your life. Doing things you don't like doing in order to go on living that is go on doing things you don't like doing which is stupid."

Alan Watts

Do YOU like what you're doing? If not, this video is just for you.

Going Lean in Everyday Life (Or How to Write a Blog Post in 10 Minutes)

I’m a creative type. There I said it. If you know anything about this type you know that they love to be left alone for long hours huddled in their creative den, perfectly their art whether it be a painting, website or in my case--writing. Like the stereotype often goes--my work area can become super messy and even though it bugs me I just dive deeper into my work. Lately my work has been off the charts busy with a full-time client and two part-time ones. Pretty sure that doesn’t equal a balanced life. But it does equal a messy house, a neglected personal blog and too many thing too do.

I am ready to try new things--not because a big number ticked over a few weeks ago but because I have been trying to do things different since I got sick this past summer. This sickness was an indication that the way I was doing things just wasn’t working and since I’m not insane that meant that I needed to do things a different way.

So, for the past few weeks I’ve been trying something a bit different. Rather than allocating a full day to a project like I’d like to I am now getting work in very small micro bursts. I’ve started with 10 minutes on a timer for each iteration. 10 minutes to clean off my desk. 10 minutes to plow through my email. I even did it for this blog post. I didn't futz over it or spend hours trying to get the perfect phrasing. I published. a.k.a. Committing or Shipping in the tech world. I largely think it worked.  (Though I did add 5 minutes for the actual posting because wordpress can be a rascal sometimes) Sometimes I need to add another 10 minutes because I’ve gotten into the task and I want to get just a bit more done. I did this last night. I cleaned off my desk (which meant sorting my bills and receipts and other nonsense) and then in the last 3 minutes of the second iteration I paid off 3 bills and took care of another billing issue. I went to bed feeling quite pleased. I got the inspiration from the world of lean startups and small iterations and my mom who has done a similar approach which she probably got from a woman's magazine.

What I love about my lean approach

1) Feels very doable

2) I get something done which is better than nothing

3) I get very focused on the task at hand

4) I feel good about it so I inch up a few notches on happiness meter.

Now certainly everything may not fit into this lean approach and that quality doesn't matter because it does and there are times I will certainly want to luxuriate in a project. That said, so far it's really helping me to stay focused and get an enormous amount done especially in things I dread because I don't think I have time. Wondering how you might be able to put this concept into your life and what you discover.

How to invoke your instincts

"For me, travel has rarely been about escape; it's often not even about a particular destination. The motivation is to go--to meet life, and myself, head-on along the road...On the road I'm forced to rely on instinct and intuition, on the kindness of strangers, in ways that illuminate who I am, ways that shed light on my motivations, my fears. Because I spend so much time alone when I travel, those fears, my first companions in life, are confronted, resulting in a liberation that I'm convinced never would have happened had I not ventured out. Often, the farther afield I go, the more at home I feel."

Andrew McCarthy, The Longest Way Home

Steve Jobs on Your Inner Voice

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs

 

So...what are you waiting for?

Are Beliefs Really Just Masquerading as Excuses?

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.

Anais Nin

In my work I spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs and wannapreneurs. Either one can fall victim to the problem of seeing the world from a particular lens. The ones that are successful are aware of their lens. They're careful to let go of perceptions that get in their way. The least successful ones can't see that there's a lens in front of their eyes.

Perception is Everything

There are plenty of things we see as truths that aren't. A truth is really just a belief. We just *think* it's the Truth with a capital T. But really, it's a belief. And that means it's changeable. Why is this important? Sometimes what you think is a truth is really just masquerading as an excuses. Here's the thing.

I'm tired. Really F*&%ng tired.

I'm tired of people (including moi) using the something masquerading as the truth as a shield for an excuse for not living up to themselves. All of that potential that we keep dammed back, held hostage by beliefs. Yes there are limitations but they're not nearly as restrictive as our beliefs would have them seem. There's a whole lot more space there.

Does this sound like you? Some of these sure have sounded like me on occasion.

I'm too old to start a business. To date. To start over in my career.

I'm too weak to complete a marathon. To end that toxic relationship. To be brave.

I don't have time to write that book. I don't have time to take care of myself.

I could never bring in enough money on my own. Ask for investment funding.

I don't have enough money to properly market my business. To take that international trip.

I can't market myself. I can't save money. I can't do what I love and make money.

Cut it out.

Just stop telling yourself, your spouse, your investors anyone these "truths."

They're just excuses.

That's all they are.

I know I'm not the first to say this. I'm just the one saying it to you now. The next time you think something is a truth check to see if it's really just an excuse in disguise.

Now go get cracking on living up to your potential.

You're welcome.