Are You Ready for a PASSIONATE Year?

What does it mean to “have a passionate year?”

It means a year of many moments filled with joy and bliss. Of doing what you love…and loving what you do.

Even when things aren’t going well.

A friend of mine recently posted that she couldn’t wait for 2017 to get out of her life and begin a whole new year anew.

Yet, here’s the thing…

At any given moment in your life, you can decide to live differently.

You can change the thoughts that are floating around in your head. 

You can change the way you see things. 

You can change your perspective.

You can choose your attitude. 

You can create your actions.

You can pivot in a new direction. 

The end of one year is a wonderful opportunity to reflect back. What were your best moments? What accomplishments stand out? What was not so pleasant? What hurt?

It’s all too easy to want to put the worse behind us and look forward to a better future ahead. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the many mentors I’ve had is this: if you keep repeating the same routines, you’ll end up with the same old life.

Do you want this brand new year to be the same repeat of last year?

Or even better?

Knowing what you DON’T want can better point you in the direction of what you DO want.

The first half of 2017 was the second half of my family’s downsizing journey. We moved from a five-bedroom house to a townhouse. On one hand, the convenience has been really nice–no more lawn work. We have a little plot of garden that we can grow tomatoes, herbs, and flowers and even that is mulched yearly by the service.

On the other hand, it’s been quite the adjustment space-wise–my office is in my bedroom. The commute is short, but it sure is tough to write when the hubby is sleeping nearby.

The move freed us up to travel more. We took an amazing cruise to several islands, including my favorite: Belize. My youngest son and I took a trip down to South Africa–another wonderful highlight of the year. I added Minnesota to my Barefooting 50 States for my 50’s quest.

And the very best part of last year?

The birth of Unwrapping Your Passion, Creating the Life You Truly Want.

Not just because it was fun to see the book on the shelves at various Barnes & Noble bookstores and hitting the number five spot on Amazon, but because the information in the book is changing lives.

Yes, people are actually doing the activities, creating new habits, and living with passion.

Over the summer, I gave my friend Edie Iles a copy of the book. She was just a few chapters in when she reached out and told me that she remembered she had a passion for dancing. She had buried it for so long that she forgot about it. Right then and there, she signed up for dance lessons again.

Here’s what she shared:

They say timing is everything and this book sure came into my life at just the right time! I was recently divorced and was not feeling good about where I was in life. My good friend, Karen Putz gave me her book, Unwrapping Your Passion. 

After reading the first few chapters, my passion for dancing was rediscovered. I had not been dancing in years. I was out of practice, had no dance partner and not sure where to begin. Unwrapping Your Passion inspired me to think about how I felt free and uninhibited and full of life while dancing. I got excited just thinking about those feelings.

Then, out of nowhere, I received a message on LinkedIn requesting a connection from a former dance partner I had 15 years ago! It was as if the universe had read my mind and provided me with my desire! Bill and I reconnected and have been dancing every weekend since.

I highly recommend reading this book and Unwrapping Your Passion!!

~Edie Iles

So here we are, at the start of a brand new year. It’s the time of year when people start out with new energy, and new intentions. New thoughts, new attitudes, new habits, and new actions will result in a PASSIONATE year. One of the things I do is to look over my Life List. It is always so fun to see what has been experienced from the list and add more to the list.  A Life List is everything you want to be, do, and have in your lifetime. It’s a way of LIVING, of experiencing life in the way that only YOU can.

If you’d like some help in planning a passionate life, I offer a 30-minute Passion session over the phone or via text chat–whichever you prefer. Simply email me at: karen at agelesspassions dot com and put “Passion Session” in the subject line. You’ll be on your way to making THIS year a passionate one!

 

Karen Putz is known as The Passion Mentor. She helps people unwrap their passion at ANY age. She’s the author of Unwrapping Your Passion, Creating the Life You Truly Want. 

Life’s a Gift, Unwrap the Message

The email came out of the blue.

“I wanted to let you know that we are using quotes and messages from your book in our Winter Play on December 21st to fit the theme ‘Life’s a gift, unwrap the message. I know you live out in Chicago, but wanted to share the invitation with you, just in case you were able to attend. If you can’t attend, maybe you could VP with us in the near future just so that the students can put a face to your amazing work. Lastly, we wanted to thank you for the courage it took for you to write this book (Unwrapping Your Passion) and for sharing it with us. We were inspired!”

The email came from Heather Hapke, a transition teacher at the Rocky Mountain Deaf School. Heather came to a book signing for Unwrapping Your Passion at the Barnes & Noble in Golden, Colorado back in September.  She shared bits and pieces from the book with her students.

December 21. It was so close to Christmas. It would be crazy to go…

But…I’m a big believer in synchronicity. I believe things happen for a reason. It’s a lesson I learned from the many mentors I learned from when I wrote Unwrapping Your Passion.  Opportunities show up in our life and when they are meant to be, they fall into place.

So I reached out to Southwest Airlines and explained the opportunity. Go, they said. We’ll make it happen for you. 

It was a beautiful morning when we arrived at Midway to board our flight. My oldest son David was flying from Washington D.C. and meeting us out there. At the last minute, the hubby had to stay home–he was recovering from surgery and still not quite steady enough on his feet to attend.

The Rocky Mountain Deaf School was the brainchild of Cliff Moers, the Director of the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The school began in 1997 with just 11 students. The current school was built in 2014 and today, it is home to nearly 70 students, providing instruction in American Sign Language and English.

Our first stop was in the high school to meet up with Heather and talk to the students about #Passion. The students eagerly gave us a tour of the building and it was easy to see that they took a lot of pride in their school. Every inch of the space was designed specifically for deaf students, by a deaf architect working with a design firm. For example, the floor in a social area is designed so that students can stomp their feet to get the attention of another student, even from a distance. The classrooms are arranged in a semi-circle so that students can communicate easily. The hallways are wide and open–so that signs can be seen from several areas.

Rocky Mountain Deaf School is not a residential school–students are bused to and from home each day. All of the staff are fluent in American Sign Language and the majority of staff are deaf.

The play featured students from preschool to fifth grade. My co-worker from Hands & Voices, Jeannene, introduced me to a young girl who played a Lion. As I watched the student on stage, she confidently advocated to have one of the lights moved as it was blinding her and her classmates during their performance. The ability to advocate for oneself is a coveted skill and this student owned it.

 

Afterwards, I signed a few books and donated the rest to RMDS to use as a fundraiser. The next day, we took a tour of Flagstaff mountain before heading home to celebrate Christmas.

 

An Adoption Story: A Deaf Brother

“I have something to tell you,” my sister said. “Aunt Gertie had a baby and placed him for adoption.”

The news was quite a surprise, for I was in my early 20’s and had no idea that my aunt had a baby many years ago.

“I want to find him,” I said.

I didn’t have much information to turn to — I just knew that the baby was a boy and I knew the name of the hospital he was born at.

Several years ago, a group of researchers from the National Institute of Health came to my house and took blood tests of my family members. All of us were born with normal hearing and several of us lost our hearing in various ways. The researchers uncovered a very rare mitochondrial mutation — we were the third family in the world identified with this hereditary condition.

“The gene passes from females to all children,” the researchers told us.

As I pondered the gene’s path through our family tree, I realized that Aunt Gertie’s son had the gene. I started asking deaf and hard of hearing friends in the St. Louis area if they were adopted.

One evening, one of my sisters was talking to a cousin and the cousin casually mentioned that Aunt Gertie’s son had called another cousin. He was looking for his birth mother.

“What’s his name?” I asked.

Luckily, my cousin had written his name down and kept it in a drawer.

“Brian Crites.”

I quickly Googled his name and on impulse, I added “deaf.”

Bingo.

As I stared at his picture, I realized the reason my cousin kept the information a secret from us.

Brian looked exactly like my dad.

Which would make him…my half brother.

I quickly looked up his phone number and debated whether or not to call him. It was 9 p.m. on a Sunday night. I just knew I couldn’t wait another day. I dialed his number.

Brian and I spent about 30 minutes talking on the phone, both in shock and awe. He had spent years wondering about his birth family and now he was able to get the answers he was seeking.

Brian and I texted back and forth every day. We discovered we had so much in common — water skiing (he even tried to barefoot as a teen), triathlons (I had just signed up for my first one), a love for the outdoors, photography, leadership, and…food. To top it off, he graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, the same college that my three kids attended.

And…Brian is deaf. Like me, he began losing his hearing in elementary school. He learned sign language at RIT. He obtained bilateral cochlear implants several years ago.

Even though Brian looked just like my father and my brothers, we wondered how we could determine the genetic connection without any doubt. My father had passed away, there was no way to confirm paternity.

We got lucky. A very kind counselor at the adoption agency went through the records and pulled out Brian’s file. He read through the file word for word. There, in the files, my aunt confirmed my father as Brian’s father.

This story has an incredible, happy ending. My mother embraced Brian as both her nephew and my father’s son. Just days before we told her the news of finding Brian, she had been thinking about her sister’s son. (We never, however, told her of our conversations with the adoption agency and the news we had confirmed.) I believe the timing was so very right — my mom was in a place where she could love him with all of her heart.

Brian and my mom share a laugh

We love Brian as if he had always been with us. We’ve gotten to know his wife, daughter, and his mother. We’ve shared vacations, weekends together, and funerals. Growing up, we were a family of five siblings — and now we are six.

 

Karen Putz is known as The Passion Mentor. For a daily dose of passion, follow her on Instagram at The Passion Academy. For even more passion, hop over to her site: Ageless Passions. To unwrap your own passion, grab the book, Unwrapping Your Passion.

Choosing Passion Over Fear

“Are there any alligators in this lake?”

I was down in Florida, about to take a barefoot water ski lesson from a two-time World Barefoot Champion. The thought of alligators didn’t cross my mind until that moment. I was about to get into a lake that averaged 600 alligators per square mile…

And I was scared.

“Alligators don’t come near the boat because the engine scares them away,” my instructor reassured me.

My passion for the sport of barefoot water skiing was about to outweigh fear. I put my feet on the water, stood up, and felt a joy that had been buried for too many years.

When you do something you’re passionate about, you are willing to challenge yourself to do more than you ever thought you could do — you step way, way, way out of your comfort zone when you live on the edge.

I was hooked, but there was just one problem — the more lessons I took, the more the fear escalated. When I floated in the water while waiting for the boat to pick me up, I imagined hungry 13-foot alligators slithering underneath.

Then the nightmares began.

At three in the morning, I was jolted awake by the image of an alligator with a wide-open mouth about to snap down on me.

I contemplated giving up the lessons and skiing in lakes that were alligator free — but that would mean giving up passion over fear.

“You need to face your fears,” the World Barefoot Champion told me. “You need to see them for the magnificent creatures they are.”

“Are you crazy! I can’t do that!”

I shuddered at the very thought.

All fear stems from the imagined and the unknown. The human mind is very powerful in dreaming up scenarios that feed on fear. Yet, the only way around fear is smack dab through it.

And here’s the thing: You attract what you fear. How do I know this? Because alligators started showing up in my life left and right.

A few years later, I started barefooting with Ken Cowles — who is known as The Gator Guy. He’s a state licensed alligator trapping agent. He’s the guy you call when a wayward gator gets stuck in your pool.

“We need to conquer that fear you harbor,” he told me one day. Then he hauled out a ten-foot gator and made me sit on it.

I was shaking for a long, long time afterwards.

The act of getting upfront close to the very thing that I feared most was cathartic. I discovered I had the courage to do the very thing I was extremely frightened of.

There’s a part of you that comes alive when you do something that you think you cannot do and you get to the other side of it.

If you’re holding back in life because of fears that you harbor within you, it’s time to get clear on what you WANT in your life, not what you fear.

Choose passion over fear.

 

Karen Putz is known as The Passion Mentor. For a daily dose of passion, follow her on Instagram at The Passion Academy.  To unwrap your own passion, grab the book, Unwrapping Your Passion.

Reflections of Gratitude

We just came back from a funeral. An extended family member passed away from a sudden heart attack. He had a beautiful memorial to celebrate his life–the church was full.

Death has a way of nudging us to do life differently–to reach out more, to hug harder, to love deeper.

I had been stagnant for a while. A new job came with a learning curve and time devoted to writing technical stuff. I had added so much to my plate that things were falling off and crashing to the ground. I launched a book and wrote another book in the same time period. Coupled with travel, speaking, and coaching, the plate had been bending and I was trying to keep everything on the plate. In fact, one of the topics I covered with my plate-juggling friend, Tina Childress, was: “How to Spin 27 Plates and Keep Them From Crashing. (Usually.)”

Jackie Woodside, author of Calming the Chaos and an upcoming book, The Money Vibe, told me, “Take something off your plate.”

Less is more. I know this lesson. I’ve been trying to assimilate it into my life for the last year and half, with results that are a “half and half” success rate. The hubby and I downsized our house, trading it for a townhouse just minutes from his work. We rode our bikes downtown and split meals at our favorite restaurant on Saturday afternoons. We donated or sold a lot of our stuff, yet a lot of stuff remains–some which still tugs at our hearts (precious pictures!) and some which simply needs to be organized or gone.

In the last few years, several mentors have taught me the practice of gratitude.

When you wake up in the morning, what are you grateful for? 

When you lie your head on the pillow at night, what are you grateful for? 

This simple practice of reflecting gratitude has shifted my view of bliss. Bliss happens when we are grateful for what we have–for what is good in our life at the given moment. When I forget to practice it, that’s when life dumps road blocks and bumps in my way. It’s so easy to lose the focus on what’s good when you’re deep in the bad.

The one thing I know for sure is this: when we forget the gift of gratitude, life can take away our precious gifts.

And to you, dear reader, I’m grateful for you.

 

Check out Karen’s latest book, Unwrapping Your Passion, Creating the Life You Truly Want

 

 

 

 

How Can a Deaf Person Do Podcast Interviews?

I just wrapped up an enjoyable podcast chat with Thom Walters over at Zen Commuter. I actually enjoy doing podcasts. For one thing, I can do them in my pajamas and I’m always talking about my favorite topic: PASSION.

But wait a minute…

How does a deaf gal do podcasts if she can’t hear over the phone?

I use a system called ZVRS–it’s a videophone service that provides a sign language interpreter for every phone call. The interpreter listens in on the podcast interview and signs everything that the podcaster says. (And I mean everything–if a podcaster burps, the interpreter signs that burp!) I speak directly back to the podcaster using a headset. Whenever I do interviews for the books I’m writing, I use this system as well. You can view it here: How a Deaf Gal Uses the Phone.

 

Here’s what Chris Brogan, Owner Media, has to say about using the system for an interview:

“I wondered exactly how she’d interview me. You have to know that this was the MOST seamless experience I’ve ever had with translations/interpretation tools.”

(By the way, Chris has an awesome newsletter that goes out every Sunday chock full of helpful stuff for running a business and life: chrisbrogan.com/nl)

The first time I did a podcast, I loved it. There’s something so fun about just having a conversation and sharing what you know with others. I still get nervous now and then and my voice cracks occasionally, but I find that the more I do, the better I become at answering questions and sharing stories.

For many, many years, the phone was my enemy. It was the barrier between me and the rest of the world. My father had to handle all my phone calls during my teen years ( my mom was deaf). As you can imagine, it’s really no fun having your dad relay messages from friends and boyfriends!

It took me six years and over 200 interviews to write Unwrapping Your Passion, Creating the Life You Truly Want. Many of the interviews were done over the phone. I typed my notes word for word while watching the interpreter sign on screen.

So, I often give thanks to the amazing technology we have today that breaks down the barriers for communicating with one another.

Here’s some of the podcasts I’ve participated in:

You Leading You with Sean Ackerman — Conquering Adversity Barefoot

Natural Born Coaches with Marc Mcwhinney — A Passion for Life

Marketing for Public Speakers with Jason Owens — How to Break Free From Being Paralyzed by Perfection

She Wrote a Book with Lena Anani  — Living With Passion

Newstalk 1010 with Jeff Sammut — Author of Unwrapping Your Passion (audio only)  transcript pending

The Shut Up Show — Putting Your Feet Back in the Water

Be Inspired with Jen McDonough — Overcoming Adversity

Reinvention Radio with Steve Olsher

B-Now Radio: Unwrap Your Passion at Any Age

Cynthia Mazzafero interviews Karen Putz

20 Things I Wish I Knew When I Became a Parent

I’m nearing the end of my parenting journey with my last kid about to graduate from high school. The husband and I are shifting gears and learning what it means to be parents of adult children.

Once a parent, always a parent, but we’ve definitely moved into a whole new season of parenthood.

The other day I was looking through baby albums and wondering how it was possible that the years flew by so quickly. My mother-in-law warned me of this concept when the kids were toddlers. “The time will fly by when the kids get older and before you know it, they’ll be grown and gone.”

She was right.

I blinked.

And poof, the kids became adults.

The other day, I was thinking back on the mistakes, the fumbles, the inexperience–and all the things I wish I knew when I first became a parent. So I sat down to write all the things I know now–and wish I knew at the beginning of the parenting journey.

Here goes–20 things I wish I knew when I became a parent:

You’re wiser than you realize. You are perfectly capable of making decisions that are right for you and your family.

You’re gonna mess up. It’s okay. Sometimes you have to go down the wrong path to discover what the right path is for your family.

Let go of perfection. Aim for perfectly imperfect instead.

Don’t lose your passion–ditch the time-suckers and go play.

Take time for YOU.

Parenthood is a season. Like all seasons, it ebbs and flows. Enjoy the season you’re in.
Parenthood is not a race. Comparison robs your kid of their own journey.

Don’t follow the crowd–just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean it’s right for your child.

When you’re stuck in a rut, do something new. Take action.

Pick your battles carefully. Will this matter ten minutes, ten months, or ten years from now?

You’re a lot tougher than you think. You can bounce back from anything.

Laugh. Laugh some more. Laugh even more.

Responsibilities and independence are gifts. Give them wisely.

Let yourself feel. Kids need to know that parents are beautifully human.

The laundry never ends. As soon as they can load the washer, teach them to do laundry. Ditto the dishwasher.

Take pictures and videos, but make sure you put the camera down to experience the moments, too.

During the tough times, look for the gift in the experience. Sometimes you won’t find it until enough time has passed by.

Learn all you can about what you need to know–lean on people who have wisdom to share.

Listen within. Meditate. Pray. Ask. The answers will come.

When in doubt, love. Love your kid.

Every child is freaking unique. Honor that.

 

Want a dose of passion? Yes, I do! 

Embrace Your Weirdness

Lori Moreno of Ambassadors VIP posted a question:

If you could go back and tell your young self something, what would it be?


I was pondering this question during a 3:45 a.m. ride to the airport.

My response was simple: Stand out. Embrace your weirdness. Share your gifts.

Stand Out

I grew up hard of hearing. Every single day I struggled in school to appear as “normal” as possible. As the only kid with a hearing aid, I measured myself against people with normal hearing and I couldn’t do the things that they could do (group conversations, music, talk in the dark) with ease. 

As a result, I always felt “less than.”

It wasn’t until I became deaf that I learned to step comfortably into my authentic self. I was no longer afraid to show my hearing aids (yes, I added a second one.) 

In fact, they’re now beautiful pieces of art,


Yeah, I wish my younger self knew that place of authenticity that says, “This is who I am.”

There’s a line in the movie, What a Girl Wants, that says:

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?”

The worse thing you can do is blend in with everyone else. When you do that, you squelch your own passion. You diminish your unique touch in the world.

The world doesn’t need carbon copies. The world needs you. 

Embrace Your Weirdness

We all have habits, quirks, and unusual stuff that we are passionate about. In a world of mass conformity, this might seem…weird. 

What if, instead of trying to stuff your square (or hexagon) self into a round hole, what if you embraced your weirdness instead? 

When you conform to other people’s expectations or judgments of you, you’re swinging like an untethered sail in the wind. What’s more, a sailboat moves forward against the wind. So tether your weirdness and move forward. 

My ultimate favorite shoes are Vibram Five Fingers. I wear them everyday. One morning I showed up at a breakfast meeting with a friend who is a business coach. The shoes clearly made her uncomfortable. 

“Never wear those in public with me again,” she said. 

At first, I felt ashamed. I silently berated myself for not appearing more businesslike in public. 

Fortunately for me, the feeling didn’t last long. Those weird shoes have climbed to a peak in Colorado, perched the edge of a cliff in Nebraska, walked through a waterfall in Oregon, water skied on the Fox River, and endured a triathlon in Naperville. 

Weird has brought me a wonderful life. 

Share Your Gifts

I wish my younger self would have recognized the unique talents, skills, and abilities within me. I would have tapped into them right away instead of putting them off for years. 

You are as unique as your fingerprint. That means there’s no one in the whole wide world who can be you. 

So stop hiding your talent. Don’t let fear cloud your growth. If you’ve become dull and stagnant from repetitive routine–shake things up. Dust off your creativity. Approach life with a whole new wonder and a beginner’s mind. Do the stuff that your younger self is screaming for. 

Become a kid again

The Passion Book

UYP Dan Miller Quote

Psssst…

I’ve got a new book out.

You’ll like this one. It’s about…passion.

How to unwrap your passion and create the life you truly want.

I spent the last several years asking a lot of people about passion. I took all the lessons I learned and put them in this book. It was a lot of FUN to write this one, because when you interview passionate people about the stuff that lights them up, drives them forward, or allows them to savor life–you get all kinds of really cool answers and life lessons.

UYP Dara Torres Quote

The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million or your favorite local bookstore (just ask, they can order if they haven’t already!).

Your passion matters.

UYP Joel Boggess Quote

Here’s what my own editor, Tyler Tichelaar says about Unwrapping Your Passion:

In the Foreword to Karen Putz’s new book Unwrapping Your Passion, bestselling authors and self-help gurus Debra Poneman and Janet Attwood, state about Karen, “How amazing is that woman?” I have to agree. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone as passionate as Karen about her own passions as well as helping others discover theirs. In addition, she’s deaf but doesn’t let that get in her way, and one of her biggest passions is barefoot water skiing, a sport she took back up at age forty-four. Now she water skis across the United States year-round, pursuing her passion.

“What’s your passion?” is the question Karen Putz challenges her readers with. She believes we all have a passion, and once we find it, we can enjoy our lives like never before. Sometimes we just need a little inspiration and help in discovering it, which is why Karen has written this book. In fact, she needed a little of that herself when she got back into barefoot water skiing. At forty-four, she thought she was too old until she met a sixty-six-year-old woman who had started barefoot water skiing at age fifty-three. Both women are proof it is never too late to find your passion.

In writing this book, Karen set out to determine how people find their passions and what keeps them passionate. She interviewed 200 people, and she tells many of their stories, revealing their secrets and inspirations. Then she challenges readers with exercises to help discover the passion within themselves.

The various chapters in Unwrapping Your Passion look at different ways to find your passion and also ways to overcome obstacles that present themselves in your pursuit of it. One way Karen strongly advocates for finding your passion lies in the power of meditation. One of the people she mentions in the book, Patti, taught her, “passion doesn’t just have to be the fire in the belly—passion is also the quiet nudging of the heart. We just have to listen.” Karen knows that from experience. It was listening to a quiet voice that caused her to write her first book. She had never written a book before, which was challenge enough, but that quiet voice was telling her to go introduce herself to a water skier she had never met and write his story. It seemed like an impossible situation, but she did it, and now she has several books under her belt.

One obstacle to pursuing one’s passion is fear. Too often we repress what we want because of our fears, whether it’s fear of success, fear people will reject us if we pursue our passion, or fear of physical harm. Karen, herself, dealt with the fear of physical harm. She wanted to barefoot water ski, but she was also deathly afraid of alligators. She even had nightmares about them, which made her not want to venture out on lakes. But she knew if she was going to pursue her passion, she would have to overcome that fear. With the help of a qualified friend, she got up close and personal with an alligator, actually touching it, discovering what beautiful and magnificent creatures alligators are, and then her fear dissolved.

I can’t discuss all the topics Karen covers in this book but others include how to avoid toxic people who will try to suck your passion out of you, and how to deal with stress that will debilitate you from pursuing your passion. She also quotes and interviews many authors who know a lot about passion. One of them, Terry Hadaway, author of Live Your Why, offers great advice when he says that we often have the question all wrong. Instead of asking “What do you want to be?” we should be asking, “How do you want to live?”

Nor is it always easy to be a cheerleader for others when they want to follow their passions. Karen discovered that hard truth when her daughter wanted to drop out of college to pursue an acting career. Karen was terrified for her daughter and tried to convince her to stay in school until her daughter called her on the situation, saying, “How can you tell others to follow their passions when you can’t even let your own daughter do that?” Karen knew her daughter was right. Today, her daughter is on Broadway.

Finally, if you think it’s too late or you don’t think you’re good enough to succeed at what you’re passionate about, take this bit of advice from Karen, “There’s a learning curve when you are doing something that’s totally new to you. Every expert on earth has started out as a beginner. I often tell people, ‘Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s ten-year process.’” I love this advice and would add that in ten years, if you don’t pursue your passion, you won’t get anywhere you want to be, so begin, no matter how small or hard that beginning is.

As someone who has spent his life pursuing his passion for writing, even making decisions some people told him were mistakes, and knowing that it has all turned out well regardless, I guarantee that Unwrapping Your Passion will leave you feeling reinvigorated and passionate about the endless possibilities that lie before you. Karen will help you find your passion, and once you do, the sky’s the limit.

 

Grab your copy at your local bookstore or online: Unwrapping Your Passion

The Handstand Lesson

Like a lot in life, we often see the end results of success instead of the struggle. 
When my daughter and I came across this piece of rock on a beach in Florida, I wanted to do a handstand on it. 
The first several tries resulted in a bunch of pictures with one foot or nothing. A couple of things were happening:
The rock sloped downhill. I was afraid I would fall forward or backward into more jagged rock. 
I had just started doing handstands a few months ago– more than 30 years after I did my last one. I didn’t trust my ability to do it. 
So my daughter suggested trying the handstands uphill instead. 
It worked. After a few practices, I had the confidence to try it downhill and that’s the picture you see here. 


So in life, if at first you come up to a challenge, change the way you approach it. Try something different. Practice. Gain the skill. Above all, persist.