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Create a Life You Love



Imagine waking up each morning excited to start the day because you know it will be filled with joy, fun, and happiness.

You can absolutely have this kind of life. It’s not a pipe dream, but it will require change.

Think about it; you can change three things:

Your thoughts.

Your attitude.

Your actions.

Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, wrote about this in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, which the Library of Congress lists among the Ten Most Influential Books. Victor, a psychiatrist, spent three years at the Auchwitz Concentration Camp. He knew he could not change his circumstances, but he was completely free to determine what thoughts he would dwell on, what attitude he could choose to have, and what actions and responses he could put forth.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

You have it within you to create a passionate life that you truly love.
What I Learned from Choosing Passion

Not too long ago I spent the evening in the company of guys who are crazy passionate about the sport of barefoot water skiing. As we watched videos of last year’s barefooting runs, I was thinking how much my life changed since I rediscovered my passion.
Seven years ago, I didn’t know any of the barefooters I know today. An “Old Lady”, Judy Myers, inspired me to step back into a sport I had long ago abandoned. Her simple invitation started me on a wonderful journey and many lessons on the importance of following your passion. 
Here’s what I learned: 
When you choose in favor of your passions, you will meet many people who will teach you in every way. The masters will cut your learning curve in half–in less time than if you tried to journey alone. A community will form around your passion and the connections will multiply. Your tribe will push you and stretch you in different ways, both by keeping you safe and yet, knocking you out of the comfort zone so that you grow. 
Passion will drive you. It will carry you through tough times. You’ll discover there is far more you can do than you ever originally imagined when you first started. 
Doing what you love to do will bring you joy, laughter, and tears –and it will be so, so worth it. 
So my advice for you is this: step into your passion. Choose in the direction of joy. Your life will change in incredible ways.

 

 

Why Passion Matters

“I think I’m having a mid-life crisis,” my friend said. “I need something new, something different.”

My friend has worked the same job since college. He liked his job well enough; he had been doing it so long that he could go through all the motions blindfolded. The job provided well for his family. 

I understood his yearning for something different in life. I saw it in myself six years ago. Life was good, but it had become ho-hum. I was humming along. 

The “something” that was missing was passion. 

Passion is energy. When you are on a passionate path in life, that energy is invigorating. Everyone around you will feel it. 

The yearning that pops up is a sign that you’re longing for something “more” in your life. Unfortunately for many, the longing for more is often confused with material things. Once you acquire the material thing and the newness wears off, you’re still left with the yearning for more. 

What we truly want is something even deeper: joy, bliss, and passion. 


We yearn to do things that matter. To accomplish something epic. To serve others. To make a difference. To leave our mark. To matter. To passionately live life so fully that there is no room for complaint. 

“Impossible,” says another friend. “That’s a pipe dream.”

Is it really? Then perhaps you have to take a different look at your perspectives, your thoughts, and your routines. You can invite passion into your life by recognizing your joy. Recognizing what increases your energy instead of what sucks the marrow out of your soul. 

Passion is the fuel that will push you above and beyond, a coach once told me. 

Passion matters. Passion is the spark that ignites–and it can make the difference between a ho-hum life and a joyful one. 

Today’s Inspiration: Abundance


Whenever I see the word “abundance,” I often find it associated with money.

To me, abundance is joy and bliss rolled together. It’s the reward of a full, contented heart. 

Tap into your joy and bliss. You will be rich beyond any measure. 

Waking Up and Ending the Day with Gratitude

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In the early morning when you wake up, let the first thoughts be ones of gratitude.

What are you thankful for?

At the end of the day, let the same attitude of gratefulness complete your day.

Do this, and you’ll begin and end each day with an amazing lightness in your heart.

three words imagine joy passion

Imagine:

This year, I want to dream bigger and bolder. In the past, I've set goals which were "realistic" and not always something my heart wanted. I want to let my mind go wild with visions, dreams and ideas, no matter how big or scary they seem. I want to capture the stuff in my head on paper, in a place I can find it time and time again-- and put that stuff into action.

Joy:

Do you remember what it was like as a kid, swinging on a swinging way up so high without a care in the world? A time when you were so deep into the moment that time literally stood still and your heart was so full it was going to burst.

2013 will be about moments like that.

Passion:

This is the biggie for me. I LOVE this word. It's a word which gets me so excited I just want to share it with everyone. Like a little kid with presents, I've been tearing off the wrapping paper of my passions and enjoying the gifts I find. 2013 is the year I want to help others unwrap their passions.

So how about you? What are your three words? Take a moment to pick out the three words of 2013 to shape your year. What will they be? Share them in the comments below or hop on over to Chris' site and share them here: Chris Brogan's 3 Words.

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Living on Three Words for 2013

Every year, Chris Brogan selects three words to guide him and keep him focused throughout the year. The three words are a “shorthand representation of your bigger story,” Chris explains. Chris shares his three words for 2013 in his post, My 3 Words for 2013.

What a cool way to start off a brand new year.

I didn’t do a lot of thinking on this one, I just went right for the words that felt right. These are the words I want to live, breathe and embrace for 2013:

three words imagine joy passion

Imagine:

This year, I want to dream bigger and bolder. In the past, I’ve set goals which were “realistic” and not always something my heart wanted. I want to let my mind go wild with visions, dreams and ideas, no matter how big or scary they seem. I want to capture the stuff in my head on paper, in a place I can find it time and time again– and put that stuff into action.

Joy:

Do you remember what it was like as a kid, swinging on a swinging way up so high without a care in the world? A time when you were so deep into the moment that time literally stood still and your heart was so full it was going to burst.

2013 will be about moments like that.

Passion:

This is the biggie for me. I LOVE this word. It’s a word which gets me so excited I just want to share it with everyone. Like a little kid with presents, I’ve been tearing off the wrapping paper of my passions and enjoying the gifts I find. 2013 is the year I want to help others unwrap their passions.

So how about you? What are your three words? Take a moment to pick out the three words of 2013 to shape your year. What will they be? Share them in the comments below or hop on over to Chris’ site and share them here: Chris Brogan’s 3 Words.

On the way up, I thought about my Dad and the ups and downs since his diagnosis of esophageal cancer last summer.  Last November, we celebrated with good news:  Dad had kicked the cancer on its rear end.

A few weeks ago, he found a new lump.  At first, the doctor wasn't too concerned, he figured it was benign.  Dad went for a PET scan and he was waiting for the results the morning we arrived.

Dad was sitting in his chair when we arrived and after a hug, we cut to the chase.  "Well, the results aren't good," Dad said.  "The tests show that the cancer is back and one tumor is heading toward the lungs.  But the good news is, it's still small."

So another round of chemo is coming up and Dad is determined to extend another kick into cancer's rear end.  I'm buoyed by his optimism and his outlook and I know he has the strength to withstand anything.  The other tough blow over the weekend was the news that both of my brother's have Barrett's, which means they're at an increased risk, but with diet, exercise and monitoring, they can kick this too.

All of this which had me thinking about how life goes by crazy fast-- and I thought back to a friend's recent remark about how I seemed to have it all together and have achieved a balanced life. "You need to teach me how you are able to travel, write a book, go barefooting with the world's champions, and advocate for causes to change the world for the better," she wrote.

After laughing hysterically, I informed her that my life was actually an unbalanced washing machine on a lopsided spin cycle.

So every now and then, when life slaps us upside the head, that's when we slow down and pay attention to the stuff that matters:  the relationships we have with those around us and the stuff that brings us joy instead of sorrow.   One friend reminded me to celebrate the fact that we were given a gift of time since Dad's diagnosis last year.  So I'm thankful that I get to wrap my arms around my parents each time I visit them.

So, over the weekend, I slowed it down.  I bonded with the boys as we floated in the lake after tubing.  I went shopping with my Mom, sis and a neighbor and we gathered some healthy food for the weekend.  I watched Two and Half Men with Dad and told him about my barefooting and wakeboarding adventures of the day.

Don't wait for life to slap you upside the head.

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Hey, Slow It Down, Girl

Every once in a while, life hands over a slap upside the head.  This weekend was one of those moments when life said, “Hey, slow it down, girl.”

I left for Michigan with the boys in tow.  Lauren was down in Texas with Sarah and Joe was still working.  The boys let me enjoy my mellow music on the way up while they buried their heads in the laptop.  There wasn’t much talking on the way up, we were decompressing from a busy week.  Heck, make that a busy summer.  The kids were off in three directions most of the time with Mom on a plane the other half of the time.  I vaguely remembered a husband somewhere in all this.

On the way up, I thought about my Dad and the ups and downs since his diagnosis of esophageal cancer last summer.  Last November, we celebrated with good news:  Dad had kicked the cancer on its rear end.

A few weeks ago, he found a new lump.  At first, the doctor wasn’t too concerned, he figured it was benign.  Dad went for a PET scan and he was waiting for the results the morning we arrived.

Dad was sitting in his chair when we arrived and after a hug, we cut to the chase.  “Well, the results aren’t good,” Dad said.  “The tests show that the cancer is back and one tumor is heading toward the lungs.  But the good news is, it’s still small.”

So another round of chemo is coming up and Dad is determined to extend another kick into cancer’s rear end.  I’m buoyed by his optimism and his outlook and I know he has the strength to withstand anything.  The other tough blow over the weekend was the news that both of my brother’s have Barrett’s, which means they’re at an increased risk, but with diet, exercise and monitoring, they can kick this too.

All of this which had me thinking about how life goes by crazy fast– and I thought back to a friend’s recent remark about how I seemed to have it all together and have achieved a balanced life. “You need to teach me how you are able to travel, write a book, go barefooting with the world’s champions, and advocate for causes to change the world for the better,” she wrote.

After laughing hysterically, I informed her that my life was actually an unbalanced washing machine on a lopsided spin cycle.

So every now and then, when life slaps us upside the head, that’s when we slow down and pay attention to the stuff that matters:  the relationships we have with those around us and the stuff that brings us joy instead of sorrow.   One friend reminded me to celebrate the fact that we were given a gift of time since Dad’s diagnosis last year.  So I’m thankful that I get to wrap my arms around my parents each time I visit them.

So, over the weekend, I slowed it down.  I bonded with the boys as we floated in the lake after tubing.  I went shopping with my Mom, sis and a neighbor and we gathered some healthy food for the weekend.  I watched Two and Half Men with Dad and told him about my barefooting and wakeboarding adventures of the day.

Don’t wait for life to slap you upside the head.