Dr. Meg Jay recently wrote an article on women and men who rose to success after overcoming difficult childhoods, displaying what’s commonly called resilience.
Have a hard time “being present?” Or maybe, like me, you don’t know what it actually means to “be present?” Last week I heard Dr. Ellen Langer offer a more helpful and actionable alternative definition:
“The moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow.” – Henry David Thoreau
A few weeks ago, I was preparing for presentation at Unilever on “why people leave their corporate jobs to follow their purpose.” Two days before the talk, a bit stressed with no slide deck or outline yet prepared, I chose not to sit down at my desk to write, but do something counterintuitive instead: I took a long walk.
It was a call to arms to make the most out of the final 100 days of 2017, born of a personal pain. I looked back at the progress I’d made on my goals for the year, terribly disheartened. Then I remembered: we still have 100 days!
130 people joined me and together we each committed to a personal mission to finish 2017 strong. Some people set 100 individual tasks (i.e. 100 nature drawings), others decided on a singular goal.
This is a follow up post to Vision Quests & The Power of Intention.
“Now I certainly see the value in having goals and improving yourself. But I’m avoiding making a list of declarations to internally grade and beat myself up over.” — Kevin Rose in his January 2017 newsletter, The Journal
Goals are golden. New years resolutions intend well. They can serve as powerful propellers, mobilizing us toward grand achievements and new experiences.
Around this time last year I was preparing for something called a vision quest. The core element of the vision quest being a three night solo fast in the wild. My wild would be aspen forests and mountain meadows at 10,000 feet amongst the rugged San Juans of southwestern Colorado.
“You’re doing what?”
I can still hear my mother’s voice ringing inside my head.
I know, it sounds wacky. No food. No humans. No tent. Just water, some kit to sleep in, and your lonely self for three days in the wild world.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos was working at a Wall Street hedge fund, making great money in what he called a “stable career path.”
But he had a crazy idea. One that would require him to quit his job for a riskier path. He wanted to start a business selling books online.
“[I wanted] to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal.”
“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
I’ve spent the last couple weeks cleaning up the blog, relaunching this weekly newsletter (more on that here if you missed it). Some running, some weights, and when I tweaked my foot last week, mending it back to health.
I’ve been reading and writing a bunch too, including dusting off old, unfinished posts, which I’m excited to share in the coming weeks.
But mostly it feels like I’m procrastinating on making a decision:
What project do I work on next?
We’re already one month into 2017, but in the spirit of finishing, I needed to get this post out.
If years had mythical personalities, 2016 would be the gorgon Medusa — a slithering, monstrous head of year that you never want to meet, and heaven forbid if you do, should never look directly in the stone cold eye.
We collectively beat up 2016 to a bloody pulp already — that poor, poor number — so that’s not my intent here. Personally speaking, 2016 wasn’t my finest hour either. I set myself big, bold goals…and then promptly accomplished hardly any of them. Heaven knows I also spend enough time beating myself for things not done, so that isn’t my intent here either.
Instead, I’ll try to harness my inner Perseus and approach 2016 like he did Medusa: with a sharp indifferent sword and a shiny reflective shield.
After all, 2016 was just a year and I’m just a human. Here’s how this human lived their life last year.