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Extradinary Lives

A Morning Routine to Rock-out To

A Morning Routine to Rock-out To

Morning routines are important. They jump start your soul and set the tone for the day. They can shape your mood, your energy level, and your intention for the next 16-18 hours. 

Take the still space right when you wake up, after your pour your coffee. Before you check your email, read the news, exercise, look at any social media platform, or whatever activity you doing in the mornings that instantly engages your attention. take this time to fill the stillness with the 5 questions below. 

What do I want to offer the world?

What do I want to be?

What do I want more of in my life?

What can I change today that I will be grateful for tomorrow?

If what matters is _______ then my choices today are _______ .

 

This answers to these questions are power statements about yourself. About what you want create in this world. Daily engagement with these questions will define your intention of how, what, why, and in what way you want to bring purpose to your life and to others. 

Make it happen. Live an extraordinary life. Live fully, live fierce.

5 Days to Find Your Passion

5 Days to Find Your Passion

I would rather die of passion than of boredom.
— Vincent Van Gogh, artist

Discovering your passion in life is not always  a thunderclap moment. Often we have to put effort into detangling our life to find what lies underneath and inspires us. Here are 5 exercises over 5 days to jump start that process and ignite your potential.

Day 1:) Make some space in your day, at least 30 minutes, where you find some place quiet to sit. Maybe it's a bench in a park, at the top of a hiking trail, or on your porch. Turn off your phone and put it out of sight. Tell anyone that might interrupt to give you this time. Then just sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Eyes are open or closed. Let the thoughts of the day, issues at work, or in life come and go. Be as long as you need in this place until your mind is more still than when you started. You'll feel it in your body. Your muscles will release a bit. This is the space the spark can be found. Now imagine if you time, finances or obligations were not a factor. Make a list of the things you would do, the people you'd spend time with, and the activities you'd engage in. Look at the list, most of these things or people bring you joy and sense of fulfillment. Set the list aside.

Example of a simple mindmap for this exercise. 

Example of a simple mindmap for this exercise. 

Day 2:) This time sit at a table some where with several pieces of paper, a pen or pencil, and the list you made yesterday. Create and drop into the same quiet space. Including putting the phone or any device away. Look at the list and pick one thing that you would do that you get an immense amount of joy from. Write it in the center of the page and circle it. This is the beginning of your mindmap. From here is up to you. Here's an example at the right. Just flow where ever it takes you. No extension of the map is silly or not doable. Think big. Don't analyze just go with it. Never done a mindmap? Here's a useful link to some examples and tutorials. 

Day 3:) Create the same quiet space. Where ever you want this time, just without distraction. Bring your mindmap and another piece of paper to write on. Make several lists. One is a list of people you admire. Maybe some of these people are doing what's on your mind map and doing it well, star these people. The second list is called research. It's all the items you have to learn more about in order to be an expert at whatever is on your mindmap. The third lists all the keywords associated with your mindmap. Write anything down, as quickly as you can.

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.
— Neil Gaiman, author

Day 4.) Same gig, create a calm space (noticing a pattern here?) Is the thing in your mindmap something that you are already doing? Is it an idea of something to build, something that has potential? More than likely you made a mindmap of something you'd like to do that you are not doing right now. This is a spark of a passion. If given the energy, could grown into something extraordinary. Now use the time to brainstorm however you do that best. For some its more mindmapping others get out a whiteboard and some go for a run. Today visualize how you would create space in your life to do whatever is on your mindmap. At some point, jot these things down (if you're out on a run or walk etc.)

Day 5:)  Crate the now familiar calm space. Consider making this a daily habit. A time just for yourself to relax, to engage the mind. Today is all about action. Take all notes you've made spread them out and figure out an action plan. What are the things holding you back? What are potential hurdles? Create a time line. Set realistic short term goals and one long term goal. The long term goal is incredibly important. If we know what we want to create in our life, all of our decisions must in some way support that long term goal playing out. That's how we manifest our dreams. Keep your eye on the prize. Focus and never lose track. The time is takes to get there doesn't matter. It's about the journey and redefining the shape of how to get to the endpoint. It is a constant evolution. Be patient. Write the long term goal down somewhere vocal in your life.

Now go make it happen. 

Man is only great when he acts from his passions.
— Benjamin Disraeli, 19th century British Prime Minister

No Tomorrows, Only Today - Now

No Tomorrows, Only Today - Now

How many times do we say to ourselves, tomorrow I'll do it? Or one day soon I'll do it. Whatever "it" is. What do you put off tomorrow you could do today?

Maybe it's taking an epic trip. Maybe it's some project you've always wanted to do. Maybe it's exercising more. Maybe it's a difficult conversation we have to have with a colleague or family member.

There's many reasons why we put things off for tomorrow and tomorrow's tomorrow. Often it's simply - time. 

Traffic - the clutter of the day-to-day: the blocked out calendar, the to-do lists... are all biproducts of a successful life. All capable of grinding our dreams to a halt.
— Fitz Cahall, the Dirtbag Diaries

We get distracted by the day to day. All the things we have to seemingly get done. There is a constant rush to try and fit it all in but when the day is over we realize we never got to the only thing we really wanted to do in the first place. 

But, what if we prioritized the items we most need to instead of putting them off? 

The Dirtbag Diaries podcast just had a great episode on this. Click below to listen. Or download it to your podcast player and listen to it as you go about your day.

All of us have a dream. Why are we waiting to make it happen?

Sometimes you can’t wait for the green light you’ve just got to go.
— Fitz Cahall, The Dirtbag Diaries

Amy Cuddy's Extraordinary Presence

Amy Cuddy's Extraordinary Presence

Amy Cuddy is someone who has committed herself to live an extraordinary life doing something she's passionate about. Her story is nothing but inspiring. She's a Harvard professor, social psychologist investigating how people judge and influence themselves and others, her TED talk is the second most viewed of all time (over 35 million views), and she just published her first best-seller book Presence . If that wasn't enough, she's been named a "game changer" by Time magazine, "50 Women Who Are Changing the World" by Business Insider, and "top 100 Most Followed Scientists on Twitter." She dreams big and epitomizes living fully, living fierce.

But, what makes her story even more remarkable is how she defied everyone who was telling her no. As a college student she was in a car accident, ejected from the car, resulting in a skull fracture. Doctors said to forget about college. Her courage, strength, and grit to overcome others who told her no, and make her life a big Yes is nothing short of extraordinary. 

Cuddy's research and message is all about how body influences the mind. It affects how others see us but, also how we see ourselves. It's powerful. She make a case that it's almost more powerful than words. Instead of writing about it just watch her Ted talk. It best illustrates how incredible this women is. Her book is remarkable and will be reviewed in a future post, go read it!