Wishing v. Working

When people tell you to “follow your passion,” it sounds so easy. “Just follow your passion and everything will turn out great.” Make a wish and it will come true. Right?

What you don’t hear is that it takes work to make your wishes come true.

I don’t want to downplay wishing. Dreaming big schemes is the first step to creating a new reality. But once you come up with a terrific vision, how do you get from “energy bubble” to “done?” Continue reading

How to improve your concentration

Being focused on what you’re doing helps you do good work. And it’s fun to sink deep into a project.

If you’re feeling a little scattered, here are 5 Buddhist tips for meditation that also help with concentration.

Pay attention to where you’re working
If you’re trying to do serious work in a noisy, active place – good luck! When you need to focus, give yourself the best shot possible by finding or creating a calm, quiet place with few distractions. You may think you can concentrate amidst chaos, but give quiet a chance and see how much it improves both the amount and quality of your output. Continue reading

Taking the first small step

I had a big, cool idea in the 1990s. I wanted to write a novel. I decided this at a crazy-bad time. I had two little kids at home and a demanding job. But I thought about writing all the time. I had to figure out a way to write a novel.

My first baby step was to make a list of novels I loved and characters I wanted to meet in real life. I gave myself a week to brainstorm all of my favorite books and characters.

Then I took another week to think about common threads. What appealed to me most in my favorite novels? And what types of characters was I most drawn to? Continue reading

The importance of asking for help

A participant in a talk I gave last week shared a great story. She’s a single mom who worked full-time while raising her daughter. For them, there was no question that household chores had to be divided or they wouldn’t get done. To survive, they made a list of weekly chores and put them into a hat. Each week they would draw to see who did what. And here’s the fun part. If you got something you really hated, you could attempt a trade. FYI: She said cleaning the cat box was always worth at least two chores in a trade. 🙂

Most of us who raised kids tried a mix of ways to get them to help out around the house – from charts and graphs to outright bribes! The “hat” method adds suspense each week. And I picture cheering as you draw certain chores or avoid drawing others.

This conversation got me thinking about how much most of us hate asking for help. We feel like we should be able to do whatever we’ve taken on and don’t want to appear weak or needy. At the same time, most of us love offering a helping hand. Think back on a time when someone really needed help and you came to their aid. Can you feel your energy rise remembering that? Continue reading

What if?

At the Good Life Project camp this weekend, the opening and closing question was the same: “What if?”

GLP is a camp for entrepreneurs who would like to change the world, so the keynote speakers’ “What ifs” were bold. Continue reading

Fresh sailing

I’m spending the weekend at an entrepreneur’s conference in upstate New York. Our host is podcaster and author Jonathan Fields. About four years ago, Jonathan published a video blog about how cool summer camps were for kids and wondered why adults didn’t have the same kind of fun. So he invented The Good Life Project Camp.

I have attended every summer since.

Here’s why. Continue reading

Tiny bites

If you get overwhelmed thinking, “I’ve got to declutter this house.” Or “I need to get my life organized.” Or “I need to change a life-long habit.” It’s not a surprise. Taking giant leaps forward is daring and ambitious, but it can also make a project or change seem daunting. And it makes it hard to get started.

Here are two suggestions to help make change happen at a slower pace.

#1 – Break big projects into smaller parts – even tiny parts
One of my nieces has a son who is a really picky eater. Her son decided last week that he was finally going to try rice for dinner. “Yay!” my niece thought, then agonized as her son ate his rice one piece at a time. But there’s a beauty there that maybe kids know better than adults do. He wanted to try rice but he didn’t attempt to eat a whole bowl. He tried one piece. And then another. And then another. Continue reading