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Rock Your Genius is a collection of essays focused on helping you build a life by design rather than default. More >>

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Due to many changes and transitions that have resulted from the Imua Campaign, I'm taking a hiatus from blogging here at Rock Your Genius.  I'll be posting back with updates as soon as things settle down a bit.  Until then, best of luck to you in your own efforts at moving life forward - imua!

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Tuesday
Oct182011

Live the Good Life

I've been on a hiatus from blogging at Rock Your Genius for the past couple of months (more on that later), but this story was just too important to wait.  Here goes.

These are my friends Betsy and Warren.

Wait, no, those are some penguins in Antartica that were photographed by my friends Betsy and Warren.

That's Betsy and Warren . . . in Antartica.

Here they are in England.

And, in Scotland.

In Argentina.  I don't think they were drunk here, but I guess it's possible.

Here's Warren in Scotland taking over a bar.  See what I mean?

All jokes aside, Betsy and Warren are living a pretty good life.

They've been all over the world - to Ecuador, Columbia, Peru, Argentina, Ushuaia, Antarctica, across the Atlantic on a 37-day cruise to Norway then England, to Scotland, Belgium, Germany, house-sitting on a boat in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, to France, and to Thailand - all in one year!

Not long ago, it was an entirely different story - in their words, "climbing the corporate ladder, getting married, buying a house, getting divorced, climbing the ladder some more, getting married again, accumulating more crap, and keeping repeating the process like hamsters on a wheel."

Then, after a serious wakeup call and several margaritas, Betsy and Warren decided to jump off the hamster wheel and embark on an open-ended trip around the world.  They originally set a goal of traveling for a year, but ended up accumulating enough cash for five!

But, here's the best part.

They're sharing their strategy so that you, too, can live your dream life!

Dream. Save. Do.

Imagine waking up every day knowing that you are living the life you always wanted.  Your bills are paid off, you are living where and how you want, and pursuing the work or activities that bring you the most satisfaction.

Betsy and Warren have just released Dream, Save, Do: A Step-by-Step Guide to Amass the Cash to Live Your Dream, which shares their proven strategy for saving big bucks in a short period of time for your own specific dream: travel, starting a business, creating something like a book or an invention, or even buying a house or starting a family.

Take my word for it.  As Betsy's accountability partner for five years, I've personally witnessed this entire dream come to life, from the Monday morning after their margarita-filled dreamfest when they decided to travel the world, to this very day when their new book is released showing you how to do it, too.

If you're ready to live the good life, it's waiting for you. Dream. Save. Do.

About Married With Luggage

Want to learn more about Betsy and Warren's travels?

Images courtesy of Warren and Betsy Talbot's Flickr photo stream.

Thursday
Jun232011

Is Lack of Adventure Sabotaging Your Dreams?

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to speak with Shirley Jusino of Adventure Realty Experience of New York.

Shirley has a unique story.  She started her own "adventure real estate firm" last year after deciding that she wanted a career that was more rewarding and that better fit her personality.  She now creates real estate "missions" for clients, where she sends text message "clues" to help them along their apartment hunt.  It's a fun and memorable twist on a once stuffy and nerve-racking experience.

In talking with Shirley, I started thinking of how, the older we get, the less adventure we seem to have in our lives, and I wondered if that could be sabotaging our dreams.  I asked Shirley what she often saw people do to sabotage their dreams, especially as it relates to not being adventurous, as well as for her tips for how to add more adventure to our lives so as to create a greater chance of reaching our dreams.

Here's what Shirley had to share.

Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing.  - Helen Keller

It's interesting that you mentioned getting out of your own way, because that's precisely why I feel many people do to sabotage themselves.  Life is about choices and action.  You just cannot sit there and complain about how horrible your life is and do nothing about it.

The perfect job, business opportunity, mate, vacation, or whatever it is that you want will not just come to you.  You have to go out and make it happen.

An adventurous life is waiting for everyone, and I have just the five steps that can help anyone get out of their own way.

1) Be careful the company you keep.

Negative people can drain you of your joy.  In order to associate with happier and successful people (the type of person you want to be), join networking groups, Meetup.com, or just do a search online for clubs and hobbies that you are interested in.

Stop making so many friends with people online that you will NEVER, EVER meet.  Those numbers don't mean anything, if you don't really know them and they don't know you!

Being social in the real world will change you, because the other people's positive energy will influence you, educate you, and make you become the person you always wanted to be.

2) Follow up with the people you meet.

Now that you're going out and meeting new people, be sure to get a business card, email address, or phone number.  Even a user name on a social networking site is good, as long as you keep in contact.  Remember, what if that new business contact or friend has a new job, opportunity, or could even introduce you to your future spouse?!

Everyone I meet, whether in person or a conference call, I send an email and a nice "thank you" card, too.  I call it the "Double Whammy Thank You."  You would be surprised how happy it makes a person to actually FEEL that someone was happy to meet them, learn about them, and wants to go for coffee, tea, or frappuccino to get to know more about them.  It was Oprah Winfrey who said on her last show that people NEED validation, and she's 100% right!

3) Stop telling yourself the same old story.

If all you talk about is being broke, how your kids drive you crazy, and the fact that your significant other isn't treating you well, it will only get WORSE!  Buy yourself a notebook, get out a pen, and start writing out your new story -- life as you want it to be, as you FEEL it should be.  Don't start complaining about what you don't have.  Begin by writing out your day from beginning to the end.  Be specific from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed:

When will you wake up?  What will you wear?  Where will you work?  Where will you go?  What type of friends do you have?  What type of mate do you want, or how will you treat each other in your current relationship/marriage?

This is a script for your dreams.  It's going to push you to go toward what you really want.  If you find yourself depressed and thinking you can't feel good while doing this, then stop and do power words.  Power words are a list of happy words (use a thesaurus if you can't think of any).  I happen to have over 200 words that make me happy.  It can be a place, a thing, or someone, just one word that makes you happy, and continue from there to up lift your feelings so that you can then focus on what you want.

4) Create a bucket list.

Start small and then let the list grow.  Life is always going to give more to achieve, more to learn, more to grow.  For example, if you always wanted to be an author, but don't know how to write a book, learn to write with an online class.

5) Pay attention to what you are listening to or seeing.

Make it a point to ONLY listen to happy music or see happy things.  Don't sit there and agree with a song or movie because you feel like the character or singer is pathetic!  STOP!  There happens to be happy music in almost every genre of music.  Sad music, movies, or TV shows seep into your subconscious and help make you feel bad about yourself.  Why do you want that in your life?

See things where the good guys win, the guy gets the girl, the hero saves the day, the movie is hysterically funny, or the romance makes you feel warm and tingly and makes you want that type of love.  If it depresses you, it's not good for you.

Life is about CREATING, not going along and letting things happen to you!  Don't sit on the sidelines watching others live their dreams.  Find a mentor.  Read about people you admire.  Be inspired!  You DO have some control, some choices, so START LIVING YOUR DREAMS!

Shirley Jusino is of Adventure Realty Experience in New York City.  You can look her up on Twitter @AdventureRealEX or on Facebook.

Flickr image from Bohari Adventures

Tuesday
May172011

Are These Mental Obstacles Keeping You from Success?

Flickr image from Mi PahSometimes we tell ourselves that we’ve tried everything, that nothing works, and that we can’t figure out what we’re doing wrong, but it’s often not only the physical obstacles that get in the way of our success and happiness, but the mental ones that we may not even notice are sabotaging our efforts.

1) Resisting the Truth

"Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, resistance will unfailingly point to true North - that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing." - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

With the obvious exception of times when we’re absolutely new to a problem, we generally know what we need to do; if we’re honest with ourselves, we know how to fix it, but we resist.

We resist because the solution seems too simple, because we want to delay dealing with or accepting the truth, because it’s easier or there’s some payoff to maintaining the status quo, because we expect it to be hard, or because we’re afraid.

While there’s always some element of risk with almost any change, by constantly settling or cowering in the face of resistance, we’re avoiding the truth -- our truth -- and are eliminating even the most remote chance of moving forward with our lives or businesses.

2) Avoiding Constraints

"Oh, give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above.  Don’t fence me in." - Cole Porter

Many times, we want to “keep our options open,” so we avoid choosing one thing or another in order to avoid being fenced in.  Eventually, we come to realize that NOT making a choice is, in fact, a choice, and it’s actually possible to resist labels, boxes, and fences so much that we leave ourselves open to nothing.

At some point, we just have to make the best decision possible, based on the information in front of us and on what feels like the right thing to do at the time (not the easiest or the least painful, but the one we know in our heart of hearts to be right).  Then, as Maya Angelou once said, “when you know better, you do better.”

3) Avoiding Responsibility

"Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else."  - Ivern Ball

It’s often much easier to blame others for our failures, setbacks, and shortcomings than to take responsibility and ownership for the results we’re achieving in our lives.  Instead of holding ourselves personally accountable for the way our world looks (or at least for fixing it when things go wrong), we pass the buck and avoid the work (or the hit to our pride) that might come with owning it.

There will certainly be times when bad things happen that are outside our control or have nothing to do with the choices we’ve made for ourselves, but even in those times, we have to roll up our sleeves and get to work cleaning up the mess.  It’s not always easy, pleasant, or immediately beneficial or gratifying stepping up to that job, but it’s absolutely necessary, if we ever hope to succeed at finding contentment and happiness.

There will always be challenges that present themselves as we try to succeed at climbing whatever mountain it is we need to climb, but if we can at least overcome the mental obstacles that threaten to hold us back, we stand a much better chance of making it to the other side.

What mental obstacles do you think hold us back from success and happiness?