Why I Have Been So Quiet Recently

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00000 quiet phaseI know it has been awhile since I have had a blog post. To be honest, at times I have struggled to come up with a new idea about following your dreams. I have, however, not given up on blogging. I have a second blog with no particular topic in which I blog about anything. No topic restraints. This is actually part of gaining some of the skills required to ultimately achieve my dream. See one of the key requirements for a potential business idea I have is to be a good writer. I wish I had the content to post a blog a couple times a week about following your dreams. Unfortunately, I am finding much difficulty in being successful at this task. This does, however, teach me an important lesson about having to be persistent.

Please bear with me as I go through this period of pause. I know that practicing my writing on another blog without constraints will lead to better and more frequent posts on this blog. Dreams take practice, learning, and patience. I am learning about this the hard way but I won’t let this deter me from smiling big and dreaming bigger.

You Read the Dictionary??

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LarryBookWhen I started reading the dictionary it was more about learning new words and taking on a knowledge quest. All I would need to do to complete the task, in just over a year, is read two pages a day… everyday. On the surface that seems really easy but it is actually quite difficult. It has taken me over two years to get through half and has become much more challenging than I expected. Early on I realized that many of the new words I was learning I would not remember. I do, however, still see the value that this project is teaching me. Now I am doing it just to learn about overcoming key obstacles to reaching a difficult goal.

To this day I remember reading long ago A.J. Jacobs’ book “The Know-It-All“. In this book he discusses trying to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in 1 year. He was able to achieve, what may seem to be, an impossible feat. My impossible feat of reading the dictionary is something I will never give up on until I ultimately succeed. If nothing else, this experience will teach me what it takes to achieve those seemingly impossible dreams. What is your impossible dream? Don’t give up! Go after it! Smile Big and Dream Bigger!

The Dream, Dream Team

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Dream-TeamI have many authors and invididuals that inspire me daily and help me towards achieving my dreams. I call this group my dream, dream team. While the list is far short of being all inclusive, these are some of the key individuals that have recently inspired me to continue my dream quest.

1. Chris Guillebeau – Travel hacker and author of “The Art of Non-Conformity” he is the epitome of living life unconventionally. Chris hasn’t worked for anybody in the last 10 years and has taught thousands how to find their life’s passion. He sets goals and achieves them like visiting all 193 by the time he was 30.

2. Tim Ferriss – The master of learning anything with profound efficiency and greatness. He is author of “The 4 Hour Work Week” and teaches you how to achieve more with less. From facing his fear of swimming to mastering languages after years of struggling, he will inspire you to try to achieve what feels like it is un-achievable.

3. James Altucher – Reading Altucher’s books and blogs is like riding on an emotional roller coaster. He is, however, willing to reveal all and uses his mistakes to teach you how to succeed. James is not afraid to explain how he became a multimillionaire, lost it all, then became a multimillionaire again, only to lose it all again. Like I said, his life and work is an emotional roller coaster. He wrote the book “Choose Yourself” and believed in the message so deeply that he was willing to give the book away for free for the first 3 months of publication.

4. Leo Babauta – One of the top bloggers in the world he focuses on living life more deeply through simplification. His blog Zen Habits is read by millions. Leo went from a hyper stressed, unhealthy, overworked individual male to a clear headed peaceful individual. He feels that people sharing his message serves him and his readers much more than protecting it through copyrighting. If you are blogger yourself I encourage you to share his message with your readers.

5. Shawn Achor – He will show you how to be happier through 5 different things you can do every day. While it sounds too simple to be true, he is a Harvard Grad in Positive Psychology and has countless studies to back up his claims. The proof is in the pudding and he has lots of pudding.

6. Jonathan Fields – He’s a career renegade that wrote a book by the same name. Jonathan gave up a high profile NYC lawyer job to pursue multiple business opportunities including starting his own yoga studio. He now teaches others how to be their own career renegade.

7. Scott Dinsmore – Scott believes you can do what you love while simultaneously changing the world. He believes in the concept of living your legend and runs a web site by the same name.

There are plenty of others that inspire me but these are the ones I am most focused on currently and impacted me over the last few months. If you are looking to fulfill your dreams, the individuals above will provide a great spring board.

Smile Big and Dream Bigger.

Your Dream Doesn’t Have an Expiration Date

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old dreamsAs I celebrated my 42nd birthday this month I couldn’t help but be a little sad that I have not accomplished more in my lifetime. I quickly realized, however, that I still have time to make all my dreams come true. That’s because my dream and your dream too, do not have an expiration date. As long as your heart still beats and your brain still functions, you still have time. So with the passing of another birthday I am increasing my focus on achieving my dreams and you should too. Use your next birthday as a springboard into the pool of accomplishment.

Everywhere you turn there are examples of individuals fulfilling their dreams late in life. There is Lucille Singleton from Harlem who started running at 67 and finished her first marathon when she was 75. There is Diana Nyad who after decades of not swimming decided to tackle the extremely challenging swim from Cuba to Florida. After 4 failed attempts, at the age of 64, she successfully swam the route. And there is Genevie Kocourek who was interested in medicine early in life but didn’t have the financial means to pay for med school. She decided to switch career paths much later in her career progression and ultimately achieved her dream of becoming a doctor at the age of 53. These are just a few of the endless examples of ordinary people succeeding at their extraordinary dreams much later in their lifetime. Want a taste of even more examples? Then here is a list of the 25 Oldest People to Accomplish Amazing Feats.

So whether you are 5 or 95, it’s not too early and it’s definitely not too late. Dreams are the milk that does not spoil. The milk does, however, very slowly evaporate. Don’t let your age be a barrier to your dreams. There already are way too many barriers. At 95 or 105, you still have some time to smile big and dream bigger.

Ride the 2014 Horse to the Promised Land

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Horse YearI feel, more than ever, that this is the year. It’s time for all the building blocks to come together and create the master puzzle that are my dreams. When the necessary innings come to a close I will score a dream home run. The year of the horse is the year I plan on riding into the Promised Land. Where I spend every day doing what I love and make money from it. Not rich money but money enough to live on. Since I am busy doing rather than writing about doing, that’s all for now.

Smile Big and Dream Bigger!

Leo’s The Man!

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I have been meaning to post in my blog, for awhile, one of Leo Babauta’s blog posts. He is one of the most interesting and inspiring bloggers I have encountered. And when I say encountered, I just mean follow avidly. I also love that he doesn’t copyright his stuff and allows anybody to use it. In this day in age it’s basically unheard of. He realizes his work is so powerful that he would rather have it spread wider than protect it from misuse. So with the the utmost admiration and respect, I will turn you over to Leo now.

Letter to an 18-year-old on the Career Path Less Traveled By Leo Babauta

“Recently an 18-year-old who is finishing school wrote to me, asking for advice on choosing a career without enough life and work experience to make an intelligent decision.

He said, “Should I take the road less traveled, which may be risky and fearful, or choose a college course that interests me to some degree and see where that leads to. I suppose I don’t want to end up as the typical everyday-joe at the office from 9-5. I want to be different from the masses, to make an impact on this world, to be fulfilled. How do I get the best start into adulthood?”

It’s such a great question. And what I love is that he’s asking the question in the first place — most 18-year-olds just take the safe route.

Here’s what I’d say: take the career path less traveled.

If you don’t want to be the typical Everyday Joe, in a 9-to-5 office job, don’t go the route that everybody else takes.

If you want to be different than the masses, you have to take a different path.

I took the safe path when I was 18, and got a job and went to college, and it didn’t screw me up … but it also took me nearly 20 years before I finally found what I loved to do. It was a struggle, being on the road that’s well traveled, because I was consigned to a career I didn’t really like.

Yes, the career path less traveled is scarier. There are no guarantees. You are sticking your neck out, taking risks, being different, probably to the scorn of others. This is lonely.

But the loneliness is temporary. Soon you’ll find others who are doing things different, and you’ll connect with them in a way you’d never have connected with the people taking the safe path. You’ll be inspired by them, and inspire them in turn.

And the scariness is a lesson worth learning — if you can overcome a bit of fear, you can do anything. You’re not limited to the world of comfort and safety.

So what do you do on this scary, lonely, exciting path?

That’s totally up to you — you are empowered to figure things out on your own.

But here are some ideas:

  • Learn about who you are. Meditate, and blog. Those are the best two tools for learning about yourself.
  • Teach yourself stuff. The Internet has anything you want to learn, from writing to 3D animation to programming to carpentry to guitar. Never stop learning.
  • Find out how to motivate yourself. There will be times when you don’t feel like doing anything. This is a good problem to have, because you’ll have to figure out how to solve it or else go get a boring job where someone motivates you. Solve it. You’ll be much better prepared for the road.
  • Figure out what you’re passionate about. This isn’t easy, because it takes a lot of trial and error. Try a lot of things. When you get good at something, by the way, you’ll like it much more. You’ll suck at everything at first.
  • Help others. When someone doesn’t know how to do something, teach them. When they need a hand, lend it. When they’re stuck, offer yourself up. Seek ways to help. It will teach you a lot, including who you are and what you’re passionate about. It’s also good motivation.
  • Connect with others. Find people who love what you love, who are doing weird things, who travel, who make their own path. They are awesome and fun to hang out with.
  • Learn to need little. If you need very little, you don’t need to make much. This frees you up to learn and explore more.
  • Explore the world. You can travel very cheaply if you need little. Meet new people. Learn languages. Work odd jobs.
  • Get really good at something. Practice, read more, watch others who are good, steal ideas and make them your own, work on projects that excite you and learn as you work on them, practice more.
  • Teach something valuable. If you learn to program, teach a beginner. If you learn poker or guitar or martial arts, teach that. People will thank you.
  • Get paid as a freelancer. When you’ve learned a skill, hire yourself out online. You don’t have to be awesome yet, just don’t charge a lot. Try to really deliver. On time. Be trustworthy and your reputation will grow.
  • Sell something. Make a small product, whether digital or real world, and sell it. You learn a lot by selling.
  • Learn to be a good person. Show up on time. Try your best to meet deadlines. Be honest. Learn compassion. Keep your word. Especially to yourself.

If you do half these things, you’ll love the path. If you do almost all of them, your impact on the world will be palpable.

And when you’ve been traveling this path for 6 months or more, write me back and tell me how it’s going.

with love,
Leo”

Powerful stuff from blogging master Leo Babauta. If that doesn’t cause you to smile big and dream bigger, I am not sure what will.

Overqualified = They Don’t Want You

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OverqualifiedHave you ever been rejected and then been given that dreadful, doesn’t make a damn bit of difference, reasoning? Yes, I am talking about the term overqualified. Because it happens more often than it should, we really don’t understand how illogical the term “overqualified” means when it applies to a role you want to assume. The absurdity really begins to take shape when you think of it in the context of a football analogy. Can you imagine the San Francisco 49ers rejecting the renewal of Joe Montana’s contract with the reasoning being over-qualification? If they did so with this reasoning, the fan base would have revolted and the General Manager immediately let go. This doesn’t even take into account the reduction in Super Bowl Championships. That is the absurdity of rejecting due to over-qualification.

When you get right down to the bone of truth and you are judged by a decision maker as overqualified, it flat as a pancake means they do not want you. In these instances, there is usually some other reason cloaked by the term – Overqualified. Overqualified essentially means you ARE qualified but they don’t have any other politically correct reason to reject you.

So how does all this content pertain to pursuing your dreams? The “overqualified” rejection is the subtle nudge you need to tip toe towards the dark forest of fear. While the forest is scary, the dream oasis is waiting for you on the other side. Those skills that have caused the proverbial “they” to reject you are most often the skills that can lead you to the pinnacle of your promised land. Harness that rejection, use that over-qualification competence, and let it become the key that unlocks your dream vault.

Until you ultimately harness the energy of rejection, Smile Big and Dream Bigger!

Thanksgiving Day Every Day!

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thankfulI was going to write a blog about how people should be thankful everyday rather than just Thanksgiving Day. But I happen to be perusing Facebook when I found an article that a friend of mine had posted. I felt that this article explained being thankful every day in a better way than I could explain it. So without further delay, below is a link to the article.

Married or not… you should read this.

My friend is in her late 20s, magically beat cancer, and is married. I am thankful she is alive and still married. Happy Every Day Thanksgiving Day!

Why My Friends are Tired of Hearing about My Dreams

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plug your earsI think I know what my friends are thinking these days. “Would you please stop bugging me about your dreams and what you are going to do once you achieve them?” Then there are the new folks that are most likely fascinated to hear my dreams, but think… “Why are you telling me this?” It’s simple really! The more people you tell the more likely you are to achieve your dreams. This idea on the surface, I realize, seems absurd. But once you delve deeper it really is not. The more individuals you tell, the more committed you become to achieving your dreams. After all, you don’t want your friends and family to see you fail. It’s almost as if everyone you tell is holding you accountable to achieve your dreams. You literally become more attached to your dreams due to the public declaration of your plans. Your dreams become that homework assignment you cannot fail, if you hope to become successful in the classroom of life. So keep telling, keep bugging, and keep spreading your dream gospel; because this is the road that leads straight to your dream haven.

Smile Big and Dream Bigger (tell more people)

Watching Somebody Else Live My Dream

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WSOP 2013 BraceletDo you ever wonder what it may feel like to watch somebody else live your dream? For many, that may never happen. It’s mostly due to a lack of other people’s dreams being televised. From being a writer to making a million dollars to becoming a successful business man, many people have done it yet most of it will not be televised.

Starting tonight, I will be watching 9 and only 9 different people live my dream. To make it even more difficult, only 9 people once a year live my dream. That dream is to play in the World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table. Don’t feel bad for me though because some people’s dream is to win a Gold Medal in the Olympics which only happens once every four years. Or some people dream of becoming President of the United States which only happens once every four years. Only one sole person every four years will get to fulfill this dream.

So this evening and the evening after, my eyes will be super glued to the TV. Not only is the event televised live but there is a set point where they need to get to each evening. Tonight they need to whittle down the field from 9 players to 3 players. Tomorrow they need to reduce the field from 3 players to One Sole World Series of Poker champion. With caffeine in hand, I could be watching for a few hours each night or for the entire night until dawn. There is not a deadline but only a player count they need to get down to. The previous 7 days’ worth of coverage took place in July and only showed a select number of hands. In addition, each selected hand was shown much later than the hand actually occurred. The next two nights, however, they will show every hand when it actually happens. The only difference in live coverage of this versus the live coverage of a sporting event is a short 15 minute delay. The delay ensures that somebody watching can’t relay valuable hand information to somebody playing. This live format may seem like no big deal, but it is the only time on television that live poker is shown.

The next two evenings will be very exciting for me. It’s my mixed up version of a Professional Football hopeful watching the Super Bowl. It will help me visualize the experience in my head like a broken records’ version of a movie. And when it’s all said in done, I will feel the tactile hallucination of that heavy gold bracelet on MY wrist. I look forward to a future blog when I achieve it and can write about what it means to me.

Until that time, smile big and dream bigger.

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