Category Archives: #trust30

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Day 1

I have pledged to complete the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30-Day Self-Reliance Writing Challenge. The prompt and my entry for Day 10:

These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream and write out the answers to the following:
Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel?
Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?
Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?
Now Do. The Thing. You Fear. (Author: Lachlan Cotter)

Someone once told me that he thinks I fear getting a new job. I think that I’ve gotten over that fear and am ready for change. Well, more than ready actually. I just need to continue to push push push myself to find one that’s right.

Day 11: 
I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. –
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week? (Author: Ashley Ambirge)

This week I will surprise myself by not over-committing to events. There is so much to do and I would love to experience so much of it. Unfortunately, when I over-commit myself I’m not able to really enjoy being where I am. I have to keep an eye on the clock to be sure that I’m giving myself enough time to get to the next event. And go go go go go… So, yes. This week I will practice saying, “No, thank you. I have plans.”


Playing catch up

Catching up a bit. I was very frustrated with this project when the “what should the real you be doing right now?” theme ran for a few days. It didn’t help that it was happening during my org’s annual staff teambuilding and  planning meetings. (This is the time of year that I especially resent being in this position at this org and am really ready for change.) So, to catch up:

Day 6
Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.
Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?  (Author: Jonathan Mead)
– I must continue to look for the positive in every day. I must keep my chin up and my mouth closed when I cannot change the situation. I must also remember that I can change the situation or remove myself from it in most cases. 🙂

Day 7
Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.
A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” – Steven Pressfield, Do the Work
The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.
Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.
The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for? (Author: Matt Cheuvront)

– Again, not the best question in the midst of our annual planning meeting. Especially when I’m the de facto second in command. The goal is to find a new gig. I need to network, apply, network and network. Perhaps I will post my resume to several friends and share my qualifications. I must know people who know people, right?

Day 8
There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years? (Author: Corbett Barr)
– To my five years ago self: Do it! Tuition will be much less expensive when you’re ready to go back for your degree. (I don’t regret this decision and very rarely consider “what would have been”, though when faced with this question, I immediately go to April.
– To my five years in the future self: Remember that quote you read a few years ago? “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet.” – Charlie “Tremendous” Jones
What have you read and who have you met since 2011?

Day 9
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say? (Author: Eric Handler)
– Hire me! 🙂 Okay, maybe not. But I’d be tempted. I think I’d likely say something along the lines of “Be what you’re like. Be like yourself. There are too many people trying too hard to fit in. It takes all kinds and our differences are what makes this world of ours an interesting place to live.” Something like that, but a little more eloquent.



Ralph Waldo Emerson – Day 5

I have pledged to complete the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30-Day Self-Reliance Writing Challenge. The prompt and my entry for Day 5:

If we live truly, we shall see truly. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?
(Author: Chris Guillebeau)

My place is Stonehenge (on my Summer Solstice birthday). I will continue to receive emails from the English Heritage Foundation and I will continue to drool. Perhaps this would be a good 40th birthday gift-to-self. A lot can change between now and then, but I will keep this in mind as I move forward and as I continue to receive those emails.

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Day 4

I have pledged to complete the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30-Day Self-Reliance Writing Challenge. The prompt and my entry for Day 4:

Taken this morning on my way out the door.

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it.

(Author: Jenny Blake)

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Day 3

I have pledged to complete the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30-Day Self-Reliance Writing Challenge. The prompt and my entry for Day 3:

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it? (Author: Buster Benson)

I had a bit of a challenge deciding how to answer today’s challenge, but I think I have it figured out. I don’t consider myself to be a Christian. My closest friends and family are Christian; be they Catholic, Methodist or a variety of other faiths.

I was raised to be Catholic. I was baptized as a Catholic. And, I was confirmed as a Catholic. I went to a Catholic school for my graduate degree. I wear a ring that announces to the world (or at least the Midwest) that I went to that Catholic school and I have the same ring image on my license plate. I look like a Catholic and I may talk like a Catholic, but I don’t believe like a Catholic or imagine myself to be Catholic.

I don’t want to go into why I don’t identify as Christian here for fear of being negative or offensive. That’s my way. My belief is that you are entitled to your own beliefs whether or not I agree with them. I’m not going to attempt to convince you that you’re wrong and I’m right.

I tend to keep my mouth closed when conversation about religion comes up because I don’t see much difference between Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, Unitarian Universalists, Methodists, etc. Nearly every one of those religions, or spiritualist belief systems, focus on being kind to one another and being loyal to a greater being. Those beliefs are fair and good. That much I can believe.

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Day 2

I have pledged to complete the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30-Day Self-Reliance Writing Challenge. The prompt and my entry for Day 2:

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

Keep working on improvements to your lemonade recipe.

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Day 1

I have pledged to complete the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30-Day Self-Reliance Writing Challenge. The prompt and my entry for Day 1:

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

My timer is set and my fifteen minutes has started. I doubt that I’d be here writing a story. I think I’d be more likely to make a series of frantic phone calls to tell people how much I love them. Family, friends… People who need to hear it. I realize that fifteen minutes is not long to make these calls so I may only make a few. How to prioritize? Hm… Perhaps I would write a bit and hope that people found my email. Perhaps I’d write one email to many people and let each of them know what I cherish most about them. Perhaps I’d leave only a few words behind and spend the rest of my minutes relaxing with Ollie. Perhaps I’d change into something nice, brush my hair and put on some lipstick or perhaps I’d stay here on the couch in my jammies (four square shirt and snowflake fleece pants) and continue to eat my baby carrots and mustard.

With ten full minutes left at this point, I know that I’ve misjudged the amount of information that can truly be shared in fifteen minutes. I’d certainly mention somewhere, to someone, that my “will” is shoved deep into my hope chest. I scribbled it out on a sheet of notebook paper on a trip to Chicago with Jeff one year. We spent much of that time focused on what is really valuable. The items in my “to give” list each hold a special meaning for me and the person I wish to receive them. (If there are any questions, please ask Jeff. He’ll either remember the story and meaning or he will quickly make up something. For this, I adore him.)

I can’t imagine spending this much of my last few minutes focused on writing. I would want to be near someone who would be able to help me find comfort and help to remove fear from my shortest of short-term vocabulary. I’ve had amazing adventures in these thirty-five years and would be a bit sad that I won’t be here to enjoy more. Though, I’m quite pleased with all that I have experienced. I hope that those I leave behind would hold my spirit in their thoughts when facing a decision and remember how very short this life really is.

All that to say that my story would look something like this:

Life is short. Be amazing.
With all my love,