Yes, Yes, Hell No!

 When Pigs Fly

Imagine the sky is the limit, the world is your oyster, you possess the winning lottery ticket, and nothing stands between you and living the dream.

My guess is that even though you are only imagining and not declaring, proclaiming, or asserting that this is indeed true, you may still be holding back and not really feeling the bliss you associate with getting what you want.

In almost everything worth doing, achieving, or working for there is both excitement and terror, attraction and repulsion, certainty and cluelessness.

My recent adventure to Los Angeles to attend the Live Your Message workshop was a case in point.  I was  compelled to go until it came time to book the flight, make the hotel reservation, pack my bags, and fly across the country with nothing more than my coordinates. Then the nagging question became, “What was I thinking?

I have done this enough times to know that this is a good sign.  In the workshop coach Brian Whetten shared the idea and title of his book, “Yes, Yes, Hell No!” with us as a fail proof decision making strategy.

When the voice of intuition says “Yes!“, the voice of reason says, “Yes!“, and the voice of fear steps in with a resounding, “Hell No!“, you have most likely stumbled upon something worth pursuing.

There are times when intuition, reason, and fear all line up with a yes or a no.  In these cases, the decision is easy. We know a good thing when we see it just as we know a disaster in the making.

What’s really hard for us to grasp is how we make the course corrections that take us from good to great, from fine to fabulous, from ordinary to extraordinary.  Because these are not easy decisions.  These are investments. The only currency that matters in these exchanges is the time, effort, and attitude we put on the line.

The three days I spent in Los Angeles with strangers who become fast friends was marked by the intensity of the collective investment in our dreams and the sheer joy of knowing we have both the luxury and the burden of bringing our message to the world. I have no doubt when we meet again in a year, most of the people in the room will have achieved great things in a very short time.

Fear has its place, its purpose, and does its very best to keep us alive and prevent us from embarrassing ourselves or family members.  We have to allow fear to have its say, just not at the expense of reason and intuition.

Too many of us have been bullied into giving up great because great seemed greedy and good seemed good enough.  Consequently, I’m here to remind you of what fabulous feels like.

To me it feels like having a handful of new friends from all walks of life who share a vision of what’s possible for all of us.  It feels like larger than life leaders who are a few steps ahead of me on the journey who are willing to make my path easier by generously offering me a road-map complete with construction areas and detours outlined.  It feels like a community coming together to share their talents, trepidations, vision, and risk being seen in their pajamas.  (Monday was Talent Show Night; Tuesday –  Pajama Party).

For the past two years I have done something so far out of my comfort zone in January that it automatically set me up for a year of “Yes, Yes, Hell No’s!” .
My hope for you this month is that you discover these kinds of opportunities as well. If you’ve already experienced something like this or suspect you may have one of these opportunities coming up, please share in the comments below. 
Simply sharing a comment may be enough for you to experience, “Yes, Yes, Hell No!” since commenting means you have to show up and be visible/vulnerable in this community.  Don’t worry, we’re nice and it’s safe here. 🙂

A Picture is Worth at Least One Blog Post

Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
At the end of every year I spend a couple of weeks trying to capture the essence of the previous twelve months. After that, I name and claim what I hope to create in the following twelve.
Every year definitely has its own flavor, but without some kind of summary that can easily bring the challenges and breakthroughs to mind, I can lose sight of how far I’m come, how much I’ve been able to contribute, or the overarching themes of any given decade.
I can also lose sight of how much time is passing without any progress towards the big, hairy, audacious goals I claim to equate with the meaning of life – at least my life.
This year I thought it would be fun to create an infographic of 2014.  Doing so each year can keep me on track as well as eternally grateful and often humbled.
The talented designer Amanda Burton at LIttle Miss Mrs creates these cards and newsletters. Because I could only use a limited number of words and events, I had to choose them wisely and strategically, sometimes as code for something else.
For example, I never say “what not“, but it’s the favorite word of the youngsters in my life. Including it includes them.  “It’s good to be Queen” refers to a significant shift I experienced participating in my Eating Psychology coaching program.
There are still a few edits left to make on this version but I wanted to share it with you before the first month of the New Year escaped.  Maybe it will inspire you to create one for yourself or your family?

I Have A Dream

New year 2015 drawing by airplane on the air at sunset

Last January in a rare act of bravado, I committed publicly to write 500 words a day for 30 days and post them to my blog. Like most leaps of faith, I had the conviction that this is what I needed to do but really had no idea the kind of commitment, resolve, and downright determination that would involve.
Sure, I could write. I had even proven that I could write consistently as I had just completed a year of writing daily in my journal.  However, writing 500 intelligent, thought provoking, coherent words that are fit to print was another matter entirely. It stretched me not only as a writer, but as a person.
But I learned this is how people succeed.   By continually doing what they say they are going to do, day after day no matter what, they not only build trust in their brand but themselves.
This year you might suspect my challenge has been NOT to blog for 30 days, but I assure you there are bigger things afoot just below the surface.
As I began this post I was at the Moline airport preparing to board United flight 3534 to Chicago and then on to Los Angeles to meet my makers. My website makers, that is.
A couple of months ago when I was in the middle of three coaching programs an opportunity arose for me to work with some pretty talented folks on redesigning my website and recreating my business.
I hemmed and hawed and woke up at four in the morning wondering whether I could afford to invest in one more program. Even as I was writing an ebook called Read It and Leap, I wondered if I took yet another leap, would I learn to fly on the way down?
Ironically, the program in question was called Take Flight Now. I considered it a sign.
I’ve learned more about websites in the past few months than I had in the last 20 years of trying to figure it out on my own. In a world where there are so many resources and talented people available to help, it’s a bit arrogant not to ask for help. And if you can afford it, invest in the people and programs who can help you get where you couldn’t get without them.
Included in my website package was a 3 day workshop in Los Angeles. Since this coincided with the start of the spring semester at my college, I originally wrote it off as impossible. I’d have to settle for the online version of the program that would allow me to go at my own pace while tending to those other duties as assigned at my day job.
But as the time got closer and the emails inviting me to claim my ticket to the live event in LA loomed large, I began to suspect this might be worth the considerable effort it would take for me to arrange my schedule and frequent flyer miles to get there.
When I realized staying at home was one of my favorite ways to hide out, I knew I needed to step up my game and do what was necessary to get there. So I started making calls, researching airfares, checking with my staff and my boss, and making this trip a reality.
Fast forward to today where I’m settled into my room at the Westin and using the two hour time difference to my advantage to put the finishing touches on this blog post and trust that I am exactly where I need to be.
So today I have a dream. Just like the man who inspired the idea for all of us and who we celebrate on this day, my dream is I can make a difference through my writing and coaching.
I can think of no better way to do that than to take flight now and start a process I invite you to be a part of throughout the year.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your dream?


Resolve to Evolve

2015-01-02 13.56.34
In my incessant searching for one thing or another, I came across this card just in time for the arrival of 2015.  I had to laugh out loud because who hasn’t had the best of intentions for all of thirty minutes?
I seldom have the kind of wild and crazy New Year’s Eve celebrations that greeting cards are based on, but I’ve often made such ridiculous resolutions that they are broken by 12:30, even if I’ve been asleep since the stroke of midnight.
If your resolutions are not aligned with your true intentions and you are not at all inclined to carry them out, they are by definition ridiculous.  Keeping them until 12:30 would be pushing it.
If, on the other hand, you’ve spent some time reflecting on the past, gleaning the lessons learned, and implementing some course corrections, then you may find yourself in an excellent position to make this your best year yet.
Each year I like to name the year ahead.  Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, by naming the year I can then move boldly forward and claim that which I intend to create or, in the case of Happy Shoe Year, buy.
Other times, the year is best named upon its completion.  For example, last January I could not have guessed I would end up calling 2014 my Year of Engagement.  Not only because I’ve never been engaged to anyone  before but also because I’ve never been simultaneously engaged in so many projects while holding down a full time job and been coherent enough to write about it.
Because life as I knew it ramped up the day I took on the 500 words/day for 30 days blogging challenge on 1/1/2014, I needed copious amounts of quiet time at the end of the year to make sense of the previous twelve months before planning for the next.
Fortunately there was an app for that!  I found a talented designer who creates Year In Review infographics that put a whole new spin on the traditional Christmas newsletter. I’ll share the results with you when it’s completed.
I also invested in Michael Hyatt’s  5 Days to Your Best Year Ever program that helped me get clear, motivated, and identify my biggest goals  for 2015. In the spirit of Austin Kleon’s book, “Show Your Work,  I plan to share these goals with you and how I intend to reach them as I go.
What I’m really saying is I’ll be asking for your help every step of the way. The only way for me to reach my goals is to help you reach yours.  If we all resolve to evolve, that should cover it.
So, let’s get this party started.  Please leave one or all of the following in the comments below:

  • Name It & Claim It –  Your name for 2015
  • Named It & Claimed It – Your name for 2014
  • Specific Intention(s) for 2015
  • Biggest Lesson(s) Learned from 2014
  • Your Year In Review

Thanks for reading.  Let’s create some magic this year, shall we?