Survey Says…

business hand pushing online survey on virtual screen
We turn to polls to help us figure out all kinds of human behavior.  From what others are thinking, doing, and eating to how they are voting, what they are watching, wearing, or buying, we are heavily influenced by the actions of others.
While we can rely too heavily on others when forming our own opinion, for an entrepreneur or creative genius, the need to check in with others is an essential part of the give-them-what-they-want strategy.
Often times creators are too close to their product to see the obvious flaws or oversights in their product or strategy that an outsider can spot in a second.
I’ve created programs, written courses, and developed content for a couple of decades. But it wasn’t until I recently joined the Experience Product Masterclass that I realized I seldom asked my audience what they wanted. I tended to give them what I would want or what I thought they would want.
Sometimes I’ve been right, but many times I’m haven’t.
Since I have the world’s best and brightest blog readers, I would love to ask you for your opinion.  I’ve recently been doing an Integrity Cleanse with Martha Beck and in her coaching she often says to clients, “Tell me where I’m wrong.
In other words, asking is a really great way to find out and then get it right.
I’ve been working with the concept of Getting Your Groove Back for a couple of years now. Despite what I think I know about midlife, what fascinates me is what you know or don’t know but what love to find out.

I’ve designed a quick, 10-question survey for you to take if you are approaching, in, or around age 40-49, 50-59, 60+, or you just like taking surveys. The survey is geared towards women but any insight you guys have into midlife is equally appreciated.

Please click here to take this quick, 10-question survey.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7Y76B79
My goal is to get 100 responses by the end of October 2016.  I can’t do this on my own, but with your help, it’s more than possible. Please share it with anyone you know who could provide some input.
If you want to learn more about How to Get Your Groove Back, please click on the new Groove tab I added above.
Thanks so much in advance for sharing your input.  I love the saying, “When we know better, we do better.” 
Here’s my attempt to create something grand, thanks to you!
 
 
 
 
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No Matter What – Day 9

father applying sunblock cream on daughters shoulder, sun protection

Gillian is on holiday right now and had this to say about today’s prompt.  “Right now I’m sitting by the pool in Gozo trying to get my daughter to put on some sun cream which made me think of today’s prompt. 🙂 “

G:  You know that song – always wear sunscreen by Baz Lehrman?  What 5 things would you have in your version of that song?

P:  I didn’t know the song, but I Googled it and added a link on his name (above) so those who don’t know it can listen to it.  Even before hearing the lyrics, it sounded like a commencement address to me.  Since I’ve given and listened to many such addresses in my academic career, I realized I had heard snippets of this one before.  It’s definitely worth sharing.

A few years ago when I graduated into a new decade, I wrote a commencement address of sorts.  I called it my Midlife Manifesto and tried my hand at making a video.  If you’ve got some headphones handy and 3 minutes to spare, click on the video below to see my version of “always wear sunscreen.”

If you don’t have time right now, no worries.  Come back later when you do.  In the meantime, here are 5 new ideas to add to the mix.

1) Put your own oxygen mask on first. You can’t save anyone if you aren’t alive.

2) Move at the pace of grace.  Don’t just do something, sit there. Go when you know. Act with intention.  Do with deliberation. Let grace be your guide.

3) Put your whole self in and shake it all about. Do what you love.  Love what you do. You are one thought away from a new perspective. Why not choose the cheerier thought?

4) Always trust your cape. Believe in your Superpowers.  “She did not know she could not fly, so she did.”

5) Create. No. Matter. What.  You know the drill by now, yes?  Begin again.  And again. And again.

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Want to share your version?  Please do so in the comments below.  To have Gillian send you daily prompts, email her at www.gillianpearce.com. Thanks for playing the No Matter What Game with us.  Gillian sends me prompts each weekday and I do my best to answer them no matter what.  I encourage you to do so as well to get your creative juices flowing.

The One That Got Away

Opportunity wooden sign with a beach on background

Whether it was the missed connection, the dream job, the international man of mystery, the lady in red, the big fish, or the 200+ inch, double drop tine buck**, nothing haunts us quite like the one that got away.

Having lived long enough to have made my share of questionable decisions, the best decision is to have no regrets.
If in the agony and urgency of attempting to make a life-changing decision I can remind myself there is not just one perfect soul mate, one perfect job, or one chance of a lifetime, this is easier.
Granted, these opportunities are rare. But I’ve come to trust that what is meant for me has a curious way of circling back around.
Through a series of outrageous occurrences, I was invited to Miami Beach for a creative writing residency by the founder and creative director of one of the world’s finest greeting card companies. The chance to spend a little time writing cards at the beach escalated into an opportunity to become an integral part of the company.
Anyone who knows me knows being part of a creative team of writers and artists and brilliant minds is a dream come true.  Everything about this opportunity beckoned me.  Exceptional people.  Exceptional place.  Exceptional potential.
Except for the equal and opposite dream I have been quietly crafting in my own back yard.
Before I had a home, a husband to be, and a steady job that supports my writing habit and frequent flights of fancy, I would often imagine in detail what a free-spirited, super successful, single person’s writing life should look like.
Suffice it to say, it looked like what I was now being offered. Living the dream for a few days was intoxicating.
Returning to the reality of my regularly scheduled life was excruciating.  Not because it isn’t alluring in its own right, but because I had been unequivocally altered.  Only those closest to me knew to what extent.
I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t reconcile the gap between achieving what I’ve always wanted professionally and the price it would exact personally.
In getting a glimpse of this parallel life in all its glory, I got that my dreams must evolve as I do.  Like an app on an iPad, I must update them regularly in order to address the glitches I fail to factor in when I originally envision them.
Life-changing decisions are not meant to be easy.  By their very nature they urge us to evaluate everything, question our assumptions, check our egos, inventory what’s important, and listen deeply to our own wisdom.
They are designed to wreak havoc.  They are going to cause some grief since something has got to give and some things have got to go.
Adding to the pressure, they are usually time-sensitive and affect other unsuspecting people.
We remember the one that got away with such angst because he/she/it catapulted us out of our comfort zone and demanded we address our soul’s deeper yearnings.
Whether we act on the invitation, take a leap of faith, and change our current trajectory or not, the real gift is conjuring up the courage to consider doing so.
To feel deeply, love flat out, and shamelessly want what we want reminds we are alive with infinite input into how we live our lives.
Living this way is both exhilarating and exhausting.  And will undoubtedly define us as the one that got away in someone else’s story.
Now go.  Discover creative ways to live your updated, awe-inspiring dream.  Live large in small areas of your life.  Or go big and still go home. Whatever works.  It’s up to you.
And when you get a minute, tell me about it in the comments below.
**I only know about such things because the buck is Bob’s dream.  No animals were harmed in the writing of this blog post.