Renewing my own enthusiasm – by design

Confession. It’s been nine months since my last blog entry. And before I get to a recipe I’ve found for getting awesomeness back, there’s a bit of a back story. Last fall, I worked to heal a minor tweak in my back, and it took some time to get my rock climbing mojo back. At the same time, a big work project consumed most of my creative juices.

Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park

Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park

In April, I got my climbing groove back on in Joshua Tree National Park, thanks to Matt Walker and Inner Passage. That story will soon become a back story blog entry. In June, I had a surprise ambush date to Munich, courtesy of the Best Boyfriend in the World. That also deserves a back story blog entry – it’s a totally fun story to tell! All of the awesomeness couldn’t compete with this nagging problem – I had neglected my passion project. I had given into resistance, I was losing the inspiration I had received last summer from the Management Innovation Exchange and World Domination Summit. Heck, I felt like I was even letting Kid President down after he gave us all such a wonderful Pep Talk. I had yet to advance my plans to make the world more awesome, and the resulting lack of personal integrity meant enthusiasm gained in Joshua Tree and Munich had a slow, persistent leak.

Luckily, the universe does conspire. Continue reading

Advertisements

What makes you come alive?

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, posted a question on Facebook this weekend “Agree or disagree? ‘September is the other January.'” Having spent Labor Day weekend in somewhat of a sabbatical mode, I couldn’t agree more. Even though summer doesn’t technically end until the autumnal equinox on September 22nd, I’ve prepared myself for the start of a new season by saying goodbye to the summer ales and sundresses, cleaning house, assessing old projects, and teeing up some new ones. With the year being 2/3 over, it brings me back to the question asked in January in the post New Year’s Day; Renewable Enthusiasm Day: Are you living? Or are you merely growing old? How are you doing so far with that whole “living” thing?

What is really living, anyway? What makes you come alive? What if someone, (oh…say, me?) challenged you to choose your own adventure to find out exactly that?

I loved those Choose Your Own Adventure books. Growing up, my girlfriend and I would act out these adventures across the large farm where her dad lived and worked.

Choose Your Own Adventure #16 - Secret of the Ninja

Adventure was easy as a kid

Adventure was easy as a kid…

Continue reading

It takes a community

It was 2003 and I was working at the U.S. Embassy in Ghana. I was a brand new officer with my eye on the ball. I made one of my first cold calls as a political officer to an office in the Ghanaian government. I dialed. A secretary answered the phone. “Hello,” I said, nervous, rushing my speech almost without breathing, “My name is Kerry and I’m calling from the American Embassy. May I speak with Mr. Mensah?”

Haste Not in Life

Haste Not in Life

“Good afternooooon,”the secretary sang in her wonderful West African lilt. Then an expectant silence.

I tried again. “Good afternoon, my name is Kerry and I’m calling from the American Embassy, may I speak with Mr. Menshah?”

“Good afternooooon,” the secretary sang out, “How are you?”

Deep breath. Finally, I remembered. I wasn’t in Washington anymore. Continue reading