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

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Nurturing a mountain

Bear Butte Mountain - Southern View

A view of Bear Butte from the south. It gets its name from its resemblance to the form of a slumbering bear.

In early July, I visited my Mom and step-dad in South Dakota, where they spent this summer volunteering at Bear Butte State Park. Bear Butte and its staff left quite an impression on me.

As someone who has been pondering passion – how to find, follow, live, and sustain it – I came away from Bear Butte with the understanding that following a passion and sustaining it is difficult, sweaty, hard physical work mixed in with a lot of emotional labor. Most importantly, the staff at Bear Butte are not the ones calling what they do “following their passion,” or pontificating about whether or not they’re living the passionate life, whether or not they’ve found the thing they’re on this earth to do. More often than not, there are people out there, like the staff at Bear Butte State park, just doing the hard work under less than optimal circumstances, because the works needs to be done. Continue reading

Stop the Acronyms – and P.S. …

Some of my favorite tools that help me renew my enthusiasm are pissed off today. My social bookmarking service, Pinboard, has a banner protesting SOPA and PIPA. WordPress.org has strayed from its “no politics” policy to write this blog entry, Help Stop SOPA/Pipa.

And when Wikipedia is mad, I’m rightfully concerned. So, I’ll just take Wikipedia’s prompt, I’ll put in my zip code to contact my local representative….hold on just a second while I type that out…. Continue reading

Bracing for the cold – and a comfort zone expansion

Be of Good Cheer

Just a bunch of pansies. (They are actually quite a hardy plant, so why the pejorative?)
Photo by KitAy on Flickr

I’m a bit of a cold pansy, I admit it.  Actually, pansies are tougher than I am in the cold. So when it snows in October, on the weekend of my New River Gorge Climbing and Yoga retreat, you can imagine my distress.

Don’t panic, I tell myself. Perhaps I’ve just never been properly dressed for the cold. (I’m new at this badass lifestyle, remember.) I stop by North Face and Patagonia to get an education on layering. Two and a half hours later, armed with a Capilene base layer and PrimaLoft synthetic down jacket, I barely escape DC’s Friday rush hour traffic and HOV restrictions. Continue reading

Catching the Run-off

It was a while ago that a friend and I discussed an email going around called 40 Tips for a Better Life.  It’s a hodge-podge list of small obtainable goals that, although they promise to enrich our lives, are easy to shrug off.  One of them says “Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.”  Another encourages “Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.”

Drops

This same friend introduced me to Washington DC’s River Safe Homes program.  (Yes, I know this seems like a non sequitor, but hang with me. You want to see where this is going.)  Continue reading

Reflections on Steve Jobs

There’s a ton of information floating around about Steve Jobs.   Since last night,  I’ve been reflecting on his life lessons and what they mean for technology, design, management and personal leadership.  What it means to really commit yourself to a vision.  I’ve absorbed every kernel I can.

Yet, it’s The Onion that really brings it home:

Last American Who Knew What The Fuck He Was Doing Dies

Damn, the Onion is brilliant.  They know – they know our psyche!  They know our doubts.

I haven’t yet earned the right to write this irreverently in my own blog.  This is only our second time together.  It’s supposed to be inspirational.  Renewable Enthusiasm.  But maybe it’s time, on this second date, that I let you know that I’m the youngest child of family of Irish descent.  I’ve got red streaks in my hair.  I’m a Taurus.  Born in the year of the Ox.  I can be all diplomatic, but when it comes down to it…

Continue reading