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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Fighting the Good Fight – Letting Go of Your Ego

One of the things that I love about rock climbing, is that I can hold all other things constant and fight the good fight.  There are a number of “good fights” in life, but I’m learning that the primary one is the struggle between my True Self and my Ego.  When I’m on the wall – indoors or out, it’s just me trying to interact with an inanimate puzzle.  I can forget about everything else in my life and practice working through my fears, my perceptions, my emotions.  If you win that fight, you set yourself up with a personal power, a resilience, a method of renewing your enthusiasm to help you in any other endeavor you choose. Continue reading

Can we redesign our approach to mental health?

One of my guilty pleasures is to grab a cup of coffee on the weekend and read over the transcript of advice columnist Carolyn Hax’s Friday live chat. Why guilty? Because when you get your head wrapped around your own axle, it’s sometimes good to be reminded that everyone has their own set of issues. And Carolyn gives such practical, non-nonsense advice, that I almost always learn or reinforce some “get over your own ego” lesson that I needed to hear.

There are times, though, when the problems people face are sobering. Repeatedly, you read stories of people actively resisting therapy or counseling as an option. Just last Friday in Carolyn’s chat, one person wrote in about her chronically unhappy friend. Carolyn recommended encouraging the friend to get screened for depression:

“For understandable reasons, going from zero to therapy is actually more difficult than getting screened, in part because therapy often involves a burdensome search for someone who offers the type of therapy you need; is a good fit as far as location, hours and chemistry; and who is affordable and/or accepts any insurance, much less your plan. Plus there’s the obstacle that I find totally crazy-making, the perception of therapy as an admission of weakness, nuttiness or defeat, none of which is true.” [emphasis added] Continue reading

Committing to the start

I’ve got a commitment problem.  I have ideas coming out my ears.  Including ideas for this blog.  But something is holding me back.  It’s these wild skittish horses in my head.  Powerful creatures, yes.  And they frighten easily.  They’re asking, “Who are you?  Who do you think you are to write a blog about passion?  About renewing enthusiasm?  Look at all the other blogs out there.  Passion.  Ideas.  Innovation.  It’s all out there. What do you have to add?” And then the whole herd starts running straight for the barn.

I’ve learned not to take these characters too seriously.  I’m used to them by now, and have been practicing reframing their negativity.  Alright, I tell them.  I call your bluff.  What’s my imperative?

Continue reading