on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

Sunday Serial: Passing Judgment on Mojitos and Negative Thinking

Sunday Serial is curated list of the best blogs and articles that I’ve encountered over the past week. Sometimes there’s a theme, but most times there’s not. My goal with these posts is that I introduce you to at least one new idea that you may not have otherwise been exposed to. Enjoy!

Illustration of Ernest Hemingway and his favorite drink, the mojito

10 Things to Do Even if They Judge You

by Marc on Marc and Angel Hack Life

Read this because: The hardest thing in life is to ignore what others think about you and do everything that you want to do. But you know what? It’s OK to ignore what others think about the choices you make (and it’s sometimes fun). Marc gives you a healthy list of 10 things. Here’s a challenge: choose one item from this list and try it out for thirty days. Here’s mine:

5. Adjust your goals and dreams as life changes. – A great deal of pain in life comes from having a specific dream that you’ve fallen in love with, and when it doesn’t work out exactly as planned, you become angry that you now have to pursue a different path.  If you want to tame your inner demons and make the most of life, you must not become rigidly attached to just one specific dream, and remain open to there being an even better, equally as happy path ahead.  Life is unpredictable, but it provides plenty of opportunities to make dreams come true.  Just don’t forget that sometimes taking a positive step forward requires you to slightly adjust your dreams, or plan new ones – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream.

Editors note: I originally chose #10 but changed after re-reading the Power of Negative Thinking (below).

The Bartending Stand Against the Mojito

by Jen Doll on The Atlantic Wire

Read this because: There’s nothing that makes you feel like a literary legend like Ernest Hemingway and refreshed like a sprig of the freshest mint crushed into your rum. Plus, it’s incredible fun to shout loudly in a bar with your best friend from high school (“Mo-heee!-to!”).

But did you know that bartenders everywhere have a vast hatred against this drink? According to the Atlantic Wire, it’s true. And while reading this article makes me want to weep, after hosting a party where the signature drink was hand-shaken (not stirred) mojitos, I can solemnly agree. The mojito, as wonderful and amazing of a drink that it is, is an outcast.

If you are lucky enough to be at a bar where mojitos are on the menu and made for you with pride, enjoy it, for your fellow countrymen may not be as lucky.

The Power of Negative Thinking

by Oliver Burkeman in the New York Times

Read this because: The very concept is baffling. If you want something, shouldn’t you exercise positive visualization? Yes, except that in some situations, visualizing that you achieve a goal may make you feel as though you’ve already achieved it and therefore will be less likely to actually do it.

Is your brain spinning yet? Here’s where the research comes from:

Ancient philosophers and spiritual teachers understood the need to balance the positive with the negative, optimism with pessimism, a striving for success and security with an openness to failure and uncertainty. The Stoics recommended “the premeditation of evils,” or deliberately visualizing the worst-case scenario. This tends to reduce anxiety about the future: when you soberly picture how badly things could go in reality, you usually conclude that you could cope. Besides, they noted, imagining that you might lose the relationships and possessions you currently enjoy increases your gratitude for having them now. Positive thinking, by contrast, always leans into the future, ignoring present pleasures.

If you want something really, really badly, think about the exact opposite and then work hard towards doing everything you can to not make it happen.

This concept sounds really, really weird to me. I mean, that’s like saying if you’re riding a bicycle and you don’t want to think about hitting the tree, think about hitting the tree. Perhaps that’s not the time to think negatively…

But when it comes to something like your relationship, thinking that you and your partner are amazing, strong, and solid may lead you to stop working on it and cause you to miss something huge that could bring about it’s demise. Whereas if you are think about your relationship falling apart (and that’s not what you want), then you will work hard to make sure that it does not.

Okay, I think I understand it now.

What did you read this week?

Illustration via felipson

I Have a Confession to Make

Born to be wild, Vauxhall tubb

I am starting my own business.

That’s right, a business and I have no idea what it will be yet. I’ve mentioned this to a few people, how I want to start a business but I haven’t had that idea that strikes like a bolt of lightning and makes me say, “holy shit, this is it!”

Actually, that has happened, but I’m still ruminating on it.

There are two things I’m obsessed with: 1) building things, and 2) movements.

The first I know quite a bit about from positions I’ve had over the years. And the second is a relatively new passion that was born out of the love I have of being the voice that connects brands with their customers and from watching organizations like the Girl Effect and Movember harness their communities and ignite a wave of action.

It’s pretty incredible.

So while I research and learn what exactly those two things mean – What do I enjoy most about building things? And what exactly is it about movements that totally draw me in? – and how they’ll work with each other, today, I’m officially coming out as an entrepreneur in training.

I don’t know when I’ll land and settle with an idea that I will want to build, execute, ship, and implement, but it will happen. It’s going to happen. And it will probably happen way sooner than any of us think it will.

And I’m bringing this blog (and you!) with me along the way.

Photo credit: tubb

Who inspires you?

One night recently, a friend asked a group of us a question that I didn’t have an answer for. It was one of those questions that you ask when getting to know someone and it’s one of those questions that you either know the answer to right away or you don’t. And while everyone in our group shared, one by one, I was scared that by the time it was my turn, I wouldn’t have an answer to share myself.

The question was: Who inspires you?

It’s a simple question, one that you can easily answer by choosing someone close to you who’s made an impact in your life or someone throughout history who has a quote that’s listed on a mug they sell at Barnes & Noble.

But sharing the name of someone who inspires you is like revealing the recipe to your secret sauce. It tells your audience—who honestly may be your best friends—who makes you tick, who motivates you, and who kicks you in the ass and tells you to get the fuck moving forward. And it gives your enemies the plans for how they can take you down.

So here’s another way to think about answering that question. My friend, Mouyyad Abdulhadi of Magic Carpet Blog, gave a talk at IgniteDallas about this subject. His talk is called “24 Years, 24 People, 24 Lessons” and is a snippet from his Ebook of the same name. The premise is he shares stories about 24 people in his life who have taught him something and inspire him daily.

The difference about how Mouyyad answered this question is that he found inspiration from a place that we all know but we always undercut – those we know in our daily, real lives. He also helps bring the question of “Who inspires you?” down from the podium that question has been cast upon. He shows that you can find inspiration not only from one person, but also from multiple people, and each can provide their own kernel that can move you.

I like this. I like that I don’t have to search for one person for all of my strength. I like that I can look to people in my real, every day life and I can admire things that they have done as a way to challenge myself.

If you ask me that question today, I will answer it differently than how I will answer it tomorrow, because inspiration has the ability to change, just like my goals, thoughts, and fears.

So now I turn the question to you, who inspires you? Or how do you see inspiration?

Photo Credit: Louwuselchen

The Four Key Players in Launching an Idea

314 || 365 Breath of Life,

Ambition and passion is infectious. And it’s the one ailment that I want to catch. And catch, and catch, and catch again. And no, I do not want a vaccine for it. Ever.

I’ve written about this before, in my own metaphoric ramblings, and I caught a whiff of it this weekend.

A friend-quaintance asked me to meet over coffee, to pick my brain about how to incorporate social media into the launch strategy for his stealth startup. The startup is a technological solution to a problem that he and his friends deal with everyday. His idea will streamline and simplify things. I have no idea how original it is, but that isn’t why he asked me for coffee.

As he talked through his pitch and outlined his plan, I could see the temperature of his thoughts and his words rise—there was something behind what he talked about that is more than just an idea. He has a plan, an ambition to create something, and the drive to get him and his business partner there.


We all talk about it, but how many of us actually listen to the voice inside us that says, “Hey, you’ve got something there,” and go after it? And how many of us pause when we hit the wall and ask others for help on figuring out how to climb over it or knock it down?

The Four Key Players

When it comes to an idea about creating a new product, starting a movement, or creating a legacy, there are four key players who ensure its success. They are:

Founder – This is the person who caught the bolt of lightning during the “Ah ha!” moment and decided to run with it. More than likely the founder is the person who has the mad skills to build the product or the idea and take it to launch, but may not know exactly how.

Producer – This is the person behind the founder who is responsible for “making it happen” so that the Founder and the other key players can concentrate on the product itself. They are the connector. They know whom you should talk to, when you should talk to them, and how you should talk in a way that will net you the resources that you need, when you need them.

Board of Directors – This is a fancy word for mentors. They are the group of people who have done what you are about to do and can guide you through your successes and your failures as you march toward your goal. They believe in what you are setting out to do and if you’re lucky, they see a little bit of themselves in you, and that is their motivation to help you get to where you need to go.

Beta-Evangelists – Then, there is everyone else. These people are the rock stars who make up the support group that is attracted to your passion and sucks it up like a sponge. They are your friends, your fans, your audience, and your customers. They are first in line to test your product, your idea, and give you honest-to-God, straight-up feedback. They are your power-users, your pre-evangelists, your network, and they are more valuable than anyone else in this equation.

You are the founder of your own life and your own ideas. Most of the people who care about you will fit into the last category. And if you’re lucky enough, your spouse or your best friend will be your producer. The hardest thing about working this formula into your professional life—be it how to be successful at climbing the corporate ladder or thinking outside the 9-to-5 and launching your own venture–is taking the first step and voicing outloud, “I want help reaching [my big ambitious goal] and I was wondering if you could help me get there.”

Just Ask

Oh, baby, is it ever so hard to ask for help, especially when you bear your soul about something that is near and dear to you, like being more extraordinary than you already are.

It’s easy to have an idea, but it’s hard to take the first step towards speaking or actualizing that your idea can be something physical, something real, something more-than possible.


Do you have a personal Board of Directors? How did you go about asking those in your life for help in achieving the goals you only whisper?

Photo Credit:

On Friendship: There is No Such Thing as a Population of One

When I read last week’s #reverb10 prompt on friendship, one person entered my head immediately. But I don’t want to pull out and highlight how one person’s friendship has really ignited me this year because 1) I don’t want to sound gushy, and 2) I’m a nice person. And in keeping with the trend of thank you speeches at the Oscars, I don’t want to leave anyone out.

Let me tell you a story. You know that I admire people who open up, are vulnerable, and share their ideas about world domination with me. Ideas are infectious and inspiring. When I see someone I care about achieve greatness, it launches me down the same kick ass adventure as them. No one does it alone, and that is so true, especially in my life.

It takes a village

It takes a village to lift an individual to the next degree of greatness. A village made of people who share common interests, speak the same language, and weave in and out of each other’s lives. There are the regulars, the newbs, the tourists, the every-once-in-awhile’s and the causal acquaintances. This village may also be known of as a community.

Every once in a while, the every-once-in-awhile’s and casual acquaintances drop by the village on a more frequent basis. They take a liking to you and you to them. You open up to them and they open up to you. You reveal ideas to them and they reveal the most honest feedback back to you.

You become better because of your conversations with them, or worse. Either way, you’re different from how you were before and a stamp of them is left on you (whether you realize this or not). (more…)