on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘#Trust30’

Speak Less

This post is part of the #Trust30 Challenge, a 30-day writing initiate inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. To find out more about this challenge, read why I am (trying to) participate or details about the pledge.

just do it.

Speak Less by Laura Kimball

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know I. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I once received a fortune cookie that read: “Speak less of your plans, you’ll get more done.” What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking about but haven’t made progress on? What’s stopping you? What would happen if you actually went for it and did it?

(Author: Laura Kimball)

On Sunday, June 19th, the prompt I wrote for the Trust30 challenge went live. This is actually a mantra that I have written about and repeat to myself on a daily basis – it is also the saying that is featured in the header of my blog.

Why I wrote this prompt

My intention for writing this prompt is I have encountered way too many people who talk about the things they are working on and are doing and don’t deliver anything. People who brag about powerful brainstorming sessions and how they’ve strategized something amazing and then—that’s it. That’s where the conversation ends.

I’m a fan of results. I’m a fan of action. I’m a true blue storyteller who means it when she says, “Show, don’t tell me,” and “Actions speak a hell of a lot louder than words.”

I really appreciate how Marek Lutz criticized my prompt by pointing out how contradictory it is (it was something I didn’t realize myself), but the point of this prompt is to take the ‘bull’ out of the shit that people brew every single day. Have you ever told someone that you were writing a book? Or working on a new company? Or had ‘the next great idea’ and are going to launch in the fall?

Or, worse, were you ever that person who ‘thought of that’? The person who thought about it so much that it didn’t go anywhere but someone else took it, ran with it, launched, sold it, and is not sitting on top of your millions?

That will never be me. I don’t have my ‘great idea’ yet, I just haven’t been that lucky. But I do have ideas for how I will make myself ‘great,’ but I keep them to myself or let them leak out to a careful select few because I want to be the person who launches that idea into an explosion. I want to take my friends and the world by storm. And I do not want to have that awkward conversation in six months or a year when someone asks, “Whatever happened to that project you were working on?”

The point of this prompt is to ask you, “What is that one thing you want to be working on right now? Are you working on it? And why aren’t you working on it?”

Show me. Don’t tell me about it. Unless you need help along the way, and then, all you have to do is ask.

How others are speaking less

Meanwhile, my life offline has turned life on this blog and participating in the Trust30 challenge on its head. So while I have been failing miserably at this post-every-day thing, I want to share with you a few responses to this prompt that I enjoyed and I hope you enjoy too.

  • Speak less of your plans by Kirri White – If I had written a prompt, it would have been this one: “There is a little secret passion I keep concealed beneath many layers of half-truths and maybes…The place I go to play when I dream in glorious wonder, only to awake firmly rooted in doubt…once more.”
  • Speak Less: What’s are you sittin’ on #Trust30 by Jennifer Price Davis – A fun and totally appropriate response (she and I share the same answer to the question, “What’s stopping you?”)
  • #Trust30 challenge: Speak less by Chris Bell – a nice response to the prompt followed by a very raw critique of the challenge and why we’re doing it

My response

What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking about but haven’t made progress on? – This blog.

What’s stopping you? – Honestly, time and brainpower. It’s amazing how much I’m starting to ‘write’ or map out blog posts on the bus and how different my life is now compared to last November when I was able to blog every single evening for 30-days straight.

What would happen if you actually went for it and did it? – I would rearrange my schedule and blog more so I wouldn’t be up until 2am every night trying to get it down.

How are you speaking less?

Photo by waters 2712

Post-it Question

This post is part of the #Trust30 Challenge, a 30-day writing initiate inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. To find out more about this challenge, read why I am participating or details about the pledge.

The Panorama of Patagonia, Stuck in Customs Trey Radcliff

Prompt: Post-it Question by Jenny Blake

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it.

(Author: Jenny Blake)

I am interviewing interns right now and one of the questions that I like to ask them is, “How would you describe your standards for yourself?”

Interviewing interns is always an interesting process. In most cases, you are not really interviewing them for their skills and what they bring to the table, but what potential you have in bringing out their potential. Training interns is a lot like raising kids; their success is a direct reflection of who you are—as a manager or as a parent.

This is how I would describe my own standards for myself: way too [explicative] high.

I’m never satisfied with where I am. Whenever someone is impressed by the work I do or the output I have and how “much” I’ve done, it shocks me to the point of mass disbelief. Seriously. Every time I hear people get lost somewhere between an “awe” and a “whoa, you’re fucking insane” about how I wrangled over 200 authors, twice, I shrug because it was just something that I did. It was my job to do, so that’s what I did. I didn’t stop and wonder if what I was doing was too much, too little, or not enough, I just did it.

That’s how I describe my own performance standards: I either do it or I feel like I don’t do enough.

I have no idea if that sounds as positive as it should. What I mean is that my own standards are much, much higher for myself than others have of me. And therefore what makes me feel amazing is working hard towards something and then being able to see the fruits of my labor finished. Done. Complete. I like to see the results of my action.

And lately I haven’t been finishing things. I’ve felt trapped in the endless hamster wheel of—something. I’ve been at a crossroads or at the turning point of—something. But what that is I’m unsure of. Because every other moment, every other day, every other week I feel like I’m closer to finding it and then I feel like I’m not.

My biggest challenge

My biggest challenge is: I don’t feel like I’m being successful in my work (personal and professional).

My question is: How do I move mountains?

And this, of course, can be answered in the most basic and the most extravagant ways you could ever imagine.

The mountains are metaphors. The represent any decision, task, or action you want to make. They can be as small as deciding to go to the gym or as large as deciding to make a gamble with that new job. And they can change with each and every step that you take.

Moving mountains means the same thing as taming wild buffalo and slaying (or taming) dragons. It’s a turn of phrase to describe kicking ass and it’s a tune I try to sing every day.

And yet, I’m not moving mountains right now. I’m making my way towards the mountain but my wheels are stuck in the grass. The throttle is to the floor and only my wheels are spinning.

And I’m not satisfied.

My secret weapon

I move them. I remind myself of my goals and work towards them with laser-focus and no excuses. I stop talking and start do-ing. I am strong and listen to my voice. There’s a 12-step-plan somewhere and here but it starts with me taking the first breath and the first step.

This is my problem and I am the only one who has the solution.

What’s your question? And who can help you get to the answer?

Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs

One Sentence for Today

This post is part of the #Trust30 Challenge, a 30-day writing initiate inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. To find out more about this challenge, read why I am participating or details about the pledge.

a tribute to all who helped make this day wonderful! by nathij

Prompt: Liz Danzico – Today

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

(Author: Liz Danzico)

I wrote two:

  1. Some days you are the ass kicker and sometimes it’s your ass that needs to be kicked.
  2. Actions speak louder than words.

Photo credit: Ismail Nathij Ahmed

15 Minutes to Live

This post is part of the #Trust30 Challenge, a 30-day writing initiate inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. To find out more about this challenge, read why I am participating or details about the pledge.

Real Joy, Todd Baker

Prompt: Gwen Bell – 15 Minutes to Live

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

  1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
  2. Write the story that has to be written.

(Author: Gwen Bell)

I did not write yesterday’s prompt because I have been stuck on the idea that I have only 15 minutes to live. And if I truly only had 15 minutes to live, I sure as hell wouldn’t spend it at a computer writing. (Or would I?) But I don’t think that’s the point of this prompt. The point of this prompt is for me to lay out all of the baggage that has been preventing me from “doing” what I want to be doing in my life because I’m faced with what might be the end.

The end. That’s why I can’t get this prompt out of my head, because I have never rationalized with my own death, written my own obituary, and thought about how I want to be remembered.

I have flirted with the idea that the world will end in December of 2012, so let’s live in the now, but that’s all it is, a flirtation. My husband has more experience in responding to this prompt than I do. He experienced something very close to him that made him realize his own mortality and it’s something that inspires him to consistently remind me to “live in the now” and “enjoy the journey as we’re on it.”

Because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Because we don’t know what will happen today.

I firmly believe that my future as I am directing it right at this very moment will outline a path that I will follow and will be true to myself as I am right now. But – because I am writing this blog post in this very instant and taking a break from the endless to-do’s that my time should really be focused on, I may have changed that path. And if I decide to get a coffee this afternoon instead of powering through my urge for a siesta, it may all change as well.

In these next few minutes as I write how I want to live, I would, again, not be behind a computer; I would be living. But what does “living” mean?

To me, it means to love and be loved. To be surrounded by people who I can genuinely be myself with. People who I can share ideas openly with and embrace their encouragement and their criticism. It’s living by interacting; by embracing; by growing and changing. It means listening to that little voice inside my gut that says, “You need to do this.”

That little voice is so quiet that I sometimes miss what she has to say. There are so many voices that speak to me, to us, and pull us in so many directions that we sometimes forget who we are. Think about your responsibilities and commitments you make to your boss, your partner, your family, your children, your friends, and even to strangers — how many of those things are those that you sign up for and commit to and actually want to do them?

As the clock runs out, I know what I have to do — to live, I need to make sure that the voice inside my body that speaks the most brutal truth as it is to me is heard by me as that will dictate my actions and what it means to live. For me.

If you had 15 minutes to live, how would you write your life right now and live?

(With 2 minutes to spare!)

Photo credit: Todd Baker << technowannabe

Self-Reliance, Emerson, and the #Trust30 Challenge

trust yourself, The Shifted Librarian fortune cookie

It’s been just almost 6 months since my last blog-everyday-challenge. The first was National Blog Writing Month (NaBloPoMo) and the following month I participated in reverb10. To be honest, NaBloPoMo really changed my life. I learned a lot about myself as a person and finally came out as a writer – a person I have been since I was 6-years old but never self-identified as (I’ll save that for another post). But real life has stepped in and I’ve been writing in other places, like here and here. So when the team at The Domino Project told me about a challenge their launching today and asked me to write a prompt, how could I resist?

The #Trust30 Challenge

I’m excited to announce that today is the first day of the #Trust30 challenge. From the site:

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. Sign up below to receive the prompts by email. If you like this pledge, check out reverb10, it’s inspiring.

The Pledge Details

  1. The #Trust30 challenge starts at 6am ET on May 31st and runs for 30 days.
  2. Each day we’ll post a prompt from an original thinker and doer on You can also sign-up for daily emails.
  3. Fill out the short form below to commit to participating in the #trust30 online initiative.
  4. Blog, journal, or create something on each of the 30 days.
  5. Tweet using the hashtag #trust30 to show your support and involvement.

I love three things about this challenge:

  1. It was inspired by reverb10
  2. It’s a great way to give us creative types an excuse to create
  3. It’s one hell of a great way to market a book.

I am humbled to have contributed a prompt along with authors I admire like Jonathan Fields, Jenny Blake, Ashley Ambirge, Matt Cheuvront, Gwen Bell, and Sam Davidson.

To keep track of these brilliant minds and others who sign up to the challenge, I’ve created this list on Twitter: Trust30 (feel free to subscribe).

Why I am taking the challenge

Plus I’m not as familiar with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s work as I am with Henry David Thoreau, and this is one great way to make his work “come alive” and experience it. Plus, good ol’ Ralph is all about trusting yourself – something I’m very much a fan of.

I have committed to the pledge, though after looking at my calendar for the upcoming month and knowing how much time I invested during NaBloPoMo, I know it’s going to be hard to stay on track.

But I’m going to try and I’d like you to help me.

Will you take the pledge and join me in the #Trust30 challenge?

What worked during NaBloPoMo and reverb10 was that I was not the only person doing this. If you come on board, please leave a link to your blog in the comments – I want to follow you too!

Photo Credit: The Shifted Librarian