Start Living The Life You Want - By Answering Just One Question

My blog is a bit like certain parts of my personal life...lots of intention...lots of effort and motivation...but often coming up just short.  So as I set out on this adventure I ask for your patience and your support- I hope my journey will help you with yours.

I have always been a hard worker- or maybe more specifically I have always been able to work hard- when I was interested and motivated- otherwise not so much.  The problem for me, as I think with many of people, is that I have made sacrifices, have done what I thought should push me forward, toward success and yet always felt like success is just out of reach.  I have poured over the books, the tapes, the programs to help move myself forward- and they have a short-term positive impact!  They give me enough information to satiate, to help lull me into a sense that I am doing what is right- however, in the end I swerve and end up going in an unintended direction, left when I want to go right, down when I want to go up.  Finally, I feel paralyzed-  the advice, all the good intention-ed information, seems to push me to a state of in-action.


This summer, however I came to a type of revelation that was unique for me and my journey and it started with a book called the Slightest Edge, by Jeff Olson.  On the surface, it seemed like any other self help book- but for me it was like a key to a lock that I had been searching for for years.  The title was nondescript, and even the content is provided in a simple and clear manner that does not hint at the value captured within the pages.  


Mr Olson starts like many other self-help type books with several stories to lay the groundwork for the principles he intends to describe, he uses two stories one of the water Hyacinthe and one of two brothers.  Using each story he describes concepts like compound interest and the power of simple actions repeated daily.  Again, not totally unique concepts, most motivational books/movies like the Secret talk about Daily Visualizations or Positive Affirmations, books like Napoleon Hill's, Think and Grow Rich also imply similar concepts.  However, there was a twist- a subtle difference in the articulation of these concepts that spoke to  me specifically, maybe it is the engineer in me, maybe it is just a culmination of the years of work.   But this book was different for me, and I think it will be different for those of you who read it.

So many of us want to find the silver bullet or some piece of magic to help us achive success.  That I think was the appeal of movies like the Secret and really so many of our modern heros- the idea that succcess comes though a tybe of break through or Big-Bang.  Everyone seems to be looking for the secret key to provide for their personal big bang.  When it does not come we look around dejected and ask questions like what went wrong, what happened to my break through moment?  What is strange however is we know intuitively and instinctively that great success is not an overnight phenomenon- We know it took Edison years and thousands of tries to create the light bulb, and yet we popularize and internalize concepts like - light bulb moments, like there is some magic that happens.  But when our light bulb moments do not come - when the over night success we desire does not arrive, we look to place blame- look for a new tool, new book, now program that will unlock the Secret to life.   But even the successes that "appear" over night are not really built that way- they are almost exclusivly built slowly, over time.  And if this is truely the case- why do we expect that our lives are any different.

The Question

Are you willing to do the little insignificant things in your life, every day?

The Answer

The answer to this question is simple and uniquely complex, filled with countless daily decisions but it has become the foundation - a sort of Renaissance of my journey to self improvement and self discovery.  I hope over the coming weeks and months to share how I used this simple question to change my life.  I hope you join me on this journey, I hope that my attempts to share myself, struggles and missteps some how motivate you to stand up each day and take your own steps down the path to discovering your purpose- that you might live the life you were meant to live.

Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.
— Jim Rohn

Yeti Presents: Engler

This is a simple short movie about a guy who had a simple dream-a simple plan- be able to fish or hunt everyday of his life.  This may not be my dream- or your dream- but I love the clarity of this dream- and how that clarity became reality.

There are so many great quotes from this movie below are my favorites.

...He is a crusty guy...the guy that catches more fish than anyone...the boat you do not want to be behind...the guy who is going to get em’...
The average fisherman, or even fishing guide, probably doesn’t know what it takes to be a Mark Engler.
— could turn out to be a Mark Engler...wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

As I think about those statements- it reminds me to live an authentic life- to not apologize for who you are and what you want to become.  To me Mark Engler is just a man- but his focus in the face of social pressure and the pull to just go with the crowd is amazing and truly something to take note of.  In my mind his fearlessness- to stay true to himself is what makes this story amazing.


Just for Me

As I restart this public process of "blogging" I start with the very clear intention of letting this change me.  I do not write this to share with you because I somehow know better than you or because I am somehow more enlightened- quite the opposite in fact.  I start this journey because I know I have so much further to go, and each day I wait, the destination slips further and further into the distance.  So today, I draw that line in the sand and lay down the public challenge to myself- to be better- to be more, of my true self, to expand to the opportunities ahead, to rise and not retreat- today that is my challenge- to myself.

The best way out is always through.  
— Robert Frost