Archive | Living Your Passions RSS feed for this section

I DO NOT WANT A DOG

My daughter wants a dog. Bad. Like real bad. Like keeping her up late at night bad.

I do not want a dog. We have 2 cats. And I have my 10 year old Taylor. I have never in my life had a desire to have things that count on me for food and water. I’m 3 above goal. No dog.

She’s argued her case of how she will take care of EVERYTHING.

She’s argued it 63 times. It’s a good case.  But I’ve never been one to sway easily.
We’re not getting a dog.

She starts telling other folks about this dog. It’s mostly met with well-meaning adults trying to talk her out of it. I can see she is crushed by these comments. Things are mentioned like: responsibility, the expense, the work, how all kids say they will do everything, but never do.

She is especially offended by that last comment. She tells me, “I AM NOT LIKE OTHER KIDS. I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY THAT TO ME. I AM ME.” She is right.

I don’t want a dog. I can’t handle another thing on my plate. I don’t want to handle another thing on my plate. I do not want to feed and water anything or anyone. I know that’s why people close to us are trying to talk her out of the dog. They know where I’m at. They know I want less on my plate, not more.

One day, I hear a lot of dream busting over her dog. Taylor looks like she is going to cry. She doesn’t cry often.

I feel mad.

I’m an advocate for people’s dreams, for God’s sake. That’s what I do for a living. Help people live their dreams. I start getting a fire in my belly. I can’t stand when I see dreams being dismissed and spirits dampened.

And I’m acutely aware of the fact it starts in childhood. We try so hard to make sure kids know how hard “real life” is that we bust bubbles wherever we go. It’s like we’ve done our job well if we’ve taught how the “real world” works.  We constantly point out all the things that could go wrong instead of all the things that might go right.

We turn kids into adults with negative minds, low belief in self, and grown-ups afraid to try anything new. Grown-ups following safety, false security, and a mediocre life.

We start convincing and conditioning our young people that other people know more about what is right for them than they do. We do it because we are scared for them…for us. We also do it because…it’s easier for us…the parents, the schools. Let’s be honest….raising a follower, raising a conformist, raising someone who easily goes along with the masses is easy. Raising a dreamer, an independent thinker, a spirited soul, a world changer is HARD and INCONVENIENT.

When I was five, I remember being clear. I remember the oppression and repression setting in. I remember being told a lot of things I didn’t believe in. I remember my spirit getting less bright. I remember my dreams turning into “why bother”….

I don’t want a dog.

More than that…I don’t want a daughter who doesn’t know how to keep her dreams alive.

Inside battle. What do I do? I sure as heck don’t feel it’s my responsibility to ‘hand out” dreams. But I do feel it’s my responsibility to teach her how to make her own dreams come true.

I understand what I must do. Not as her Mom, but as ME, a fierce advocate for people’s dreams. I must tell and teach her what I know to be true. Despite what I want. Despite how inconvenient. It’s sacred to me that she knows how to dream bigger and HOW to be an active participant in creating her dreams.

So it went like this:
You know I don’t want a dog, right? A lot of people don’t think you should have a dog, right?  This is what I want you to remember. YOU want a dog. Don’t give up on your dream. Think about that dog every day. Dream about that dog. Believe you will have that dog.

AND… do the work to get the dog. So what’s your plan? What will you put into action? What will YOU choose to think, believe and do despite the odds. Those are the things that will determine if you get a dog.  I don’t know how it all works, but it does. It might not be next week, or next month, or next year. Maybe you’ll be 20 before you get a dog. But it’ll happen. Don’t get down. And don’t give up. If a dog is your dream, keep it alive and do what you can. Never let anyone else, including me squash your dreams.

Then I said: Here are my concerns.  The expense, interruption in my work, more work for me, and our cats being neglected. I don’t know if those will ever go away. But I can tell you what I’d do if I were in your shoes. I’d do everything in your power to help me be less concerned. How could you do that?

She started earning money. She did odd jobs. Car washing, lemonade stand, plant watering, etc. Some days she made more money than me.

She made a long list of all she would do for the dog. And the cats.

She also made a contract saying that if  I ever felt like the dog was “put on me” I’d have the right to take it back. There was a clause added that she’d at least get one warning so she could course correct. There were places for both our signatures and the date.

She worked hard. She wrote everything out. She said happily, “I’m OK if we don’t get a dog soon, when it’s right, I’ll get a dog. It’ll happen. Maybe not until next year.”

We volunteered at Angels of Assisi (I have community service work -but that’s another story). We saw all the dogs. We walked through the kennel. I touched one on the nose. I just wanted to get out of there. They were all barking. It was smelly. I don’t have that…”Oh you’re so cute, I want to take you home thing.”  I never have that.

Tay said, “Mom let’s go back. I connected with a dog. I know he’s THE ONE.” We go back. It was the only one I had touched. Tay says, “That’s my dog. I can feel his energy. We are meant to be together.” I look at that dog.  And then at all the other dogs. Then I look back at the one in front of me. Carter is his name. I never thought we’d have a dog named Carter. I never thought we’d have a dog.

Two days later we go back. Taylor hands her money over to the adoption assistant. They hand her over her dream.

Taylor says like 50 times, “I can’t believe I have a dog.”

I say, “Believe, baby girl. Always believe.” And…well done.

xo!
Hollie
Taylor and Carter
FullSizeRender(22)FullSizeRender(33)

What it Means to Live an EPIC Life.

NOW that's EPIC

The Essence of EPIC + The Essence of YOU.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into this whole business of EPIC. It’s important because understanding the full meaning has the power to change your life.

First, I admit, “epic” is a word that feels a bit overused these days. I certainly do more than my fair share driving it into overused territory. My brand, life coaching business, and the theme behind all of the books I’m writing hinge on the word EPIC. I write it, say it, even create posters about it, and I openly engage in what many would consider epic challenges and pursuits in life.

On the surface or if you know me personally, you might think when I use the word EPIC, I’m referring to crazy tough and awesome mountain bikes, trail runs, or other outdoor challenges and adventures. Don’t get me wrong, I love those things… challenging myself, digging deep, and busting my own limits both physically and mentally in nature…yeah, you bet, that stuff completely rocks my world.

But there is something that rocks my world even more and I want to be very clear about what that is. When I use the word EPIC, I’m referring to one of the toughest, most exhilarating, and often most elusive endurance events of our lives …the journey of BEING who we are meant to be in this life.

We can hide, we can pretend, we can deny it, we can create a life so busy we don’t have time for it…but the ultimate challenge, our most epic adventure is always there calling to us.

And if you ignore it or dismiss it, life will always be a chase. A chase for more…more fulfillment, aliveness, and richness in life. You’ll waste time, energy, money, and heartache continually chasing what you think will fill you up.

To discover (actually to rediscover) who we really are, what really fulfills us and to express that fully into the world is the toughest and most EPIC adventure of a lifetime.

EPIC is an acronym I use that defines and symbolizes a life, and a YOU that is:

Extraordinary
Passion-filled
Inspiring &
Completely aligned

Extraordinary. It means you are living in a way that is extraordinary to you. Your extraordinary can only be defined and designed by you. It is an expression of your very personal, purposeful, and divinely downloaded desires and dreams.

Passion-filled. It is a life overflowing and in flow with your passions. You are surrounded by who and what you love on a daily basis. Your work, your activities, your life is an extension and expression of what you absolutely love.

Inspiring. It is a life in which you feel inspired to start each new day knowing you are on the right path (your path!). You feel free to fully express yourself as only you can. You feel inspired from the inside out and you are a beacon of inspiration to those around you.

Completely aligned. It is a life completely aligned with your core values. You know and honor your values in every area of life. This is what you stand for. This is what drives you. It is a YOU in complete integrity with your higher self.

EPIC is the essence of you. It is who you really are. It is the nature of your true and full potential being fully expressed. It is why you were born.

To live an Extraordinary, Passion-filled, Inspiring, and Completely aligned YOU is to leave behind the ordinary, the expected, and the mediocre. To live EPIC is about being courageous and heroic in living your truth and your destiny.

You have to be a bit of a badass to bust the status quo, toss aside programming and decades of well meaning but misguided teachings, beliefs, and mindsets that take you farther away from your truth, desires, and dreams.

It takes guts, moxie, tenacity, and heart to live your purpose, passions, and true essence, and to orient your entire life around your core values. It’s a journey of EPIC proportions. It’s THE ultimate adventure of a lifetime.

Have you felt the call? Are you up for it? Are you ready for your EPIC adventure?

Life is short. You are not guaranteed another year, or another day. Neither am I.  I’m hyper aware of this truth.  I’m fully committed to an EPIC life, an EPIC me.  And I’m on a fierce and deep mission to help others spark, create, and live their own EPIC.

I offer two powerful coaching options for those who are ready.  Learn More Here.

Or, contact me at Hollie@SparkYourEPICLife.com with subject line: My EPIC Life

Then…tell me your why.

Welcome to the Adventure!
xo!
Hollie

 

Celebrations and Digging Deep in Nature and in Life

This is what a Birthday celebration with Ronny looks like.

This is what a Birthday celebration with Ronny looks like.

So it’s my Birthday and I usually like to do something epic.
I don’t know why, but I love stretching myself completely in some sort of challenging endurance excursion on my B-Day. I guess I feel it’s a way I can honor, give gratitude, celebrate and feel being fully alive. Some people eat cake, I like to ride 100 miles or some equivalent (oh, and I eat cake too!).

So, despite where Ronny and I might be in our personal journey with one another (which has been its own epic adventure in and of itself for over the last 13 years), I can always count on Ronny to be my partner in crime on my Birthday.

Ronny is intense. When most people describe him that is the word I hear first and most often – intense. He would have been the perfect Marine Corps Drill Instructor.  Instead we co-own a business together and share a daughter.  Those two things are hard for us to do together.  I do not respond well to “drill instructing.” Where we meet as one is on the trail. It is on the trail where we also meet the deepest part of ourselves. I think that’s why we do it.

The B-day celebration starts like this. It’s summer, August 23 (my birthday is actually the 26th, but this is to be a 3 day adventure celebration).  Even though it should be a steamy August day, it is not. When we start our bike ride, it is 68 degrees and raining hard –sideways.  I would expect nothing less. After all, this is an adventure with Ronny.

We start with a climb.  There is no warm-up.

We knew it was going to be a good climb. We were wrong.  It is a phenomenal climb.

Within 20 minutes, Ronny offers his first apology.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it would be this steep.”

Me: Silence

I’m not silent because I’m pissed off that the climb is so steep. I’m not pissed off that I feel light headed and like passing out at only 20 minutes in.

I’m pissed off because Ronny has enough oxygen to speak. And he does so without it seeming to tax him further.

He is used to me not responding.  He knows I am either:

1.  Pissed at him or
2.  Digging deep

Often it is both.

One thing I really appreciate about Ronny is he is never offended by my silence.

More climbing.  The rain has let up a bit and the fog is rolling in like crazy. My quads are burning, my lungs are burning, and I’m seriously light headed. I think about my adrenals (which I’ve had some challenges with). I’ve already had 2 cups of coffee, and shared an Americano (with an extra shot –of course!) with Ronny. And I haven’t slept much the past two nights. A couple of work projects have me excited and in overdrive.

I say, “Sorry adrenals. I will treat you better after my B-day weekend. I swear!”

This climb makes the Gauntlet at the Cove (one of our favorite climbs back home) look like an active recovery day. Or maybe it’s just me. Without a doubt this is the least “trained up” summer I’ve had.  Even my summer right after having my daughter I was much stronger.  So maybe, it’s not that challenging of a climb.  Maybe, it’s me.

Ronny is not in sight. I usually hate that, but today I’m in too much pain to care. I climb. The fog is amazing. Big wet puffs keep rolling in on me. The temp has dropped 10 more degrees.  The climb is keeping me warm enough, but I’m thinking I will be freezing on the decent. The decent is worlds away.  I can’t imagine I’ll ever be descending.

Next curve….there is Ronny.  He is stopped and waiting for me.  My heart gets lighter…we must be at the top. Thank God.  Woo-hoo, what a climb! I’m ready to celebrate.

Ronny offers his second apology of the day.  “Man, I’m sorry. I had no idea it would be like this. You are a rockstar!”

My head is down. I keep pedaling and manage a quick burst of, “Are we there?”

Ronny:  “Um, I hate to say it, but we are just at the halfway point.”

Me:   “Let’s go.”

I can’t stop. It is too rough on the quads to stop and start again.  Plus, I want to do this in one fell swoop. No resting. No stopping. If I stop I will feel like I really haven’t done it.  Which is ridicoulous and not at all true.

It’s much like a road runner who switches to trail running. Road runners feel like a loser when they walk. But trail runners know you must, especially on the long runs. You hike the steeps, it conserves energy, it’s smart.

Same with adventure racing.  Often times, even if you can ride it, you don’t.  You can’t empty your tank when you have 20 hours left to race.

But that’s not what this ride is about. It’s to climb to the top. Period.

At some point in the pain process, I drop into my own world.  I’m no longer silently cursing Ronny. I’m not aware of being light headed. I’m not aware of burning quads and lungs. I’m somewhere else. This is my meditation. I start getting awesome downloads. I’m writing in my head all the awesome things that have now been connected and beautifully downloaded to me. I’m in bliss.

The fog is so thick I can’t see 3 feet in front of me. It’s mystical. It’s peaceful and feels huge. Awe and gratitude wash over me. I get to experience this. I am fully alive.

The bliss is fading. I’m very aware of my legs and my breathing. I might throw-up. My left arm is being shredded by briars.  I see the perfect line away from the briars out to my right, but to get to it I must cross a rut. It’s not very wide or technical, but I have nothing left. I know I can’t cross and keep it together. I cling to the briars and hold my line.

The phrase, “Adventures with Ronny” keeps floating through my mind.  Terry, a previous manager at one of my fitness centers coined that phrase over a decade ago.  After hearing of one of my crazy outings with Ronny, she calmly and knowingly shook her head and said, “Adventures with Ronny.”

I can’t tell you how many times over the last decade I’ve found myself in the wilderness viewing Ronny’s backside ahead of me on some remote kick ass trail as I’ve murmured,  “Yep, Adventures with Ronny.”

Like the time I raced a 36 hour adventure race with him.  My legs were slashed (briars again) and bleeding. To cut distance, we bushwhack and Ronny takes us through a field of stinging nettles. Have you ever experienced stinging nettles? Then we waded through a pond (swamp!) that was dark, murky, stagnant and smelled like dead carcass. I chatted with other racers afterward, and interestingly at that particular race no one else experienced stinging nettles or swamps. Adventures with Ronny.

Or the time we were piecing together a race course for one of our events and were already 2 hours late picking up our daughter and we weren’t sure what state we were in — Virginia or West Virginia? Once we made it to a hard service road, we started looking for license plates on cars to clue us in.  Adventures with Ronny. (Side note: This was like 8 years ago. Before Ronny became the master navigator he is now.  This wouldn’t happen now.  I. DON’T. THINK.)

Or the time we set out to do a 50K (just for fun). At midnight. And I had a broken arm (from another “Adventure with Ronny” outing, but that’s another story). In my defense, I didn’t know it was broken at the time. Adventures with Ronny indeed.

This is what I’ve learned from my adventures:

Whether you (and I mean me + you!) are on the race course, on the bike, on the trails, or going after anything in life these 3 things can make all the difference:

  1.  Don’t try to figure it all out. Put yourself on a need to know basis. Don’t look at the whole enchilada.  Believe me, you don’t want to know everything ahead. If you do, you’ll psyche yourself out or just become completely overwhelmed. Just start and keep forward motion at all times. It’s amazing what you can handle as it comes up. 
  2.  Dig deep. Then dig deeper. If you stay the course, if you dig deep, you can do the “impossible” – you are so much stronger than you think. You really are. I promise.1269_10201008721076783_1942494006_n
  3.  Attempt more impossible things. Sometimes you just have to attempt things that are extraordinary, that seem impossible and a bit crazy just because you can!  And… because they inspire your own soul.

So I asked Ronny, after the ride if he thought it was hard.

Ronny:  “Hell yeah, that was the steepest I have ever climbed for 3 miles straight!”

Me:  (Thinking- whew! This man has done some climbs so I’ll take it!) “What was the best part?”

Ronny:  “You. At the halfway point when I asked you if you wanted to rest.  And you grinned and just said, “Good to know,” and pedaled off.

I don’t remember the grin. Or the good to know. I  just remember the pain and the let’s go.

But our company motto is “Your Pain is Our Pleasure,” so evidently it must resonate at a deep level.  For me the PAIN stands for Passionate Adventures In Nature.

I mean, what could be better than that?

Circa 2002

Circa 2002

What a gift. A tremendous gift.

And…what a pleasure.             R+H1 - Copy
xo!
H

PS. If you are an adventurous high performer, high-achiever and have considered working with a life coach, then this might be right up your alley! I mean trail. I mean mountain. 🙂 Check it out: ADVENTURE COACHING INTENSIVE

Who Are You Listening To?

Question: Who or what should you listen to and what should you trust?

Here’s the deal. You desire things that other people don’t. Period.  Sometimes when you ask people what they want, they often say “a million dollars in the bank” or more money. But if you dig deeper it’s actually much much more that they want.

Know that what interests you, what you love, what you dream about, what your idea of the perfect day is, or the perfect mate…are all very different from someone else’s idea. What you think would be the most awesome lifestyle, job or business….again all very unique to you.

Consider your desires to be Soul Sparks!  They are there to light your unique path.

Listen to your heart, trust your gut and THEN use your mind to strategize how to get what you truly desire.

Most people work it the other way, spending a ton of energy and “logic” to talk themselves out of their desires and dreams. So many folks spend so much energy building the case as to why their dreams and desires can’t happen, or why they aren’t supposed to happen.

This is so draining. This is exhausting.  And in all areas of the heart…logic is pretty darn useless.

People pride themselves in being realistic. Don’t.  Being realistic is a road to build other peoples’ dreams, not your own.

I encourage you to honor what you really want. To really practice trusting those desires. That means trusting yourself. Trusting yourself more than well-meaning loved ones, parents, your significant other, society at large, and yes, even me. 🙂 You know more than ANYONE about how to live your life.

So use your smarts (thinking) to create the life you really want, not to talk yourself out of it!  Your heart is telling you the truth. Your brain helps you to get it.

Trust your desires. They are why you are here.  This is how you will be the greatest service to others. So pay attention to your heart. You never know how many people are counting on you to do that very thing.

With love and total belief in you and your dreams!
Live Extraordinary!
Hollie

The question I get often + how to follow your dreams.

The Question…..
I’ve been asked this question 3 times in the last several weeks and many times
throughout my life. Wait, it’s not really a question, it’s more of a statement with
a chuckle.

 It goes like this:
I’m in a conversation (it can be about various things) and the person stops and
says, “Soooo you JUST kind of decide what you want and go for it!?” (And this is
usually accompanied with a laugh…you know, not like it’s funny, but a “disbelief”
kind of chuckle.)

Me: “Um…well yeah.”  (Thinking: Doesn’t everyone?!?)

Guess what?  They don’t. I’ve been digging a little bit on this one…and research
indicates that on average about only 3% of folks follow their dreams. WTF???
Really?!  Heart attack here! Or at least heartbreak!

Why is that?  And forget dreams. It is all so true about goals and desires that aren’t
what we would consider “lofty dream” stuff.

It seems more folks tend to be in reaction mode waiting for outside circumstances
to direct them to their next course of action.  Why aren’t more people staking a
claim for what they want and going for it?

I believe it’s due to one or more of the following:

1.  They don’t know what they want. (Holy cow!)

2.  They do not believe it is possible. (Sad!)

3.   Believe it is possible but not possible for them (a.k.a. lack of belief in self).

That first one is all about lack of clarity. And it’s not rare. We have it due to
information overload, crazy busy schedules to maintain a lifestyle we’re not even
that jazzed about, and general programming from a very young age about what our
path is supposed to look like.

The second is about perspective. There are basically two groups of people.
The first group are folks who look for every reason why something will be hard,
nearly impossible and unlikely to be successful. While the second group of folks
out there are thinking – “Why not?” – and start building support for the goal or dream.
Which group are you in? Think it about it. It makes ALL the difference.

This third is about courage. It takes the courage to act to overcome self doubt.
We don’t build up confidence & self-esteem and then act. We gain confidence and
belief in self through action.  Action teaches us: I am capable. It is possible.
I can do this.  Have the courage to ACT!  Leap. Trust. You are more capable than
you know and the Universe has your back!

The moral of the story:
If you want more in your life or something different than what you are currently
experiencing then you have to ask yourself WHAT DO YOU WANT?  It sounds simple,
right?  But the truth is it is not being asked nearly enough.

It is OK to ask. It is OK to want it. It is OK not to have anyone’s permission. It is sooooo
OK if it is not the norm.  It is OK if it is crazy or feels crazy (even better if it is!).

Train Your Mind
Right now, think about something you really want. Next, write down 3 ideas of how
it would work, how you could accomplish it.  Brainstorm. Do you need a loan?  A friend?
A workout partner?  A book? A Google search? A babysitter?  A certification?

Act
Take a step toward it. It can be small. The first step is the hardest. Just do it.
Don’t over think it. Don’t sit with it for too long. Just do it. Imperfect action is
where it’s at!  Consistent and imperfect action Baby!

Know this:  There isn’t too much magic, glamor, or mystique in following your dreams.
It’s pretty basic. 1) Know what you want  2) Sketch out a rough plan (ways to start)
3) Use courage to take your first step, then another….

So…go forth and dream + do!

Spark your most epic summer, your most extraordinary life!  I believe in you!
Hollie

Want to change your life? Do you do this one thing?

NVST N U – Solve this license plate and you’ll solve the pathway to exponential growth + success in every area of life. 

So this was my tag from 1999 – present. I’m getting ready to retire it and move on to a new tag that represents what I’m digging now in life.  Hint: this next one will be easy to read, but epic to incorporate into life!

So…for over a decade this tag and tagline has been my philosophy and core operating principle. It changed my life.

NVST N U.  It was always fun to see who could get it, who really struggled, and who never could figure it out.  Most interesting were the ones who figured out the words but not the meaning.

 Invest in YOU.  Did you get it?  Do you do it?

There is no greater investment or return on investment on this planet than Investing in YOU – in your mindset, in your health, in your personal development, in your business, and in gaining certain experiences and knowledge. 

In my early twenties, I was fortunate to understand the power and the necessity of investing in myself. And it’s something I easily and continually do over and over again. It is the key to my success. Well that, and I have a very low tolerance for a boring ass life.  

So when you start investing in yourself, it means you begin to evaluate  purchases, experiences, wellness, and ways to learn something or grow something in a totally different way. 


ROI (Return On Investment)
You don’t base your choices and decisions on how much money or time is involved. You begin to train yourself in seeing and understanding the true value of what you are gaining and the transformation or power this investment will have on your life right now as well as how it will add, impact, or take away from your life in the next 10-20 years.

I have many times learned and transformed my mind, my health, my business  and my life from nuggets I gained in a $15 book. More transformation has taken place in $100 worth of books than what I received from my $80,000 college education. 

Now that won’t be true for everyone, but the point is there are many ways to invest and what you are looking for is the wisdom, the nugget, the experience, “the piece”  that gives you what you personally and individually need next to succeed, to expand or to move into a higher quality of living.

I find it pretty darn interesting that many people I know won’t invest in a book that they feel will help them until it comes out in paperback or until they can check it out at the library or borrow from a friend.

I think that’s freaking crazy. I mean seriously?  Did you eat out this week?  Did you have a few drinks? Do you have cable TV?    Aren’t you worth more than that? Aren’t your dreams worth more?  You are and they are. Trust me on that!

Where is your life right now? 
Your “life account” is a reflection of where you have invested and how well you have invested over the last 5, 10, 20+ years. Don’t like it?  Then start today with determining what is important and investing in those things.   Some will be immediate returns and some will grow over time.

 You may need to:

·        Buy a book

·        Get more sleep

·        Hire a personal trainer

·        Hire a life coach or biz consultant

·        Take a class

·        Take a trip

·        Leave a relationship

·        Commit to personal development

·        Develop a spiritual practice

·        Give yourself permission to live the life you really want

Where do you need to invest to get the greatest ROI in living an extraordinary life? You get to decide.

**Feel free to comment below about how you invest in yourself and be sure to share with any friends who might enjoy a little “investment” advice.**

Here’s to rock solid returns!

Hollie “NVST N U” Flynn

True Story: My Lawyer Told Me I was Crazy for Doing This!

My lawyer’s voice boomed, “I wouldn’t do this THING if my life depended on it!”

So of course, I did.  The very next day to be exact.

It was 1998. I was 26.  I took a business contract to an attorney for review.   I was trying to buy into a fitness franchise.  I was learning how to incorporate my first business. I was looking for rental space and negotiating a lease. I was setting up my first biz banking account.  I was being systematic, smart, and doing all the “right” things.  Having a lawyer review my contract was one of them.

I had dropped the contract off at the lawyer’s office and returned a couple of days later to hear his review.  I remember walking into his office feeling excited and proud of my big venture.  As I walked in, he dropped the 200+ page doc on the table, shaking his head as he said (very loudly as if he were in a courtroom instead of his quiet office),“I wouldn’t do this thing, if my life depended on it.” 

He explained the first 10 reasons why this was the worst business deal and contract he’d ever seen.  They made sense.  I could see where he was coming from.  But, the thing was…his life did not depend on this, mine did.  And to me, the risks were worth it.

I stood up, shook his hand, and thanked him for his advice. As I was walking out his door he said, “So, you’re not going to go through with this are you?” I hesitated (knowing often these things are best kept to myself).  I just smiled at him, and said, “Yeah, I think I probably will.”  He sighed.  And I left the next day to head to Texas (I lived in VA) to buy the franchise and begin training.

What I learned that day was that the great thing about someone saying “No way!” or “You are crazy!” is that it can firm up just how bad you want something. You need to know that. Sometimes you don’t know how badly you want something until it is taken away or you feel it might be. It’s good to know how “in” you are.  I don’t think I knew just how “in” I was until that moment with the lawyer.

Honestly, I’m all for seeking professional guidance and input.  I’m all for chatting with a few close friends or respected mentors.  Do bring in an expert if needed.   But the bottom line is, NO ONE knows more than you.  No one can measure how much heart you have. No one knows your passions or dreams and how they fit into your life better than you.

The experts, professionals, gurus, etc. are there to provide valuable insight and information. They are a part of the piece.  YOU are the bigger part.

YOU ARE YOUR OWN WISEST COUNSEL.  Period.

Look at it all. Take what is helpful.  Leave the rest.

Popular + majority opinion = a status quo life.  If that fires you up, carry on.  But if not, then take in all you can.  Seek wisdom, not knowledge.  Trust yourself more than any other person on the planet. Follow your dreams.

That’s what you’re here for.

By the way, the buying into the franchise turned into being the best single decision of my life. It was a game changer that led to almost 14 years as a multi-club fitness center owner (I ended up buying 3 fitness centers), great income, and even greater personal growth.

It sparked my passion for entrepreneurship and gave me the confidence and know how to turn other passions into money making ventures.  It gave me the opportunity to design my entire life.

I believe with all my heart that NOT following your dreams is a far greater risk.  For me, what I feared most was reaching the end of my life with the question —What if?

Do you have a “What if?” — Something you really want to do. Something if you don’t try, you’ll always wonder?  Are you willing to take THAT risk?

Think about it.

Here’s to Dreaming Boldly, Trusting Deeply (in You!), and Going For It!

xo!

Hollie “no regrets” Flynn

 

Trusting Your Passions, Even When Others Don’t

  (5 Strategies + Some Love to Support You)

  This post was inspired by one of my readers.
And know this, I believe in YOU 100% percent.

To live an EPIC life, a life that is made up of what you love, what excites you, what makes you want to jump out of bed, and what brings great depth and meaning to your days requires great passion. Passion is the fuel for our dreams.

What we are passionate about holds the keys to our most EPIC lives.  Lives that are extraordinary, passion-filled, inspiring (to ourselves + others), and they feel “completely you” (in alignment with your greatest values!).

You MUST trust your passions. You must keep taking steps, even if small, to create the life you deeply desire.  It won’t go away. This feeling you have. Your dreams. This restlessness. This desire for more

Maybe it’s MORE:
Financial freedom, Creativity, Soul experiences, Impact in the world, Meaning, Freedom, Aliveness, Play.

Whatever it is you’re thinking, what you’re wanting – It is right for you! The question isn’t about whether it is or isn’t, or whether you should or shouldn’t, it’s about “how do I” and especially how do you when:

1. You’re broke.
2. Tired and overwhelmed.
3. Feel too much responsibility to maintain your current life.
4. Do not have support of significant other or family.
5. Are confused about exactly what you should be doing.

But you know there is MORE. You are meant for more. You’re searching. But you’re also doubting. And your current environment supports the doubting.

How do you handle it? How can you keep leaning into your dreams when you feel you do not have support from any corner?

Here are 5 Strategies + Love to Support You:

  1. Read 30 minutes to 1 hour a Day of Positive Content!
    This may sound crazy or not truly significant, but I promise if you do this daily for even a few months, your life will never be the same. Ideally, 30 minutes in the AM when you wake, and 30 minutes before you go to sleep at night. If you can’t do 30, do 15. Do whatever you can, but commit to this practice EVERY AM and PM.Let your books become your best friends and greatest sources of inspiration.I began doing this in my early twenties and can tell you it was the single most powerful factor in propelling me toward a life of success, financial abundance, and freedom. These books will lift your spirit, increase your belief in your dreams, and your belief in YOU!  They will reveal the wisdom of the ages and Universal truths to success.  They will inspire and empower you to go after your dreams.

  2. Your Top 5
    Research indicates we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with in terms of what’s in our bank accounts and in terms of our attitudes and mindsets.Become a vigilant gatekeeper to those you choose to hang out with or allow into your environment. It matters. Surround yourself with like minded folks who believe in you and who are also up to exciting things in life. You might have outgrown your friends/family and haven’t yet connected with your “new family”…don’t worry this is temporary. It can feel lonely and like “what’s wrong with me,” but trust you are stretching and growing into the person you need to become to create what you want to create. Stop trying to get others to “get you” or to be on board with your dreams. This can be so draining, frustrating, and depressing. Save your energy. Put it toward your dreams. Your responsibility is to live your passions, your best life…this is the BEST way to help those you care about. This is the best way to ensure long term success and happiness for yourself and your family. 

    This #2 is probably the hardest one. I get it. Just keep reading what is here and let it support you and know you are not alone.

  3. Find Mentors and/or Online Groups.
    It’s so easy with today’s online world to connect to the best of the best. Search out mentors or groups online. Let yourself see and experience those who are thriving, living their passions, and creating their own realities. These are the folks you want to follow and “surround” yourself with.  Let these mentors and groups be your support team. It is powerful.

  4. Stay Connected Here
    I believe in you. My mission is to help illuminate + guide others in sparking, creating, and living their most awesome lives. You ended up here because you believe your most awesome life is possible. Even if sometimes you feel a bit lost or overwhelmed.  My role is to shine the light so you can see your unique path. I’m honored to support you. Stay connected!

  5. Pick One Passion
    What topic or activity are you most drawn to right now? Don’t try to figure out your entire life today. It’s tempting, I know!  Simply think about what you truly enjoy. What is one activity that you absolutely love or a topic you find so intriguing you just can’t stop reading or studying it?  These are the things that when you are engaged in you feel “right,” you forget to eat, you feel a natural flow, and the rest of the world seems to drop away. It can be something simple, but you feel pure joy in it.Don’t try to analyze your passions or try to figure out how you can make money from them (yet). Too much pressure in that. Today pick one passion for the love and joy of it and do it! Ride your bike, rebuild your bike, cook an awesome meal, tinker, sketch out a design, read, write a little, build something, take apart something, order a book on the topic.Identify one passion, then take one action toward engaging in it today. Notice how it feels. Does this first little action spark inspiration or naturally lead you to take another step? Get into action daily with this passion or interest. Dots will begin to connect. Doors and opportunities will begin to open. You will meet certain people at certain times. You will notice things online that escaped you before.

 Magic begins to happen when you take action. 
(Small, consistent, imperfect action!)

 To wrap this baby up…I know it was a long one.

Listen to your passions. They are guideposts to your most EPIC life. Trust them.  They are on target. They are your truth.  Let your passions and deep knowing that there is “more” for you, give you the fuel you need to keep moving forward despite anything else going on in your life.  Be proactive in getting support where you need it most.

I admire your courage. I admire your struggles. I admire your dreams.

And I believe in you!

“Passion is the emotional fuel that drives your vision. It’s what you hold on to when your ideas are challenged and people turn you down, when you are rejected by ‘experts’ and the people closest to you. It’s the fuel that keeps you going when there is no outside validation for your dream.”

                                                                             ~Bill Strickland, Social Innovator
                                                                       (from The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo)

With Passion and Loads of Love + Support!

Hollie