by Sylvain | Sep 19, 2010 | Passionate Being, Shift
In my article The 30-day Passionate Being challenge, I started a challenge to help you create a Passionate Life, for free. Now there are only about 48 hours left to join the challenge. After that, it’ll be to late, as I probably won’t make that same offer again.
One free session with me (I estimate the value at $100-200) just by filling in the following form with your email and your time availabilities. Good deal, isn’t it?
Get more information or fill in the form below to join the challenge. Remember, after September 21st, it’ll be too late.
by Sylvain | Sep 15, 2010 | Productivity, Shift
If you’ve ever seen a few MacGyver episodes (and who hasn’t?), you almost certainly witnessed some bomb almost explode. Disarming a bomb with only 1 second left is one of MacGyver’s specialty (along with creating all sorts of devices with chewing gum and duct tape). Though defusing a difficult situation only moments before it’s too late is a great ploy to create tension and emotion in the viewer, it also happens quite often in daily life.
photo credit: psd
You have deadlines, taxes to pay, DVDs to return, meeting presentations to prepare, etc. What all these situations have in common is that they cause significant pain (financial, emotional, etc) if you don’t take care of them in time. You may push them back for a while, but the closer you are to the deadline, the more your brain is obsessed with it. At some point, you will drop everything else and take care of the hot potato. In order to deal with it, you might do it yourself, ask your friends for help or even hire a freelancer.
Whatever it takes.
What happens is that the mind doesn’t want to be bothered with it, so it tries to avoid it as much as possible, until it gets real, and realizes there’s no way to escape it.
What happens when you have to do it? You bring up the big guns. And you make it.
Being a hero
Being a hero is about having the courage to do what’s right, what has to be done, when most people wouldn’t.
But when you do what is necessary to make that deadline, you are a hero, you save the day.
I might means you called in all your favors, you dropped or put on hold what wasn’t really important, but you fought, and you won.
But who decided you had to wait until the last moment to do what heroes do?
You know that when the pressure is right, when you’re close to the end, you find a way to do it.
So how come you always wait until the last moment to invoke these resources?
You don’t need the gloom of the eleventh hour to call your friends and ask for help, or to set aside time and energy to deal with your obligations. Use the resources you have.
Imagine it is the eleventh hour, give yourself an earlier deadline, and be a hero. Not only it will remove some stress from your life, it will also train you to use the best resources for the job, while keeping your mind on your passions.
Let’s say that you spend a week every month dreading some project you have to get done. If you can gather the resources and get it done before the stress comes up, you instantly gain 12 weeks a year that your mind can spend on a subject that you love instead of one that you dread.
I’m not saying it’ll clear your all schedule, but it might clear up a lot of the background processing of your brain, allowing it to be free to enjoy and be passionate instead of being tense and unhappy.
It’s simple to be better than MacGyver, gather all your knowledge and resources and deal with the bomb as soon as you have the tools to defuse it at your disposal, instead of waiting until your mind can’t simply hide it anymore.
Tell us in the comments how you are better than MacGyver.
by Sylvain | Aug 31, 2010 | Productivity
Who needs another constraint in their lives? Between jobs, opening hours, taxes, and other rules, systems have a bad rep. Not surprising, they are limiting your freedom.
The magic box
But systems aren’t all bad, if you learn to use them well, they can be used to help you attain your goals.
- They give a direction, helping you visualize the goal
- They create space to focus
- In time, they provide the comfort of a known situation and process
But be careful, not all systems are created equal.
Think outside the box
For a system to be truly effective for you, its goals and limitations need to be clear, which means, you have to look at it from the outside.
No system if all-encompassing, they are all limited. Decide what you want a system for, and look for the limits of the system, so that you are not subconsciously constrained by them.
Let’s take an example. If you want to do some exercise to keep in shape, you know that a certain regularity is needed. Depending on how you feel in your body and mind, you could need to show up once a week, or every day.
Let’s say you decide to run twice a week, every Tuesday and Friday, at 6.30 am, for 30 minutes, before you go to work. So, that’s your system. Sounds good? Take a minute to imagine what its limits are.
Done? Here’s what I came up with:
- I have to wake up one hour earlier than usual. Can I do it?
- What happens when I’m tired or don’t feel like running?
- What if it rains?
- If for whatever reason I miss one day, do I try to catch up the next day or do I just skip it?
These are all questions which hit the limits of the system. When building a system, you want to make sure that all aspects are covered so it’s effective. For example:
- Find a running buddy to get support and accountability, it’s way easier to show up when someone’s counting on you.
- Run everyday (or 5 days a week), so it can become a habit and you don’t have to change your all routine each odd day you planned to run.
- Decide beforehand the amount of rain you’re willing to sustain, and a contingency plan in case you can’t run, don’t skip!
- Be willing to change the plan if it’s for a better one long-term, otherwise, you’ll simply destroy the system for a short-term gain.
Every habit or lifestyle decision we make is in its own way a system. I am a vegetarian, my system is that I don’t eat meat or fish, even if they are the only things available (never happened). I trust and depend on that system. I know that when I started, had I tried to be vegetarian, I wouldn’t have been able to cope to the social pressure, but I created a box, a system, then trusted and followed it. It’s been 19 months, and counting.
Create within the box
Now that you’ve built the box, it is time to have fun and be creative. The system is meant to help you show up, and in the long term, attain your goal. But once you’ve showed up, it’s up to you to create whatever you want. You can make a challenge to run 10 miles in 90 minutes, or run slowly for 30 minutes then sprint until you’re exhausted.
If you want to create a system to help you write a book, the system will need to give you both limits (you can’t do anything else for an hour) and a space to create (you have a full hour to create!). You could try to write the worst draft you possibly can on one day, then the best one the next. Make it entertaining.
Me? I’m trying raw food, new ingredients, new ways of preparing and consuming food. I am much clearer on the effects of food on my body and mind. When you try different things, you learn. The system allows you to try.
Love the box
Ultimately, a system helps you show up, it works if you trust it enough to respect and follow it, so that it becomes a dependable part of your life.
Once you depend on a system, you don’t need to worry so much about your goal. If you run three times a week with a partner, each and every week, you won’t worry anymore that you “should” do something to keep in shape, it’ll be taken care of, by the system.
What’s one system that allows you to thrive?
by Sylvain | Aug 23, 2010 | Clarity, Passion, Passionate Being
Good day, Passionate Beings!
How’s life going these days? Pretty good? Not bad?
What about making it Passionately Awesome?
If you’re interested, it’s your lucky day, as today marks the launch of the Passionate Being 30-day challenge to help you build your Passionate Life.
What I believe
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
photo: The Wandering Angel
I believe that a life lived at 50% is a life half-wasted. I believe that doing something because you “should” instead of because you love doing it is a cry for change. But most importantly, I believe it is possible to live a life filled with passion, creation and pleasure. I believe this kind of life is the best there is, not only for ourselves but for the world. I also believe that if you want to leave a truly positive mark in the world, you have to be passionate about your life.
Finally, I believe I can help you build a life that you’ll be so passionate about, you wouldn’t change it for the world.
But who would I be if I believed I could help you build a passionate life but limit myself to helping a few friends here and there?
It is time to step up and share my beliefs and skills with the outside world.
This challenge is how I’m doing it.
During 30 days, from today August 23rd until September 21st 2010, if you allow me, I will help you get clear about your situation and get started building your passionate life.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a job you hate and have no idea how to make a change, or if your life is pretty good but you feel there’s something missing.
As long as you’re willing to make changes, I can help and guide you.
To do that, I offer you one session with me.
Two sessions if you’re among the first five.
Yes, I won’t ask a dime.
But I’ll ask for feedback so I can hone my skills, and if you feel I helped you, I’ll ask you for a testimonial to describe how.
And I’m asking you right now for your help to share the word. If you know someone who is ready to make some changes, please send them a link to this page. You can also use the buttons below to post a link to Twitter, Facebook, digg, and others.
Helping you change your life in exchange for a feedback and a testimonial, that’s a pretty good deal, don’t you think?
I will do my best to help as many of you as I can, as to make the biggest impact possible.
I’ll keep you posted on how the challenge is going on this blog in a couple weeks, maybe before if I have lots to say.
How does it work?
If you want to participate in the challenge, use the contact form below to ask for a session before September 22nd 2010. We will schedule a Skype or phone call that will last about an hour, maybe a bit less, maybe a bit more. Then you can leave a message on this post if you feel like it.
Fill out the form below to ask for a free Skype session with me (two free sessions for the first five persons).
Please indicate your availability and time zone. I am in GMT+2 and I’m mostly available between 10am and 10pm.
You can contact me right now using the form above to schedule a free session, or if you want more details, keep reading.
We are all attached to things, people and situations in our lives: our job, partner, friends, diet or even our couch. When one or more of these elements are somewhat misaligned with what we want and the path to get it, this creates confusion about the road to take.
You think “this job doesn’t fulfill me, but it has a nice paycheck and I kinda like the people there”. In these circumstances, nothing short of a hurricane would get you off your current path without your say so.
Sometimes the hurricane is getting fired. In other circumstances, it is getting sick, or deeply depressed.
Quite often, this struggle is completely unconscious, because you don’t see another way, you believe there isn’t any, and without realizing it, you dismiss the alternatives that would put you on the right path.
What I do for you in the challenge
We schedule a Skype session, and during that session, I listen, I ask questions.
Then together we find the barriers and resistance that are preventing you from experiencing a truly Passionate Life. We uncover the inconsistencies between what you say and what you do. We reveal how you subconsciously prevent yourself from going forward.
Once you have more clarity about your path, your obstacles, we explore together the different ways to attain your goals so you have a clear vision of the steps to take. Then it is yours to make decisions and take actions to get closer to your goals.
In a nutshell, we look at your current situation, what is not working, and we give you more options to get you where you want to be.
What you can expect from our session
- gain more clarity about your current situation, and how it fits with what you want
- get a better picture of what you really want (it might not be what you believe you want)
- uncover and understand the reasons you’re not going forward
- get rid of the lies you have accepted as truths that prevent you from being more passionate and happy
- come up with a few action steps and possibilities to get more of what you want
How can you be a part of the challenge?
First of all, use the opportunity for yourself by scheduling a session for free (using the form below).
Then go tell two of your friends who would really benefit from the challenge so that they can participate if they wish to do so (use the buttons below).
Finally, share your experience in the comment section of this post.
Times and dates and stuff
So, the challenge starts today, August 23rd and goes on until September 21st.
To schedule a free session use the form below before September 22nd 2010. The first five to ask get two sessions. Don’t delay.
Please indicate your availability and time zone. I am in GMT+2 and I’m mostly available between 10am and 10pm.
By being more passionate about your life, you improve the lives of others, especially those close to you. Join the path today.
by Sylvain | Aug 9, 2009 | Passion, Work
It’s a beautiful summer day, the sun is shining, the clouds are hiding somewhere on the other side of the Earth, you can smell the delicate smell of roses nearby and your only desire is to go out and have fun. Nothing unusual, just taking a little walk alone and working on your paper sculptures (they are so gorgeous you suspect your old neighbor inadvertently transported one into his living room), but..
You have to make money
Of course, you have to work. Those damn reports won’t compile themselves, will they? So, you’re struggling, not able to decide with a clear conscience to do one thing or the other. You can’t enjoy the day because you should be working. But you can’t focus on your work either, because, really, you should be enjoying yourself. Who asked for these reports anyway? Will they ever read them? What are you doing? Don’t even think about forgetting all of it and simply relaxing.
Make enough money, and then, you can have fun.
This phrase is so common, so ingrained into our brains since we’re little kids, we need to make money before we can have fun. Whether it’s on a summer day, or in your life. Finish the reports, then you can chill out. Work for dozens of years, then you may enjoy life (if you still can).
But here, I want to propose another paradigm.
What if you had to do what you love in order to earn money?
I can already hear the comments “I hate my job but it makes me money so I can travel/buy stuff/feed my kids/eat pizzas with my friends while watching American Idol”. Err.. really?
Ok. But let me ask you a question… How long are you gonna live that way?
Forget about your current situation for a minute, and ask yourself what happens when you’re doing something that you hate (or at least not love to a certain, high, degree).
- You wake up without energy, dreading the time to go to work
- You think about what you’d like to do instead
- You do the minimum that’ll get you what you need (not get fired, enough money, some consideration, maybe even a promotion)
- You tell yourself it’s not that bad, there are lots of things you kinda like in your job
- You live for the paycheck, if it wasn’t there every month or so, you’d be happy not being here
- You complain more than often about how much your job sucks
Not too pretty, I know.
Now, what happens if you love what you do all day?
- You wake up energized, ready to go seize the day, wondering what opportunities will come knocking at your door
- You feel like there’s nothing else you’d rather be doing
- You give the best of yourself in order to accomplish the unthinkable (to people who hate their job)
- You tell yourself you’re lucky to be doing something that you love without feeling any ounce of guilt
- You live for your passion, if you weren’t paid, you’d still be doing the same thing (albeit, with less time and energy)
- You don’t understand why people complain about their work
If you compare the two, the difference is obvious. If you hate what you do, you’ll struggle, if you love it, you’ll thrive. So yes, you can make some money doing something that you hate, you can even get good at it and earn enough to live comfortably (in a materialistic way). But if you love what you do, your potential will be much higher. Whatever level of success you’re achieving doing something you hate would be ten times higher doing something you love, with the same perceived level of effort. Don’t you find it easier to spend time and energy on something you like?
You might be thinking that there’s no way you’d be able to make money with what you love, after all, paper sculptures are not a hot topic on eBay (or are they?).
But what if you had to? Maybe you don’t see a way because you haven’t invested enough into what was only a hobby. After all, you spent a couple (or a dozen) years to obtain a degree in your field, then perfected your skills for even more time. So there’s no comparison.
But if you really, really, had to earn a living doing something you love… You’d find a way. You’d invest whatever time and energy necessary and you’d make it. Because you’d care enough. You’d research the competition, learn about marketing, try to sell your creations on Etsy, talk about it to your friends and colleagues, and slowly build a business. There’s no magic bullet here, but imagine how you’d feel once you’d managed to achieve that.
Isn’t it worth just a little then, to develop your passion? Spend a little more time, invest in what you love. Whether it’s paper sculptures, music, writing, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you start right now and continue everyday, until what you have to do next is clear. Then do it. And most important of all: don’t forget to enjoy.