How to Defeat the Evil Beast aka “Regret”

So check it out.  It’s funny how relationships morph as time passes, especially with one’s kids.  First they need you for everything; then they look up to you – you become their hero (I like this phase!); then they can’t get far enough away from you (could’ya just drop me off at the corner, dad); then at some point they realize you’re not a complete idiot; and finally they come to you seeking advice for some of the sticky situations they find themselves in.  What a ride!

So here we are, my oldest daughter and me.  I love her dearly.  She’s a college sophmore in one of the most exciting cities in the world, San Diego.  And she’s killing it, which makes me feel so good.  That poor girl has spent most of her life jumping through the logistical hoops of divorced parents, but now she’s on her own – and she feels great! Which makes me feel great!  She can go where she wants, when she wants, and she doesn’t need clearance from multiple families to do so!  Freedom.  Ah, sweet freedom.

So a while ago she calls me, and asks if I have a minute to chat.  Seriously?  We must be past the “drop me off at the corner” stage…this is sweet.

She asks me what I think about her declaring a theatre minor, and explains what that would entail.  A little more background here: until my daughter started acting and dancing, I think I’d been to a dramatic performance, like maybe twice in my life.  The theatre just wasn’t my thing.  But as her passion grew, so did mine.  And when she went away to school, the lack of dramatic opportunity for her was something we both missed.  So after a bit of discussion, I wholeheartedly encouraged her to add theatre to her studies.  If she didn’t, I counseled, she would most definitely live to regret it.

And that is my reason for writing today.  Regret.  Regret is an evil beast that must be destroyed – or at the very least, subdued.

The most important thing you must know about this beast is that it feeds on our inability to act – to change.  As we drag ourself to a job we hate, afraid to even contemplate taking the first step toward a new career, it feeds on our fear – and gets stronger in the process.  Sitting on the couch, cuddling a bowl of Dryer’s “Light”, feeling guilty with each bite, as our health deteriorates in the process, the beast laughs at us and gets stronger – as ironically, we get weaker.  Sleeping on the couch, rather than apologizing to our spouse for harsh words spoken earlier in the evening, we create a tasty late night snack for this unrelenting beast.

Lack of discipline, fear of the unknown, selfishness, all supply Regret with the nourishment he needs to get stronger, as our energy is depleted by guilt and a sense of hopelessness.  I know, I’ve been there.  Heck, I am there!

But there is hope, my friends!  There is hope!  The secret?  Movement!  That’s right, it’s that simple.  Every step – large or small – taken in the direction you know  you need to head, is like plucking a 12″ meatball sandwich right out of the mouth of the beast!

And the good news is that Regret has no stamina.  As long as you keep making progress, any progess, Regret weakens his grip on our lives.  Think about it…how can Regret hang around when we’re feeling good about having a few carrot sticks and low calorie veggie dip.  How can Regret grow as we apologize to our spouse and spend a few minutes in a loving embrace.  Even if the first job interview for our new career doesn’t go quite as planned, how can Regret rule as we leave the inteview with growing confidence that a new career is in fact possible.

So today, right now, I encourage you to MOVE!  You know the area of your life that is held tightly in the grip of Regret.  Get up, and move forward.  Remember, even a small step is like punching Regret squarely in the mouth!

And last, don’t be afraid to gang up on Regret.  Bring a friend to the fight.  Tell her what you are up to.  Encourage her to check in with you from time to time to ask what steps you have made and what steps you plan to make going forward.  It’s always good to have back-up, right?!

But whatever you do, MOVE and keep MOVING.  And before you know it, Regret will hit the floor, weak from malnourishment and dehydration, unable to move, unable to hold you back from your dreams.  So GO!  NOW!  MOVE!

Let’s make a statement here, a public declaration (Regret hates this stuff!)  Leave a comment (by clicking “leave a comment” up top or by entering the comment below)  and let us know what steps you’ll be taking!

Thanks for reading!

What an Eight Year Old Taught Me About Getting Things Done

So check it out.  This blog has been an idea, rolling around in my head for about three years – maybe more.  But it took the fearless determination of an eight-year old to push me to this first post.  Embarrassing? – well yeah, just a bit – but I can’t let a little shame get in the way of a dream, right?!

Right!  So the other day I was listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast, hosted by one of my social media heroes, Pat Flynn.  He was sharing his discovery of the new dot.me domain names, and the recent registration of his own dot.me domain.  So I think, “I should really register the domain name of my daughter.” (I had heard this suggestion a while back from another social media guru).  Later that day, when I pick her up from school I share my idea with her and with a slight bit of curious energy, she’s like “Will that mean I have a website?” her little voice revealing the growing excitement inside her head.  And of course I explain, “No, a domain name is only a pointer to a website – when people click on it, it takes them to a site.  But you have to build the site separately.  Registering the domain name now, means that if you ever want to build a site in the future, you can use that domain name as a pointer.”  So as I’m feeling like a dad with all this foresight, looking out for my daughter’s future social media success, she comes back with, “Ok, so let’s build a website, let’s build a website today!”

“Now…hold on sweetheart, you can’t just build a site today” And with the wisdom of my 48 years I advise, “We have to plan it out, decide what the site should look like, figure out what you want the site to be about. You know, you can’t just jump in to something like this.”

“But Dad, I want a blog…like yours.  Yeah I want to start a blog.”  So as we’re rounding the corner, about to turn into our driveway, my daughter is going on about getting to work on her blog, and how we’ll start as soon as we get through the front door.  At this point I’m beginning to stress out, just a bit – “You can’t have a blog like mine…because mine doesn’t even have a post on it yet!”

Breaking the plane of the doorway, she sits me down in front of the computer and directs – “Ok, let’s get to it. Let’s make my blog.”  My explanation about Blue Host, and annual fees and other monetary considerations then lead her to question, “Is there a way we can do this for free?”  Man, she’s good.  Hesitantly I offer up some feeble explanation about Google’s free blog site – ugh, what am I thinking?  How can I discourage this “foolishness”, and then without thinking, offer the solution to her challenge. What am I doing here?

So before I can talk some sense into her, (you know, encourage her to be “realistic”), she’s chosen her blog name, created a few categories, made her first post (what is going on here?  Seriously, she doesn’t even have an editorial schedule; she hasn’t contacted anyone about submitting a guest post or two; she hasn’t determined how often she’ll post – this is complete mayhem!)

Ok, take a breath, we’ll get through this.  But then, without warning all hell breaks loose when she says “Dad, I want to put a link to your website in my website, so I can help advertise for YOU!  What’s your link?”  And then BAM! it hits me…hard…right in the gut.  This is what YouthfulPursuit is all about!  This is a no-fear, get-it-done-because-I-want-to-and it-needs-to-happen sort of determination.  This is what has been missing in my life, for too many years!

So here we are, finally posting, thanks to the challenge of my daughter, to whom I am very grateful.

And I will continue to write; to tell the stories of people all around us who are making a difference; who are not letting sensibility be a hindrance; who are getting things done because they need to be done, and no one else is doing them!

YouthfulPursuit is more about the how, and less about the what. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the “what” is always going to be something good and worthwhile and entertaining and hopefully challenging, but the how – the YouthfulPursuit – will be the focus; because I want you to be inspired to put fear and sensibility and the status quo on hold in your life; so you can go out and make a difference with the gifts that are uniquely yours.  Gifts you have been designed to use, but you have yet to, because the task is too big, or too expensive, or too difficult, or too_____________ (space for you to enter your excuse/fear).

And don’t kid yourself – we’ll be on this journey together, with my daughter encouraging me every step of the way!

Remember when you were a kid – and anything was possible!