I'm getting old...
As I was watching my students graduate, it randomly hit me that I graduated 20 years ago to the week. I've been navigating through this thing we call life for 20 years. Oh, the stories I would tell and the advice I would give that 17-year-old kid who was really clueless about the world. The kid who struggled finding a career and purpose until his late 20s; even though it was there all along. The kid who hid his creativity for so long since he worried what others thought.
Fast-forward...20 years...I've decided to share the advice I'd give this 17-year-old kid in my new book "Life is an Adventure: 40 Lessons I Wish I Learned at 20". Since it's taken me twenty additional years to learn these lessons, I wonder where I'd be if I would have learned these lessons before graduating high school.
I'm confident these lessons have the potential to change the direction of your life whether you're 17 or 47. The book is interactive with plenty of white space to journal, make lists and draw. I'll be posting periodically about the progress, but hoping to release it before the end of 2017!
I'm missing another writing conference this week in North Carolina. It didn't work with my budget or schedule this year. Seeing so many posts from writing friends has sparked me to scrounge up some cash and register for the upcoming Write to Publish Conference June 14-17th at Wheaton College near Chicago.
This year I've decided not to go with a pitch or a manuscript, but to go with the mindset to learn and network. That's it. Learn and network!
This will be hard for me, but I think it's important. In the past, I've been overwhelmed and stressed about landing a publishing deal that I haven't taken the time to enjoy, learn and network.
Not saying...I don't have a book in mind or a project in progress, but I'm not pitching it. NOT pitching it. Just going to learn and network. Learn and network!
Is anyone going to Write to Publish? I'd like to meet you and hear all about your writing projects. Send me a message, Tweet at me on Twitter or comment below! Hope to see you in June!
Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally by. Kelly Starrett and TJ Murphy puts to rest the myth that shoes are the cause for most people's running injuries. They provide a variety of evidence from their experience, interviews from doctors and other researchers to show that weak areas of our body contribute to the running injuries we experience.
Starrett and Murphy provide a framework of 12 standards for runners to test themselves. They also provide a list of exercises to work on and build strength in the weak areas of the body to prevent or recover from a running injury.
Below are my Top 5 Takeaways:
1. Enjoy a lifetime of running -- Starrett writes "the key to enjoying running for a lifetime lies within the body itself, and your job is to pave the way." Enjoying running starts with being healthy running. Making sure to stretch and take care of your muscles, connecting tissues and more. Find the root of the pain and correct it through strengthening exercises.
2. Go barefoot as much as possible-- Being barefoot strengthens and mobilizes your feet. If you live near the beach, it's a lot easier going barefoot than if you live where there is rocky soil and clover with bees everywhere. Starrett suggests spending as much time as possible barefoot to strengthen your feet.
3. Bring all pain and problems to the surface-- When you hurt or become injured, don't mask the injury and continue running. If it hurts, STOP! Runners should know their bodies enough to know whether the pain is from pushing yourself or their is an issue causing the pain. Analyze the pain and if it's caused by a possible injury stop. I know this all too well. I continued to run with an injury and I'm just now beginning to build mileage after a few months of short 1 mile runs.
4. Sit as little as possible...find ways to stand--This can be difficult for me at times since I do a lot of computer work. Take time every hour to stand. If possible, raise your computer to a level where it is possible to stand. Lots and lots of research exists and tells us that sitting is killing us.
5. You can improve-- Starrett says it's important to "celebrate the opportunity to improve. It is performance just lying there waiting for you to grab it." It starts with the attitude it is possible to get better. Knowing it's possible to improve is the driving force behind making lifestyle changes. Start today!
Start Something That Matters is a beautiful story about the founding of the company TOMS Shoes. The founder Blake Mycoskie documents the journey on taking an idea and turning it into a business. But, he doesn't stop there...he gives back. For every pair of shoes he sells, he gives a pair to a child in need.
Below are my Top 5 Takeaways + 1:
1. Stories are powerful! Mycoskie explains in the book that a "good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. Facts are important, but story matters." To sell products or your view point it is important to tell that story every opportunity you get.
2. Face your fears! Mycoskie reminds us fear will be with us everyday, but it is important to face it and understand what the true fear is. The truth is we will make mistakes and its OK. As hard as it is, don't worry about what your friends, family members or coworkers think.
3. Imagination trumps money! Just because you lack money and resources doesn't mean you don't start. Mycoskie suggests "bootstrapping" and improvising to pull your plan together. Don't be too comfortable. Take a calculated risk.
4. Keep it simple! Think simple. Mycoskie discussed the Apple product line, specifically the iPod. "Simplicity can apply to an idea, a goal, or a mission."
5. Giving is good business! You've probably heard the old adage, "it's better to give than to receive." Mycoskie stresses the importance of giving early not getting overwhelmed and listen to those you give to. Listening will allow you to truly know a person's needs.
BONUS: The timing is never right!
Mycoskie quotes Tim Ferris who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, "For all the most important things, the timing always sucks." If you are waiting for the perfect timing, you'll never take a risk and make things happen.
I chose to drive to work without the radio this week. It was calm and peaceful. No distractions and no talk of politics, hate or violence...no news, pop or classic rock. No interruptions of programming because of rain and storms.
My mind slowly wandered from one thought to the next. I thought about summer break, my wife and kids, what I was going to do when I get off work or possibly what my future will look like.
Removing these distractions or negative inputs led to more abundance of peace and happiness during the day.
Taking time to sit in silence and reflect is good for the soul. I challenge you to a day of no media (no radio/TV/Internet (including social media). Pick up a book, draw in a sketchbook or simply soak up some rays. Disconnect for a day.
The title of my blog and podcast: Books Travel Life came together in a brainstorm after mimicking the idea and simplicity of the title of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat Pray Love. Three simple words! Books, travel, and life experiences have shaped and molded me into the person I am today.
When I launched the podcast, I wanted a particular tag line or goal with each episode. How can one make an impact on the world? What does the world need more of? So, I began to throw some words together and came up with the line: Creating Harmony in the World by Sharing the Love of Reading, Exploring and Living. Three of my absolute favorite things!
As I was designing the site and coming up with a color scheme, I was struggling. I’ve studied color psychology in the past and knew certain colors wouldn’t work with the vibe I was trying to create. So, I decided on green. Why green?
According to the website, Color Psychology, green symbolizes renewal and growth and often means balance, calm and harmony. I knew I had to go with green since I came up with the tag line before knowing what green meant (harmony).
I wrote in an earlier post, I purchased the URL (bookstravellife.com) in 2011 or 2012 not knowing why or what I would use it for. Earlier this month, I heard Elizabeth Gilbert speak on ideas and her book Big Magic and knew I had to collaborate with this idea that continued to prompt me the last few years.
I can say without hesitation I’m ready to grow the site, begin and continue podcasting and be open to whatever opportunities present themselves.
Thanks for reading and tuning into the podcast. If you have a suggestion for a book, place to travel or life topic you’d like me to discuss on the show, send me an email at email@example.com.
I'll be posting blogs soon! Check out the podcasts under the podcast tab.
is an English Teacher, Registered Yoga Teacher, writer, journalist, former Scholastic Inc. Blogger, aspiring entrepreneur, and founder of The Writers App.