Today’s show is about embracing creativity and purpose on the pathway to chasing your dreams. My guest proves that there are multiple ways to craft a life of service to others, even when creativity is your passion.
Clara Thomson is 26 years old, and she’s starting her journey as a pediatric resident physician. She enjoys finding ways that medicine can connect to other industries and the arts. Clara’s passion for music while finishing medical school culminated in creating her album, Chasing Dreams, which is out now on all platforms. Clara describes herself as an extroverted introvert who is learning to embrace her imperfections. She has decided that it’s perfectly acceptable to have multiple passions and chase your dreams, even as you prepare for the rollercoaster ride that is life. Her pseudonym is CallMeClarity, a spinoff of her name.
Finding fulfillment in music
Where does music fit into your life? Being of Indian heritage means your parents hold aspirations of the most “worthy” professions for you. Even though Clara’s parents never pushed her to be something she didn’t want to do, being a doctor was always in the back of her mind. She knew from a young age that her love of science would lead her into medicine and that her love of the arts would play a prominent dual role in her life. Clara soaked up knowledge about musical instruments and singing, and these endeavors helped her come out of her shell as she created new music. Clara recently used her songwriting and producing talents to partner with a nonprofit that helps children with life-threatening illnesses.
TWEET: Being a doctor was always in the back of her mind from a young age. @callmeclarity #chasingdreams
The ups and downs
How do you handle the “downs” in life? Even at her young age, Clara has learned that ups and downs are a part of life and a part of every person’s journey. She learned firsthand that everything doesn’t always work out in ideal ways. Being a “chaser” means that you go after dreams and goals with your whole self to see if those things are meant for you, but you know that everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows. Clara’s advice is to give it your all, but realize that there is a risk in chasing every dream. You may not achieve what you envision, but the process will help you build new strength and resilience.
TWEET: Ups and downs are a part of life and a part of every person’s journey. @callmeclarity #chasingdreams
When the doubters come
How do you react when people doubt you? The people closest to Clara knew her potential even when she may have doubted herself. Friends and family members have been supportive and encouraging of Clara’s dreams, but she realizes that this may not always be the case. At times along the way, there will always be those who don’t resonate as strongly with what you’re trying to do--and that’s OK. Pleasing everyone is not the goal, and you can’t lose sight of your goals because of what someone else might say. Clara says that you never know how much you can do if you keep on going--so keep on going!
TWEET: Along the way, there will always be those who don’t resonate as strongly with what you’re trying to do--and that’s OK. @callmeclarity #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Just take a moment to write down what you are truly passionate about, then check back a few months later to see if it resonates with you.”
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:
[2:41] Young Clara’s dreams
[6:49] A left turn toward music
[12:02] Clara’s album, Chasing Dreams
[13:55] Being a chaser
[16:33] The journey to fulfillment through uncertainty
[22:13] Feedback from others
[28:27] Clara’s plans for her career
[33:57] Clara’s musical inspirations
[40:50] ONE action for a dream chaser
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
“The greatest failure is the failure to try.” @callmeclarity #chasingdreams
Being a doctor was always in the back of my mind. @callmeclarity #chasingdreams
I love connecting with people, but I definitely need my time to myself. @callmeclarity #chasingdreams
Chasing dreams is a process that’s about the journey to the end result. @callmeclarity #chasingdreams
Persuasion is not a word we hear often, but the reality is that we all find ourselves in acts of persuasion throughout each day. We use persuasive tactics in our interactions with family, co-workers, neighbors, and strangers without even realizing it. If you want to be more persuasive, empathetic, generous, and understanding in your relationships, you don’t want to miss today’s show.
Jason Harris is CEO of the award-winning creative agency, Mekanism, co-founder of the Creative Alliance, and author of the national bestseller, The Soulful Art of Persuasion. Jason works closely with brands through a blend of soul and science to create provocative campaigns that engage audiences. Jason has been named in the Top Ten Most Influential Social Impact Leaders, as well as the 4A’s list of “100 People Who Make Advertising Great.” His methods are so effective that they are studied in cases at Harvard Business School.
How to stand out in business
Do you need a different approach to your business? Jason’s book contains a unique approach, and the feedback he’s received shows that people have responded well to his ideas. Many have adopted Jason’s actionable principles and turned them into action steps for their own success. Jason doesn’t just state abstract theories for people to follow, but he gives habits and examples to be put into practice that can truly make a difference. The book is original and authentic in every way, which stays true to Jason’s values. He explains that to stand out in your business, you have to lead with originality and vulnerability.
TWEET: Turn actionable principles into action steps for success! @jason_harris #chasingdreams
Live with generosity
Are you a generous person? What Jason means by leading a life of generosity is to give something away with every interaction and to leave someone better off for having crossed paths with you. Advising, counseling, and sharing can all be part of generosity as you let someone know that you are thinking of them and care about their interests. Generosity can be shown in giving a gift to someone, but Jason challenges people to think of it in less tangible ways. He explains how it’s been the hardest thing for him to learn, but being generous has helped him be successful because people are drawn to generous people. These “things” you give away will come back to you with compounded interest. Being open enough to ask for favors and help is another form of generosity, as demonstrated by the Ben Franklin effect, which Jason explains in detail.
TWEET: Give something away with every interaction and leave someone better off for having crossed paths with you. @jason_harris #chasingdreams
What the world needs now is . . . empathy
Would you call yourself an empathetic person? Even though, as humans, we are 99.9% the same as each other, empathy seems to be in very short supply in today’s world. Empathy is developing a natural curiosity for others, along with listening and understanding people more. We don’t often know and understand the micro experiences that contribute to people’s beliefs and opinions about certain issues. Once we know their back story, we can better understand why they think or act the way they do. That is empathy, and it takes more time and effort than judging people quickly and painting everyone with a broad brush. Jason explains that another part of empathy involves collaboration, which is reaching out to others and asking for help when you need it.
TWEET: Once we know someone’s back story, we can better understand why they think or act the way they do. @jason_harris #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action step for a dream chaser to take-”Be a dream chaser.”
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:[0:04] Jason’s book and his viewpoint on persuasion [4:00] The reception to Jason’s book [9:57] The importance of the stories within us [15:10] The importance of generosity [18:45] The Ben Franklin effect [21:37] The principle of empathy [30:09] We don’t hear to listen [31:02] Soulfulness [39:02] The writing experience [41:38] ONE action for a dream chaser
For a Sneak Peek of Jason’s Book: The Soulful Art of Persuasion
Purchase The Soulful Art of Persuasion on Amazon!
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
Storytelling is part of being an original person. @jason_harris #chasingdreams
We are all in moments and acts of persuasion all day long. @jason_harris #chasingdreams
You can learn the principles of being a master influencer by repeating them. @jason_harris #chasingdreams
To be successful in business, you have to let your uniqueness and vulnerability stand out. @jason_harris #chasingdreams
Saknas det avsnitt?
Most people long for love. Some are successful in the search, and others feel that true love is just not in the cards for them. The truth is that you have to love yourself before you can love someone else and be loved in a fulfilling way. If that sounds too abstract to comprehend, then join us for today’s show--and learn what you can do to bring more love into your life.
Veronica Grant is a love coach for successful women who feel like they have it all except love, and she helps them find it. Through her binge-worthy podcast, free workshops, and coaching, Veronica is committed to shaking up how you find love, even in our “swipe right, swipe left” world. Some of her guilty pleasures (a must-have for recovering perfectionists!) include binge-watching HGTV, hiking with her husband and pup, and sushi everything. Join us to meet Veronica and clear what's blocking you in love!
Making a pivot
Have you felt the nudge to make a big change in your life? Veronica looks back to her time as a paid staffer on the Obama campaign in 2012. Her work consumed every moment of her life and turned her into a monster. She realized later, as she worked herself to misery in a job in DC, that she could not allow herself to stay in that world any longer. Looking back, she sees that these experiences led to the turning point that spurred her to other things, like starting her own business. Too many people let guilt convince them to stay in a miserable situation much longer than they should, and they use every excuse to justify their misery. Veronica realizes the big pivot she made was necessary to regain her sanity and wellbeing.
TWEET: Don’t let guilt convince you to stay in a miserable situation longer than you should. @veronicaegrant #chasingdreams
Why a Love Coach?
Does someone really need a love coach? While Veronica’s work IS about dating and finding that special someone, it really isn’t. Her work is all about the personal development and self-love of her client. She is more concerned about how someone treats themselves when they are frustrated, rejected, sad, and lonely. Those feelings are part of life’s path, but they shouldn’t factor into how you perceive your lovability and what you deserve in life. While she can’t prevent the inevitable heartbreaks for her clients, she doesn’t want that experience to change the story they tell themselves about their self-worth.
TWEET: Heartbreak doesn’t have to change the story you tell yourself about your self-worth. @veronicaegrant #chasingdreams
Your inner child and your self-worth
What was your inner child taught about love? Self-worth is tied to what we have been conditioned to believe about how and why we are loved. Most girls are conditioned with clear messaging that they will be more successful in love if they are skinny and attractive. We all want love, safety, and belonging, so we listen to the messages from the adults in our lives, especially those that tie body image to love and happiness. The little girl in you has to be reparented in the subconscious to heal that wound. Old beliefs have to be reprogrammed, and we have to be gentle around our thoughts to create a more positive headspace. Practice will create habit change.
TWEET: We have to be gentle around our thoughts to create a more positive headspace. @veronicaegrant #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”No technique or tool will help you see change if you still beat yourself up. Be kind and compassionate to yourself.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[:50] Young Veronica’s dreams [3:25] From astronaut dreams to life coach [8:10] Enough is enough [13:00] Life coach to love coach [18:05] What is a love coach? [23:00] How we build self-worth and self-love [29:58] Healing your inner child [32:42] Where to start with healing [39:25] ONE action for a dream chaser
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
When you’re more vulnerable, you’re more yourself and more able to connect with the right people. @veronicaegrant #chasingdreams
I realized that my relationship to body image was closely related to my dating and relationship history. @veronicaegrant #chasingdreams
Healing my relationship with food healed my relationship with love, dating, and intimacy. @veronicaegrant #chasingdreams
In these challenging times, gratitude has become more important than ever. A gratitude practice is one tool that is free of charge and equally accessible to people of all races, genders, ethnicities, and economic status. Gratitude has the ability to bring positivity to any situation and give your mindset an instant boost!
Geoffrey Blake (GB) describes himself as a grateful human. He’s an introvert who plays an extrovert when it's necessary. He's toured internationally with his band, co-founded a non-profit, been a successful personal trainer for over a decade, and now his main focus is a global movement toward gratitude as the founder of the Global Gratitude Jar.
The great connector
Why focus on gratitude? GB had an unshakeable feeling early in his life that he would be part of the positive change in the world. The change happens when we see the good in ourselves, the good in others, and how much alike we really are. Geoffrey views a gratitude practice as an entry-level activity to bring about change and connect people--and anyone can participate. He sees himself as an encourager to help people form and establish a habit every day that can contribute to positivity and overall mental health.
TWEET: Change happens when we see the good in ourselves. @GBGeoffreyBlake #chasingdreams
Where do we start with a gratitude practice? GB says to start with a warm memory from the past, which is easy to find, even if your “gratitude muscle” isn’t developed enough to sense what you’re grateful for in the present. The key is JOLT: “Just one little thing.” Find one small thing to be grateful for every day, and you’ll grow into a more detailed gratitude practice. GB uses simplistic prompts to get people to think about the miracles in everyday life. Nothing is too small or insignificant for which to be grateful. He points out that in his Facebook group, someone’s gratitude is not up for judgment or comment; they are allowed to own it in whatever way they choose.
TWEET: Find one small thing to be grateful for every day, and you’ll grow into a more detailed gratitude practice. @GBGeoffreyBlake #chasingdreams
You hold the power
How does your positivity affect others? GB says that gratitude has a domino effect as it tips in the direction of sunshine. A simple smile, comment, or show of appreciation has immense power to change someone’s day and bring sunshine. Gratitude helps you bring positivity and your best to every situation, even the difficult ones. We hold the power to change someone’s day and make a positive impression just by looking for opportunities for connection. He explains how he looks to tell his mentors how they have impacted his success, and now he passes that encouragement along to those he mentors.
TWEET: Gratitude has a domino effect as it tips in the direction of sunshine. @GBGeoffreyBlake #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Commit to 30 days of gratitude with the JOLT method. The next step is to join our Facebook group, Global Gratitude Jar.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[:15] An intro to Global Gratitude [3:20] GB’s motivation to gratitude [5:21] How gratitude contributes to mental health [10:04] How to start a gratitude practice [14:42] Young GB’s awareness of gratitude [19:58] The effect of gratitude early in life [23:20] The impact of our gratitude on others [27:16] The domino effect of gratitude [31:06] Being impactful in life [33:54] ONE action for a dream chaser [35:36] Get to know GB better
GB’s Article: Gratitude While the World is Burning
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
In six months, Global Gratitude Jar has grown from a 30-member community to 470. @GBGeoffreyBlake #chasingdreams
I wouldn’t be navigating these challenging times with as much grace if not for my gratitude practice. @GBGeoffreyBlake #chasingdreams
Social media makes us think life should be full of peaks, but the truth is that there are peaks and valleys along life’s journey. @GBGeoffreyBlake #chasingdreams
The goal of Global Gratitude is to turn the gratitude practice into a reflex. @GBGeoffreyBlake #chasingdreams
We need to teach kids to refine their sight to see the good and joyful things in the world. @GBGeoffreyBlake #chasingdreams
We are all drawn to authentic people. We appreciate the inspiration and empowerment that spillover from those who dare to live authentic lives. Today’s show will encourage you to boot those limiting beliefs to the curb and live a life of authentic connection as you chase your dreams.
Erin Hatzikostas spent her career “first half” working in the corporate world, where at the age of 42, she became the CEO of a $2 billion healthcare financial institution. In just three years, she tripled earnings and sent employee engagement skyrocket.
Just when things were booming, she decided to walk away so that she could help solve what truly breaks her heart: the immense lack of authenticity and happiness in Corporate America.
Through her company, b Authentic inc, Erin is provoking authenticity and enabling an army of people to crush their careers without compromising everything else.
Erin is a career coach, prolific speaker, and edutainer. She also co-hosts an offbeat career and leadership podcast called b CAUSE with Erin & Nicole.
The “sucky songs” we sing
What are the hurdles to being authentic? Erin says the common thread is the “sucky songs” we tell ourselves. That’s her way of identifying the limiting beliefs and deep-rooted negativity that stop us. These beliefs may make sense in our minds, but they don’t feel right. Erin digs into these hurdles with clients to make them understand how they can inspire others. She teaches that inspiration is not a “river that runs in only one direction,” meaning that your authenticity can inspire those above AND below you.
TWEET: Inspiration is not a river that runs in only one direction. @ErinHatzikostas @b_authentic_inc #chasingdreams
A new authenticity
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your authenticity? We see a new wave of authenticity as we interact with our bosses and coworkers in new and different ways than before. Erin says the challenge when we get through the pandemic will be in keeping the good parts of the new authentic environment and not slipping back into old habits, and she believes these changes will ultimately benefit women in the workplace. She gives examples of connections she’s made over Zoom during quarantine that wouldn’t have come about under normal circumstances. Erin reminds us that we have to plug into other people’s authenticity while realizing that our own version of authenticity is always changing. Keep in mind that it’s in discomfort that we grow the best.
TWEET: Realize that our own version of authenticity is always changing. @ErinHatzikostas @b_authentic_inc #chasingdreams
Your brand of authenticity
How do you figure out what YOUR authenticity is? Erin says we need to listen to who and what other people say we are. Family background also plays into the development of our authenticity in growing our core values and discerning our purpose. Erin breaks it down by using the fourfold Japanese concept of ikigai, which shows what you’re good at, what you love to do, what the world needs, and what you can get paid for. She reminds us that doing what you love and getting paid don’t have to be mutually exclusive; they can be correlated.
TWEET: Listen to who and what other people say we are. @ErinHatzikostas @b_authentic_inc #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Get curious. Just start with one thing.”
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:[1:59] How Erin became authentic [7:42] The struggle to be authentic [10:20] Inspiration comes from many directions [11:33] How we’re connected as human beings [14:48] The aftermath of COVID, growth, and new mindsets [19:40] Why we have to ask questions [20:57] What your authenticity is [24:15] What it means to be authentic [27:40] How to change--at any age [31:59] ONE action for a dream chaser [32:03] Get to know Erin better
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
Development demands discomfort. @ErinHatzikostas @b_authentic_inc #chasingdreams
At the end of the day, what inspires people is how you live out your authenticity. @ErinHatzikostas @b_authentic_inc #chasingdreams
COVID-19 has been a tailwind for authenticity. @ErinHatzikostas @b_authentic_inc #chasingdreams
You don’t have to choose between doing what you love and getting paid for it. @ErinHatzikostas @b_authentic_inc #chasingdreams
If you’re stuck in a place without passion and purpose in life, then today’s show is for you. You might not think that someone can pivot from being an actress to a lawyer to the sweet world of baked goods, but today’s guest proves that it is possible! It’s never too late to chase your dreams and create the happiness you deserve!
Jessie Sheehan is a cookbook author, food writer, recipe developer, and baker. She is the author of The Vintage Baker, (2018, Chronicle Books), which was named one of the Washington Post’s best cookbooks of 2018 and is beloved by Oprah, Nigella Lawson, Gail Simmons, and more. Jessie is also the co-author of Icebox Cakes (2015, Chronicle Books).
The thing that drew Jessie in
How many people start out in one profession before finding their niche in something completely different? It happens more often than you might think. Baking was the thing that drew Jessie in after she explored other unrelated professions. She grew up in a “foodie” family that loved experimenting with delicious foods, and there was a great reverence for sweets. As a new mom baking at home, she found that it was something she loved, even though she had no formal training. Getting a job at a bakery put Jessie doing menial tasks like bagging granola, and then her superiors saw that she was in it for the long haul. A journey of learning from others and growing her knowledge and skillset gave her the opportunity to progress to other duties, and she proved herself by being a hard worker and a fast learner.
TWEET: Learning from others and growing your skillset brings new opportunities. @jessiesheehanbakes #chasingdreams
Finding what she was supposed to do
Do you look back on your journey with regret? Jessie looks back and sometimes wishes that she had just started out by going to pastry school instead of pursuing other passions like being an actress and a lawyer. Her training process happened on the job at the bakery, and she knows there are gaps in her knowledge that pastry school would have filled. She also realizes that if she hadn’t taken the long journey to discover her passion for baking, then she might not have the same appreciation for what she is accomplishing each day.
TWEET: Don’t look back on your journey with regret. @jessiesheehanbakes #chasingdreams
The balance between accomplishments and goals
How do you find a balance between the accomplishments of the past and the goals of the future? As Jessie contemplates the trajectory of her career, she’s pleased and grateful for what she’s accomplished and the cookbooks she’s helped create, but she still wants to do more. In enjoying the moment and feeling pride in accomplishments, there is a balance with looking toward the future and wondering what wonderful things might be around the corner. Way back when, Jessie was a young mom looking for an interesting job to fill a few hours away from her home and her kids, so she began packing and sealing bags of granola at the bakery. Now she develops recipes, writes cookbooks, and makes national media appearances with her baking skills.
TWEET: Find balance between past accomplishments and future goals. @jessiesheehanbakes #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Hustle, hustle, hustle. Keep going after what it is that you want.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[:50] What teenage Jessie wanted to be [10:18] Making the jump to baker 12:43] The learning curve [16:47] Finding the “sweet” spot [19:48] Becoming a recipe developer [24:01] Jessie’s cookbooks [29:34] If it hadn’t worked out . . . [32:04] How things have turned out for Jessie [33:55] Advice for those starting out in a career [35:06] ONE action for a dream chaser [36:19] Get to know Jessie better
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
I showed that I was a hard worker and a fast learner, even though I wasn’t the most skilled worker. @jessiesheehanbakes #chasingdreams
It’s not helpful to look back and regret the choices you made. @jessiesheehanbakes #chasingdreams
I realized that I like structure, but I’m much happier when I’m pursuing something creative. @jessiesheehanbakes #chasingdreams
Right now, I’m doing exactly what I was meant to do. @jessiesheehanbakes #chasingdreams
No one has a perfect life. We each have negative experiences from our past that have helped shape the person we are today. There is a difference, however, in how we respond to those tough challenges. Some people allow those circumstances to define them, and they can never seem to move past them. Others are able to change their perspective and use difficulties to strengthen them and propel them into the future. I’ll let you guess which category best describes today’s guest.
As a teenager, Michael Arterberry was fortunate to receive guidance from positive adult role models who helped him overcome adversities and set high expectations for his future. Grateful for the role these mentors played in his own development, Michael decided to dedicate his professional life to helping people navigate the difficulties of life and launch their future into motion.
For more than 25 years, he has been helping teens and adults use what they have gone through as a catalyst for success rather than an obstacle for failure.
Michael is the author of Be Encouraged: 250 Days of Motivation and Encouragement, a daily motivational book. Additional information about his struggles as a child and a debilitating spinal cord injury as an adult can be found in his wife's book, God Was Holding My Hand.
**Please be advised that a brief sexual assault/molestation reference occurs in this episode. If you are triggered by this, please check for details about skipping over it as you listen.
A positive mindset
Is it possible to overcome extreme difficulties and develop a positive mindset? The answer is YES! Despite a horrific childhood, Michael was determined to create a positive mindset. A big part of that was his relationship with God, and in addition, athletic endeavors became his respite. He didn’t think of playing sports as “therapy” at the time, but that’s what took place as he reflects on his years in school. He played basketball, baseball, football, and soccer, and he was able to channel all of his energy from his family challenges to “play like a wild man.” Having a healthy outlet for his frustrations helped fuel his positive mindset, along with his determination and resilience.
TWEET: Having a healthy outlet for frustration helps fuel a positive mindset. #chasingdreams
How does Michael’s youth program produce the desired results? As he goes into schools around the country, his two-day program helps young people recognize the land mines in their stories and the damage they didn’t even know they had sustained. He teaches them to revisit those painful places but know that they can’t stay there if they want to move forward. Michael shares examples of kids who were wounded deeply; some go on to have miraculous healing journeys, and some choose to go in other tragic directions. Besides his youth program, Michael created his book of motivation and encouragement to help even more people.
TWEET: You can’t stay in the painful places if you want to move forward. #chasingdreams
Where do you turn when you feel lost? Michael likens feeling “lost” in life to going through a shipwreck and finding the broken pieces that are left---and holding onto them. He says to take those broken pieces and change your perspective. He warns us to be careful to not “drown in the shallow water,” but to stand up and walk on. The only constant in life is change, so look at 2020’s challenges as a time in which we’ve all felt lost in some way. Again, change your perspective and move forward.
TWEET: Be careful not to drown in the shallow water. #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Narrow down your dream to what will make you happy, not what will give you the biggest paycheck.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[2:01] What young Michael wanted to be [11:31] How Michael developed a positive mindset [14:40] How Michael started his non-profit [18:40] The results of Michael’s program [24:36] Why Michael wrote his book [29:41] The importance of self-reflection [33:07] When you’re feeling lost [39:08] The value of listening [41:28] Why we need to live conscious lives [46:41] How you can “check-in” on others [47:44] ONE action for a dream chaser
Be Encouraged: 250 Days of Motivation and Encouragement by Michael Arterberry
God Was Holding My Hand by Rachel Arterberry
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
People think that busy=progress, and that’s false.
I realized I had a gift for making young people feel comfortable.
When I work with young people, I disarm them by being transparent from “Hello.”
I’m excited to introduce you to a new friend that I met at a conference last October. If your life feels out of balance and out of whack, then this is the show for you. You’ll learn how to take action steps to become a more empowered and grounded person no matter what obstacles you face.
Melanie C. Klein, M.A., is a sought-after empowerment coach and respected thought leader in the areas of authentic empowerment, visibility, and body confidence. She is also a successful writer, speaker, and Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies. With over two decades of professional and personal work, Melanie integrates her background in mindfulness and embodied wisdom with her academic expertise and advocacy work. In this way, she offers a holistic and unique pathway to personal freedom and prosperity, one that is customized to each individual.
How to thrive
How do you meet new challenges? Melanie explains that mindset and a sense of self are two keys to thriving during a challenging time like going through a global pandemic. We know from this point forward, our new normal will become normal. To be empowered, we have to be deeply rooted in ourselves and discerning about helpful conversations and decisions, along with being conscious of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The biggest, brightest expressions of ourselves aren’t dependent on external circumstances. The key question to ask is, “How am I approaching this?” It all comes down to mindset, so try to view each obstacle as a new opportunity.
TWEET: Try to view each obstacle as a new opportunity. @melmelklein #chasingdreams
Making your own choices
Are you honest with yourself? Times like these give us time and space to consider things we’ve overlooked in the past. When we’re forced into a slow-down mode, we have time to rest deeply and make informed decisions. We have to decide when to lean out and when to lean in. It’s essential to pay attention to your inner compass and become comfortable with yourself in this “dance of existence.” Melanie explains how to know when to flow and when to create more of a container for yourself.
TWEET: Slow-down mode gives us time to rest deeply and make informed decisions. @melmelklein #chasingdreams
The two M’s: meditation and mindfulness
What was your explosive moment? Melanie recalls the eye-opening experience of a class she took years ago that allowed her to understand more fully the systems and structures in the world. It helped her decide what her life’s work would be in what she calls “an explosive and liberating moment.” Soon after, she discovered yoga--way before yoga was cool. Pairing yoga with meditation has helped her develop a critical consciousness in the world, which has been fortified by her mindfulness practices. After more than 20 years of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, Melanie still turns to these practices daily to find balance in her life.
TWEET: Melanie discovered yoga way before yoga was cool @melmelklein #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Get honest with yourself. Take ownership and accountability for what you do, and be completely real about what you want.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[2:10] A return to what kind of normal? [8:57] Melanie’s advice about handling challenges [15:35] Don’t conform to the standards of others [19:19] Getting comfortable with your own choices [24:52] Is now the time? [26:21] The value of meditation and mindfulness [33:12] Limiting social media and notifications [38:35] ONE action for a dream chaser
Purchase or Preview Yoga Rising!
Purchase or Preview Yoga and Body Image!
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
A lot of people in our culture aren’t comfortable with any kind of pause or downtime. @melmelklein #chasingdreams
You have to learn when to lean in and when to lean out in your dance of existence. @melmelklein #chasingdreams
Acknowledge where you are in this moment and discern what you need right now.
Look at each obstacle as a new opportunity. @melmelklein #chasingdreams
Many dream chasers start with a bang, but they falter in their purpose when obstacles and challenges come. We might let other people derail us, or our own limiting beliefs, or we give up on our dream simply because the going gets tough. If you’ve ever been tempted to quit--to give up on your dream--then you can’t miss today’s show.
Sourena Vasseghi was born with cerebral palsy, and he now faces life with a severe speech impediment and is bound to a wheelchair. He has defied the odds to become ”The writer who cannot write and the speaker who cannot speak.” Sourena is an inspirational and motivational presenter, an award-winning author, and the owner and founder of The Sourena V. Group. Together with his stage partner, Chris Stevenson, Sourena speaks and produces content dealing with motivation, achieving goals, mindset, and working around challenges to reach amazing success.
A mindset to succeed
Who gave you your mindset? Sourena quickly attributes his mindset to his parents. When he was growing up, they never acted like cerebral palsy was a big deal, and they refused to let Sourena act like a victim. His parents told him he could have a good life, and they treated him like he was no different than other kids. It was only when he reached the end of high school that he realized that he couldn’t be independent and mobile like other kids going off to college. Because he still had big plans and dreams, he didn’t let that stop him from figuring out how to make his life work. Sourena has never viewed himself as an overcomer because he can’t “overcome” his handicap; he is just a man who has figured out how to deal with his challenges with the right mindset--and that’s the key.
TWEET: Dealing with challenges with the right mindset is key. @SourenaV #chasingdreams
Motivation and purpose
What drives you? Sourena says that experiences are what drives him. He wants to experience everything he can in this life, and he plans not to let his handicap be what drives him. He enlisted the help of Chris, a fitness trainer, to be a translator and speaker when he gives keynote presentations. Chris says that Sourena has “a lockdown mindset,” refusing to let his handicap stop him. Sourena wants to show everyone how to deal with their challenges so they can accomplish anything. A big lesson he teaches people is that your mindset isn’t fixed, but it can change every day as we rewrite our narrative in new directions.
TWEET: Every day, we can rewrite our narrative in new directions. @SourenaV #chasingdreams
How we think
What controls your thinking? Are your thoughts controlled by logic or emotions? As humans, we are wired for safety. We are wired not to take chances and not to get “eaten” out in the world; we are wired for pure survival. Sourena says that we don’t pay attention to our “emotional diet” like we do our physical diet. We tend to dwell on negative thoughts and fear. When we saturate our minds with bad news, we have to do other things to fortify our emotional diet in positive ways,
like taking walks outside, spending time with people we love, and reading books. Chris echoes Sourena’s words by saying that fear comes from the unknown, from something we can’t control, or from the feeling that we aren’t worthy. The key to overcoming fear is to reach out for support.
TWEET: Fortify your emotional diet in positive ways. @SourenaV #chasingdreams
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[2:17] Sourena’s mindset [4:32] How Sourena deals with challenges [7:36] Sourena’s college journey to USC [9:51] Sourena’s motivation and purpose [13:16] Common themes that cause people to struggle [19:07] Emotional thinking vs. logical thinking [24:07] The most inspiring thing about Sourena--from Chris [26:15] How Sourena addresses limiting beliefs [33:37] Why Sourena and Chris are happy with their lives today [35:27] Get to know Sourena and Chris better
sourenav.com/inspire - For Sourena's eBook "5 Keys to an Amazing Mindset"
Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices by Sourena Vasseghi
Connect with Chris Stevenson -- email@example.com
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
There are challenges you’ll never overcome, but you have to develop the right mind to face them each day. @SourenaV #chasingdreams
I always love life, and I didn’t want my handicap to dictate my dreams. @SourenaV #chasingdreams
Reaching out for support is the biggest key in dealing with fear. @SourenaV #chasingdreams
Happiness and optimism are choices you make. @SourenaV #chasingdreams
We aren’t wired for success, but we are wired to stay safe. @SourenaV #chasingdreams
Our world has changed a lot in the past few weeks. These changes have been unimaginable, and with those, there is a new emphasis on mental health. If you’re looking for ways to manage and alleviate the anxiety and overwhelm that we all experience, then today’s show is for you.
Dr. Kevin Gilliland, Psy. D. is an expert in mental health, depression, and addiction. He’s the author of Struggle Well, Live Well: 60 Ways to Navigate Life’s Good, Bad, and In-Between. After working for more than two decades in healthcare as a clinical psychologist, Kevin became a pioneer of outpatient treatment as the CEO and Executive Director of Innovation 360, a treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, family therapy, and life development.
What’s going on?
How are you handling the stress of living in a pandemic? Stress is hitting many people in their finances and their security, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. We all have to deal with these unusual circumstances, but it’s significantly worse for those who battle mental health and mood disorders. This trying time is forcing all of us to be mindful in new ways every day. Mental health and wellness are often pushed to the back burner of our lives, but these difficult times are forcing us to prioritize mental health. Kevin explains the proven connection between stress and cardiovascular health, which is another reason to practice stress management techniques.
TWEET: There’s a proven connection between stress and cardiovascular health. @dr_keving #chasingdreams
Do you practice breathing techniques? Kevin says deep, belly breaths are his #1 recommendation for any dream chaser. Focused breathing elicits the opposite of the “fight or flight” response. It brings a “rest and digest” response, which settles us into a calming mode and redistributes nourishing blood flow throughout the body. Breathing can lower blood pressure to an extent greater than eating right and exercising. Do you need to slow down and calm yourself? Kevin says to try some apps to practice deep breathing--and calm yourself.
TWEET: Focused breathing brings the body a calming “rest and digest” response. @dr_keving #chasingdreams
Don’t be plugged in all the time
How much time do you spend each day on social media? Watching/listening to the news? There are dangers when we are “plugged in” all the time. Being constantly plugged into social media will lead you to compare yourself to others. Being constantly plugged into the news will cloud your mind with negativity. A little bit of information will decrease anxiety, but too much information will increase anxiety. More is NOT better! Find the sweet spot of getting the right amount of information, but don’t make the mistake of living too much on social media or listening to the news too often. Put boundaries in place, and find ways to manage and evaluate the effects on your mental health.
TWEET: There are dangers when we are “plugged in” all the time. @dr_keving #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Practice focused breathing.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[2:25] What’s going on right now in our world? [9:18] How we can help others [12:54] Focus on breathing [18:27] How to do belly breathing [24:37] What should we be doing? [27:40] There’s no ONE way [29:28] Dangers of too much information [35:05] The value of reading [36:57] Kevin’s advice about adapting your dream [40:52] Learn to run with it [42:11] Get to know Kevin
Dr. Kevin’s Instagram
Dr. Kevin’s Website
Dr. Kevin’s Innovation 360
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
Compare you to you--not to someone else. @dr_keving #chasingdreams
Life gets so difficult, and there are times we have to manage it one day at a time. @dr_keving #chasingdreams
Focusing on your breath temporarily pauses your overwhelmed brain. @dr_keving #chasingdreams
Take care of your equipment---your body and your mind. @dr_keving #chasingdreams
Reading will relax your brain in a way that just doesn’t happen when you watch a movie. @dr_keving #chasingdreams
I met today’s guest at a conference in Atlantic City. I quickly found her to be a kindred spirit, as we felt an immediate connection and friendship, despite our different cultural backgrounds. She joins us all the way from her home country of Australia!
Samantha Riley left the corporate world and ventured out into the world of business over 25 years ago because she wanted the freedom to spend more time with family to be rewarded for working harder. She has built multiple businesses and grew her first seven-figure business before she was 30 years old. Sam leveraged herself out of her brick and mortar businesses and found herself working less than ten hours each week. Now she has replicated that same system to build her online coaching business, which gives her even more freedom as she’s now location independent. Sam teaches her system to successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and experts, and she helps them develop their thought leadership so they can replace their income, reclaim their time, and lead a more purposeful life.
Taking a big gamble
If you landed the safe, stable government job that your family dreamed of for you, would you leave it to jump into the unknown? Many people wouldn’t, but Samantha isn’t like everyone else. Being a ballerina was her childhood passion, consuming her nights and weekends for many years of training. As she reached adulthood, she was told that she’d never make it as a dancer, so she gave in to her passion for teaching and opened a dance studio after her brief two-year stint in the corporate world with a government job. Logic told her to stay in the stable world, but she realized no one around her was happy. She made the decision to take the gamble, leave the corporate stability, and start over, even though she and her husband had two kids and a mortgage at the time.
TWEET: Logic told Sam to stay in the stable world, but she realized no one around her was happy. @TheSamRiley #chasingdreams
Sam’s advice for others
What drives you? For Sam, it was her passion for dancing that dominated her business life for 20 years. A split from her first husband put her through a difficult time, so branched into holding retreats around spirituality and health and wellness. She helped people with job troubles and moved into the coaching world. Sam quickly realized that she loved the business end more than delivering the expertise; it was through networking and administrating that enlightenment came to her. She says that the problem is that most people won’t make life-changing decisions until their back is against the wall, mainly because they haven’t acknowledged what they really want out of life.
TWEET: It was through networking and administrating that enlightenment came to her. @TheSamRiley #chasingdreams
Why do so many mothers put everyone else first and themselves last? Sam grew up in a household where she saw her mom always put herself last, and she fell into that same pattern with all the aspects of motherhood. As a result, she became resentful, tired, and unfulfilled. She never took time for herself, choosing instead to be the martyr. It took separating from her husband for her to realize that she COULD do things for herself. That big step has made her life very different now than what it once was. Everything she teaches now is based on what people want out of life and how they can make the choices to get them there.
TWEET: Always putting herself last made Sam feel resentful, tired, and unfulfilled. @TheSamRiley #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”The #1 thing you have to do is to get really clear about what you really want. You can’t create the actions you want to get there until you know what it is that you want.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[2:46] Young Sam’s dreams [5:16] From dancing into the corporate world [7:16] Taking a big gamble [10:58] Wanting more [14:18] The prevalence of coaches today [22:14] Sam’s advice to coaches and clients [26:34] A moment of enlightenment [27:51] Knowing what you want [30:28] Fill your own cup first [33:32] Some brutal honesty about motherhood [38:30] Sam’s non-traditional life today [42:44] Get to know Sam better [47:48] ONE action for a dream chaser
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
Teaching is in my blood, and I just used the vehicle of dance to get there. @TheSamRiley #chasingdreams
For us, taking a gamble was more about looking into the future. @TheSamRiley #chasingdreams
We have to show up and give to ourselves first before we can show up for others. @TheSamRiley #chasingdreams
As humans, we usually don’t make life-changing decisions until we are way, way past unhappy. @TheSamRiley #chasingdreams
Social media curates your thoughts, and if you’re not aware of it, it can send you down a dark rabbit hole. @TheSamRiley #chasingdreams
Even though you might not know it, you are a hero, and your life is a hero’s journey. Join us to gain a new perspective on your obstacles, struggles, choices, and victories, and learn why you must embrace the role of a mentor in helping others.
J. Scott MacMillan is an author, filmmaker, and certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming life coach whose work centers around the theory of the Hero’s Journey. Drawing upon the concept’s relatable and inspirational nature, MacMillan has adopted tools to help himself and others over the last 15 years. MacMillan’s coaching business, Hero Life, uses behavioral learning techniques, adult learning theory, and the Hero’s Journey to help people create new patterns and apply critical thinking skills to daily life. Combining his personal life experiences and expertise in psychology, Scott helps people overcome periods of feeling stuck by working through fear and doubt to find their life purpose. His four-step plan is designed to help people reclaim their power, step into their authentic self, and become the hero of their own life.
A full-circle journey
Did you know as a young person the path your life would take? Scott says that he had no clue what to do with his life when he was young. After getting a degree in psychology, he pursued a business career but knew he had an uncommon passion to keep learning. Within that passion, he found a knack for helping others get “unstuck” from the ruts in their lives. It took a full-circle journey for him to get where he is today. His theory of life as the Hero’s Journey is a new way to look at life in general, with a new understanding of what someone has experienced in having the courage to move past the fears and move forward.
TWEET: Scott had an uncommon passion to keep learning. @jscottmacmillan #chasingdreams
The Hero’s Journey
Do you feel like a hero? Scott explains how a hero’s story resonates with all of us. He came up with 12 stages of the hero’s journey, which correspond to the life story of each person. The first four stages involve preparation for the journey, in which you learn to step out of comfort zones, overcome obstacles, and take risks. The next four stages in the journey are those of honing skills and learning. The last four stages are about finding the treasure and conquering the battle, meaning we’ve learned the lessons. The final stage is to tell our stories to help others--all because of what we’ve experienced.
TWEET: The Hero’s Journey involves 12 stages that correspond to the life story of each person. @jscottmacmillan #chasingdreams
What are your limiting beliefs? We all have limiting beliefs, which are the beliefs we create to protect ourselves, like when we say, “I’m not good enough.” We form these beliefs in childhood, and then we use them as armor that we put up as we go through life. We use these limiting beliefs to sabotage our progress as adults. Remember that every limiting belief is a false belief. Scott’s coaching program uses a simple process of identifying, clearing out, and reversing these limiting beliefs. He uses visualization and meditation to lock in the new belief and rewire your brain for success.
TWEET: Limiting beliefs sabotage our progress as adults. @jscottmacmillan #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Next time you watch a movie, look for the hero’s journey where they jump into the unknown world. Thinking this way will change the way you watch movies.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[1:19] Young Scott’s dreams [4:09] It’s never too late for a hero’s journey [5:39] The Hero’s Journey [14:44] When the hero becomes a mentor [16:47] The danger of limiting beliefs [19:57] The process of helping people [21:25] The perspective of looking back on your journey [25:45] Tips for the journey [30:09] ONE action for a dream chaser [31:09] Get to know Scott better
Find the new podcast, Your Personal Hype Man with Aimee J, at www.yourpersonalhypeman.com
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
We’ve all had to become a hero to fight through issues in our lives. @jscottmacmillan #chasingdreams
Every person’s life is a hero’s journey. @jscottmacmillan #chasingdreams
Goal-setting becomes easy when limiting beliefs are out of the way. @jscottmacmillan #chasingdreams
Most often, the thing that sabotages us is a limiting belief we formed in childhood. @jscottmacmillan #chasingdreams
You can rewire your brain for success. @jscottmacmillan #chasingdreams
If you’re a regular listener, then you know that mental health is a very important topic to me. Mindfulness is something we can all learn to practice to help deal with the stress of life. I saw today’s guest on a TED talk, and I knew I had to bring her to the show.
A self-described “brain geek,” Dr. Kristen Race has spent the last 12 years exploring the nexus between mindfulness and neuroscience. She is the author of Mindful Parenting, the founder of Mindful Life, and Head of Mindfulness at Solvasa, a pioneer in integrative beauty. Dr. Race has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, CNN, and many more. She’s taught her mindfulness methods to over 50,000 worldwide leaders, including Sheryl Sandberg and Sara Blakely.
The accidental entrepreneur
What did you want to be when you were young? The truth is that most of us end up being something totally different than those original dreams. Young Kristen wanted to be an Olympic gold medalist, and it didn’t matter to her what sport it would be. Later, she wanted to be a teacher, mainly because of some inspiring and impactful teachers she had. Kristen started her career as a teacher before her path took some interesting twists and turns. From teaching, she moved into mindfulness, which was a natural flow for Kristen. She was drawn to struggling students and wanted to develop helpful tools for them, so she got a master’s degree in Educational Psychology, and then went on to obtain a doctorate in Child, Family, and School Psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience. Working as an intern in both a high-risk, high-need school and a wealthy independent school allowed her to see incredible levels of stress and anxiety in students. A personal autoimmune disease crisis led Kristen to try mindfulness tools with students, so she formalized a curriculum and began training teachers and parents before she moved on to the world of corporate training.
TWEET: Most of us end up being something totally different than our original dreams. @DrKristenRace #chasingdreams
Why trying--and failing--are good for kids
Do you like to fail? None of us enjoy the feeling of failure, but it’s necessary for us to experience growth and learning. When we put too much structure on our kids, we don’t allow them to try new things. Part of learning includes taking risks, failing, and getting back up again. It’s the getting back up again that builds resilience. Kids need to have room to negotiate difficult social situations. We can help kids with the stress response in their brains to stress by teaching them to solve problems, control behaviors, think positively, and engage with others. Kristen explains her PBR method for handling stress triggers.
TWEET: Failure is necessary for us to experience growth and learning. @DrKristenRace #chasingdreams
Take care of yourself
How well do you take care of yourself? Do you feel the need to respond immediately to every single email? Do you feel pressure on the weekends or on days off to be available for work 24/7? If you can’t pull back and give yourself time away from work, then you are adding unnecessary stress to your life. Some organizations realize this, and they are mandating “no email Saturdays” to guard against stressing out their employees. Employers and employees alike need to step up and make clear the expectations on response times; this will help keep people from being stressed out and burned out in their jobs. You can’t sacrifice yourself for any job. Kristen explains how mismanaged stress will take a heavy toll on your health.
TWEET: You can’t sacrifice yourself for any job. @DrKristenRace #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”At the end of each day, think of three good things that happened that day. Share them with someone, or at least write them down. Studies show that forming this habit for two weeks will lead to a significant increase in happiness, a decrease in anxiety and depression, better sleep quality, and better work/life balance.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[:51] Young Kristen’s dreams and the path to entrepreneurship [11:06] Why all these stressed-out students? [14:11] Why kids need to try new things---and fail [17:24] How we can help turn the tide [24:37] How we respond to create better solutions [28:40] You don’t have to respond immediately to every email [31:00] The benefits of gratitude [35:01] Take care of you [37:27] PBR isn’t a “one and done” practice [42:09] ONE action for a dream chaser [47:12] Get to know Kristen better
Dr. Race’s Website
Dr. Race’s Facebook
Dr. Race’s Twitter
Dr. Race's Instagram
Dr. Race’s LinkedIn
Today’s show sponsor: Your Personal Hype Man Podcast
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
Kids feel our stress and take it in, but they don’t know how to process it. @DrKristenRace #chasingdreams
It became clear to me that the stressed students were products of their stressed-out parents. @DrKristenRace #chasingdreams
Students today have very little free time for unstructured play, which is changing the ways their brains develop. @DrKristenRace #chasingdreams
Today’s guest is a friend of the family, and her dad and brother have both been on previous shows. In Women’s History Month, she’s another amazing woman doing amazing things in the world. She’s part of a new generation paving the way for other young women coming along----and she’s doing all this at the tender age of 18.
Aniya Wolfe, striding onto sets as “Wolfe,” began 2020 by launching Ivy Sky Pictures, her second production company that aims to produce films, demonstrations, photoshoots, and music videos that spotlight the souls of artists and companies. At just 18 years of age, Wolfe has identified her love of expressing and inspiring while experiencing a spectrum of emotions at being present in today’s world and channeling it through art.
Where do you find inspiration? Wolfe was a huge fan of Hannah Montana, wanting her life to be “the best of both worlds.” Her family was supportive of her acting aspirations, so she plunged into her first commercial. What Wolfe discovered was that she was more intrigued by what went on behind the scenes than what happened in front of the camera. Her entire family left their Philadelphia lives behind and moved to California in pursuit of their acting and directing dreams. Wolfe explains how her first community, her family, helped her become rooted and grounded in community--a philosophy that she clings to today.
TWEET: Wolfe’s family helped her become rooted and grounded in community. @directorwolfe #chasingdreams
Figuring it out
Did you figure out who you were by age 18? Wolfe spent time figuring out who she is as an artist and how to identify as an artist. Her learning came about through trial and error---and a lot of experimentation. Settling on the art form she wants to create, she says that experimentation and nurturing the artist are key components. She calls Ivy Sky Pictures “the next step: in her evolution as an artist.
TWEET: Learning comes through trial and error. And a lot of experimentation! @directorwolfe #chasingdreams
Passion and sacrifice
How much sacrifice are you willing to make for your passion? In her middle school years, Wolfe knew the direction she wanted to go and felt the passion for pursuing her dreams. She graduated from high school early so she could move up to what she wanted to accomplish in the world. It wasn’t easy. It took sacrifice to succeed in school in the daytime and edit her pet video projects in the evenings. Wolfe never resented the work or the sacrifice, though, because she was living out her passion. She says that women usually find a way to make the dream work, but it’s important to take care of yourself during the work and sacrifice.
TWEET: It’s important to take care of yourself during the work and sacrifice. @directorwolfe #chasingdreams
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:[1:03] Young Wolfe’s dreams [2:23] Inspired and intrigued by Hannah Montana [4;23] A supportive community [6:28] Wolfe’s production company [7:46] Wolfe’s speaking opportunities [9:46] The new launch of Wolfe’s “2nd baby” [11:38] Wolfe’s favorite role so far [13:45] Hearing voices and seeing signs [17:31] A favorite part of the process [19:29] Finding her tribe [20:45] Starting out part-time [23:06] Women directors who have inspired Wolfe [27:42] What 2020 looks like [30:09] Why Wolfe wants to try virtual reality next [32:30] Get to know Wolfe better
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
A NO gives YES its value. @directorwolfe #chasingdreams
You can pursue your passion on a part-time basis. @directorwolfe #chasingdreams
I’m still figuring out who I am as an artist. @directorwolfe #chasingdreams
Regardless of our age, our passion and dreams are valid. @directorwolfe #chasingdreams
We’re kicking off March, Women’s History Month, with two amazing women. They followed their passion and created an innovative podcast around the question, “What would you do right now if you had $10,000?”
Alison Burns and Lulu Picart host the comedy podcast, 10K Dollar Day, which can be described as imaginary luxury travel comedy. They also coach students of all ages at Find Your Light Coaching. Lulu is an actor, director, writer, singer, and doggy mom. Alison is a comedian, actress, singer, lyricist, choreographer, wife, and mom. She’s an award-winning musical theatre performer and a huge Gordon Ramsey fan.
Not the same old podcast
If you started a podcast, what would it be? When Alison and Lulu lived together outside NYC and worked in the theatre industry, they occupied themselves on the long commute by fantasizing about living in the lap of luxury. This pastime became the basis for their podcast that’s crammed full of comedy and improvisation. They research each place they “visit,” picking them independently, never knowing where the other person is “going.” Then they spend the podcast revealing the ways they would spend $10K in one day of imaginary luxury travel. They love finding odd places and dreaming of crazy luxury items that most people could never afford. The podcast also includes discussions of their latest obsessions, along with their giveaway to highlight specific charities. The podcast is creative, positive, imaginative, and is full of fun, laughter, and friendship. Give it a try!
TWEET: The 10K Dollar Day Podcast is crammed full of comedy and improvisation. @LuLuPicart @_alisonburns #chasingdreams
Many women feel like being a wife and mother is all there is to life, like, who could ever find time to do more? These two girls are careful not to put limits on their dreams, even though they are polar opposites when it comes to manifesting their dreams and visions in putting them “out there.” Most women are afraid that they will be called selfish if they do what makes them happy. Alison and Lulu are both passionate about making sure the opportunities they pursue are things that sustain them.
TWEET: Don’t put limits on your dreams! @LuLuPicart @_alisonburns #chasingdreams
Passing it on
Are you good at passing on your knowledge and expertise? Alison and Lulu love the coaching opportunities they have with students aged 6-60’s in several Broadway shows and tours. Although some of their students are professional actors pursuing their careers, they work with many young kids and not-so-young adults who are wanting to try new things and learn new skills. Some of their young students are trying new things as they try to find their passion in life. Just getting on a stage in front of an audience helps build confidence that helps open new doors in every area of life.
TWEET: Being in front of an audience helps build confidence and brings new opportunities in life. @LuLuPicart @_alisonburns #chasingdreams
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[1:12] How Alison and Lulu first met [2:33] How the podcast idea was born [11:03] Their obsessions, charities, and desire for fun [14:34] The positive journey that podcast listeners can join [15:47] Other endeavors for Alison and Lulu [18:43] Polar opposites in many ways [21:45] Advice to others who need to redefine themselves [24:57] Deciding what’s next [29:30] The coaching business [34:05] When people doubt themselves [38:28] Get to know Alison and Lulu better
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
We want people to leave each episode having fun and laughing. @LuLuPicart @_alisonburns #chasingdreams
We wanted to be consistent creators of something together on a regular schedule, like a podcast. @LuLuPicart @_alisonburns #chasingdreams
Ultimately, it’s your life. It’s OK to be a little selfish. @LuLuPicart @_alisonburns #chasingdreams
Sometimes a kid can be the best example of a dream chaser. This is certainly true of my guest today. His family epitomizes what it means to chase your dreams, as each one of them works hard to pursue their passions. I think you’ll find today’s interview refreshing and inspiring.
Travis Wolfe, Jr. is a 13-year-old actor, hip hop and breakdancer, and host. After booking his very first audition for a 6ABC News promo, Travis knew he was destined to be an actor. Within five years, Travis landed the role of “Dele” in the CBS series Bob Hearts Abishola, and he’s been featured in shows like Grownish, The Neighborhood, and Laff Mob’s Laff Tracks. He also has a recurring role on Season 3 of Raven’s Home as “Lil Lo Lo.” Besides acting and dancing, Travis uses motivational speaking to encourage other young people to follow their dreams and pursue their passions.
What it takes to succeed as an actor
What do you think it takes to succeed as an actor? It’s not as easy as walking into your first audition and riding the easy train to sudden stardom. Travis says that most people don’t realize what a kid goes through in their journey to become a child actor. Putting a show together takes a lot of preparation and dedication from many people besides just the actors. Travis makes many sacrifices for his acting career, but he says it doesn’t feel like a job since he loves what he does. Besides his acting work on the Warner Brothers set, he has several hours of schoolwork to do every day.
TWEET: Most people don’t realize what a kid goes through in their journey to become a child actor. @traviswolfejr #chasingdreams
Learning from each experience
Do you think most actors experience overnight success? Travis says that it rarely happens that way in the acting profession. He started off doing small parts in commercials and student films, and this path seems to be a normal rite of passage for most actors. Each role is another level to help you get the feel of what goes into the production process. Many actors have stories like Travis---of working hard to achieve their dreams. An interesting fact about Travis’ dreams is that he’d love to be a stand-up comedian someday.
TWEET: Each role is another level to help you get the feel of what goes into the production process. @traviswolfejr #chasingdreams
What Travis enjoys the most about acting
What do you think is the best thing about acting? You might think it’s the paycheck, but that’s not what Travis says. What he loves most is the opportunity to interact with other people and form relationships with them. Actors don’t just arrive on the set and act in their scenes. Travis explains that he spends time connecting with other actors to make the relationships seem real. He loves to find friends and mentors in his set family at each project. As far as future writing or directing, Travis follows the advice given to him by Mario Van Peebles, who told him to learn to be his own boss. This means learning to write, direct, and produce so that he can work for himself and have more control over his career.
TWEET: Learn to be your own boss. @traviswolfejr #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Keep going. There will always be people who tell you that you can’t do it. Stay faithful, and you’ll get there.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[1:44] The role of Travis’ parents in supporting his endeavors [4:43] Cultivating “Dele’s” Nigerian accent [6:32] What it takes to be a child actor [8:55] The evolution of roles [10:25] Is there something else for Travis? [11:59] People who inspire Travis [14:59] The grind never stops [15:58] The best part of acting [17:20] Directing and writing possibilities in the future [17:56] Travis’ sister, a director, and his supportive family [19:22] How Travis’ family keeps him humble [20:37] Moving from one coast to another [22:20] An upcoming surprise [22:39] Travis’ bucket list [25:12] What Travis would do if he couldn’t act [26:58] Bringing his personality into characters [30:25] A downside to Hollywood? [32:05] Get to know Travis better [36:28] ONE action for a dream chaser
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
There are positives to being an actor, but you have to watch the people you hang around. @traviswolfejr #chasingdreams
Acting takes sacrifice, but if you love it, then it doesn’t feel like a job. @traviswolfejr #chasingdreams
I’d love to branch out and become a stand-up comedian someday. @traviswolfejr #chasingdreams
As we kick off Black History Month, I couldn’t find a better dream chaser with whom to start than today’s guest. Listen and be inspired by the story of her dream-chase to find passion, purpose, joy, and fulfillment in leaving corporate America behind and leaping into the entrepreneurial life.
Teneshia Warner is the founder and CEO of Egami Group, one of the country’s most successful multicultural marketing and communication firms and creator of The Dream Project. Through The Dream Project, Teneshia has spoken to more than 150,000 dreamers across the nation and brought together nearly 200 leading business moguls and celebrities. Her book, The Big Stretch: 90 Days to Expand Your Dreams, Crush Your Goals, and Create Your Own Success (McGraw-Hill Education, November 22, 2019), is a soul-searching, life-transforming, twelve-week, boot camp that reveals how to get from where you are to where you dream of being---in life and business.
Listening to the signals
Do you get internal signals when it’s time to move on to something new? Do you pay attention to them? Teneshia was a computer science major in college, and then she went on to be a project manager at IBM. She was busy climbing the corporate ladder, and her life looked perfect from the outside, but she felt signals telling her that something wasn’t right. She ignored the signals but kept facing each workday with dread, especially every Monday. This went on for years and years until her parents challenged her to DO something about her situation besides complaining about it. At this point, Teneshia became open to other options. She went back to school to pursue her MBA. An assignment there to analyze life decisions turned out to be exactly what she needed to take the next steps and move forward with purpose and passion.
TWEET: Don’t ignore the signals that tell you something isn’t right. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
From the inside out
What brings you joy? This was the first question Teneshia needed to answer in her transition. Through simple self-awareness, she listed the things that interested her, the skills she possessed, and the things that brought her joy in life. Her list included creativity, entertainment, music, and fashion. Once she had the list, she began researching careers that were tied to her areas of interest. She wanted to transition into the music and entertainment industry, but she had no connection and no way to get her foot in the door. Teneshia decided that volunteering would be her way to learn. The end result of that endeavor is that she went from unpaid intern to general manager of the company in exactly one year.
TWEET: Teneshia made a list of what brought her joy and researched careers tied to her interests. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
Making the leap
How attached are you to your comfort zone? Teneshia knew she needed to leave the comfort of her home and family in Minnesota, so she moved to NYC without knowing anyone there. She downsized to a studio apartment so small that she “could open the front door from the shower.”
She gave herself a timeline of one year to “make it,” which kicked her into a new level of urgency. Even though she wasn’t sure how things would happen, she had a plan laid out. Her success is an example of putting in the work. Now she has a new book and a new company to show for it. Egami Group, an award-winning multicultural firm based in NYC, was the result of Teneshia’s staying on the path to passion and purpose. Her book, The Big Stretch, is about getting in touch with your dreams, goals, and success.
TWEET: Teneshia’s book, The Big Stretch, is about getting in touch with your dreams, goals, and success. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Say YES to the stretch. The one universal truth of every dreamer is a calling that tells you there is more.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[1:46] Young Teneshia’s dreams [7:18] How Teneshia finally focused on herself [8:31] The signals that something wasn’t right [12:51] Designing a life around earning potential [14:24] Taking the leap in following purpose and passion [18:15] Volunteering to get her foot in the door [24:32] Putting the work ahead of the money [28:06] Making the move to NYC [32:02] Teneshia’s book and new company [38:56] Beyond what Teneshia ever imagined [42:06] Not the destination, but the journey [49:36] Get to know Teneshia better [59:17] ONE action for a dream chaser
The Big Stretch: 90 Days to Expand Your Dreams, Crush Your Goals, and Create Your Own Success by Teneshia Jackson Warner
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
You won’t chase a dream within the zip code of your comfort zone. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
The future for me was to be a highly-paid, unhappy individual. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
I thought the solution to my unhappy job situation was simply to make more money. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
I decided to design my life around earning potential. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
I hope your 2020 is off to a great start! This is a great time to talk about tips for the new year regarding a vitally important concept: your mindset. Having a positive mindset and exercising optimistic determination are key elements in chasing your dream. We’re jumping into these topics and more with today’s inspirational guest.
Jacquelynn Peterson is a 20-year corporate veteran who has turned into a joy and purpose advocate. She knows just how exhausting and painful it is to live someone else’s dream and slave away at work that doesn’t excite you while not knowing where your life is really headed. As a child of Vietnamese immigrant parents, getting good grades, going to college, and getting a good job was her prescription for success. With that in mind, Jacquelynn climbed the corporate ladder for 20 years, from entry-level to six-figure positions. Even at the height of her career, she still wasn’t fulfilled or excited about the direction of her life. A miraculous turn occurred when she defied all logic to find clarity on her life vision while at rock bottom. She went from drifting aimlessly through her life and career, incurring $150K+ in debt, and enduring a struggling marriage to achieving financial freedom, a strong marriage, and finding a way to do what she loves. Now she’s helping others find clarity on their life vision so they can start living the life they are meant to live with purpose, joy, and direction.
A focus on mindset
What events have happened to focus attention on your mindset? For most people, going through difficult times and personal struggles are the impetus to turn their mindset around. In Jacquelynn’s case, it was an accumulation of personal life experiences that turned her focus inward. She came from a divorced family and was the only girl among six children of her Asian-immigrant father who always worked multiple jobs. As she was left home with her stepmother and brothers, Jacquelynn figured out how life worked and how she could use self-talk to get through rough days. Through TV shows, she observed life and learned how to interact with others. It was this background that spawned her love of human psychology and human behavior.
TWEET: You can use self-talk to get through the rough days. #chasingdreams
Building positive self-talk
How do your thoughts make you feel? Do you ever hear that negative voice telling you that you aren’t good enough and that you’ll never accomplish your dreams? Jacquelynn uses the personal example of launching into a new field in which the “little voice” tells you that your experience is inadequate and that you’ll never succeed. You have to differentiate between facts and your assumptions. Jacquelynn says that if you’re going to make assumptions, then assume things that are positive and will serve you well in positive ways. It takes intentional practice to exercise your mind to gravitate toward positive thoughts about yourself.
TWEET: You have to differentiate between facts and your assumptions. #chasingdreams
When have you defied human logic in your life? Jacquelynn found herself without a job and in massive debt, but she still didn’t let those factors stop her from moving into her dreams. She kept thinking about what she wanted to do with excitement and enthusiasm, and she knew that these consistent great feelings about her dreams would eventually lead to something wonderful. With meditation and visualization, Jacquelynn focused on clarifying and defining the vision of her dream business. It wasn’t long before magical things fell into her lap and inspired her to take action.
TWEET: Focus on clarifying and defining the vision of your dream business. #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Take the time to find clarity on your vision and the ideal life for YOU.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[:45] Young Jacquelynn’s dreams [2:42] Why Jacquelynn became focused on mindset [6:09] What is self-talk? [7:46] How we fight negative self-talk [13:49] The jump from finance to mindset [18:33] Acting on the revelation [21:16] The key is to just relax [24:16] The power in changing your perspective [27:17] Recommendations to chase your dream [32:06] Use your authentic vision [33:06] Get to know Jacquelynn better [37:32] ONE action for a dream chaser
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
Over time and with practice, the negative voice will be drowned out by the positive. #chasingdreams
Self-talk goes on all the time, and many people aren’t even aware of it. #chasingdreams
I had to figure out how life worked on my own. #chasingdreams
Thank you for kicking off the New Year with us! You know there is nothing closer to my heart than the story of someone not only dreaming big but finding ways to chase those dreams. Such is the story of today’s guest. Join us for more!
Marc Megna is co-owner of Anatomy Fitness gym and a top strength and conditioning coach in Miami, helping hundreds of clients--from celebrities and professional athletes to motivated beginners--achieve their fitness goals. Adhering to the “Dream big, never quit” motto that Marc learned from his mother, he put in years of hard work and unrelenting dedication to transform his life. After playing football and earning a degree in sociology at the University of Richmond, Marc was drafted by the New York Jets in 1999. During his seven-year professional football career, he played for the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, and Montreal Alouettes.
Now an elite trainer and fitness model, Marc has written for such publications as Fitness RX and Dr. Oz. He’s been featured on the cover of Inside Fitness and Muscle & Fitness magazines. You can listen to his motivating Megna Method podcast and visit www.megnamethod.com.
Sports as a coping mechanism
How do you cope with life’s problems? Marc learned early on that sports were his coping mechanism for dealing with a difficult childhood. He was a shy, insecure, fat kid, but sports were a big deal in his family. Since he figured out that athletes gained the respect of others, that’s what Marc aspired to become. Being a top athlete became his mission as a young kid, and he was determined to work harder than anyone else. His perseverance paid off, and he made it to the NFL. Now, with a profession built on sports and fitness, Marc can impact others’ lives with his talents.
TWEET: Being a top athlete became Marc’s mission as a young kid, and his perseverance paid off. @marcmegna #chasingdreams
The end of a football career
How do you know when it’s time to move on? Even though Marc loved his time in the NFL, it was pretty clear to him that he needed to try something else after a series of injuries. He sustained a severe knee injury and infection that almost cost him his leg, and since his knee was compromised, his body was out of alignment. This led to a serious tear in his back, and he knew his football career was over. Marc learned that a significant time commitment is required in anything in which you wish to succeed, and he knew that football coaching was not the route he wanted to take. His current career as a gym co-owner and fitness coach takes a lot of his time, but he genuinely enjoys the time he spends investing in others.
TWEET: After a series of injuries, Marc knew he needed to try something else, and football coaching was not the route he wanted to take. @marcmegna #chasingdreams
Don’t get stuck!
How do you “show up”? Marc explains that it’s great to show up every day, but what you do when you’re there is important. Doing the same thing over and over again will not yield a different result. Most people are deathly afraid of getting outside their comfort zone. When what you do each day is a drudgery that you hate, then you’re probably stuck in your comfort zone. Do what it takes to get unstuck!
TWEET: Do what it takes to get unstuck! @marcmegna #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Decide what’s most important to you and take steps to do what you want to do.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:[1:16] Young Marc’s dreams [4:22] Finding a coping mechanism [6:14] Holding on to the dream [10:31] Becoming a better person [14:19] From professional athlete to the next step [17:23] A labor of love [18:59] The road to Anatomy Fitness [25:11] Why you have to show up and do the work [26:56] How to tell if you’re stuck in your comfort zone [30:01] Marc’s book [32:36] Why Marc is happy right now [33:31] ONE action for a dream chaser [34:48] Get to know Marc better
Marc on Facebook
Mark on Twitter
Marc on Instagram
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
Now, instead of asking how I can be better at something, I ask myself how I can be a better person. @marcmegna #chasingdreams
Athletic training helped my insecurity, made me stronger, and increased my confidence. @marcmegna #chasingdreams
I started with dreams of being an athlete and an annoyingly obsessive mentality of showing up. @marcmegna #chasingdreams
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I’m excited about 2020, and I have confidence and good feelings that it will be the Year of Awesome for me---and I hope for you, too!
In today’s solo episode by me, I’m sharing Ten Lessons I’ve learned from my past. I hope you’ll listen and take action as we count them down from ten.
10. You can’t do it alone. You need a coach or mentor or someone to help you. I share personal experiences I’ve had with taking online courses, of which some are great, and some, not so much. The ones that include a coaching component are the most helpful. Find someone who will coach and guide you on your journey.
TWEET: Find someone to guide you on your journey. #chasingdreams
9. It’s the journey, not the goal. Work toward your dreams, even if you don’t achieve them. The journey to the goal should be joyful and invigorating. Enjoy the journey with all the highs, the lows, and each experience of your adventure.
TWEET: Enjoy the journey! #chasingdreams
8. Allow yourself the grace to make mistakes and keep moving. We are our worst critics and worst enemies. We hold ourselves back because we don’t allow our mistakes to happen, and we don’t offer ourselves forgiveness. We feel like we have to punish ourselves for our mistakes. Don’t let your mistake last longer than it needs to.
TWEET: Allow yourself the grace to make mistakes. #chasingdreams
7. Find opportunities for yourself along the way. Humble yourself and find the power and value of volunteering or being an intern. Take a chance. You never know what will happen in your story. Don’t stay in the box. Get a shovel and make your own path. Listen to the inspiring story of my podcast producer, Ruth, in Kenya.
TWEET: Be humble. #chasingdreams
6. Embrace your fears. This is my new motto for 2020. Fear is what holds most people back from chasing their dreams. What are you afraid of? Make a list. Do your research and figure out how to overcome those fears. If you don’t know how, please message me and let me help.
TWEET: Embrace your fears and overcome them. #chasingdreams
5. Be happy. Life is too short for anything else! You can’t be happy 24/7, but there can be more ups than downs. Spend time with your loved ones. Go on adventures. Do what makes YOU happy, not what makes other people happy.
TWEET: Do what makes YOU happy. #chasingdreams
4. What are you waiting for? Don’t follow society’s rules for what everyone else thinks you should do. Don’t let anyone tell you what the deadline is for marriage, having kids, a certain job, or a vacation. Don’t wait! You never know what life will throw at you.
TWEET: Don’t wait. #chasingdreams
3. Take care of your mental health. I found myself anxious, stressed, and depressed after a car accident earlier this year. I saw a therapist who helped me talk through what I was feeling and why. It is vitally important to advocate for your mental health.
TWEET: Be your own mental health advocate. #chasingdreams
2. Make your own choices. This has been a struggle for me, and it’s a lesson that took a while for me to learn. This is YOUR life, so don’t let other people pressure you to make certain choices. I was 28 years old when I made the first decision for myself about my education and my career.
TWEET: This is YOUR life. #chasingdreams
1. Do random acts of kindness. Look for ways to do things that make other people happy without looking for recognition. There is great power in living this way.
TWEET: Do random acts of kindness. #chasingdreams
0. My theme for 2020: I am enough. There are things I want to do to improve myself, but I am enough right now.
TWEET: I am enough. #chasingdreams
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:[2:25] Ten Lessons [4:03] You can’t do it alone [10:07] It’s the journey, not the goal [14:26] Allow your mistakes and keep moving [16:28] Find opportunities along the way [22:15] Embrace your fears [26:08] Be happy [27:40] What are you waiting for? [33:31] Take care of your mental health [38:41] Make your own choices [44:58] Random acts of kindness [48:00] I am enough
Aimee J.’s Facebook
Aimee J.’s Twitter
Aimee J.’s Instagram
Aimee J.’s LinkedIn
Aimee J.’s Website
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
If there is no path for what you want to do, then create the path yourself. #chasingdreams
You have to find what fits and works for you. #chasingdreams
Don’t focus on the goal so much that you neglect other areas of life. #chasingdreams
Life is too short for you to be anything but happy. #chasingdreams