Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Live Your Best: Challenge 1

I have a lot of ideas. Great ideas. Ideas that will change the world. Something tells me you do, too.

Then life gets busy, or you don't feel confident, or maybe someone really awful tells you your ideas are worthless and you put them on the back burner of your mind. The way-back burner. And you might even forget about them while they boil over and make a huge mess inside your head. Sadly, you only remember them when someone else gets the same idea, actually makes something out of it and everyone else loves it.

Today, I am rescuing one of my ideas from that awful place known as Someday Land and I'm sharing it with you all.

I am a firm believer that change is best made in small, manageable bites. Baby steps. If you wake up one day and say to yourself, "I want to be Supermom" or "I want to be a star" or "I want to be the next Oprah," well, good for you! Pat yourself on the back -- you just determined your goal. Step 1. But, how are you going to get there? Odds are, you're not going to teleport to success or even take the fast track. You're going to have to persevere and it's going to take a long time. It's going to require patience.

I recently finished reading the behavioral economics book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It's amazing and full of evident truths that we're afraid to acknowledge. In it, Gladwell asserts that the formula for success is simply this: Opportunity + Hard Work. He cites a large number of well-known and oft-acknowledged examples (including Bill Gates) and every single one of them follows the formula. No one makes it big only because they rose above adversity. They all had a golden opportunity and the determination (including effort) to make it happen.

In connection with reading Outliers, I have been thinking I need to change. Everything is fine; don't worry. I've just found myself in a weird place: contentment. I always get a little uncomfortable when I'm content with life because it means I'm not going anywhere. I'm not improving, I'm not making an impact. I'm stuck! And I don't want to be stuck  (I'm claustrophobic).

So, I've devised a little game plan to help me (and maybe you, too) to get out of Contentment Land and on my way up to bigger and better things. I'm calling it Live Your Best. And every so often, I'm going to create a challenge for myself and document the completion of said project. Here's where you come in: I have to be accountable to someone. And who better than the World Wide Web? After all, I'm still making homemade bread every week, still eating 50% raw and still no-pooing because I committed myself to it on this blog. Here's a secret about me: I'm a little flaky, unless I know someone is counting on me. Then, I'm 100% loyal. I'll do whatever it takes to follow through. Maybe you are the same way.

I'm also sharing this challenge with you because it might be easier to complete them if I know I'm in good company. I often find the journey is easier when you have travel mate. So, feel free to participate as much as you want in this challenge, too. I think it could be especially awesome if you blogged about your experiences too, and then shared the link with everyone. This is your official invite!

Here's our first challenge. Are you ready?

Choose a person (neighbor, friend, family member) you know could use a little pick-me-up. Give them a call, write them a letter, bring them a potted plant or a special treat or just your sweet face to show them you care.

That's it!

Now, be aware that the more difficult you make the challenge, the more you will grow as you complete it. I advise you not to pick your best friend or your closest sister or someone popular you want to impress. Choose a person you might not see eye to eye with, or someone you feel you need to get to know better.

Listen to your heart. It might be telling you right now who you need to choose.

You (and I) have one week to complete the challenge. When you're finished, write about your experience and link up here.

Great things don't happen just because we want them to. Be the change you want to see.

Are you in?


  1. You are awesome. That is all I can say. I think I have been in the same place you are and have been itching for some change.

    I accept your challenge and will report back! I look forward to your report as well.

    I love that book by the way (I studied consumer economics for my Master's), so did my husband, Gabe.

  2. In. I love this Jenna. Your perspective is so Christ-like. I believe Jesus Christ asks us to get uncomfortable and this is exactly what I mean when I say that. Bravo girl!

  3. So...I just adore you! I've been searching for ways to get out of my comfort rut for a little while now too. I just started working out more regularly because I wrote on my blog that I was taking on that challenge. Accountability is really what helps me put my running shoes every day! Even if its just accountability to the few blog readers I have. haha

    I didn't know you try to eat raw? I've been learning a lot about this and love the idea. John and I have doubled our veggie consumption in the past year. So amazing!

    Oh yes - and your mention of "no-pooing" caught me a little by surprise. I've never heard that before. Good thing I clicked on the link. Do you really do this? I'd love to hear about the results. Have you heard of the WEN Haircare system? I bought it in an attempt to find a gentle and moisturizing alternative to reg. shampoo - but its just too darn expensive. So I'd love to know how this works.

    Last thing - cause this is the longest comment I've ever written...haha How do you imbed a link into your text on your blog? Like how I was able to click "no-pooing" and go to another site to find out more info. I'm still figuring out this whole blogging thing. I'm making progress - but you seem like a pro!

    Keep writing - I love it my dear!

  4. Does visiting teaching count?? :D Pretty sure I'm a no-poo-er now too, and have been for a few months.


I like feedback almost as much as I like food.