What time is it?
Personal Training Recertification time!
I started gathering all my paperwork to send in.
Continuing education units? Check… plus (over-achiever over here!)
I gazed at my CPR-AED card in horror: it was due to expire this month.
CPR class is known for being long and boring, and I think the teaching requirements are this: “must be completely void of a sense of humor.”
Sure, saving lives is no laughing matter, but isn’t it a joyous thing? Shouldn’t we be able to smile? We’re saving people!
I had to get recertified fast, so I called the closest center to me which offers weekly classes.
When I got there, I was prepared for 3 hours of dull memorization, joylessly chanting “Staying Alive” while pumping on the chest of a foam dummy…
Much to my surprise, however, CPR was actually fun this time around!
My teacher was a delight: informative, fun, and best of all, QUICK. We were done in an hour and a half!
My self-development blogger ears perked up, however, when he explained how the AED works.
“The AED can sense if your heart is in ventricular fibrillation, otherwise known as V-fib,” he told us and the other classes watching via Google Hangout (awesome, right?).
“V-fib is a state in which there is uncoordinated contraction of the heart, so it just sits there, quivering. After the AED senses V-fib, it will recommend a shock to get the heart beating again.”
Which got me thinking…
So many of us are walking around in V-fib.
Our hearts aren’t in what we’re doing. They’ve stopped because they aren’t coordinated with our actions.
Without action to shock them into reality, our dreams aren’t getting out into the world.
Our hearts are aching for a pump of action. They’re quivering, waiting for us to go do something.
Don’t worry, folks.
I know CPR.
I’d like to act as your personal AED here.
I sense there are a lot of you out there who have quivering hearts right now, and I’d like to shock you into action.
If you’re reading Make This Your Moment, you know that you really have no more excuses to put off living the life you deserve to live.
So for those of you who haven’t decided to act on happiness, what’s your excuse?
You can put whatever excuse you want to in here. I’ve heard a lot of “but”s (no giggling!) when it comes to taking action…
•but I’m so busy
•but I’m so tired when I get home from work
•but it just makes me feel good to eat crap all the time
•but I’m so scared of looking stupid
No more, my friends. The excuses stop here.
Remember that quote I shared with you not too long ago? Here it is again:
“Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.” -Richard Bach
Don’t create your life around your excuses. Realize that your limitations are built up by you and you alone.
Nobody is forcing you to stay the way you are.
If you’re too tired/too busy/too scared right now, ask yourself this:
“When am I going to feel ready?”
Do you think a magic day will come along in which you wake up and realize you’re ready to be happy?
I’m so sorry to break this to you, but that day will not come for most of us.
Create that day for yourself TODAY.
Shocking, right? This idea that you can create that day today. You have that power!
Yeah, but how, Amy? How do I make today the day I start choosing to be happy?
Glad you asked, buddy. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in this topic. ;)
If you’re quivering and you’re ready to start beating your dreams out into the limbs of the world, here are some actions you can take to shock your heart back to life:
Breathe life back in
I think the power of breath is severely underestimated.
Though mouth-to-mouth is slowly being phased out of the communal CPR educational materials, we can still get you breathing again… and make you more powerful than ever in the process.
Here’s an exercise to get you to into that powerful place:
1. Look at someone you really care about.
•Do they live far away? Close your eyes and picture them in front of you.
•If you’re a little self-conscious, don’t worry. This person doesn’t even have to be aware that you’re doing this exercise. They don’t even have to be looking at you. They can be sleeping, typing, eating, or whatever.
2. Take a deep breath in. Try to inhale breath all the way into your lower back.
3. As you exhale, let yourself feel that depth of love. All of it. Open up to the gift that this person is to your life. Allow yourself to be washed over in love and gratitude.
You should feel an enormous surge of emotion or energy. (If you don’t the first few times, don’t worry- it takes practice to let yourself open up like this!)
A lot of stuff happens in our daily lives that distracts us from the things that really matter.
I like to do this exercise every so often to ground myself in what matters most to me: love.
No matter who you are, there is an inherent need to love and be loved in you somewhere.
Feeling this depth of love can root you back into the reason why you want to accomplish your dreams. Whether it’s love for another, love for mankind, or even love for yourself, love is one of the strongest motivators you’ll come across.
From this place of appreciation and passion, you’ll likely feel more motivated to take action toward your dreams.
This energy can feed into your actions as well, making them much more effective. Other people will feel this from you, and in most cases, react positively.
Remember this feeling: this is how you want to feel when going after something new.
When fear smacks you in the face, breathe in love deeply. Remember why this is worth fighting for.
Take small, meaningful actions
This is a great way to start building your confidence in making s*** happen.
When you start CPR without an AED, you go for the chest pumps. It doesn’t feel like you’re doing much, but you could in fact start someone’s heart again. This small action can give life back to a person!
If you have big dreams, you gotta start somewhere.
So identify some small steps you can take that will build you up to those larger, scarier ones.
Are you trying to get out of your job? How about starting to look at the job market and take notes of specific opportunities you can go after? Or, start looking into what it would take to start your own business. Do some research online, talk to friends who have done it, get a book!
Do you want to travel the world? Do you have a Pinterest travel board yet? Start building one to see where you would want to go, what’s highest on your list, and if there are any other areas you would want to hit while you’re over there. Start looking into how much or how many airline miles it would take to fly/drive to where you want to go, how much it would cost to stay there, and what activities you would want to do.
Are you trying to lose weight? Start parking further away than you usually do and walking to work from there. Start swapping out your sugary cereal for greek yogurt and berries or a lazy-healthy breakfast. Reach out to someone who is looking to lose weight, too: see if they’ll be your workout partner!
Do you want to find your soul mate? As scary as it is, sign up for an online dating service or a group of like-minded people who you would be interested in meeting someone through. Put yourself out there; you’ll never know if you don’t try.
This is the fun part, guys! Let yourself dream and make a plan!
Connect with people in person
This might be the most shockingly hard action step today: making real, human connections.
Your dreams most likely involve some kind of connection with people.
To pump your dreams out into the world, you need PEOPLE to be receptive, right?
Ok, go with me on a quick journey here: consider the body to be the world, cells to be the people in it, and blood to be your dreams. Got it?
As with the body, if the receptors on cells (people) don’t take in what the blood is delivering, the blood (dreams) that we’re pumping out from our now-working hearts are useless. You need those receptors to work in order for your dreams to come true!
Still with me? Good.
Start connecting to the people around you so you can build up those receptors and get your dreams out into the world effectively.
Most of us walk around, heads down, more intent on what’s on our iphone than who’s in front of us.
It’s a cop out, guys. I’m plenty guilty of this, too.
It takes more energy to connect with people every day than it does to stare at the ground as you walk, but it’s worth it in the end.
Real, human connection is one of the main reasons we’re on this earth. It’s worth the risk of failure when you think of what your life would be like without it.
Real connections are where real change is made and where real dreams are realized. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable in order to help someone else (even if it’s just with a smile), you are more likely to build those connections.
When it comes to your dreams, if they involve other people in any form, this connection thing is something you should get used to.
Open up those receptors:
•Smile at someone you don’t know
•Ask the clerk at the grocery store something specific about their day
•Get a random small gift or a card for someone who helps you daily or weekly (the team at the coffee shop you go to, the smiley person at reception, your personal trainer… jk)
Let people know that they matter. Remind them that there are people out here who care.
People will want to be around you more and they’ll want to help you more, if you’re more connected and interested in them.
And who knows: you could start a ripple effect.
Are you feeling shocked yet?
You can read inspiring blogs, build your Pinterest board, and look at motivational magazines all day, but realization of your dreams requires action NOW.
I want you to commit, right here and now, to taking action this week.
In the comments, tell us:
How are YOU going to shock yourself back to life and make your dreams a reality?
Looking forward to being shocked by all the change being made this week!
On a side note: Thank you to everyone who participated in Strong Inside Out’s birthday facebook inspiration contest! Congratulations to the lucky inspirers whose Facebook comments scored them a free copy of Make This Your Moment: Sascha Coursen, Susan Elliot Mason, and Gail Holt Peterson!