7 days to a 10 mile walk…..

Dear Readers,

Next Sunday I will walk and run in a 10 mile race. So scary to see that in black and white.. but its the truth, I put my money down, I have trained and prepared and am on the cusp of accomplishing a BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL.

In the history of the world, at one time or another there was time that something had not yet been done.

While running a 10 mile run is not on par with discovering a cure for cancer (as yet undone but any day now someone is going to wow us with that one) for my life it recommends a sea change in activity, lifestyle, health and overall goal-setting.

I invite you reading this to approach any goal or change in your life in the same way. Just this morning, one of my running buddies helped me see how important it is to take stock in what you have done, are doing and have yet to DO.

Think about it!

Punch fear in the face

I am a speaker so what I am about to say may be shocking. I asked to do a speech on November 19th many months ago at my Toastmasters club, I was told that I would be put on a list but as it turns out I am not on the list. Until today, apparently a slot just opened up….

I like to speak but tend to practice a little more than a week in advance!! Fear, sweaty palms (even as I type this, and absolute terror because I was confident in the knowledge that I didn’t have to give a speech. It would have been easy for me to decline but I punched fear in the face and decided to say yes, since I do have a week.. but it got me thinking. It would have been far more prudent to have a speech I was working on ready to go (that way I wouldn’t be making it up out of full cloth) but its a learning experience.. and now, to the archives to look up notes and figure out what I am going to talk about next week.

Have you been asked to do something that you weren’t 100% prepared to do? What did you do? Turn it down? Beg off, saying you were busy or did you decide to bite the bullet and muddle through?

You are awesome. You don’t need to act like you are.

One of my favourite shows that is no longer on television (common when you watch Netflix) is called “The West Wing” and one of the reasons is that all of the characters are fully drawn and are chock-full of nuance and erudite dialogue but sometimes their best messages are the simplest ones.

As evidenced by the episode “Hartsfields Landing” and this dialogue as spoken by the Communications Director, Toby Ziegler to the President about how you are already awesome, you don’t need to act like it. Sorkin does dialogue better than I do right now, so here is the dialogue from that scene-

“You’re a good father, you don’t have to act like it. You’re the President,
you don’t have to act like it. You’re a good man, you don’t have to act like it. You’re
not just folks, you’re not plain-spoken… Do not do not do not act like it!”

Substitute the appropriate and specific qualities and then say it about yourself.

Because it bears repeating, you are awesome. Do not, do not, do not ACT like it!

 

Auditioning for “The Voice”

Auditions for “The Voice” are being held today and since my audition time was at 7 am I thought it would be a good idea to wake up early so my vocal cords were warm and ready to go by 7.. HA! I didn’t even get to sing till 11…  In any case, I got there to stand in line at 6:00 and they opened the doors and the line started to move and everyone got excited. I met this lovely mother and daughter in line and they were so obviously there for each other. From Missouri, they had to get plane tickets and hotel reservations, and in stark contrast, I had to get in my car.

The last time I auditioned, I remember being nervous and while I had a book, I didn’t read it, I was just so keyed up with the excitment in the room and listening to people talk about their song and their musical training and other auditions and just soaking it all in and we moved from room, to room to room (there were at least 10 when it was all said and done) at least this time there were only 4 stages. I ran into no one I knew which was surprising since in Austin, you usually do. This time I spent a lot of my time encouraging other people and talking to them about where they were from and more about what made them come audition. The stories were varied and very interesting and I have to say this is the first time I have been at an audition ( and I have been on a LOT) that I thoroughly enjoyed the environment and the “hopeful” buzz in the air of everyone after the same goal. I actually met one of the guys in my group who did a great song by Sinatra and actually said before he sang “I’m living my dream and so excited to be here” and it was charming and apparently the judges loved his singing and his personality becuase he advanced (good luck Bruce if you are reading this)  That kind of synergy is hard to come by so I am going to make a mental note to treasure it the next time I am at an audition and treat it for the gift that it is. While I feel I sang well, I was not what they were looking for…………………..this year.

What do you want to do that you are scared to do? I invite you to do it! Everyone is scared of something but sometimes that which we are the most scared to do is the thing we are called to do. Think about it.. and let me know how its going! 

jennifermckennasays@gmail.com – I am excited to hear about your dream!!!

What do you do when what you want doesn’t happen?

As many of you know, I was up for a part in a play I adore and was doing everything I could to get picked. I was not picked and while I am upset ( I am human after all! ) I am excited to see what is next on the agenda that I am meant to do because this did not pan out.

Key takeaways from the experience?

1. Be Prepared. I practiced and practiced and practiced and received coaching from people I respect ( you know who you are) and felt extremely prepared, more so than for any audition I have ever had before. Yep, after almost 15 years of acting I just wrote that. Staggering.

2. Think Positive. I used to say Prepare for the Worst, Expect the Best and Adapt to the Outcome but that is such a defeatist attitude.. From now on, let’s just prepare for the best and adapt to the outcome whether its what you want or not.

3. Working hard is important but its not everything. – Sometimes you can do everything right and work as hard as you can but someone else or other factors make the final decision so in that case are you going to gnash your teeth and wear your hair shirt? No. Just work as hard as you can. That way if it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you can console yourself with the knowledge that you did all you could do to affect a positive outcome.

If nothing else, I had the chance to act and work with others for a night even if it wasn’t for a full run. I often have to remind myself as an actor it’s not my job to get the gig. It’s my job to audition, audition and then audition some more.

What are you working on? What is your dream? Tell me about it? I would love to encourage you on your journey!

You are everything you need to be.

I heard someone say recently, “I will be so much better when I have been in school longer, and know more and have read more” and it really made me stop and think. How many of us have stopped ourselves doing something because we are “not an expert”? I read recently it takes 10,000 hours to get to be an expert at something. That’s a really big number, and not a little overwhelming. Not being a math major, I decided to break it down- For instance, it would take 10 years of practicing 3 hours a day to become a master in your subject. It would take approximately 5 years of full-time employment to become proficient in your field. Simply work out how many hours you have already achieved and calculate how many more you need to clock up before you reach 10000.

But what if its not your job you want to have mastery at? Maybe you want to learn to cook, or change a tire or just become more proficient in something you are already well schooled in.

Don’t despair, you don’t have to spend 10,000 hours to be Awesome. What you need to do is decide right now to do your absolute best at whatever you decide to do and commit to learning along the way, be open to the mistakes you are going to make. Read that again, I said the mistakes you are going to make. You have permission to fail. It’s a natural progression to greatness to fail. Or to put it another way, “Failure is the Grandfather of Success”

Once your mindset changes, everything on
the outside will change along with it.
―Steve Maraboli

 

You are all you need to be right now. Don’t wish to be something you are not. Strive to be all you can be and more, but don’t compare Your apple to someone else’s orange or your beginning to someone else’s middle.

The next time you are inclined to say I can’t or I don’t know how, think about a time when you didn’t know how to ride a bicycle, or how to change a tire, or how to cook a chicken. I got in touch with people who knew how to do it, and asked for help, or watched them do it, and then figured out the best way for me to do it. Maybe not the fastest, maybe not the “expert” way but how I felt comfortable. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to try new things, some of the most important learning experiences I have had come from someone saying, “Do this” and not giving instruction but trusting I knew how to do it.

I use these examples because for me there was a time, I didn’t know how to do all of those things, but now through the help of my husband and my friends, now I know. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or admit that there is something you do not know, for there is power in not knowing that allows for knowledge to come to you.

What can you learn today? 

 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This is a universal question asked to thousands of children everywhere. The answer.

Ballerina

Fireman

Scientist

The list goes on and on as far as the eye can see and the mind can expand.. There are jobs kids are talking about that haven’t even been invented yet! Its important when we hear these answers we stoke desire in those little hearts and minds, not limitations. While on the subject of dreams and encouraging them.. This is not limited to kids. We, adults have dreams too, and its important that we encourage those too. If someone says to you, “I want to learn a new language” be sure you build them up by saying, That sounds like fun, what is your game plan?”

Please don’t discourage them because once upon a time you took Latin and hated it and swore to never speak the dead language again- I will never forget being told I couldn’t be an actress because “you will never make any money”

This idea that I am blogging about is not a new one. Its all part of a philosophy talked about in a great book coming out called “Start” by Jon Acuff, all about how to “punch fear in the face” and “escaping average” I just read the first chapter and am filled with excitement and a new energy to go after my goals. For your review-

Lose 50 pounds- I have lost 17- which leaves 33 to go!!

Read more books- I have read two, working on a third

Get more sleep- up to 8 hours this week

Give 10 speeches this year- Giving my first one tonight

What do you want to do? What kind of support network do you need to build to do it?

Think about it.

 

To pre-order the Jon Acuff’s book, “START” here is the link

http://j.mp/WMzx8d