Thought for Friday: Living with Purpose

What does living with purpose really mean?

You may be striving to find your own purpose by looking outward — at your career, at your circle, at the “things” you do everyday. The issue? You’re looking in the wrong direction.

Your purpose is not defined by your surroundings, by the state of the world around you. Your purpose lives within you. It is with you, everywhere you go. The catch? It’s up to YOU to bring your purpose forth. To live through your purpose in everything you do — whether you’re in the career of your dreams or still trying to find your feet.

Today, stop waiting for purpose to show up in front of you. Hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s just not that easy (if only!). Don’t let yourself be sucked in to the waiting game. Start now. How can you bring your purpose, your passions, your fire, to what you’re doing right this second? How can you live your dreams, right here, right now? It seems impossible, until you start.

When you speak and run your business from a place of #purpose, others gravitate toward that. @JulieSmolyansky @REBELutionarymr Click To Tweet

Happy Friday (and happy early halloween!), friends.

Monday Inspiration: Defining Your Circle


The people we surround ourselves with — our family, friends, colleagues, mentors — are powerful. Our support group when we falter and our cheerleaders when we succeed, our “circle” is there in good times and bad. Because we don’t have to go it alone.

But sometimes — whether by choice or habit — we find ourselves surrounded by “drainers.” Those personalities that suck us dry, rather than lift us up. There’s no room for growth when we are surrounded by pessimistic, ungrateful, negative mindsets. If our circle isn’t building us up, it is dragging us down. As Tim Ferriss succinctly explains,

“… you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”

Think about the people closest to you; how do you feel when you’re with them? It’s not rude or ungenerous to distance yourself from someone who brings you down. Surround yourself instead with people living the way you want to live. Don’t underestimate the power of positive thought, of inspirational change. It’s more than OK to put yourself first and recognize what is and isn’t best for YOU.

You are not responsible for the behaviors and actions of others. Your life is yours and their life is theirs. Don’t hold yourself back trying to change what cannot be changed. Instead, transform your surroundings and carefully cultivate your circle to those that will lift you up unconditionally, with — dare I say it, LOVE. And while you’re at it — strive to be the same inspiration for those around you.

Friday Roundup: F*ck Perfection


{ Image via And Then We Saved }

Too often in life, we expect perfection. We want to get it right, the first time. We want to know exactly what we’re doing. In other words, we want control.

Well, friends, you’ll never guess… life is uncontrollable. It’s unpredictable. It’s unfair. In experiencing these realities, we grow and we learn. Without failure, without struggle, there can be no discovery.

As leaders, we’re often expected to know all — as if that’s possible. We put pressure on ourselves to eliminate ‘weakness and show our world — our coworkers, our subordinates, our fellow leaders, our friends, our family — that we are in control.

Hear this now: You don’t have to pretend anymore.

Show your strength by making missteps,  discovering new ideas,  welcoming new experiences. Seek out and embrace failure as a tool to grow. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, weird, funny, confusing, real — you lead from within. So often we allow our fear, our anxieties, our doubt stop us from expressing our most authentic self. Trust me, the world (and leadership) is changing — transparency, vulnerability, love — these are the key ingredients to leadership now.

Be willing to lead the way.

The secret to inspiring, incredible, life-changing leadership is within you – not outside of you. Pull it out. Show it off. Lead us.

#Leadership is changing; transparency, vulnerability, love are the new key ingredients via @REBELutionarymr Click To Tweet

Resources to inspire soul-deep leadership:

01. Ira Glass on the beauty of beginning

02. Tapping into your deepest creativity — and exposing it to the world from Danielle LaPorte

03. Deepak Chopra explores the soul of leadership

04. Passion vs. professionalism

05. Making Big Magic in your life & leadership

Monday Inspiration: Choose Your Own Adventure

You’ve heard it before: The time is now. Today, let that sink in. Truly notice your life around you.

Don’t fear the journey, or worry over the end result, all the while letting your life pass you by. Grasp your chances — hold fiercely to your beliefs, your ambitions, your soul-deep dreams that make you who you are. We don’t know much in this life, but we do know it can be over all too quickly. Take risks, reap rewards, accept the struggle and rejoice in a life fully lived.

Be glorious this Monday, friends. And, of course, GO CUBS!!

Thought for Friday: More vs. Better

Fill in the blank:

I could really be happy if I had _________, _________, and _________.

I’m guessing you have a stockpile of answers to this question. Maybe it’s that raise you’ve been waiting for, a better job, those black suede boots, an extra two hours everyday.

We live in a culture of more, of “better, faster, now.” We get what we want and then forget to savor it. We’ve already moved on to wanting the next thing, and our society gives it to us. Any information and any distraction you could dream up is literally at your fingertips, but we’re not happier. Why is that?

If you have the time, this interview with Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Liberal Arts) is well worth the listen. At around the halfway mark, the actor makes a thoughtful, compelling remark: “This is it — and there’s no where else to get to.”

This is the moment to be happy, to experience life. Don’t waste your valuable time, attention, and consciousness on the idea of happiness, when you could be living your own happiness, right now.

Happy Friday, friends.

Monday Inspiration: Blow It Up


Mondays are filled with possibility — make today your opportunity to explore and blow some shit up. Make it big, make it bright, make it count.

Today is YOURS. How will you use it?

Friday Roundup: Love in Leadership

What does it mean to be in love? How do we show up differently in our lives; how are our rhythms refocused, re-energized, reimagined?

If all the songs are true, then love lifts us up — buoying us through the hard stuff on waves of happiness, pleasure, commitment  and inspires us to live fully expressed, to fill up to our very edges.

We use the word freely — we love sunny weather, our favorite TV shows, damn good coffee — but we often forget that the feeling and experience of love extends to all parts of our lives. Imagine what it would mean to bring love to your business,  your career,  your everyday work life. What could love do for your leadership? 

Leadership can be as intense a relationship as any whirlwind romance or long-term marriage. The same base feelings are all there… love, anger, joy, frustration, pride, annoyance. And we certainly put in the hours, effort, and emotion to create one crazy strong bond. Which means we need the same backbone of support, communication, and encouragement to create a sustainable and lasting relationship. As leaders, we understand how to cultivate relationships with our customers, with our staff, with our fellow leaders, but we forget to extend these same principles to our own unique relationship with our companies and with leadership itself. Today, give yourself to the space to be in your leadership. What will that look like for you?

Stuck on how to start? Try embodying these values to start feelin’ the love in leadership, today:

01. Listen to yourself; to your rhythms, feelings, and gut instincts. Those aren’t just white noise! Give yourself the time you need to just be — and see where the feelings take you.

02. Acknowledge yourself as the leader you are and embody your fiercest ambitions and wildest ideas. Don’t hold yourself back or rein yourself in. Free your weird. Rock your crazy. Love your leadership.

03. Start fresh each day. Never let old grievances or bad memories stop you from living in the present. Use your past to propel your future — old experiences make us stronger, but they don’t define us.

04. Value yourself as a leader. Stand strong behind your convictions and don’t back down from a challenge. Don’t be a doormat or a roadblock. Own your faults and stop apologizing for being yourself.

05. Take a little coffee break. Get a mojito after work. Forget it all and dance. Cheer. Smile. Life is for the living, friends.


Monday Inspiration: “Spark” It Up


Set yourself afire with possibility this plain ol’ Monday.  Burn brighterhotter, and more intensely than you ever have before. Monday is the perfect day for a fresh start. Your life and this day is yours — own it.

Stop thinking. Start blazing.

Make it a fiery Monday, friends!

Friday Roundup: “Un-masking” Yourself


{ image via Motivational Monday }

We all have layers (just like ogres, remember?) — different facets of our personalities that combine to make us complex, rich beings. When we let these complexities shine — when we revel in all our layers — our unique creativity, our “spark” is truly set free. I get it — revealing our layers is easier said than done. Things like fear, doubt, and envy compel us to hide our layers; dulling our energy in favor of fitting in or playing it safe in our surroundings. If we aren’t recklesspassionateweird … then we can’t get hurt, right?

Let me suggest something different: your layers — your unique set of skills, accomplishments, and fire are your ticket to success. The simplest way to do something different, something revolutionary, is to be yourself — layers and all.

Today, stop thinking of a “leader” as someone who followed a certain set of rules to get where they are. It’s not time to throw out the rulebook… it’s time to acknowledge there never was a rulebook. Stop giving too much credence to other people’s titles and positions and previous successes. Don’t fall into the comparison trap. Ricky Gervais said it best,

“The best advice I’ve ever received is, ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either.’ “

Make mistakes. Be crazy, be silly, be serious, inspired, angry, introspective. Don’t fight your feelings. Embrace your layers. Take advice and support, but don’t be ruled by it. Rule yourself instead.

Feeling pumped? Check these out:

01. Go out into the world and fuck it up beautifully

02. Here’s to the crazy ones

03. Under no obligation

04. Program your mind for success

05. (Pretty) words to live by