28: 2 Small Requests and 8 Pearls of Dad Wisdom

Jim Blake Art -- Jazz Club Dancers Happy Sunday, Everyone! Today is my 28th birthday and I'm thrilled to kick it off by celebrating with you :)

Last night my friend Nick graciously hosted a bunch of blogger friends on his rooftop terrace for BBQ, dancing, mojitos and yes -- cupcakes -- and it struck me how grateful I am to have a vehicle that allows me to meet and interact with so many awesome, incredible people on a regular basis.

I feel awkward wishing myself happy birthday on my own blog, but I'd like to use this opportunity to ask two small favors of you -- and share some gems from my dad, Jim Blake, on going after big goals.

Two Small Requests:

  1. Help me blow-up my friend Jeremy Orr's DonorsChoose.org request for laptops for his sixth grade class.I've known Jeremy for over 10 years but we were never all that close until he discovered Twitter. Twitter reconnected us and served as a catalyst for finding one of my now closest friends.Jeremy is humble, kind, and would never ask me to do this -- it was hard for him to even ask his friends in an email for some help. He is a teacher, and in the last year his car was stolen, his storage locker was broken into (and all the computers he used in his classroom were stolen) and he was pink-slipped from his job because of a stupid California lottery system, not because of anything to do with his abilities (I happen to think he's one of the best teachers on the planet). Jeremy is now back teaching sixth grade and loves using technology in the classroom -- last year he had his students Skype with entrepreneurs, and had various blog friends call in from all over the world for National Reading Day.So here's what I would LOVE to happen: Jeremy has currently raised $622 from 12 donors, with $448 remaining to purchase laptops for his class. If 200 people give $2, he'll be all squared away with replacement computers for the year. If you can give just $2 -- that would be amazing. $5 and you're a rock star. Any more than that? Jeremy and I will surely love you forever! It would be the best birthday gift to me to know that we've helped a friend and dedicated teacher -- and awesome if by the end of the day (or week) his DonorsChoose page was maxed out.

    Update: WE DID IT! Jeremy's page was successfully maxed out by the end of the day :) You all made my day -- and his -- I cannot thank you enough!

  2. If Life After College (the blog or book) has inspired or helped you take action in some way, would you leave me a comment describing how? I asked this question last year and was so grateful and moved by all the thoughts people shared. Even if you don't comment often, I'd love to hear from you and say hello!


8 Pearls of Jim Blake Wisdom

The other day in an email my dad wrote, "A question: What would be your TOP 5 all-time single sentence words of wisdom for goal seekers?" I came up with a few nuggets that I share often in speeches and with clients:

  • Live/dream big but don't be afraid to start small
  • Ditch "all or nothing" or "if then" thinking -- start today, even if the conditions aren't perfect
  • You're capable of so much more than you think you are
  • Expect doubters -- of course they don't see your vision -- that's what makes it YOUR vision!
  • The bigger the goal, the bigger the fears -- take them as a great validator

Then he promptly blew me out of the water with his list!! I feel very fortunate to learn from him and with him on subjects near and dear to my heart, most recently on Making Sh*t Happen. Without further ado, my dad's reply on some gems he's been honoring while working on a screenplay (these often come to him during his 16-mile nightly walks):

  1. You are the starting quarterback of your own life - practice like you're first string every day. Every game is the big game.
  2. Your dream is a palm tree waving in a gentle sunset breeze on a Hawaiian island. Learn to respect and treasure the endless volcanic eruptions it takes to get from the depths of the darkest ocean up to the sunlight.
  3. Live free of the psychic burden of the fears of past generations. Strive for the freedom to think and feel fresh thoughts-your own thoughts. Don't despair - re-calibrate.  Allow yourself to visualize and enter a new, friendlier world.
  4. Build a strong stage for your dreams (fundamentals) so that your dance of creation can proceed without the stage collapsing.
  5. Develop  rituals in support of your big dream. Make them as elaborate as those you would engage in for any religion.  They symbolize your faith and strong commitment to your  vision. For instance, borrowing from the Pope,  make a little bead necklace or charm (dream) bracelet where each charm is a motivational thought - run through your charms every morning. Find a favorite smell from an aromatherapy shop that, when you smell it, means you're going all-out for 12 hours. (Use this like the Catholics use incense: to kick your ass into thinking about Jesus)
  6. Practice your strength at remaining un-tethered from convention. This is a set of muscles that serve all creative minds.
  7. Do something for one to four hours every day that clears your mind of the mundane and allows you to softly listen to your own new ideas as they come rising from the depths of your consciousness.
  8. Create a deck of ten cards with your favorite words of wisdom on each one. Read them every chance you get. Program your own mind for greatness.

You can read more of my Dad's thoughts at his blog (and book of the same name), The Bliss Engine, and check-out his amazing art work at JimBlakeArt.com.


Contest Winners from Last Week's Book-a-Day Giveaway:

Thank you all for the AWESOME comments on last weeks' question prompts, and for sticking with me through daily posts! I'm very excited to announce our winners (chosen via Random.org) -- if you're name is below, please send me an email at jenny [at] lifeaftercollege [dot] org so I can get you your shiny new book!