Living (or Shirking) Your Legend

Photo Credit: Joe Mud via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Joe Mud via Compfight cc

A little bit back, I read a couple of posts from writers I admire, Jonathan Fields and Leo Babauta. They wrote about the sudden death of their friend, Scott Dinsmore, lost while fulfilling a lifetime dream of his hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro. I’d never heard of Mr. Dinsmore, but in reading their grieving, deeply emotional tributes, I recognized that he was a person who impacted many, many lives in powerful ways.

Jonathan and Leo’s accounts of Scott Dinsmore’s life reminded me—because, with the daily routine, it’s so easy to forget—that our lives can have a larger impact than we realize, and that we can even direct our lives to have a larger impact. There’s a bit of the spirit of It’s a Wonderful Life in that thought, where Jimmy Stewart is amazed to find that what he considered his worthless life was filled with meaning and depth. All it took was an angel to point it out to him.

With angels in short supply, it’s easy to find disappointment in our lives, aspirations thwarted or goals deterred. I often have qualms about releasing pieces of writing that even when sweated over feel undercooked, that suggest that I’ve been working on my writing for so long, and yet, is this the best I can do? I fear my own judgements and that of others, even though for the most part, I’m doing work that I love. Still, there’s often a background voice whispering, “You’re a poser; give it up.” That’s a voice where a curt “shut up” is the best response.

Stopping the Woolgathering
It’s pointless (and an odd form of egotism) to mull over and over how you aren’t living up to your potential or your ideals, rather than stopping the woolgathering and continuing the work of exploring those potentials. From reading of Mr. Dinsmore, it seems he didn’t waste most of his time stewing over his potential, but was out living it. And by doing that, left a legacy. Sad to read of the loss of someone so vibrant, but it’s good to be reminded of the fragility of life, and to be nudged into renewing the quest for meaning, and sharing meaning.

Here is Scott’s site: Live Your Legend, and here is his TED talk on the same topic.

And one more example of getting out there and doing it (even when you’re 90).

As Seth Godin says, go out and make a ruckus.

Focus, Write, and Change Worlds

Focus. Then Write.

A couple of shout-outs to people doing good work—and they are pretty much giving it away! First up, Leo Babauta, the founder of the fine blog, Zen Habits, has published a new book titled Focus. If you are familiar with his blog, you’ll know that Leo is a wise fellow who offers techniques and approaches to seeing things in a big-picture perspective, not sweating the small stuff, and learning to listen to your inner voice—and to consciously act on that listening. His new book is about finding simplicity in the age of distraction.

That’s a fine thing, but finer yet, is that the book is available as a free download. The for-sale version has a bunch of extras, but being able to get the full 120-page version of the book for free is a gift. Thanks Leo.

Magic Formula: Muse, Write, Change the World!
The other present-with-balloons is from the soulful gals (who are also my pals), Pace and Kyeli at Connection Revolution. A little while back, they offered a World-Changing Writing Workshop that was chockablock with info from the stellar minds (and keyboards) of folks like Chris Guillebeau, Danielle LaPort, Jennifer Louden, Jonathan Fields and Sonia Simone and lots more. The course material—audio recordings and transcripts—centers on understanding and learning how to craft writing that makes a difference; how to produce writing that’s real, and that spreads ripples. A pretty good deal at $297.

They’ve got a better deal, and a mighty generous one: in honor of NaNoWriMo, you can get the workshop in all its writerly wonder, for whatever you can pay. That pretty much means you could pay with a coconut, or a single buck, though considering what these guys put into it, two coconuts would be better. Really though, this is a deal, and a big deal. But it’s only good until this Saturday, the 23rd at midnight, when the workshop turns into a pumpkin.

Full disclosure: I get no coconuts or any other forms of wampum from mentioning these things. But these are good people doing good stuff, and I wanted to share.