Joe’s 40 for 40 . . My Perspective

Joe bday cardsOn May 24 my husband turned the big 4-0! There are times in life when we take extra care to look back over our lives and look forward to what lies ahead. Turning 40 is definitely one of those moments.

I spent my 40th birthday on a beautiful beach in Hawaii with Joe and our friends Andy and Jodie. Then, twenty-four days later, I celebrated the next phase of life by donating my kidney.

My friend Danny celebrated his 40th birthday recently by running 40 miles with a different friend or family member each running one mile with him. It was a great picture of how we ought to run the race of life.

It took my husband, Joe, 40 days to turn 40. Joe took the 40 days leading up to his 40th birthday to write a post on his blog. Many of you read Joe’s posts and know that they were not fluffy little notes about his first 40 years of life. There were no short-cuts. Each post was filled with humor (of course!), events, stories, meaning, and challenge to live life outside the confines of the comfortable boat. You can read his 40 for 40 here.

Whether you read every blog post or not, there is something I’m confident you did not see. . . behind the scenes. Here is a behind-the-scenes glance of 40 blogs in 40 days from my perspective.

Joe lived these 40 days with incredible discipline. He set the alarm clock earlier and even avoided the snooze button. He stayed up later on many occasions. Sometimes this involved conversations with coaches, writing blog posts, or thinking through ideas. There were photo albums opened and pored through looking for pictures. (You know, the ones you remember seeing, but have no idea where they actually are. Oh, and not everything is digital!)

On top of the discipline of producing a meaningful blog post each and every day for 40 days, other aspects of life did not stop or even slow down. Joe did not take 40 days off from his job at Lake Ann Camp. In fact life around here is amping up with summer camp right around the corner. Home life did not slow down either. Kids still need their dad and he did not let them down. Joe and I are also in the midst of navigating one of our most difficult seasons to date. (Don’t worry, not marriage issues, but still a matter for lots of prayer!)

If it is importantIt is in the midst of life and challenge that I have personally witnessed Joe take on 40 blogs in 40 days. It would have been easy to do nothing because work is demanding, family life is busy, situations are stressful, and a number of other excuses. It is in these moments – when it seems most inconvenient – that the greatest impact happens and the greatest results in life occur.

This is Joe. He is not just telling us how to live the Overboard, out-of-the-boat life. He is showing us how to live that kind of extraordinary life.

This is not about writing blogs, running great distances, or giving kidneys. It is about letting go of the comfortable, ordinary, common life and choosing to live for something greater. It is giving, inspiring, impacting, and living bigger than we ever thought possible. It is making a difference first in our own lives and then allowing that to make a difference in others.

What about you? What step do you need to take next? Is there a challenge you are avoiding because the timing,  money, fear, or feelings of “too hard” are keeping you from getting started? The extraordinary life is not always the easiest or most comfortable life, but it is the life worth living.

Be Extraordinary!

2014 in Living Color

Resolve

How many times have you set the same resolution? Maybe you don’t call it a “resolution”, but you know what I’m talking about. We all have that goal, dream or resolution that always eludes us. We say, “this is the year, or month, or day that everything will change!” Maybe you reflect on the past year and realize, in one area or another, that you are in the same place you were last year at this time. Or, perhaps, you’ve had a wake-up as Alfred Nobel did (story featured in yesterday’s post).

If you relate to being stuck or feel like your life is going in circles and fear that you will continue to end up in the same place over and over, then it is time to write a different story. My friend in business, Melissa, often reminds people that “your past does not define your future”. The story of 2013 does not have to be the story of 2014. Just like Alfred Nobel, you too can choose something different.

Here are three steps that I am using to help write a different story in my life and hopefully they will help you write the story you dream of too!

1) Know your commitment and commit to the process. One of my resolves for 2014 is to be healthy and release weight. If healthy is the story I want to create then I better be committed and know clearly the process I am committed to. I will not arrive at healthy without making choices that reflect my commitment. Some of these choices are putting healthy food in my mouth; stocking the fridge with healthy, whole foods; filling my purse and car with shakes and bars for those times I am on the run; exercising regularly; and communicating with my accountability partners. I know what it takes to be healthy, but in order to really achieve healthy I must commit to the process.

Color changes everything2) Paint your story in living color. Tony, my business and life coach, is a master of painting life pictures. When he describes living in financial freedom, for example, it comes to life and I can visualize, feel, smell, and touch each piece as if I am actually living financially free. That kind of clarity is necessary if we are going to pursue dreams. We must be able to see our story in clear, living color. This can be done by writing your story as it looks on December 31, 2014. When you get to the end of this year what will you have accomplished? Write it in specific, detailed, living color.

3) Be accountable. I avoided accountability for many years because I convinced myself that it showed weakness to need help. I didn’t want to bother others with my journey, but I also realized that my journey didn’t go where I wanted it to without accountability. The dreams that elude me are ones that require changing my actions and my choices and that is where accountability comes in. For me, the idea of the end goal is exciting and inspiring, but a few days or weeks into the daily habits my excitement wanes and slowly my choices return to “normal”. Accountability is key in order to maintain the changes until they become my new normal. (Joe will share more on choices in the next post.)

What story do you want to write for 2014? Take time before Part Three on Thursday to write out your story from the perspective of December 31, 2014.

The road to our dreams is not easy, but it is always worth it!

Be Extraordinary!

This is part 2 of a 4-part blog about the New Year. My husband and I are tag-teaming to create these special blogs, so be sure to read part 1 here, if you missed it. Part 3 will be at http://www.overboardministries.wordpress.com on Thursday, and part 4 will be back here on Friday.