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On Having a Story, Saying Yes and Living with Intention

 “Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits.” – Bruce Lee & John Little, The Art of Expressing the Human Body (via Joel Runyon)

As I mentioned in my last post about WDS, two messages really resonated with me as I left Portland and absorbed everything that happened: having a story and saying yes. A third that I discovered is living with intention.

On Storytelling

The first person to really hit these topics for me was  Joel Runyon of Impossible HQ during his workshop (aptly titled): “Do Something. Do Anything.” He told us the question that propelled him into the creating a list of impossible things and changing his life was, “Are you telling a good story with your life? Would anybody want to read it?

I, admittedly, don’t have much of a story and it’s probably the major thing that I need to work on. My lack of story is a lot of things… fear, insecurities, unwillingness to be vulnerable… but it’s something that I want and am ready to change. So far, I’m just a girl who quit my corporate job, found another corporate job, pays off my debt, but sometimes does cool things on the side. Riveting, I’m sure.

Having a story is clearly one of my greatest weaknesses. I think I’m a cool enough person, but would anyone else want to read my story? Not without a little work.

On Saying Yes

I took absolutely no notes during JD Roth‘s speech on the Power of Personal Transformation (luckily, he posted the transcript yesterday). JD is a man who has gone through major transformations across all areas of his life over the past several years.

The first topic up? The power of yes. JD found that he was saying no to opportunities constantly because he was “afraid of what might happen.” Then he continued:

I made a resolution. I decided that instead of saying “no” to things because I was afraid of them, I’d “just say yes”.

Saying yes is something I’ve been working on in my life already. I don’t want to be the person that says “I wish.” I don’t want to wish, I want to do. As JD said, it is the things we do that make me who we are, not what we think we do.

I don’t wish I was brave enough to go skydiving, I do it.
I don’t wish I could travel, I make it a priority and do it.
I don’t wish I could get out of debt, I work at it everyday.
I don’t wish I had more time to read, I make it.

You never know what kind of friendships might develop or new adventures await, if you would just say yes and allow new opportunities into your life. Of all things that have terrified me the past year, attending WDS is definitely one of them, but I did it. And I think it’ll be one of the greatest decisions of my life.

On Living with Intention

Another workshop, Claim Your AUTHORity, lead by Cynthia Morris of Original Impulse, helped direct me toward my values and the realization that intention living is important to me. During one exercise, we were writing down the core values to our book (or life if we so chose), and I wrote down change, independence and gratitude.

After staring at my little circle with my three words in it, I added a fourth: intention.

It struck me that I wanted to live a life intended. How awesome and ambiguous is that? Just kidding. Intentional living is simply a life ” intentionally chosen by an individual based on awareness of her/his values and fundamental beliefs” (yes, it’s from Wikipedia). Much of the past week I’ve been considering my values and fundamental beliefs and I think I know what living with intention means to me right now: to give freely, live openly and practice gratitude.

Some things I’d already managed to incorporate into my daily life without realizing it, the others will take some time.

What stories did you hear that inspired change?