Live Your Dream in 2011

by Liz Caskey on December 22, 2010

As of late, I have gotten extremely philosophical when flying. I have attributed this partially to the period of my life, one of intense introspection and growth. Maybe it’s the time of year, too. A New Year provokes reflection. But somehow, being suspended 30,000 feet above Planet Earth in essentially a flying aluminum can, moving at 500 miles/hour, makes me stop and think a little. As I gaze below I see the larger texture, geography, and curvature of the Earth. I move huge distances in short periods between countries and distant cultures. I traverse mighty mountains and huge oceans. It’s pretty amazing.

As soon as I am on the plane and the door closes to push back, I become grateful for the forced disconnect. The iPhone goes into airplane mode with no e-mail, no Skype, no Facebook or Twitter. I am left to read a book (imagine!), listen to some inspirational interviews on my iPod, or just look out the window and contemplate my life. The latter has been most attractive.  In the air, far from my office, my husband, my friends, my family, and all my never-ending obligations and commitments I come to the same conclusion when I sieve out the b.s. and details. The most important thing in my life is being happy. Fulfillment. Giving and sharing with others. Receiving. Loving. Loving (my) life and being grateful for this gift every single day. Sometimes I forget when things get, err, crazy.

As demanding as I am (perpetual perfectionist), when I step on a plane, I step back and get some distance. On my last trip back to Chile, completely exhausted and overworked, I forgot about my momentary discomfort and instead, decided to give myself some credit and take a hard look at how far I had come (leveraging the introspective flying mood). After 10 years here in Chile, 9 years since I quit investment banking, 5 years since I started our own wine tours company, ok, I finally feel that some progress has been made. I remembered how I felt when I got off the plane in Chile in 2001 to work in corporate finance. If a fortune teller had told me this would be my reality in a decade more, I would have died laughing.”Yeah right”, I would have said.

And there it was. I made this all happen–by decision and choice. And a lot of persistence. But most importantly, at some point it became completely clear to me I am responsible for everything in my life, good and bad. I am the creator of everything I want–or don’t want. So I shifted into a proactive mode. A creative mode. I started to ask myself, frequently, hard questions like,  “is my life a reflection of my passion?” If it wasn’t, I changed it. Today, it is a reflection, but always a constant work in progress. While I have my moments of, “uff”, most of the time I wake up eager and ready to crush the day ahead. Excited to make a difference. Enthused to discover, inspire, and c-r-e-a-t-e. Life is too short to live without a strong why. To not live our passion on a daily basis–whatever it is. That’s a personal question.

I have had a lot of people writing and calling about how they can move into doing what they love. There is no one formula for this as we each are on our own individual paths. In fact, I feel it is a disservice to give this kind of advice since I only know my own experience. However, what I have learned is that each and everyone of us has the potential and capacity inside to live your passion. It basically boils down to the decision to do it. Making the decision is the hardest part. Sticking with it takes tons of persistence and a big heap of confidence and faith that it will happen, even when all odds are making it feel damn near impossible (that’s just a test, not a verdict). There were, and are, times when I thought, “how, how, how?”. That is our mind’s (limited) perception, there is always a way. Always. Making a true decision to live your passion requires you “burn the ships” as Napoleon Hill said in his amazing book, Think and Grow Rich.

Certainly living your passion is uncomfortable. It requires you to stretch, grow, work hard, and believe in things you cannot see but know in your heart. Personally, on this journey, I have become my own best friend and biggest advocate, instead of cutting myself down constantly for what I have not been, done, achieved. If you don’t believe in yourself who will? So as we all set our sights on what’s to come in 2011, I say for your folks feeling that inkling to step up and out to live your own passion this coming year, go for it. It takes guts and conviction but what lies ahead is soooo worth it. I have never once looked back. Never. We only have one life, and it flies by quite quickly. So knowing that, I say just crush it NOW. We only experience life in the now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday. NOW.

Happy Holidays to everyone and I wish you the best for a prosperous and passionate 2011. I hope you’re drinking up some good South American wines!

Pic credit: MJM


Harold Partain December 22, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Thanks, Liz… this came at the perfect time. I needed a boost. Holiday Cheer to you and yours. Hope to see you in the near future in South America.

Andy Blechman January 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm

This is an awesome post. Our generation is really breaking into a new threshold, where we ask ourselves, do I LOVE what I’m doing, who I am, the life I’m building??? This hit really close to home. Thanks Liz.

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