Category Archives: Quitter Conference

Music City introduction

When I was inNashville, Jon Acuff invited us to a Quitter after party. He and his wife Jenny were going to see a band called Seryn play at The Listening Café.

I had only heard of them from a post Jon had written after seeing them perform in someone’s living room.

A handful of us went to the show. It was fun to connect with other Quitter friends and have a night out inNashville. We had no idea what an amazing show we were in for. They were awesome!

They had just about every instrument imaginable with them. And they could all play the majority of them!

I love seeing bands that are so passionate about what they do. I have been listening to them nonstop and just love their unique sound and lyrics.

Check out their album release video on YouTube!

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Thoughts from a second time Quitter…

Last year, I went to the Quitter Conference. At this year’s conference, I was talking to a friend I had met there last year about our first Quitter experience. She had the best explanation for it. “We looked like deer in headlights.”

The ideas that Jon presents about following your dream, changing your life and fully living, can be overwhelming. Especially when you have NO idea what your dream is. That was me last year. I had completely stopped dreaming.

When Jon announced the second Quitter conference, I asked him if he recommended that people come for a second time. His response was yes! And, he said there would be more interaction with the attendees. This was something that excited me. There had not been much time to network last year. Finding others who are chasing dreams is not always easy. And being in a room full of 200+ others who are, is pretty rare.

For me, that was the best part of this year’s conference. Don’t get me wrong. Jon is still incredibly funny and motivating. And having more clarity on my own dream definitely helped. Am I excited about the changes I have made to date? Absolutely. But what I’ve also learned is that hearing other people talk about their dream and share it really excites me. Why? Because I’m an encourager. In some small way, I can hopefully support them or encourage them.

I met some incredible people at the conference. I look forward to following them, supporting them, and learning from them.

I love hearing people passionately talk about their dreams and providing hope to others. Jon does an amazing job at that. It never gets old. But what resonated with me this time were more practical things that I can apply.

So, what were my key learnings?

1. When you talk about your dream, it often makes people go deaf. Wow. That is so profound. When you say “I want to write a book”, they may hear, “What you’re doing is not good enough. Why aren’t you doing something more with your life? or I’m cooler than you.” Jon just wrote a great post about this.

This nugget has helped me realize so many things about people. It keeps going back to “It’s not about me.” People are often listening to the voices in their heads rather than to what you are saying. So don’t take it personally that they don’t understand your dream. Many times, their response has absolutely nothing to do with you. This advice can apply to SO many areas of our lives.

2. Approval is a terrible fuel for a dream. I struggle with this one for sure. I want people to like me and respond to what I am doing.  I like confirmation and acknowledgement for what I’ve done. I’ve gotten so much better at this over the years, but it is great to think of it in the context of dreaming.

Approval will fade. Many people won’t like what you’re doing. You have to be your own fuel.

3. I’m going to measure my obedience, not results. This one hit home for me. It’s exactly what I’ve been learning over the last few years. Learning to live in true faith and trust. To not have the plan all figured out. To simply obey when God leads. What does that mean for the future? I have no idea. What I do know is that I am being obedient. I am reaching out to people when I feel led. I am writing when I feel led. So for me, this is going to be my mantra moving forward.

4. If you want support, give support. I have always tried to do this, and have been more intentional about it lately. Having a support system has been immeasurable for me. But, I have learned that as I’ve supported others. This is something I think so many people miss.

So, if this was your first Quitter conference, should you go to the next one? My answer is definitely YES!  If you put into practice what you have learned at this one, you will be amazed at how much more clarity will come at the next one. And if you’ve never been, then you should definitely go!!

A big thank you to Jon Acuff, and the entire event team, for another great event. Also, remember to give your feedback. One of the things many of us responded with were that there was not enough time for networking. They took that feedback and improved it.

So, what were your learnings? I’d love to hear from you.

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Filed under Encouragement, Quitter Conference

What will you finish in 2012?

As you may have figured out from previous posts, Jon Acuff  has had a big influence on my life this past year. Reading his book, Quitter, and attending his Quitter conference, really impacted me. It somehow flipped a switch in me. Or helped ignite a flame that was dwindling.

It’s so weird when someone’s words and suggestions really resonate with you on a deep level. Especially when you don’t know them. I didn’t have the chance to meet him at the conference. Other than an email or comment or twitter exchange, we’ve never spoken. However, I believe God uses unexpected people to help speak things that you need to hear.

That has been the case with him over the last half of this year. His words and the experience of the conference have prompted me to make changes in my life. Of course, there are many others close to me that have helped encourage me as well. And I am so grateful for the communities of people that I have around me! I know I would not have been as open to this message had I not already been working towards making significant changes in my life through their help.

I recently came across a list that I wrote of my goals for 2011. It kind of shocked me, as I had forgotten that I wrote it. I am not a big New Year’s resolution person. I typically don’t follow through on them and I get frustrated with myself when I don’t.

That’s why in June of this year, I decided to do something different. I decided it was time to make some lifestyle changes. I decided to get healthier. The main goal was to lose weight, but it wasn’t the focus. I wanted to change the way that I approached it. I wanted to take it slow and improve a little bit every day, instead of trying to drop a huge amount of weight upfront and not be able to maintain it. I have done that plenty of times in the past! I wanted to be a healthier me. 

What surprised me most when I saw the list was that I had actually made significant progress on almost every item on the list. Wow! I don’t think that has ever happened before. And, remember, I had not been focusing specifically on the list.

So how did I do it? I made a commitment to do it. And, I had communities of people supporting me. When I decided to get healthier, I joined a kettlebell class. The relationships that I’ve formed with people who are getting stronger and healthier (and my incredible trainers) has had a huge impact on my desire to keep going. They support me and encourage me.

After I went to the Quitter conference, I have continued to stay in touch with other people who are also learning to follow their dream. While we don’t speak often, we have continued to support each other in our blog comments and given support through Twitter.

As I have walked through my faith journey over the last few years, I have been surrounded by a community of friends and leaders that have helped me learn to take steps towards becoming the person God wants me to be. This has helped me grow in my faith, and also helped me start figuring out what I think God wants me to do in this life.

These are just a few examples of things that I have done this year. Which is also a very long winded explanation for this post. Once again, Jon has challenged me. This time, it’s to be intentional about 2012.

He’s challenged me to commit to FINISHING my goals.

Not starting them.

Not just work on them.

But, to finish them.

As he so eloquently states, “Starting a project doesn’t change the world. Finishing a project changes the world.”

So, now I’m going to challenge you. Come along on the ride with me! Figure out what your goals are for 2012, and commit to finishing them.There will be a community of people supporting you and keeping you on track. I am willing to be one of them!

I am currently working on my list right now. Wow, it is tough to decide what the right balance is between pushing yourself and being somewhat realistic given your time constraints. But, I am committed to do it! And, Jon helps with that too.

I am so excited about the possibilites of approaching it from this angle. Last year was about learning to dream again and getting myself to commit to start things again. Now, I am going to work on finishing them!

I’d love to have you join me!

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Filed under #FinishYear, Community, Dreams, Encouragement, Motivation, Quitter Conference

I am not (repost from Sept. 17, 2011)

 I am not creative.

I am not an artist.

I am not an idea person.

I am not a dreamer.

These are all things I have said in the past. Many, many times. And I am now starting to wonder when that crucial time was when I decided I WASN’T these things, instead of trying to explore and develop them.

The last few years have been so interesting for me, because I have developed this community around me who no longer allows me to say those things. They no longer allow me to say that I am fine exactly where I am. They continually push me to stretch myself, and to not be satisfied with just existing. And I am so thankful for it.

A big part of this definitely has to do with the changes in my faith, and how I am now viewing myself as God sees me, rather than how I see myself, or how the world sees me. And I am searching for ways to make an impact. That makes an incredible difference in my attitude, overall outlook, and decisions. But, I have also really been thinking and praying and trying to figure out what some of my lost passions are. It has been an eye opening, yet extremely frustrating experience.

How could I say I’m not creative? I played the piano (and flute and tenor sax), sang, and created beautiful music, even if it was not my own. I brought the notes on the page to life. I wrote poems, and short stories. I loved to write letters and notes. I loved to scrapbook, and take photos and capture unique images.

While I am not someone who continually thinks up the most unique ideas, I do have opinions and good ideas to bring to individuals, and teams and organizations. I have experience in many different unique roles and circumstances, and I have my own ideas that work pretty well. How could I continually deny that and say I’m not an idea person?

Why did I stop dreaming? Where are those hidden dreams that I must have had when I was younger? What happened to them? I know they were there once. Why did I push them so far deep inside? Will they ever see the light of day again? Are there new ones to explore?

I had one childhood dream that I do remember vividly. I wanted to be a funeral director. I know. Crazy, right? I think the interest started with my Grandfather’s funeral in the late ’70s. I had never seen someone in a casket before. I was young, and curious. I specifically remember reaching up for his hand, and wanting to touch him and give him a kiss one last time. I wasn’t afraid. I knew where he was. He was with Jesus, and I was happy for him. But, my Aunt slapped my hand away, as I was reaching up for him. “We don’t do that!! It’s not proper.”  I was crushed. I just wanted one more moment with him, and I wanted to know if his hand felt the same.

I also think that I instinctively knew from an early age that I can often be a source of comort to people. What an amazing experience it would be to be a source of calm and comfort to families facing difficult times with death. Of course, I didn’t fully comprehend all of this then, but I do think that I thought I could be helpful to people in very sad times. Unfortunately, experiencing death firsthand when my father passed away, completely scratched this dream. I was fourteen years old, and the thought of having to be around families who were hurting in a way that I now understood, was something I didn’t think I could bear.

I look back on that now and wonder, “Did I really want to be a funeral director?”, “Is that a dream I should pursue?” I can honestly say that it isn’t. But what is interesting is the perspective I’ve realized around it. The part about being comforting to others. And helping others. And making a difference. That is what I’d dreamed of for a very long time.

At some time, however, the dream got pushed to the bottom. And reality and responsibility and expectations for who I should become piled on top of it. And I started to believe the lie that says you can’t follow your dream. You have to be responsible, and take care of yourself and your family. Nobody is always going to be there for you, except for you. And dreams don’t come true, so why waste time chasing them? Why did I not realize there were other things I could do to evoke the same feelings?

I no longer believe those lies. I am continually being challenged to take another step of faith in many areas of my life. One of the things that I am working hard on is discovering my true purpose, and how God wants to use me in a unique way. I feel that something is changing, but I don’t quite know what it is yet. I am taking one step at a time, and enjoying this very interesting time in my life.

I am asking questions. Lots of questions. To people I know, and people I am just getting to know. I am reading many different books on leadership and dreams and amazing memoirs. I attended The Quitter Conference, and Story, both of which impacted me in very unique ways. Both Jon Acuff and Ben Arment spoke about your own unique story, and how nobody can tell it. This really hit me. Yes, they may have done something similar to what you are dreaming. But, they are not you. Your perspective is different. Your story matters! The world needs to hear it. 

So what else am I doing?

I am allowing people to speak truth into my life. Sometimes truth that I don’t want to hear

I am allowing people to start demystifying the entire dreaming process for me

I am searching for the unique in the every day stories

I am taking the time to truly listen to people

I am enjoying the small moments in life

I am looking forward to where this journey is taking me.

What about you? What things are you working to change in your life? What is your dream?

P.S. I was BLOWN away this weekend when I found this link from Jon Acuff’s blog to mine.  I am incredibly thankful to him for being so supportive.

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Filed under Creativity, Dreams, Quitter Conference, Story

A Big Challenge

A few months ago, I attended Jon Acuff’s Quitter conference. We saw Jon and others wearing these cool, bright watches.

At the end of the conference, they gave us all a watch!

In addition to the watch being cool, I loved the concept behind it. Each purchase provides food and education to children in poverty. Now that is something that I absolutely love!

So, when I heard that they were now partnering with another organization, Africa New Life in Rwanda, to sponsor street boys, I wanted to know how I could help.

I have decided to take on a big challenge. I agreed to be a Team Captain. My goal is to have 70 people buy a watch. This will fund Fred’s meals and education for an entire year!

Here is a link to more information about Fred: HTTP://BIT.LY/PED52D 

I love that you are getting something neat, and helping someone change their future at the same time.  Thank you for considering to support Team Fred!!

You can go here to order: http://hellosomebody.bigcartel.com/product/watches

Be sure to read the note below regarding putting Fred’s name in the note field. This will help keep track of the team progress. Thank you!

 

When orders are placed the child’s name must be entered in the “note” field to help us keep track of who has reached their goals. It’s a small and easy to miss line that says “Note to seller” in which you click on and it opens the note field. Use this picture below as reference.

 

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Filed under Hello Somebody, Quitter Conference

I am not…..

I am not creative.

I am not an artist.

I am not an idea person.

I am not a dreamer.

These are all things I have said in the past. Many, many times. And I am now starting to wonder when that crucial time was when I decided I WASN’T these things, instead of trying to explore and develop them.

The last few years have been so interesting for me, because I have developed this community around me who no longer allows me to say those things. They no longer allow me to say that I am fine exactly where I am. They continually push me to stretch myself, and to not be satisfied with just existing. And I am so thankful for it.

A big part of this definitely has to do with the changes in my faith, and how I am now viewing myself as God sees me, rather than how I see myself, or how the world sees me. And I am searching for ways to make an impact. That makes an incredible difference in my attitude, overall outlook, and decisions. But, I have also really been thinking and praying and trying to figure out what some of my lost passions are. It has been an eye opening, yet extremely frustrating experience.

How could I say I’m not creative? I played the piano (and flute and tenor sax), sang, and created beautiful music, even if it was not my own. I brought the notes on the page to life. I wrote poems, and short stories. I loved to write letters and notes. I loved to scrapbook, and take photos and capture unique images.

While I am not someone who continually thinks up the most unique ideas, I do have opinions and good ideas to bring to individuals, and teams and organizations. I have experience in many different unique roles and circumstances, and I have my own ideas that work pretty well. How could I continually deny that and say I’m not an idea person?

Why did I stop dreaming? Where are those hidden dreams that I must have had when I was younger? What happened to them? I know they were there once. Why did I push them so far deep inside? Will they ever see the light of day again? Are there new ones to explore?

I had one childhood dream that I do remember vividly. I wanted to be a funeral director. I know. Crazy, right? I think the interest started with my Grandfather’s funeral in the late ’70s. I had never seen someone in a casket before. I was young, and curious. I specifically remember reaching up for his hand, and wanting to touch him and give him a kiss one last time. I wasn’t afraid. I knew where he was. He was with Jesus, and I was happy for him. But, my Aunt slapped my hand away, as I was reaching up for him. “We don’t do that!! It’s not proper.”  I was crushed. I just wanted one more moment with him, and I wanted to know if his hand felt the same.

I also think that I instinctively knew from an early age that I can often be a source of comort to people. What an amazing experience it would be to be a source of calm and comfort to families facing difficult times with death. Of course, I didn’t fully comprehend all of this then, but I do think that I thought I could be helpful to people in very sad times. Unfortunately, experiencing death firsthand when my father passed away, completely scratched this dream. I was fourteen years old, and the thought of having to be around families who were hurting in a way that I now understood, was something I didn’t think I could bear.

I look back on that now and wonder, “Did I really want to be a funeral director?”, “Is that a dream I should pursue?” I can honestly say that it isn’t. But what is interesting is the perspective I’ve realized around it. The part about being comforting to others. And helping others. And making a difference. That is what I’d dreamed of for a very long time.

At some time, however, the dream got pushed to the bottom. And reality and responsibility and expectations for who I should become piled on top of it. And I started to believe the lie that says you can’t follow your dream. You have to be responsible, and take care of yourself and your family. Nobody is always going to be there for you, except for you. And dreams don’t come true, so why waste time chasing them? Why did I not realize there were other things I could do to evoke the same feelings?

I no longer believe those lies. I am continually being challenged to take another step of faith in many areas of my life. One of the things that I am working hard on is discovering my true purpose, and how God wants to use me in a unique way. I feel that something is changing, but I don’t quite know what it is yet. I am taking one step at a time, and enjoying this very interesting time in my life.

I am asking questions. Lots of questions. To people I know, and people I am just getting to know. I am reading many different books on leadership and dreams and amazing memoirs. I attended The Quitter Conference, and Story, both of which impacted me in very unique ways. Both Jon Acuff and Ben Arment spoke about your own unique story, and how nobody can tell it. This really hit me. Yes, they may have done something similar to what you are dreaming. But, they are not you. Your perspective is different. Your story matters! The world needs to hear it. 

So what else am I doing?

I am allowing people to speak truth into my life. Sometimes truth that I don’t want to hear

I am allowing people to start demystifying the entire dreaming process for me

I am searching for the unique in the every day stories

I am taking the time to truly listen to people

I am enjoying the small moments in life

I am looking forward to where this journey is taking me.

What about you? What things are you working to change in your life? What is your dream?

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Filed under Creativity, Dreams, Quitter Conference, Story

Vision

“If the size of your vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God.” Steven Furtick
 
 
I read this quote in his book titled “Sun Stand Still.” It was pretty mind blowing to me. When had I stopped having a vision for my life? When did just getting by in life and working towards what the world told me I needed take over? When did I settle for good enough?
 
I am really struggling with this question right now. I know that God has a vision for my life. I know he had one many years ago. However, I chose to continue to work towards what I thought was best for me. Sure, I believed in him. Sure, I was a Christian. But, I wasn’t letting him guide my paths. I was choosing my own path and asking for him to help me with it when I felt like I needed help.
 
Now, as I am feeling led towards new directions, I am really wrestling with this. Nothing is clear to me at this point. The only thing I know for sure is that God has a plan. I just have to keep trusting him and obeying when he asks me to take small steps.
 
One of those small steps was attending the Quitter conference last weekend. I thought that maybe I would have some lightbulb moment while I was there. I didn’t. However, what I did feel was hope and clarity that I am moving in the direction that he wants me to go. And to be honest, it’s kind of exciting to watch this all progress on a daily and weekly basis.
 
What is your vision for your life? Has it always been clear to you? I’d love to hear from you!
 

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Filed under Dreams, Quitter Conference