#Trust30 Day 32 - Fault and Change

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life, is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be? –Carlos Miceli

If everything not working in my life were my fault, what would I do?

I would sit down and brainstorm how the hell I’m going to get things turned around. I would start by writing down a list of everything I thought was going wrong. From there, I would prioritize the list and decide which ones I should start working on first.

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#Trust30 Day 31 - Image

Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mess up your hair. If you are wearing makeup – smudge it. If you have a pair of pants that dont really fit you – put them on. Put on a top that doesn’t go with those pants. Go to your sock drawer. Pull out two socks that don’t match. Different lengths, materials, colors, elasticity.

Now two shoes. You know the drill.

Need to add more? Ties? Hair clips? Stick your gut out? I trust you to go further.

Take a picture.

Get ready to post it online.

Are you feeling dread? Excitement? Is this not the image you have of yourself? Write about the fear or the thrill that this raises in you? Who do you need to look good for and what story does it tell about you? Or why don’t you care? -Matthew Stillman

[I thought yesterday’s #Trust30 post was the last one of its kind, but now I wouldn’t be surprised to find another one in the inbox tomorrow. This might be my last one, regardless.]

Doing outrageous things to draw attention to myself, such as dressing up like a madman and posting a picture on the internet is something that I tend to avoid, probably because I like to be thought of as serious. At least that’s the image I tend to portray (I have a hidden comedian side too, but it doesn’t come out all that often). Besides, dressing up weird and posting a funny picture on the internet would make me a lot less nervous than posting a link to this*. Dressing up is much less personal to me than letting people hear me sing, especially when I can tell that I was holding something back (I do like the guitar part on the song. It took me a while to come up with all those licks).

Anyway, I understand the need to do things outside my comfort zone. I can’t remember who said it (my guess is Seth Godin), but it is good to “do something outrageous once in a while just to show yourself that you can.” It pushes you out of your comfort zone and helps you overcome your fear of looking ridiculous, a real fear that many of us have. People are often well-rewarded when they can overcome this (Lady GaGa is an example that comes to mind), so the advice is something I should follow more often.

I’m working on it.


*The HFC Theme Song was written and recorded in Boston in 2005. Thanks to @TimDowning for the help, and to all those who contributed photos (mostly my mother). 

#Trust30 Day 30- The 10-Year Text

Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Imagine your future self, i.e., you 10 years from now. If he/she were to send you a tweet or text message, 1) what would it say and 2) how would that transform your life or change something you’re doing, thinking, believing or saying today? –Tia Singh

[For anyone who doesn’t know, a text or tweet only gets 140 characters, max.]

Pssst! Do it…Get up and make a SPLASH! You'll be glad you did. #trust30 Day 30

There’s my tweet. It is a reminder that no matter what I need to do over the next 10 years, I need to jump in and do it with enthusiasm and confidence. Have fun and be bold. Let the results be what they will be—I’m going to let myself out of the box.

And once I’m out, heaven help us all…

Trust30 Day 29 – Overcoming Uncertainty

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down a major life goal you have yet to achieve or even begin to take action on. For each goal, write down three uncertainties (read: fears) you have relating to each goal. Break it down further, and write down three reasons for each uncertainty. When you have three reasons for your fear, you’ll be able to start processing the change because you know where the fear stems from. Now you’ll be able to make a smaller changes that push you towards your larger goal. So begins the process of “trusting yourself. –Sean Ogle

There’s nothing I like better than being open and honest about my fears in a public forum like this (#sarcasm), but since I did agree to write on these topics, here goes...

Goal: Start a company

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#Trust30 Day 28 - Feeling alive

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. If we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

When did you feel most alive recently? Where were you? What did you smell? What sights and sounds did you experience? Capture that moment on paper and recall that feeling. Then, when it’s time to create something, read your own words to reclaim a sense of being to motivate you to complete a task at hand.—Sam Davidson

Speaking of the task at hand, I think this #Trust30 exercise is getting out of hand. It’s beginning to interfere with my work (which is why the last couple posts have been so short). I am ready for it to be over, not because it has not been valuable, but because there are other things I want to focus on.

Have we not talked about feeling alive before? In case you missed it, read this post. Or this one.

*sigh*….With that off my chest, I’ll move on to writing.


The guitar sits in the corner, its case in plain sight, waiting for me to get done with my other work. It seems like other priorities always work their way in ahead of the music. But then, one evening, I find myself done early, with no responsibilities or obligations that can’t wait until the next day. It is a delicious opportunity. It is time to let the songs that have been reverberating inside my head all day finally go free.

I walk over to the heavy black case. The buckles pop as I flip their silver tabs upward. Folding back the top half of the case, I grasp the smooth, rosewood neck and lift the guitar gently out of its soft green bed. Raising the guitar upward, I press my face to the opening in the guitar’s flat top and inhale deeply. The sweet smell of spruce and rosewood fills my mind with visions of the shop where the guitar was carefully fashioned from freshly-milled lumber.

I start playing, slowly, some low, mellow songs to get in the mood. At first, both my fingers and my voice resist my mind’s direction, but they warm up quickly as the harmonious vibrations resonate through the hollow body of the guitar and into the room around me.

Gradually, the pace and the intensity of the songs picks up to where I am playing and singing more freely. The music starts to resonate from within me, from somewhere deep. The force of the songs continues to grow until I abandon myself to the music. Time slows down, and I forget where I am. I sing without inhibition, without fear of being heard or being judged. It is my voice, my song, my release, and nothing else.

The moments of this kind of freedom are rare, but when they come, they are renewing. They make me feel alive.