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twenty great teen

Follow your passion. Remember when this new age-y, seemingly simple advice started trending? It was the fail-safe road map to happiness. However, if you felt like me, unclear of your passions, then no advice felt more stalling and demotivating.

I love an inspirational quote as much as the next guy so I needed to find something that worked.

“Follow the next right step.”

Not the same ring and you probably won’t find it embroidered on a pillow but it’s advice that, to me, makes big dreams seem possible.

I once saw a favorite author, Glennon Doyle Melton, at a live event. The topic of passions came up during the Q&A. She said look to the role models you envy. She joked about feeling zilch watching cooking shows but when she watched a woman write, speak, and live her truth she felt inspired. I may have let out a double “amen.”

At that time, I enjoyed writing. Occasionally, I would share insights with family and friends, if meaningful enough. I wouldn’t have called writing a passion. But I felt the envy Glennon mentioned when watching women live and speak boldly.

I started my blog the next week. Today writing a book sits on my goal list. There were a thousand next right steps between point A and Z though. Nothing is magic. Even magic.

If “follow your passion” feels deflating try taking the next right step. And then the next one after that. Indolent passions or ones you hadn’t given any thought to will be discovered along the way.

Before I get to my 2018 intentions I have to take a moment to say that I am so happy. I don’t want to sound like a braggart but if I can share with you when I’m really sad it seems fair to share my happiness just the same.

My happiness is a product of all my next right steps. Happiness actualized. It takes many steps, a few stumbles, and several more right steps after that, but when you’re sitting in a space that you purposefully worked for –it’s a giddy good feel.

My 2018 intention list is shorter than years past; only a few words but that cover so much.

Without further ado…

2018 Intentions

Focus- My intentions have been clarified. My efforts will be purposefully directed but our world continues to be built for distraction and I was programmed with short attention. Further distancing myself from technology remains a high priority. The more disconnected I am, the more space I have to create what matters most.

I have financials goals I’d like to meet by years end, too. Paying off loans and watching my savings grow is such a gratifying feeling. Less lattes. More nest egg.

Visual reminders, daily planners, and phone usage tracking apps will all be utilized. Focus, and refusing temptations that move me in the wrong direction, will get me where I want to be.

Simplicity –I purged several material belongings last fall but I want to feel this word so much more than a neater closet. I want to reduce unnecessary commitments and have more empty calendar space. Whatever commitments fill my week will be made only if they enrich my time.

I desire to have more. The goal is getting there with less.

Enjoyment –The joy I feel from having taken a number of next right steps is wonderful and I want more of that. I will continue to let that advice be my compass.

That’s all.

Three little words are what I’m feeling most passionate about for 2018. Dreams are our purpose and mine will continue to be made by a series of next right steps.

Oh, I also want to be published in The New Yorker. Not for writing but for winning the cartoon caption contest. Not all dreams have to be serious. You just have to be serious about them.

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thirty celebrations