The Sure-Fire Way To Succeed At Anything!

go the extra mile

(via)

For as long as I could remember I never could just stop at “good enough” because I felt like there was so much more.

Even as a five year old my drive wasn’t perfection… it was expression.  I would create plays for family holidays and design group photos that one day I would cherish.    I was filming commercials with a massive camera (betamax?) as extra credit to illustrate my points in creative writing at 10.  By 13 I orchestrated a whole New Age crystal event for my sister’s science project, dressing her and a friend in all black with slicked hair and white powdered faces complete with red lipstick, a lawn chair to use as a treatment table for the judges, a cassette tape of music (cassette!) to play and a bag of crystals to use to do chakra healings on the teachers in Huber Street School.

I had no idea why the world dropped me in Secaucus, New Jersey where people didn’t understand me even as a little kid, but I was determined to try to get them to understand me.  If you grew up like a transplanted alien, you understand.

If you feel like the world around you doesn’t understand who you are or how you think right now- your co-workers, your family, even your friends- its tempting to try to shut down your own voice and be more like the group.

Don’t do it.  I’ve tried it.  It’s a ticket to depression, a stifled life and a host of problems from mental to physical that are screaming to tell you that you have to make a change.

At least that’s what happened to me.

If you are there right now, you can get yourself out of it.

In fact, if you want to truly succeed at anything- including life-  the only trick is to not stop at “good enough” or settle for being less than you are.  It’s not easy.  It’s not quiet.  It’s not always peaceful.  But it always works.

dana claudat

I learned about tea in Japan.  In fact, its where I learn the most- experientially- about the true Buddhism that makes my life tick.  Before I started my Japan trips I would come up with so many reasons I didn’t need to go because the temple in LA was good enough.  I was overwrought with problems that weren’t my own. I had settled for paradigms that made my own magic fade to black.  Then… I started to say Yes to the kind of adventure I craved.

It’s not in my nature to just do enough. If you work with me you know that a two hour consult can become three… that a book I love will turn into a free group online… that if I am signing on to a project, I’m likely going to invest far more money and time into it than anyone thinks is wise… And while you’d think over time I’d grow weary of this, I see myself doing it more and more.

Why?

Because I have to.

After all, I am the chick who almost didn’t graduate from college because she was trying to create an art project out of a massive thesis I didn’t need to write (!) about vampires, vampire personalities and the history of art.

But when I did ultimately finish, it was a major award-winning paper.

There are things that I realize I just have to do and the more I do them the more things grow.  Its the opposite of all logic, sound advice, reason or anything else.  In fact, it defies my own love of “balanced” living and everything else.  But… I find balance in living a life I love.

Do you?

Have you ever tried living a life you love, really?

In the “real world” every time I’m tempted to be sensible, to just do “enough”… I crumble.  My soul feels small. I feel like I just can’t function.  And believe me, I tried so hard to fight my own internal need to be self-expressed… it just always failed.  I failed.

No one wins when you turn away from your own fully-expressed life.

Your friends and family get less of you, your pets get an unhappy version of you, your job gets only a sliver of you… And all of it happens solely because you tried to fit in.

Idea for you:  go the extra mile… whether it means spending an extra twenty minutes styling an outfit or two weeks of working overtime to turn a work project into a stunning something so much bigger.  Can you think of one single thing in your life you can approach with total willingness to do absolutely so much more… to do it the way you really feel it “should” be done?  Even if your early attempts fall on an audience who doesn’t quite get it (it happens. no one really understood my 10 year old commercials… or my short stories!) you will, if you keep going, have such a sense of magic, power, fulfillment and infinite possibility that you will find your people and your projects.

Not to mention, this is the kind of work that isn’t really work!!!

xoxo Dana

 

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Q January 24, 2015 at 10:21 pm

This is just what I needed to hear. Thanks, Dana. The work you are doing is so great and inspiring.

danaclaudat January 25, 2015 at 1:09 am

xoxoxox Thank you so much! Happy new year!!! xoxo

KD Dunbar January 25, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Dana, The “out of place” feeling you mentioned has a name: the mistaken zygote syndrome. Look it up. I have it too…..

danaclaudat January 26, 2015 at 6:39 am

thats so cool, thank you!!!

Judy January 26, 2015 at 11:26 pm

You always make me smile!! I can’t wait to get my own business launched ASAP and I want to model after you. Fun, creative, happy and intuitive:))

danaclaudat January 27, 2015 at 12:22 am

I’m honored and excited for you!!!!! xxoo

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