Dream it and then DO IT…

Dear Readers,

It is not enough to say you want to do something. You must put a deadline on it.

If you have a dream to move to another city, state or country. Do what a very famous director in Austin told me when I was directing my first production many years ago –

“Work backwards from opening night.”

Let me be more specific, Write on your calendar “GOAL” and then work backwards, what must you do in each week to get there?

If you want to learn a language, don’t say you are too busy, figure out if its important enough to actually do it and find the time.

Do you want to run a 5K? Don’t just talk about it, join a running group, or even start with a cause you believe in more than the comfort of the couch, that’s how most people do it.

If you want to speak professionally, speak every chance you get and ask for feedback from people who are better than you, join Toastmasters and keep speaking every chance you get so you have every chance to get better.

My blog is all about getting people to live their dreams, not just talk about them, so I challenge you, yes you, reading this.. What do you want to do ?

Make a plan, and get some accountability partners and then GO DO IT.. What are you waiting for? There will never be a better time to start.

Think about it…. EliteSeMpicture

Speak it, Write it, and then DO IT!

Dear Readers, this is not a new concept.. it’s actually been around long before I drew a breath, but its a worthy reminder- here are just a few quotes to illustrate

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. -Colin Powell

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision. -Dalai Lama

Last night I was privileged to take part in an activity called “Vision Boarding” and though I have never done it before I really enjoyed thinking about my life and what is coming and what I want. The range is as broad or as narrow as you DESIRE.

This is all about YOU. Being selfish is not only allowed its ENCOURAGED in this exercise.

Do you want a different career or move up in the job you have? Do you want to travel more or less? Do you want to be something you are not today? Put it in writing or put it in pictures and then put it in FRONT of you so you have a visual representation of what you are working towards and BELIEVE it!

It has already made a difference in the choices I am making and more importantly the words I am using to describe myself and my future.

THINK ABOUT IT! and then go do it!VisionBoard

Your dream is a lot bigger than you are…

Dear Readers, Thank you for reading my blog. I know you don’t always comment but I know many of you are reading it and have met a few of you lately who have taken the time to tell me how much it helps you to know I am working out or working towards my goals and in turn it helps you to take one more baby step towards your dream.

Kermit the Frog said it best “Well, I have a dream too, but it’s about singing and dancing and making people happy. It’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And I found a whole group of friends who have the same dream, and that makes us sort of like a family.”

It struck me today how much it helps to have people to share a dream with and the more people you tell about it the more people can and WILL support you. As for the ones who don’t well they are just mad that they didn’t go after what they wanted. That’s about them, not you.

Make sure you ask for help and tell lots of supportive, positive people about what you are up to. They might surprise you with what they have to offer to help you get to where you are going.

Think about it!

You have no debt, You owe nothing, Spend a million dollars. GO!

This was the assignment my acting teacher gave us last night. The idea behind this is to court your imagination. I love this notion. How often as adults are we told, oh you can’t do that or that’s too expensive or that just isn’t possible.

How often do we let others beat down our imagination and our dreams and let another piece of that little 7 year old actress (or lawyer, or doctor or ballerina) die until you wake up one day and your reach for your imagination to dream again and its sitting in the corner, hurt and petulant because you have pushed it aside so often and so harshly…?

Do I think that its important to have realistic expectations? Yes. However, I do think that we are too often swayed away from dreaming to have “real life” take over and insist to us that imagination is misplaced in our path to our dreams. I couldn’t disagree more and with this post, I formally invite my Imagination back to the table to play a very important part in the conversation.  

Think about it! Really write down what it costs, the specificity really matters. It’s not enough to say, I will take a trip. It’s more important to say things like. We will take Silver Cloud Rolls Royce to the airport to fly first-class to Paris and stay in 5 star luxury accommodation and private tours in Versaille and the Hall of Mirrors….. etc etc… Go ahead.. Dream! Your imagination misses you….

Auditioning for “The Voice”

Auditions for “The Voice” are being held today and since my audition time was at 7 am I thought it would be a good idea to wake up early so my vocal cords were warm and ready to go by 7.. HA! I didn’t even get to sing till 11…  In any case, I got there to stand in line at 6:00 and they opened the doors and the line started to move and everyone got excited. I met this lovely mother and daughter in line and they were so obviously there for each other. From Missouri, they had to get plane tickets and hotel reservations, and in stark contrast, I had to get in my car.

The last time I auditioned, I remember being nervous and while I had a book, I didn’t read it, I was just so keyed up with the excitment in the room and listening to people talk about their song and their musical training and other auditions and just soaking it all in and we moved from room, to room to room (there were at least 10 when it was all said and done) at least this time there were only 4 stages. I ran into no one I knew which was surprising since in Austin, you usually do. This time I spent a lot of my time encouraging other people and talking to them about where they were from and more about what made them come audition. The stories were varied and very interesting and I have to say this is the first time I have been at an audition ( and I have been on a LOT) that I thoroughly enjoyed the environment and the “hopeful” buzz in the air of everyone after the same goal. I actually met one of the guys in my group who did a great song by Sinatra and actually said before he sang “I’m living my dream and so excited to be here” and it was charming and apparently the judges loved his singing and his personality becuase he advanced (good luck Bruce if you are reading this)  That kind of synergy is hard to come by so I am going to make a mental note to treasure it the next time I am at an audition and treat it for the gift that it is. While I feel I sang well, I was not what they were looking for…………………..this year.

What do you want to do that you are scared to do? I invite you to do it! Everyone is scared of something but sometimes that which we are the most scared to do is the thing we are called to do. Think about it.. and let me know how its going! 

jennifermckennasays@gmail.com – I am excited to hear about your dream!!!

Meet yourself where you are… Mental Check-up!

I had occasion to spend some time catching up with a good friend yesterday and we were talking about career plans and dreams we are currently chasing and it occurred to me its

time to check in…

Intentions- Less tv. More Books–

Netflix is still tv but I have cut my tv watching in half!

1. Spend more time in person. Less Facebook.

Still struggling with this, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I want to know what’s going on with my friends who I don’t see everyday but then there are the people who post all day long because they are excited ( I have been guilty of this) and want to share with the world, but I sincerely believe Facebook is hindering our ability to really and truly connect with people.. an emoticon is nice but its not the same thing as a real smile shared over coffee. I have been doing my best to find a happy balance.. Its a work in progress

2. Read 10 books, I have read 7. Some good, some just fun!

3. Give 10 effective speeches, I have given 7. I feel myself getting better each time or more accurately, finding things to make me better the next time up.

4. Lose 50 pounds. I have actually lost 50 but the new goal  is 100 and I am finding that challenging (last week represents an almost total lack of adherence to the paleo diet and I gained the 7 pounds to prove it. My husband and I discussed it and the truth is that we both needed a break, we have been RELIGIOUS for 7 months so it was time to fail and fail with gusto. For example, I didn’t just eat one cookie from the breakroom on the 4th of July, I ate 4. I didn’t just have half a breakfast taco, I had 2.

Yep, you read that right, time to fail. I feel much better this week and we have both rededicated our efforts to our health. But we both agree that this was a needed departure because you can’t do something that radical to your diet and not have a breakdown somewhere so last week for the breakdown, this week for the resurgence of dedication and devotion to the goal of great health.. Here’s to you!

What are you doing today? What are you doing this week? How about this month? Let me know how I can encourage you!

Follow your dream at 8, 18 or 80! and all the years in between!

“You had a dream, you know great! When you were 8, it was adorable, at 18 it was inspiring, at 28 it’s officially embarrassing, I just want you to stop before we get to heartbreaking.” This is what a mother says to her child to get her to “grow up and give up on her dream” after she gets laid off from her job in television news in the movie “Morning Glory” (it’s only 8 minutes in so really not a spoiler. The movie is very inspiring to me and I recommend it to you any time you need a kick in your rear to get it in gear on your dream.

It’s fictional, yes but this scenario is too often played out in real life with our friends, lovers and acquaintances. Think about it, what was your dream when you were 8? For me it was to be a professional actress and I said it to anyone who would listen and some who didn’t. I was told by several people, you will never make any money at that, you should have a back-up plan. I also heard, well its such a competitive business and there are millions of people doing it and you will wind up starving in a garret eating tuna out of cans. I was dejected and depressed by this, and while developing a back-up plan to become a lawyer, (which never came to fruition, by the way) I followed my dream and have found success and money as an actress while making a living doing something else. I did this in spite of many people telling me I couldn’t because I had a solid support system telling me I could do whatever I set my mind to, and so I have. So as it turns out, what my friends and relatives said, isn’t true, I have actually made money working in theatre. Is it hard? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I want you to think about that and remember it the next time someone tells you that you can’t do something.  They don’t know what you have in you, and they are predicting a future they can not possibly see. When someone talks to you about their dream, you have a tremendous amount of power, you can lift them up or you can crush them with just a few words, so choose them carefully and work to inspire anyone you can to do anything they want to do. The possibility in that is amazing. Who can you inspire today? What can you do to follow your dream at 18, 23, or 42? Give yourself grace for the past, but start now in whatever way you can! It’s not too late, I promise!

In the journey to a goal, you have only to take the first step

So I went to an event last night all about getting unstuck and moving towards your individual level of awesomeness. Be that as co-worker, mother, daughter, friend, wife, etc. It’s amazing to me how inspired I got listening to the speaker who I have read his words and follow his blog and so am familiar with his work and yet there were still things that surprised me.

As I was waiting in line to talk to him and have him sign my book, I had a great idea. I am big into foot pictures and take them often, (if you know me personally this isn’t a shock) but it occurs to me anyone reading this probably doesn’t know me personally. What you might not know is why.

It started in 1999. I had just lost my job and had planned a trip to London which as a lifelong Anglophile was pretty exciting. The first day there I was excited but also really cranky, because while I had been looking forward to it forever, there was jet lag, and other travelers and the tube was not fun to navigate and on and on and I realized I was in the land where Shakespeare wrote things and where Churchill walked and wanted to capture my feet on those self-same cobblestones and it instantly lifted my foul mood.

I have inserted a photo here that shows me and the author taking that first step, its of a theatre in Austin, Texas where I live and I have seen many plays in that theatre. This is a symbol of the steps I am taking to pursue my dream. The important thing is not his feet, although that was cool, the important thing to notice are my feet, I am taking a step forward, and no longer stuck. I am moving.


What step will you take? What can you do today to work on what matters?