In AWE of 2020!

John O'leary In Awe

New month new book.

As many of you know, I have been on this book a month journey for a while and never have I needed a book more than this one at this time. (Other than the Bible of course)

I just needed a pick me up. The last severe months have weighed on me personally and professionally. Covid, intensity of the social justice movements, economic downturn and uncertainty, and now the Midwest Hurricane. Woosh… it is just so much.

I met and heard John O’Leary speak are a leadership conference with Rotary a few years ago. I was instantly drawn to his message. (To be fully honest, I have a huge crush on him and am a self proclaimed super fan.) He is a midwestern boy (from St. Louis) who has an incredible testimony of resilience, grace, and love. Through his podcast, he celebrates others who are beating the odds and bonds with them on a level that inspires me each time I tune in. His first book On Fire told his story and outlined the 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life. The entire books was motivating, but Chapter 7 spoke my language.

“Everything you do everyday of your life matters profoundly. When you chase success your spark burns out quickly. When you do something of significance the spark jumps to life spreads to others and burns to brightly long after you are gone. The work you do quietly for others might not make headlines but it will inspire others and give your life significance. Decide to make your family, your community, your organization, your world a better place.” @johnoleary.inspires On Fire Chapter 7. 

“The impact of a simple spark is profound. Sometimes the smallest actions words and deeds transform lives.” @johnoleary.inspires On Fire Chapter 7.

This new book, In AWE, really reminded me to get back in touch with my childlike wonder and ferocious optimism He wrote:

“Ferocious optimism does not take no for an answer. It looks honestly at the world we inhabit, the businesses we lead, the teams we are on, and the lives we live. Identifying not only things as they are but imagining how they could be. Ferocious optimism is the exquisite by product of inviting why back into our lives.” @johnoleary.inspires  IN AWE

Ferocious optimism is something we can all aspire to embody.@johnoleary.inspires  IN AWE

My super cute grandson.

Earlier this week my daughter-in-law sent me photos of my grandson playing with bubbles on their back deck. It was such a nice pick me up, especially when I, like many of us, was nursing a sore back and blistered hands from storm clean up. What is better than childlike joy over the simple things? It has been toasty in Iowa, especially for those with out power or air conditioning. People are tired. They are working hard on clean up. They are overwhelmed with all that this year has thrown at us so far. BUT we need to learn to listen to our bodies better and take breaks. We NEED to schedule fun if we aren’t taking time for it spontaneously. Maybe you want to jump in your birthday suite on the back deck while playing with bubbles. If that brings you joy- you have my permission.

As John says, “Cultivating the senses that are alive in our children will ensure ah once again and allow it to be a daily practice. Choosing to rekindle ah will not just impact your life but create a ripple effect that spread through out the world.

When you reawaken your sense of wonder you return to the path of possibility rather than clinging to your ego and the desire to have all the answers you’ll be bold enough to ask the kinds of questions that lead to thinking more creatively, collaborating more effectively, innovating more frequently, and proving the possible possible.

I would highly suggest subscribing to his podcast or weekly emails. Buy the books. If you are an audible listener, like I am, they are narrated by him and it just makes the impact of his story and words just come to life.

Take a moment to view your days as a great adventure. Just be IN AWE of the beautiful sunset and thankful for all the blessing of that day. Enjoy the majestic beauty of the sunrise and all the possibilities that come with a new day. Take a weekend getaway to explore. Take some time to play and have ice cream in the afternoon. Leave the busyness and stress of life be for a bit and just enjoy the present of the moment. Stop and enjoy the bright starry night sky. Dance in your birthday suite on the back porch while playing with bubbles. Don’t be such an over achiever or over functioner that you miss the beauty of life’s little moments all together.

Be enamored with and stunned by the beauty of each morning.” @johnoleary.inspires  IN AWE

“Reignite your passion for your family your work, your faith and what truly matters. @johnoleary.inspires  IN AWE

In his epilogue, Jon encouraged, that through these simple acts you will truly be in a position to inspire others, share your resources and impact others lives. Then John echoed some of what Brené Brown says… Dare to lead. Dare to dream big and live fully. And I might add authentically fulfilled.

So I know things are tough and 2020 has dealt us a hand to be in awe of, but I believe we can do this. We are a resilient bunch, creative, innovative, and full of wonder. I believe together we will come out on the other side of this better provided we take good care. If you need help, please reach out. If we can’t help personally, we will try and connect you with who can. And if neither of those work, we will just listen and pray. We are here for you.