When Not Everything Goes as Planned, It Still Goes: A Story About Finding Your Passion

When Not Everything Goes as Planned, It Still Goes: A Story About Finding Your Passion

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes is sharing how people are living differently right now in the real world.

Enter Jen:

As a kid, I was told that I was lucky that I already knew what I wanted to do with my life. From age four, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian for pets and that I wanted to study at the University of Guelph.

By my sophomore year in college, I had second thoughts. The classes in my program were attractive, because they were about animals, but each physiology course soon bored me. I was frustrated, unhappy and no longer dreamt of owning my own clinic. It still wasn’t until my roommate at the time asked me, “Why are you even in this program?” that I realized I needed to find a new path. Continue reading →

Posted by Jen Perrin in Articles, Learn Obsessively, Stories, 0 comments
Limitations: Why the 9–5 Job Doesn’t Need To Stop You

Limitations: Why the 9–5 Job Doesn’t Need To Stop You

Over the years I’ve had a number of conversations with people who talk about cool things they want to do, see, or make. A lot of these conversations end with “Well, I’d love to do it, but unfortunately I have XYZ,” and many times those XYZs are very valid limitations that are not easy or possible to overcome.

You know your limitations far better than I do. This article’s goal is not to pretend your limitations don’t exist, nor is it to find ways to eliminate your limitations. Instead, it’s supposed to jumpstart your thinking on how to work within your limitations.

Often we have “all-or-nothing” attitudes about our goals and it’s easy to overlook the smaller opportunities in front of us.

While big goals might seem more exciting, smaller opportunities are fulfilling as well, and often times more attainable. Don’t let an intimidating barrier stop you from getting creative! In this post we’ll primarily focus on the limitations of a 9–5 job and how you can still work toward your goals.

Continue reading →

Posted by Kat Franchino in Articles, Work Happily, 0 comments
Stealing Second Base: From Side Gig to Self Employed Full Time

Stealing Second Base: From Side Gig to Self Employed Full Time

Welcome to #DifferentLifeStories, where Without Boxes is sharing how people are living differently right now in the real world.

Enter Katherine Stimson:

“You can’t steal second base with one foot still on first.”

Katherine Stimson

In the spring of 2010, a Facebook ad posted by a total stranger caught my attention: Dallas Artist Mastermind Group at Buzzbrews Kitchen. Led by Dallas/Los Angeles photographer Michael Jackson, the mastermind group of artists, photographers, musicians, playwrights, etc. met weekly that spring. We shared ideas for marketing, branding, and self promotion, and, more importantly, how to get out of the “9-5 day job” pace of life. How could we (and I) earn a full-time income from our chosen art or arts-related career, on our own terms? What would that life look like?

One week, PR/marketing guru Jeff Crilley joined the group as a guest speaker. He told us about his journey from a full-time gig anchoring TV news; to anchoring TV news, writing a book, and juggling book promotion; to walking away from the TV news world to found his own PR firm.  One sentence of the evening stuck with me:

You can’t steal second base with one foot still on first.

Literally: WHAT is the point you decide to take a risk, get both feet fully off first base, in order to get to the next phase of your life? Continue reading →

Posted by Katherine Stimson in Articles, Stories, Work Happily, 0 comments
A Modern-Day Nomad’s Guide: How to Leave Everything Behind and Start Over

A Modern-Day Nomad’s Guide: How to Leave Everything Behind and Start Over

I want to start over. I need a new life. I want to go somewhere far away.

You’ve reached a major turning point in your life. For one reason or another, you want to say goodbye to your old life and start a new chapter. This is not a decision to be made lightly, but at this point I’ll assume you already know it’s what you want. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Making this kind of change is never easy. But you can help mitigate your anxiety with some good old-fashioned preparation.

So, how do I start over?

I have gone through many huge life changes, all of which required leaving behind an old lifestyle and embracing a new one.

You know what I think? It’s kind of like being a spy. When I was a kid, I thought being a spy would be pretty neat, so in a way I’ve kind of achieved that.

Here’s what I’ve learned from my own experiences of starting a new life: Continue reading →

Posted by Anne Dorko in Articles, Live Freely, 15 comments

Failed Resolutions: Brace Yourself For Disappointment in 2013

It’s almost a meme to even try to make a New Year’s resolution anymore.

The problem with our resolutions is that we think of life as static, motivation as something we can conjure at will, and inspiration as a stagnant pool.

Life changes, our goals morph and priorities shift. But does that mean you should never make resolutions?

I’m not so sure about that.

Allow me to share with you the personal treasures I’m chasing for 2013. (And how I’m going to allow for the unexpected.) Continue reading →

Posted by Anne Dorko in Articles, Live Freely, Skills, 2 comments
The Pirate Ninja’s Ultimate Weapon: A Box Cutter

The Pirate Ninja’s Ultimate Weapon: A Box Cutter

“Pirate ninjas. Don’t you think that’s a bit cliché?”

“It’s not about cliché. It’s about the capturing the desire of our inner child,” I tried to explain.

Being a pirate ninja doesn’t mean you are physically sailing the ocean blue. Being a pirate ninja doesn’t mean you actually live in a hidden village. Being a pirate ninja is a frame of mind. Continue reading →

Posted by Anne Dorko in Articles, Live Freely, 8 comments

You Missed Your Chance, Can You Bring It Back?

The clock catches the corner of your eye. You’re late. A wall of regret hits you when you realize that today was your last chance… but you missed it by an hour.

Your whole day will be ruined now: A cloud of dispair is going to follow you. You missed your chance at a great opportunity and you feel awful.

Great chances are passing you every day. There are chances surrounding you, in every moment, in every situation. You have to seek those chances out. The possibility of chance is in the air right now, waiting for you to shape it into something that matters.

Chances are everywhere. Chance is the possibility of an opportunity.

The sooner you start looking for chances, the sooner you will see them. You will develop a vision for chance – the same way that ninjas develop methods for seeing in the dark, when the shadows allow them to carry out even the most dangerous missions.

You Can’t Live Without Night Vision

Military units and ninja warriors train for every setting they will run into. They train during the hottest days, during the coldest days, in the desert, in forests, in jungles, in urban areas. They prepare for every case they can. If they don’t, they will die.

Until the advent of night vision goggles, night training was probably one of the most unique and tricky experiences of all.

Chance works the same way. You have to actively train so that when it presents itself, you can get the most out of it. If you can’t see it, you’ll never experience its potential. If you don’t train, you will never truly live.

The chance for opportunity is everywhere.

Every chance you ever missed is gone, forever.

You only have the right now. The current moment.

Your next breath is not a sure thing. Your tomorrow may never come. If you didn’t seize the moment that just passed, it slipped through your fingers – never to be seen again.

It’s overwhelming. It’s even a little bit sad. Do not make the mistake of wasting your current moment by regretting the last one.

The only thing to do is to open your eyes, starting right now. Can you see?

Chance Doesn’t Favor Good People

Espionage is the practice of collecting knowledge. Ninja warriors spent their lives dedicated to the practice of espionage. Espionage missions are a lot like chances. The opportunity to go on an espionage mission and collect information is always there.

Whether a mission is carried out at all depends on the ninja warrior in charge.

Chance is merely the actual possibility of an event. It can happen. In some cases, it does happen.

Who will it happen to? Will it happen to you? Will it happen to someone better than you? Will it happen to someone who doesn’t deserve it? Who decides where opportunity presents itself? Are some people just lucky?

Chance is not luck.

Luck is what people have after they can see opportunity. Luck is what they call it when people take advantage of their possibilities. The opportunity was always there. The possibilities existed the whole time. The only difference is that some people can see it, and others can’t.

You always have a chance. But do you have the vision to see it?

Everyone else is luckier than you, if you want them to be.

Every chance comes with a window of time. Every chance has a “use by” date.

If you’re too scared to take advantage of your chances, you’ll find that your life is pretty boring. The people around you will be having exciting adventures, taking on fun challenges, while you’re sitting there in your safe box.

You want what they have.

You tell yourself that they have unfair advantages that you don’t have. They were blessed with more talent. They have better education. They have a normal family history. They have a support team. They have been luckier than you. They have a more likable personality. They have better social skills.

If you’re not willing to get out of your safe box, open your eyes, and go exploring even when it’s dark out, you’re going to keep being unlucky. Nothing new will happen to you. Because chance doesn’t pick people. People pick chance.

Regardless of their story, people still pick their chances. How else do rags-to-riches stories exist? How else do people who were handed sure success… fail?

If chance doesn’t pick people, it means that we’re not talking about fair. Chance can’t be fair when it’s up to you to do something about it.

If you want fair, you have to be fair to yourself – and give yourself a chance.

You are worth the risk. You are worth the chance. You have what it takes. You just have to see it for yourself.

Building Night Vision Goggles

A ninja warrior doesn’t sit around waiting for an espionage mission to land in their lap.

A ninja warrior makes the first move, every time. A ninja warrior has open eyes, open ears and is constantly thinking about what their options are.

A ninja warrior asks “What if?”

  • What if I say hello to the person next to me?
  • What if I apply to the job I’m scared of?
  • What if I practice speaking in front of a group?
  • What if I teach a topic I love?
  • What if I train in the skills I’ve always wanted?
  • What if I stopped hating myself?
  • What if I tried to change the world?
  • What if I stopped worrying about whether I’m good enough?
  • What if I changed my schedule?
  • What if I exercised every day?
  • What if I wrote 500 words every day?
  • What if I woke up 15 minutes earlier?
  • What if I prioritized sleep?

…on the other end of every “What If?” is a chance.

A chance to take life and do it on your own terms. A chance to change. A chance for doing something different. A chance for loving yourself. A chance for making a friend.

The risks of taking a chance.

Right now you’ve got a specific memory searing in your mind, you want to scream out your story and tell the whole damned world that you tried taking a chance and you regret it even today because you got burned.

You were burned badly.

The problem with living is that we’re not sure how to deal with failure. How do we deal with people who do us wrong? How do we deal with mistakes we make?

It’s simple, but not easy: We learn that failure happens, and then we go on living.

Because by never taking a chance, you’re not really living at all, are you?

By never asking “What If?” about the things that make you unhappy, you’re burning yourself worse than anyone else ever could.

You can’t change the chances that have already come and gone. You can’t change the position you’ve been placed in for this moment.

You can make this moment count.

You can open your eyes and ask “What If?”

You can change the way you make choices.

You can stop thinking you matter less than other people.

You can be yourself.

You can see the chances that are there every day. The perfect chance is the one that you see, the one that you take.

What chance is on the other side of your What If?

– Anne
Captain of the Pirate Ninjas


Posted by Anne Dorko in Articles, Live Freely, 0 comments