Why I quit doing the trust30# prompts

You may or may not have noticed that I quit doing the #trust30 prompts. I was so excited in the beginning, and really enjoying them, but no more.




They became SO repetitive. I felt like it was the same three topics over and over again. And I got tired of it. So I quit. 🙂 Not so long ago I would have done it anyway and just been annoyed. Now? I let it go and moved on.


Your regularly scheduled broadcasts will resume asap. I was simply giving them time to see if this was a short glitch or if the repetitive trend was going to continue.

To who I was & who I will become

Five Years by Corbett Barr

There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?

(Author: Corbett Barr)

5 Years Ago


It’s going to be ok. Yes, you are leaving for Korea next month and you don’t know where you are going to stay or what you are going to do or even the name of a single person in the country. And yes, by any sane person’s standards, what you are doing is crazy, dangerous, and more than a little irresponsible. Of course you’re terrified. You’d be an idiot not to be.

But here’s the thing- You know it is the right thing to do. Despite the panic that sometimes says you are seriously delusional you know the truth- God is behind this trip. He gave you the idea, he set it up, and he is handling the details. Believe me, there is no better trip planner in the world. When you are freaking out on the plane cling to that tiny little certainty in your heart and ask God to let it be enough. It will be.

You will get lost. You will get sick. You will feel like you are melting from the heat. You will be embarrassed and confused and frustrated and angry. You will get cheated by a taxi driver, accidentally stay in a love motel, receive 3 marriage proposals, and stain all your clothes while trying to learn to use chopsticks.

It’s so worth it.

You will become a confident traveler. You will learn to trust your roommate as you take her “medicine”. You will not melt, and you will get to see a beautiful fall. You will hang-out in a rice paddy, go to a film festival, meet tons of wonderful people, learn to love an entire new cuisine, be regularly asked if you are a movie star, play ping-pong against a man with no hands, and give directions to lost tourists.

Most of all- you will pray. You will pray out of desperation and out of gratefulness. You will see God move on your behalf time and again. You will come to know him in a way you never have before. Especially as your provider and protector.

You will never see the world the same.

5 Years From Now

What can I say? I have NO idea where you are living or what you are doing. I’ve quit trying to see that far ahead.

I do hope, VERY MUCH HOPE, that you are married. And that kiddo one is already around, or at least on the way. I’d like to think you’ve gotten a handful of novels written. It would be awesome if you’d sold one too. Or a script. Whatever.

I suppose all I can say is that from here the future looks pretty good.

In case you’ve forgotten- Adventures are worth the risk.

Stay curious, keep reading, & avoid eating the beans with the white slime on them.

Do I really need a goal I’m afraid of?


Dare to be bold by Matt Cheuvront

Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” – Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.

Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.

The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?

(Author: Matt Cheuvront)



I skipped this prompt yesterday because I needed time to think. I’ve thought, and the answer is the same-


I can’t think of anything.


Not that I don’t have goals and dreams and such, ’cause I do. It’s just I can’t currently think of anything I’m putting off because I’m afraid. Currently I’m-


  • Taking improv- With is pursuing an interest I’ve always had in acting AND confronting my fear of speaking in public at the same time.
  • Writing a novel- Confronting an entire bundle of fears. And while I’m not getting very with it I am working on it and I don’t need a game plan. I need to sit my butt down and type.
  • Going to writing groups- Getting over my fear of being critiqued.
  • Joining a church- I started the rather in-depth process last Sunday, dealing with fears of commitment, openness, and rejection.
  • Work- I am tackling a job that feels too big for me, and dealing with the fear that I will permanently ruin a student or building.
  • Trip planning- I am tentatively planning a trip for next summer to the other side of the world, to a country/countries I’ve never been to, that aren’t known for being overly safe. I’m actually not afraid of any that right now but the pre-flight tension will explode after the ticket is bought.


So, while perhaps not having a goal to reach toward is a bad sign, I have no idea, I’m pretty happy right now. I feel like I have more than enough on my plate. 

Lying to Myself

Come Alive by Jonathan Mead

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present

and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

(Author: Jonathan Mead)

Honestly, this prompt confused me a bit. Something about the wording. Plus, if I only had one week to live I’d quit doing a TON of things that I cannot practically quit now, like my job or doing laundry. Seriously. No one wants me to quit taking out the trash because it doesn’t “make me come alive”.

I guess that’s my biggest problem with this prompt. It’s selfish. Not that we should do things that make us miserable all the time. No. I’m a huge believer in making changes in your life so you can pursue your dreams. But really, tons of life is things that just aren’t fun but need to be done. It’s called being an adult.

I did take away something from this. I read an article a few weeks ago (I wish I could remember where) on making to-stop lists. It was in the context of work and I thought it was a good idea but then forgot about it because I didn’t act on it. So I took a minute today and made myself a very short to-stop list to hang on my door. A few things I need to cut out of my life.


  1. Hitting the snooze button more than once in the morning. If you don’t like when you are getting up then change the time. Stop lying to yourself and pretending that you are getting up earlier than you really are.
  2. Watching your Netflix que before you have worked on your novel. Writing is more important than Firefly or Live Free or Die Harder. And no, you won’t get to it later. You will be tired and go to bed instead.
  3. “Window Shopping” with your wallet in your pocket. Leave it in the car. If you are actually shopping then call it shopping and stop pretending it’s something else.

See the theme? I lie to myself all the time. I tell myself things that I know aren’t true but half believing them makes me feel better. But I can’t grow, can’t change, if I’m always feeding myself easy little lies so that I don’t have to confront the truth about myself or my behavior. These areas need to change.

Where do you want to go before you die?

Travel by Chris Guillebeau

If we live truly, we shall see truly.– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

(Author: Chris Guillebeau)

I always said I wanted to go to every country in the world. It was a throwaway answer, something I said because I do love to travel and it sounded cool and it was impossible anyway so, why not? Then I started reading Chris’s blog. (Yes, the Chris who wrote today’s prompt. I HIGHLY recommend that you check it out)

After only a few months I had to quit saying that I wanted to visit every country because here was a man who was doing it.

By the age of 35.

It was no longer just something to be said with a knowledge that it was impossible. Suddenly it WAS possible, if it was a priority. Which it’s not.

I do enjoy traveling. I do quite a bit of it. I’d like to see a lengthy list of countries, cities, and sites. However, while travel itself is a priority in my life (and I plan on keeping it as one even once I have a family) I don’t really want to go to every single country in the world. I do, however, have the goal of going to every continent at least once.

Still, this is a hard prompt because I can, with absolutely no hesitation, name off 25 places I’m dying to visit. I finally narrowed it down by imagining someone offering me $10,000 to go any place I want, as long as I left right then. My gut answer?

-The U.K.

I spent 23 hours in London and loved every second of it. I have every intention of returning someday and spending a longer amount of time in that amazing city. And Scotland is on my top 5 list. Especially Northern Scotland, up where it’s still quite wild and barren. Such a breath-taking, beautiful country.

The 2nd part of that question is difficult for me to answer. I know I should have a plan for getting there, setting aside money and such. But I’m already planning a different trip for next summer- Southeast Asia. My goal is to hit 2-4 countries while I’m there. So I really can’t think about going to the U.K. anytime soon. But I will. And that’s not an idle comment, I’ve proven that I can and will go exploring.

I understand the point of that question is that so very many people talk and dream and talk about going places but they never actually go. It’s a shame. And it drives me nuts. Either shut up and go, or admit, out loud and publicly, that you are not going and never intended to do so. Don’t keep saying you are but never taking steps to make it happen.

But please go. Believe me, it’s so worth it. When you go overseas 3 things will happen. Well, far more than 3 but this is my blog and these are the ones I’m focusing on.

1-You will appreciate America more. It’s not a perfect country but it’s a damn good country and I have a far greater appreciation for it now.

2-You will have a greater sympathy for tourists, visitors, and immigrants. Even the simplest of tasks are frightening and exhausting when you can’t understand the language or behavior of the people around you. Going to a grocery store can take hours while reducing you to tears and a numbing weariness, and then you still might not have anything edible to eat at the end of it.

3-You will be changed. You will have experiences that others have not had, and they will mark you. I remember standing on a mountain in WY and realizing that of all the billions of people who have ever existed I was in an almost immeasurably small group who had seen the sight stretched out before me. It was humbling and empowering at the same time. I’ve had similar moments, I now call them “movie moments” because they seem like something straight from Hollywood, both here and overseas.

Getting sprayed by chilly water when a whale clapped her 40 foot flippers together an intimidatingly close distance from the bow of the boot I was on.

Eating ribs on a Korean beach at sunset while an International film festival kicked off behind me, the sound of 1000’s of screaming fans drowning out the gulls.

Standing on London Bridge one freezing cold February morning and watching the sky turn gold before the sun finally rose over the Thames, surrounded by millions of people and yet completely alone and quiet.

I’d love to know, where do you want to go?

When is that going to happen?

What’s Your Post-It Question?

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it.

(Author: Jenny Blake)

Part #2

It’s been a couple of days and I’m ready to list the ideas that have come to me. Some are of more value than others, some focus on the fun side while some focus on the motivation side.

  • Take a martial arts class

  • Take a dance class

  • Find a friend or two to work out with

  • Buy a bikini and make myself try it on every few days and look in a mirror

  • Buy some awesome music for my iPod that I can only listen to while I’m working out

  • Set up rewards for reaching certain goals

  • Find some really fit women and hang their pics on my wall for inspiration

  • Buy some nicer, more comfortable work-pot clothes

  • Hire a personal trainer

  • Blog about my progress, or lack thereof

  • Bet people money

  • Go to the local geek fitness events

  • Join the geek gym/club

Have any ideas for me that I could add?

I’m Stumped by #3

Prompt #3

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it? (posted by Buster Benson)



This one stumped me. I cannot think of any belief that I hold very dear that isn’t shared by at least a couple of people close to me.

Is that good or bad?

Either way, it has me thinking. Mulling over what I believe and why. Are my beliefs simply inherited? Or do I know why I believe things I believe?

This sounds like a comp-out but it’s really not, I’ve been thinking about it all day and drawn a blank.

Still, enjoying this set of exercises. It’s not too late for you to jump in!


A One Sentence Day

I am participating in #Trust30, an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.

Join in at http://ralphwaldoemerson.me/

Day #2 Today

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

(Author: Liz Danzico)

Tired in a good way, from putting in some solid work.

15 Minutes to Tell Your Last Story

I am participating in #Trust30, an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself.
Join in at http://ralphwaldoemerson.me/

Day #1:
We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.
(Author: Gwen Bell)
In the spirit of the game this has not been edited so the grammar is a bit rough. Deal with it.

There once was a little girl who didn’t know what she would be someday. She saw herself as shy and alone, not very pretty or fun to play with. The other kids agreed with her. She had a few friends but not for very long and she often would write down ways to end her life, since she wouldn’t really be missed anyway.

As she became older she quit doing that. It wasn’t healthy. But she still felt it. She was still lonely and not very pretty and not fun to play with. The boys all agreed with her.

So she focused on not needing them. She learned many hobbies and she made elaborate worlds in her head and she taught herself to not need people. To love the aloneness. She almost convinced herself that it was true.

Meanwhile, she felt a wooing from her Creator. He often spoke to her, he gave her gifts and attention. Even when she was quite rude in response. Then He started to give her gifts she did not want. He gave her pain and hurt that could not be locked away. He gave her tears she could not stop and fears she could not control. The made the girl very cross and she was unhappy with Him.

The girl looked for many ways to feel better and not think. None of them worked for very long. Meanwhile, the girl met new friends. She still not feel very pretty or fun to play with but she could not feel alone because the new friends disagreed and would not go away. Not even when the girl was very cross with them and said things to upset them.

The girl was confused. Friends were simply those who put-up with her and were not too mean. She did not understand her new friends, who thought that was a bad definition of friendship. And the girl was confused. Still, she liked her new friends and she started to imitate them and be a better friend herself.

Her Creator smiled at her. He had done this often before but she had not noticed because she was too afraid to see His face. This time she was watching and His smile made the whole world seem a bit nicer. She still felt cross about some of the gifts He had given to her but she was willing to wait and see what they turned into. *****

The girl went on many more adventures and cried many more tears. She still felt alone much of the time, and she still didn’t think she was very pretty or fun to play with. But her Creator told her she was very silly and that she should not listen to herself but to Him. And that when that was too hard she should listen to her stubborn friends who, she found out, were more of her Creator’s gifts, and not be too proud to say what was true; even if it made her feel unsafe, because He was big enough to protect her heart.

And so that is what the girl did.

(The *****’s are where the 15 minutes ran out. The entire thing actually took me about 20 minutes)

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