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What Scott has created at Live Your Legend is mind-boggling. He creates inspiration, the challenge to dream big and bold, and the tools to make all that a reality. But most unbelievable is the community he's developed of people who are passionate about doing something great, and helping each other achieve that."

- Leo Babauta, Creator of ZenHabits

3 Ways to Use World Travel to Make Your Extraordinary Impact (Reader Spotlight #9)

Choose your own adventure

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

– John A. Shedd

People Constantly Surprise Me

Or more specifically, YOU surprise me.

That’s probably been the most consistent thing I’ve noticed over the past few years of building Live Your Legend.

It’s also been the most inspiring. I constantly get to hear unbelievable stories of people – I’m looking at you – doing things and pursuing projects most would never even think to consider.

And that’s why we launched our Reader Spotlights back in 2012 – to show the rest of you (and the world) what kinds of crazy adventures your fellow Living Legends are getting into.

Because the more we see and experience people doing the things we think can’t be done, the more it becomes normal – and the more likely we are to set off on an adventure of our own. And that’s the whole point.

It’s hard to believe the caliber of the company we all keep in this community.

So in the spirit of adventure, today’s spotlight has a special focus – three of our readers using the lens of world travel to make their difference and push the kind of limits we rarely hear about, if ever. This also makes for fun timing as Chelsea and I begin to plan our year around the world in 2015, where we hope to visit many of you!

Enjoy these examples of three people doing something that matters – not just to them, but to the world.

And please pick a simple way to support one of their projects. I assure you, they’ll do the same when you’re in the spotlight!

Oh, the places travel can lead…

1. A 15-Year-Old Filmmaker & Social Justice Advocate Launches 6-Month World Tour to Profile People Standing Up for Their Beliefs

KashaLiving Legend: Kasha Slavner

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Why and How Kasha is Making an Impact: 

Last year I went to the United Nations as a youth delegate and met people from around the world coming together to solve the world’s most terrifying issues. The experience was humbling, and it motivated me to use the skills I have as a photographer, writer and filmmaker-in-training to tell positive stories that can inspire the world to take action.

That’s when I decided to start The Global Sunrise Project. Even though I’m only 15 years old, I’ve been an entrepreneur and social justice advocate since I was 8, and my idea is to take time off school to travel for 6 months around the world to make a documentary that will inspire humanity to take positive action on the planet.

I’m inspired by people who have the courage to take a stand for what they believe in – people who are brave enough to dream for a better world. I’ll be looking for stories of hope and resilience that connect us all to each other and inspire others. I feel that positive stories can inspire us more to take action than the negative stories – and there are many that need to be told.

How you can help: 

I need a caring, creative, connected, community to help mentor and champion my project. I’ve worked hard trying to raise money the past five months. I’ve raised $6,000 but am still about $20,000 short to get on the road. You can help with our campaign by donating cash or in-kind contributions, creating a group to collectively pool airline points for round-the-world tickets, help us find sponsorship, or hosting us in your country. Help spread the word!

You can make make a direct donation or find other ways to support on this page. Even a few dollars goes a long way!

Check out Kasha’s campaign video below…

Learn more here: To find out more about The Global Sunrise Project and how you can help Kasha travel the world to tell otherwise untold stories, check out her website at The Global Sunrise Project.

Fun fact: Before my iPod broke, I used to really enjoy having conversations with Siri.

Note from Scott: Kasha and I spoke on the same stage at Jonathan Field’s RevolutionU LIVE event in New York last month and she absolutely stole the show! It was awesome. Talk about the real deal… 

—-

2. A Man takes a Serene Vacation in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran to Expose the Good Behind the Headlines

Paul_LuningLiving Legend: Paul Luning

Location: San Francisco, CA / out of a backpack

Why and How Paul is Making an Impact:

My hypothesis: “Scary” places in the world are not nearly as dangerous as the media makes them out to be. In fact, there is much more normalcy, humanity, hope, and happiness in these places than one might expect.

To prove my hypothesis, I am quitting my job, packing up my apartment, and taking a whirlwind trip to some of the places most negatively portrayed in the news, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran, Mali, Eritrea, Burundi, and the two Congo nations.

My goal is to visit at least 10 conflict or post-conflict countries and befriend at least three locals in each country. I will connect with normal, everyday people in each place and find out what is happening in their lives and how they are doing. Hopefully, their stories will be more positive than those in the headlines. I strongly suspect that they will be.

How you can help: 

The impact of this project will depend on how many people I can reach with my message, so publicity is the number one goal. Scott was already kind enough to connect me with a fellow LYL member in Pakistan, whom I spent the day with to kick off my trip! The blog will be my primary method of communication, so please spread the word!

Learn more here: Interested in learning more about Paul’s adventures or perhaps meeting up with him along the road? Visit him at Beyond the Headlines to get involved.

Fun fact: Despite growing up in Florida, my first language is Estonian; I almost failed first grade because my English was so poor.

—-

3. Raising 1 Million Dollars by Running Across Every Country in the World to Promote Global Connection and Help Orphans around the World

AkshayLiving Legend: Akshay Nanavati

Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA

Why and How Akshay is Making an Impact:

On foot, I am crossing every single country in the world and raising $1 million for the organization Create Global Healing. So far I have crossed two countries: I have skied 350 miles across Greenland and run 33 miles across Singapore.

The purpose of this expedition is:

1. To push myself beyond my limits and inspire people to see within themselves the infinite capacity of the human potential to accomplish anything. I want to show people that all of us can get what we want in life. We just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

2. To unite our human family that is currently torn apart with strife by demonstrating that despite all the unique qualities within every single human being, we are all one. No matter what our background, nationality or religion, we all experience the same joy and the same suffering.

The scope of the Live Your Legend local meetups inspired me to connect with our global human family in my own way. I was so impressed seeing how many people participated from all corners of the globe, and I wanted to connect with all these people. I couldn’t think of a better way than traveling to every country and crossing it on foot to experience the land and its people in a deep, spiritual way.

How you can help: 

This community can help by donating money to Create Global Healing and by simply following along with my journey on my website.

Learn more here: Existing 2 Living

Fun fact: When I run, I often listen to 90′s boy bands like Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. I am not ashamed to admit it. :)

—-

Hearing these three stories reminds me of something…

We Rarely Give Ourselves Enough Credit

This is what I’ve found to be the real difference between those who dare to do and those who don’t.

Often it’s because we don’t have enough examples to spur creativity and expose possibility. Or worse, we’re surrounded by the opposite.

We start to feel like we’re just some normal person.

But here’s the thing … you are.

So am I. So are Kasha, Paul and Akshay. We all are.

Normal is where everyone starts.

But normal people do the extraordinary all the time.

You just have to know where to look.

Before long, your own impact starts to become inevitable.

When it does, come back and tell us about it!

And in case you missed it, here’s one more thought for today: Get out and see foreign lands as often as possible. Nothing inspires adventure like a good adventure! Hence my addiction. :)

-Scott

P.S. Now pick one of these projects and spend a couple minutes learning more about their mission and find some way, big or small, to support the impact they intend to have on the world. That’s how we roll around here. Remember, no one does anything on their own.

If you want to tell the world your story, please fill out the Living Legends Reader Spotlight form to get a chance to be featured in one of our upcoming articles.

—-

Image Credit: Chelsea and my map of past travels as we plan for next year’s big trip. See more of the adventure on Instagram.

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What to Do When the Next Step Feels Impossible

everyone starts at the beginning

I hear this a lot…

“I’d start if I only knew what to do next.”

It comes up too often, in fact.

Sometimes it feels like progress is impossible.

Like every distraction was designed for me.

As if the only thing in the world you can’t think of is what your next step should be – and how to possibly get yourself to take it.

When you’re first starting out, this can feel like a massive weight – heavy and debilitating. It can put you well beyond overwhelm, at times approaching panic.

You can’t possibly see how you’d get from here to there.

You’re staring up a 15,000 foot mountain and you only just laced up your boots.

You’re trying to make that first dollar in the business you hope will one day replace the six-figure income you slaved a decade or more to earn. An idea you think just might provide for your family and keep them safe, happy, loved and supported – one day…

Maybe you’re stuck on the first few sentences of the book you keep telling your publisher is almost done.

Or you’re writing line one of the launch post for the blog you’ve been planning to start for years.

Or you’re finally saying “I quit!” to the job you know isn’t you.

Here’s the reality: This. Is. Normal.

Stop fearing you’re alone in these massive challenges. Because you’re not. Not even close.

So then why does everyone make it seem so easy? Instead of openly sharing the struggles and seeking guidance from others, people put on an act and puff their chests out like they have it all figured out.

Except they don’t.

I’m beginning to think no one does. And that’s okay. That’s part of the party.

There’s a reason why study after study has shown that the majority of people feel noticeably less happy after checking Facebook. Because it makes you feel everyone else’s life is so damn perfect. The problem is that’s completely inaccurate. Not even close. I don’t care how glamorous the status updates or blog posts that fill your inbox seem (except hopefully this one). ;)

The emotional swings of pursing a life you care about – and doing work that actually matters – are intense. There’s no getting around it, whether it’s building a business, changing careers or simply being true to who you know you are. It’s going to be rough.

And as it turns out, this isn’t just for beginners. We all feel it.

I feel it off and on all the time, and occasionally I even feel a little crazy (just ask my wife…).

I often feel paralyzed when I think of what to build next.

I get lost in the details, in the planning, in the decisions.

I’m weighed down by the pressure of keeping up with what I’ve built. In managing a business I never really expected to have to manage.

Sometimes I get scared that it’s all going to disappear. Paranoid that a small hiccup here and there is an indication that things are starting to unravel.

I wonder how I can possibly get from today to my vision for the next 10 or 30+ years. And all this creates stress. It can make me anxious. I’ll feel it in the top of my gut or in my jaw, and it can be frustrating as hell.

But we so easily forget…

That the reality we’re living in now is probably not one we could have dreamed up only a few years ago.

We forget to appreciate the progress. We get accustomed to it without knowing. Expectations adapt. And the swings continue.

Today’s post is as much for me as it is for you – they always are. Because I know how many of you feel this way. We can get lost in ideas and frozen from action.

I believe we all feel this way from time to time. I’ve actually experienced it off and on for the past month or two, despite the outward progress LYL has made, and how easy, natural and matter-of-fact onlookers like to assume it all is.

But the difference between the Dreamers and the Makers is taking action in spite of the gremlins.

Realize that that feeling – that intensity – is an indication that you’re in pursuit of something that actually matters to you. I can’t imagine a feeling more worth leaning into. You just have to recognize it enough to appreciate it.

So, if your next step feels impossible, here are three ideas that always help me.

1. Reflect. Give yourself credit for the progress you’ve made. Take a good look at what you’ve already created (we’ve all built something) or in the fact that your mindset is developed enough to recognize that you want to make some sort of a difference. Appreciate the fact that you’re awake to what’s possible! Without that step, nothing can happen.

This is something Chelsea and I did over my birthday dinner last week, and I make sure I do it every Monday before I plan the week. I even included it on my mastermind call this morning. When we soak in gratitude and pride, we start to see options we didn’t think existed. It’s much harder for fear to take over. We all have something to celebrate.

2. Spend time with the right people. Stop trying to do things alone. Find people who have already done it, who are doing it, who want to do it – anyone you can relate to. It’s the last thing you’ll want to do when you’re feeling lost, but that’s when they’re needed most. They’ll help you see what’s next. I spent a few hours last weekend with my friend Corbett, whom I hadn’t seen for months since he lives the tough life in Mexico during the first three months of the year. ;) I left buzzing with possibility just from trading ideas about what we’re building.

This is why we’ve invested hundreds of hours in creating our free Live Your Legend LOCAL communities – and we now have over 140 meetups happening all over the world! Find yours here. I’m going to the one in San Francisco tonight – come join us if you can.

3. Do one thing. The key to action is simple. DO SOMETHING. Anything. It doesn’t have to be the perfect next step. If it’s a next step of some sort, that’s what makes it perfect. You probably have a list of actions you’d like to take. If not, then make one. Then pick anything on it to do. Start with the easiest thing. Then the next. And the next.

Launching your product or finding your dream career is freakin’ scary. But putting your first ideas onto a page or finding one new exciting job idea is simple. It’s harmless. But that’s what builds momentum.

And Momentum Is Everything

That’s how some unknown talent ends up changing the damn world.

And that’s why the above image is my favorite card to send to people I care about. May we never forget…

“The one thing all famous authors, world class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journey’s when they were none of these.”

- Mike Dooley

The little stuff is what leads to the kind of life you probably couldn’t even dream up right now.

If we start to identify ourselves as the kind of person who makes progress, and we start to represent that to ourselves and others, we naturally want to stay consistent to that image. That’s when momentum becomes a part of who we are – no matter how crazy things get.

This path can be frightening. In fact, I guarantee it will be.

No one says it would be easy. And they shouldn’t! If they do, it’s your job to stop listening.

When was easy ever really appreciated anyway?

One thing I know – the only part that matters – is that moving forward is unbelievably worth it.

Swings and all. :)

That’s the beauty of our adventure here.

It’s all part of the party.

-Scott

P.S. And on that note…

Live Your Legend Momentum Workshops are Coming Soon!

I know a lot of you are wondering what the next step is – so that’s our next step at LYL! This year I’ll be offering a series of live online workshops + Q&A sessions on specific topics with the sole purpose of building momentum and making progress. And they’ll be priced so all of you can afford them.

The first one will be held in a few weeks, and since about 70% of you plan to change jobs in the next year, that’s what our first topic will be: The first steps to transitioning to your dream career.

More details coming in the next couple weeks. This has been on my mind for a long time, and I can’t wait!

But I’ll need your help to get it right…

So in the comments, share your next step or tell us one thing you want covered in the first workshop. I’d love to include it!

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