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Everyday I read about people who are creating great products or doing some really fun things. On Friday’s I share my favorites. Today, it’s Everest.

Everest is an online company that inspires you to live your dreams and achieve your personal goals.  I love their attitude and their tag line: Everyone’s got their Everest. We help you climb yours.  I don’t know about you, but I could use some encouragement when it comes to my dreams and goals.

One feature I like about Everest is they encourage you to capture moments (i.e. photos) as you chase your dreams. The idea is to inspire others with photos of you accomplishing your goals. They believe that through social engagement we’ll be more motivated to achieve our goals. I’ve done this with other apps and it does work for me. Accountability helps keep me on track.

The App has a feed of public challenges for you to choose from or you can create your own. I’ve included a few below.

Everest MenuI picked Get Out of Your Comfort Zone as my first “dream” along with 113 other people.  There are only seven steps so I have a shot at actually accomplishing it!

Everest challenge

Here are the steps:

Everest stepsI’m planning to start tomorrow that’s why there’s been no progress.  Does that sound like procrastination?  Maybe that should be my next challenge.

Check it out and if you sign up, let me know what you choose.  In the interest of full disclosure, the app isn’t perfect.  It’s new and there are some bugs that need to be fixed, but give it shot and see if it helps you accomplish your goals.

We can succeed together. 😉


3 A.M. Thoughts

Everest -A time lapse short film from Elia Saikaly on Vimeo.

You know that quote, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”  I’ve always applied that quote to professional goals rather than personal goals.  I don’t know why.  I am single-minded when it comes to myself so maybe that’s why. Or maybe it’s because our culture is obsessed with accomplishments.  Either way, when I woke up thinking about it early this morning I knew the answer.  I’d climb Everest if I knew I could not fail.  I’d summit that mountain and sit on top of the world for as long as I could.

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

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Why 2013 May Be The Best Year of My Life

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As we approach the end of another year and reflect back on it, I can honestly say that 2013 may be the best year of my life.  My family is happy, healthy and doing well in school and work. That would be enough to make it a good year, but this year I’ve been blessed. Starting over in a new city allowed me to release the pressure of fitting in, keeping up and staying on course. I can’t explain how unprepared I was for my life in the Midwest.  At first, I didn’t understand that living where we lived meant conforming.  The expectations were subtle and often cloaked in smiles and invitations, but it all felt phony. For years, I was confused and frustrated. I’m not the kind of person who likes being told what I “should” do. I’ve never had a desire to fit in and be one of the crowd so I was a stranger in a strange land. I resisted the standards that were being thrust upon me, but eventually one must conform to a certain degree or be lonely and outcast.  Moving gave me a fresh start. There were no expectations of me in our new town.  And for the most part, there still aren’t. People here are eclectic and eccentric. I love their creative and free spirit.  I love people who follow their dreams, not the money.  Following the money leads to unhappiness.  I worked with many high earning professionals in the last few years and I can honestly attest that money is more of a burden than a blessing to them whether they realize it or not.  But that’s fodder for another blog post.

Moving gave me a fresh start. I started taking pictures again and reading more books. I took walks on the beach. I explored our new area. I found a church that we all enjoy. I started practicing yoga three times a week. I started writing again. I reconnected with family that live in the area. I avoided getting involved in activities that might fill my time, but rob me of the newly acquired peace I’d found. I met a few people, but I was in no hurry to jump into friendships that might make demands on my time or me personally. I feel free. I don’t feel trapped by the expectations of others or the location of my home.  I am happy, content and grateful.  I thank God everyday for the blessings of 2013 and look forward to his plan for 2014.  I wish the same for you.


Dreams and Julia Child


It’s been three years since I told a friend, “Hey, Julia Child didn’t become Julia Child until she was 49. There is still time to follow your dream.” Yes, I was encouraging a friend, but I was also giving myself time. I’d just turned forty and had plenty of dreams of my own, but because of time constraints, fear and family I wasn’t pursuing the ones that really brought me joy. Instead I was spending my time trying to be what others in my community wanted or expected me to be. I volunteered at school, made meals for the homeless, helped with my son’s sport teams and my daughter’s choir and drama. I got involved in charity work and social engagements that usually left me asking myself, “What am I doing here?” I did what was expected of a typical Midwestern mother and housewife. The problem was I didn’t enjoy what I was doing. It’s not that I didn’t want to be involved or helpful, but doing those things didn’t bring me joy. I ignored the voice that kept telling me what truly makes me happy. It was easier to do what everyone else was doing rather than do what I loved. There was risk involved in living my own life. I risked stepping outside my comfort zone. I risked disappointing friends or family that may not approve or understand. But the alternative was losing touch with my joy, my dreams and God’s plan for me. What really makes me happy is exploring the outdoors, reading and writing. I am just starting to truly enjoy my life again. God gave me a gift in relocating to the West Coast. I can start over and spend time doing the things I was meant to do rather than the things others expect me to do. I’m taking time to write, explore new places and learn new things. I think Julia Child’s path is a good example for all women. Follow your passion and listen to the voice that’s telling you what truly makes you happy. Life is a series of stages, not one long journey. Life is also short; don’t waste it letting society define you or your dreams.