Saturday, July 26, 2014

Some Background: The Birth of the Brave Project

Where to start? Here is the short version.

Perhaps the Brave Project starts...

...with lessons learned from the Storyline Conference I attended in San Diego last February, with follow-up through their e-course. I went in search of potential keynote speakers for the Great Plains Google Summit I help support, and because I thought it would be great to hear author Anne Lamott speak. And there was a great "how to" blogging session scheduled. While I had read one of Donald Miller's books, I had never heard of anyone else on the presenter list, nor of the conference itself. The Storyline mission is bold, and had a significant impact on me:  
Based on the work of Victor Frankl, Donald Miller and the Storyline founders believe that a deep sense of meaning in life can be found three ways:  
  • clearly defined roles, goals and ambitions  
  • a redemptive perspective toward suffering and challenges 
  • safe, loving relationships
Hearing fresh perspectives on a life fueled by passion and purpose, is hard to put into words. So it called for action.
...and from Jia Jiang's presentation on his Rejection Therapy project (start with #3) at the Storyline Conference - What are you afraid of? What are you doing to minimize the role that fear and rejection play in your life?
...and from being invited to participate in a Catalyst Grant where I was charged with creating a plan for myself of something I want to learn that might motivate others to pursue their own learning.
...and from asking my Facebook friends, "What would you do if you could muster up the courage required to do it? As some of you saw from my Dance Walk video last month, I'm working on a new project to practice "being brave" in big and small ways. Why does that particular "thing" that came to your mind after reading the first sentence here, require courage for you? Note: Rather than reflecting on past examples where you were brave, look to the future. And, for the record, I appreciate the bravery required to respond to my prompt. Thank you."  Then reading their heartfelt responses - more of which came in via private message or later conversation.
...and from following the Storyline blog with posts like this one: Will Your Story Be One of Awe or Fear?
...and from this video clip that I have shown many groups of administrators and teachers from a series put out by Honda with Danica Patrick discussing pushing against fear.
...and from an incredibly supportive dept. director and team of colleagues who believe in Growth Mindset (based on the work of Carol Dweck) and know that our life experiences have great potential to positively impact our work.
...and from the support of a small, trusted group of amazing friends and family who have served as a scout team of sorts for this project as I floated ideas for how to push beyond my own comfort zone, even when some of those ideas are a stretch beyond what feels comfortable to them. Or even when my ideas would be easy for them. There is nothing like sharing your life-stretching goals, and the myriad fears that accompany them (thank you Ashcraft anxiety genes), to learn just how many amazing people you have in your life.
...and from a husband who believes I can do most anything, even when I doubt it myself.

...and, in the words I remember my Mom saying to me when I was a kid, "You tend to make things harder than they need to be."
Yes, that.
And The Brave Project was born.

No Time Like Now

How Not to Start a Blog

  1. Think about it for approximately 7 years without actually writing a word. Decide today is the day.
  2. Study all of the various blog hosting tools and sites looking for a perfect one. You're already logged into Google many hours a day, so just go with Blogger.
  3. Remember that your fingers and brain sometimes disconnect, and that results in typos. Know how to use the edit button and count on all of your English teacher/major friends to let you know about any serious typos so you can fix them.
  4. Wonder what you have to say that would be of interest to anyone else. Start a project to stretch your personal comfort zone and write about it in hopes it might help someone else be braver too.
  5. Worry about random, anonymous people finding the blog and leaving mean comments on a post. One word:  Delete.
  6. Wonder how you will fit it in to your already busy life. Build in a little time each day to write.  Publish when it's ready.
  7. Reserve 42 potential blog names in search of just the right one.  Just find a name that isn't already taken, remembering that you have made it this far in life with a name like Lynne.

And there you have it.  Welcome to The Brave Project blog.