6 Easy Steps to Rock Out Your Dreams and Be the Badass You Really Are.

road-trip-veronica-varlow.jpg
Years ago,
I was on a hospital gurney with my nose hanging off my face after a rottwelier attack,
and I stared at the ceiling and realized what my life was missing….

CHALLENGE.

I was living in that space of comfort, of easy, of boredom, of predictable….
You know what I’m saying?

Have you been there, too?

I needed a shake up.
I needed to grow.
I needed to blossom or die.

I need
to push myself past my limits of comfort or knowledge or safety…
to hurl myself into something that sparks me
and makes me electric with life.

This is my secret formula to live life on FIRE with passion:

1. Dream it.

When you imagine your ideal life, what do you see?
What passions do you have?
What’s something that makes you feel elated and alive just thinking about it?

My new dream and passion started with an abandoned guitar.

A gorgeous, vintage, f-hole, curvy thing leaning against the wall, waiting for me to hold it.
I slept next to it.
The mere thought of playing it or learning to play it, made me feel a surge of wild excitement.
The doors opened to a brand new adventure.

girl-with-guitar.jpg

2. Picture It.

The story of actor Jim Carrey is one of my favorite visualization stories…
When he was broke and struggling to make it as an actor, he wrote himself a check for 10 million dollars for acting services rendered and dated the check five years in the future.
Right before the date, he received 10 million dollars for his role in the movie, Dumb and Dumber.

He saw his success in his mind and brought it into real life by physically writing a check.

The first chord I learned on that vintage Harmony guitar was an E chord, so that I could play Jack White’s Love Interruption.

My teacher, Robert Burke Warren, showed me how to strike the chord and hold my hand up in the air afterwards.  Even though I only knew one chord, pulling that move made me feel like a rock star. Physically doing that made me imagine playing to a wild, screaming crowd.
It was so simple, yet it made me see it and made me feel like it was possible.
You gotta see it in your mind to do it!

robert Burke Warren

RBW with his guitar on the streets of NYC. He gave me my first guitar case and introduced me to my first guitar chords.

3. Destroy the Doubts.

If you couldn’t fail, what would you ROCK out in life?

When I started taking lessons, the biggest thing I kept asking people was….
“How long did it take you to really get good?”
I was trying to figure out if I wanted to spend the time learning….if my dream was worth it.

Learning something new is so scary that sometimes I find myself trying to make excuses why I shouldn’t do it.

If your brain starts telling you….
“I don’t have the time.”
“I don’t have the money.”
“I don’t have the talent or connections.”

Tell it to shut the hell up.

Dreams overcome all that shit.
Trust me.
Throw yourself into it with out doubt or question.

4. Get a Co-Conspirator.

Having someone be your teammate in rocking your dream and keeping you to your goals is crucial.

My dear friend, Kurt and I are both learning to play guitar.
Kurt is already an amazing singer and has natural rock and roll performance swagger. When he decided to add guitarist into the mix….we knew that we had each other’s backs in learning and pushing each other.

BUT – he’s in Detroit, I’m in New York City. So….we committed to practicing 20 minutes a day (dubbed the “Joe Challenge” after his son, who practices 20 minutes a day on his saxophone for school) and sending each other a one minute video by text of our practice.

Kurt-Schwarz.jpg

My guitar playin’ co-conspirator, Kurt, at the Haunted House shooting gallery at Coney Island.

There are days that I don’t feel like practicing and I’ll get a video from him and it will push my ass into gear to keep working.
We encourage each other across the miles.
It’s so easy to give up in those difficult moments where your dream is seeming harder or nothing is making sense. Having that co-conspirator to have your back and push you through it is a life saver for your dream.

5. Look to Your Idols and People Who Are Doing What You Want To Do.

Jack White a mere few feet in front of me, jumping up and down at the front of the stage, made me feel like I was getting out of my body.  The air was electric and he was just going for it on guitar.  Wild, raw, thrashing his body this way and that, bending, curving, howling with his guitar and unleashing that unique sound.

Having heroes and people to look up to, pushes me to be better than I am today.

6. Take a fucking Chance and Put It Out There.

This is my cover of Dolly Parton’s Jolene on my porch this morning:

It took guts for me to share this with you because I’m just a beginner,
but I’m not going to get anywhere if I don’t try.
I’m also going to be playing and singing alongside my friend, Babs for I .

I vow to keep pushing forward because I know the greatest things in my life have come from things I’ve longed to do and have been terrified of.

Let’s all rocket into the unknown beauty of our wildest dreams together.

Now you tell me…what are your dreams? Have you ever done something you were terrified to do? How did it turn out? What tricks did you use to not give up?

Please share and retweet – I’m really interested in hearing a wide range of answers to this one!

Love it? Share it.