Posts tagged serenity

In Memory of Personal Development Legend Scott Dinsmore

Life is crazy, and it’s short, but it can be shorter, and we just don’t know what’s ahead.

Today I found out that a personal development blogger, TEDx Talk speaker, and founder of Live Your Legend, Scott Dinsmore, was killed by some falling rocks while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on September 12, 2015. His wife Chelsea was with him, and she survived and made it back to the US.

Almost two years ago, I interviewed 10 personal development bloggers to ask them the “tough questions”, and Scott was one of them. One of the questions I asked was, “What personality traits best aid people in improving their lives?” This was Scott’s answer:

“Compassion, understanding, empathy and social awareness. These all come together to allow someone to genuinely connect, help and understand the people around them. Environment is everything. We have to surround ourselves with the people who inspire possibility. And in turn inspire that possibility in others. That’s when things start to get interesting. Do whatever you can to feel what another person’s feeling and to see a window into their world – then do all you can to leverage your talents, strengths and passions to help them in a meaningful way. The rest will take care of itself.” – Scott Dinsmore

Here is the blog post that the Live Your Legend community posted just after Scott’s death, in memory of him.

They have continued to make a few tributes as well, here and here.

Ironically, Scott’s last blog post on Live Your Legend (posted on Sept 4, 2015) was titled I’m Going Off the Grid: Therapy for an Addicted & Over-Connected World and it was about disconnecting (unplugging), spending more time with loved ones, and taking adventures.

He says, “But before I go off the grid, I’d like to explain why it’s so important (for all of us)”.

And I completely agree, which is why I try to spend most of my time in my present reality, here and now. This is why I don’t make a lot of phone calls (besides my phone anxiety of course), and why I don’t spend a lot of time emailing, texting, or facebooking, or on the computer at all. Even though my career takes place online, I’ve figured out a way to streamline my business so that I spend as little time on “work” as possible, so I have more time to live in the now and actually… well… live. Not live other people’s lives, or live the life other people think I should live, but live the life God made for me to live.

I even wrote a blog post about it, and it’s the reason why I stopped doing a lot of what I was doing just over a year ago. I even stopped working on and growing UpGusto because I wasn’t “walking my talk” the way I was currently living, how I was spending my time, and my priorities were all out of wack. I’m still not completely on track, but I’m much more aware of it now and try my best, and I’m getting better and better as time goes on.

And this blog post gives you my grown perspective just 5 months after initially simplifying my life.

Since then, my perspective has been growing even more. Some things I have realized is that acceptance is the answer to all my problems, and that taking personal responsibility for my part in everything that has happened and that I have allowed in my life is actually very empowering. Rather than being the victim or martyr that I have for some reason always enjoyed, I am at least partially or wholly responsible, and with that comes the realization that I actually have choices and the ability to make the changes in my life that are necessary for me to have serenity. Being the victim/martyr and holding onto resentments to excuse any of my behavior does not help me, it actually hinders me from living a full life, free of that weight.

Something I wrote a while back:

“We always feel that so many things are important, but only a few things actually are. I read a post on Myrko Thum’s blog where he explains that many times we put urgent things (things we think are important right now) above important things (things which are actually intrinsically important to us for life), which slows us down from accomplishing our goals and feeling fulfilled on a daily basis. If we were to try to lessen the urgent matters in our life and concentrate only on what’s important to us, then we would be able to accomplish our goals and feel happier overall.”

So I’d like to ask you, what’s really important to you? And my next question is, does the way you spend your time reflect that?

What’s important to me is my serenity and my relationship with God. Does the way I spend my time reflect that? Maybe not completely, but much much more so than two years ago, and I’m consciously working on aligning my priorities with my actions on a daily basis.

I struggle to live in the present moment, as I’m sure most of you do as well. So I’m working on that, being mindful, aware of my true surroundings, staying in the present, and staying in connection with God. Anxiety has gotten the best of me, and still does from time to time, and anxiety is the opposite of serenity, and the opposite of what God wants for us, so that is why I am putting so much effort into keeping my mind in the right place.

“And finally brothers (and sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

Thanks to Scott Dinsmore for his contribution to the world, helping so many people live their legends out! And may his wife and family find peace during this time, remembering the precious times they were able to spend with him.

10 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned in the Last 5 Months


Just two weeks after my “wake-up call” I took the above photo,
showcasing the highest score I ever got bowling, beating my husband for the first time!

I recently received an email from an UpGusto subscriber who lost his girlfriend who he intended to marry, and his job, all in one fell swoop. He was in despair about his life and in deep depression. I emailed him back, and I decided to share with you all what I wrote to him (plus a couple extra points) because my response is applicable to everyone’s life at one point or another, maybe even right this moment for some of you. I hope you can gain some insight to apply to your life today and on an ongoing basis to improve your own well being for the long term.

I’m sorry you have been going through such a difficult time. It is hard to understand why things may be happening as they are, but I truly believe everything happens for a reason. You never know what God has planned for you. It is always better than what we imagine for ourselves, and we tend to try to thwart God’s plans with our plans. That is what happened to me back in late June. I was living my life my way, and everything seemed to be going along just fine, when WHAM! Wake-up call. An extremely unfortunate event had taken place and when I came to realize what was going on it was like a huge slap in the face. A huge slap in my life! But 5 months later and I am actually already grateful for what has happened because I think it actually saved my life.

I was going down the wrong path. I kept doing the same things expecting different results, which is basically insanity. My life seemed fine, but since my wake-up call, I have realized so much of what I was doing was for the wrong reasons and a lot of what I was doing was completely unnecessary and it wasn’t resulting in a better life as I had been hoping for all along. I was stressing myself out to the max. I immediately simplified my life so I could survive the turmoil I was going through at the moment. And as soon as I did that, my life immediately became that much more manageable… basically easier to deal with on a daily basis. It’s funny how when you’re overly responsible, you tend to take on more responsibility than is actually necessary.

I tend to take care of others instead of myself, but since my wake-up call, I have been learning to take care of myself, and that has been an amazing thing. I am learning who I am and what I really want out of life, and I’m not displeasing God in the process like I thought I would be if I lived life this way. I thought taking care of myself was selfish, but really it’s self-care. There is a difference between selfishness, selflessness, and self-care, and I have realized that now. At the moment, my goal is self-care, and once I feel like my life is finally on track, I can work on being more selfless, but self-care is never selfish. When you take care of yourself, you are taking the burden off someone else to care for you. When you take care of your self, you are taking responsibility for your life, and you can learn to allow others to take responsibility for themselves too, and that is very freeing.

I don’t know why your relationship ended, what caused it, or what the current end of that relationship will bring you in the future (or in your present). I don’t know why you lost your job, or what God has in store for you instead. I do know that when these sorts of things happen to us that we need to wake up and take a look at ourselves and how we are living our lives. Take a look at our priorities, our actions, and what our past actions and behaviors have gotten us thus far, and what changes we can make in ourselves to get us to where we actually want to go, rather than doing the same things forever, expecting that one day things will finally get better (it won’t if we keep doing the same things).

I realized many things in these last 5 months:

  1. I am responsible for myself and only myself (and if you have children then you are also responsible for taking care of them to the best of your ability).
  2. Others are responsible for themselves, I am not responsible for them. I can’t control others or improve other people’s lives. They have to do that themselves. If I have insight, I can give them insight, but it is up to them to take the appropriate actions to take care of themselves.
  3. I can be myself and I can allow others to be themselves. We are all humans, with flaws and talents, both good and bad qualities. We are all equal, and we are all equally and fully loved by God. All people are capable of doing bad things, and all people can be blessings to others as well.
  4. I don’t have to do everything. I don’t have to do anything extra or unnecessary, and I need to have my priorities straight. I don’t have to live up to other people’s expectations, or even my own expectations I have placed on myself, and the imaginary expectations I think God has of me. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do because doing things I don’t want to do would be doing things with the wrong heart and motives. That is not to say that I shouldn’t do what I am responsible for, but if it involves something I am not responsible for, then I should not do it unless my heart is in the right place.
  5. Money is not the most important thing in life. God will take care of our needs. God does want to bless us and He wants us to be happy. But money does not make us happy, and working our lives away just to have more material objects, or to look cool or have a higher social standing is not going to make us happy.
  6. When others are disappointed with me, it is not necessarily my fault. We all grow up gaining different world-views and defenses. We don’t need to take everything personally. Everyone has issues. We ourselves have issues, and it is our responsibility to work on our own personal issues to try to resolve our flawed world-views and useless defenses that we’ve put up to protect ourselves as children, but are actually harmful to us now as adults.
  7. I have learned that my relationship with God is the most important thing, and if I am in close connection to God, everything else actually falls right into place.
  8. Whether or not you believe in God, you can’t go through life alone and you can’t do what you need to do solely through your own power and might. Gaining some form of higher power (HP) who is more powerful than you and can help you do what you cannot do for yourself, is what makes your life manageable and what will eventually bring you serenity.
  9. You don’t have to be a religious person to have or find a higher power. Most of life’s problems are actually spiritual at the root. Spirituality and a connection with God (or higher power) does not necessarily have to be religious. In fact, it’s better if it’s not.
  10. Only a higher power has the power to restore you to sanity. What you give to your higher power (or God) is what your HP will take and deal with for you. But your HP will only take what you surrender, so the key to serenity and sanity is to fully surrender your will and your problems to the God of your understanding.

There is hope. In this world, there will be suffering, but that does not mean that all is lost, even if it seems like it now. Try your best at this time to see a broader perspective, that something is happening in your life that needs to happen right now, and it is bigger than you or I. And it can be a huge blessing if you take it by the horns and make the changes in yourself for the better, to bring you a better future. Slowly but surely, we can make the improvements in ourselves, internally, to give us the peace and serenity that we really long for.

What are you struggling with right now that makes you see no hope? Has this message helped give you the perspective you need to move on and make the necessary changes in your life to turn things around for the better? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also, let me know if you have any questions or would like any feedback.