Chief Dream Chaser Aimee J. brings to the show people you never knew you needed to meet. Aimee talks to fellow dream chasers who share the story of their chase, the lessons they've learned, and have a good time doing it. Life is too short to live with regrets. You need to make moves, take a chance, and chase your dreams.
Ep. 241: Mario – Never Settle
In continuation of Black History Month celebrations, today’s guest has inspiration and motivation to help you take action and get real about your passion and purpose. Join us to learn more!
Mario Armstrong is a two-time Emmy Award-winner, lifestyle entrepreneur, content creator, and motivational speaker. He’s also a partner with Daymond John’s Shark Group.
Mario's mission is to provide the advice and tools to help you hustle mindfully to pursue your passions. His podcast is called Wake Up and Level Up, and his web series is called Never Settle. This critically acclaimed production has been recognized with an Emmy Award for “Best Interactivity,” an Emmy Award Nomination for “Best Program Host,” a Digiday Publishing Award nomination for “Best Use of Facebook Live,” a Webby Honoree Award for “Social: Experimental and Innovation,” and an award for “Best Live Show” from the International Academy of Web Television Awards.
What were your dreams as a young person? Mario always knew that he wanted to be on TV or in radio. He loved acting and communicating and anything that led to performing on a stage. Always impressed by people who were “on camera,” Mario still loves being around people and feeding off their energy. He’s a passionate risk-taker and dreamer who believes he can do anything he wants. This determination did not translate into academic success for Mario because he viewed school as a distraction, and he was satisfied to do “just enough” to get by. Being curious, asking questions, and shaking things up did not serve him well in the structured school setting, but these qualities have set him up for success in his career. College was when everything came together with his communications major, and he finally realized that relevance equals purpose. It was later that he understood that every obstacle and step in his journey had purpose.
[bctt tweet="Every obstacle and step in your journey has purpose. @marioarmstrong #chasingdreams"]
Figure out your passion
What is your passion? Mario says that it’s important to write down what you like to do. From that list, you must identify the things that ramp you up and excite you the most. Rating these interests with a numbering system will help you identify the easiest next steps to take. At that point, consider the resources available for those interests. Mario has created a worksheet that helps people find and pinpoint their passion. He uses the analogy of the magic of peanut butter and jelly to illustrate how randomly different interests can connect together and play into each other. Download Mario’s worksheet tool and answer the questions to find your passion.
[bctt tweet="Keep in mind that randomly different interests can connect together and play into each other. @marioarmstrong #chasingdreams" username="aimeej21"]
Get it out there
What is the world waiting to see from you? Mario teaches that it’s important to get your work out there to people even if it’s not yet perfected. People can’t support your idea if they don’t have a glimpse of it because you’re still working on it. We all know that “perfect” doesn’t really exist because our ideas are constantly evolving. Every successful person will tell you that the secret to their success is that they didn’t have it “all figured out.” Most people figure things out along the way, which has never been more relevant than right now during the COVID pandemic. Mario’s show, Never Settle, has evolved as he has, and he’s excited for what the future holds as they get ready for a new season!
[bctt tweet="Most people figure things out along the way. @marioarmstrong #chasingdreams"]
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”The big steps to take are to develop the muscle of resilience and learn how to sell.”
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:
Ep. 240: Luvvie Ajayi Jones - The Power of Professional Troublemaking
To kick off Black History Month, we are visiting with a New York Times bestselling author. You may remember her from Episode 58, way back in 2016. She was here to promote her first book, and today, she’s telling us about her second book. The book is available for preorder, and it’s required reading for any dream chaser. Join us!
Luvvie Ajayi Jones is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and podcast host who thrives at the intersection of comedy, media, and justice. Her debut book, https://amzn.to/2L4nPIG (I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual), was released to critical acclaim, hitting the New York Times bestselling list at #5. She’s an internationally recognized speaker who takes on dozens of stages every year around the globe, and she has spoken at some of the world's most innovative companies and conferences, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter. Her TEDtalk, “Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable,” has over 5.5 million views! Her new book, Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual, drops March 2, 2021, and is available for preorder at http://www.professionaltroublemakerbook.com (www.professionaltroublemakerbook.com).
Ordinary people, extraordinary things
Who is a hero that you’re tempted to put up on a pedestal? Luvvie doesn’t want to be put on a pedestal. Even though we tend to view people with platforms as heroes, we have to realize that they went through the grind and the struggles to take their journey. People on pedestals are set up for failure because they WILL get tired and fall. Even our heroes are flawed individuals who are learning and growing along the way. Luvvie wants everyone to know that she’s a regular person, just like everyone else. It takes constant work to maintain a platform of influence and be an ordinary person doing extraordinary things.
TWEET: Even our heroes are flawed individuals who are learning and growing along the way. @luvvie #chasingdreams
Would you ever vacation alone? You’ll probably say NO, but Luvvie urges you to reconsider that viewpoint. As her 30th birthday approached, she wanted to go on vacation but realized it was too late for any of her friends to schedule a trip. She went alone to the Dominican Republic and had the time of her life. That same year, she visited several other countries all over the world--all by herself. She fully thrived in the freedom to make her own plans and choices each day without consulting anyone else. There are so few opportunities in life to do exactly what we want without having to consider and accommodate the wants and needs of other people. She says these solo vacations are a true gift she gave to herself that have changed her life. She’s learned that she doesn’t need the counsel and approval of other people to do what we need to in life. Why do we live our lives based on the opinions of others? Try a solo vacation if you need a new perspective on life!
TWEET: Don’t live your life based on the opinions of others. @luvvie #chasingdreams
“Too much, too loud, and too troublesome”
Are you a fear fighter? Luvvie wrote her second book to help those who need to know how to fight fear in their lives, which is an especially relevant topic for women. With blogging, writing, podcasting, and creating communities, Luvvie tries to establish what she needs because that means that others will find value there also. The concept of fear-fighting means we have to do scary things sometimes. Fear is a universal emotion, but we each feel like we are alone in our uncertainty, doubt, and anxiety. We need community to know that we are not alone. We need others to be “too much, too loud, and too troublesome” with us. Remember that it’s OK to stay scared and move forward with courage.
TWEET: Remember that it’s OK to stay scared and move forward with courage. @luvvie #chasingdreams
Ep. 239: Ammini Aunty - If You Put Your Mind to It, You Can Do It
I’m excited to share the inspirational story of someone who is the epitome of a dream chaser. At age 70, my mother is still going strong, staying busy, and enjoying happiness in her new role. I hope you’ll join us to hear her story.
Ammini Aunty (Saramma/Sara) was a nurse in Baltimore for 40 years after her childhood in Kerala and Mumbai, India. During her nursing career, she welcomed every opportunity to teach nurses and nursing students because teaching has always been her natural gift. When her children asked her to capture her knowledge and passion for cooking for them and her grandchildren, Ammini Aunty knew she could do it, thanks to her love for teaching and orienting others. As people watch her cooking show, she encourages them to ask questions so they can learn and be successful in their cooking endeavors. She believes that a love and passion for cooking and learning can help anyone become a great cook. Ammini Aunty says, “If you put your mind to it, you can do it.” With this mantra in mind, “A Pinch of Kerala” was developed to share her love for cooking with others.
Why a cooking show?
Do you love sharing your passion with others? Ammini Aunty loved teaching other nurses during her long career, but now, in retirement, she loves sharing her passion for cooking with the world. She loves being in the kitchen, always experimenting and trying new things. Chicken, for instance, can be cooked in so many ways, so she loves watching cooking shows, learning new recipes, and trying them out on her family. She cooks for family, friends, and neighbors and anxiously awaits their feedback and approval. It’s her passion for food and cooking that keep her going strong and enjoying life at age 70, even in the middle of a pandemic. Cooking for people is definitely her “love language.” If you ever visit Ammini Aunty’s house, don’t be surprised to be brought into the kitchen to peel ginger or grate coconut because that is just her way of doing things.
TWEET: Cooking for people is definitely Ammini Aunty’s love language! @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
“No one is born a chef”
How are your kitchen skills? Ammini Aunty is of the firm opinion that anyone can learn to cook. When her daughters were in college, they often brought friends home who wanted to learn to make things like chicken curry or fried rice. Ammini insisted that everything is made from scratch, so she would make them follow each step in cutting up the raw chicken, chopping fresh vegetables, and adding spices. One important step in cooking is tasting as you go, to make sure the flavors are right! She loves imparting her knowledge to others and teaching them to do something new. She says that no one is born a chef, but we can all learn cooking skills by practicing.
TWEET: No one is born a chef, but we can all learn cooking skills by practicing. @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
“We are meeting a need”
How have you kept busy during the pandemic? It may sound crazy that a 70-year-old retired nurse started a cooking show from her kitchen during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the urging of her daughters, Ammini Aunty began recording cooking videos last April for “A Pinch of Kerala.” She sees the value in what she does in helping people learn to cook and try new things in the kitchen. At the end of 2020, her daughters asked if she wanted to keep doing the show. She replied, “Of course I want to keep going; we are meeting a need that people have.” She knows that her cooking videos are preserving something for the following generations to see. Because of the joy and newfound purpose in her life, Ammini Aunty plans to continue her show, and she has big plans for a handbook and cookbook-- later in 2021!
TWEET: Ammini Aunty knows that her cooking videos are preserving something for the following generations to see. @apinchofkerala #chasingdreams
Ep. 238: Aimee J. - I’m Claiming 2021!!
Welcome to 2021! It promises to be a wild ride! If 2020 left you feeling less than successful in your dream chase, then you can’t miss today’s show!
I’m claiming 2021 as my own. I’m listing ten things I’m doing to make that happen. You can follow these steps as I count them down to make YOUR 2021 a year of progress and accomplishment.
Top Ten Ways to Claim 2021 for yourself:
10- Decide for yourself what you want in life.
TWEET: I was conditioned by my culture to go in directions that didn’t fulfill me. Don’t be like I was. #chasingdreams
9- Visualize your dreams and goals.
TWEET: Plan out what you want to see and when you want to see it happen. #chasingdreams
8- Step outside your comfort zone.
TWEET: Don’t live in fear, but open up to new possibilities. #chasingdreams
7- Create SMART goals for yourself.
TWEET: SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. #chasingdreams
6- Identify your reason and your WHY.
TWEET: Your WHY is your motivator, fuel, and your reason to keep going. #chasingdreams
5- Practice an attitude of gratitude.
TWEET: Gratitude will change your outlook to focus on the positives. #chasingdreams
4- Find your accountability support group.
TWEET: Get a coach or mentor, or find like-minded people who will support you. #chasingdreams
3- Be intentional.
TWEET: This is my theme for 2021; it’s about the dream chase and its progress. #chasingdreams
2- Value progress over perfection.
TWEET: Take the first step; don’t wait for things to be perfect. #chasingdreams
1- Take action.
TWEET: Make choices that align with your goals. #chasingdreams
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:
[2:18] Make your own decisions
[4:29] Visualize your dreams and goals
[5:40] Step outside your comfort zone
[7:25] Write down your SMART goals
[8:57] Identify your reason and WHY
[10:20] Practice an attitude of gratitude
[11:18] Find your accountability support group
[12:34] Be intentional
[14:30] Value progress over perfection
[16:34] Take action
My https://www.facebook.com/aimeej21 (Facebook)
My https://twitter.com/aimeej21 (Twitter)
My https://instagram.com/aimeej21 (Instagram)
My https://linkedin.com/in/aimeej21 (LinkedIn)
https://youtu.be/ydreW2EYJGc (Watch the Episode on YouTube)
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
You have to decide what you want and not rely on what other people tell you. #chasingdreams
Stepping outside your comfort zone gives you more options. #chasingdreams
To align my goals, I have to say NO to some things. #chasingdreams
Ep. 237: Aimee J. - 2020 Am I Right?
Today’s show is a special solo episode. Since it’s the only show for December, we are looking back at 2020, which was an unprecedented year. I feel like the year began with such promise and hope in the hearts of so many people, but it came in disrespectfully--and it seems to be heading out in much the same way. The problems of 2020 aren’t over, and we’re learning to make adjustments and accept that we are living with a new normal. Let’s spend time reflecting together!
2020--The year of the pivot
Have you found yourself making big changes in your plans and dreams for 2020? Like me, you may have begun the year with grand plans to travel, celebrate milestones, and start new endeavors. Just a few weeks into the year, we were told to stay inside and socially distance ourselves from others. Weeks turned into months, and here we are, watching 2020 on its way out.
Masks have become a debatable issue that has somehow turned political. Businesses and schools had to pivot and change their operations in unimaginable ways. It is, indeed, the year of the pivot--and not the kind of pivot anyone expected or wanted. The economy spiraled downward as countless numbers of people lost their jobs and homes. The difficulties have been unparalleled for many families.
TWEET: 2020 is the year of the pivot, and not the kind of pivot anyone expected or wanted. #chasingdreams
People need people
Is it easy for you to admit that you need other people? Many of us like to think we can “go it alone” through life, but the truth is that we need others so much more than we might think. It’s hard to draw strength, support, encouragement from others when we’re socially distant. It seems like just maintaining our sanity has counted as success in 2020.
All around the world, people were (and are) facing difficult situations. The key is to change our perspective, which is one of the only things we can control. Besides dealing with the pandemic, we’ve lost many iconic individuals in ways that are hard to understand, like Kobe Bryant, John Lewis, and RBG, to name just a few.
“2020” will forever be a descriptor of hard things that aren’t easy to understand. Life became a new normal for many of us, and we didn’t invite it, expect it, or desire it.
TWEET: Changing our perspective is one of the only things we can control. #chasingdreams
Be grateful--and step out of your comfort zone!
Has 2020 caused you to take a more appreciative view of what you have? It’s important to acknowledge what you have and be grateful for those things. 2020 has forced us to take a new look at what’s really important in our lives.
As we reflect on this difficult year, it’s important to have a spirit of gratitude for the blessings we have. I was forced to evaluate what I was doing in my life and make some changes for sustainability. This included selling some items to build efficiency and improve the processes I use for podcasting. I’ve had to step outside my comfort zone as a podcaster and learn to livestream. Staying in your comfort zone means that new and exciting things aren’t happening, so challenge yourself and step out!
As we say goodbye to 2020, I urge you to take time to evaluate the areas of life; are you happy with how things are going? Remember, it’s never too late to make changes and do things differently.
TWEET: Staying in your comfort zone means that new and exciting things aren’t happening, so challenge yourself and step out! #chasingdreams
OUTLINE OF THE EPISODE:
[2:00] 2020’s beginning
[3:55] The year of the pivot
[4:24] People need people
[6:24] The new normal
[8:45] My mom’s big pivot
[11:50] Acknowledge the things you have
[13:12] My life with its changes and pivots
[21:00] What can you change?
My https://www.facebook.com/aimeej21 (Facebook)
My https://twitter.com/aimeej21 (Twitter)
Ep. 236: Heather Hakes - Take the Leap
Today, my guest shares her inspiring story about what helped her turn things around in life to manifest her dreams. She shares nuggets of wisdom and practical techniques that can help you move forward in your dream chase. Join us!
Heather Hakes is a mindset coach, speaker, and author of Take the Leap. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and published in Voyage Denver and Women Who Empower and Inspire. Heather has reached tens of thousands through her international podcast, Mind Over Matter.
Heather specializes in helping others get out of their own way by awakening their infinite potential to create their ideal life. Heather is a graduate of Tony Robbins’ Mastery University and Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass. She also studies Eckhart Tolle, Bob Proctor, and Robin Sharma’s principles of presence, shifting paradigms, and personal mastery. Heather manifested six-figures after taking the leap to quit the corporate world by aligning with her true passion and purpose and is now on a mission to help others overcome self-doubt through her transformative coaching programs, retreats, and courses.