Category: What Lori’s Passionate About


13 Life and Career Lessons Uncovered in an Unexpected Way


The weather is finally getting warmer! For me, this means it’s the beginning of stand up paddle boarding season.

career lessons

paNASH owner Lori Bumgarner with QuickBlade owner Jim Terrell

Just last week I had the opportunity to train with former canoeing Olympian and pro paddle boarder, Jim Terrell, also owner of Quickblade Paddles.

He taught me advanced level paddle techniques so I can increase my speed and perfect my paddle stroke.

If it’s not already obvious, stand up paddling (SUP) is one of my passions.

In fact, I love it so much, I’ve found a way to incorporate it into my passion and career coaching business.


How, you might ask?

Well, every paddle season, I take my clients out for a beginner SUP lesson. This is easy to do since I have two paddle boards and have previous experience teaching beginners.

The purpose of taking clients out paddle boarding is to get them out of their regular environment which gives them a different perspective on their current situation.

It also melts away their current stresses and rejuvenates their thought process.


The session starts with about 20 minutes of basic SUP instruction for them to start feeling comfortable on a board.

At first they’re worried about falling off the board into the water. It’s all they can think about as they attempt to stand up on the board for the first time.

paNASH client

Once they start to get the hang of it, we begin our typical career coaching discussion to go over the client’s current needs as we paddle down the river.


When we head back toward the harbor, I usually ask the client,

“When was the last time you thought about falling in the water?”

They suddenly realize they haven’t thought about it all. It’s kind of like a light bulb moment where they realize they accomplished something they weren’t sure they’d be able to do.

At that moment I can see a huge boost in their confidence.

They begin noticing all the nature surrounding them and realize how much the water has calmed them from their worries and stresses about their career troubles.

That’s when they usually say to me,

“This was wonderful. It was just what I needed. And it was fun!”


I love to hear that from my clients.

What they don’t expect though are all the parallels between the beginner SUP lesson and the life and career lessons from our coaching sessions.

At the end of the paddle session, I give my clients a copy of those lessons for them to keep and to remember.

career lessons

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13 LIFE AND CAREER LESSONS FROM SUP

SUP: Always be safe – use proper equipment, stay out of boat traffic, know when to return to lower your center of gravity.

Life and Career: Prepare and plan for potential life and career bumps and crises.


SUP: Select correct fit for board size and paddle length.

Life and Career: Understand the importance of fit for career choice.


SUP: Hold the paddle correctly.

Life and Career: Use the tools you’ve been given to succeed correctly.


SUP: Place your hands on the paddle at 90 degree angles, keeping elbows/arms straight, allowing you to dig the paddle deeper into the water. (Biggest mistake for beginners: Not putting their paddle in the water deep enough.)

Life and Career: Reach further and dig deeper. You will learn more about yourself.


SUP: Keep your paddle close to the board’s rails so you can paddle straight.

Life and Career: Keep close to your core values to stay on the straight and narrow path.


SUP: A wider stance on the board makes the board more stable.

Life and Career: A wider network and a wider set of skills equals a more stable career.


SUP: Keep your head up and yours eyes straight ahead when standing up. (Don’t look down, look straight ahead.)

Life and Career: Keep your eye on the horizon. Don’t look down and don’t look back.


SUP: Once up, you will stabilize as soon as you put your paddle into the water.

Life and Career: You have to stand up and risk feeling insecure before you can feel secure again. A little fear, discomfort and unstableness can be a good thing.


SUP: If you fall, you should fall away from the board. Get back on the board in the middle from the side, never from the back of the board.

Life and Career: If you fall, get back up. There’s no need to start all over. Just pick up in the middle where you left off.


SUP: Stay on the sides of the river (10–20 yards from river bank), do not cross in front of boats or barges, and do not paddle in middle of river when there’s boat traffic.

Life and Career: Stay out of the middle of unnecessary drama.


SUP: Pay attention to the river’s current – when it’s stronger, go upstream first so you won’t be too fatigued coming back.

Life and Career: When feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to deal with the bigger/tougher issues first so you won’t have to exert too much energy when you’re already tired at the end of a task.


SUP: Handle wake by paddling straight into the waves or return to your knees to lower your center of gravity.

Life and Career: Face challenges head on, and know how to pick your battles.


SUP: Pay attention to headwinds and tailwinds. Tailwinds are easier; headwinds are good training to make you a stronger paddler when done safely.

Life and Career: Struggle doesn’t always equal failure, and ease doesn’t always equal success.


One of the reasons why I love sports and recreational activities like SUP so much is because of all the life lessons they provide us.

What are your passions? What life lessons have you gained from them? Please respond and share!

Related Posts

career lessons

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question we all got when we were children.

My own answers to that question were all over the place and would change pretty frequently.

In trying to remember what my answers were, I’m sure I probably said any of the following on any given day: a teacher, an author, a businesswoman, an artist, etc.

But the only one I distinctly remember being the most sure about was a fashion designer. That was after my grandmother gave me some Fashion Plates for Christmas one year.

 

I loved my fashion plates and enjoyed the creativity of them. They made me want to learn how to really sketch clothing designs by hand. 

Ask yourself:

What did you want to be when you grew up? What do you still want to be?


So when I got to high school I decided to take art all four years to learn how to sketch. 

That is until I got into my first year of art where I ditched the idea of becoming a fashion designer (or an artist) after my art teacher made my life a living a hell. 

She was such a rigid woman, too rigid to be teaching anything that’s supposed to be creative. Her teaching methods and personality made me never want to take another art class again.

Ask yourself:

Has there ever been a person or an experience in your life that was so negative it turned you off from what you wanted to be when you grew up? How did that affect you?


So next I looked to the subject I was enjoying the most at the time…beginner-level Spanish. I really loved it and thought I’d like to eventually major in foreign languages once I got to college. 

But then came Spanish II, which was really difficult for me, much more than Spanish 1 where I was making all A’s.

Ask yourself:

Have you ever lacked the skill or ability to be the thing you wanted to be when you grew up? How did you shift your focus?


Finally, I discovered psychology…which changed everything for me.

I found psychology so interesting, and my understanding of it came naturally to me. It was becoming my passion.

Ask yourself:

What comes naturally to you? What are you passionate about?


But when I announced to my family I was going to study psychology as my college major, they weren’t as enthusiastic about it as I was.

I kept hearing, 

“Oh, how in the world are you going to make any money with THAT kind of degree?”

My dad said I should major in business (his passion)…because I’d make more money.

My mother said I should be a nurse…because I’d make more money.

Even my brother chimed in and said I should be an accountant because, again,… I’d make more money.

Ask yourself:

Did anyone ever try to discourage you from becoming what you wanted to grow up to be? How did you respond?


So why didn’t I listen to any of my family members? Several reasons:

  1. I can’t stand the site of blood. And I can’t stand the smell of a hospital. Hearing people talk about their surgeries or ailments literally makes my skin crawl.
  2. I’m completely bored with math and number crunching. While other people find numbers fun and fascinating, I do not.
  3. Business didn’t interest me at the time. At least not enough for me to have done well in business classes.
  4. I get good grades when I’m studying something I find interesting. If I’m the one who has to take the classes and do the homework, the material has to keep me awake.
  5. Loving what I do is more important to me than making a lot of money.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why choosing a career path that paid well over choosing one I loved was important to my parents. 

They were both born in the late 1930s, still early enough to have felt some of the long-term effects of the Great Depression. 

Their parents drilled into them the importance of being financially secure in the event of another depression, so they were just doing what they thought was best for me by trying to encourage me into fields considered more lucrative.

My brother is a lot older than me. In fact, he’s closer in age to my dad’s generation than he is to mine. Therefore, his mentality has also been “get a job that pays well regardless of whether you like it.”

Ask yourself:

Is there something you’re passionate about even though it may not make you a lot of money? Which is more important to you?


I stood firm in my decision to major in psychology (and minor in sociology), did well in all my psychology classes, and made the dean’s list several times.

It wasn’t until the summer between my junior and senior year that I knew what I wanted to do with my degree.

That summer I had been an orientation leader at my alma mater and had also been working the previous two years in the Provost’s office as a student worker.

I loved the college atmosphere, loved working with incoming students, and had developed a strong understanding of the organizational structure of a university.

I decided to ask my Dean of Students how do I get a job like his? (This was my first time conducing an informational interview and had no idea at the time that was what it was called.)

He explained I would need a master’s degree in a field I had no previous idea existed. I started researching graduate programs in higher education administration and student personnel services. 

Ask yourself:

Have you explored a career path that was previously unknown to you? What is it? What have you learned about it? What else do you want to learn about it?

The more I found out, the more I realized my psychology degree was the best foundation for what I would study in graduate school. 

In fact, much of what I learned in grad school was just an extension from undergrad.

Unlike my fellow grad students who came from other majors like finance and business, I already had familiarity with a lot of the theories and material.


Once I had decided on higher education as a career path, I still had to narrow down what area of higher ed I wanted to go into. 

My degree was readying me for so many possibilities.

I could go into financial aid, housing/residential living, Greek life, admissions, orientation, career services, academic advising, first-year programs, student activities, study abroad, international student services, and on and on.

Ask yourself:

Do you sometimes have so many career options or career interests you find it hard to narrow down your choices? 

I narrowed my choices down into three areas based on the ones that interested me most: orientation programs, freshman year experience programs, and career services. 

I delved into those three areas by gaining practical experience through internships, volunteer work and special projects while finishing my degree.

It was while volunteering in the university’s career center I knew I wanted to help students figure out what they wanted to be “when they grew up” based on their own interests and passions instead of their parents’ wishes.

Ask yourself:

Has a previous personal experience inspired you to a career helping others facing the same experience?


After earning my masters, I went on to be a college career adviser at various universities and even held the title of director of career services at one time. 

I also got to teach some college level courses.

I loved what I did. 

My job even allowed me to use my creative side in developing career-related programs for my students.

But when my creativity began to be stifled, I decided to make a bit of a career change and started my own image consulting business (click here to read the story on how that happened).

Ask yourself:

Have you ever felt so stifled or burned out in your career you knew you were ready for a change?


For 8 years I worked independently as an image consultant but in that time I also continued to do career coaching on the side. 

The image consulting fed my childhood interest in fashion since it included some wardrobe styling work. 

And I even became an author when I released my first book, an Amazon #1 bestseller about image and style.

Then, after 8 years of image consulting, I was ready for another career change, but also a bit of a return to my roots.

I became an independent career coach with a focus on helping people discover and pursue their passions.

Ask yourself:

Have you ever had a yearning to go back to something you once did before?


It’s an interesting story how I shifted my image consulting business back to a career coaching focus (click here to read that story).

I knew I wanted to go back to career coaching but I had two requirements for myself:

  1. I still wanted to work for myself, so I avoided applying for jobs at college career centers. Instead I re-structured my business’s mission.
  2. I wanted to work with people going through mid-career transitions with a focus on helping them pursue their passions and the things they once wanted to be when they grew up.

My background and own personal experiences have served me well in accomplishing those two goals. 

Ask yourself:

What are some of your career goals? What are some of your “must haves” for your work? How has your background prepared you for your goals?


Unlike most other career coaches, I didn’t just decide to be a career coach after having worked in another industry. Career coaching has been part of my entire career.

It has evolved out of a combination of childhood interests, natural gifts and talents, and passion. 

And it has taken some exciting twists and turns along the way.

I’m thankful there’s been more than just one way to pursue my passion. 

I’m also thankful my current situation allows me to combine some of my other passions like writing and stand up paddle boarding with my work as a career coach. 

And I love helping others find unique and creative ways to pursue and combine all the passions they have, helping them become some of the things they always wanted to be when they grew up.

Ask yourself:

What are some ways you can pursue your own passions? How can you combine your passions? What steps will you take next to do so?

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to help you start taking the next steps to becoming what you want to be when you grow up (again)!

 grow up

How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk Like an Olympian

Like most people, I’ve been watching the Olympics the past week and a half. It’s the best way to witness people’s pursuit of their passions in action. 

What I love most about the Olympics and sports in general is the inspiration and encouragement it provides for everyone who has a passion and a dream.


You’re Never Too Old…

The stories I’m most inspired by are the ones where the athlete has competed in numerous Olympics over the years.

In this winter Olympics, there’s 45-year-old Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai who now holds the record with EIGHT STRAIGHT Olympic appearances. 

Kasai says he also plans to compete in the 2022 Olympics as he approaches age 50.


But it’s the story from the 2016 Olympics that I love most.

It’s of the Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina. 

At the time, Oksana was 41-years-old competing in her seventh Olympics (and she still hasn’t ruled out Tokyo!) in a sport where as young as 21 is considered “old.” 

Oksana is my “shero” because she and I are almost the same age (I’ve got a year on her), and she doesn’t let her age be an obstacle to her dreams and her passions.

Most people in her position would tell themselves they are “too old.” 

Too old for what? 

Tell that to the 85-year-old woman I met while volunteering for the Senior Olympics. 

By the time she’d made it to the event I was working, she had already competed and medaled in NINE other events over the previous three days.


…Or Too Young

On the flip side of this, I was recently working with a new client who shared with me that one of her self-talk limiting beliefs (a perceived obstacle) is she is “too young.” 

I found this surprising coming from someone who works as an actress, also a career where time and age are against you. 

My response was, “too young for what?” 

When I delved deeper into where this limiting belief came from, I discovered she suffers from the same thing I do: 

“youngest-sibling-syndrome”

I describe this phenomenon as never feeling adequate because your oldest sibling is there to remind you that in their eyes you’re still just a baby and have nothing meaningful to contribute to the world.


Age Is Just a Number

The point is though, age is just a number. 

We have the choice to let our circumstances, others’ opinions, or even our own negative self-talk control our lives. 

Or, we have the choice to be inspired and moved by the examples of those who ignore all the “you can’t because of your age” talk and say to themselves, 

“I can, even if I fail in my attempt.”


From the judges’ perspective, Oksana failed miserably in her landing of her vault. 

Upon landing so hard she ended up going into a flip on the mat. 

From my perspective though, she should’ve gotten extra points for the extra flip. For making such a failed landing look so graceful!


Change Your Limiting Beliefs and Your Negative Self-Talk

If you have a God-given desire to try something you or others may consider you to be either “too old” or “too young” for, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is this limiting belief keeping me from?
  • What would be the worst-case scenario if I keep believing this?
  • How can I turn this belief around to a more positive statement?
  • How can I benefit from believing the more positive statement?
  • What would be the best-case scenario if I start believing the positive statement?

I encourage you to be as honest as possible in your answers. As you answer each question, you’ll see how you can turn your negative self-talk to positive self-talk.


How to address your limiting beliefs is just one of eight steps in my 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. To get all eight steps, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a free download.

negative self-talk

The Best of My Favorite Nashville Things

During my first visit to Nashville nearly 12 years ago, I could sense it in my bones that this city was on the cusp of becoming the “it” city.

I can’t say what exactly spoke to me. It was just a feeling that I couldn’t shake.

When I returned home from my visit, I decided some how, some way, I was going to move to Nashville.

Even if it meant sacrificing my proximity to the ocean and becoming landlocked.

Fast forward six months and I was loading up a Ryder truck and hauling my stuff to Music City USA.

Fast forward again to 2013 and Nashville was dubbed “The IT City” by The New York Times.

“There’s a bit of charm and a richness a city the size of Nashville allows for.” recording artist Jennifer Nettles


Like most people who visit Nashville, I became enchanted with everything my senses could absorb.

The grittiness of those determined to pursue their musical dreams.

The friendly folks always willing to help out a stranger.

The energy of creativity afloat in the fields of technology, entertainment, and art.

And the always delicious southern cuisine.


At the time right before my move, I was working as a college career adviser in North Carolina. I leveraged my network in the field of higher education to secure a job in the career center at the prestigious Vanderbilt University.

I also snatched up some real estate before everyone else figured out just how great this city is. And boy, am I glad I did considering the city’s current housing costs and shortages.

Everyone’s moving here, and I can’t blame them for wanting to!


Nashville

photo by Joey Martin

Since moving to Nashville, I’ve had experiences I never dreamed I’d have.

I left higher education to start my own business and named it after my new town — paNASH (a play on the French word “panache” and the name “Nashville,” just in case you didn’t get that).

I’ve had the opportunity to get to know celebrities as the real people they are outside of the smoke and mirrors of fame.

I began the best relationship of my life, with Jesus.

I became a two-time published author and #1 Amazon bestselling author.

I got to serve with a local church on a mission trip to the remote jungles of the Amazon.

I discovered my passion for standup paddle boarding.

I made some beautiful friendships, gained a new lease on life, and discovered my 40s are way better than my 20s and 30s ever were!


There are so many people I meet on a regular basis who also felt the lure of the Nashville vibe and couldn’t stay away from here.

So for the 70+ new people moving here EVERY DAY and the millions who visit here each year, welcome!

Here are a few of my favorite Nashville things I want to share with you!


My favorite perk of living in Nashville:

Town and country

Aside from not having to pay state income tax, the biggest perk of living in Nashville is getting to have the best of both worlds in terms of city life and country living.

Only 10–15 miles outside of town are beautiful rolling hills and picturesque lakes with wooded hiking trails, sprawling horse farms, and beautifully manicured golf courses.

In the heart of downtown Nashville you’ll find a Grammy award-winning symphony, restaurants headed by world-renowned chefs, fine art museums, headquarters for various multi-national companies, and professional hockey, football, and soon-to-be major league soccer teams.


My favorite music venue:

The Ryman Auditorium

While I have too many favorite music venues here in Nashville to name, if I have to pick just one it’s the historic Ryman Auditorium, AKA the mother church of country music.

It’s where the Grand Ole Opry began and is now host to some of the world’s greatest musicians and recording artists.

I’ve had the opportunity to experience the goose-pimpling acoustics of this national treasure while attending the ASCAP awards and performances by The Civil Wars, Lyle Lovett, and even my favorite comedian Brian Regan.

After the shows it’s an easy 13 steps across the alley to the world famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge for more great live music.


My favorite place for business lunches:

Pinewood Social

Located downtown next to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and housed in an old trolley barn, Pinewood Social is buzzing with heads of tech startups, freelancers, and entrepreneurs meeting over lunch to discuss work.

But it also provides some time for play with a swimming pool, bocce court, bowling alley, and private karaoke lounge.


My favorite place to learn new things:

Nashville Community Education Commission

The Nashville CEC offers a plethora of personal and professional enrichment courses at affordable prices (some are even free!).

Classes include songwriting and other arts, foreign languages, cooking, career and finances, technology, and more.

I’ve both taught and taken classes with the Nashville CEC.

I’ve taken a financial success class and a copyright law class, and am registered to take a Kung Fu/Self-Defense class this spring.


My favorite Nashville hot chicken:

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

While all the Nashville hot chicken joints are good, Hattie B’s on Charlotte Pike is my favorite. You can also find Hattie B’s in midtown near Music Row.

My preferred level of heat right now is “hot” but I think I’m about to graduate to “damn hot” with the goal of reaching the ultimate heat level “shut the cluck up!”

If you go, be prepared to stand in line, and know that it’s worth the wait!

My favorite celebrity who doesn’t act like a celebrity:

Vince Gill

Vince Gill is the nicest and most humble man, not just in country music, but in music in general.

While far from being an attention-seeker, he always has a friendly word to everyone at the Belmont basketball and Ensworth High School football games I frequently see him at.


My favorite 4-legged celebrity:

Doug the Pug

This Nashville fur resident has 6 million Facebook followers and 3 million Instagram followers.

Doug the Pug also has his own bestselling book and recently did a book tour in the UK.

His daily posts and regular visits to the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital bring smiles and laughs to so many faces.

Though he may not be the best role model for keeping my new year’s resolutions, I can’t help but love him and his jolly rolls!


My favorite cafe:

37° Degrees Sth

I’m SO excited about this new place located close to me in Belle Meade!

It’s a Melbourne-inspired coffee house owned by an Aussie couple who, like me, fell in love with Nashville and decided to move here.

37° Degrees Sth is my new favorite place for so many reasons:

  1. It reminds me of my time I spent in Australia about 15 years ago.
  2. Their Avo Mash avocado toast topped with a poached egg is to die for.
  3. AND they have delicious hot chocolate made with Nutella (another one of my favorite things!).

I can’t wait to try everything else they have to offer!


My favorite place to pursue my passion for SUP:

Paddle Up Nashville

I first discovered stand up paddling here in Nashville when I went to Paddle Up Nashville for a beginner lesson.

I was hooked from the first moment! It’s the closest thing to walking on water, and it’s so much fun and great exercise.

It wasn’t long before I stopped renting a board from Paddle Up and bought my own race board from them. The owner was very knowledgeable about what kind of equipment would work best for me personally.

Paddle Up has so many fun activities like full moon paddles, mileage builders, and Thirsty Thursdays. They even had a solar eclipse paddle this past August. There was nothing like staring up at the sky and experiencing totality while laying on my board and floating in the middle of the river.

Nashville is the perfect place to do flatwater stand up paddling. Paddle season lasts from about March through October and sometimes even into November because of Nashville’s mild temperatures.

Plus, we don’t have alligators or sharks in our water!

Click here for my interview with Paddle Up owner Neil Newton.


My favorite patio:

Blue Moon Waterfront Grille

After a day of paddling I often like to walk down the ramp from Paddle Up to Blue Moon Waterfront Grille for a drink or some appetizers.

They have one of the largest patios with one of the most beautiful views of the river and the marina. And of course this being Nashville, there’s often live music going on.

Boaters will dock right next to the restaurant while making a stop on their voyage down the Cumberland.

It’s a nice little unexpected place off the beaten path.


My favorite place to hike:

Edwin Warner Park

There are so many hiking trails in and around the Nashville area, but Edwin Warner Park is my favorite. Especially since it’s only a mile from my house and also connects to neighboring Percy Warner Park and the Harpeth Greenway.

There are miles of both wooded and paved hiking trails that transport you to a serene wildlife sanctuary. I never tire of seeing deer, owls, and other beautiful animals.


My favorite place to bike:

The airstrip at Cornelia Fort Airpark

Most people don’t know there’s access from the bike trails at Shelby Bottoms Park to the Cornelia Fort Airpark, named after the first female pilot to die on war duty in American history.

Even fewer people know this small airport was the one where Patsy Cline’s plane was supposed land had it not tragically crashed in 1963.

Here I can actually ride my bike on the airstrip where planes like hers used to land and take off.


 

My favorite place for comfort food:

Barbara’s Home Cookin’

You won’t find any “gentrified” home cooking recipes here. Just good ole southern comfort food made with love by Barbara herself.

Located just outside of historic downtown Franklin, Barbara’s Home Cookin’ is like going to eat Sunday dinner at my grandma’s house.

But I never know who I’ll run into there.

I’ve seen Clint Black and Lisa Hartman-Black, Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, Mark Slaughter, founder of the heavy metal band Slaughter, and more.

Barbara’s is the area’s best kept secret.

Their food is even better than the famous Loveless Cafe, but without the two-hour wait.


My favorite non-ACC college sports team:

Belmont Bruins Men’s Basketball

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a big college basketball fan, specifically ACC basketball. Even more specifically Carolina Tarheel basketball.

But since I’m too far away from NC, I get my college basketball fix from the Belmont University Bruins.

I always enjoy visiting Belmont, whether it’s for a program I’m doing for the students, visiting colleagues, or attending one of the games.

The atmosphere of the games is so much fun, and with Coach Rick Byrd at the helm, you can always expect excellence from each player.


My favorite hamburger:

The Pharmacy

I have yet to find a hamburger as good as the ones back home from The Shake Shop, but a close second are the burgers from The Pharmacy in eclectic East Nashville.

Their shady beer garden patio makes the burgers taste even better!

And the only time I ever drink soft drinks is when I’m at The Pharmacy. They make their own old fashioned sodas that contain no caffeine, no preservatives, and no corn syrup. The orange creamsicle is my the best!


My favorite Nashville souvenir and gift shop:

Anderson Design Group Studio Store

Forget the chintzy souvenir shops in downtown Nashville where everything there is made in China.

For something authentically Nashville-made, visit Anderson Design Group Studio Store. Located right next to Centennial Park and The Parthenon, here I can buy original “Spirit of Nashville” artwork by the studio’s owner Joel Anderson.

Click here for my interview with artist Joel Anderson.

I can also find unique local products and gifts with packaging and branding designed by Joel and his team. Merchandise includes Bonga Java coffee beans, Olive & Sinclair chocolate, and more!


My favorite place for happy hour:

Park Cafe

I stumbled upon this sophisticated yet quaint restaurant and wine bar in Sylvan Park while trying to find the perfect place to celebrate my birthday with friends.

We all loved Park Cafe so much.

The wine was good, the food was even better, and they have great happy hour specials on their tapas-style dishes and their drinks.

They were so kind to put us in a private room for my birthday celebration when I didn’t even ask for one. Top-drawer service!


My favorite place for some quiet time:

The Natchez Trace Parkway

Whenever I really need some quiet time to think, I like to take a drive down the Natchez Trace Parkway.

This 444-mile scenic parkway starts in Nashville and cuts through the beautiful terrain in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi leading to the Gulf coast.

I often stop along the way for a view of the Natchez Trace Bridge or for a walk along some of the nearby hiking trails.

My bucket list includes working my way all the way down the entire parkway and making stops at all the historical sites and bed-and-breakfasts.


 

My favorite place to get away from Nashville:

30-A

While I enjoy all Nashville has to offer residents like me, there are times I need a change of scenery.

And like for most Nashvillians, the best get-away is to the South Walton beaches in the Destin, Florida area, specifically Scenic Highway 30-A.

Emerald waters, white sand, sunshine, and scrumptious fresh seafood. What more could a girl need to recharge?

The Pearl Hotel at Rosemary Beach on 30-A

 

paNASH Passion & Career Coaching has been named one of the top 10 Nashville coaching services for the past two years in a row by Expertise.com. Subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

paNASH offers a coaching track just for those new or moving to Nashville to help them make a smooth transition and successfully integrate into the Nashville community.

To get started, complete the paNASH intake form and Lori will schedule you for a complimentary consultation.

Nashville

Make 2018 the Year of the Right Regrets

8 Ways to Avoid the Wrong Regrets in 2018

Like most people, my biggest regrets in life have been the things I didn’t do as opposed to things I did do.

One of my biggest regrets was not studying abroad in Australia while I was in college. I’d waited too late to inquire about it, when I had only one semester of school left.

This was a big regret because I’d always wanted to go to the land Down Under ever since I was a little girl.

Since I didn’t get to go in college, I tried to make up for it several years later by taking a month-long vacation to Australia as a gift to myself for my 30th birthday. 

The Cons

There were a lot of reasons not to go on the trip. 

Like the fact that it cost a good chunk of money. 

And that I was in the midst of a new relationship.

Or that I would have to go by myself since none of my friends could take off that much time from work.

The Pros

But there were also a lot of other reasons for me to go.

The trip would occur during my birthday. I’ve always wanted a summer birthday, and in the Southern Hemisphere I’d get to have one.

I’d be gone during winter break, the same time my students at the college I worked at would also be away. Therefore I wouldn’t put an extra burden on my co-workers.

I had enough time built up to take off 7 weeks from my job at the time (and still had an extra 10 days of vacation left over). 

Also, being single with no children made travel and travel planning easy. It could be another 18–20 years before I’d have that kind of freedom again!

Not Letting the “Maybes” Cloud My Judgment

I can remember my initial thoughts when trying to decide to book the trip or not. They went a little something like this:

“Maybe I should wait until I’m married and go to Australia on my honeymoon.”

OR

“Maybe I should wait until I’m retired when I have more time and money.”

I quickly pushed those thoughts aside. 

I knew there was no guarantee I would even be physically able to go when I retired. 

And why in the world would I want to wait on some man to take me when I can do this now?

So, I hopped online, did a little research, and found a very reasonably priced flight. 

I still wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for a month-long excursion, but I had 9 months to figure it out.

I gave myself a few days to sleep on the information I’d researched. And then I booked my trip.

No Regrets (Except One)

I’ve never regretted my decision. 

In fact, if I hadn’t done it then, I would’ve spent the past 15 years regretting it. 

My only regret? 

Not doing it sooner.

8 Ways to Avoid the Wrong Regrets in 2018

1. Don’t settle for “good enough.”

“Most people settle for ‘good-enough.’ Their diet, dating partners, job, income, and relationships are all merely ‘good-enough.’ But since their choices are common, that’s what their life becomes.” — Anthony Moore

I could’ve settled with my “maybes.” 

I could’ve blindly accepted my initial thoughts of deferring the trip until I was married or retired. 

And I could’ve rationalized those thoughts were a “good enough” plan.

But guess what? Fifteen years later I’m still not married and I’m not even close to retirement. 

In fact, since then, I left the security of a job with retirement benefits to start my own business (something else I don’t regret).

While today I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, undoubtedly due to leaving a 9–5 job working for someone else, I know I wouldn’t have the energy I had when I was 30 to do all the rock climbing, hiking, and snorkeling I did in the heat of the Outback and the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Every day I’m so glad I didn’t settle for “good enough.”

I encourage you not to settle for just “good enough.”

2. End the wrong relationships.

So what about the relationship I’d just started a few months before going to Australia? It ended one week after I returned. 

Even though it was heartbreaking, looking back I’m so glad the relationship didn’t work out. (What a regret that would’ve been if it had!)

Don’t wish you hadn’t wasted time in an unhealthy relationship. 

Instead, start the year knowing you can make it on your own and you’ll be available for an even better relationship before or by the end of the year. 

3. Say no to opportunities that don’t support your life mission statement.

Speaking of relationships, I’ve written before about how I had to make the decision to end a relationship a little over a year ago because I recognized it didn’t allow me to fulfill my mission in life. 

Having a life mission statement in place will help you to say no to choices you’ll regret later. 

4. And say yes to opportunities that do support your life mission statement. 

A life mission statement will also help you say yes to some pretty cool things you hadn’t previously challenged yourself to.

Even if nothing materializes from these opportunities by the end of the year, you can know it wasn’t time wasted because these things will have led you further in fulfilling your mission in life, which may lead to something even bigger and better down the road!

5. Learn something new.

Don’t let another year pass having not learned the one thing you’ve always said you wanted to learn. 

Instead, end the year knowing you’ve developed a new skill. 

I personally have always been a big believer in lifelong learning and continually encourage my clients to embrace also it.

Just recently I started learning Italian. I hope by the end of 2018 I’ll be somewhat proficient in it.

I may never have an opportunity to use it in my future. But at least I’ll have further developed the language center of my brain and added a new skill to my repertoire. 

(Even if the only thing I learn is how to say “food” in Italian [“cibo”], I know I’ll be able to survive getting lost in any future trips to Italy!)

6. Start that side hustle or passion project.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb

If there’s something you’ve wanted to start, whether a hobby, a side business, or a passion project, what are you waiting for? 

Just start!

Don’t put any pressure on it to be perfect or even successful. Just let it be a creative or fun outlet for you from your everyday routine. 

Let it evolve and be open to what it might grow into organically.

For instance, a few years ago I started writing a blog about my adventures in stand up paddling and the spiritual parallels of those adventures. It was really just a place for me to record and preserve my thoughts. I didn’t promote it at all. 

My little side project turned into my 2nd published book, which eventually helped fund my recent mission trip to the Amazon jungles of Brazil.

You never know what can happen with your own passion project. And you’ll definitely never know if you never start.

7. Turn your side hustle into your full-time gig. 

If you start to see some momentum with your side hustle and discover a market for it, it may be time to consider turning it into a full-time gig. Especially if you already know how to think like an entrepreneur.

It was much easier for me to start my own business after working it part-time for 9 months before going full-time with it. 

But, eventually I had to pull the trigger and take a leap of faith because I knew it would never be the right (or perfect) time to leave my job and pursue my business full-time.

While being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, if you’ve got the desire to do your own thing and you’ve calculated the risks and counted the costs, this year may be the year to give it a go.

If it doesn’t work out, you may have some regrets, but you won’t die.

And you’ll never have to live with the regret of never having tried. 

You may even experience freedom and success like never before!

8. Develop your positive self-talk.

You’ll never be able to accomplish the above if you keep listening to your negative-self talk

What if I had listened to my “maybes”? 

What if I had told myself I couldn’t go to the other side of the world by myself? 

Well, I don’t have to wonder “What if?”

Instead, I have memories of the places I visited, the beauty I experienced, the wildlife I saw, and the people I met. Some of whom I still keep in touch with to this day. 

When you start to hear the negative thoughts that are determined to keep you in just a “good enough” existence, re-frame them with positive self-talk. 

Stepping Out in Faith

Shortly after I’d stepped out in faith and booked my dream vacation to Australia, things started to fall into place. 

I found a fun part-time gig to help me earn a little extra money for the trip. 

Also, I received a sum of money previously owed to me which covered the remainder of my cost for the trip. 

And remember how I said I was able to take 7 weeks off of work and still have 10 vacation days left over? This all occurred because at the time I worked for a state university and for two years in a row we didn’t receive a raise. 

To compensate us for it, we were all given 20 extra vacation days on top of our annual 3 weeks’ vacation time for salaried employees. 

Add in to that amount the holidays we all got off during winter break and I had it made!

I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family before leaving for Australia. 

Then I spent my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Down Under. 

Finally, I was able to have a week for some much-needed rest and time to readjust my internal clock before returning to work, just in time for the students’ return to campus.

Without the vacation compensation, I probably wouldn’t have had so much time to really relish the experience. 

The timing turned out to be perfect and “the stars aligned” for it to all work out. But I had no way of predicting all those things would happen. I didn’t have a crystal ball telling me it would all work out. 

I just had to take a chance while at the same time being smart about it. And I’m all the better for it. 

Now I have no fear of traveling alone (or doing anything else alone for that matter). 

I have more knowledge about the history of one of the most fascinating continents on earth and a new respect its native people, the Aborigines. 

I no longer have a fear of bugs. (Sleeping on the ground in the Outback where the spiders are the size of your fist will help you overcome your fear pretty quickly!)

I encourage you to commit to at least one of the 8 ways to avoid the wrong regrets in 2018. 

If you can commit to all 8, you’ll likely end the year with only the right regrets.

And who knows where those will lead you in the years to come! 

If you want to make 2018 the year of the right regrets, subscribe to my 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to start setting the right goals for your future!

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