This year we’ve enjoyed engaging conversations with the “Ask the Expert” feature on The Other Side of Organized blog. We’ve spoken about success with Lori Deschene, enlisting help with Janet Barclay, motivation with Dr. Shannon Reece, time management with Julie Morgenstern, clutter with Lorie Marrero, letting go with Geralin Thomas, next steps with Yota Schneider, and change with John Ryan. As we shift our focus this month, I’m happy to bring you author, speaker and zestful life seeker, DeeAnne White to share her wisdom about possibilities.
Several years ago, I came across DeeAnne and her wonderful post, “The Elegance of Slow.” She wrote that, “Slow is much more elegant than fast. It’s all in the pure luxury of taking the time.” I’ve been a fan ever since as she reminds us to appreciate life, take chances, and slow down. My deepest gratitude and thanks goes to her for taking the time to join us. Before we begin, here’s more about DeeAnne.
DeeAnne White is a former Fortune50 Executive Vice President, author, speaker, American expatriate and lover of cricket, golf, wine, Jimmy Choose and life, in pursuit of a life beautifully lived. Born in Dallas, she’s been everything from a young wife and stay at home parent, to a single mother beginning her career in Orange County, California, to one of the few women to reach the top tier of the investment distribution industry. DeeAnne began LiveTheCharmedLife and describes herself as “ridiculously curious and who’s never once thought that anything was impossible.” Her book LiveCharmed-The Elegant Guide to Lifestyle Design is due out later this year. You can connect with DeeAnne on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blog or website.
Linda: You’re an expert on pursuing a life well and beautifully lived. How can we stay open to possibilities?
DeeAnne: A few of the best ways to stay open to possibilities are, first, to remember that every day is a new chance to create a life as we’d like it to be, and, second, to allow ourselves to daydream about what that life would look like. Many people believe that once we’ve started on a certain path we must stay on it, and nothing could be further from the truth. We have an endless supply of do-overs, if you will, and only our dreams limit us.
Linda: The possibilities can seem endless and overwhelming. What strategies help us make choices?
DeeAnne: It helps if we can remember that not only can we change direction, if we don’t like a choice we’ve made, but to know that we definitely WILL change direction at some point, simply because of changes in our circumstances, age, etc. So the only truly important thing is just getting started somewhere, and then change course, as necessary.
Linda: Fear can prevent us from pursuing possibilities. What suggestions do you have for letting go and moving forward?
DeeAnne: There’s a saying in the investment business that people are either motivated by fear or greed, but I’ve come to believe that it’s true in every area of our lives. There will always be those that will be fearless about going after more in life, and there will always be those that are fearful of losing what they have. It’s a great help to accept and embrace who we are, and then to guide ourselves with gentle questions like “What’s the worst that could happen?” Once we’ve answered that, then all we need to do is decide whether we could live with the worst-case scenario. I find the answer is almost always yes. Begin using this technique with something that’s just outside your comfort zone to start building your possibility muscles for larger decisions.
Linda: How are possibilities and growth connected?
DeeAnne: We simply cannot grow, if we aren’t able to open ourselves to possibilities, and the changes required to go after those possibilities. I know that it can be very scary, but it’s like a sailor wanting to keep his lovely new sailboat in the safety of a harbor...he or she will never know the thrill of the sea without taking the risks that come along with it.
Linda: What has been your biggest personal challenge around embracing possibilities?
DeeAnne: My biggest personal challenge has always been that I love security, and the idea of leaving one thing for another has left me terrified, at times. Even some of the most wonderful promotions that I was offered left me with a sense of fear that I had to find ways to overcome. So you see, all of the answers I’ve given to you are strategies I’ve used myself.
Linda: Is there anything you’d like to share about possibilities that I haven’t asked?
DeeAnne: Only that there is a big, wide, beautiful world out there, and I’d encourage anyone not to miss a single second of it!
Thank you, DeeAnne for your hope-filled insights about possibilities and life choices. I love your ideas that we have an “endless supply of do-overs,” and that while change can be scary, growth will not occur unless we are open to possibilities. By extending ourselves beyond our comfort zone, we learn to strenghthen our "possibility muscles." I invite all of you to join DeeAnne and me as we continue the conversation. When you put on your possibilities cap, what do you envision?