A Memo On Encouragement: From This Day Forward

β€œIt doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.”
~ Oriah

I saw these words a few minutes after finding out that Forbes published a story around my recent decision to ditch the corporate life. Impeccable timing. I finally do know what I ache for and you can bet your bottom dollar that I fully intend on meeting this heart’s longing.

What about you?
What do you ache for?

Please tell me you have not given up asking that question. Please tell me you haven’t given in to complacency and living the automated life of a robot, no matter how difficult your situation. Please say that you are still and always holding on to your livelihood, against any and all odds that may meet you on the road. Please, please say you have not given up on your dreams, be it your childhood dreams or dreams of long ago that still make your heart skip a beat.

It is not easy to live life on your own terms. It is not easy to make all the decisions that make your heart sing. It never has been, it never will be and you won’t want it any other ways. Trust me on that one!

But it is possible. It is so very possible. Even the seemingly impossible can fade into the background when you dare believe that anything is possible. Not easy. Not quick. But possible!

Encouragement is everywhere around you, even if it shows up in disguise, even if it shows up in the form of an angry boss, an unhappy loved one or that all-too-familiar bitter taste of failure. Be encouraged that you still have a chance at life and seize it while you still are here. Be encouraged that you still have time. Be encouraged that no matter where you may be right now, you can start over and paint a new canvas. You can add the right colors from this day forward, paint the right hues and pick just the right shades. Be encouraged that you can put behind you the paintings that did not turn out right and the roads that did not lead you where you thought they would.

It is ok to have gone down the wrong road. It is ok to have made mistakes. It is ok to have failed. It is ok to have been in bad relationships. It is ok to have suffered and to have made poor choices. It is ok to lose heart momentarily and to grieve your mistakes and take stock of your losses. It is ok so long as you feel the encouragement to continue living. It is ok so long as you do not give in to cynicism and skepticism. It is ok so long as you do not close up your heart or lose the purity of your good nature as a human being.

Be encouraged about being here and having a chance at life and decide to play your cards right from this day forward.

Lotus flower on a bali tree

You do not always need to make grand changes to fill a gap or respond to a desire or even make your heart sing. Small baby steps go a long way in living life on your terms and smart decisions every day on the minuscule scale will start to show up in big ways in your life. Subtle shifts in how you think and perceive the world can open you up to a whole new world. All progress is worth celebrating and all failures will precede great success if you feel encouraged to keep going.

Be encouraged to live better and fuller from this day forward. Be encouraged at the power that your thoughts hold and make them good thoughts.

And if you should need more encouragement, here’s mine for you, my darling readers.

If you are going to ….

… meet a friend after ages, then meet them all the way.
… help someone, then help them tremendously.
… give of your time, then give generously and sincerely.
… listen to me, then put that phone away and look into my eyes.
… ask for help, then do all the right things to earn it and show gratitude for it.
… talk to a crowd, then prepare it like it’s the speech of your lifetime.
… offer something of value, then you had better make it really, really good.
… believe in something, then stop listening to the nonbelievers and naysayers.

If you are going to do something, then for the love of whatever you love, do it all the way or don’t bother at all!

And please don’t …

Incense smoke captured

… hold back.
… do things half-way.
… do it and not mean it.
… say it and not follow through.
… promise only to break it.
… commit until you are certain.
… pretend.
… be a fake.
… assume people can’t tell.
… assume anything for that matter.
… just accept the status quo.
… tolerate disrespect.
… dish it out either.
… judge what you don’t understand.
… give in and compromise yourself.
… forget there is a way to solve every problem (Thanks Daddy!).
… close the door before you have really thought about your options.
… betray your own heart.

Oh yes, remember this one please: Do not betray your own heart!

Be encouraged from this day forward. Let the past stay there and move forward without the weight of whatever happened.

And are you feeling more encouraged in relentlessly pursuing it, in not giving up and not giving in and not letting the weight of life get in the way of your plans, your dreams and your aspirations?

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps

  • http://embracingtheordinarylife.blogspot.com/ Dawn

    I have been trying to figure that out for 40 years. I think, only because I’m finally listening to my soul, that I have figured it out. NOW, the goal is to make it a reality.

    What I know for sure…is that it has always been there. It has been screaming in my ear for way to many years…only to be brushed off because of fear, lack of confidence, lack of support….No more. I hear you my soul loud and clear…Now please present the path to success πŸ˜‰

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dawn, never too late til too late. I am so glad you are listening now. I bet it’s singing songs of happiness for finally getting your attention. I am so glad you are putting everything aside and now letting your heart and soul define a path to success or just plain fulfillment and happiness. Thanks so much for your comment.

  • http://CandiceLDavis.wordpress.com Candice L Davis

    It pains me to see how many of my friends and relatives cannot answer those questions. They can’t identify a passion or deeply held desire. For them, life has been reduced to the routine and mundane. Though things look fine from the outside, there’s a sense of hopelessness. They’ve settled, and they can’t even see it.

    I could’ve fallen into the same trap. I count myself lucky to have stumbled upon a partner and group of friends that are passion-driven.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Candice, you are not alone – I don’t know many who even ask the questions, much less answer them. It is sadly uncommon. But some people accept life in the shape and form that it comes and do not ever ask to change it. That is fine. I have tried to change people’s minds and it’s been a poor use of my time and theirs. I am very happy you have escaped the trap. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  • http://www.onelovemeg.com Meg

    I want to travel, teach children, teach yoga and inspire people. I don’t want to work in a cubicle any longer. I am making these dreams come true in September when I start my student teaching and I just got my yoga certification. You have to go for it! Even when it seems scary and not possible. I love the section you included on encouragement. My boyfriend encouraged me throughout my entire journey. He has always been my rock and really helped me when I wanted to give up. My family was not as supportive on my journey which caused obstacles and doubt so it really helped having him by my side. I appreciate this post. It’s beautiful.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear gorgeous Meg, it seems like you have excellent clarity around what you want. AND most importantly, what you do not want. I am so so happy you had your boyfriend’s support. My family has had a hard time with my decision and the immediacy of leaving so much security and safety behind but when it’s time, it’s time and if you stay put, you are sacrificing things that cannot be restored later. I am so very excited for you. What kind of yoga certification? One day, I should pursue mine but I don’t want to teach yoga – I just want to deepen my practice. Beautiful story, I am very happy for you, thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.deliberateblog.com Melody | Deliberate Receiving

    Bravo! This post has so many nuggets of wisdom. Be authentic, live from the heart, be in the moment, be fully present in everything you do (or don’t do it). Yay!
    Love this message.
    Oh, and to answer your question: Yes, I live my dream. And sometimes, it’s terrifying. But mostly it’s phenomenal.


    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Melody, so nice to see you back. So glad you enjoyed it.
      And gladder still to hear the perfect answer to my question. Terrifying usually means a good thing. This is one of those cases, I am guessing. Thanks for sharing your lovely thoughts.

  • Natasha

    Read two of her books a few years ago, after we lost our business in Hurricane Katrina…got me right back on track again…always was considered a weirdo by family and friends…still the case…opened 3 businesses since and still expanding myself. Forget personal development – I had a personal EVOLUTION for the sake of my own inner recovery. I sought and, honey, did I find! I especially loved her (Oriah’s) words in The Invitation when she spoke about how to deal with those around you: ‘Nor will I try to increase [your] comfort…by feigning confusion when I have knowledge’. I actually had and kept gaining knowledge on globalizing myself and my brands, making my personal and business lives disaster proof, faith in myself to live anywhere and expand my plans amongst any crowd, but I faked not knowing for their comfort. Just to keep friends and please family, I found myself ‘feigning confusion’ about my own path after the Hurricane’s financial shakeup, when I really knew deep down inside, all along, that I just had to realign, center, pivot, and keep going after my goals without stopping. But to make THEM feel better, I felt I HAD to be sad and lowly with them to keep the connections and feel worthy of their continued company since they were my hometown brethren. A lot of them were frozen and traumatized by that storm, adding the whole nastiness of it to a long list of reasons why they can’t (fill in the blank). But even before the storm, some of them were lolligagging through their own lives (not all but some) and smurked at my little successes calling me lucky for what I had and a weirdo (no foolin’…with all this info on how to live a real life around, people still call me this) for taking risks they wouldn’t ever take to achieve my dreams. I learned how to stop doing this and walk my truth anyway, but I still find myself slipping when I get around old friends with stale drama they want to relive.
    BTW – thank you for this website and all of the inspiration, reminders, and your beautiful spirit! ~Peace ya’ll~

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Natasha,
      Hands down, one of the most inspiring and gutsy comments I have received in a very long time and I absolutely LOVED reading your story. Thanks so so much for sharing it with all your transparency and I am extremely impressed by your guts and courage in not wallowing in the sadness that was Katrina, and in picking up the pieces and moving on. If that’s what it means to be weird and different, then so be it and lucky happens only when you are good and your friends, it’s too bad – you can’t change life for them but you sure can make sure that it doesn’t get in your way of being proud of your life and accomplishments. Thanks again for this lovely story!

  • Rashmie@MommyLabs

    Dear Farnoosh,
    I needed some motivation and bright talk today and instinctively opened your blog. And, what a profound article you’ve shared to motivate your readers out of their slumber. In this article, I sense a different spirit altogether, dear. These words are as much poetic as they are powerful. They sound to me almost like coming from a guru who’s attained enlightenment! No kidding. I love that line – “Encouragement is everywhere around you, even if it shows up in disguise, even if it shows up in the form of an angry boss, an unhappy loved one or that all-too-familiar bitter taste of failure.” How true, though ironic that – there’s an opportunity to seek encouragement when things are often not looking up. And, finally – thank you, really thank you for reminding not to do things half-way. :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Rashmie, how timely indeed. I don’t know what to say except that after the recent posts around conferences, books, and meeting others, I needed to write one that was purely from the heart – some as a result of meeting so many and interacting on so many levels. I am delighted that the words spoke to you but it is far from being the words of a “guru” or anything. I hope when you read this you are filled with encouragement, motivation and brightness. Big hugs to you and you are very welcome, Rashmie.

  • Sean

    Truly inspiring words….from a truly inspiring blog.

    Just one to leave you with….

    “It’s never really broken until you give up trying to fix it”

    Said to me by my little daughter as I had been under my car trying to perform mechanical miracles for 3 hours.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Sean, *thank you*!
      I read this the other day and had to think about your daughter’s comment for a while. It is funny and cute and wise and it is a quote I will remember for a while. Thanks so much for dropping by.

  • http://www.tararobinson.com Tara Rodden Robinson

    Hi Farnoosh!

    Thanks for the wonderfully inspiring post! I had a recent experience that at the outset, seemed discouraging. After journaling about it, I realized that the person on the other side was actually paying me a back-handed compliment! If I hadn’t taken the time to reflect and decode what was said, I would have missed this subtle form of encouragement.

    I look forward to reading more of your wise and encouraging words. :)

    With love,

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Tara, you are very welcome. I guess now that I blog, I no longer journal as much but I have heard and believe it to be very powerful when I used to do it. The power behind the written word is magical. More shall come and I am so glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for saying so.

  • http://verybestsoftware.net Shivam Garg

    Hi Farnoosh,
    Where do you get such inspiring ideas from. I suggest everyone should read this post. It really makes one think positively even about the most problematic aspects of life. I will be waiting eagerly for your next post.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Shivam, I get them usually either on a drive, in the shower or when listening to music. Traveling helps too. Well, I don’t know if that was a literal question but there you go. I am very happy you enjoyed it. I’ll try to raise the bar next time around. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.YourExtraordinaryFuture.com Sean Cox

    Good word–Ache. Like a hunger pang. Like a thirsty person in a desert, parched, panting for water. All of us have been really hungry at some point. Take it a few steps further–some of us have been dangerously hungry, perhaps homeless–desperately hungry. THAT kind of ache for food is no joke. THAT kind of hunger creates urgency. And then that urgency creates focus, then action. So do we ache, and to what degree? Yes, I love that word. Thanks Farnoosh for bringing that word back to me. Words are so powerful.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Sean, it is such a great word, isn’t it? But not as great as your poetic prose here which I am delighted to now have among the comments. Beautiful, beautiful writing. Words are beyond powerful. So tell me, what do you ache for then? Are you living it?
      I think knowing what I know from you, you are or you are super close. Thank you for sharing your thoughts (and your poetry!).

  • http://www.meanttobehappy.com Ken Wert

    Wise words from an inspriring post on a wonderful blog. Just found you and am loving it.

    I ache for my 5 year old boy to grow up happy and loving and decent and courageous and humble and happy.

    I also ache to extend my current whisper to a thunderous voice that can reach over seas and through crowded cities and across vast expanses to speak softly into the ear of a person in great need of words that will lift and inspire and provoke thought and action to begin living closer to potential, filling life with more meaning and passion and happiness.

    Thank you for writing such beautiful words.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Ken, welcome to prolific living – I am so glad you like the blog.
      And I *love* your response. I checked your site too and it shows your devotion as a dad right away, at first glance. She will be all that and more. And as to your more broad and equally beautiful desire to impact lives in a positive way, I can only say that I identify with that a great deal.
      Thank you likewise for your beautiful words. My comments *complete* the posts, I have always said it and mean it especially with your comment.

  • Rebekah

    “Be encouraged at the power that your thoughts hold and make them good thoughts.” I have been meditating lately on the number of limiting or outright negative mindsets — assumptions complete with ingrained emotions to match — that the world offers us. This sentence is a summary reminder to watch those default settings and take care to reset them. — A great post, and great comments — and the added temptation of pictures from Bali was sweet :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Rebekah, I have missed how your presence used to grace my blog and you are back with your beautiful shining light. Thank you! I hope that your current meditations are helping you and that your mindsets are turning around in the exact way that you wish for them to do so. Bali is still so fresh and alive in my memories. I hope you see it someday and tell me just how amazing you too find it. Thanks for the lovely words here and welcome back. I’ve missed you.

  • http://www.possibilityoftoday.com Sibyl

    Really inspiring Farnoosh. Great post. Thanks for sending some of your passion and energy this way. I really appreciate the advice to live fuller from this day forward. That really is what it is all about.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Sibyl, I *love* the new photo of you. It’s so so beautiful. Just happy that this post touched you and you yourself are the model of all encouragement. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://jefmenguin.com jef menguin

    I totally appreciate this post as this is very encouraging. Prolific Living is about following your heart.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Jef, thank you so much and welcome to the blog. It *IS* about following your heart, no doubt there.

  • http://www.kaizenvision.com Aileen | Kaizen Vision

    The greatest gift one can give to one’s self is to live a life of passion. It’s vital to ask self “what do you ache for” – so glad you encourage others to ask the question.

    The day we stop living in love – reaching for dreams – life becomes mundane and we lose the quality of life that is offered to us.

    I will confess I don’t always live in a state of encouragement – I do wrestle with fear, hesitation and other saboteurs. However, the state of encouragement and faith to appear and keep me going. It may not be the smoothest path – but reaching for faith, self belief, and inner encouragement wins over!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Aileen, so nice to see you engage in the conversation. I am so happy to know you live this way; as you know, I totally live this way now. The day that I stop, I might as well lay down and die. There’s no grey in between anymore for me.
      Encouragement comes and goes for all of us. That’s why I write about it πŸ˜‰ So I can keep encouraging myself too. You are huge encouragement to me all the time so I know your internal resources are vast and will keep you going strong. Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts.

  • Matt R

    One of the best posts I’ve read.
    I want to conquer fear or reduce it to a second thought. If you take the fear of strangers, fear of doing something different, fear of rejection, and all other types of fear away, then you can create a life where there are infinite opportunities to fulfill your purpose, whatever it is.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Matt, that means a lot. Thank you so much. I have no doubt, no doubt whatsoever, that one by one, you will reduce and then conquer all of these fears. It takes time and it is terrifying at first but the feeling of coming out on the other side and crushing the fear and winning – that’s worth all the trouble in the meanwhile. I wish you well and thanks for leaving your thoughts here to enrich the conversation. Thanks, Matt!

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  • http://www.blackcatsgraphics.com Brenda

    Hi Farnoosh’
    Again your inspirational writing has touched me and is setting my mind whirling about, asking questions and seeking answers. I know what I love doing. I know how awesome it feels to accomplish something you can feel so proud of. I have it in bits and pieces but I need to work harder to have it as a whole. Thank you so much for the gentle push to keep working on it. Brenda

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Brenda, I read this after a very long day and my exhaustion disappeared, I tell you. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings. And I am ever so happy to hear that you are reminded of everything you already knew. A most gentle push sometimes goes the longest distance, no? I look forward to hearing more from you. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

  • http://about.me/rafaelosorio Rafael

    Thank you for sharing this great post!


    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Raf, you are very very welcome!

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  • http://mararose10.wordpress.com/ Mary Jane


    Thank you so much for your encouraging words, and this beautiful and inspiring post. Have had a discouraging day, and I really needed to hear this. I love the quote you began with, and am so happy to hear it again.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Mary Jane,
      So nice to see your comments on the blog – I am so glad these words helped you. If that happens from something I write, not sure what else I can ask for as reward. Thank you for telling me and I hope today is most encouraging for you.

  • Negar

    My sweet Farnoosh,
    Thank you so much for this post! Absolutely perfect timing for me to read this….. I needed the encouragement – in more ways than one! Again, thank you!!! :) :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Very happy to hear it, Negar. I hope you are adjusting well after your wonderful trip abroad and welcome back to prolific living!!!!

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  • May

    Wow that is one heck of a story from Natasha going through hurricane Katrina. I am so inspired by it and this fandamntastic blog. I am following the subtle stirrings of my soul and getting certified as a personal trainer after 5 yrs as a speech therapist. I really believe this experience will lead to more soul following and gutsy moves, no matter who thinks what. They’ll think whatever they’re going to think no matter what you do. And bc you had the courage Farnoosh to leave your corporate job and do this, we can all continue to grow. Wow!!!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi May, thank you SO MUCH for the best adjective yet describing this blog ;))! Darling, the stirring of the soul is the best guide to follow, because your soul will stay with you forever, but others come and go, no matter how dear they may be, you only know what’s right for you. Come back anytime. Love your spirit and energy, and keep listening to that heart :)!

  • Jessica

    I wanted to thank you for all your encouraging thoughts. I have been my own worst enemy for a long time and it is hard to learn to love myself. I have always felt like I don’t deserve it. That I am not lovable. My birth mom never loved me she just wasn’t capable of it. She didn’t love anyone except herself. I have made many bad choices and never forgiven myself for anything. I am very hard on myself. I Just wanted to Thank you. You are wonderful.

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      @disqus_AIkwXBF9jO:disqus – you are loving, lovable and worthy of love. I don’t know you but I know that’s the truth. I am so happy you stopped by. Stay inspired in life and in who you are. Your past doesn’t define you. What you do with your life is the true definition. Thanks for the kind words….