Inspire Speaker: Stephanie O

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In this series of blog posts we are introducing people who are speaking at and attending Inspire 2014. Today we'd like to introduce you to Stephanie O. of Vivid and Brave. Stephanie and Christine Tremoulet will be teaching a a course on Rediscovering Yourself Through Journaling & Personal Projects. This highly interactive half day class will take attendees through a guided experience of self reflection, vulnerability, public declaration, and planning for a personal project. Lost creativity will be reawakened, and a love for self will be nurtured. Inspired by these exercises, attendees will create a personal project which truly celebrates them. Vivid & Brave

Stephanie O

Have you ever wondered what their secret is?

In the sort of long, meandering journey I took to discovering my passion, I often noticed that the idea of being this fervently in love with an idea was sort of scary. I worried about looking like a fanatic – like someone locked in an obsession. Actually, never mind just looking like someone who was fanatically obsessed with an idea. What if I actually became that person? People would think I was crazy. Bad crazy. Stay away from that woman crazy.

Back to those people who are really passionate. With the notable exception of a few certifiable crazy people, most of the people I know who are passionate are actually pretty amazing. I want to be near them, so that some of their amazing, unapologetic passion rubs off on me. I want to hear their new ideas, get swept away in their excitement. And the one thing I’ve noticed they all have in common is this:

They’re brave.

Ultra passionate people are fearless. Sometimes, they assess risks, and go in anyways. Sometimes, they don’t even bother with that – they just do what needs to be done, often just because they can. Now, consider those people who are ultra passionate and who channel that passion into success. I think their secret lies in a subtle transition, one that might not be immediately obvious. They take their bravery, and transform it into courage. Courageous people feel lots of fear. In fact, I think they might feel more fear than most other people, because they constantly get up and face it. They see it, and they run towards it. They’ve figured out that those things that we love that also terrify us? Those are the things that bring the most happiness in the end. If you get to live that one outsized, crazy, this is way too big and it can never happen passion every day of your life, AND get paid for it? Bonus.

What’s the difference? Brave people see the risks, and they dive in no matter what. They are reactive – they are in action. Bravery doesn’t always have a cause, because bravery is often a cause. Courageous people, on the other hand, have a motivation – they know WHY they are moving towards the fear. They have a cause. Courage is mindful of the desired outcome. So while bravery is inherent, courage is intentional. It’s a honed skillset of assessment of risks, and the application of bravery towards a carefully considered goal. Courage knows exactly what it’s getting into.

So, ultra passionate, successful people take bravery, something that is second nature for passionate people, and refine it into courage. If the trick to courage is having a motivation, then the first step towards taking your passion and making it successful is to decide what your motivation is. What drives you? What makes your heart sing? When passion has a focus, and a reason, it’s unstoppable.

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