The problem with personal growth is that when you spend a great deal of focus on it you tend to make a great deal of progress. That hardly sounds like a problem… unless you are a blogger documenting your own progress for the world to see. Again, hardly a problem… until you come to the tail end of that “great deal of progress.”
I’m not sure how many of you follow Leo Babauta at Zen Habits. I would guess many of you may have at least heard of him as he’s one of the most popular minimalist and personal growth bloggers on the Internet. I loved reading his posts as he was making major life changes. I followed along and always looked forward to the next milestone in his journey.
Today, I don’t follow him with such passion. While his posts are still good, and while he is still working on making (and testing) improvements in his life, the major shift in his life has been completed. He has transformed his life. He took control of his life and made a shift form the life he was living to the one he desired to live. At this point, the biggest milestones appear to be behind him.
It’s as if he’s “made it” and now he’s not as interesting. I’m starting to feel the same about my own life (at least on the blog side of things.)
I have made most of the big changes I set out to make. I sometimes refer to these big changes as my “crazy ideas” as can be seen in the menu at the top of this page. I sold my house and went back to renting a smaller apartment. I got rid of many of my belongings and moved towards a more minimalist lifestyle. I rethought my fitness and made changes to be healthier. I changed my last name. I started bicycle commuting. Along the way we dealt with some family issues. We’ve also had some great vacations and adventures.
Now, that I’ve accomplished much of what I set out to do, I find myself lacking in things to write about. (You may have noticed the lack of new posts here lately.) The evolution I see from many personal growth bloggers is that once they’ve achieved their own personal successes, they migrate into teaching in a more general sense – no longer basing their teaching on direct personal experience, but rather in a more hypothetical sense. While there is value in this, I don’t feel much passion for writing in the hypothetical. I prefer to write from direct experience.
Something I’ve been seeing and enjoying lately is highlighting stories shared by their readers. Some examples that come to mind are the “Real Life Minimalists” series on Miss Minimalist and “Simplicity in Action” on Be More with Less. I enjoy these posts, but I’ve found many of them to be significantly lacking in detail. They tend to be very brief overviews of a person’s journey.
Along these same lines, but in a slightly different genre is the “A Week-in-the-Life” series at The Professional Hobo. These stories go into significant detail in order to share the journeys of interesting people traveling the world. I like these stories because I feel like I get to share in their journeys.
My current thought to keep worthwhile content flowing here at Rethinking the Dream is to host some stories shared by readers, but to go more in depth than you typically get in a 500 word guest post. I’d like to share stories of people who are on a path that involves rethinking your dreams, thinking outside the box, and doing things that aren’t normal. I’d like to share the journeys of your life as you seek to make changes from the life you have to the life you desire.
That’s where I need your help. I’m looking for volunteers to share stories. I want more than 500 words. I want however many words it takes to share whatever you are working on in your quest for personal growth and/or life changes. I’d really love to hear the emotional aspects that often get glossed over in the play by play details. I want to document your ideas, your plans, and hopefully your implementation of those plans.
I’m open to people that would like to contribute a one-time post, and I’m also open to hear from people that would like to contribute on a regular or repeated basis to document a story more completely.
The benefit of sharing your stories is in the inspiration that readers receive from your stories. When I was first starting on my journey of self-improvement I spent countless hours on the Internet reading other people’s stories as they documented them through blogs. I’d like to share more of those stories and make them easy to find make by compiling them here on Rethinking the Dream.
If you are interested in contributing to something along these lines, send me an email at Freedom at rethinkingthedream dot com or contact me using the contact form. You can contact me to let me know you are interested, or you can just send me a story that’s ready to post. Don’t worry about making it perfect, I can edit for spelling and grammar.
Even if you are just in the beginning phases, where you are thinking of making some changes but haven’t taken any action yet, I’d love to hear from you. Sometimes the path from thought to action are the most interesting parts of our journey.
I don’t have a name for this new feature yet either, so if you have any ideas share them in the comments.
In other news, I’m not completely out of personal life stories, so look for some upcoming posts on:
Our recent camping trip with my brother.
A mastermind group I started to help organize some of my side projects.
A shocking secret that I’ve never shared about when simplicity conflicts with environmentalism.