Regular readers of this blog (as well as anyone who has ever met me) knows that I’ve spent a healthy amount of my time + money on personal development; you know, those zany books and C.D. programs that tell us how to achieve anything we want out of life, and the wacky seminars where we walk across 2,000 degree fire pits to prove to ourselves we have the guts to chase our dreams.
Well I’ve read all the books, been to all the seminars and even scurried across those hot coals in my bare feet a couple of times; however, as I’ve gotten older I’m finding that many of these positive-thinking Stuart Smalley inspired “You CAN do it!” manifestos are both tired, and not very applicable at this point in my life.
And the seminars? Year after year they seem to attract the same crowd of folks who get all excited, then don’t apply what they learn only to wonder why life hasn’t changed for them. (Hint: Lack of commitment or follow up)
These days I need more – much more – than the average hype and hoopla that pulls in crowds of wannabes; I need to hear from people who actually walk their talk by taking the steps to create the lifestyles they choose. Most of all, I want to hear their complete stories – warts and all – to have a clear, concise idea of what it’s like to “pull the plug” on a regular routine.
I wondered out loud about just how refreshing this kind of approach to personal growth and lifestyle would be, and was curious if such a document actually existed…
Then not long after, as I groggily choked down sips of my coffee one Saturday morning the answer appeared, courtesy of a post sent to my Facebook feed. A friend had sent me a site for a book called “Finding Fabulous: Paving the Path Between Paycheck and Passion” asking if I’d heard of it. I hadn’t, but was instantly intrigued. Two clicks later, and I was headed over to amazon.ca for a closer look.
After reading a few of the incredibly positive reviews I knew I had to read more; and so after a couple more clicks of my mouse, I refilled my coffee and settled into a corner of the couch to begin reading this remarkable book on my kindle.
ENTER LISA DADD, AUTHOR OF “FINDING FABULOUS”
Searching for more meaning, purpose and fun than her Fortune 100 career was providing, Lisa Dadd decided to re-invent not just career, but herself AND her life… but she also questioned how she could achieve this? I mean let’s face it, all of us are supposed to work by a set of rules in order to pay the bills, right? We’re expected to be grateful for the 2 -5 weeks per year vacation as part of the deal right?
Lisa wondered if there a different way… a BETTER way? She planned to find out, and employed an unusual – yet highly effective – method to do this.
She left her job and went searching for people who broke these traditional rules by leaving jobs and careers to pursue their dreams and passions – a gaggle of interesting folks she affectionately calls “The Fab Finders”.
Along the journey she learned that while many people say they want more out of life than the traditional 9 to 5, few were willing to take the plunge. She took down their stories, and then published the most compelling in her book “Finding Fabulous”.
Lisa discovered that the folks who turned their backs on tradition for lives on their own terms – The Fab Finders – actually wound up living extraordinary and fulfilling lives. In book she documents her findings (warts and all) and outlines key concepts and common denominators from each of the Fab Finders stories.
These include things like how to:
• Clarify the motivation needed to change
• Overcome self-limiting beliefs
• Shift the mindset about the role money plays in life
• Build a strong support network around your choice
• Evolve your perception of what is possible
• Redefine your definition of success
And to be clear, Lisa herself is a rule-breaking “Fab Finder” who truly walks her talk! She divides her time between sunny California and her lake front cottage in Northern Ontario where she exemplifies the “Finding Fabulous” philosophy by writing, speaking and consulting on topics related to life and career redesign.
She’s also an avid adventurer, and has driven across North America with her dog Leo several times, as well as hiked both to the Base Camp of Mt. Everest, and trekked the Inka Trail up to Machu Picchu.
After reading the book I was taken aback by it’s fresh approach to “Living life on one’s own terms” – something I’ve been working on myself for the past 16 months, and thought “Why not ask Lisa for an interview?” which is exactly what I did.
- In your book you describe people who live life by their own rules as “Fab Finders”; what got you interested in researching /writing a book about people who live such unconventional lifestyles?
Shortly after I left the corporate world to discover my own path, I met several others who had done the same. They were doing such amazing things, even though their circumstances weren’t that different than many people I knew who seemed trapped and unhappy with their jobs or their life in general. I became curious as to why these individuals dared to find more Fabulous in their lives, when so many others remained stuck. I thought if I could figure out their secret, I could not only implement it in my own life, but I could share it with others.
- How did you go about finding the Fab Finders that you interviewed? Was it hard?
Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard. There are more and more people choosing this path than ever before. The more I shared my story, the more I heard about someone’s friend or cousin or husband, who had either taken a similar leap of faith, or was about to. I’d strike up a conversation with an owner at a dog park, or meet someone at a networking event, and inevitably they’d ask me the dreaded, “What do you do for a living” question. I realized it was a great opportunity to share my journey, and eventually my intention for writing the book; which just led me to more FabFinders.
- Tell us about one of the “A-ha!” moments you experienced whilst writing the book.
The biggest ‘Ah-ha’ for me was the similarities between the FabFinders and every other person I know who isn’t following this path. There is this idea out there that you have to be rich, or not have any children, or be of a certain generation, live in a certain zip code or have some particular advantage, to be able to go after your dreams. In reality, FabFinders had similar challenges, self-limiting beliefs and obligations as anyone else.
- What are two specific strategies that you learned in your research that you apply to your own life now; and what difference have they made for you?
The first strategy I learned was how to heighten my awareness. I always thought that I would live my dream life ‘one day’, when I figured out what that was – turns out, I wasn’t doing anything to figure it out. I was ignoring the signs and not paying attention to what my life was telling me. This research taught me to put more intention around that, and to notice how my energy shifted as a result. I now have a much better understanding of what brings me joy, what lights me up, and in essence how I want my life to be.
The second strategy goes hand in hand with the first – never stop asking the questions. The FabFinders were all different ages and in various different stages of their life. I learned that, whether someone is 25 or 89, there is value in exploring what could make your life more fabulous. Asking yourself what you want to be when you grow up is not just a question for school-aged children. That isn’t to say you can’t be grateful for what is already in your life, it is to realize that it can evolve over time. This has given me permission to try different things, knowing I don’t have to commit to it for the rest of my life. Finding Fabulous is a journey without an end. Luckily for us, if you are open to it, there’s lots of Fabulous to find along the way!
- What core message do you want readers to come away with after reading your book? Why did you choose this?
The core message I want readers to come away with is the idea that Finding Fabulous is well within their reach. It isn’t something reserved for special people, or something that they missed out on because they made one decision or another years ago. Finding Fabulous is a way of life. It is an idea that if we are open and willing, we can live the best versions of our lives, simple by choosing to.
- And finally, EVERYONE has a super power… What is Lisa Dadd’s superpower?
I think my superpower is in Finding Fabulous in the most random places. I often find analogies, metaphors and life lessons while walking my dog, gardening, staring at the sky or even baking bread. The more curious I am to find answers, the more I see them all around us. That’s the funny thing about ‘Finding Fabulous’; as soon as you are willing to do what it takes to find it, you do!
So there you have it!
My thanks to Lisa Dadd for her time, wisdom and terrific ideas regarding finding fabulous in our lives. If you’d like to order the book please do so here; or if you’d like to go to Lisa’s website, do that here.
Or if you’d like to hear more from Lisa herself, do that below! Because the sooner you do, the sooner you can bring “Fabulous” into your own life.