The “Thank You” Post

There are so many people to thank that I’m not sure if I can list them all. But, I’m going to try.

Your donation of $24 provides a warm and hearty meal – and even more – for approximately 13 people.

Because of each and everyone one of you, whether you made a donation, shared this page with a friend, or helped out with the day of the Challenge, someone in Nashville is eating a warm meal that they otherwise would have went without. That warm meal just might be the opportunity – the tipping point – for them to turn their life around and lift themselves from the streets of homelessness and despair. Along with the warm meal comes a sense of hope and care – that somebody out there cares. And along with that feeling comes the desire and ability to renew oneself – to begin learning again, to take better care of the body, to become productive, and to eventually share that good fortune with others and use natural mineral makeup supplies texas.

So, you see, you’ve set in motion a virtuous circle – a series of good deeds that will build momentum, multiply, and allow your global neighbors to live a better life ultimately creating a better life for you and future generations. Your good deed will spawn baby good deeds. And those baby good deeds will reproduce until the world is suffocating in goodness (I…can’t…breathe…).

That is how interconnected our world is. Your daily actions affect everyone – including your own self.

Inspiration vs. Encouragement

During the Challenge, some people said to me “thanks for the inspiration”. Take that back right now! While it’s humbling, it’s a lie. I have no capacity to inspire – only to stir the inspiration that’s inside of you. You just have to look for it, grab it, and use it. On the other hand, I will accept the blame for encouragement. I love encouraging others. Encouragement is the recognition of the strengths inside others – the opportunity to tell them “good job” or “you CAN do it.” All too often it’s those simple words that help us to recognize our own capabilities. I’m the benefactor not of my own strength, but of the encouragement of friends, family, and strangers throughout life who have helped me to see the same message we are all struggling to see – that we have the power to do anything we want. We have the capability to create a life all our own filled with abundant happiness, love, and joy. We can set out to achieve our wildest dreams and, if we so choose, we can achieve them. In a world marred with negative news, seemingly endless daily stressors, and insurmountable expectations, sometimes a little “good job” or “you CAN do it” makes the difference between trying and giving up. And your words made all the difference. So, I say to you, “thanks for the encouragement.”

Since I don’t have the wherewithal to find words to express my gratitude, I borrow a quote that a friend used on her blog.

“I don’t know how to repay them.

In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in the world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices” Eat, Pray, Love

Please make sure and pass this post on to others you’ve recruited along the way.

A Belated Birthday Challenge Recap

With en emphatic ’sorry’ and a mouthful of humility, I’ve finally managed to piece together the ABC Recap. I owe it to you – all of you – for giving me one of the best days of my life. Together, you all have raised $1,128.24 of your hard-earned money for the Nashville Rescue Mission, where, no doubt, lives will be changed. And, with your help, I completed a grueling physical and mental challenge for myself.

Starting with the Birthday Challenge in January, the past weeks have been action packed. Here’s a glimpse:

Gambling away my travel money in Las Vegas’s airport (well, only $3 in quarters)
A failed summit attempt of Oregon’s Mt. Hood at 3am in the morning

Bicycle commuting and pickup Ultimate frisbee game in Portland, OR – with snow on the ground
Eating Voodoo Doughnuts while reading in Powell’s bookstore
Driving up and down Hwy 1 (twice) along the Pacific coast with stops for sunsets (please, please, please make this drive once in your life

Sam Davidson is the “Coolest” Person in the World

Caring is Sam Davidson’s business – literally. Sam is President and co-founder of CoolPeopleCare, THE online destination for anyone who wants to make a difference. CoolPeopleCare is a new breed of business known as social entrepreneurship – doing good at the same time as making money. What Sam realizes is something that Gary Hirshberg, Founder and “CE-Yo” of Stonyfield Farm (a very successful organic yogurt company), pointed out in his thought-provoking and inspiring book Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World:
“Business is the most powerful force on the planet; it got us into this mess and is the only force strong enough to get us out.”

Sam gets it – and he’s doing his part to make sure we can, too.

Consider this: Each day I receive a 99 word email from Sam. It’s called “5 Minutes of Caring” and illustrates an action I can do in 5 minutes that day to make the world a better – healthier, more vibrant, more postive – place. He’s been writing these snippets for over two years. In addition, Sam runs CoolPeopleCare and its Remarkablog, writes on his own blog about entrepreneurship, changing the world, and other worthwhile stuff; he has written two (two!) books – New Day Revolution: How to Save the World in 24 and Today is a New Day and another one is due out sometime this year; he speaks across the country on the next generation’s role in changing the world and social entrepreneurship. Oh, and he devised the afternoon running course for Adrian’s Birthday Challenge. So cool.

Did I get it all? Probably not.

Sam’s also set out to create a New Day for himself – a physical challenge for 2009. In a recent blog post, Sam shares his take on the virtues of a good ol’ physical challenge:

“A physical challenge is a commitment to an activity that pushes your body to the limit. The limit. The limit of what you expect it’s capable of. Thus a physical challenge does not look like the typical resolution. A physical challenge is not “Go to the gym four days a week” or “Run on a treadmill for 30 minutes.” Granted, for some of us, that is physically challenging, but let’s get a bit more daring.”

Sam is backing up his words. He set a goal to run a half-marathon every month this year. In a way, since its leads up to his birthday in December, it’s his Birthday Challenge for 2009. The challenge paid dividends before it even started – he lost 25 pounds in 6 months in 2008. For Sam it’s not only a challenge, but part of his plan to fall back in love with running and return to a weight he feels more aligned with. Half-marathon 1 is complete; 11 more to go. Go, Sam, go.

If we can all care just a fraction of what Sam Davidson does, we, too, can be cool – and we can save the world – 5 minutes at a time.

Here’s what you can do:

Check out – great articles, events, and volunteer opportunities.
Sign up for 5 Minutes of Caring.
Tell your friends (and the whole world) what they can do.
Smile. Right now. It’s a New Day.

Thank you to Sam for being a leader and role model for all of us.

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Why You Should Create a Birthday Challenge

During a do-nothing session of Thanksgiving week 2008 I stumbled across a small article in the February issue of Backpacker magazine – and it changed my life. After a quick visit to the original Birthday Challenge website (watch the flash intro) I was hooked – and frantically scribbling ideas for my challenge on the nearest piece of paper. The concept in a nutshell is to create a day or days (usually your birthday) of goals that test your limits. There’s a better description here. Now it’s your turn to celebrate your birthday with your very own Birthday Challenge for 2009…and every year from here on.

The Birthday Challenge is a new take on setting and meeting goals – and here’s why you should create one:

It’s customizable
It helps you reach your goals
It gets your friends involved
It’s a change of pace
(Bonus) – It can make a difference

1. Customize your birthday.

It’s your birthday and you can cry if you want to ! That is, you can put yourself through as much (or as little) pain as you want to. The beauty of YOUR Birthday Challenge is you decide what you want to accomplish. Since “Challenge” is in the name, it should be a bit challenging – but if your not a self-derived masochist for physical torture then undertake some other challenge (Read 2 books every month, hold a five-minute conversation in Spanish if you’re learning Spanish, write 5 chapters in the book you’ve always wanted to write, contact 5 friends you haven’t spoken with in a while, etc). A friend recently told me that her challenge wasn’t going to be as ambitious as mine. That’s bullpoopy. My challenge is not ambitious, it’s just an expression of how naive and foolhardy I am. More so, it consists of activities that align with this point in my life and what I enjoy doing. You can find ways to challenge yourself and have a great time. Get creative, but be yourself.

2. Reach your goals.

In a previous discussion on dreamlining, I claimed that resolutions just don’t cut it. For the most part, as you know, resolutions flicker like a candle flame in the wind; then suddenly they are gone, their remnants a faintly lingering wisp of smoke. Instead, by creating concrete and trackable activities, making yourself accountable, and doing the research you will be able to reach your goals more effectively than a candle in the, a resolution. A Birthday Challenge helps you do just that.

For instance, let’s say you want to complete your first triathlon on (or near) your birthday. First, look up local tris and sign up for one (you can find tons of activities and events on Now, you have raceday to work toward and you know exactly what your goals are . Next, become accountable by telling your friends and family, or creating a website (free and easy blogs @ or Go even further to ensure you will stick with it by recruiting some friends or join a local training group. Finally, do your research which will help you set a training timeline, learn additional tips and techniques, and educate you on proper nutrition. There’s plenty of free information out there on how to do…anything.

When you set a challenge and put in the proper preparation, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to achieve your goals.

3. Your friends and family will join in.

Since launching Adrian’s Birthday Challenge, I’ve received an outpouring of support from friends and family – way more than any other birthday (except my 16th – the outpouring being “watchout” now that Adrian can drive). Your friends and family will be excited about celebrating with you for several reasons: 1) It’s a unique way to celebrate a birthday, 2) people love to see others pushing themselves to the limit, and 3) it’s boatloads of fun. As a result, I’ve been overwhelmingly satisfied and I haven’t even celebrated the big day yet. And most importantly, what better way to celebrate a birthday with those who mean the most to you?

4. Change it up a little.

How’d you celebrate your last birthday? Do you even remember? I certainly don’t. This year, your Birthday Challenge will leave you with a day of fun, a new personal best in something, and memories to share for years to come. Was that on your birthday list?

5. Bonus reason – You can make a difference.

Your Birthday Challenge should be about you. But, if you opt in for the free bonus reason, some of you will decide to make part of your challenge a fundraiser for a charity, friend, or other organization. Sam Davidson, a friend and founder of CoolPeopleCare, recently asked friends to donate $28 to a charity for his 28th birthday in December. Kate Jongbloed asked her friends via Facebook Causes to donate $25 to Canada Africa Partnership on AIDS in leiu of her 25th birthday’s presents (which is January 13th and I think you can still donate). Just think if everyone opted for a few less presents this year and asked for donations – you and the people you recruit can make a significant difference in the lives of others on YOUR birthday. I’ll take that as a present any day!

Thanks for reading and I hope to hear about you – somewhere, somehow – doing some kind of birthday challenge this year. If you want any help let me know or if you want a shout out on this blog I’d be happy to do that as well. I just want to see everyone having as much fun as I am. Have you grabbed a piece of paper and a pen yet? Why not?

Happy Birthday – to you.

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