Since moving to San Diego and starting this blog, I have connected with so many incredible people who are truly changing and shaping the world we live in. These game changers are totally fascinating and inspiring and I’m proud to know a few – like Keith Donohue, a guy who exudes warmth and good energy at all times.
Keith, a self-proclaimed “Type A hippie” is the founder of kevala, a sustainable athletic apparel organization that gives back to 50 non-profits. This aspect of his business model immediately piqued my interest along with the affirmations printed across the soft, eco-friendly kevala shirts. Affirmations like “breathe”, “love”, “get after it” and “let go” are purposefully printed backwards so you can read them when you look in the mirror. Occasionally, my yoga instructors will wear them while teaching or I’ll wear my own to class — it’s a pretty powerful reminder while practicing.
After a serious car accident, a sudden end to his pro soccer career and countless failed relationships, Keith realized it was time to “flip everything” in his life. He left Corporate America and began to explore the non-profit world. He fearlessly said aloud, “I’m going to volunteer in every state, D.C., Canada, and Mexico – all of North America” and he did it through what he came to call the 50Give Tour. Keith volunteered at 54 nonprofits over 4 months, spanning 23,000 miles, and settling into a new location every 70 hours! This journey led him down a path of self-exploration and discovery where he decided to live in the present and choose joy. How cool is that!?
I did a little Q&A with Keith and was blown away by his responses. This dude needs to write a book, like pronto. The biggest challenge was attempting to whittle down all of his words of wisdom to fit into one blog post. Since many of my readers are bloggers and entrepreneurs themselves, I thought this would be interesting for all of you coming from a successful, mindful entrepreneur.
I asked Keith what his best advice is for those who want to pursue a dream but are held back by fear. Take note.
Keith’s thoughts on “getting after it”
// False Start //
What holds people back from achieving their goals is usually that they never start, or they quit. Whether it’s diet, business, relationships — people think they have time to start later in life.
// Leggo My Ego //
Try defending your ego less, and instead WATCH your thoughts. Your ego is protecting some image created by society – let it die by observation.
Let go, move forward. Repeat.
// Starving Lion //
If you are PASSIONATE about something, then DO it. If you create excuses and begin to complain – STOP immediately…you don’t want it bad enough and, not to be negative, but you’re just not hungry enough. Be okay with that, and find something you are passionate about.
A lion knows it has to eat to survive – make your dream about survival. Execute your dream, get out of the way, or help others make their dreams reality.
// You’re a B*tch! //
When you stop taking everything so personal, then you live from your true nature of joy…no more masks means authentic living and work.
// Perfect Unicorn //
She, he, it – doesn’t exist. I’m a recovering perfectionist – this is my kryptonite…I want everything at kevala to be the best, and I am learning to focus on the QUALITY of a product or service…make quality perfect, and have compassion for yourself when you fail.
// Dream Inking //
A dream doesn’t mean being the best at something, or acheiving grandiose goals. It’s anything inside you asking for attention (and won’t shut up). Things like: become yoga certified, get married, go back to school, raise a dog, adopt a child, read a book monthly, learn guitar, attend two social events a week, meditate daily, take a vacation, quit a job, end a relationship, kiss daily, start smoking (stop judging), ask for a raise, ask them out, no cellphone after 9 pm, move cities, become a vegetarian, see a therapist, laugh more often, volunteer – whatever!
WRITE your goals out with timetables and POST them in a visible spot to be read daily. Why? Numerous studies state that writing and reading your goals significantly increases chances for success. Write in the present tense and take action.
Example – February 2016: kevala receives $250K in funding.
// Love Suicide //
Live as if you’re already dead. Yes, it’s graphic, but imagine if you didn’t care about the outcome of actions and words – if you didn’t hold back love.
Inject love more often in everything do. People will remember how you made them feel. Love yourself first, and become your biggest fan – you are with yourself 24/7!
// Lost My Keys //
There are 805 million starving people in the world. This isn’t a guilt trip – it’s a wake-up call to serve “others.” If you are feeling lost, have no purpose, or need a starting point to do EPIC SH*T – then volunteer.
Open yourself to the possibility that you could have been born into another body – a child in Africa. A mother in Nepal. A fly with the lifespan of a single day.
// Zen Mountain //
This thought will ruin you: “I will be happy if only ____ happens.” If you get the perfect partner, a better job, a nicer car… but then what? The mind will continue wanting, it will keep climbing for some unreachable peak. Instead make the present moment and happiness your only priority.
What if something bad happens? The question is simple: Do you, or don’t you, want to be happy? Decide you’ll stay happy. Decide you’ll never close your heart.
// WORK. //
Weekends don’t exist as an entrepreneur, you work every day. If you take a vacation – you are usually unplugging electronically to reboot spiritually.
You celebrate obstacles as ways to improve, you don’t resist reality; and procrastination leaves the building or your dream will become extinct.
BLEED your mission to the point where you become delusional. Praise others; hate is meaningless. Become so focused and committed that work becomes a lifestyle of serving others.
Most importantly, if you don’t feel LONELY then realize you’re not on the right track…yes, you heard me correctly. You will feel PAIN because you are sacrificing everything to better yourself and the planet. If you quit, the pain will stay. Do the work.