My world today looks like a snow globe as Mother Nature dumped close to a foot of snow in my backyard. I’m about to go snowshoeing, but first I’d like to enjoy a pour-over and share a story with you.

At one point in my life, I wanted to be the wacky weatherman. I wanted to be that guy on the news that would broadcast live outdoors while the hurricane-force winds battered my face and rain jacket.

I wanted to chase tornadoes and run for shelter when golf ball-sized hail would come crashing down.

However, I gave up that dream. Why? Because I had little agency. Back then, there was no internet, no Youtube, no point-and-shoot uploads — just big, hulky, and really expensive gear that to broadcast the weather, I’d have to cart with me as I chased Mother Nature. And I grew up… well, not-so-rich.

Unlike the past, however, we have more agency today than at any other time in history. It costs zilch to shout your message to the world.

The hard part is to get people to listen.

Agency, as a quick reminder, refers to one’s ability to act in his world. It’s the ability to make choices and then act on them, or not act on them, given the influence of one’s environment. These include what we are in control of and those we are not: money, the neighborhood you grew up in and one’s community (or clout). Not having agency is like being in a straight jacket, literally or figuratively.

The sun shone through the palm trees and sweat began to trickle down my face. “¿Cuál es su número de zapato?” I asked as I set the little boy, Dominique, down in his chair. And in my broken American Spanglish, he understood me. “Veintitres,” he said.Twenty-three, okay I got this.

Dominique wore an orange t-shirt and a set of jersey cotton black pants, and had one of those priceless smiles that makes anyone smile right back. “What do you want to be when you get older?” I asked. “An engineer,” he said, “because I want to build things that make people’s lives better.”

During our chat, I peeled off Dominique’s old sandals (which were were three sizes too small) and slid on a new set of alpargatas, the TOMS staple shoe.

With a loud clap of a high-five, Dominique left with his new shoes to receive a pair of pants, a shirt, a couple pairs of underwear and some jabon (soap): just a few of the goods supplied by Children International, a long-standing giving partner of TOMS and the… er… sole behind the one-for-one business model that Blake Mycoskie started just under a decade ago.

It’s -15 degrees outside and I just took my friend’s dog for a walk. I’m fifty shades of cold.

Tony Robbin’s raspy voice reads the ending of his book “Money: Master the Game”. And as cheesy as the title is, the book feeds the soul just as much as the wallet.

Top performers want to live extraordinary lives, says Robbins, and that means that they will definitely face more criticism than others.

The actor who takes the stage at Broadway will face far more rejections than the actor who gives Broadway a try and returns to the community stage.

Truth is, you will get rejected, criticized, “reviewed”, analyzed, talked about, gossiped about (perhaps even in the tabloids) the more remarkable your goals become.

Just like a good ol’ Dr. Seuss character, if you step outside the lines of what everyone does, you’ll become subject for criticism:

“All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot.”

Here are three tips to develop a growth mindset no matter how far you venture in your goals.

Today I climbed a mountain, shaped to a peak by the soles of my feet and the spread of my palms.

Flexing my quads to the back of my knees, I pressed my hands into my mat in downward dog. After an exhale, I squeezed my mula bandha to float (or attempt to) into handstand for, as Raghunath instructed us, 25 breaths.

A warm-up, my feet rested against the wall as I centered my stare and focused on a four-count exhalation. Knowing my traditional yang energy, I’d push to 26 breaths before coming down because that’s my identity, that’s how I’m wired — to push harder, go longer, be faster and, by extension, become better.

As a Capricorn, I’m a mountain goat at heart — persistent and tenacious. I charge headfirst up a mountain and yearn to dive into the deep-end. But then my shoulders shook and I wobbled in my handstand.

As my feet leaned against the wall, Raghunath said, “When climbing the ladder of success, make sure it’s leaning against the right building.”

“You have to run your job as a business. Your career really is your business. That’s why you have so much branding today.”

 Zorka Kovacevich joins us on the coffee chat today to share her story of flying high like Icarus and finding purpose. Zorka currently lives in NYC and is an event organizer and marketer who specializes in event-based, inbound, and Meet Up strategies

I found Zorka on a winter’s snowy day in a high-rise office space in central Manhattan in NYC. The weather howled outside as Zorka and I met comfortably over video Skype. 

I first heard of Zorka when a group of my friends in NYC had convinced me to take the train into the city to attend a Linchpin event based on Seth Godin’s new book launch. A family emergency had kept me home that night and so the next day I heard from my friends what a great event I (unfortunately) missed.

And for those who have read Linchpin…you know what I’m talking about! It’s one of the main books that started a new purpose in my life.

On this coffee chat:

  • Tips for creating Meet Ups that inspire and grow a community
  • The pros and cons of Meet Ups
  • How Zorka juggles nearly 50 Meet Up groups
  • Making money from Meet Ups
  • The stress of just one purpose when the heart pulls in so many directions

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“Having the discipline to do things uncomfortable and seeing the end state to get through it… it’s amazing what can happen on the end.”

Chris Samples joins us on the coffee chat today to share his story. Chris currently lives in Germany and is a transitioning army officer and entrepreneur. You’ll recognize his voice as the man behind The Journey of Success Podcast.

Chris is at a unique place in his life where he has just finished a highly successful career in the U.S. Military, having traveled the world and serving the United States. Chris fell in love with podcasts over the past couple of years so when it came time to sit down and talk about retirement, Chris knew he had to forgo retirement and pursue his entrepreneurial dream. He started blogging at The Journey of Success and it only made sense for him to take the next leap and start up his podcast.

Side Note: Chris is one of the most organized people I have ever met. He is definitely the man to talk to if you need help staying on top of your goals and keeping organized.

On this coffee chat on purpose:

  • Tips for transitioning from one career to another
  • How travel inspires a greater purpose
  • How to create your own definition of success
  • What the military has taught Chris about determination, the importance of a schedule, and goal setting

 Appreciate The Traveling Cup? Please consider sharing the podcast with a friend and leaving a rating over at iTunes.