“I ASPIRE — To step out of my own range, to reach for that which I feel is impossible. To envision myself where my heart yearns, even at the risk of stepping outside of the circle of comfort. To walk not blindly, but with faith, unto the forsaken grounds of the unknown.”

Austin Pranger, January 1st, 2015

I wrote these words 5 years ago as I embarked on a quest I titled “Venture 15.”

The goal was to start taking control of my life and to, ultimately, “be completely unrecognizable in 5 years, by 2020.”

For once I’m not worried if “you” (the fearful mind) think that I achieved this goal or not – for me, I find that validation within and I can say that I am completely different than who I was 1,825 days ago.

Not in the ways I could have imagined (for the better).

I’ve learned a lot – and still am facing a long process of “learning” these takeaways from Venture 15:

01.) Make a decision and don’t look back.
No regrets. Adapt as you go. You’ll learn more in one week of “being in the decision” than months of perfecting and “pondering if this is the right move, or maybe that one…” #FlipACoin

02.) Allow yourself to look and be different.
Wear it, say it, express it. It is not about how you look or appear to others – it matters how it changes YOU on the inside. It creates a new level of presence and self-awareness.

03.) CRY.
Release tension and resistance you have within yourself – or about yourself. There has always been inner peace and growth on the other side for me.

04.) Find the spaces that cultivate your inner truth.
For me: dance events & studios, cemeteries, dimly lit rooms, plugged into emotionally-triggering music. Disconnect from everything OUTSIDE so you can connect to everything INSIDE. #DarkCaveOfTheSoul #Silence

05.) SEE YOURSELF.
There’s a shift when you stop thinking of yourself from the viewpoint of others and instead YOU SEE YOU in the mirror (figuratively and literally). Do you have kind-hearted conversations with yourself? Can you actually hear your soul without hearing the chatter and chaos of social media, fears, self-doubt, limited thinking, the ‘conversations from others’ in your mind?

06.) Simplify.

07.) Be open to RECEIVING and allow people to GIVE to you.
Life is trying to hand you things – but it’s easy to miss if you’re tunnel-visioning on only one or two ways to receive. There are gifts all around, and sometimes all you have to do is ask.

08.) #EmbraceTheWeird and speak your truth.
There is magic behind each of the little nudges of your heart and nuances to who you are. Say what is on your mind and heart, especially if it keeps showing up.

09.) Most people don’t actually care.
You’re more AFRAID of their reaction/opinion than they ACTUALLY care. They may have opinions, but you’ll be out of their mind in 5 seconds – they have their own ‘stuff’ to worry about. Stay in your lane and go do your own thing. And spoiler alert: most people are SUPPORTIVE of what you’re afraid to do.

10.) Be a little shameless in the things that make you YOU.
Do things in your own way. Spend hours on personal development. Listen to obscure music and media that inspires you. Lay on top of a pool table. Wear cat ears for the day. Go run in the middle of the night. Pay attention to the things that inspire you to think differently. Whatever it is – let go of the shame and do your own thing. Your journey is UNIQUE for a reason, even if you don’t understand why yet.

11.) Your physiology and presence is important.
Change and elevate it often.
Hey, how’s your posture? #cat #lobster

12.) Cut out what weighs you down.
It’s often self-imposed. For me – absurdly large backlogs of photos, videos, files, projects, obligations.

13.) Your impact goes beyond what you witness.
Your impact touches others and those people live their own lives, shifted slightly by what you have done or said. Just because you don’t see the impact and nobody tells you about it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Keeping following that heart and living as authentically as you can.

14.) Live on the EDGE of your heart.
Constantly seek GROWTH – get out of your comfort zone. Share your deepest desires & fears (#EmbraceTheWeird style), even if you have to do it quietly. It creates a space of acceptance and momentum for growth. Nearly every great thing I have/do now is a result of a “fuck it, here we go” moment.

15.) Build a tribe of people that light you up.
Open your heart to the world and dare to be a little vulnerable – you will find your “red hat” tribe. They can support you in tough times, help to reignite your flame when you’re feeling hopeless, and can take your excitement and amplify it even further. The right people will accept you for who you are AND challenge you when you’re holding back.

The biggest influences for the awesomeness and the growth these past 5 years …

• Learning to dance – no doubt
• Incredibly supportive people around me
• Embracing more of ‘who I am’, especially the ‘weird’
• Learning to listen to and act on my intuition
• Committing to never-ending growth

As for the rest of 2020 …

Lots of ambitious and personal things in my mind,

but it will unfold as the year progresses, one day at a time,

because Sivers says it well,

“A new day begins when I wake up, not at midnight. Midnight means nothing to me. It’s not a turning point. Nothing changes at that moment. – A NEW YEAR BEGINS WHEN THERE’S A MEMORABLE CHANGE IN MY LIFE. Not January 1st. Nothing changes on January 1st. – Celebrate personally meaningful markers. Ignore arbitrary calendar dates.”

– Derek Sivers, sivers.org/mny

2020 is the year of the MIRROR, learning to SEE YOURSELF.

All the experiences and growth need to be seen within first,
coming from this lens of “in to out.”

Understanding yourself and expressing outwards.

Otherwise every action is plagued by fear and doubt – a lack in self-trust.

Here’s to another QUEST OF GROWTH, coming soon to an Austin near you. <3

→ I am soon starting a community/platform around personal growth and authenticity – an opportunity to provide support if I’ve ever given you value through our conversations or communities (like the fwWesties) over the years – and an opportunity to be a part of a collaborative journey to grow through heart-expanding challenges, discussions, and more.

|| THE LIGHTHOUSE LOUNGE
|| Authenticity • Personal Growth • Community • Dance

If you are interested or curious, comment or PM me!


Original post on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/austinmpranger/posts/10215914011142645