There’s a Zen quote I love,

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

~ Zen Proverb

For the record, I’m not anywhere close to enlightenment.  I just ate a Snickers Bar.  I say this as if enlightened people don’t eat Snickers Bars.  But who knows, maybe Snickers Bars are one of an enlightened person’s top food groups.

All I know is I’m not yet enlightened.


But I still love the quote.


I’ve been thinking of this quote lately because even though 2017 has been the biggest year of my career thus far, I still notice I spend a great deal of time metaphorically chopping wood and carrying water.

I’m very grateful for the successes of the past year and grateful for all the help I’ve had in making them happen.  We published Awkwardly Awesome- Embracing My Imperfect Best.  We launched a new and much improved JasonWFreeman.com.    I gave my first TEDx Talk, stay tuned for the video, official release date: New Years Day 2018.  I’ve coached many people to courageously go for what they truly want in life.  We started Awkwardly Awesome Afternoons, which are uplifting events where we celebrate the imperfections and joys of being human.  In addition, I’ve been doing a daily FB Live for the last few weeks and plan to continue until at least the New Year.

By the way, Chris Taylor who is laying out this blog also designed and laid out the book, created my branding and website.  More and more, I’m finding that success isn’t an individual sport by any stretch of the imagination.

Each of these successes have felt like mountaintops, like mini enlightenments.  But then the next day there is a new to do list to chop through, emails to respond to, marketing to attend to.  The daily tasks of running a business are like carrying precious buckets of water.

Sometimes I get tired of the chopping and carrying and of being uncertain as to when I will summit the next mountaintop.  Sometimes the water doesn’t seem so precious.

However, when I look at the routine of creating a business from a different perspective, I appreciate all of this chopping and carrying and uncertainty.

I used to fantasize that one day I would stumble onto my “Big Break” and after that I would be walking on sunshine for the next 322 years of my life.  Yep, I want to live a long time.

However, I finally realized how dull it would be to completely and totally make it one day.


What the heck would you do the next day?


The challenges will keep coming.  Such is life.

This is a good thing because challenges bring out the imperfect best in us.

Wow!  It’s so exciting to get a chance to strive to be our best by facing all the challenges that come.


PS- On other days, I’m not nearly so optimistic about the challenges and just want to completely and totally make it.


Such is life.



Click Here to read the first 36 Pages of Awkwardly Awesome for FREE!