Monday, January 31, 2011

What Do You Think So Far?

My goal when I talk to someone about their Dream-Not-Come-True is to give them at least two ways they can bring their dream back to life right this very minute. To show them two Orange Roads that can be traveled immediately, from my perspective, is to give them hope that their dream coming true is not only still possible, but even probable!

In Dave's case it was easy to come up with more than two options and I think of more every day. I must confess, this one was a little easier for me because I love Dave and I've been working on helping him make his dream come true for many years.

What do you think so far? I'm loving this journey and I can't wait to learn and share about all the other Dreams-Not-Come-True this year. Share yours with me and your thoughts on the others! Come on, let's all get excited and think about what a great place this world will be when we are all living our dreams. It is possible, it truly is!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gettysburg Recap

Whether or not Dave intends to travel some of the Orange Roads or simply wait it out (his worst case scenario), he will live out his life as Park Ranger in Gettysburg National Park. It's a funny thing with married couples, I feel strongly that Dave won't have to wait a full ten years, and he is sure he will -- typical, huh? I'll be sure to keep you up to date as this changes.

Did this month make it more clear that there are many ways for you to bring your dreams back to life? I hope so. If not, stay with me and next month we'll go on another Intentional Winning In Life journey. The new subject will be revealed next Wednesday.

Share the IWIL blog with your family and friends. We have lots of fun to come and even if it's not real "fun," it's surely inspiring!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gettysburg Orange Road #4

Dave at a reenactment in 1991 - Napa, CA

Join or start a local reenactors group. I post this as an Orange Road even though I know it's obvious and happens to be exactly where Dave started.

Dave started the Northern California District of the Civil War Association when he was just 17 years old. It was through reenacting that he lived his Gettysburg dreams even traveling back to just outside the park for reenactments (just one more thing I learned do this topic, you can't reenact in a National Park. You can nearby, but not in.).

I suspect if you have a dream similar to Dave's, there are many groups you can join whether they are Civil War Round Tables, classes, groups, or associations who reenact all around your state.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gettysburg: Orange Road #3

Collect Gettysburg games and toys and sell/trade them on e-bay. This idea is just plain fun!

This could be a really fun hobby and more than having fun, you will be connecting with other Gettysburg enthusiasts. You will be learning about conventions, events, anniversaries, clubs, and associations you may not have known existed. I find that there is an exclusive community for every subject imaginable! Start buying and selling Gettysburg memorabilia and you will soon be a part of a group of people who love this National Park as much as you do!

The trick for the Gettysburg lover/collector will be to be able to part with the treasures they buy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let The Unknown Be

In planning for the worst you are stating what you can see as the last ditch, "this is the only way I'm getting where I want to go" plan. For Dave, he can't see that he can get into this park any other way than to accept a seasonal position. And in doing that, he is not even guaranteed a regular part-time position.

There is a faith factor in Intentional Winning In Life. You have to trust in the beauty of your dreams and even if you can't see it, know your dream is coming true. Call it faith, intention, or the Law of Attraction - no matter what you call it, when you focus on something it grows.

If Dave does some of the little things related to his Gettysburg dream, who knows what will happen, what opportunities will present themselves? Who will come into his life and show him other Orange Roads? These are unknowns that instead of being scary, can be exciting! Get excited about what's to come while planning for the worst - Dave can enjoy this time with his son, dig into all the little ways he can live his dream, enjoy planning his tenth wedding anniversary in New England, finish school, and on and on. There's so much more to this life, right now than what he can ever plan for his future.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gettysburg: Orange Road #2

This was the idea that really gave life to IWIL. Dave had just returned from his deployment from Iraq and he was feeling a lot of frustration while adjusting to being home. He shared with me that he had given up on this dream because he was sure I wouldn't relocate to Pennsylvania. From my heart I asked him why it had to be all or nothing. Here is what I popped off the top of my head when he asked what other way could he be a park ranger in Gettysburg without moving to Pennsylvania:

"We could plan ahead and buy a Bed & Breakfast near Gettysburg. We could personally run it 3 months out of the year - the autumn months would be my pick! Each guest would get a personal tour by Historian "You" when they visit our B&B. You could wear a uniform (even period park ranger uniforms would be fun - remember the museum?) and share little-known-facts that they won't get on a regular park tour."

I realize this would not be easy and certainly not the least expensive Orange Road, but it is a possibility! The point of IWIL is to realize that there are ways you have never conceived of that you can achieve your dreams. Those ideas that seem totally bizarre are not impossible, they are just out of your proverbial box.

The Doubleday Inn is a gorgeous Bed and Breakfast on the battlefield. While I assumed there were places that did tours and things to enhance your stay in Gettysburg, Innkeepers Christine and Todd Thomas appear to have this dialed! Visit their website and if you plan to visit Gettysburg, stop in and tell them Kathy sent you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gettysburg - Plan For The Worst

Making dreams come true when you are in the depths of life; good paying job with benefits, mortgage, bills, and so many more things, is not going to be easy. I've never said making dreams come true is easy, I said it's possible.

Dave, you have a good job that provides for your family. You know that it's not beneficial for you to quit a full time job to move across the country to take a seasonal job. My thoughts are that you plan for the worst - plan to stay in your current position until which time you can retire with your full benefit and then relocate to Gettysburg, PA to work part-time. Sounds a bit like telling a ten year old that they will be eighteen in the blink of an eye, doesn't it? The reality is that you are ten years away from full retirement, but if you are enjoying the journey through those years and implementing some of the little ways to live your dream now, how bad can that be?

Stay firm and hold onto your dream. It's not a matter of if you will be a ranger in Gettysburg, it's a matter of when. And for the record, I'm with you all the way and we will see this dream through - big bucks or not!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Power Of Exercise

Today while I was running with Dave along the water in Alameda, the last chapter of Intentional Winning In Life became crystal clear! When "they" say exercise inspires, they're right!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gettysburg: From Dave

On 1/13/11 Dave wrote:


Things are progressing slowly on my dream. I have come to the realization that I will definitely need to take some of the Orange Roads to get there.

I looked at some new postings today on USA Jobs and saw some listings at other parks that would be very satisfying. The problem is that most of the positions I would like to fill are all seasonal, part time jobs. I spoke with an HR representative at Gettysburg today to find out if there was anything more I could do to further my dream. She told me that permanent positions
were few and far between as most employees that get into the NPS stay until they retire. She recommended that I look at other position outside of the interpretive arena such as HR since that is what I have been basically doing for the last few years with the National Guard. She did give me some good news in that my veteran status will almost guarantee me a job, it's just a
matter of where that job is. I also asked her about going through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Program and if that would be beneficial and she agreed that any additional qualifications would help.

In the end, I may have to take a position that is not as fulfilling but gets my foot in the door or I need you to start making the big bucks so I can afford to give up my job with the Guard and work seasonally until I can land a full time interpretive position.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How Do I Find Other Options?

Think like a child and imagine you are pretending to do the job you dream about doing. Children know no boundaries and will plug in all the wildest, most seemingly impossible ways to be who they want to be when they play.

Dave, as you "play" park ranger, write down all the ways you can be a ranger. What are you wearing? Is there something you can do that involves ranger clothing? That sounds like a silly question, doesn't it? No! What about researching and teaching about ranger uniforms through the years? Could you locate and put together complete period uniforms and open a private museum? Of course you could! I'm not suggesting that's something you want to do, I'm only proposing that you open your mind to different ways to bring this passion into your life right now.

Get a blank piece of paper and let your imagination run wild. Make a list of every way you can imagine (still thinking like a 5 year old) your day including or encompassing Gettysburg. I can think of many, but I'm going to save my list for future posts. You make your list and watch how the leaves of new ideas sprout off the vines that are your original list -- it will spread like a wild fire!

Are you feeling the excitement when you think of all the ridiculous ways you can live this dream just a little bit right now? I am! I can't wait to visit this national park that now has me feeling it's energy through this blog and Dave's dream.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Can You See Your Dream Differently?

If you see a dream one way and it's been that way for more than 30 years like Dave has, can it really be as satisfying if you do it any other way? Of course it can! Especially if you reached a point that you let go of the dream all together anyway.

If you could open the door to the dream that you thought died and invite some part of it into your life right now, would you want to do that? Dave said yes, that this concept was appealing to him. I was glad to hear that because what he may not realize is that by opening the door to other ways to have the dream live a little, will create a momentum that will help it to grow from just this little bit of a hobby to a possible full time career. "How would that happen?" I can hear you asking. I don't know the exact how, but I know it happens. When you focus your attention on something, it grows.

When you start doing something you love, you will gravitate to those joyous feelings, how can you not? My ideas are simply that if you feel you can't have the whole dream (whatever you think, you're right), why not allow a different version of it? If you open your mind to these ideas you might find that an orange road is exactly the right direction to your dream come true!

Friday, January 7, 2011


The way Dave sees it, the only way to fulfill his Gettysburg dream is to pack up the family and move to Pennsylvania, well, he has to get hired first but there's more to it than that. He will have to take a very big pay cut and yes, he will have to convince his wife to pull up roots and move across the country.

Franky, there isn't anything on that list that makes this dream unattainable. However, I can already think of several ways that Dave could feel the excitement of his love of Gettysburg and bring it to life without moving to Pennsylvania.

Orange Road #1: Teach Civil War history with an emphasis on Gettysburg.

Dave is a Civil War expert, there's no doubt about that, he could teach in parks in Northern California where he lives on weekends. Teaching is not limited to a classroom, he could utilize his reenacting skills and contacts to provide intimate history lessons or "story time." On another scale, he could do presentations to middle school history classes and bring Gettysburg to kids the same age he was when the history bug bit him. His passion is so contagious, kids will love him! Heck, everyone will love him!

If Dave were to put pen to paper, write an outline of a creative presentation and reach out to several schools (elementary to college) and service clubs, he would be sharing his passion in a matter of weeks. He may not get paid initially, but he also won't be relocating across the country taking a massive pay cut.

What I can say about bringing your dreams to life is as soon as you start to see other ways to invite them back, you get excited. When that excitement swirls into the atmosphere around you, magic happens! People come into your life who you could never have imagined would appear.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dave's Dream-Not-Come-True - Gettysburg

Dream: To work for the National Park Service as a Park Ranger at Gettysburg.

Get his degree, relocate to PA and get hired by the NPS.

Why Not?
He doesn't think his wife will agree to relocate across the country.

His story:

In 1975 my family and I took a trip to the East Coast - I was thirteen years old at the time. We had the option to go to Mount Vernon or Gettysburg and Gettysburg won out. We spent a very short time at the battlefield but that brief time captivated my imagination. As a boy I had always been interested in all things military but the trip to Gettysburg really got me hooked on the Civil War. I remember when I returned home with a handful of brochures I couldn't put down, I typed a letter to the National Park Service asking how to become a park ranger at the battlefield. I received a very nice response and that began my 30-plus year journey.

I joined the Navy after high school as I was not ready to go to college. After my tour with the Navy, I joined the National Guard and utilized my education benefits to attend college and I started taking classes in a Park Management program. One of the requirements at the time to be a park ranger was to have a four year degree. It did not matter what the degree was in but I figured what better way to get a leg up on the competition than to have an AS degree in Park Management and follow it up with a BA in History. I took a number of classes and spent a summer working as a seasonal ranger at Fort Davis in Texas with the NPS. I had married in 1984 to a woman who shared my love of the Civil War and we planned to relocate to Pennsylvania. Not long after we married and I finished the seasonal position in Texas, she had a change of heart and didn’t want to relocate and we divorced. That really shook up my plans. I continued my education but it was difficult concentrating and I was feeling like my dream was slipping away. My job took me out of the area so I could no longer attend classes for my Park Management degree although I was only a few classes away from completing my AS degree.

As the necessities of life dictated I continued working and wound up in Mariposa, California. I worked a season at Yosemite National Park which came to a premature end when the attacks on 9/11 called me to active duty. After a seven month tour working at an airport with the National Guard providing security I was accepted as a supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration. During this time I remarried, had a child and was then called to active duty for an 18 month tour in Iraq. Upon returning from Iraq I remained working full time for the California Army National Guard. I had all but let go of my dream ever coming true even though my love for Civil War history and Gettysburg had never diminished after all these years.

Through the years, I became a Civil War re-enactor and traveled to Gettysburg on four separate occasions spending a week at a time touring the battlefield. I even founded the National Civil War Association in 1984. I have accepted that my dream of becoming a ranger at Gettysburg will never come to fruition. I don't see how it can.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What Is Intentional Winning In Life?

Intentional Winning In Life - IWIL is the process of bringing your dreams to life right now by thinking about them differently.

So many of us had dreams when we were younger that for this reason or that, we let go of pursuing. Even as adults, things come up that seem exciting or worthwhile, but we believe we aren't qualified, don't have time to learn, don't have the money, or simply don't feel we can reach the goal. Whatever you think, you're right! So if you don't think you can do it, maybe you could think about it in a way that does seem doable to you. Just maybe, there is another way to bring that dream into reality.

Here's an example: Let's say your dream is to go from San Francisco, CA to New York, NY. Most would agree that the fastest, most direct route would be to travel eastbound on highway 80 in one strait shot - the pink road. You'll see a little piece of green on the pink route which is a planned detour where there's a break in highway 80. As we do this, plug in life goals and normal activities that come along the way such as going away to college, getting married, having kids, changing jobs, etc. If you think about each of the events in your life that stop your progress to your dream destination, it's easy to see how we get stalled and eventually "settle down" in Anytown USA along the way. If you look closely at a United States map, you will see that there are hundreds of other roads to get you to New York from San Francisco - the orange roads. Will it take longer? Yes. Will it cost more? Possibly. Will the journey be full of surprises? Absolutely! When you realize that all those other roads can get you where you want to go, you can see that not only can you make your dream come true, but you may also find other things that make you happy and bring you joy along the way.

I'm going to define IWIL a whole lot more as we continue through this year. I'm also going to show you many things you can do to restart the engine on your dream and start feeling it's joy this very minute! Let's get this show on the road and start discovering what the orange roads have to offer.