Forget perfect. We’re not looking for black and white, we’re not looking for the script…with me everything’s based on improv comedy, the whole Yes-And philosophy.”
Meet Jay Holman, music and dance instructor who believes in deliberate living, love, and leaving people better than he found them.
Most of us struggle with communication skills. We believe our partners are mind-readers or that people just don’t understand us. You know what? They don’t understand you because you’re not communicating clearly. Yeah, it’s as simple as that.
Jay teaches communication skills through dance, particularly west coast swing and blues, and he’s all about helping people reach their potential while having a good time doing it.
I want others to have the best quality of life possible. I want to leave people better than I found them. I want to bring the best nature to humankind and I want to bring mankind back to nature. Why? Because I love people and believe all people are worthy and deserve love. I love to pay it forward, give acts of service and continue to exercise my own personal growth muscles which are listening skills, contribution skills, inner guidance and the interesting thing is this all ties into my dancing.”—Jay Holman, Dance Your Freedom Studios
What Jay and I didn’t cover in this interview is his backstory, which I didn’t learn until later when I saw him speak live at an event. If you want to hear an inspiring story about someone having the guts to change their situation, check out Jay’s video “The Gift”.
Suffice it to say that Jay’s done a TON of work to get to where he is, particularly on his mindset. He’s a visionary goal-setter who’s found a way to do work that he loves in a way he loves doing it. As he says in the podcast, he’s creating his own life experiences, starting now. Let’s look at some of the ways he’s doing that.
Talk to people
When was the last time you talked to someone on a bus, in a doctor’s office or even someone you didn’t know at a restaurant or bar? We don’t talk to each other any more. Today, as I was walking down a beautiful sunny street, cherry blossoms blooming, the smell of Spring in the air…every person I walked past was on their damn phone (including me at one point). We didn’t make eye contact.
Jay’s brave. He told me about a time when he saw an interesting book in someone’s backpack while he was in a coffee shop. He walked right up to the woman, asked her about what she thought about the book and proceeded to have a two-hour long conversation. That’s communication!
It can be scary, talking to people you don’t know. I know I often like to be on my own. But, if someone interests you why not talk to them? The worst that can happen is that you awkwardly smile at each other and get on with your lives. Eventually, you could stop being uncomfortable about it.
Try Einstein Mornings
Sometimes, Jay wakes up at 5 a.m. to brainstorm his goals. It’s kind of like vision boarding and journaling mixed together. He gets a posterboard, magazines, and starts putting what he wants his life to be like together.
I can absolutely vouch for journaling. While I don’t get up at 5 a.m. (I sleep in a whole hour past that!), I do journal almost every morning. Use whatever creative outlet attracts you. Your mind is fresh first thing in the morning. If you have kids, I know it can be tough to find a few minutes to yourself, but see where you could fit it in. Prioritize this time. This is your time to think things through. Where do you want to be and how will you get there?
Keep everything, whether it’s your journal or your vision board, and check in every month or two to see where you’re at. The power of visualization is real—just ask anyone who meditates regularly.
Leave people feeling better than when you found them
You can do this on a small scale, a smile for example. You can do this on a large scale, by connecting people with mentors or helping to fund their Kickstarter project. Jay makes a point of meeting new people regularly and keeps a mental database which helps him connect people to what they need. As Jay says, you never know who can connect you to your dream job and be the next open doorway to finding something you’re passionate about—and vice versa.
How can you be of service to other people? What do you have to offer? It helps to know your strengths, but it also helps to ask questions and listen to people. What makes them tick? What are they looking for? In this way, we can all help each other, and often it doesn’t require a lot of effort.
Sure, you may have to work for financial reasons or otherwise until you’re 65, but what can you start to do now to achieve what you perceive as the ultimate retirement life? For Jay, it was 3-day work weeks and 1-on-1 dance lessons. It’s taken him time to get there, but if he never took the time to figure it out, he’d still be where he was before he became much happier.
What would you do if money was abundant?
Who would you help if you had unlimited access to resources?
I used to be very skeptical of this stuff, and still am a bit. But, it really works. I’m living proof, and guests on this podcast are living proof. When you put your mind to something, you can often achieve it. The trick is to figure out what you really want, and then put the milestones that will get you there together.
In 2016, I was pretty unhappy…I was commuting for almost 2 hours a day, I felt unfulfilled at work, I was tired all the time, and I was trying to start a business that I had no clue how to start. And then one day on the way home from work I had the urge to pull my car over and feel how freedom would feel. I put the car seat back a bit, closed my eyes and with every ounce of focus I could muster sensed what freedom would feel like. I didn’t fully understand it then, but I desired autonomy and location independence.
In less than a year, I achieved it. I became so obsessed with it that whenever I had choices to make, I made them in favour of my desired outcome. It wasn’t easy, it was scary, there have been a lot of bumps along the way…but it’s been totally worth it.
I’ll leave you with that, and this video of Jay in action! You can find Jay online at Dance Your Freedom and on Facebook. You can also get in touch with him personally if you want to learn more about how you can achieve the life of your dreams.