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Motivational Stories, Strategies and Insights!

Taking Two Weeks Off

Hey Todayers! Chelsea and I head out this week for South America and Antarctica for our Map to Dreaming BIG event. In less than two weeks we will be the youngest couple in history to speak on all seven continents!

I am going to take these next two weeks off blogging, vlogging and using social media to really be in the moment with Chelsea and enjoy this trip. We plan on taking plenty of photos and videos and as soon as we return I will post/share them with y’all!

About 12 months ago this was an idea and together, with Chelsea and the Map to Dreaming BIG community, we are making it real! Please go after your BIG dreams. Please believe in yourself. Please do the things that you want to do in this lifetime. Your life will change for the better when you realize you are capable of doing BIG things!

The world needs more people to take action on their dreams! I hope y’all have a great few weeks and I look forward to talking with you soon! As always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan

The 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking is…

We have a new 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International!

They just crowned the 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking in Las Vegas and wow…what a contest!

Every year thousands of people across the globe watch live to see who will be crowned the World Champion of Public Speaking.

With a speech titled, the Power of Words,  Mohammed Abdullah Qahtani, took the stage and came out victorious!

More than 30,000+ people from 135 countries competed this year for the 2015 World Championship of Public Speaking and now Toastmasters has a new reigning Champion.

Congratulations Mohammed Abdullah Qahtani! 

From all of your Toastmaster peers and friends, we wish you the best of luck on your new journey as the 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking.

Represent us well, help grow our organization and keep using your voice to make a difference! As always…

Dream BIG,

Ryan

Let the world know about the new 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking! Spread the news by clicking on a social button below!

Adventures of Public Speaking: Morocco

We had a stop in Casablanca, Morocco for our Map to Dreaming BIG tour and we have learned a few things along the way! What has been one thing you have learned this week that others can benefit from?

Join us for 31 Days of Kindness (Year 2)

Hi all our fellow 31 Days of Kindness enthusiasts! It’s that time of year again and we took in all your feedback from last year. We have created 31 Days of Kindness to be stronger, easier to follow and easier to share thanks to you! This year’s improvements include:

  1. The option of daily emails sent to your inbox at 8am PDT to remind you what the act of kindness is for that day (sign up here)
  2. The day of the month coordinates with the day we are on (Example: August 7th will be the 7th act of kindness)
  3. We will use a common hashtag to share and connect with fellow 31 Days of Kindness doers with #31DaysofKindness
  4. We have 4 options this year with “Choose Your Own”
  5. We have created social icons (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Newsletter), and printable materials to help you share online, at home and in the office
Join us this year for 31 Days of Kindness and let’s show the world what happens when 1,000+ people come together each day to spread good around our local communities! Sign up here to receive the emails, click the above links to find the social icons and printable materials and get ready to start 31 Days of Kindness on August 1st this year! Below you will find what each day consists of and how it works! As always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan and Chelsea Avery

How it works: Each day we do one act of kindness listed below and use #31DaysofKindness to share, comment and connect with others who are taking part in the challenge.

Make sure to post photos and share updates because we will collect photos and make a HUGE collage to share with everyone who participates! You can also share this with your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors to get them on board! The more we have join, the more good we do as a group! So share away!

Our goal is to retrain our brain to remember to be kind to others on a daily basis and to show the world we can do BIG things when you join together. So are you ready for the 31 Days of Kindness Challenge? Refer back to this post to see what each day looks like.

You can also download a printable poster here to hang up at your office or home.

Let’s make a difference in the lives of thousands and here… we… go…

DAY 1 (August 1st) – Write one handwritten thank you letter
The hardest part about this act of kindness might be to remember where your stamps are or to drive to the post office to get them. Take time to get a letter written and sent out to someone in your circle of friends, family or community who you can encourage, inspire or thank! 

DAY 2 – Pick up a piece of trash
There is always trash on the ground and we can do something about it! Think what would happen if everyone picked up one piece of trash everyday? Let’s keep our eyes peeled for what piece of trash we can pick up to clean up our streets, sidewalks or neighborhood!

DAY 3 – Buy someone coffee/tea or a drink
Most of us take time out of our day to go and grab a drink of coffee, tea or late night drink. Take the time to buy the person’s coffee behind you. If you don’t drink coffee or tea, pull through a drive though coffee shop pay $3 for the person behind you and drive away! See how good you feel!

DAY 4 – Pass along an article to a friend who could benefit from it
Have you read a great article recently that you know could benefit a close friend, peer or family member? Take time to show you care by sending them an article with an email to say “Hey, saw this and was thinking about you. Thought you would enjoy it.” Please don’t send one of those obnoxious FWDs. Send an article that adds real value to their life. 

DAY 5 – Give a hug to someone who could really use it
We could all use a hug from time to time. Scope out someone you know who could use a hug and give them a good ol’ bear squeeze to say you were thinking of them and hope they are having a great day!

DAY 6 – Pick something up that has fallen down
If you are walking down the street and see one of those fallen sandwich boards or you are in the grocery store and see something that fell off the shelf, find a way to put it back up! This might encourage others to do the same when they see you going out of your way to do something kind for others!

DAY 7 – PICK YOUR OWN
Today is the day we choose any act of kindness we want to do. You can pick up trash, write a letter, donate money or time; anything that classifies an act of kindness to you! Make sure to use the #31DaysofKindness hashtag and post a photo to share on your social media accounts and let us know what you are doing! 

DAY 8 –  (August 8th) Give a book to a friend
Is there a book that has been sitting on your shelf you have not read in a while that could benefit someone else? Maybe you love books and want to send a new copy to a friend. Grab a book off the shelf or online and give it to a friend who could benefit from reading it!

DAY 9 – Apologize to someone you know you should
This one is tough but we never said this challenge would be easy. Let’s be kind today by apologizing to someone we know we have hurt or wronged in the past by either sending them an email, calling them on the phone or telling them in person.

DAY 10 – Buy someone their lunch, breakfast or dinner
This can be planned or it can be spontaneous. Maybe you buy the person’s sandwich behind you in line or you make an extra plate for a co-worker who you know loves your home cooking! 

DAY 11 – Leave a $2 bill on the ground and watch them pick it up
This is one of the best and most interesting acts of kindness we will do. First off, go to your local bank and ask for a $2 (they will love you for taking those off their hands). Then go and place it somewhere a random person will see it and pick it up. You might be surprised by how many people walk by it before one person notices it!

DAY 12 – Lend your skills/services for free (answer questions)
There are several ways you can do this. Use the #question on Twitter or Facebook. Post on your social media that you can help BLANK with BLANK and the first person to reach out gets BLANK minutes of support. Go and volunteer for an hour or put your skills to the test. This one will make you think and question, what value can I add to others and who can use my skills/services? 

DAY 13 – Donate at least one piece of clothing
I will be the first to admit I have WAY too many clothes (yes, even more than my wife Chelsea). There are clothes that I don’t wear anymore and could benefit others. What is in your closet that you can donate to a local shelter or Goodwill and have someone else get benefit from your amazing fashion sense?

DAY 14 – Create a care package for a soldier
I invite you to take time and invite others to join in especially your family or friends to help you with this one. You don’t need to spend a lot of money (you don’t even need to spend money at all). You can write letters, send candy or books and so much more. Here is a good site to use called Any Soldier. If you are outside of the USA, see what your government allows and how you can support your troops. Give thanks to those who provide us with our everyday freedoms. 

DAY 15 – PICK YOUR OWN
Today is the day we choose any act of kindness we want to do. You can pick up trash, write a letter, donate money or time; anything that classifies an act of kindness to you! Make sure to use the #31DaysofKindness hashtag and post a photo to share on your social media accounts and let us know what you are doing! 

DAY 16 – (August 16th) Write a comment on someone’s blog
I have been blogging for a little over four years now and I still get butterflies when people comment on my posts. Take time to comment on one of your favorite up and coming bloggers to let the writer know you are listening and you enjoy their writing (Note: for this act of kindness, you can’t comment on this blog, you have to go and comment on someone else’s!). 

DAY 17 – Send a nice email to a company
We might take the time to send a complaint to a company who did us wrong but how often do we send an email or letter to a company who we appreciate is doing the right thing or treating their customers with respect? Send a nice email thanking that company for what they do, the products they offer and services they provide! 

DAY 18 – Bring snacks to work to share
Oh this is my favorite because my wife is my only co-worker and she is participating in this challenge with us! I hope she bakes something good! Take time to make something homemade or go to the store and grab something for your fellow co-workers. If you are unemployed at the time, go and bring a snack to a friend or a nearby office (shoot, even deliver snacks to the office where you want to work!). 

DAY 19 – Introduce yourself to a stranger
Say hi to someone you walk by. Sit next to someone else at lunch. I bet there might be people at your office you don’t know fully, say hi and introduce yourself.  A hi can go a long way!

DAY 20 – Hold the door for someone
This one is another tricky one because we have to be on the look out all day for this opportunity. Take the time to look around for when someone might need the door opened for them. Smile, maybe give them a high-five and do it as many times as you can! 

DAY 21 – Donate a used book to the library
Your local library could really enjoy some of your old childhood books or best-sellers that you never read anymore. Children, adults and teens can really benefit from those books we don’t use so select some off the shelf, drive by your local library and donate them!

DAY 22 – PICK YOUR OWN
Today is the day we choose any act of kindness we want to do. You can pick up trash, write a letter, donate money or time; anything that classifies an act of kindness to you! Make sure to use the #31DaysofKindness hashtag and post a photo to share on your social media accounts and let us know what you are doing! 

DAY 23 – (August 23rd) Recycle something
It blows my mind how many people still do not recycle! This is one of the easiest ways to give back and be kind to our environment. Take time to recycle and if you don’t have recycling at your office or home, what can you do today to help make that a reality in your area? 

DAY 24 – Support local
Instead of grabbing a bite at Subway or getting a few items at your local Target, stop by a local shop and support your community entrepreneurs by eating at a local restaurant or buying what you need at a local shop

DAY 25 – Leave a 100% tip
This one will make your day! It does not have to be on a $50 meal. It can be on a $2 coffee you buy or $8 lunch you purchase. Leave that 100% tip and talk about doing a HUGE act of kindness. Those waiters will be talking about that for a while and you spread more kindness that way because they in turn go and talk about what just happened to their friends and family! 

DAY 26 – Leave a fun treat for your mail carrier in your mail box
I would recommend nothing that can melt in the southern states this summer but pick something that is fun, sweet and says thank you! You can even write a note letting them know how much you appreciate always delivering your mail. 

DAY 27 – Compliment a stranger
Walk by and complement a stranger on what they are wearing, their hair or smile. Bonus points if you give them a high-five when you walk by!

DAY 28 – Donate at least $5 to an organization you have never donated to
Research a cause you believe in and donate five dollars to their mission. It might not sound like a lot but those little donations add up for organizations and can be a big benefit if a lot of people do this. When 100+ of us do this, we will have given more than $500 collectively today to good causes around the world! 

DAY 29 – Give thanks to one community servant you don’t personally know
Is there a firefighter, police office, civic servant or someone in your community who is adding value to your community that you need to thank? Go to their office, write them a letter or give them a call to say thank you for all they do to make our community safe!

DAY 30 – PICK YOUR OWN
Today is the day we choose any act of kindness we want to do. You can pick up trash, write a letter, donate money or time; anything that classifies an act of kindness to you! Make sure to use the #31DaysofKindness hashtag and post a photo to share on your social media accounts and let us know what you are doing! 

DAY 31 – (August 31st) PICK YOUR FAVORITE TO DO AGAIN
What has been your favorite act of kinds so far? Repeat that one today and go BIG! How can you make this one BIGGER and BETTER than the last time you did it? Make sure to use the #31DaysofKindness hashtag and post a photo to share on your social media accounts and let us know what you are doing! 

When we do all of this, imagine what we will have accomplished together as a team! Let’s spread the word!

What’s The Definition of a Leader?

Definition of Leadership

Here is my definition of a leader:

Leader: Someone whose actions, inspire others to take action. 

You don’t need a title, money or power to be a leader. When you do something, say something or share something that gets someone else to take action, in my book you are a leader!

The world needs more leaders now than ever. Take time this week to take action on something you have been wanting to do and see who you inspire, motivate and lead!

What is your definition? Share, like or comment to get the conversation started! As always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan

Why Leaders Should Be Adventure Seekers

I recently had the opportunity to go scuba diving at Ocean Park in Hong Kong. When you visit, I highly recommend you go and be prepared to spend the entire day there because it has a lot to offer!

I was giving a couple speeches in Hong Kong and instead of hopping from hotel to hotel I thought I would be adventurous in-between speeches.

You are 2 feet away from hammer head sharks and hundreds of other fish!

You are 2 feet away from hammer head sharks and hundreds of other fish!

I knew Ocean Park was one of the top rated tourist attractions in the world, so I reached out to the theme park’s PR department to ask if I could scuba dive with the hammerhead sharks, manta rays and more than 5,000 other fish they have in their 2.5 million gallon grand aquarium.

A week later, they said yes and granted me access to a behind-the-scene tour of how the aquarium works and an up close and personal experience with the animals.

Just in case you want to know what a manta ray eats.

Just in case you want to know what a manta ray eats.

Wherever I go, I enjoy doing adventurous things (skydiving, white water rafting or rock climbing) for a variety of reasons. When we as leaders and speakers become adventure seekers it allows us to:

Meet New People: As leaders, the more people we know, the more people we can help. Being a good leader means you are good at building relationships. I think if more people traveled, the world would be a better place because you learn that your way is not the right way or the only way, rather it is the way that works for you. As leaders we need to meet more people so we can make better decisions, expand our thinking and continue to learn.

Create New Stories: There are people who think that your life is what it is and you can’t do much to change it; you have to play the cards that you are dealt. Well I say, if you don’t like your cards, play a different card game. A card game that allows you to have the winning hand! We can create our own stories, we don’t have to wait for them to come to us! What story have you been waiting to create? Go out there and make it happen!

Enjoy New Experiences: Sometimes we get stuck in routine. That is where boredom can sink in. We as leaders need to be trying, exploring and having new experiences on a regular basis to keep our minds fresh, our perspective open and to see all the world has to offer outside of our own little bubble. What is one experience you can create for yourself this week that will let you grow as a leader?

My friends at D89 joined us on the adventure and they were so amazing. They showed Chelsea and I around the entire city after we got done. They hosted one of our events, took us to a party and were so gracious to host us while we were in Hong Kong (Thank you Derek)! All of D89 is amazing and I learned a lot from them.

So the next time you are feeling less than motivated or you feel like you are searching for something to do in life, instead of drowning in self doubt, build up the courage to ask, do and try! Who knows where it will take you?

Thank you to the team at Ocean Park for the awesome experience and to Donna for making it happen! I can’t wait to come back and visit and to see what my next adventure will be.

Remember it’s the dreamers who take action that change our world. Take advantage of today, plan for tomorrow and always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan