Reading about another person who follows his or her heart's true path can be inspiring, encouraging and informational. Meet Rob Smolund, a business advisor who tries to help people achieve their dreams and aspirations. Photos courtesy Rob Smolund.
What activities make your heart happy and your life full of meaning and purpose?
How did you discover your heart's true path? How do you continue to discern what is true to your heart?
First I discovered that pure exercise makes my heart happy, whatever form that’s in. Then, 30 years ago, I ventured on a cross-continent bicycle trip that really confirmed that this mode of travelling made me feel the best. I think it's due to the lightness of being and lightness of traveling as well as the ultimate freedom to go wherever I wanted to go, wherever my heart would lead me.
What rituals do you practice (e.g., meditation, journaling) that help you listen to and honor your heart?
I try to do a little bit of yoga. If I really need help in centering, I do just a simple sun salutation I think it helps me get my "chi" going.
Think about a time when you got off track. What did you do that helped you return to your heart's true path?
It all goes back to physical activity. When I find that I'm not firing on all cylinders, I have to be quiet … but I get that quietness when I'm participating in a physical activity, whether it's biking, playing basketball, lifting weights, just brisk walking, whatever it is.
Are there tools (e.g., vision boards, to-do lists, mind maps) that help you stay on track?
Definitely to-do lists. I have to have to-do lists when I want to get something accomplished.
My Outlook calendar is just covered with stuff: either "to-do" or "what I've done," so I can go back and look at my activity.
I set aside time at least 3x a week to exercise whether it is playing basketball or stationary cycling in the winter. Exercise used to be just a given when I was younger and I would commute by bicycle all year round, but now I have to make time for exercise. I’ve also made a commitment with my good friend Ira Rabinowitz to bicycle somewhere every year for a week at a time: 2011 was the coast of California, 2012 we rode from Minneapolis to Madison, WI, and 2013 we will tour the Pacific Northwest.
Tell us about your heart's community: Who are your supporters? How have you found people who believe in you, accept you and cheer you on through your journey?
I get a lot of feedback from my friends when I’m here [in Minneapolis] now and also from my friends long ago. I’ve lived in many different places, but I’ve maintained close friendships with a few key people who remind me of who I am, where I’ve been, and that centers me when I’m in contact with them. But I also stay in contact with my work, because in my work I deal with individual entrepreneurs, and getting feedback lets me know I’m on the right track.
What is a book, song, artist or quote that inspires you?
One major artist has inspired me for probably about 40 years now: John Lennon. I was an at-home dad for a year, and following his career and the words in the music made it okay for me to make that decision. (He was home with his son Sean when he was first born.) His authenticity, his honesty, political involvement, everything has inspired me for many, many years. To be honest with you, he was the first person who I actually cried for; I’d never cried for anybody who had died before. I think [if there’s one album in particular that has inspired me] it’s the Plastic Ono Band, his first album, that had "Mother," "God" and "Isolation." "Oh Yoko" (Imagine album) was another song that I was inspired by because it captures his love for Yoko. And I kind of modeled my marriage to that; I wanted to find someone who I really loved, like that. And, of course, I'm always inspired by the famous song, "Imagine." But there are some deeper cuts on that first album; "Working Class Hero" [for example] really gets to society issues, personal issues and does it in a very direct way.
Connect with Rob here: Open to Business
If you’re seeking your heart’s true path, join me for the 3-week in-person Heart's Path Discovery Sessions that begin February 16. Heart’s Path Discovery Sessions offer a set of guideposts for discovering and living your heart's true path, a strategy for finding what activities you love and then living with intention and with a greater sense of meaning.
Click here to learn more and for registration information. I hope you’ll join us!