What Would You Do With the Freedom to Choose?


First off, I hope you had a nice Independence Day (for all my American readers). With this holiday in mind, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the idea of “choice” lately. One of the hardest things we have to navigate throughout our lives is the freedom of choice – in every area.

We have the freedom to choose:

  • Where we work 
  • What we work on in our lives
  • The relationships we form with our partners, friends, and coworkers
  • How we spend our money and time
  • To pursue continuing education through books, media, courses, and so on
  • When to exercise, what to eat, and how to take care of ourselves

I’ve been thinking about this concept on a global scale, and exploring it further by reading several different books. I want to preface this by acknowledging that many people are born into a system perpetuated with unfair opportunities from the start, due to predetermined conditions that often dictate their life from the start. 

Speaking to the recent reckoning around racial injustice, Mitch Joel describes this scenario as how “some people are born at the plate with 2 strikes, and others are born on third base.”

For those of us born on second or third base, it’s so much easier to make it around the bases to home plate (where true freedom is). So, how come many people never do? 

Personally, I’ve found that understanding true freedom of choice takes a lot of work. I’ve had to take a hard look in the mirror and start defining what I want for myself, forming my own beliefs as an adult, then making a plan and figuring out how to reach it.  

Freedom of choice doesn’t just mean blindly abiding by societal structures and living within pre-set conditions. Following the status quo means making choices with predetermined outcomes. Those paths have already been laid out, and even though it might feel safer and easier, we have so much more to gain by finding the courage to carve out our own. 

Making the conscious decision to do things differently, on our own terms, involves significant personal sacrifice.

When we keep the outcomes we want long term in mind, these sacrifices become so much easier to make. Start building the layers and foundations that support your ultimate goals, and you’ll find yourself accomplishing them much sooner than you ever imagined you could.

When the end comes and I look back on my life, I don’t want to have any regrets. I don’t want you to feel like your accomplishments are tarnished by the thoughts of “would, shoulda, coulda, either. That’s why I wrote this article for you about the clear actions and steps you can take to start building your legacy today and answer the tombstone question for yourself. 

Jess Corr: Newsletter 31 Featured Mission

As we solidify our brand around the pathfinding and branding products and services we offer clients, I’ve been dabbling in the education aspect of business. Our spring cohort includes 4 highly ambitious students, and I want to acknowledge one absolute all star: Jess Corr, a rising senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I’ve watched her discover and target pursuits that fit her passions, building confidence along the way. 

Born in Wyoming and raised in Iowa, Brandon embarked on a 2-year international tour with Up With People before finding a home in DC. He immediately landed a job in sales, then transitioned to real estate, co-founding the Keller Williams Capital Properties in 2006. In just over a decade, Brandon and his partners have built out a regional network of 8 offices and $2 billion in annual revenue.

Growth: Newsletter 31

I’m going to let you in on one of my most important learnings: every growing organization needs a ghostwriter. No one can tell your story the way you do, but professional writers have a rare skill set that most business leaders lack: an inherent knack for style, precision, nuance, tone, plus years of honing their craft. Finding a talented ghostwriter that’s a true “voice match” for your brand is invaluable.

Entrusting your narrative to a more skilled or experienced writer might feel scary at first, but your business or personal brand has so much to gain: time, productivity, efficiency, flexibility, and ultimately better assets and communications. Read this article to learn why we use ghostwriters to add value both internally and for our clients. 

Podcast Episodes: Newsletter 31

Jeff Gothelf: One Circus Gig Away From A Lifetime of Amazing Opportunities 

Jeff Gothelf is a coach, consultant, and co-author of the pivotal book for digital experts in the know; Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams. As a coveted keynote speaker, Jeff Gothelf is in high demand. He gives impactful speeches to leading companies worldwide, and empowers teams with a spark of inspiration and fresh new perspective.  

Listen to Jeff

Tara Schuster: One Drunk Dial Away From Taking Herself Seriously

Author, playwright, and accomplished entertainment executive Tara Schuster is the vice president of talent and development at Comedy Central. Even though her job is making people laugh, her life has never been all levity and jokes. This episode tackles some of the most serious topics we’ve encountered so far on the show.

Resources: Newsletter 31

Ben Bradbury on Why Kids Can Make You Better Communicators 

As adults, there are so many obstacles we face in our daily communications. Many of these make it harder to just say what we want to, directly. Tact, tone, sensitivity, and context are all valuable aspects of communication, but it’s easy to get hamstrung by all the unspoken rules of etiquette we silently follow. Ben Bradbury highlights what we can learn from the blunt way kids communicate- learn how to use it to your advantage here!  

Prioritize Your Health & Fitness at Home with the Alo Moves App: 

Many of us are struggling with fitness during Corona, myself included. I’ve tweaked my workout routine and shifted my wellness practices by implementing meditation and yoga. This app does a really nice job helping you get your feet wet.

Unpacking the 3 Psychological Responses of CEOs to COVID-19

Check out this recent article by by Todd Herman highlighting the findings of a fascinating recent study on how CEOs are responding to the pandemic. Read to find out which of the 3 main response type categories apply to you:


The writer also published a book I recommend highly- The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life; “There’s only one person in the way of you untapping your capabilities: You. There’s also one person who can move you out of the way so you can perform at your peak. 

That person is already inside you. You just need to unlock them. This other part of you is your Heroic Self and you unlock it with an Alter Ego.”

Reignite The Spark: Virtual Summit

Are you ever left feeling like something is missing and you can’t quite put your finger on it? Mandy Barbee, Founder of Palladium Mind, Inc. understands that feeling all too well. Reignite The Spark Virtual Summit is a free, 9 day conference that hosts over fifteen individuals, ranging from doctors to thought leaders, and discusses how you can find that “missing” feeling. Our very own, Bryan Wish will be one of those voices.

“I saw that my life was a vast and glowing page, and I could do anything that I wanted.”

Jack Kerouac

You probably read On the Road by Jack Kerouac in high school English class, but you might not know just how much this major American writer marched to the beat of his own drum.

Praised as the father of beat poetry, Kerouac broke every rule in the book to find his own path as he forged an entirely new genre in the flames of innovation and risk. In the face of doubt, or surrounded by people who can’t see past the bottom line, stay true to your vision. All it takes is the courage to stand out.

The Pathfinder
Catherine Kushan

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