Here in south Louisiana we're coming off of a huge cultural high--Mardi Gras. Whether you're religious or not, everyone gets involved in this celebration in some way, from eating king cake to attending the Super Krewe parades of New Orleans, enjoying live music or even running in a Courir de Mardi Gras in Cajun Country.
The day AFTER Mardi Gras is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. This is traditionally a day when the all excess stops and we reflect/cut back/give up something for 40 days to remind us where we came from/where we'll all return one day (dust).
This year I'm going nontraditional, and I invite you to join me. For the next 40 days, I'm giving up ARGUING FOR MY LIMITATIONS.
I do it.
You do it.
We all do it.
And as a result, we don’t live up to our full potential.
If the cigar box below had argued for its limitations, it never could have:
What is arguing for YOUR limitations costing YOU?
I challenge you to challenge yourself for the next 40 days. Every time you notice yourself arguing for your LIMITATIONS, pause and reframe your thoughts to start arguing for POSSIBILITIES, no matter how small.
After 40 days, let's see where we end up!
“Don’t be the best in the world. Be the best for the world.” - Dewitt Jones
This quote has been circulating around social media for the past few weeks.
It rang particularly true for me today as I sang for the funeral of a man who—from the small glimpse into his life I gathered through the eulogy and homily—took this concept to heart.
He didn’t set out to “be the best” at everything he did, though he achieved many things in his lifetime.
Instead, he approached life with joy and curiosity. He went out of his way to help others, and he cared not just ABOUT but FOR his community of family and friends in his own special, actionable way.
The love they felt for him was palpable.
THAT is a true achievement—the mark of a life well-lived.
In the end, what truly matters is not our career highlights, or the challenges we’ve overcome, or our personal claims to fame.
But did we show up every day—even when we’re in the weeds—and work toward being our best self FOR the world.
It’s not an easy task, AND it’s so worth striving for.
As I get myself ready en français today to sing in a few hours for the LSU Friends of French Annual Gala, the topic of "asking for help" is top of mind. This concept is so simple, important, and yet tricky for many people, including me.
I used to view asking for help or making requests of others as a bad/scary thing. I thought it showed weakness or would make people feel burdened. Not to mention how much I dreaded the possibility of the worst response of all: "No!" :)
But over the years, and thanks to conversations with many people much wiser than myself, I eventually came to realize that making requests of others doesn't have to be negative. It can actually be an EMPOWERING action because it REVEALS what you need and GIVES others a chance to participate (sometimes in a small way, sometimes in a big way) in your world/journey/mission. It is an INVITATION to contribute their knowledge, gifts or talents as well. You'll still likely hear plenty of "no's" along the way, and even those can be turned into gifts of knowledge, power and/or inspiration if you look for them.
Considering this, I have an important question/request for you today:
Where would you like to hear me play in 2023?
Discovering Louisiana from a musician's perspective over the last few months has been a lot of fun, AND there are a lot of places/events/opportunities that I still don't know about or haven't connected with yet!
Many of my favorite gigs and performances over the years have come from word of mouth or an introduction from a friend of a friend, so please let me know who I could be reaching out to, OR let them know about me.
AshleyOrlando.com is one easy way to share my story and music.
I look forward to your suggestions and truly appreciate your encouragement/support!
Ashley Orlando is a jazz vocalist/ukulele artist and coach who helps growth-focused leaders find their voice, grow their presence & amplify their impact.