Welcome to another instalment of our
“Living with Passion Interview Series”.
I know you like to be inspired as much as I do, so I’m bringing you some great people, and together we’re going to get to know why they do what they do, what ‘Living with Passion’ means to them, and hopefully take away some great insights.
Today’s guest is Vanessa Roman: Real Estate Agent, TV Personality, Radio Show Host, Newspaper Columnist. These are just a few of the things she does on top of being a wife, mother of 3 and having one of the fullest social calendars I’ve seen. All the while being so down to Earth you’d never know she wears all of these hats. She’s one of the most productive people I know, yet I’ve never heard her claim to be ‘busy’!
How does she do it? By being passionate about EVERYTHING she does.
“Once you decide to be that amazing person with the extraordinary life – the universe is just going to get out of your way.” ~Vanessa Roman
And that’s exactly what she has done. Decided to live an extraordinary life. In her own way, on her own terms. So when I asked her if she would like to participate in my Living With Passion Interview Series, she was more than happy to oblige.
For those of you following this Series, you’ll notice that there is a simple format: 10 key questions, with the last one designed to allow our guest to write freely at the end of the interview.
Well, Vanessa didn’t disappoint. She wrote freely. She answered the questions in her own way, on her own terms: so you won’t find a bulleted list here, and you won’t find a numbered list of neatly answered questions. What you will find is an incredibly inspiring narrative, ‘her story’, with the interview questions in mind.
So get ready to be inspired. When you get to the end I know you will want to jump head first into your Best Life…with Passion!
Introducing Vanessa Roman:
Take it away Vanessa!
“Imagine being truly happy, feeling completely fulfilled, of having your health and as much love as your heart could hold, being hugely successful in whatever way means the most to you, and of experiencing toe-curling pleasure daily. Imagine never feeling stuck or stagnant, rather constantly flowing and in sync, being invigorated by the joy of others, instead of cynical, being able to share quiet stillness often, of being able to appreciate beauty, without having to own it or change it. Imagine having all of this and more, without guilt or regret. This is living life with passion.
The first step to finding passion is to stop living on autopilot.
I graduated from university with a ton of energy, my head bursting with grand plans for my future. The great big world invigorated me with seemingly endless opportunity, countless adventures, with so many people to meet and places to see. As I stood at the cross roads of life, with paths of opportunity stretching ahead of me in every direction, my imagination running wild, I couldn’t decide which adventure to take first; they all looked so incredibly amazing! I wanted to make the right decision, and while I contemplated my options, the reality of life after university, student loans and rent payments, quietly snuck up on me.
To pay the bills, I chose the just-for-now road, got a just-for-now job, and started living a just-for-now life. All the while thinking this path was nothing but a slight detour on the road to my real life, the one waiting patiently for me just around the corner.
But the daily grind was deceptively seductive.
Before I knew it, my detour became a few years. And then a few years became a few more. My prosaic routine, a security blanket of sorts, was dull and boring, yet comfortably predictable. I had a decent job, lived in a decent house, drove a decent car, had decent friends living their own, just-for-now, lives.
I was living on autopilot, slowly smothering under my ‘security’ blanket. The thrill I felt when leaving university, the anticipation of living life to its fullest, ebbed on the just-for-now road, and my thirst for adventure was drying up. It seemed all the color, which used to be so vibrant in my world, leached away leaving only shades of grey.
One Sunday afternoon…
Alone in the house on a rainy Sunday afternoon, my catalyst for change came from an unlikely source: Ferris Bueller.
For those of you not familiar with Ferris Bueller, he’s a charming manipulator, albeit fictional character, from a 1980’s film. Completely devoted to his own enjoyments, Ferris convinces his girlfriend Sloane and best friend Cameron to play hooky from school one day and the trio undertake a series of whirlwind adventures around town. It’s pretty much the best day ever.
A line Ferris says in the film resonated with me: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
By the time the credits rolled, I was deeply in thought, and challenged myself to remember the last time I’d had the best day ever. I drew a blank.
That can’t be right. Surely in all my years of life thus far, at some point I’d had a day as awesome as Ferris’, I just needed to think about it a little harder.
I spent the next two hours analysing the days and years I’d lived thus far, vainly searching for those memories of glorious spontaneity, of being with friends in perfect harmony, of being excited to jump out of bed in the morning instead of hitting the snooze button.
I had nothing.
The days I remembered were filled mostly with endless, monotonous, boring, predictable, autopilot. I was putting myself to sleep even thinking about it.
Then lightening struck, followed by a thunderbolt of clarity and before I knew it, an epiphany:
My real life was not waiting for me around the corner, this just-for-now road I chose WAS my real life and I was wasting it!
Suddenly, time seemed more important than ever because I realized how much of it I’d already wasted plodding along and it scared the bejesus out of me! With a little more time for true introspection, I found my raison d’etre, and with it a sense of urgency to catch up on all the experiences I’d missed. I made a conscious choice to leave the boring, dull greyness of the just-for-now road behind me.
It really was just that simple: I chose to take a new direction, put one foot in front of the other, walked down that road and opened myself up to the opportunities which presented themselves.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
– Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go!
Fast forward a few years: I’d gotten married, bought a new house, had children, and started a new career in real estate which, with a lot of hard work and determination, became hugely successful. I’d always liked to write, one of my degrees from university is in journalism, so I started writing articles about buying and selling real estate for my website. These articles turned into a weekly column called Property Perspective, published in newspapers and magazines across North America. This lead to more media opportunities, such as creating a weekly radio show about local real estate issues and hosting a TV show called Reno vs Relocate for HGTV, which airs on networks around the world.
My life today is a place where living on autopilot doesn’t exist. Instead, I feed my soul with vivid experiences, live life with passion and an open mind. I see opportunity everywhere and I make everything possible. My life is a place where testing the water with both feet is not something to fear, because I can swim. Leaping off the edge of my comfort zone is expected because I trust myself to figure it out, to adapt, to learn how to fly, on the fly. I daydream with purpose and realize that purpose through action, hard work and commitment. This mindset has become like breathing for me, ingrained in everything I do, every decision I make.
Your Life, Your Choice
How many of you know people who moan and groan all the time? They might moan and groan about their kids, their spouse, their job or lack thereof. They make excuses about why they can’t do something. They convince themselves that their goal, their dream, their task is impossible. There is no way they could make that happen. And guess what: they’re right.
There are people who just suck the life right out you. You know the type of people – the Debbie Downers of the world. Those who always have just one more negative thing to say. At first when you meet Debbie Downer — you try to help her. We are good people. When we see someone who is struggling, it’s natural to want to help. You might offer her a few solutions to these insurmountable problems she seems to be facing. “Have you tried this Debbie, or that Debbie…”
But Debbie Downer always has a reason why that solution won’t work. Why this problem is more complex. Why she is just the unluckiest person on the face of the planet. Talking to Debbie Downer can leave you feeling completely depleted and eventually, there comes a point when you see Debbie Downer walking down the street and you quickly turn around and walk the other way, right?
Conversely, there are those people you just love being around. Those people who always seem to have a smile on their face. A kind thing to say. A funny story. A positive outlook on a situation. Those people give us happy, healthy, powerful energy. They make us feel good. They give us ideas and re-charge our batteries. We see Suzy Sunshine walking down the street and we can’t wait to spend 5 minutes chatting with her because she makes us feel good.
What do YOU want?
Your thoughts, your feelings, your choices, they’re all physical things. You manifest them – the moment you think you can’t do something, you have made it happen. The moment you make an excuse for why you are not living the life you want to – you make it happen.
When I started this journey, it was for myself, to actualize change within my own life. I didn’t do it for anybody else, or ask anyone else to change their lives, it was just about me. Imagine my surprise when I realized how contagious living with passion would be! Talking about life’s individual purpose and meaning, showcasing creativity, feeling and showing respect, joy, wonder, all of this infects others with an enthusiastic curiosity to discover their own passions.
And what’s better than inspiring others to feel more, achieve more, love more, be more? If we all did this, shared our unique passions and perspectives, stimulated our senses, appreciated differences, challenged our perceptions by looking at life from different angles, we would infect our families, our cities, our planet with a passion for life. Imagine where all of this combined positivity would lead us.
You will attract what you put out
So if you choose to be negative and make excuses and do nothing with your life – you will attract those types of people. Choose to be better than that. Make a choice to be who you want to be and JUST DO IT. Be that amazing person people look up to, are motivated by, seek out on the street to say hello.
Each and every one of you reading this right now has that power within yourself. You are great. You are interesting. You are talented and you are unforgettable. The difference between being ordinary and being extraordinary in your own life is the lack of excuses. Once you decide to be that amazing person with the extraordinary life – the universe is just going to get out of your way. It will just flow around you because you, your power will be insurmountable.
Before you finish reading this, I want you to promise me something. Promise me that today you will choose not to make any more excuses. Promise me you will not wait for your real life begin at some point in the future. Promise me you will choose your destination, create your map, and achieve your dreams.
Life really is moving pretty fast, and if you don’t stop and look around, you might miss an opportunity to live life to the fullest. Carpe diem.”
WOW! Thank you Vanessa for this incredible inspiration! I have to say that what you wrote is the epitome of what Going 4Ward is all about. And what’s even more interesting is that you didn’t feel the need to stay in the constrains of the interview format. It just goes to show that one size doesn’t always fit all!
Well everyone, I hope this ‘interview’ inspired you, cause I know it inspired me! If you want to learn more about Vanessa, hire her for a speaking engagement, or if you are in the Greater Victoria area and looking for amazing Real Estate Agent, you can reach her at www.VanessaRoman.com.
And if you want even more inspiration, sign up below and check out our GET INSPIRED RESOURCE LIBRARY, where you’ll find inspiring videos, printables and links to some of my own favorite mentors. You’ll be the first to hear when the next interview in this series is published.
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Till Next Time,
Keep Going 4Ward!
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