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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Being Scared vs Living in Fear

Greetings everyone!

I hope this blog finds you doing well and pondering "what could you do if you knew you could not fail;" the question posed on the 1 Year 1000 Challenge page today.

I am writing today to share with you all some exciting news that I think fits in quite well with the "what could you do if you knew you could not fail" question.

First a quick update:

Many of you have asked me if I would ever consider selling some of my photos.  Well I have listened to all your requests and finally have some of them up for sell.  You can get them as photos, mouse pads, and calendars.  If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.  To view the photos please click here:  Jesse Brisendine Photography

Before I get to my news I want to distinguish the difference between being scared and living in fear.

There are dozens upon dozens of emotions we human beings feel.  Happy to Angry, Scared to Excited, Hopeful to Insecure, and the list goes on and on.  Perhaps no emotion is more powerful and weighs more heavily on the human experience than Fear.

Often times Fear and being Scared get confused as being one of in the same.  If I am scared I must be fearful right?  Well not necessarily.

Let me give you an example:  A couple of years ago a good friend of mine hid in my closet and jumped out at me and yelled really loud when I opened the closet.  Her action scared the you know what out of me.  But, I was only scared in the moment.  I did not develop a fear of opening the closet because someone would jump out at me.

Being scared happens, it is an experience and then it is gone.  Fear is something that is learned and something that becomes a part of who we are, if we allow it.  Being scared affects you in the moment.  Fear affects you long after the moment has passed and will continue to affect subsequent moments if it is never addressed and conquered.

I feel that for the most part I am pretty fearless.  There are still a few out there I need to conquer, but all and all I live pretty fear free.  I do however get scared from time to time.

Which leads me to my exciting news.  I have been presented with the opportunity to travel with a few clients for several months in Europe.  They will be working in Europe and I have been invited to go and work as a trainer with them as well as any others who may want to utilize my services.

I was super excited, what an amazing opportunity this is, right?  And then I got a little scared.

I have traveled a lot, but I have never really been away from home for a long period of time.  I love my life here in Santa Barbara.  There is so much I will miss: the people, the beach, the weather, my view, the sun, my tan, the mountains; I could really go on forever.  As much as I love to travel I love it equally as much to come home to Santa Barbara.

What would life be like without Santa Barbara?

Then there are my clients.  My coaching business is remote, I can do that anywhere in the world, but I still have many clients here in town, including many personal training clients who, - gosh I have been with them for years.  The majority of my adult life has been spent with them, what will life be like without seeing them on a day to day basis?  Will they be ok without me?  Will I be ok with out them?


A couple of times I got myself worked up into such a tizzy I almost had myself convinced not to go. Despite the abundance of opportunity that will come with this adventure, I was contemplating letting that which I was scared of, the unknown, keep me from pursuing the opportunity in front of me.

I was, and still am a little, scared of the unknown - my life away from Santa Barbara.  Here is what is important: if I had made that decision to stay based on the above, then that would have become the moment in life where a change occurs from being scared to living in fear.  I do not want to live my life in fear.  AND if I examine the handy reference guide that I call my past, I know that every time I have ventured into the unknown I have always come out better off than before.

Europe here I come!  Its ok to be scared, but remember to always live fearlessly!

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


P.S. Remember to check out my photography:  Jesse Brisendine Photography

Monday, July 2, 2012


Happy Monday Everyone!

I have been spending a lot of time as of late mulling over the concept of leadership.  What does it mean to me, what does it stand for in a global sense, and how is it being represented by "leaders" around the world.

I cannot pinpoint one exact reason as to why leadership has been on my mind so much as of late.  The thoughts surrounding it have become so many that it definitely warrants this blog as well as a video I plan on posting on Wednesday. 

Before I tackle the leadership subject, a few announcements:

Onto leadership....

A leader is one who: guides or directs a group.  Some examples are: a CEO of a company, a General in the military, a Political head of state and a guy who creates a challenge to do 1000 things he has never done before.

Maybe it is just me, but as of late, I feel that the motivation in the 1000 Challenge Community  isn't what it once was.  The 1000 Challenge Community is growing at a rapid rate, but the rate of involvement, or people taking action is rapidly declining.

Last year, when global events like "Trash Clean Up Day," Ustream Chats, and "Sunrise/Sunset Day," were held we had a much larger participation with a far smaller community than we have had this year. 

I have been asking myself, Why?  I don't understand, I provide motivating material, I encourage, I give, I support, I happily play the role of cheerleader, what am I missing?

As first I made up a bunch of excuses for all 8,000+ members of the 1000 Challenge Community.  Excuses about how life is to busy, it is low priority, etc...   A good possibility, right?  I don't really believe that though.

Then I made up excuses about how new members may perceive me, "Perhaps they just see me as an "IN" to get into the good graces of certain friends that I have that just happen to be famous.  And so they will "humor" me in hopes that I make a connection or two for them?"  It is definitely a possibility, right?  But deep down, I do not think that is the sole motivation for the majority of our community members.  A small few maybe, but the majority of the 1000 Challenge Community, I don't believe so.

So what is it then? 

This is where many of my thoughts on leadership, I believe, are originating from. 

A leader is someone who guides or directs a group.  And what better way to guide or direct a group then by example... BINGO JESSE!! 

I am the creator of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge and last year I lead you all by my example.  Each and everyday you had pictures, blogs, videos, etc... chronicling not just me and my pursuit of doing 1000 things I had never done before; you had more than that.  You were introduced to me and got to follow my journey on how to Carpe Diem... to Seize each and every day and make the absolute most of it.

Along that journey you got to see and experience the world through my eyes.  You got to experience the highs and the lows of life with  me.  I was very candid in sharing the times I struggled as well as the times I triumphed.

This year - that has been lacking.  I have taken the substance out of the experience of what it means to be a member of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge Community.  Sure I have provided lots of delicious appetizers in the form of motivating quotes, videos, and pretty pictures, but have consistently forgot to serve the main course: the real, true to life, human component of it that we can all relate to.  This has been a major lapse in leadership on my part and for that I deeply apologize.

After all, how am I, as a leader supposed to expect you all to jump up and Carpe Diem, if I am not providing an example to follow?  One of my all time favorite expressions is: "You can give a man to fish and it will feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he will be able to feed himself for life." 

Last year my goal as a leader was to turn all of those who were willing, into master fisher-persons.  This year I have not been doing my best as a leader.  I realize that I have removed some of the tools that are necessary to be able to fish.  How are you supposed to fish if the leader is not teaching you how to cast your line into the water?

You, me, and everyone else,, will never be as great as their full potential if they do not know how to fish.  We will forever spend our lives at "average," if we merely sit around and wait for someone to give us a fish.  Greatness is sought out and created, it is not given. 

I have allowed myself to get so caught up in some of the various aspects of my life, that I have gotten away from the core of what got you all to look to me as a leader.  Shoot, I have a goal to take 20,000 + photos this year and I am not even half way to that number!

The first half of the year I have:
  • worked tirelessly to expand my business, 
  • allowed myself to be consistently bummed out over ongoing injuries and daily physical pain,
  • overly analyzed and overly rationalized various relationships rather than just dealing with the core issues and move forward.
I am, however, very proud of the above.  I don't want to mislead you about that.  I have expanded  my business in such a way where I now have the opportunity to help more and more people which is what I have always wanted to do.

While the injuries have been beyond shitty, I have also gained a sensitivity I did not have before to people who are injured.  In addition I have also learned to appreciate what a privilege a life without physical pain is.

I have more clarity than ever with the various relationships.

All positives, but all are things that did not require me to sacrifice what made me an effective leader.  However, again I am grateful for it has given me an awareness about leadership I did not have before.  That awareness has been two fold, one the above actions, and two, the following qualities of leadership that I have become much, much more aware of.

One of the most important qualities of a good leader is consistency.  Imagine how much kids in school would struggle if their teachers, their leaders, consistently told them 2+2 = 4, and then one day decided to start telling them 2+2 = 5.

Another important quality of leadership is honesty:  How many of you are frustrated with appointed political leaders and their "fudging of the truth."  I know I AM!  Last year I honestly shared with you my journey, this year I have not.  I did not want the journey to take away from your own potential to Carpe Diem.  I now realize the error in my ways - that the journey provides an important spark.  Without the spark there can be no fire and without a fire there can be no burning desire to Carpe Diem.

And finally, I will leave you this: one of the most important qualities of a good leader is the example he/she sets.  We all have a good giggle at some of the comments that come up when I post a topless picture of myself, but think about this:  Would you respect me as much as a Personal Trainer, as a leader of Fitness if I did not live the example of being fit?  Would you respect me as much as a Life Coach, as a leader of Carpe Diem-ing, of living life, if I did not go out and embrace the experience of life and all the ups and downs that come with it?

We all have the potential inside of us to be a great leader.  Leadership is not limited to CEO's, political heads of state, or a guy who challenged himself to do 1000 things he had never done before in 2011.  Leadership is an attribute that exists within each and everyone of YOU.  Whether it is leading as a parent, a teacher, a community member, a best friend, or a lover, each area provides an opportunity to lead.

I cannot speak for You, only for myself, when I say that I want to be best leader I can be. 

I pledge to all of you to do a much better job this day forward as a leader than I have done so far this year. :)

And remember what I said earlier: "Greatness is sought out and created, it is not given."

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,