Tag Archives: New Leaders Council

Want What You Have

I believe in sucking the marrow out of the bones of life. I believe dreams are meant to be chased with reckless abandon, and that one of the few true sins is settling for less than what we want. Lately though, I’ve been thinking about a quote from my mirror last summer:

"Before you can have more, accept what you have."

“Before you can have more, accept what you have.”

I was doing a lot of introspection, and am again now. Acceptance can be difficult for me because it feels passive. Lately the quote has become more about wanting what I have. I have some amazing things, even if they are not what I expected.

Marshall Mountain, safe skiing, dawn patrol.

Safe conditions were… fleeting. Taking the slow way to the office a few weeks ago.

We don’t have awesome skiing weather right now. Professionally, I’m taking hard knocks and waiting to see the labor pay off. A small romantic failure and a left foot that seems not to heal furrow my brow a little deeper. I could go on, but I won’t.

Skiing Mt Sentinel, Missoula, Montana

Ticking the list. Skiing over “the M” at sunset.

I’m prone to feeling unsatisfied with my life. The problem is common to people that like to maximize their day. For some reason it’s become socially acceptable to overlook the amazing bits of each day.

freestone climbing missoula, rock climbing training, roscoe outdoors

Quiet nights honing the craft.

While I haven’t been outside so much, life is rich. Thanks to Paul, Mel, Tess, and Simon for being awesome training partners. For the New Leaders Council connecting me with my community in ever broader ways. For a landscape that offers unceasing beauty, for passionate friends, and authentic co-workers. For good food, meaningful work, and soulful music.

Untied Way, Susan Hay Patrick, New Leaders Council-Montana

The one and only Susan Hay Patrick with the 2014 New Leaders Council fellows.

For good friends that like to cook.

Montana, spring, friends

Thanksgiving dinner on the first day of spring weather.

I haven’t set many goals for the coming year. I’m wary of asking for too much more. I’ve got a lot of work to do on simply really wanting the amazing life I’ve already got.

“Love it, ’cause this is what we’re doing, so love it.” (Ryan Van Luit)



If you’ve followed the site for a while, you might notice a few changes today- stickthefeeling.wordpress.com is now stickthefeeling.com.  You can expect to see some custom layout changes, some video content, and soon- an updated professional page for friends and small businesses.

Elke lays it out for our group.

Elke lays it out for our group.

Last year, I wrote a lot about New Leaders Council – Montana and the important relationships the group has helped me cultivate in the Western Montana community.  This year, I’m on the board and have been coordinating speakers for the seminar series and setting up mentorship for our fellows to foster some of these awesome relationships for other people.  One of the notes I took during last years seminars was to continue to build the strong personal brand that I started here in 2011.  Part of that is owning this domain, and committing to keeping the content fresh and growing.  No, building my brand does not mean slighting my work at Energetechs- if anything, my work there is only growing deeper, stronger, and more meaningful.  I think having a strong personal brand will only compliment that work.

While facilitating the NLC sessions has certainly absorbed quite a bit of my discretionary time, we’ve had a weekend full of amazing presentations with leaders from the following folks.  A huge thank you to the following people:

Stephanie from The Truman National Security Project
Bryan&Erin from AERO & WVE
Russ & Tynille from Energetechs and Monkey Bar Gym Missoula
Susan from United Way of Missoula
Gen&Josh from Garden City Harvest
Elke from MamaLode

Many people complain about the economic environment in Missoula, but I am continually blown away by the quality of leaders and entrepreneurs that we have met with.  Please check out the awesome things happening at each of the above organizations.

Core Values

This weekend was about core values- what are they?  How does my everyday life reflect them?  Why do they matter?  I was feeling punchy for most of the weekend, and it’s funny how life boils very quickly towards questions of your core values:

Why do you go to work in the morning?  How does your work connect to your core values?  If you can’t tell, then you are in the wrong line of work.

Do you like the girl?  How does she inspire you to live closer to your core values?  If she doesn’t, then don’t waste your time (or your heart).

Should I spend the money on [insert blank]?  How does that purchase support your core values?  It’s surprisingly hard to negotiate with yourself on this one.

Why aren’t you reaching some of your goals?  How committed have you been to the core values that reaching the goal demonstrates?  More commitment = more accomplishment.

Dedicated hard work yields honest worthwhile rewards.

So what are they?  I finished up my series of seminars with the New Leaders Council (NLC) on Saturday and Sunday morning.  We reviewed some of what we had sorted out during our time- and realized that back in January, I had put together a pretty concise list:

Accountability, community, humility, resilience, optimism.
Adventure, teamwork, quality, necessity, fun.

Interestingly enough, when I frame my life and activity with respect to the core values, I’m always pleased to realize that none of these values seem to contradict each other.   My life of late has been feeling very busy, but not necessarily full.  Sorting through the clutter leads towards questions about commitment to core values, and for whatever I’m cutting out- it always feels good to let go of the extraneous.  Appropriately, I enjoyed finding this gem on facebook from my friend Oscar:

Less more, more less.

The Weekend Summary:

I finished work early on Friday, met my friend Jess, and I ended up sending my first project of the season in Kootenai Canyon.  5.10c, all gear, with a delicate yet powerful crux well above your last piece.  As usual, it’s all about letting go of the baggage and getting that feeling to stick.

Identity Crack- tick. It only gets better from here.

As usual, the NLC conference was a very good time- I look forward to continuing to strengthen the many valuable relationships founded through our time together.  Despite a very fulfilling time together, I needed some time outside to finish the weekend right.  Accountability and humility point me at improving my running- and I’ve been working at it for months.  Ultimately though, that means that you have to run with people faster and stronger than you.  I only had one name to call, and I knew it was going to hurt.

Derek and I met at “the M” and traced the “Double Dip” route backwards.  ~13 miles, ~3,000 feet of climbing, and 2hr18min later we were back at the bikes, and I was distinctly not feeling punchy any more.  Derek ran me into the ground like I hadn’t been in a long time- and I think he still had quite a lot of fun doing it.  I’m looking forward to next time my friend.


Last year, a group of people raised a bunch of money for me to benefit from. I didn’t ask them to, or know that I would benefit from their work when they raised the money. They took action because they believed that what they were doing was worthwhile, and that one day I would want to thank them. They were right.

I’ve been attending weekend-long seminars called the New Leaders Council (NLC) since January. I’ve written about these seminars before (here, and here), and this past weekend was again spent inside rather than out, and once again, it was worth it. I came to Missoula with big talk about “community” and “local action,” yet my action was small. Talk << Action.

NLC has been about getting connected, and connecting is the first essential piece of acting in the community. I’ve met local leaders, built business and personal relationships, and gotten to know this community on a level that in some ways is much deeper than my involvement with “community” in Portland. Attending the seminars has made me more aware of social justice issues that haven’t been on my radar, and put me in touch with a compassionate, engaged, and intellectually stimulating people that I probably wouldn’t normally get to know via the adventure circles I usually travel in. I leave each conference feeling more alive, and more aware of what needs doing, and I’ve found that invaluable.

NLC is free if you are selected to participate, and that comes with the responsibility of raising money for next years conferences. It costs ~$500 per person to put on in Missoula. We’re having a fundraising event in Missoula this weekend and it should be a very good time- please stop by the Stensrud Building (314 N. 1st St.) between 6-8pm for live music and refreshments. If you can join me in making a donation so that someone next year has this opportunity, that would be rad (click here and select “Missoula Chapter”). If you can’t (and I understand that you can’t), I’ll ask you to consider what you might do to make yourself more alive and connected to your community.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman)