My family and I are heading out on a 2-week Atlantic Canada road trip. There’s really no reason for us to bring our passports. But. Just in case we decide to sneak through Maine, or we act on my creepy Shining-inspired compulsion to stay a night at the Mount Washington resort in NH, we’ll bring ‘em.

And the moment I realized that we were going to pack them, an old panic set in: what if they’re not up to date?

It was a micro-moment, really, because I realized that my (our) passports are ALWAYS up to date. They live on my “Ready for my Starring Role” list.

No? Not ringing any bells?

Okay. Here’s what I share with my Step into Your Starring Role group.

Over a year ago, my dear friend and co-working partner Jamie Ridler and I were talking about the BIG STUFF. You know, life purpose, legacy and manicures (as one does).

I had just had my nails done and I was telling her how much more enjoyable it was to write (and type) as I watched those varnished digits dance across the keyboard.

Very matter-of-factly, Jamie said “Oh yes, fresh manicures are on my ‘Jamie’s Ready for Anything List’”. Delighted, I leaned in to hear the rest of her list.

And, of course, I started to create my own “Ready for Anything” list.  A seemingly simple, but genius little process with deceptive potholes.

It was a sparse list at first. A valid passport and a made bed, fresh nails (uh huh), a charged iPhone and that emergency $20 tucked in my wallet that my mother impressed upon me at an early age. And that was kind of it.

And then, I got a little more granular. I stopped thinking about being ready for ANYTHING and started getting specific about what I wanted to be ready for. So I renamed it my “Ready for my Starring Role” list.

I would be ready to take Oprah’s call when… I would be ready to say YES to that eleventh hour speaking gig when… I would be ready to partner on that incredible windfall opportunity when…

This is where it started to get tricky. This is where my fall-back into the land of over-preparation began. This is where I started creating barriers.

I’d be ready when I lost 15 pounds. I’d be ready when I had an extra $__K in the bank. I’d be ready when I wrote The Book.

Turns out, I was far from ready. Hello, Impostor Complex.

Now, we can all see where I was blocking what I said I wanted. I’m not suggesting these barriers are the REASON no windfall opportunities fell in our laps, or O’s people haven’t called or, or, or. And yet…and yet...

So, back to the drawing board. This time, I reoriented my “Ready for my Starring Role" List with my Brand of Joy.

My list items became more like embodiments of my values that are in service of my life and less like items on a to-do that only discouraged me.

Today, my list looks more like:

  • A current passport.
  • A signature talk that I can whip out at the drop of a hat (but not memorized…just the highlights committed to memory).
  • A made bed.
  • Well-hydrated lips that can smile even wider.
  • Thank you’s up to date (cards, email, phone calls.)
  • A full tank of gas (literally and figuratively).
  • Something to write on and write with.
  • A charged iPhone.
  • Never missing a chance to tell my family how much I love them before I (or they) leave the house.
  • And of course, nails done.

I invite to make your own list. Your “Ready for Anything” list, or your “Ready for your Starring Role list”. (Go for resonance.)

Align it with your Brand of Joy. And notice what beliefs you still have about being ready.

  • For all the items that make you feel filled up, put a star next to them and see how many of those you can “take care of” this week.
  • For all the items that make you feel a little depleted, and come back to them in a day’s time. Are they essential or are they barriers? If they’re barriers, pull ‘em off the list.

Then notice how much more ready you are than you thought. Which is good. Really good.

But for the love of goodness, please…

Keep your passport up to date

 So. What’s on your list?

PS - I'll be taking a break from writing here for the couple of weeks, but please do join me over at FB or connect on Instagram