Bummed About Life? Three Tips to Change Direction

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Motivational speaker and best-selling author, Shawn Anderson offers three tips on how to change attitude and direction when life dissatisfaction sets in.

Best-selling author and motivational speaker, Shawn Anderson

Best-selling author and motivational speaker, Shawn Anderson

Don't let imperfection become your excuse.

It’s the nature of best-selling motivational author Shawn Anderson’s work to listen to people who feel stuck in life. It’s also Anderson’s mission to get those same people unstuck and moving forward again. Whether it is empowering others to continue to pursue fading dreams or encouraging people to not let life's tragedies derail hope, Anderson, dubbed the “Extra Mile Man,” travels the country speaking to organizations reminding people that when we "go the extra mile," possibility is created.

“No one is exempt from feeling life’s ups-and-downs,” Anderson says. “Sometimes life punches us so hard that merely surviving day-to-day is all we can do. The job we hate, the relationship that sours, the personal tragedy that devastates…life has a way of happening. But it’s what we do after life ‘happens’ that makes a difference in our futures.”

Anderson offers three tips on how we can change our life’s direction when dissatisfaction sets in:

1. Be true to yourself.

“No one is living your life, but you. No one can create the changes to make you happy, but you. Give yourself permission to get out of your own way and be true to your own dreams,” Anderson says.

2. Don't try to run.

“It's impossible to go from ‘ice cold’ to ‘red hot’ overnight. Don't expect it.” Anderson continues, “Do expect, though, that you can grow to ‘red hot’ if you hold yourself accountable to taking at least one baby step each day towards the changes you want in your life.”

3. You aren't perfect. But you are great.

“No matter how hard you try, you will still find 100 days where everything seems hopeless to the point you want to give up. But don’t let imperfection become your excuse.” Anderson goes on, “If you choose to quit, you also choose to let the potential of being the greatest ‘you’ possible slip away.”

Earning the label the “Extra Mile Man” in 2009, Anderson used a symbolic 4,000-mile ocean-to-ocean, solo bike ride to encourage people to go the extra mile in order to change their life’s direction. Holding events in 21 cities, Anderson interviewed over 200 people recognized as going the extra mile in overcoming setbacks or who had risked everything in order to accomplish something extraordinary. After the ninety-day tour, Anderson gave away $10,000 to those people whose stories he found most inspiring.

Since then, Anderson and his Extra Mile America Foundation led 362 mayors in all 50 states to declare 1/11/12 Extra Mile Day … a day to recognize the capacity we each have to create positive change in our families, organizations and communities when we go the extra mile.

What prompts Anderson to dedicate his life to encouraging others? "We have but one life," Anderson says. "I want to do all I can to help people maximize theirs.”


Shawn Anderson is a best-selling author, national speaker and motivational corporate trainer. His "go the extra mile" philosophy and ability to produce winning results have been praised by national political leaders, Olympic Gold Medal and world record holders, and media outlets across the country.

In addition to being a six-time author, Shawn is the Founder of the Extra Mile America Foundation, a non-profit organization empowering people. Through the Foundation, Shawn led the charge in encouraging 362 U.S. mayors in all 50 states to declare November 1, 2012, as Extra Mile Day...a day to acknowledge the capacity we each have to create positive change in our families, organizations and communities when we go the extra mile.

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