The Art of Being Jordan Pease


I was lucky enough to interview the very talented and bold author/comedian Jordan Pease. When we began our conversation, I was immediately taken by the 23-year-old's passion for life and dedication to his craft.

"When I first moved to California from New Jersey, I had grandiose dreams of everything magically falling into place," said Pease. "But I quickly learned there are numerous amazingly talented people trying to follow the path I've chosen. It became clear that if I am to succeed, I need to throw everything into my work."

Jordan Pease in San FranciscoHard work wasn't a new concept for the youngster. As a youth in New Jersey, Pease was a leading varsity soccer player and gifted student -

"I always had a deep sense of pride in anything I attempted. I was taught from an early age that if presented with an opportunity or a talent, I should give 100 percent of what I've got."

The same is true where his inner-truths are concerned -

"When it became clear that I was gay, I knew I had to be real with my friends and family."

This included telling his soccer teammates.

"They were totally supportive and treated me like any other player. I worked hard, they worked hard, and that was all that mattered."

And then his father died.

"I was 19 and in the process of trying to get the balls up to make something of myself. I always felt there was a greater purpose for my life. The challenges I faced (including the death of my dad) pushed me out of my comfort zone and toward LA."

Pease didn't know a single person when he made the big move and this didn't stop him for a second.

"The secret to my success thus far is to never stop. I've always got a notebook with me. I never know when inspiration is going to hit or when I may score a gig. So I'm always trying to be one step ahead of the game."

In 2013 alone, Pease has performed at more than 60 comedy shows throughout the U.S. and abroad.

imgres-1"I have a long way to go," said Pease. "I won't give up until I make the big time. I want to prove to people my age and younger that with had work anything can happen."

"I keep hearing tons of excuses from my peers as to why they aren't working hard toward a goal. One of the lamest is that the economy sucks. I'm going to prove that's a bunch of B.S."

Not only does he continue to score gigs, Pease is also the author of two books. His first, Don't Let me Go, was published in 2010 and is based on his varsity soccer years. The second is a memoir that was published at the beginning of this year. Accidentally Ok satirically chronicles his 90-day adventure through Europe when he was 21.

While Jordan Pease is undoubtably a hilarious human being, I'm most impressed by his willingness to be artfully himself and belief that his wildest dreams will one day come true.

You can't get much bolder than that!

Enjoy one of his comedy acts, and please pass it on:

Post by Jen Engevik
Project Be Bold

The Man (or Woman) Who Thinks They Can by Walter D. Wintle


If you think you are beaten, you are;boy with super powers
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the word we find
Success begins with a fellow's will,
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outcasted, you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

Getting to Know Ourselves Deeply

know_yourself"How are we going to choose to live? Who are we? What are we living for?"

These were three questions poised by Anand Mehrotra at the end of the documentary "The Highest Pass."

I was blessed with the opportunity to finish the film this evening and found my eyes welling up with tears a few times. There is something to be said for being willing to risk life and limb to accomplish a goal.

In this case, it was a group of motorcyclists -- with very little experience riding -- daring to trek over the "highest pass" in the Himalayas.  One rider in particular said something so very profound. To paraphrase him, he said at the beginning of the film that when things got rough on the trail he wanted to run home to his family.

After much thought, he chose to stay and continue the journey. In the end, his being was filled with a new sense of love. "Now instead of returning to my family out of fear, I want to return to them out of pure love."

As we go through our days, it is common to seek comfort -- the easy way out. Yet at the same time our hearts are crying out for some sort of adventure -- authenticity.

Soren Kierkegaard once wrote, "Boredom is the root of all evil - the despairing refusal to be oneself."

highest pass
From "The HIghest Pass' Documentary

We walk around with our hearts aching -- our minds wishing we could accomplish something beautiful and lasting, experience love in its fullest sense, get over the hang-ups and patterns we cling to.

Mehrotra, Kerkegaard, and Socrates alike teach the importance of knowing ourselves deeper. Discovering our most precious and sacred hopes and dreams that were planted in our hearts for a reason.

Those who say things like, "he/she is a dreamer...her head is in the clouds" are those who tend to lack vision. What if Steve Job's parents told him he was a dreamer and he was silly  enough to listen? Kiss your iPhone and iPad goodbye baby! :-D

When we know ourselves, we can be reintroduced to our child within -- that being that understands the power of imagination, dreams, and life in the present moment.

"To inherit the kingdom of heaven, you must be like a child."

To me, these words spoken by Jesus mean much more than taking a trip to a place beyond the clouds of this world. It's that for the most part children aren't as jaded as we adults. They have so much to accomplish, so much to see, and do. They laugh when their tummies tickle and they weep when their hearts are pained.

child with imaginationA child is self-aware and present in such a profound manner.

Why do so many of us adults rob ourselves of the same enjoyment? Why not dream and stick our necks  out to undertake something bold and amazing?

How about we  take time to connect with our purest selves? Discover our fearless and powerful beings. The only way to surmount our challenges and create life anew is to dig in and feel the emotions, pains, disappointments, frustrations, and fears we have experienced throughout our lives. No more burying our histories with silly, meaningless diversions.

Authenticity is where its at -- and once we dig deep inside there is no turning back. Our true purposes will be uncovered.

"Beautiful things will be revealed. It's just that you have never given yourself the opportunity to reveal what you are capable of. Do not let fear keep us from our own capacity." - Anand Mehrotra

Be good to yourself!

-Jen Engevik

What is in a Dream?

I've found myself thinking lately about the dreams that live within the heart. I fight for dreams realized, yet wonder just like everyone else if they should be given up for a different road that could grow into a new dream. Within my deepest longings, I've always longed to live by the warmest of seas...and walk barefoot 12 months of the year. I also dreamed of an amazing and fulfilling love. Today, I'm here in Gothenburg, Sweden...an amazing city near a chilly sea. It is for love that I'm here.

As I try to imagine my future, I am struck with how dreams evolve...and how things like love and family can reshape destiny. The balance of compromise and dreams realized is an art to say the least.

My mind tosses between my love for a dream and the call of reality. Today, I wandered into a tiny coffee shop called the Mahogany...it's a famous spot with amazing coffee drinks and fresh pastries. Behind the desk was a man from Washington D.C. He was excited to hear that I am from California and shared with me how he misses his hometown and followed love to Gothenburg. "I miss my home," he said with emotion-filled eyes. "I'm just not sure how things will shape up." Now with a child and a Swedish wife, he's in a beautiful place, but lives between an amazing town and the place he calls home in his heart.

We all make decisions that lead us down a path...and sometimes our decisions split our hearts in two pieces. One piece loving a person...and the other loving a place or a cherished dream.

Yesterday I read the theory that Amelia Earhart may have survived her tragic crash and tried to make it on a small island in the pacific. Items such as a comb and compact mirror were found some time ago, along with a bit of bone thought to have belonged to a woman. DNA tests are currently being conducted. What if it were Amelia and her belongings found?

In an attempt at following her dreams, can you imagine her gazing at the stars at night on an island all alone, as warm winds swept from one end of the island to another? I wonder if she concluded that her dreams were worth the result? She could have played it safe and been strolling around the streets of Kansas or New Your City with a skirt and high heels...instead of sitting under the stars with a pair of torn trousers and only her thoughts. During the time she was praying she'd be rescued, did she dream of what life would have been if she had played it safe...or did visions of all she'd seen while flying in her plane  flood her mind?....of her solo flight across the Pacific to Europe...gliding high above animal herds in Africa...or circling the majestic skyline of New York City...

Dreams and decisions can be tricky...the process confounding. How about you? Things shaping up OK?

- Jen Engevik
Project BE Bold

Jen Engevik's Bold Speech for TED.com: 5 Steps to Boldness

The following is a speech developed by Jen Engevik and Anette Ericsson on the concept of boldness. It outlines 5 Steps to Bold Living that can be applied to your and anyone's life. Pass it on!


10 Bold Words to Meditate on Today

1. Love...keep the heart pumping and ever expanding...show your partner, your child, your mother & father, and even strangers some love today.

2. Forgive...let go of yesterday...today offers the perfect opportunity to create new, positive brain waves.

3. Now...have you noticed all of the beauty surrounding you at this very moment? The magic lies in the moment...that's why we had so much fun when we were kids.

4. Trees...thank goodness for green leaves to create more oxygen for us to breathe. How about being a tree huger for the day...or climbing up one for fun.

5. Path...choose the path that your gut tells you to take. It may be scary and temporarily painful, but at least it beats stagnancy.

6. Hand...this world wouldn't be what it is today without our hands. "I can change the world...with my own two hands...with my own...with my own two hands" - Ben Harper

7. Eyes...dare not to take for granted that you have eyes with which to experience the world. Open them up a bit more, and you'll be amazed at what you can experience.

8. Listen...the more we listen, the more we learn. It's not always easy to stay silent and give time for another being to express himself/herself, but it's the most loving thing we can do. Practice makes perfect...let's keep trying to be better listeners.

9. Quiet...minds need time to breathe. Let's dare to find a nice place where there are no distractions and just be. Clarity and great ideas grow in moments of peace...and quiet.

10. Imagination...it's OK to daydream a bit and let the mind take flight. How else was the science of flight conceived?...or the iPhone developed?...or the pyramids designed? Why do we not have daydreaming classes in school? Don't be one of those people who tell your children not to daydream...or that their imagination will lead them to ruin. Join in the fun!

Those who are out there making things happen in the world often have a hard time sleeping at night...their imaginations run wild as they dream up their next creation.  Have you bought into the idea that they own some special dreaming license? At birth we were all given the same one...why not use it?

- Jen Engevik

It's Time to Enlarge Your Vision

Visiting Mom's house and  came upon a book left behind by my brother by Joel Osteen. 

He wrote about how many times we human beings sell ourselves short. We settle for less than we're worth on so many levels. It's all-too easy to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth, lamenting about the things we could have done...or things we'll probably never do.

Osteen wrote about a man who one day visited Maui. The man saw a beautiful home and mentioned that he'd never be able to enjoy living in such a place. With that mindset, he was definitely right. Or for the person who says..."I'll never have a good relationship," it will most likely be so.

We must enlarge our vision and go into action to make our dreams come true. It's not about having a pricey home or numerous expensive toys...it is about open our eyes to the unlimited opportunities around us.

Osteen writes:

"You've been wallowing where you are long enough. It's time to move on, to let go of past hurts, pains, or failures. It's time to believe for bigger things. It's time for increase, time for promotion, time for supernatural favor. But if that's going to happen, you can't keep going in circles, doing the same thing the same way year after year...the key to developing a fresh vision for your life is breaking the barriers of the past."

In what areas of your life do you need to enlarge your vision? I dare you...me...us...to begin here :-D

- Jen Engevik