Books and Movies Career Inspiration Self-Discipline Thought Exercises

Realizing Our Personal Legends

The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy. To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one.

— Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

I am currently reading The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho.

While reading, I was struck by a particular thought. Coelho talks about realizing your Personal Legend.

“… (Personal Legend) ‘It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives.”

This sounds all well and good. I am certainly a dreamer who wants to realize her Personal Legend. But then he goes on…

“But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.”

The crystal merchant expresses how he dreams of a dream he knows will never come true but he is okay with it. He wants to go to Mecca but he has never been able to make the trip. “…It’s the thought of Mecca that keeps me alive.” He says. “I’m afraid if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living.”

What if I live my whole life without accomplishing my Personal Legend? What if I think I’m headed in the right direction and I’m doing my best at everything I do along the way but I never realize the dream? Or what if I do realize the dream and I don’t feel accomplished? Is dreaming of the dream better than living it, like the crystal merchant says?

This can’t be the right attitude. We can let the “mysterious force” win!

I tend to believe if we are lucky enough to realize one dream, we will find another. No one says we have to stop wanting to accomplish things after having accomplished something else. There is not a limit to a single person’s amount of happiness or success…especially when it comes to one’s Personal Legend.

Our Personal Legends, to me, seem like they would be a process. A sequence of little successes building our ultimate selves.  So does this mean we should aim small in the short term and celebrate the small victories?  Or do we shoot for the stars?

I think the answer is both.

Even if a person dreams of becoming President or winning a Nobel Prize and never does, they were, hopefully, on a path of their choice. They did what they did with passion and enthusiasm, which in turn was following their legend.

“We all need to be aware of our personal calling. What is a personal calling? It is God’s blessing, it is the path that God chose for you here on Earth. Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend.”

The beauty of our calling or legend is that it can change and grow as we do. Whether you believe in God, the universe,  source energy, fate or that just gut feeling inside of you we always have the choice to live as we like.

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

Do you have a personal calling or legend? Have you realized your dream(s)? I don’t care if you’ve answered yes or no…go on and keeping living it or towards it. Do what makes you come alive!

A little inspiring tune for you:

Career Learning Technology

11 Online Resources Every Lifelong Learner Should Know About


I got my degree. Now what?

Job search, interviews etc. of course, but you also have to stay current.

Your degree certainly has value, but let’s be honest you haven’t learned everything you need to know about your career field. And if you’re a multipotentialite like me, you didn’t quite take all of the classes you wish you could have because they weren’t in your major or you didn’t have enough elective opportunities. Well, I have good news. The learning isn’t over, and it never will be.

No matter what the subject matter things are always changing. Luckily, with such advances in technology, we have many resources to learn on our own.

Even if you aren’t planning to use your degree the way you thought you would, college will always have taught at least one thing you will use forever…it taught you how to learn. Take those note taking, studying, reading, researching, and analyzing habits and put them back into action.

There will always be books full of knowledge for us to absorb but the online education world is what takes learning on our own to a whole new level.

Being a little bit obsessed with learning, I’ve tested out several online learning resources. Of course, I always search for free opportunities, and there are some good ones, but there are some subscriptions that are completely worth paying for too! Below are some of the best learning platforms I’ve found:


Courses for Business, Creative and Technology skills.

Fees Monthly or Annually.
Free 30-day trial.
Possible free memberships with a university affiliation.
Totally worth it!

2. Linkedin Learning

Courses for Business, Creative and Technology skills.

Fees Monthly or Annually.
Free 30-day trial.
Linkedin purchased and has meshed videos into their website as Linkedin Learning.


FREE. Fees for certificates. MOOCs from a variety of well-known universities and colleges.

4. Ted-Ed

FREE.  “Lessons worth sharing.”


Pay per course, as low as $10. Library of over 55,000 courses on many different topics.

6. Duolingo

FREE Language Learning tool. A Web App and a Mobile App.

The following languages are available to study:

Romanian for English speakers

7. Memrise

FREE memorizing and studying tool. The ultimate online flashcards.

8. monkeysee

FREE quick task how-to videos. Wondering how to dice an onion? How to sew a button? Are you looking for a fun new Halloween recipe? Or a tasty cocktail? Check out monkeysee!

9. Khan Academy

FREE! Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization providing free courses for all ages in math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.

10. Creative Bug

Short classes relating the following topics, made by a variety of designers and artists.

“You’re more creative than you think.”

11. The Great Courses

Audio and/or Video Lectures from Professionals in their fields on everything from Medical to Linguistics to Astronomy to Religion to Politics to Health to Physics. There is a series on pretty much every major topic. These lectures can get pretty pricey, I’ve found the best way to listen to these is through Audible.  You can use your credits to purchase a lecture series and get it for sometimes a third or fourth of the cost! Though The Great Courses stand-alone site often has great deals and specials to look out for as well, especially if you’re interested in the video feature.

Other online learning sites to check out:,, youtube, G Suite Learning Center,

Always looking for new resources, shout ’em out if you got ’em!

Learn all you can. Be passionate. Be your ultimate you <3


Embrace Your Multipotentialities


When my friends and family ask what I do, I don’t know where to start.

In the last 7 years,  (4 years at Purdue, 2 years at DePaul, 1 year at University of Michigan), I have considered all of the following as potential careers. Some completely serious, some completely off the wall, but they were considered none the less … don’t judge me.

  • 3D Animator
  • Web Designer
  • Graphic Artist
  • VFX Artist
  • Digital Painter
  • Texture Artist
  • CAD Technician
  • Photographer
  • Photo Editor
  • Wedding Photographer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Teacher
  • Singer
  • Sound Recordist
  • Video Editor
  • Director
  • Production Sound Mixer
  • Foley Artist
  • Sound Effects Editor
  • Music Producer
  • Script Supervisor
  • Film Producer
  • Post Production Supervisor
  • Studio Owner
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Personal Trainer
  • Bartender
  • Yoga Instructor/Health Consultant for Creatives
  • Equipment Lender
  • Documentarian
  • Freelance Artist
  • Jewelry Maker
  • Travel Blogger
  • Caretaker
  • Dog Walker
  • Transcriptionist
  • Media Restoration Specialist
  • Audio Visual Technician
  • Event Planner
  • Venue Manager
  • Media Asset Organizer
  • Audio book producer/recorder
  • Voiceover Artist
  • Experiential Marketing Specialist
  • Instructional Designer
  • Online Educator
  • Museum Technician
  •  Video Studio Manager
  • Theater/Live Event Audio Engineer
  • AV Sales Representative
  • Audio Visual Designer

And I bet you that’s not all….

This truth is, I start doing a lot of things. But I have a hard time sticking to just one thing.

Do I have to pick just one thing?

Currently, I am not an expert on any one thing but I love to learn about many things. I bounce back and forth between interests. Staying focused on one thing is difficult for me. What I have discovered is this….

I am multipotentialite.

“A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits.” – Emilie Wapnick

Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny. We have many paths and we pursue all of them, either sequentially or simultaneously (or both).

If you are totally relating to my “too many interests” struggle, check out to learn more about this lifestyle! Emilie and the whole putty like community are great and full of tips for success in the workplace … and in life … as we renaissance people strive for growth and understanding.

Please enjoy this TED Talk where I was inspired by this idea!

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Well, I still don’t know yet, but I’m going to try a few things out and learn as much as I can! I hope to combine my interests and find my perfect job.

I WILL become the ultimate me.


Adulting Career Inspiration

A Memory: Lift Up Your Foot

Before I switched over to Downright Ultimate I wrote/recorded this post for my previous blog, Twenty-two Leaf Clover. I hope to provide audio for future posts as well! But I wanted to share this one because it reminds me of what I went through to get where I am and how I will continue to get through tough career choices and life decisions. Jen Sincero’s wisdom gets me every time!

“In order to kick ass, you must first lift up your foot. —Jen Sincero; author, coach, self-quoter”

For the past month and a half, I have been unemployed. Graduating college and trying to find a job is probably one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Finding a job, in general, is hard, but there is that added stress right after college. You spend four years preparing for your career in an established institution … You graduate … Then you decide to get an advanced degree, that’s two more years (for me)! Everyone says how proud they are of you and that you can do anything, but for some reason, you feel no sense of accomplishment. You apply, and apply, and apply and then you wait.

But then … You start receiving replies! All at once, several companies you’ve applied to decide to reach out to you within a couple days of each other. At last, Skype interviews commence, phone interviews begin. A couple of places bring you in for in-person interviews. And then … You wait some more.

It is borderline torturous.

You try to keep yourself busy but your stream of consciousness goes something like this …

Where else could I apply? What’s close… I don’t have a car. Could I ride my bike that far? Does that bike even work? Where could I get a bike for cheap? I guess I could borrow my brother’s car sometimes, or my mom’s. What could I do at home? There’s got to be a way to make money at home, something … I have bills coming, maybe I can call to lower my payment. Being an adult sucks. Ugh, I’m gonna watch Netflix.

One Hour Later

Okay, back to work., here we go. What other skills can I search? Am I good enough though … I need to work on my portfolio … (opens WordPress) … I need to get better at this, and this, and this … (opens … Oh, let’s learn about this!

One Hour Later

Ugh, I’ve been sitting here too long. I should workout. Gosh, I wish I had money for a gym membership. Maybe I could work at a gym? Okay, one more application. Must … Earn … Money … Man I’m hungry. Damnit, I need money for that too.

This continues, day after day. Depression and anxiety start to take over. You start to think to yourself, “It’s over, I’ll live on the street … ” “I am not good enough” “No one wants to hire me” “I just will sleep forever, and watch Netflix … damn that costs money too”

Slams head on desk.

Then you realize something. It’s all a process. A journey with ups and downs, twists, and turns. This is the world we live in. All of these wonderful people in my life tell me I can do this, am I missing something? This is when I turned to my books …

During my job search process, I finally reached the “inspired” phase. Mostly because I started reading the book, You Are a Badassby Jen Sincero. There’s something about a stranger telling me, that I’m a badass, that made me want to read more… how does she know? This surely can’t apply to everyone.

I was wrong. The following passages changed my perspective…

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”

“You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you.”

“Nobody who ever accomplished anything big or new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone. They risked ridicule and failure and sometimes even death.”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.     —Lao Tzu; ancient Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism, could have been one guy or a mythical compilation of many, nobody really knows for sure” 

― Jen SinceroYou Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

This book has changed my life and I highly recommend it! (Especially the audiobook). This book got me to today, the day I am proud to announce that I have been offered a position at the University of Michigan as an AV Technician! Go blue!

We all go through changes and stressful times, where it feels like no one else understands…and honestly, they don’t. I don’t care what anyone says … Because you are the only you. You are the only one who knows how you feel. You are the only one who can make decisions towards the ultimate you. Just know, that you are loved. By the universe, the people and things and experiences that make you happy, and that make you come alive, you are loved. And in time, your badass self will take the next step towards your next adventure, you just have to lift up your foot.