Living & Leading with Passion (Part 1)

DenaMarch 14, 2011

Last week, I spoke to a group of students and professionals at the MAC IMA Regional Student Conference. The opportunity was so exciting because my session immediately followed the session of the CEO from my last company. I was honored to be in the line-up with him, but also a bit intimidated! It was my first time giving this particular talk and I had so much fun. The audience was really excited about the content, too. As a result of my talk, I have two more speaking engagements lined up (YAY!). The audience members also gave me some really helpful constructive criticism which will make my presentation even more amazing the next time around!

If you are interested in checking out the talk, you’re in luck. I’ll be posting the 40-minute talk in four sections with notes over the next few days. Click below, to view the first installment. Under the video are my notes in summary. Enjoy!

If you have trouble seeing the video click here.

i. Thank you!

I start my talk the way that I start all of my talks—with gratitude. A huge thank you to the IMA MAC for inviting me out and an even bigger thank you to the amazing audience members who shared their attention with me for a little while.

ii. The Dream Study

A few years ago an experiment was conducted at a university. Several students were observed nightly at a sleep study center. Each night the students were hooked up to brain-activity machines. The machines would alert the observers when the students fell asleep. The machines would then alert the observers when the students started to dream. Each time the students started to dream, they would be woke up. Then, they could go back to sleep again.

The next day, after one night of this treatment—where they got plenty of sleep, but were not aloud to dream—the students felt slightly irritated and anxious. After the second night of this sort of treatment, the students felt extremely angry and deeply depressed.

The observers realized that these students were headed for some serious psychological issues and the study was terminated. However, the study proved one thing conclusively and that is: When we are asleep, we need our dreams. The message of my story is this: When we are wide awake, we also need our dreams!

That is what this presentation is about: identifying our dreams and living our dreams in order to lead with passion.

ii. Who I Am

I spend a few minutes talking about me and my life as a motivational speaker, blogger, and life coach. I talk about my personal story and the decision that I made in 2006 to change my life; overcome depression & anxiety; create the life of my dreams; and help other people to do the same.

iii. P.A.I.D.

I introduce the meat of the presentation which is the acronym: PAID. PAID stands for Passion, Authenticity, Intensity, and Direction.

iv. Passion

There may be some people reading this right now who are doing things that they hate. I want to ask you today to Please. Stop. Doing. That! There is no reason to do things that you hate. Today I am going to ask you to stop doing things that you hate and start doing things that you are passionate about!

When I start talking about passion, the response that I typically get is: “Well I would love to live passionately, but I don’t know what I am passionate about. How can I identify my passion?”

We can determine our passion by answering the “$1 Billion Dollar Question” — If you woke up tomorrow and found $1 billion dollars in your bank account (no strings attached!) what would you want to do every single day for the rest of your life?

When you can answer that question, you have discovered what you are truly passionate about.

That covers Part 1 of my Living & Leading with Passion discussion. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out what to avoid when answering the $1 Billion Dollar Question and to hear much, much more from me about living & leading with passion!


Comments (5)

  • Mark Robertson

    March 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm


    Shine on! I love the PAID acronym…why are gems embedded in the 9 hells of anxiety and depression // this was the landscape of my early 20s too. Glad to know you better & will stay tuned;)


    1. Dena

      March 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      @ Mark – Thank you so much for stopping by & for leaving a comment. 🙂 I’m really glad that you liked the acronym & my story. I’m not quite sure WHY the gems are so deeply embedded in the 9 hells of anxiety/depression; but I am so grateful that I was able to traverse & transcend that space and arrive here (with pockets full of gems nonetheless!). 😉

      You’re fantastic, Mark. I think you’ll like the next bit even better. Cheers!

  • Dena Botbyl

    March 15, 2011 at 12:02 am

    evolution you | Living & Leading with Passion (Part 1) #leadership #passion

  • Living & Leading with Passion (Part 3)

    March 16, 2011 at 7:12 am

    […] IMA Regional Student Conference. This is Part 3 of my talk, so if you haven’t already, check out Part 1 and Part 2 before you go any […]

  • Living & Leading with Passion (Final – Part 4)

    March 17, 2011 at 7:13 am

    […] Student Conference. This is part 4 (the final) of my talk, so if you haven’t already, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before you go any […]

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