All Posts By

Sharon Olson

“You Are The Average Of…”

You know the saying. You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with.

Last night, we spent the evening with an extraordinary family. Before they arrived, we were mere acquaintances. Yet, from the moment their coats were hung and the salad and side dish they brought were set on the table, the conversation volleyed creativity and ideas and possibilities.

Although dinner time was early in the evening, our conversation went late. These people cultivate a no excuses culture in their marriage and in their home. (Yes, please. Surround me with more of that.)

Encounters like these are oxygen for when the journey is long and our creative brain starts to get a little foggy. Here’s a bit of motivation . . . at one point in the conversation, the husband said, “My work doesn’t bring its’ own reward, so I need to find ways to bring the intensity.”

Bring the intensity. I smiled. I told him I hadn’t heard that term used in at least three weeks, ever since Isaiah moved back to the States.

People who look for ways to bring the intensity are typically people who also take extreme ownership for their lives. They’re always upping the ante, for themselves and whoever has the privilege of sharing their space. It’s refreshing.

Later in the evening, we got on the topic of our personal websites. I told them about the website I’ve had for three years — which only four or five people know about. His response was classic.

“Wait. You have a website no one visits? You don’t share it?”

I cringed. Without an ounce of shaming, his question challenged me to face my pride and ego and move forward.

So, here it is. My website:

One of the ongoing projects in my life.

And thanks to our new friends, (they’re brave, daring, audacious folks who foster undaunted faith and passionate mindsets), I’m rolling out the red carpet and inviting you in.

Please excuse the dust, the mess, and the noise. Hardhat recommended. We’re in the process of figuring out what it means to bring the intensity.

How about you?

Do you have any projects right now which might be challenging you to take a daring step of faith?

To bring the intensity?

Who are the people in your life who energize and infuse intensity into your dreams? (Have you told them thank you?)

My Maverick Ivy League Education and Addiction

Knowing a bunch of stuff isn’t that valuable. Knowing what you need to know to solve a problem, reach a goal, or become a better version of yourself is hugely valuable.
— Isaac Morehouse,


Here’s a financial truth: Over the last decade, I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars in my education and personal development.

(Deeper financial truth: it’s actually my husband who’s invested tens of thousands of dollars in my education.)

Fully customized, I’ve followed a meandering path, immersing myself in studies which fit the present season.

Learning for the sake of learning is exhilarating.

Except. . .

Hi. My name is Sharon. And I’m a hoarder.

Concepts, ideas, stories, and theories give me a constant supply of dopamine.

Information? Does that come with a drip line?

I’m a knowledge junkie. Though, anytime now, my family is bound to hold an intervention.

Please understand, I don’t mean to make light of addiction. I know it’s serious. It’s that I feel convicted about my incessant consumption with a disproportionate amount of contribution.

My proposed solution? To take more risks. To renounce perfectionism. (A friend once told me the “i-s-m” at the end of a word such as alcoholism stands for I-Self-Me. Yes, I can see that. If I’m trying to attain perfection, I’m really hoping you’ll be impressed with me.)

I could spend the rest of my life learning how to make a difference for good in the world. Or, I could take a step of faith, and risk that I might actually make an impact.

Instead of hoarding education, what if I practiced generosity? What if I loved people by listening better? And what if I used my knowledge to ask better questions?

What if I invested tens of thousands of hours sharing my ongoing projects, work, and ideas with others? So that we might be a whole community invested in becoming better versions of ourselves?

Now, that would be exhilarating.

What to Do When You’re Inspired

Micro memory cards fill a small baggie. The contents on each one revealed by scrunched handwriting across the front: “Nepal,” “London,” “Switzerland,” “Garmisch-Partenkirchen.” I sift through them like so many diamonds slipping between fingers. These treasures — memories captured in bytes — waiting to be transferred to a sacred space where they can be displayed, the stories told.

Five years spent globetrotting and our journeys have barely begun. Sequels are waiting to be written, photos waiting to be taken. There are people to meet, conversations to have, and ideas to share.

Today I’m living in two worlds. Part of me is reminiscent as I go through boxes and papers and photos, sorting items into their appropriate places. The other part of me is daydreaming. Envisioning the journey ahead of us. I am passionate and I dream of sharing this passion… as well as our adventures.

…this. To go exploring. To go in search of more stories, both the ones we experience ourselves, but also the ones we get to hear or be a part of along the journey! Everything in me whispers, “This… this is what you’re wired for!”

I am inspired. And this inspiration, it isn’t mine for hoarding, to keep stashed away in two and four gigabyte memory discs. I know it’s to give away. To share.

And inspiration is never scarce. It’s there in your story, too. I look forward to hearing it.

Perhaps I’ll meet up with you? Perhaps you’ll share your story with me as we linger in Tangier over a sweet cup of mint tea?