Idea Party


How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

(Your first comment below has to be approved, so it may not display instantly depending on the time of the day. Once your email address is approved you can post instantly. If you want your own profile photo to show up beside your comments, instead of the cute little design, upload your photo on and give them an hour or so to make it happen.)

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2,404 thoughts on “Idea Party

  1. My wish is to have the opportunity to thank personally actor Matthew Perry for being an inspiration to me. I work with teens with AIDS fighting with addictions. Matthew’s life story and all he did to help people with addictions in All Rise Foundation gave me strength to keep helping this kids with love and happiness.
    I always dreamed to meet him and share the “dream come true” story with the kids.

    My obstacle is that I don’t know anyone that can help me to connect to him.

  2. I want to get off of government assistance. In order to do so I would need to make $3 more an hour. I am a single mother and I have custody of my son every other week. My current job is 35 hours a week and I make the max amount I can make and still be receiving assistance. I have considered getting a 2nd job if I could find one for every other week, but my current job is already exhausting enough and I often find I run out energy to spend time with my son.

  3. I would like to be a successful artist and children’s book author.
    (I”m not sure)
    I hate the idea of selling and marketing myself and networking.
    I don’t have any ideas for a book.
    It would be lonely.

  4. So delighted to find Barbara 🙂
    My name is Naomi, and I want to be a portrait/figurative painter. I’m self taught, been painting for many many years. Could never make up my mind what to paint. All my fellow artist friends are all successful in their craft and here I am 55 years old and still stuck not knowing which direction to take. But in my heart of hearts, portraiture is really the direction I want to take. I can only take myself to a certain level and need to upgrade my skills.
    There is a school in Toronto that offers a four year full time program I would love to attend. Problem is I live on a tiny island off the coast of Vancouver, Canada. I’m Aspergers and haven’t left my home in over a year. I live in a tiny community on a farm and am I’m completely isolated. I have social anxiety, this is the reason I never leave my house. I’m in a dead-end relationship with a very sweet man, but it’s just not working.
    I’m already a good painter and with training I know I can be extraordinary painter. I have no income and no money. I’m an excellent vegan cook and I also make all my own skincare and cosmetics. But I don’t know how or where to start to generate an income to get me out of dodge! I tried offering classes to teach drawing/painting on this island, but no bites, nothing. This community are not interested in supporting newcomers to this island, although I have been here 7 years. They are afraid and don’t want to engage with an autistic. I’m at a loss. Until now, i’m so hoping for a non judgmental support group to help me figure this out.
    Thank you for listening

    • Hi Naomi –
      Fellow Canadian writing from Toronto 🙂 Alas, I don’t have any connections to art program here. But I’m wondering if there are some ways to leverage your talents mentioned to earn money or perhaps barter… A few thoughts:

      – Perhaps you could offer concierge vegan cooking service for people in your area. Prepping in advance a few meals per week for someone who can’t cook for themselves or doesn’t have time but would like home-cooked healthy meals? It doesn’t necessarily need to be fancy; things like a few bulk meals that you divide up into daily portions. If you do multiple different dishes they could be mixed and matched for different clients. Something you could completely prepare in your home and then either have the client pick them up at the beginning of week… or if you could manage to deliver them (or have someone do it for you). It may feel intimidating to find clients at first, but posting online, or word of mouth, or calling specific community centres to inquire if there’s a need is a start. Finding just one client could give you just a bit of income and sense of empowerment and get the ball rolling, potentially leading to others. Trying to reach out to yoga centres (a health conscious clients), elderly ppl with at-home care, or people with limited mobility, gyms, naturopath’s office or other healing centres where ppl may be looking for a convenient way to have access to healthy food.

      – Making your own skincare and cosmetics is so wonderful! Perhaps you can sell these in small batches or teach a class on how to do this at a local health centre or yoga studio! I know I would LOVE to learn something like this, as I’m always looking for effective, natural makeup products without chemicals. You may even be able to build a following by starting an instagram account showcasing what you make, and then acquire clients from there.

      – Pet portraits? Is this something you can do at your current skill level? It might be an entry point to sell some art and enter the community. Flyers at groomers, or pet stores or vet’s offices might get nab you someone’s attention. Once a few people get to know your work, then offering to teach a painting class might be easier from there.

      – Any of the above options could offer some side income, but I’m also thinking if you can research any art teachers in your area who you think you could learn from, perhaps you could barter your skincare products or vegan meals for this training?

      Whether any of this helps or not, I wish you the very best with your heart’s wish! And that things get clearer for you 🙂

  5. Hello, my name is Meryem, I’m 23 years old and I’m a medical student from Morocco. I don’t know if I can post this -because, it’s a bit different from what most people, in this website, post-. But, I’ll post it anyways; I mean it won’t hurt nobody!
    My dream is a little bit different; I dream of having a life; just a normal life where I -and nobody else- get to choose and decide for myself! Let me tell you my story, so that you can get things right.
    This story began when I was 17 years old and I had my bachelor’s degree with a good mark, but not good enough to make me able to choose whatever school/college that I want to go to. So, I had limited choices ( I got accepted in 3 to 5 schools), and the best of them (esp, in my parents’point of view) was the medical college, but it wasn’t the college that I want to go to. So, I had to “choose” between either waiting until the next year to try to earn another bachelor’degree with a better mark, or starting my college experience, that same year, as a medical student. This last option was highly recommended from my parents! So, I “chose” it (and I put it between brackets, because I really had no choice). My parents were putting too much pressure on me to “choose” the medical college!
    I thought that it’s okay; my parents are going to be happy and satisfied, and I’ll, slowly, forget about what I want, and learn, slowly again, to love the fact that I’m going to be, one day, a doctor! I thought that it was okay, but it wasn’t. My parents were happy, but I was/am so sad! In that classroom, in that hospital, I got certain and assured, I am certain and assured that this is not what I want, I love something else, I belong somewhere else. And I just can’t imagine spending my lifetime doing something I’m not really into, it’s like not living at all! I was struggling to fit in these last five years, but I got to a point of depression where I’m only losing weight, hair and sleep! Doctors earn respect, and they should be proud of themselves; they save lives! I could never criticize that job; I respect it, but I just don’t like it (and this is something which my parents don’t understand)! I couldn’t lie to myself anymore, and I decided that I’m not too old to try again! I “wasted” 5 years, but I had a beautiful experience; I’ve learned a lot of stuff, and met a lot of good people…and I believe that one should fight for what he/she matter how many years he/she will need to spend on that. So, I decided to try again, because I’d rather to fail than to surrender! I decided to try to earn another bachelor’s degree with a better mark, and then go to the right place for me!
    I thought that family members are there to support each other no matter what, so, I told my parents and two sisters about my plan and my decision, and then, I got surprised! They didn’t just refuse my decision, but they, also, have been questioning, since then, my mental health; they call me crazy, because I want to leave the medical college and go try somewhere else. They didn’t stop right there, unfortunately! They started threatening me! Threatening of beating me, of making me do abusive housework, of making me become an artisan (to fill my time and prevent me from doing anything else), if I decide to leave the medical college. Threatening of forcing me to get married to the 1st person who asks for it, whoever he is…and on many occasions, I got abused; verbally, and sometimes even physically! Whenever I try to bring this subject up and discuss it with them like mature adults, my mother makes sure that I live, literally, in hell inside that home.. . Home is no longer home, not to me! I keep on thinking that I’m 23 years old; I’m a grown woman; I must make this stop! I’m not a child anymore; they can’t control me anymore, it’s not right! This is my life, my decision and, of course, my responsibility! I have to do something, but I don’t really know what to do! I’m stuck again; trying to make a hard decision! If I decide that I want a shelter, a bed where to sleep, if I decide that I want to stay in that house (knowing that I don’t have any other place where to go), then I’ll have to stick to my parents’rules, as they own the house! And so, I will have to stay in that medical college, and bury my dreams for good! If I decide to leave that house, to leave that medical college, to go work and earn money to be able to chase my dreams! Then I will be homeless! And it’s very dangerous, for a physically weak, woman, in my country, to be homeless. You can be beaten, raped or even killed! And it’s very hard, in my country, to find a job; it’s no land of chances! I’m stuck again, I feel caged, I feel like a slave, with no free will; with no life! That’s why I said that my dream is, simply, to have a life!
    I love my family, even though, they love me; with conditions! I love them, but I can’t let them hurt me! So, I just want to leave, and not just them, but the whole country. Because it’s a country where a man can work in a gas station, and a woman can’t, it’s a country where a man can sleep, peacefully, in a park, and a woman can’t, or can but will get molested…I want to leave this country! I’ve been thinking, I’ve been dreaming of going to “a land of chances”, to the USA for example, and then getting a home of my own and a job. I don’t care what job it’s going to be; I can work as a cashier, a dishwasher, a waitress…I just need a job! And I don’t care about the salary; I can do the same job with a lower salary! I just need to be somewhere safe, and have a job with a salary that can guarantee me, just a normal life, a very standard life! A life where I can make my own decisions, and assume my responsibility, of course! But just get the chance to chase my dreams!

    Wish: Get a life.
    Obstacles: Immigrate + Find a job.

    I would like to apologize to the readers, who got hurt because of these words!
    I would like to thank Mrs. Barbara SHER for this opportunity to share my story! And I would like to thank you all for reading this!

    • Meryem, if you are close to graduating from medical college, finishing the degree would make immigrating much, much easier. The easiest route into the US is through employer-sponsored visas that require you have some specialized knowledge that is in short supply in the US. And college degrees are the easiest proof of that specialized knowledge. Otherwise, you need a US citizen or resident with enough money to sponsor you. You don’t need to work as a doctor with that degree. There are many other careers where your medical knowledge will be valued: medical translator, medical editor, pharmaceutical research, medical illustrator, medical recruiting, high school science teacher (look for International Baccalaureate schools — they need teachers from other countries). All pay much better than the unskilled jobs you listed, and all are eligible for employer-sponsored visas. And health insurance! You can begin immediately transitioning toward your next career or go to college for another degree in your spare time as soon as you get yourself moved and earning an income.

      Sleeping in parks is dangerous for a physically weak woman in the US. So is working in a gas station after dark. And waitressing or dishwashing seldom pays enough to live in the US safely without a family to live with. With your degree finished, you’d be able to find much higher-paying jobs. If you can stand to view your remaining medical classes as a stressful chore that’s a stepping-stone to a different career you really want and a life away from your parents’ control, then that is probably your best strategy. Just keep changing one thing and then the next, all in the direction of the work you really want to do.

      • Thank you so much, Patty; for reading my post, answering me and advising me. This means so much to me.
        It’s a bit complicated; because I really don’t want to stay with my parents for 3 more years! But your advice was very logical and wise! Thank you so much!
        I just wanted to ask if it’s possible, somehow, to get one of the careers you’ve mentioned earlier, with a 4 years experience in the medical college. As I said earlier; I don’t really care about the job, I can teach science, maybe not in high schools, but in middle schools or elementary schools…And I don’t care about the salary, as long as it guarantees me a decent life..
        I can, also, work in a field which doesn’t require medical knowledge; I can speak English, French and Arabic..
        Thank you so much, again!

        • Three more years is a long time. But in the US, teaching in middle and elementary schools requires a teaching degree. High school science teachers are the only ones hired without that. They are in such short supply that they can study teaching while they teach. Why not start applying for expat jobs in the US, Canada, the UK, and France? Perhaps one will accept years of study instead of a degree in medicine. Your chances are much higher with an employer who understands the education system in Morocco. The others usually rely on degrees.

          Another idea: are there opportunities to continue your medical education — or to take an allowed break from it — in other Islamic countries, like Indonesia or Maldives or Pakistan? As long as you appear to be continuing to work toward that degree, your parents might agree to allow you to live with a family in that other country or with an organized group of volunteers.

          • I really don’t know what to say; thank you, Patty, for your time, I really appreciate it!
            I know..the educational system in Morocco is different; we study seven to eight years -instead of five- to get a medical degree…
            Thank you for all this information and ideas!
            I will try the expat jobs and the opportunity to continue my education in another Islamic country.

          • Meryem,

            All schools in the US are in desperate need of ESOL teachers. Your knowledge of languages should get you a job at first as an assistant to an ESOL (English as a Second Language) teacher. My school is an ESOL school, and we have many students who speak arabic

      • Dear Karla,

        I’m sorry; I didn’t respond on time! But, I had this long night shift; and I was trying to recover from it, today!
        And then, here you are, with your sweet post; making me feel wonderful and energetic!

        Please tell me; what should I do to join you, and your school? That would be an amazing honor!

    • Dear Meryem,

      I’ve heard that the USA state of Hawaii is especially interested in recruiting teachers, especially STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teachers.

      I will soon be leaving my modest home to meet the friends who gave me the emotional support I needed to survive and recover from homelessness here in the USA. I will talk with them about you and your situation. Perhaps we can give you some of the emotional support that you wish your family would give you, if you think that might be helpful.

      Please be kind to yourself today and tomorrow.

      • Oh, Holly! That was so warm my dear! Thank you a lot for sharing these kind words. Thank you for sharing these information!
        I’m really happy to hear that you’ve found a home of your own at last! This gives me hope!
        And, of course, your support will be helpful; your words are already very helpful!

        • Hi Meryem,

          I said very little to my friends about you when I saw them yesterday, sorry, I’ll explain later. I can only write for a few minutes now because it’s time for me to go work. I said very little to my friends, but I have been thinking about you.

          I think that humans require adequate, appropriate emotional support to thrive. I know I do! I also think that it is not unusual for people to be unable to get this support from their families. I could not and cannot. This doesn’t mean that our families are not important – that they don’t love us or we don’t love them. It just means that we need other relationships to thrive.

          What have I done that has worked for me? What can you do that will work for you? More later.

          Let’s both thrive! Let’s all thrive! What a wonderful world that would be!

          • Please don’t be sorry. We’re friends now, that’s how I feel; and we have something in common.
            And it feels beautiful and safe to have somebody thinking of you; safe because even if I leave this world before living the life I’m longing for, before chasing, not even achieving, but just chasing my dream, If I leave before that; there’s still going to be a memory of the real me in that body’s brain! It’s like there’s still a little part of you breathing…Please dream of me getting what I want; so that fragile part can “live a better life”. And I’ll do the same, if you want me to do so, of course!
            I hope we can help each other thrive, even if we’re distant; our ideas are close!
            Thank you for your messages!

          • If you would like to be in the “Live The Life You Love” class that starts *this Thursday*, and you aren’t too busy to participate I would be honored if you let me pay your tuition. If you may be interested please respond to this post ASAP so that we can make it happen before registration closes Wednesday at midnight (East Coast USA time I think).

      • Dear Holly,

        I’m sorry; I didn’t respond on time! It’s because of this night shift I had last night. I hope I’m not too late!

        I want to quote something that Sandra BULLOCK said to the bus driver, in the movie “Speed”; I want to tell you that: you are a good person, Holly! And they’re going to make songs about you someday! I mean; you want to pay my tuition! And you’ll be honored to do so! This must be a dream!

        I’m not busy to be in a class that holds my wish in a line in its title, and I’m certainly not busy, to get the chance to see you face to face; my friend, and hear your voice!

        I’m very interested in this class, the problem is I don’t think I can make it to the USA by Thursday!

    • Meryem,

      I posted below, but I want to tell you that you are wise beyond your years! 23 and you have such clarification on what you want in life! You are amazing, and I hope we can help you get what you want!!!

      • I don’t think, I can express my feelings with words! It’s such an honor that you used wise and amazing to describe me!
        No, you are amazing, Karla; hoping to help me! You’re such a kind person, my dear!

    • Dear Karla,

      I’m sorry; I didn’t respond on time! But, I had this long night shift; and I was trying to recover from it, today!
      And then, here you are, with your sweet post; making me feel wonderful and energetic!

      Please tell me; what should I do to join you, and your school? That would be an amazing honor!

      • Live the Life You Love is an *online* book discussion group, so no traveling is required, just internet access. The obstacle isn’t travel, but me getting you signed up before registration closes at 11:55pm tomorrow New York time, which I probably can’t do without your email address. If you read about the course and it’s something you want to spend a few hours doing every week for the next 16 weeks, and you send me your email address I may be able to get you signed up in time. (After that I can still get a refund of tuition if before Feb 27 you decide you don’t want to take the course afterall).

  6. I’m stuck. I started my fine jewelry business last year after experiencing 3 layoffs in 5 years from my “day job”. After many set backs, I launched my business online but things have not gotten off to a good start. I’ve incurred debt (a first in my adult life) and I’ve been searching for a mentor or a mastermind group nearby for support but I keep experiencing rejection. I’m not ready to give up on the dream of my business but I’m also now searching for a new day job so I can pay my bills. No matter what, I’ll keep on keepin’ on but it would be nice to find a little more ease and grace.

    Wish: To be able to support myself financially with my business
    Obstacles: Money and connections (networking)
    Location: Greenville, SC

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