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Laura Gassner Otting shares energetic insights to help you redefine success and live inspired with John O’Leary on the Live Inspired Podcast.

Have you ever felt stuck? That you’re “just” a teacher, dad, stay-at-home mom, accountant… That there’s more for you to achieve? Or are you achieving what you set out for, but still don’t feel fulfilled? My guest today reminds us that your definition of success needs to change with you and with time… + will give you tips on how to get “unstuck” today.

Laura Gassner Otting is the author of Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path and Live Your Best Life. Our conversation will free you to see the endless possibilities within your life + give you tips to uncover them. Entrepreneur, executive headhunter, nonprofit developer + past White House appointee, Laura shares energetic insights from her experience that will help you redefine success + live inspired.

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  • What does success mean for you
    • We feel the need to justify our decisions because we are limited by other’s definition of success.
    • Figure out what success means for you + lean into that with everything you have.
  • We judge our life bloopers by looking at everyone’s highlight reels on social media.
  • Limitless: when you’re at your very best; when everything that you’ve been called upon is solving the problem at hand; when you’re in alignment.
  • Confidence is harmony: what you do matches who you are.
  • Work/Life Alignment: you can be the person that you are in all parts of your life.
  • Your definition of success must change along with you + with time.
  • Learn your definition of success with Laura’s Limitless Life Assessment.
  • Four areas of confidence make you feel limitless:
    1. Calling
    2. Connection
    3. Contribution
    4. Control
  • Connection: is your daily work leading you to your calling? Do you have sightlines as to why the work you’re doing matters?
  • If your work is not matching your calling, ask yourself, “what needs to happen?”
  • If you don’t have sightlines to your calling, find ways to gain a deeper connection.
  • Lean in:  Do everything you possibly can to be successful. More importantly, realize you can redefine success.
  • Create space to define what success means for you by prioritizing your need for calling, connection, contribution, and control at every stage of life.
  • Embrace “sidequests”.
    • Small things that are not on the route to your main quest prepare you for your main quest.
    • Builds confidence through competence.
  • Laura shares how Joshua Mantz, Iraqi military serviceman, achieved limitlessness because he let go of other’s expectations for him to become the person he was born to be. Listen to his TEDx here.
  • Failure is not the finale. Failure is the fulcrum.
  • Get Laura Gassner Otting’s book Limitless here.

If you enjoyed this episode, check out my conversation with Rory Vaden from Live Inspired Podcast ep. 5 where he shares that success “is something you figure out along the way” and reminds us to focus on progress instead of perfection. Listen to ep. 5 here.

You’ll also like Amy Jo Martin from Live Inspired Podcast ep. 97 where she shares on what can happen when we stop asking for permission and choose significance over “success”. Listen to ep. 97 here.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? I talked to strangers more often. I was more extroverted.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? My husband writes me a letter every year on our anniversary. They are a chronical of our 23 years together.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? My children’s future selves, the people that they’ve become after I’m long dead. I want to know how the story turns out.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “You’re just not that important.” I was working hard to be all things to all people and not actually being present for anybody. You’re not that important to everything. Figure out where you are that important and double down there instead.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Write your plans in pencil, because even if you think you know yourself (and you don’t!), the world around you is going to change, be flexible.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?My life was better because she was part of it.


Did you enjoy today’s episode? Subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts!

Live Inspired with John daily on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterest, Instagram+ get his Monday Motivation email.


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