I’m a huge advocate of personal development. My collection of self-help books, pamphlets, and magazine articles lifted from the various offices (too cheap to purchase it for one page!) date back 30 years. I was finally motivated to restructure my DNA after children entered the frame. Although neglect was never an issue, my value system wasn’t a tradition I wanted to hand down. A strength is that even when I have a difference of opinion, I’m willing to approach yours with an open mind. I will also share your point of view if it makes sense and is fact-based. This article, even though several years old, falls into that category. It’s an interesting (but extremely long!) read and included several valid points even though my conclusion wasn’t altered by his opinion. Personal development should be a mandatory event before certain people are let loose in public.
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I remember as a 7th grade girl I went to my dad and told him I was going to run for the class officer secretary position. I was so elated and nervous to step out in faith for this class position that I could not wait to tell this dream to my dad. As I was explaining with excitement and energy about this role that I wanted to take on, I noticed his demeanor was not moved by my 7th grade buzz. So to pull a response out of him, I asked my dad what he thought about this next endeavor I wanted to pursue. With love in his voice and a warm embrace around my waist, I will never forget the words that came out of his mouth next. He said, “If you’re going to run for an office, why not run for president?” Stunned, I looked at him…
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What am I afraid of?
Not going after what I know will make me happy.
When I think about all the things I spend my money on, I’d be highly disappointed knowing that I could have taken that trip three times over but instead I spent my money on eating out every day. And investing always more on behalf of my employer or others than on myself. I’m afraid of putting all my energy into superficial things without stopping to change course. Or forgetting those past successes that remind me of the bigger picture—that the universe is seeking to help me at every turn.
I want to live without restrictions and I want that for everybody I meet. Why – because we are our best selves in this state. We are more valuable when our experiences stretch us and create discomfort.
I’m not going to give you 7 Ways to…
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The Thing I Love About Vacation Planning…
Evelina and I started planning our big vacation for 2018 this morning. We are going to go down and spend a week at the condo in Naples. If you recall we spent last year in Naples as well and highly recommend visiting if you get a chance.
This June we will spend nearly a week relaxing on the beach, eating at Grouper and Chips, riding bikes and maybe a little shopping for Evelina.
We love it there and are so excited to go back. When we leave there we are going to cap off our trip with a couple days at Disney World (imagine that!), but we will not be staying at the resort this time. Honestly, as much as I love Disney I do not love the prices. So to conserve money we will be staying off property and commuting to the parks.
My favorite thing about vacation is the planning and anticipation. It is an awesome feeling to be preparing now for a big trip in June and gives me motivation each week as a little more is added to the trip itinerary!
Are you planning a vacation for this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
The One Way I Believe Self-Help Fails…
In my opinion “self-help” fails in one major way: it focuses on improving your shortcomings instead of directing you to simply be the person you want to be. I hope that makes sense, but just in case it doesn’t I’ll clarify.
Almost every self-improvement blogger I know espouses a basic premise that you can eventually be and achieve all the things that will make you fulfilled, but for now you need to improve yourself. In order to get what you want you must change something. I’ve even said it in the past.
Stop wasting time, stop procrastinating, stop eating junk food and on and on and on. The list never ends. We are all familiar with the language.
But doesn’t this approach put more emphasis on the negative instead of the positive? It seems like self-improvement focuses so much on what I lack; on my deficiencies. And aren’t we always going to have deficiencies? So it hit me that one could get caught in this ridiculous loop of constantly focusing on faults and this doesn’t feel right to me any longer.
What if you simply determined what it is that you know you do really well and focused on those aspects of your life? If you are a people person then find things to do that will allow you to highlight that ability. If you love being creative then be creative. If you love numbers then be content with playing the numbers game in some fashion.
What if your focus became to simply become the person you desire to be? Full of deficiencies, faults, mistakes, shortcomings, etc. The path of “I must fix this problem now, then I’ll fix this problem and after that I’ll be happy” will lead to frustration and misery. The journey promises to be full of adventure and insightful experiences, but creates an unreachable, ever-moving destination; a destination that never existed in the first place.
It seems to me that focusing on the positive is much more effective and enjoyable than constantly focusing on the negatives.
There is a key element to success that not all people understand: struggle. Struggle is a key element of getting ahead. It exists in quitting smoking. It exists in losing weight. It exists in getting a promotion. It exists in building a business. It exists in making more money. Any time you look to advance yourself you can bet that struggle will play into the equation at some point.
For Mark Cuban it was living in an apartment with 6 other guys eating ketchup and mustard sandwiches. For some it might be living without pay television, internet and not eating out for a year or more. For others it might involve walking to work instead of driving.
I have joked in the past that anyone can work a home budget of $5000 per month, but it takes talent to live for a couple of weeks on $20. You know you’ve lived the struggle when you can live in a major metro area and have the skills to stretch that 20 bucks to its max!
Most people are afraid of the struggle and they don’t know how to handle it. Which explains why more people don’t reach their personal goals. It’s not laziness. It’s not lack of motivation. It’s not lack of education. It’s fear. They fear the struggle. They fear the ‘what if’ part of success that says ‘what if it doesn’t work out?’.
A few weeks ago, I watched a vlog by Danny at Dream Big, Dream Often that inspired me. I keep thinking about it and have been trying to incorporate it into my life. So I thought I’d share it here, in case you hadn’t seen it.
The main point is simple: Instead of focusing on what you need to stop doing, focus on what you need to start doing.
Danny said, “We don’t have to focus on quitting anything. Just keep doing enough of the right stuff and the negative will not have room in your life.”
The positive changes will eventually push out the negative behaviors.
It’s important to make a plan and stick to it. Here are some ideas:
Instead of Saying:
- I have to stop eating junk food.
- I need to quit watching so much TV.
- I should spend less time on social media.
- I need to…
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If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?
Only if you let it. Only if you acknowledge it’s existence.
Because everything and everyone can make noise.
But not all of it is going to be useful to you.
Some will be downright bad for you and you must…