Monday Motivation: Successful People Don’t Mind Others

Vintage motivational quote typography.

 

“Successful people never worry about what others are doing.”

 

Those who succeed create their own path. They stay on track by ignoring what other people are doing and where they are going. Of course they encourage and help those around them, but they understand that every person is on their own unique journey. They don’t listen to naysayers who discourage them by saying that what they are trying to achieve is impossible or unrealistic. They charge full speed ahead, only focusing on their own path ahead of them.

Successful people don’t worry about looking stupid or silly. They might be doing something no one has done before or creating something that didn’t exist before. They don’t care what others think of it (unless, of course, they are creating a product for customers). They are wholly driven by their passion and not by the approval of others. They work for their own applause and not the accolades of the masses.

 

Friday Favorites #3

Friday-Favorites

 

Check out my favorites for the week!

 

What I’m wearing/using: I’ve been using Pantene Pro-v’s 3 minute miracle moisture renewal deep conditioner. It moisturizes my dry hair and makes it look more full and healthy.

 

Pantene-3MM-DailyMoistureRenewal-180ml-ANZ[1]-(1)

 

What I’m eating/drinking:  Digiorno thin & crispy pizza is so delicious and makes you feel like you’re eating gourmet pizza from a fancy restaurant.

 

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What I’m reading:  I haven’t started it yet, but Nod by Adrian Barnes is next on my reading list.

 

nod

 

Monday Motivation: Plan and be Flexible

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“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” -John Lennon

 

Without dreams and goals we wouldn’t accomplish much. We might make carefully laid out plans for our lives, our years, our weeks, and even our days, but we never know what life will throw at us. I believe that to succeed, you have to make plans, but you also must learn to be flexible.

 
Life is full of surprises. Some are pleasant, such as an unplanned visit from a friend you haven’t seen in forever. Others are an unexpected burden like an illness that results in a mountain of medical bills. Those who succeed have learned to navigate through their unforeseen circumstances gracefully. This week, plan to be successful by working hard to achieve your goals, but don’t drown in disappointment if things don’t go your way. As you journey through each day, alter your plans to fit your life. If you want to accomplish much, you have to be flexible, and then you will truly succeed.

 

Friday Favorites #2

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Here are my favorites for the week!

 

What I’m wearing/using:  I’m loving First Aid Beauty’s ultra repair cream for dry skin. It can be used on the face or body. It’s super moisturizing and feels great on.

 

 

repaircream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’m eating/drinking:  Chobani greek yogurt (blueberry on the bottom) is perfect for breakfast or a quick snack. It’s healthy and delicious!

 

 

chobani

 

 

What I’m reading:  The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is full of science fiction (aliens), action and adventure (the end of civilization), and (young adult) romance. So far, the book is better than the movie (duh).

 

3D-Book-the 5th wave

 

 

Monday Motivation: You’re Not Here to Make a Living.

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“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson

 

You’re not here to make a living. You’re here to make a life.

 

Some days, or even weeks, I feel like all I do is work and then rest and regroup for work again. It can seem like a never-ending cycle. Am I just living to work? It’s easy for us to get in a routine of counting down the days of the week until the weekend (or until we’re off from work), but we should be appreciating every moment of our life. Whether we realize it or not, we make an impact at our workplace whenever we interact with coworkers, customers, or clients. What kind of impact are we leaving? Personally, I wouldn’t want to be remembered as the complainer or the person with a grimace on my face every day.

I want to attempt to live my life to the fullest wherever I am and whatever I’m doing. Instead of spending my days off checking social media or watching shows, I should be reading or writing to help me become a better writer. I shouldn’t be dreading or worrying about what will happen the next day. To truly live means to be fully present right where you are. It also means to be who you were created to be in order to have a positive influence on others. Life is more than just getting through the work day. To live means to inspire, to encourage, and to make the world better than it was before.

Friday Favorites #1

 

Simply-Brittany-Friday-Favorites

These are my favorites this week!

 

What I’m wearing/using:  I’ve really been into Neutrogena skin care products lately, such as their lip moisturizer.

 

neutrogenalipformula

 

 

What I’m eating/drinking:  Green Mountain’s organic light roast coffee has a unique flavor.

 

GMC_Organic_Ethiopian_Yirgacheffe_16ct

 

 

What I’m reading:  I’m almost finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. I’ve seen the movie, which was awesome, but I can still safely say that the book was better.

 

 

themartianquote

 

Monday Motivation: Just Get Started

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“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” -Mark Twain

 

I hate getting out of bed most mornings. I hate cleaning. I even hate the thought of writing on some rare occasions. Once I actually start a task, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. As a serial perfectionist and an avid procrastinator, sometimes it’s hard for me to get started on any work that I have to do for the day. I avoid whatever I have to do, because I think I won’t do a job well enough. Or I might get overwhelmed by all the projects I need to finish that I end up surrendering before I start. Instead of the focusing on the grain of sand, I see an entire mound; maybe even a steep mountain that I feel I must scale before my day is done.

As Mark Twain stated, it truly is easier to get a head start on work by simply beginning. As you start to conquer this week, whether you’re heading off to work or school, don’t let your duties and responsibilities overwhelm you. Take one day at a time or even one moment at a time, putting one step in front of the other as you follow your dreams and aspirations. If you’re writing a book, take on one chapter or one page at a time. If you’re trying to get promoted at work, do what you can for today, but don’t worry about tomorrow. If you’re trying to ace a final, study hard and do your best, but do not linger over one wrong answer. God has provided you with the energy, talent, and resources that you need for today. Make use of these, but do not labor ahead into the future. Simply begin today’s work, and you’ll be one step ahead of those who don’t take that first step.

The Empty Room: A Short Story

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“For me, the short story is the depth of a novel, the breadth of a poem, and, as you come to the last few paragraphs, the experience of surprise.” -Amy Bloom

 

I won’t tell you what I know now, but I’ll tell you what I didn’t know then. When I moved into this small Victorian cottage, no one warned me. They didn’t tell me of the legendary tales of a haunted house. They didn’t utter a word of the mystery surrounding an ancient building. Not one of my new neighbors told me stories of the house’s former tenants disappearing; of their warm coffee cups still sitting on the table and their laundry left in the washing machine. They welcomed me to their small town, greeting me at the door with homemade casseroles and pound cakes. They stared at me with lying eyes, knowing that it might happen to me, too.

Who am I, you ask? I’d tell you, but I don’t even know. Perhaps I was a doctor or a lawyer, moving into town to start my practice or even a curious journalist or an illustrious businessman. I’m not sure. All the details are blurred, faded quietly from memory.

On that first day, I arrived at Beryville, a small community in South Carolina, in the early morning hours. I unloaded my boxes from the truck and set to work cleaning my new home. It appeared that no one had lived there for some time. Dust covered every surface and hung in the air like an unanswered question.

Through the front door was the great room. The master bedroom and guest bedrooms were down the hallway to the right. To the left, there was the parlor, the kitchen, and the library.
In the library, wall to ceiling shelves were unoccupied. As I dusted them, I could smell the aroma of old books and tobacco smoke. There was an indentation on the worn rug where a chair had been sitting by the fireplace. I pictured a former owner perusing through history books, smoking on his pipe, and being warmed by the fire during a long winter. Above the mantel, there was a portrait of just such a man. He stood tall, looking distinguished with a gray beard on his chin and a top hat gracing his head. He looked the epitome of an elegant Victorian male, with a vest and ascot peeking out beneath a long coat. But what stood out to me most were his eyes. The color wasn’t extraordinary, as they were only a muddy brown hidden beneath bushy gray eyebrows, but they were piercing. Almost wild, they stared right back at me, seeming to give this warning: “Leave. Leave while you can.”

I blinked, willing the sight away. “I’ve been in here too long. The dust must be getting to me,” I thought and left the room to do some unpacking. As I emptied every box, it was like opening up my memory bank: old papers I’d written in college, the heavy bedspread my grandmother gave me for colder nights, and the t-shirts I’d earned from running in charity races. These were all items I hadn’t mulled over in a long time.

Gradually, I set up each room, so it began to feel more like a home. Every room was filled with treasured pieces, but my favorite room was still the library. The shelves weren’t entirely full of books yet, but some of them were filled with my books and that’s all that mattered.

One evening, I considered starting a fire for the first time. The nights were getting cooler and this night was especially freezing. I stood in front of the fireplace and found myself staring at the portrait of the man again. I wonder who he was. I peered at his penetrating eyes and, for a moment I swore they moved. It seemed as if he looked down quickly and then back up again. I looked down also and saw the fireplace. Scratching my chin, I moved as close as I could to it without burning myself, laughing at what I was doing. I stuck my head inside the mantel and looked all around. As I turned my head to the right, I saw that the fireplace was a lot deeper than I had imagined. The marble of the bottom stopped after a few inches and the wooden floor of a hallway began. It continued to the right inside the fireplace, enticing me to travel down it. I looked back at the library as if someone was watching and then shrugged as I went all the way into the fireplace and started down the hallway.

At the end, there was only one room. There was no door; only an opening for one. The floors inside were made of the same antique wood as the hallway. There were windows on two of the walls. The moon shone through one of them, eerily. There was nothing in the room. It was completely empty other than the layer of dust covering the entire area and dancing in the air. What was truly odd was that it was completely silent. The walls in this room didn’t creak like the others. I could feel a cool wind, but it didn’t make a sound. The only thing I could hear was my beating heart. There was something mysterious about this room, but I wasn’t sure what it was.

As I walked closer to the room, I could hear my footsteps, but they sounded like an echo; like a sound bouncing back from a black hole. I paused for a moment in confusion, but continued as my curiosity was piqued.

With one foot inside the room, I stopped. It had vanished right before my eyes. I could feel my right foot on the cold floor, but couldn’t see it. Paralyzed with fear, I looked into the room as I slowly reached my right hand in. It disappeared as soon as it was inside. All I could do for the next five minutes was put it inside the room and then take it out slowly. Magic? Sorcery? An illusion? I had to know.

So, I immersed myself fully into the cold room and saw people. There were boys and girls and men and women of different ages and races moving slowly around the room like depressed zombies. They weren’t alive, but they weren’t dead either. Their innocent-looking eyes were blank as they shuffled across the floor. I wondered who they used to be. The blonde girl in the corner could have been a college student studying to be a nurse. The middle-aged male in faded overalls looked like a farmer. A young boy and girl held hands, looking straight ahead. Surely, they were best friends who chased each other around during recess. I mourned for these strangers. Their lives were cut short by death or a sort of eternal purgatory. They wandered this small room without genuinely seeing or feeling anything. It pricked my heart, but also made me yearn for their simple existence.

There’s something in my past I can’t remember. Was it unrequited love or a broken heart? Had I been running from the law or buried deeply in debt? Mistakes or burdens, I remember wanting to forget something. In that moment, I made a decision. I decided to join the serene dance of these lost people. I roamed around the room, trying to find my place in the somber choreography. With heavy steps, I beat out their rhythm with my feet. I kept their slow pace for a minute and then felt my brain go numb. Flashes from my past haunted me for a while, but then they were gone.

I am still here, unaware of what has gone before and unable to perceive any role for me in the future. I can’t tell you what I know now, because I don’t know anything. Sometimes I try to remember what I’ve forgotten, but my brain has been imprisoned or maybe it has been erased neatly with a magical delete button. I’ll never know. I will never remember what I meant to forget, but I will always know it was meant to be forgotten.

No One: Chapter 4

mojave-phone-booth

Read from the beginning here.

Who would I call? I can’t even remember my name much less the numbers of complete strangers from images in my head.”

Melanie ate some fallen bananas that she hadn’t noticed earlier near the beach.  Then she decided to go back and follow the path past the old cabin. At the end of it, she found a road, unmarked, but paved.  It wasn’t busy.  She might have seen one car go by if she had been paying attention.  All she noticed was a sign.

She knew she recognized it, but she didn’t know what it meant. It looked like a normal yield sign, but in the middle there was a single black star. Underneath it the word Lunal was printed in block letters.

She looked up and down the road for signs of civilization. Seeing nothing but the horizon on the right and the left, she began to walk down the right side of the highway, hoping to find a car to pick her up or maybe just a phone booth. She laughed internally at the thought. Who would I call? I can’t even remember my name much less the numbers of complete strangers from images in my head.  Yes, it was ludicrous, but still she trekked on.

As if fate was making a joke of her, a phone booth appeared as soon as she crossed the next hill on the road. Shrugging, she went up to it anyway. Once inside, she discovered a number etched into the thin wall of the booth. Smiling at what she was doing, she quickly dropped in the change she found on the floor of the booth and dialed the number.

“Hello,” a deep male voice answered.

“Hi. Um, this is…uh…Melanie.”

“Yes, we’ve been expecting your call,” he said pleasantly.

Shocked and frightened, she let go of the receiver.  She ran off, a trail of dust swirling out behind her.

Bloom Where You’re Planted

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“Bloom where you are planted.” -ancient proverb

 

I have lived in the same house for nearly all of my 28 (almost 29) years of living.  This home is full of so many memories.  Echoes of my past reverberate around me daily.  Like a time traveler, I cross my own time line more often than I realize.  Sometimes the ghosts of me are suffocating and sometimes they remind me how far I’ve come.

My childhood memories are like a distant dream.  I jumped on a trampoline in this yard, I played with dolls in my room, and I lay on this same living room floor while I did my homework.

My awkward, uneasy teenage years were spent here.  I cried in my bedroom as I battled insomnia.  I wrote poetry in my journal.  I got ready for prom and graduation.  I grew up.

After college graduation, I returned here.  I dreamed of leaving this place.  I left and discovered that the real world could be unpredictable and unpleasant.  I tried to move away twice, but returned each time and I’m still here.  This house has been my launching pad, but for some reason, I always find my way back.

Almost every day I wish I was somewhere other than here.  I complain about how small my town is and that I don’t have many opportunities here.  It seems like I spend most of my time wishing instead of growing. Instead of blooming where I’m planted, I whine and become bitter.  Because life doesn’t always go the way I expect, I forget how I blessed I really am.  Though my roots are firmly planted here, that doesn’t mean I can’t learn, thrive, and blossom.  This town might be the perfect soil I need to help me dream, write, and create.

If you feel like you are stuck as I do sometimes, know that you are where you are for a reason.  It doesn’t matter your location, but what you do with the talents and resources you’ve been given. You and I must learn to let our roots provide a solid foundation for us as we grow upward and strive towards our full potential.  As we let our past water us with wisdom, we will look to the rays of hope shining down on us, and leading us to a brilliant future.

#MondayMotivation and #FridayFavorites