Tag Archives: Life

Monday Motivation: You Can Do It

 

This iconic quote is full of optimism and imagination just like Mr. Disney himself. Some might disparage these words, arguing that it leads one to believe that all dreams are possible. I would reply that those who dream are more likely to achieve their goals than those who do not.

Dreaming and doing can not live separately. Dreams are what inspire and propel one into the process of actualization. It is a rocket to the moon before the first steps on lunar soil. It is the hot air that fills a balloon before lifting it off the ground. It is the fragrant smell of coffee that draws one to drink a mugful.

Dreams can only be fulfilled by working hard. While dreaming is the inspiration, hard work is the less glamorous, nitty-gritty process that usually includes mistakes and failure. These only contribute to the journey of success. This middle ground of learning and discovery is actually where creativity and problem solving cultivate.

No, not every dream is possible, but it is more likely to come true if it is combined with hard work, discovery, learning, and patience. So start dreaming and start doing!

 

Monday Motivation: Don’t Watch the Clock

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This is a guest post by fellow writer, Stephen Graves. You can follow him on twitter at @SGraves612.

 

We live life one day after another, similar to the way a clock ticks from one second to another. We’ve all heard that old chestnut about how a watched clock never tells time, right? Well, if you stare at a clock, you’ll get a snapshot of time, but you won’t get a sense of its progression. That’s a small but important distinction for this metaphor.

I worry on a daily basis, throughout the day even, that I’m not close enough to my goals. I fear that my writing isn’t good enough in terms of quality and volume. I wish I were reading more. My saving’s aren’t where I want them to be. I’m not as physically fit as I hope to be. I have close friends, but it would be nice to have more. You get the picture. One of the defining qualities of humanity, for better or worse, is our inability to be satisfied.

It’s because, at any given moment, we’re only looking at a snapshot of our lives. We’re watching the clock tick, and that’s why it doesn’t tell time.

I don’t keep a journal, but in moments of high stress, I’ve been known to jot my thoughts as a form of meditation and stress relief. One day, I was feeling down about seemingly going nowhere in life, and I happened to stumble upon one of these old stress entries. It was amazing to see how much better my life was, in every area, than it had been when I wrote the entry. I was so concerned with the ups and downs of the snapshot that I’d been missing the upward trending progression.

Even knowing this, I still stress about my goals. You probably will, too. That’s human nature. It’s not a bad thing in itself, but any time you feel especially bogged down in the tick-by-tick slog, pull back and look at just how much progress you’ve made. Don’t sweat those small concerns.

 

You’re probably much further along than you realize.

 

Monday Motivation: Make a Difference

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“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” -William James

 

Sometimes it’s hard to keep yourself motivated for another work day or the beginning of another long work week. You might ask yourself, “Why am I doing this again?” or “Is it really worth the money?” One way to not get bogged down by these thoughts is to adjust your attitude! I know sometimes I focus on the negative too much and find myself complaining and venting to my loved ones. Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your job, focus on what you do like. You may not be able to change how your day is going, but you can choose how you react to it.

You may wonder if what you do for a living even matters. From the lowest position to the position of a CEO of a major company or corporation, what you do matters and makes a difference in this world. We all affect each other and contribute to our society whether in big or small ways. One of the most important ways is by spreading love and positivity into the world. It’s very easy to complain about what you think is going wrong concerning your position or that your day is terrible, because it’s another boring or stressful Monday. Choose to smile and spread joy.

 

Choose to have a positive attitude!

 

Friday Favorites #5

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What I’m wearing/using: I use Wet n Wild’s icon blush to contour my cheeks. Sometimes I also use it on my forehead, chin, and nose as a bronzer.

 

 

 

What I’m eating/drinking:  I’ve been drinking more tea lately to help with my seasonal allergies. Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat tea doesn’t need any added sugar and is soothing to an itchy throat.

 

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What I’m reading/watching:  I’ve been enjoying trade novels by Debbie Macomber lately. Her novels pull you into the story, showcasing the relationships between realistic characters. I’m about halfway through The Reluctant Groom right now.

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Be Yourself and Change the World

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It’s not about trying to change the world, it’s about trying to not be changed by it.”-LIGHTS

 

These words by the popular Canadian electropop artist ring true.  First of all, when we think about wanting to change the world, we don’t think about ourselves.  We think we have to cure world hunger and cancer, make every country peaceful, and get everyone on the planet employed.  These ideas are good but lofty.  It leaves us feeling overwhelmed that we can’t accomplish much as one person.  It makes us want to give up before we’ve even started.

As we go about our daily lives, we are bombarded by pressures from our peers, from media, and from society as a whole.  They tell us we should look a certain way, act a certain way, and hide what makes us unique.  What this quote by Lights expresses is that we shouldn’t let other people change us.  We shouldn’t try to fit into a mold created by those around us.  God created us to be different.  We came with a unique body and face, soul and heart, passions and dreams, goals and a purpose.  We shouldn’t do things because we think they will make us cool, appreciated, popular, or successful.  We should choose our words and actions based on what is right and what passions God has implanted within our hearts.

What we don’t understand most of the time is that if we are who we’re meant to be instead of being someone others’ want us to be, we will change the world.  If we become who we are created to be, we encourage others to be their true self.  Others’ opinions seem less important when you view a person shining their own light.  They make the right decisions, care for other people, and don’t live solely for the crowd’s approval.  Your appearance, popularity, and level of success will fade into the background when you see an individual with self-worth not dependent on any of those aspects.  When you see someone loving themselves just the way they are, including their flaws, it gives you the courage to do the same.  It inspires you to change the world by first loving yourself and then accepting others with all their imperfections.  Change the way you view yourself and you will change the way you view other people.  Be yourself and change the world.

 

(For more on Lights visit her website:  music.iamlights.com)

People Drain Me

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“People empty me.  I have to get away to refill.”-Charles Bukowski

 

Some people might not understand why I genuinely enjoy spending time by myself.  The best way I can explain it is that introverts gain energy by being alone.  When they are required to be in public or they venture out in the real world of their own accord, they know they’ll eventually become drained.  Speaking, interacting, and basically communicating with others takes a lot of mental and emotional energy out of us.  Also, there is an overabundance of stimuli that may overwork our brains.  Yes, we are observers, but we can only take in so much for so long before we have to recharge.

Extroverts are the opposite.  They gain strength from being around people.  They ‘level up’ when someone pays attention to them.  They enjoy being in crowds, at parties, and at malls.  This is their natural habitat. Introverts, in turn, enjoy being at home or in quiet spaces, such as libraries, book stores, or small coffee shops.

In a room full of people, there is a constant tug of war.  The extroverts are competing for everyone’s attention as if they are doing a tap dance routine on a stage.  The introverts are the audience, silently observing everything around them and maybe taking notes in their journal.  Some extroverts may not understand why the introverts sit down and won’t join in ‘dancing’ with them.  They might look at them strangely and eventually ostracize them because they think they are weird or different.  What they must realize is that there is no audience without introverts.  There is no one to listen to them and give them a few words of well thought out advice.  Both kinds of people must exist in order for meaningful conversation to take place.

But what happens when one extrovert begins conversing with a single introvert?  Then the real battle begins:  the battle of energy.  The extrovert will approach another person with a story, expecting the introvert to respond with his or her own.  The introvert might say a few words in response, but will leave the other person dissatisfied.  Extroverts need energy from other people to fill their ‘tanks’ up.  When the flow of words doesn’t come in their direction, they might resort to asking random, personal questions.  This is usually terrifying to the introvert.  They want to have plenty of time to ponder their answers, but are not given it.  With every question asked, some energy is stolen from his or her tank and is deposited into the extrovert’s.

Does this mean that we hate people?  No.  Does this mean that we’re wary of who we let into our personal bubble?  Yes.  We enjoy spending time with a few close friends that we can trust not to completely deplete our energy supply.  When meeting a new person, we may seem stand-offish, but don’t take offense.  We may not open up to you immediately, but if and when we do, it will be special and beautiful.  We are deep thinkers of few words, but when we do speak, listen closely.  We speak softly, but our words are full of wisdom.

 

This is funny but true:  ‘How to Care For An Introvert’