Encouragementology
Get Off the Hamster Wheel and Make Meaningful Moments

Get Off the Hamster Wheel and Make Meaningful Moments

July 6, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are poking a stick in it, turning off auto-pilot, and getting off the hamster wheel. No longer are we going to walk through life wondering where we are going and “what just happened?”. SNAP - time to wake up for some intentional and meaningful moments. That’s right, intentional. How will you approach each day; Wondering where the time went or finding unique ways to experience, connect, understand, and document? The hamster wheel suggests a whole lot of action but not really getting anywhere. When you sit down at night, after a long day of who knows what, where does your mind go; glad it’s over or trying to put shape to the blur? Instead of allowing time to slip away unnoticed, let’s dig into these questions and add meaning. 

I read this quote in a book recently: We’re young for such a small fraction of our lives, and yet our youth seems to stretch on forever. Then we’re old for years and years, but time flies by fastest then.

I’m sure everyone is nodding their head no matter what your age is. We all have 365 days in a year and endless opportunities to find meaning. We also start out with a somewhat blank slate and add experiences and memories as we go. 

What stands out? I’m sure your mind goes to major milestones in your life.

What happens to all the moments in between? Why didn’t they make the vault of memories you value? How much of your life was spent waiting and pondering the next meaningful moment?

Meik Wiking says There’s an art to happy memories — you can make more by experiencing more “first”s - in his talk for ideas.ted.com

Interesting research about the reminiscence effect…

One theory behind the reminiscence bump is that our teens and early adulthood years are our defining years, our formative years. Our identity and sense of self is developing at that time, and some studies suggest that experiences linked to who we see ourselves as are more frequently retold in explaining who we are and are therefore remembered better later in life.

One study found that 73 percent of people’s vivid memories were either first-time experiences or unique events.

If we want life to slow down, to make moments memorable and our lives unforgettable, we may want to remember to harness the power of firsts. In our daily routines, it’s also an idea to consider how we can turn the ordinary into something more extraordinary in order to stretch the river of time. 

I find that doing something with my hands, creating something, writing something - can make for a meaningful moment. For instance, I love crocheting. Hear me out. Something in my brain finds comfort in a repetitive motion. Another part of my brain is satisfied when I take unformed items and create forms - like fabric into a garment, paper scraps into a card, and yarn into a hat, scarf, or blanket. This repetitive motion of winding yarn in different patterns can create a hat you wear to give you comfort. JOY! Then there is this wire that becomes obsessed with a project so I’ve created over 100 hats!

Obviously, I don’t have 100 cold children or adults in my family who need hats so I’ve looked for other outlets to donate hats. For me, that’s meaningful. 

Michael and Sophia Miracolo show us How to escape the hamster wheel – tools and tips from their blog liveslowrunfar.com

What is the hamster wheel, even? The dictionary hints at an unfulfilling activity leading nowhere, but our modern-day interpretation builds more into it than that.

“Am I living my life the way I want to? Am I investing my time in a way that fulfills me?”

Here are some ideas on how to do more with less and refocus your life on meaningful moments:

  • Clear out your home
  • Switch careers
  • Move to the countryside
  • Lower your expenses
  • Work less
  • Start freelancing (when possible)
  • Grow your own vegetables
  • Move to a smaller city or town
  • Downsize
  •  

I love all those ideas and especially the whole concept of live slow, run far. What’s the rush?? A friend was telling me about a book he read referencing the 33,000 days that the average person has to live. Whoa…..looking at time with that perspective is a bit daunting. Already I feel behind the eight ball. But if you could look at your life with a finite sense of time, would that change your outlook? Would that motivate you to live life to its fullest, never wasting a moment?

Tim McGraw sings “live like you were dying”. This is poignant because most people who are faced with that prospect or have witnessed a near-death experience have echoed that they now view their day-to-day differently and as a result, pack in moments that are meaningful. 

There are endless quotes about happiness and in the end what held the most meaning and they all point to our connections. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that these are personal or in-person connections, not Facebook friends or Twitter followers.

It’s connecting, listening, sharing, understanding, and encouraging the people in our lives. The ones we call our “people” and the ones we’ve yet to meet. 

Lachlan Brown gives us The 10 most important things in life (for fulfillment and happiness) in his article for ideapod.com

1 -Healthy Relationships

2 -Family

3 -Yourself

4-Your friends

5 -Love in all shapes and sizes

6 - Passion

7 -Time and productivity

8 - Good health

9 -Wellness

10 -Reason to live

 

CHALLENGE: make an intentional effort to step off the hamster wheel to seek meaning through connection, purpose, creativity, and experience. Collect memories that tell a story of making the most of every moment.

I Know YOU Can Do It!

 

Again, Again, and Again, Recovering From Failure

Again, Again, and Again, Recovering From Failure

June 29, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are at it again, and again, and yes, maybe even again. We aren’t giving up but instead, recovering from failure. Sometimes it’s more than just telling yourself “better luck next time”, there is a process; awareness, learning, resiliency, and tenacity when you don’t get it right the first time but aren’t ready to give up. Can you imagine if we adopted the one-and-done at every stage of our lives? Oy, let’s be honest, we would still be sitting in soiled diapers sucking our thumbs. Thank goodness we didn’t give up so easily! Let’s find that resolve as we walk through our failures in an attempt to recover and move forward.

Let’s get something out of the way in the very beginning, I do believe in giving in. Again, again, and again is in no way saying you shouldn’t learn something from your failures to modify or abort your original plans. I’m also not suggesting that tenacity is the only thing you need to MAKE something happen when it clearly isn’t working. 

In everything, I’m suggesting a healthy balance of push, pull, and release. Oh boy, we go through so many changes in our lives with radical ideas about the world at every turn. Can you take a moment and think back to an idea you had or something you tried that failed, and now, looking back you can clearly see why and are thankful for it? 

Amy Clover, fitness and mental health coach, gives us her ideas from her website insideoutstrong.com: The Difference Between Giving Up & Moving Forward

GIVING UP is dropping something just because it’s pushing you out of your comfort zone.

MOVING FORWARD is recognizing that what you’re doing is either not working or is making you miserable, then taking another course that gets you to your goal of what’s important.

  1. Ask yourself why you want to stop.
  2. Is the reason sound? 
  3. Determine the verdict.

Can you think about a time you should have thrown in the towel instead of trying again? Can you see now how you might have changed your approach or direction for a better outcome? 

None of us like rejection. We aren’t going into something excited that there is a 50/50 split of yes or no, win or lose. Most of us don’t haphazardly throw spaghetti hoping it will stick. We’ve done our homework, researched our ideas, put in the long hours, vowed dedication, and yet still have a 50% chance it won’t work.

Not giving up the first time can have everything to do with timing and little to do with the actual idea or process. BUT, it’s important to evaluate that before you continue to insert a square peg in a round hole. 

Dr. Guy Winch helps us understand the impact with The Essential Guide for Recovering From Failure - found on psychology.com

  1. Failure makes our goals seem tougher. 
  2. Failure makes our abilities seem weaker.
  3. Failure damages our motivation.
  4. Failure makes us risk-averse.
  5. Failure limits our ability to think outside the box.
  6. Failure makes us feel helpless.
  7. Failure leads us to make incorrect and damaging generalizations.

Having the courage to keep going is a feeling that may not immediately come but instead, might take a bit of encouragement. Just like understanding your part in the failed attempt isn’t always easy but will help you uncover key elements of your wants, needs, desires, and limitations. 

Not everything is supposed to work out. The good thing is, given another try, you have the opportunity to do it again, with more knowledge and understanding about yourself. 

Geoffery James gives us the steps in How to Recover From an Epic Fail -A step-by-step method for dealing with--and overcoming--a huge failure in your life or career.

  1. Stop complaining.
  2. Take responsibility.
  3. Forgive yourself.
  4. Celebrate the failure.
  5. Debrief yourself.
  6. Recommit yourself.
  7. Create a new plan.
  8. Reality-check your plan.
  9. Execute the plan.

I love creating, starting from an idea, to a plan, to execution. It’s exciting to see something tangible that was once just an idea in my head. As a result, I have created a wide variety of products that never quite made it off my shelf and onto someone else's. Some of them make me laugh today, especially thinking back to how serious I was at the time. Others, I think, just missed their window of opportunity.

Today, I’ve grown and my journey has given me a new lens. My creativity is still there but my thoughts are rooted around serving my true potential. If I would have given up, or if I had not recovered from my failed attempts, I would have missed out on a whole new world. A chance to come into my own and settle into the flow of mindful production and successful service. 

I’m thrilled that life taught me and I will forever be a lifelong learner continually practicing patience and persistence. 

Recovering From Failure Key Takeaways

  1. In everything, a healthy balance of push, pull and release.
  2. We only know what we know today and not only are our ideas growing but so are our capabilities
  3. Just because you don’t want to continue down this path, doesn’t mean you’re a quitter. It just means this path is not the one you’re supposed to take.
  4. GIVING UP is dropping something just because it’s pushing you out of your comfort zone.
  5. MOVING FORWARD is recognizing that what you’re doing is either not working or is making you miserable, then taking another course that gets you to your goal of what’s important.
  6. Wisdom comes from learning from our mistakes. 
  7. Remember what’s important to you, and ground yourself in that when you feel like giving up.
  8. Failure can impact us on an unconscious level and leave wounds that are far more psychologically devastating.
  9. The only thing we can conclude for sure after a failure is that we were unsuccessful at that particular task/goal, in that particular time, in those particular circumstances.
  10.  Having the courage to keep going is a feeling that may not immediately come but instead, might take a bit of encouragement.

CHALLENGE: use failure as a teacher and a guide. Instead of retreating with a one-and-done, evaluate what went wrong, own your responsibility, unleash what you can’t control, modify your approach or change your target then give it another go! 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Patience is Not Just a Virtue But a Precious Commodity

Patience is Not Just a Virtue But a Precious Commodity

June 22, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are buying high and selling low. Evaluating our resources to uncover the deficits.  We are trading in precious commodities, PATIENCE. So slow down and give us your full attention. What is more important than your own personal development? You grow and then the world around you benefits. Want to make a significant change - be a change agent and take your own growth seriously. Ok, ok, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the whole show is about developing, recognizing, and celebrating patience so let’s do it justice by conjuring up a little of our own. 

We started the show off by trying to understand where the saying, “Patience is a Virtue” comes from. 

I just love word or phrase origins and then tracking how the meanings have changed over time. This phrase has ballooned to encompass anything you can’t have right now. It’s sometimes used when there really is no explanation as to why you haven’t received or achieved something you desire. “There, there, all in good time, patience is a virtue.”

Candace Vogler helps us better understand virtues in a blog article she wrote for thevirtueblog.co

Virtue, then, is not an attitude, although attitudes often go along with virtue.  It is not a belief system or a kind of desire or a kind of feeling/emotion, although virtue shapes thoughts and feelings.  It is closer to a stable, cultivated way of noticing what’s going on and responding to what’s going on (inwardly and through one’s actions) aimed at supporting, enabling, or doing actual good. 

Not sure infants are born with any level of patience - clearly not when they start out with only two speeds; full-on high alert or sleeping. Patience is developed over time as a result of so many things. Your willingness to take it slower than you have in the past or as a result of too many failed attempts at pushing your way through. 

I’m quick to pull the trigger on an idea. I love brainstorming and getting creative with my thoughts but then shortly after, it’s GO-TIME! I don’t stew over plans, rationalizing different outcomes, I test it out more practically or impractically - hands-on!

Melissa Eisler, Professional Leadership Coach gives us her ideas on developing patience in her article - 7 Strategies to Build Your Patience Muscle

Whatever or whomever your trigger, patience is most difficult to muster up when you encounter a roadblock or waiting time between you and that something you want or need. Whether it’s as simple as:

  • The long line at the grocery store when you just want to get home with your groceries
  • The hold time when you want to speak to a customer service representative
  • The five minutes you must wait when your spouse is running late for dinner
  • Waiting for your computer to reboot
  • Traffic!

Patience vs. Mindfulness

To understand the role mindfulness plays in being patient, let’s make sure we are all working off of the same definition of patience, which, according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary means, “bearing pains or trials calmly and without complaint” and “steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.”

Only snippets from her work…

  • Pause and Breathe
  • Stop Resisting
  • Acknowledge the Effects of Impatience
  • Get curious about the particular moment you are in.
  • Use the Extra Time Wisely
  • Try a Mini Meditation
  • Befriend the Situation

Part of developing patience is understanding the timing is everything. You could think of timing as in God’s time, this measurement that only He knows so settle down and wait. Or whether something is happening at the right time in your life.

Jelena Jegdić gives us another perspective in her article: What Is Divine Timing And How Does It Work? [Simple Guide] located at reviw42.com

Divine timing is the belief that everything occurs exactly when it is supposed to. By accepting this thought, we have to accept that everything that happens in our lives, from the most ordinary, mundane events to the biggest, most drastic changes that occur—everything is controlled by something that is more powerful than all actions we can undertake to gain control of our lives.

Despite the seemingly random nature of divine workings, there are certain rules that have to be followed if you have decided to accept this outer force in your life. If you’ve found yourself in a situation when you have waited or strived toward something, only to get it when you finally gave up on it—that is the universe giving you what you need when you are ready for it, and not one moment sooner. Guide yourself by these rules and trust the universe to do the rest for you.

  • Learn to be patient
  • Trust in perfect timing
  • Don’t try to force things
  • Don’t attach yourself to an outcome

Haven’t we all looked back on something that we wanted SO BAD at the time but just didn’t work out and now, with some hindsight, we see that we are better for it. Whew - I know timing helped me out more than once. 

  • When you think about timing you can also consider where you are on your journey and if what you’re shooting for makes sense. The sky really isn’t the only limit. Where are you in your career, does it make sense to uproot, start a new project, go into debt?
  • Where are you in your family, do you have small children; now might not be the best time to start a business, or change careers, or travel the world.
  • Where are you in your development; it might not be the right time to have children, take on a big project, leave your support system.

WE all want to be further along with more to show for our lives. It’s so difficult to be patient and live in the now. How can you slow down and be present when there is so much left to be done? 

The flip side of that thinking is how many meaningful moments are you missing by living too far in the future?

Andrew Faure looks at the idea of being present from many angles in his article How to Live in the Present Moment and Create Your Dream Life - found at creatormind.org

The Future Is Now

For most people, many of their wants and desires include being happy, having peace of mind, feeling loved or being successful. And they don't want these things in some distant future, they want them now! 

If I gave you the option of being prosperous starting next year or being prosperous starting today, which would you choose?

Too many hot buttons to hit in a summary….listen to the show!!

 

CHALLENGE: to realize that your best is achievable and with patience and timing, your goals, realized. Take time to ponder the present as you make plans for the future. It’s all a delicate balance of awareness, acceptance, and fortitude. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

From Assistant to Manager, Owning Your Life

From Assistant to Manager, Owning Your Life

June 15, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...you’re receiving a promotion! Congratulations! From Assistant to Manager, putting you in charge of your own life. From strategy to tactical application, the decisions are yours. You’re in charge! So what’s your first move? You might need to spend a little time establishing yourself in your new role which might mean communicating to those around you a new set of expectations. No longer will you take a back seat and let someone else drive. No longer will you doubt your ideas seeking validation from others. No longer will you put things on the backburner, giving way to fear. You are the head honcho and from this day forward the choices are yours. 

So let’s start by determining where you are. Not necessarily physically. I hope you’re in a safe, comfortable space open to new ideas and perspectives. But I’m referring to logistically and emotionally on your journey. Is this a promotion for the first time in your life? Have you ever achieved management level where you are calling all the shots? No net, no answering to the chief of staff, just you? OR were you there and then for some reason, twists and turns of life, someone took the helm and you were demoted? Maybe you’ve gotten comfortable being #2 and not having to take responsibility for your life strategy. For some reason, along the way, you felt unqualified. 

Maybe you’re at a crossroads realizing life doesn’t meet your expectations when you’re not in charge of it. Taking a passive role expecting aggressive action is futile. If you want to see change you have to be a change agent and make it happen. 

If you’re already questioning who’s really in charge then this should help..

10 Ways You Might Be Giving Other People Too Much Power Over Your Life Without Even Realizing It by AMY MORIN found on inc.com

  1. You give in to guilt trips.
  2. You allow someone else's opinion of you to dictate your self-worth.
  3. You don't establish healthy boundaries.
  4. You complain about all the things you have to do.
  5. You hold grudges.
  6. You change your goals because you were rejected.
  7. You set out to prove someone wrong.
  8. You let other people bring out the worst in you.
  9. You invest time into talking about people that you don't like.
  10. You work hard to avoid criticism.

I have always felt in charge of my own life labeling myself as fiercely independent. I’m outspoken and typically decisive when it comes to business. But I completely identify with more than five from that list. I am a people-pleaser and even though I’ve spent a lot of time understanding that behavior and making changes based on my level of awareness, I can still stumble with those old and familiar feelings. 

In many aspects of my life, I crave validation. UGH, I don’t want to, trust me. I can do something or create something and feel proud and comfortable. Why can’t that feeling be enough? Why do I have to seek someone else’s approval? Do you identify with that feeling? 

Overcoming an Approval Seeking Personality and Low Self Esteem by Maggie at ownyoubest.com

Struggling with low self-esteem or an approval-seeking personality? You are not alone. It’s common to want to feel validated at times. But if seeking approval is when your self-esteem and overall well-being are riding on the opinions of others, it’s time to learn how to let go of this temporary high.

  • Think about the kind of approval you seek (ie. appearance, wealth, success, love, worthiness).
  • Know that overcoming the need for approval is not about changing others in your life (however, a toxic environment may be a component). Your self-worth journey begins and ends with you.
  • Dig deep and determine the type of approval-seeking personality you identify with most. What is holding you back from authenticity?

Awareness might seem as overused as mindfulness but it’s a critical step if you want to see real change in your life. Change starts with you and only happens if you first evaluate where you are and what you need to do to get moving in the right direction. This new direction is great but never really a clear path void of any challenges. Understanding yourself and your tendencies is an awareness that can help you navigate the best path and give you the tools you need to modify, re-engineer, or simply dust yourself off and try again. 

Being mindful gives you the chance to learn new things about yourself every day. It gives you the freedom to get lost in your own thoughts, to fantasize about outcomes, and visualize what needs to happen to get where you want to go. Spend some time with yourself, wondering, and problem-solving. Don’t be so quick to differ from another person. You have the power!

Mo Seetubtim gives some ideas on How To Take Charge of Your Own Life found on the happinessplanner.com

  1. Realize that it's important to start taking charge of your own life.
  2. Say ‘No’ to help.
  3. Say ‘No’ to choices that make you unhappy.
  4. Realize that you only have the power you decide to build.
  5. Know that life is a journey.

I go into a section on lemons and lemonade….super fun (well maybe not)

On Hilde’s blog, inspiredbyhilde.com - continues the rally cry with: Be in charge of your life! 

  • Make a choice. 
  • Be the authority. 
  • Get educated.
  • Take action. 

Self-empowerment is about taking charge and responsibility. Through feeling powerful one becomes fearless. When one becomes fearless, life becomes limitless.

 

If you want something to change, change something. Start NOW, and do not waste another minute feeling less than great!

 

CHALLENGE: evaluate your current role in your life to determine if you’re assisting someone else in making decisions or if you’ve, in fact, taken a management role and are owning your own life. You have the power to be strategic and tactical, actively leading your own journey, 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Venturing Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Venturing Outside of Your Comfort Zone

June 8, 2021

SHOW NOTES:  

On this show...we are pushing the boundaries, testing the water, and venturing outside of your comfort zone. You know the place, where things feel a bit foreign, out of your perceived control, and where the unknown can either be exhilarating or terrifying. Most of us have been to this place but only temporarily, retreating the moment discomfort alerts us that we are outside our four predictable walls. Routine, Consistency, Automatic, and Safe. Here we live dreaming of what might be “over yonder” but rarely disrupting our day-to-day life to find out. What would happen if we broke through, ventured out, pushed through the awkwardness, and challenged ourselves? You might think it’s a 50/50 situation to win or fail but oh the learning levels in between.

You might be asking yourself;  Why would you want to venture outside of your comfort zone? Well, let’s clear that up before we even get started. Life can be an amazing journey if you let it. All throughout the process we have the opportunity to grow and learn, evolve. Some of this happens automatically and from basic observation of the people around us. Some of it is instinctual but other has to be explored, found, adopted, and nurtured. 

When we stop at the first amount of threat or push back, we have the tendency to stay stuck. Never pushing ourselves to challenge and grow.

There are different stages of learning and growing in your life - and thank goodness for it. Imagine staying stuck at any stage before the one you’re in now. It doesn’t matter how old you are today, imagine a stage or two before and then picture yourself stuck there. Not physically necessarily because it wouldn’t want to shed 20 years off your body (unless you are currently 20). I’m speaking for mentally. 

Picturing being 45 but you’re operating on the knowledge you had at age 25. Sure you might have had significantly more energy but oh boy, you didn’t have the experience you have now. 

NATALY KOGAN gives us 40 lessons in happiness for my younger self (a letter she wrote to her daughter)

Here are just a few…

  • Most things are better after a good night of sleep.
  • Don’t save your nice dishes, nice clothes, nice shoes for a special occasion. Every day you’re alive is a special occasion, so use the good stuff!
  • When in doubt, go for a walk.

Ready for an awesome revelation? You never have to be done. There is no ceiling to your quest for knowledge and experience. No graduation day, no certificate, and until the end, no pass/no fail. Your journey will ebb and flow and if you are willing, will keep moving forward.  Remember,  you hold the power to accelerate or to apply the brakes. 

Pushing down on the gas means you WILL face uncertainty, no doubt get lost, face adversity, and be forced into uncomfortable situations. But oh the fun you might have!

When it comes to life in general, you only know what you know. You’re a product of your environment. 

Jace Jacobs share more on this thought from his blog at jacejacobs.com

The way you operate today is a result of your programming.

Is it good or bad? Maybe a little bit of both. One thing is for sure; you are in charge of what you choose to embrace or change about yourself.

Own your happiness. 

Break your programming

Embrace the power of your thoughts

I love to reinvent and I have a gazillion hobbies and ideas. Sometimes my mind is racing, wondering how I will find time to get them all in. These can be professional projects and new business ventures to being obsessed with crocheting hats. 

I’m notorious for getting an idea and then falling headfirst into all the details until I’ve burnt myself out. Key here - diversify. Projects you can do alone, projects with people, projects that are self-serving, projects that help the community or a community of people or the environment in general, projects that inspire, teach, or exercise your mind and body. I’m getting excited just thinking about it all! 

What if you could grow through life instead of simply...go through life?

Shawn from stunningmotivation.com shares 7 Steps on How To Grow In Life And Become More Successful

A few of his thoughts…

Take a moment to compare yourself 5 years ago…

  • Are you reaching greater heights in life?
  • Have you achieved most of your goals and are living your dreams?
  • And do you feel extremely fulfilled with your life right now?

Success will not come to you overnight, but it can be achieved through daily improvement and small increments over time.

Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year, but they underestimate what they can achieve within 5 years.

  1. Commit to Mastery
  2. Cultivate Success Characters
  3. Respect Your Time
  4. Keep Your Promises and Commitment
  5. Take care of your finances and commit to living debt-free when possible
  6. Nourish Your Body
  7. Enrich Your Soul

How can we coax you out to test the waters once again? You’re ok with where you are today and it’s far more comfortable than trusting and pushing yourself to learn a little more. You’re ok with settling for the here and now. 

In Tony Fahkry’s article -Why The Magic Happens When You Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone found at the medium.com

Just a teaser…

Life tosses you lemons — well at least that’s what you suspect from where you stand. You may be sick and tired of being in a rut. Feeling uninspired — emotionally drained and lacking direction. Don’t despair since you may simply be experiencing an internal shift.

From time to time, you may suffer periods of uncertainty, which on the surface appears as though your world is sinking. You might feel helpless and unable to navigate your journey ahead.

Remember, it is your response to life that is paramount to the level of personal growth you undertake. Most people thrive in ideal situations, although this does not test one’s character.

Your response to life’s uncertainties determines your level of inner growth, especially when the tides are against you.

CHALLENGE: to push yourself forward with the desire to learn and grow. Find comfort in the fact that you are in control of your passion and your pace. Make a commitment to growing through life instead of simply going. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Unleashing Your Purpose From Within

Unleashing Your Purpose From Within

June 1, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are finding meaning, intention, and aim as we move toward unleashing your purpose within. I love talking about purpose and true potential because isn’t that what we’re all striving for anyway? If your life lacks meaning, and your actions are unintentional or aimless, what’s the purpose of anything? Just like in goal setting, having a target for your journey and steps to get there means you have an action plan and nothing is more exciting than putting something you want and strive for, into action. No need to strap on the running shoes yet, we have some work to do first to understand, deep down, what we were meant for. Of course, there is no way to handle that in an hour but we can get your mind redirected to going within for the answers.

Unleashing your purpose sounds easy enough and suggests that there is this door or box inside of us that we’ve been told to stay away from because we don’t have the key or it’s something boring and bothersome that we just haven’t gotten to yet. It screams that we must already know what our purpose and true potential is - who would have known? I mean haven’t you always thought that it was this grand, momentous exploration for life’s answers. Something a Tibetn Monk studied and uncovered throughout a lifetime. Or maybe it’s one of those things that is revealed at the end of your life when you finally have the “Ah-ha moment” only to discover you’re too late to do anything with it. 

Your purpose, the great mystery of the world. Maybe we’ve been putting off this exploration like Scarlet O’hara - “I won’t think about that today, I’ll think about that tomorrow”. Too deep and soul-searching for a person in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and beyond. Or is it? Maybe we are missing the point here. Maybe it’s been there all along. Maybe we’ve been using it and living with purpose but never really identified it as such. Could it all be that simple?

Dr. Scott T Allison gets us started with four truths that give your life meaning and purpose in his article: What Is Your Purpose in Life? Located at pyscologytoday.com

Hero stories illuminate your true purpose in four ways:

1)You will go on a journey.

2) You will grow from adversity.

3) You will assemble a team of allies.

4) You will give back to society.

The hero’s journey is not just illustrated in fiction but in the real lives of the world’s greatest heroes, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr. These three legends lived the four truths of heroism we’ve outlined:

  • They all embarked on a journey that forever changed their lives
  • They suffered greatly at the hands of others
  • They benefited from a team of allies who made their triumphs possible
  • They all used their gifts to forever change the world.

Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”. Ripples felt far and wide. A ripple of love and understanding.

Encouragement is the key to unlock a person’s true potential. 

I started my work wanting to help women get back to work. I’ve always been a professional, career-focused person but I haven’t always walked into the best jobs. My goal was to always go as far as I could go in any role which meant I was prepared to work hard to get there. I have never lacked confidence professionally so for me drive was inherent. As a woman, I knew what it was like to work, have babies, at times a single working mother, trying to make ends meet while getting ahead. I felt compassion for this demographic and wanted to help. 

 

So I created job-seeking workshops to do resumes, uncover desires & talents, role-play interview skills, and provide interview apparel and makeovers. Whatever it took to equip someone to feel confident to be their best.

Immediately, thank goodness, I was shown a revelation - people need encouragement. Not just crave it, they desperately need it.  A kind word of inspiration, someone to listen, care, and believe in them. With that knowledge, a person walks a little taller, sits a little straighter, and smiles a deep, appreciative smile from within. Confidence in themselves will give them confidence in their abilities.  

You can encourage everyone you encounter one way or another. By the positive energy, you expel, making eye contact, giving a kind smile, saying hello. If given the opportunity or if you feel compelled, ask about their day, spend time with them, listen, and understand. 

Human connection is vital to thriving in life and experiencing true happiness.  Something as simple as creating and maintaining meaningful connections can be your purpose and provide long-lasting and far-reaching effects. 

JEREMY ADAM SMITH  provides ideas when you’re struggling on How to Find Your Purpose in Life - in an article he wrote for greatergood berkeley 

Here are six ways to overcome isolation and discover your purpose in life.

  1. Read
  2. Turn hurts into healing for others
  3. Cultivate awe, gratitude, and altruism
  4. Listen to what other people appreciate about you
  5. Find and build community
  6. Tell your story

As a life coach, I’m often asked about purpose because so many are looking for “what next”. Either they’ve come to a crossroads where the way they’ve always done it isn’t working or isn’t satisfying enough or it’s imperative they make a life change for survival. 

When you hit it on the head it can flow as easily as a lazy current or propel you forward like the Colorado River rapids. There is a deep sense of satisfaction and joy from delivering on your purpose. Not monetary or short-lived, but soul-nourishing. 

Your purpose is within but won’t be uncovered or activated without a little work on your part. This isn’t the publisher clearinghouse and no big check is on the other side of the doorbell. You have to be in a place to want to breathe life into it and push aside all obstacles that challenge it. 

A good exercise is to find your “why”...

Dr. Margie Warrell walks us through this exercise in her article for forbes.com: Do You Know Your "Why?" 4 Questions To Find Your Purpose

  1. What makes you come alive?
  2. What are your innate strengths?
  3. Where do you add the greatest value?
  4. How will you measure your life?

CHALLENGE: take some time to explore your deepest desires, talents, and purpose to uncover what makes your heart sing. You have the power to make a deeply felt impact on the world while unleashing your own true happiness.  

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Responsibility Without the “Yeah But”

Responsibility Without the “Yeah But”

May 25, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are owning up, stepping in, and taking responsibility without the…” Yeah but!”. No more should’a, could’a, would’a or only if. It’s time to come to terms with the role we’ve played and the choices we’ve made. Only when we own them can we learn and let go. Taking responsibility doesn’t mean you are shackled with regret and shame but the opposite, it’s a chance for freedom. The hamster wheel of rumination can easily trap you into a false sense of searching for the “why”. Keep going, just a little longer and it will all be clear. Instead, you’re in an endless loop of exhaustion, generalizing the events, blurring the lines, bending the facts, and ultimately finishing the story with whatever end you can tolerate. Today we will examine, learn, let go, and move on.

I played tennis for one year in high school. Now, I never fancied myself a tennis player nor did I even really understand the game when I went out for the team. You see, they weren’t necessarily a team to rivel which was apparent when I actually made the team. I was placed in doubles with a player who had grown up playing tennis at the country club. She was a little hot-headed but had a heck of a serve. Looking back I’m not sure I added anything to the pair except maybe some calmness and an attempt to return anything that came on my side of the court. For me, it was a 50-50 shot which for a less than novice player, was much better odds. I had a backup…..a “yeah but”. 

Excuses and justifications for our choices are as easy to come by as the air we breathe. Without much thought we bail ourselves out, defending our position at all costs. Sometimes we justify when there isn’t even a call to do so. It becomes second nature. What would happen if we just owned it? Good, bad, and ugly? Instead of just taking credit for our triumphs we took responsibility for our failures. Judgment and criticism are a fearful combination and it keeps us on the lamb. Let’s take a deeper dive into these ideas.

Adam Sicinski helps us out with WHEN PROBLEMS ARISE, HERE’S WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY - an article he wrote for his blog, iqmatrix.com

Adam explains a lot about the reasons why taking responsibility is so hard then offers a five-step process for when life just doesn’t seem fair.

Step 1: Acknowledge You’re Responsible

Step 2: Recognize the Value of a Problem

Step 3: Take Ownership of the Problem

Step 4: Figure Out How to Solve the Problem

Step 5: Take Initiative to Instigate Change

Facing your failures is like the starting game you played as a child, at some point you have to blink or look away. It’s tough to admit that you weren’t strong enough or not smart enough or were too selfish. UGH, that’s a hard pill to swallow. Making poor choices based on your own selfish wants…..yeah but!  “Yeah but...you don’t know what I was going through at the time…” “Yeah but...they did worse than I did…” “Yeah but...I had to, I had no other options…” We’ve said them all to some degree. 

But by adding a “yeah but..” we give ourselves a pass to file it away, all safe, sound, and justified. We have this internal vault full of justifications and we can recall them to serve our current purposes at any time. 

What happens if we just admit we did it and then, were honest about why. What is the worst that could happen? 

We have to get to a point of acceptance, that the way we’ve always done it doesn’t work, that maybe life is bigger than us and our chokehold on the world isn’t preventing it from kicking our butt. Coming to the end of your understanding means you can be open to accepting new ideas and perceptions. 

Getting rid of the “yeah but” means you have the permission to glean the lesson from the failure and then instead of tucking it back into your internal file system, you can shred it for good. 

Andy Andrews wrote a book which I have referenced often, The Traveler’s Gift where the main character learns seven valuable life lessons.

Just a snippet from this powerful decision…

From this moment forward, I will accept responsibility for my past. I understand that the beginning of wisdom is to accept the responsibility for my own problems and that by accepting responsibility for my past, I free myself to move into a bigger, brighter future of my own choosing.

Never again will I blame my parents, my spouse, my boss, or employees for my present situation. Neither my education or lack of one, my genetics, or the circumstantial ebb and flow of everyday life will affect my future in a negative way. If I allow myself to blame these uncontrollable forces for my lack of success, I will be forever caught in a web of the past. I will look forward. I will not let my history control my destiny.

If both sides could just understand that responsibility has nothing to do with blame. It has everything to do with hope and control. If everyone could understand this, a lot more people would be grabbing for all the responsibility they could get their hands on because who among us doesn’t want to have hope for a greater future that we can control?

 

CHALLENGE: Be willing to own it, ALL. Your role, responsibility, outcome, and lesson. To achieve total freedom and the opportunity to move forward your need to let go. To truly let go, you need to forgive, and to forgive you need to understand. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

New Perspective? Simple But Impactful Life Lessons

New Perspective? Simple But Impactful Life Lessons

May 18, 2021

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we are looking for a deeper meaning, a better vantage point, and a new perspective. Are we making it all too complicated? On this hot pursuit for life’s meaning while rejecting meaningful moment after moment that could be our best teacher. Most of us have failed to retain a pearl of wisdom handed to use from time to time. Discounted the advice as quick as the old timer’s tale of a mile to school, uphill, in snow, both ways! But how many simple, yet impactful, life lessons are there?  No way can we cover them all and I won’t even convince you in my relatively short lifespan that I have encountered them all - but with a little help, we will get a good start into understanding how they come about and how to recognize these golden nuggets of revelation.

My grandfather once told me, “if you don’t want to be late, leave a little early.” Now, I’m not sure when that took hold and became an important lesson or if from that moment it just took root but I have always been punctual. I’m also not sure if because of that lesson I take pride in my punctuality or if I just obsess over being late, either way, I’m always on time or early. 

As of late, those sentiments and words of advice have hit me harder. I think it’s age and a chance to sit back and take stock of where you are and what you’ve learned. At a younger age I was head down, nose to the grindstone, and mowing over any and all truism. It’s that age of independence when you think you know it all and someone sharing their life experience was just that….them sharing. 

If you haven’t come full circle to understanding your parents were actually right then brace yourself - it’s coming.

Sarah Stevenson gets us started with12 Things Your Parents Were Right About

In an article she wrote for healthfully.com ...Sarah gives a great insight into research and statistics that prove these sentiments.

  1. Don’t Put All of Your Eggs In One Basket
  2. Early To Bed Early To Rise
  3. Always Finish What You Started
  4. Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
  5. Be Patient
  6. Be Thankful for What You Have
  7. Wash Your Hands Before You Eat
  8. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
  9. Take a Nap (if You Can)
  10. A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
  11. Don’t Do the Crime If You Can’t Do the Time
  12. Respect Your Elders

My mother told me: Find someone to fit your life instead of morphing who you are to fit theirs. Now, I could have overlooked that advice and sloughed it off….oh wait I did do that and come to find out, she was right. 

 

Becoming someone else to appease someone else, has only temporary benefits. You are who you are and so are they and eventually, it’s too difficult to keep up the facade.  As a result, through trials and tribulations of course (the hazards of not paying attention the first time), I have learned to be honest with who I am, celebrate that, and be willing to share and be vulnerable. I don’t have to have everything figured out or even all together - I can be me, quirky, kooky, creative, passionate, encouraging….ME.

My father told me: Remember you always have one foot in poverty. His meaning was; don’t get comfortable with where you are because it can all come crashing down unexpectedly. That wasn’t to scare me but help me stay humble and focused. As a result, I’ve learned to live inside or just below my means while striving for more. 

Marquita Herald shares Life Lessons We Learn The Hard Way in an article she wrote for emotionallyresilientliving.com

We share a collection of great quotes by famous and anonymous people. Here are just a couple…

There are things in life we don’t want to happen but have to accept; things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without, but have to let go. ~Author Unknown

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~Dale Carnegie

I used to carry a lot of shame and guilt for the choices I’ve made in my life. On the surface, you will always see a smile and for the most part, a positive attitude and an encouraging word but underneath, it was present. I was good at pushing it away, justifying portions of it, and convincing myself that I had grown but the reality was - I was ashamed to face my own failures. 

It doesn’t happen in one day or one session of unpacking and taking responsibility. I think like grief, it’s always present to some degree but we can find ways to acknowledge it without being consumed. 

I made some dumb choices. Now the t-shirt would read “but that doesn’t define me and I’m stronger for it” blah blah blah. It may be true, but that only helps the situation if you truly believe it. Today, I can say, I would not care so deeply or be so proactive in the work I do if I had not lived and overcome what I did. 

Perspective is a powerful thing. It’s your understanding and how you relate to the information you have. We should always be striving for a better, different, or deeper understanding and new perspective. 

Sometimes we can get lost in this world. Our ideas, passions, and even our voice can get overshadowed or drowned by what is happening around us, real or not. It feels like whoever has the loudest and most outrageous thing to say or type gets the attention and unless you're comfortable asserting yourself or going against the grain, you settle in for the ride. Becoming increasingly frustrated by this swell of helplessness. 

That’s when it’s time to climb up (metaphorically) to a higher vantage point. This way instead of being in the mouse maze you can see it all with a new perspective. 

Kristen Lee leaves us with 24 Simple Life Lessons That Are Extremely Important But Too Often Forgotten in an article she wrote for thoughtcatalog.com

Here are just a few…

  • Don’t let people invalidate your emotions or hardships, but be sure to maintain a sense of perspective.
  • Manage expectations. Manage expectations. Manage expectations.
  • The grass is green enough where you are.

...and a lesson I’ve learned that has made a huge difference in my life. Encouragement is the key that can help others unlock potential.  Motivation doesn’t happen until you have a goal and a goal can seem impossible until first you are encouraged. 

 

CHALLENGE: visit Mt. Perspective as often as you need a better vantage point. Search your mental library for pearls of wisdom you might have overlooked or been unwilling to accept at the time.  Mix those with life learnings of your own gathered through experience. Then SHARE with others as teachers and students will forever be entwined. 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

HAPPY, When Faking It Takes Too Much Work

HAPPY, When Faking It Takes Too Much Work

May 11, 2021

 

SHOW NOTES:

On this show...we aren’t accepting cheesy smiles, phony laughs, or the ever so popular response, “I’m fine”. Faking happy just takes too much work! Instead of faking it until you make it - let’s try and understand what “it” really is. And how do you know when you’ve arrived at “it” so you can wipe that silly look off your face? If being nice is easier than being nasty and smiling takes less effort than frowning, doesn’t it stand to reason that BEING happy is more rewarding than faking it? Ok, let’s go with that!

 

So we’ve all been guilty of faking it a time or two, right? You’re in an uncomfortable situation and need to create the illusion that you are having a good time or are totally relaxed. You might have some co-workers that grate on your last never yet it’s better to hide your distaste and soldier on. This too shall pass right? 

Elizabeth Scott tells us When Faking Positivity Reduces Stress and When It Backfires - in an article she wrote for verywellmind.com

Fake A Smile?

Fake an Affirmation?

Fake Being Outgoing?

Some people might be good at “faking it” so instead of reaching out, you might think, “Nah - they seem to have it all together” when in reality, they are struggling. 

With social media being so widely used for communication and to chronicle our day-to-day - posting and saying only what we want people to perceive has become a trend. The best we have to offer or radically posting cryptic messages of distress. It’s so hard to uncover what is real and what is fake. 

Alex Moore helps us see through the lens with 5 Ways to Tell You're Just Faking Happiness in an article for happify.com

Telltale Sign #1: Giant Mood Swings Are a Normal Thing for You

Telltale Sign #2: You're Tired All the Time

Telltale Sign #3: You're Trying Too Hard to Show Others How Great Your Life Is

Telltale Sign #4: You're Totally Isolated from Others

Telltale Sign #5: You're Abusing Alcohol or Other Substances

 

I’m guessing you shouldn’t leave it up to chance and instead - just try and connect with everyone you encounter in some positive way. This could be from making eye contact with someone at the grocery to asking someone how their day is going to physically going out of your way to assist someone - anyone. 

 

Reaching out with a kind sentiment even if someone is actually doing well is ok too - you don’t have to just look for people in need to help. Think about exercising this muscle by making connections, exuding positive energy, and encouraging everyone daily.  People will remember the way you made them feel, crave to be around you, and be inspired to pass that feeling along. 

Remember, we are no longer faking it but cultivating it.

Over at the helpguide.com we learn all about how Cultivate Happiness from Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A. and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.

Just a sample:

Myth: Money will make you happy.

Fact: It’s stressful when you’re worried about money. In order to be happy, you do need enough of it to cover your basic needs: things like food, shelter, and clothing. But once you have enough money to be comfortable, getting more money isn’t going to make much of a difference in how happy you are. For example, studies of lottery winners show that after a relatively short period of time, they are no happier than they were before their win.

  • Train your brain to be more positive
  • Express gratitude
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Count your blessings
  • Write a letter of gratitude

 Nurture and enjoy your relationships

Make a conscious effort to stay connected

Invest in quality time with the people you care about

Offer sincere compliments

Seek out happy people

Take delight in the good fortune of others

Easy enough? Never as easy as it should be but part of the joy in self-discovery is learning what you are capable of. New ideas, strategies, and experiences are what shape us as we grow. Evolving is about embracing new and letting go of old and it’s continual. I hope you find joy in the journey.

 

CHALLENGE: before you plaster on the fake smile and buck up to endure the next uncomfortable situation, make a promise to yourself to squelch the sham and find ways to elicit true happiness and joy. Both of which deserve more than just a temporary appearance in your life but a cherished and ongoing role. 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

Time, Your Most Precious Resource, Effectively Investing and Spending

Time, Your Most Precious Resource, Effectively Investing and Spending

May 4, 2021

SHOW NOTES: 

 

On this show…..we are talking about time, not wasting or squandering but investing and spending wisely. When it comes down to it, time is our most precious resource and the only thing we don’t have enough of. So who rushes the weekend, watches the clock, or looks for mind-numbing time-wasters? Ouch - let’s take another look at the effectiveness and these practices so we can explore more self-benefiting strategies. What if boredom or overextending yourself were not really the issues here but a need for balance?  A healthy balance of wants, needs, and desires reimagined will bring value to time spent.

 

I heard this sentiment, “the only thing we don’t have enough of is time”, in an advertisement video for Viking Cruise lines. Isn’t it odd how some things just stick with you? The older gentleman is on a ship stirring what looks to be a big copper cauldron and the boat is rocking a bit and he has this soothing European accent. The words are so true, the meaning so deep, it’s haunting.

We can all relate to vast experiences with time at different phases in our lives. Of course, when you are younger it seems to drag on forever, “when will I get bigger and be able to make all my own decisions?” That seems like a world away. The 20’s felt like forever! When I think of all the things I did and accomplished in my 20’s it makes my head spin. Forty came too quick and now the days, weeks, months, and years steem to fly by. By the time you are ready for it to slow down...you slow down and you are back to watching time creep by. 

We all need something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. Where are you short? When we think about effectively investing and spending, balancing your deficit is a great place to start.

We cover some staggering statistics to back up this theory:

The first set comes from Hugh Culver on his blog in an article titled: Thirteen Shocking Facts About How We Waste Time.

For example…

2.34 hours checking email (30% are neither urgent nor important.) (Carleton University)

35 minutes deciding what to eat (New York Post)

The next list comes from Jeanine Skowronski in her article: How much time Americans waste on the daily grind each year, on policygenius.com 

Here are just a few we cover…

Commuting: 9.4 days The average American commutes 52 minutes per day or 225 hours a year.

Working: 120 days The average employed American works 7.9 hours a day or 2,883 hours a year.

Cleaning house: 27.4 days The average American spends 1.8 hours a day or 657 hours a year doing household chores.

Eye-opening statistics can really put things in perspective. To be in the driver’s seat of your own life you have to be aware of what’s going on around you and your own contribution to the stats. 

Let’s break it down even further: how much “time” are we really talking about here?

Jozef Kutka gives us another perspective on time in his article: How much time do you actually waste in a day? Found on meetfox.com

Time is the only thing you always want more of, but you only seem to have less and less of it. And it doesn’t really matter what you do, father time will always work against you. 

So how much time is there?

Let’s start with the basics: There are 24 hours in a day. Let’s assume that you have normal sleeping habits and you sleep an average 8 hours per night. We’re already down to 16 hours.

After a normal day in a working American’s life, we are left with approximately 4 hours and 25 minutes of free time. WOW….Listen to the show to see how we got to that calculation! 

Oh boy - another thing to stress over, the management of extra time. Right? Isn’t that what you’re thinking? Being intentional does take a little work but the payoff seems to be much more worth it. Remember those phases or stages of life...yeah one or more of those including a little coasting. Coasting through life would seem more freeform and unintentional. 

Want to reduce stress, release joy, and add more happiness? You will need to exercise your intentional muscle. 

Leo Babauta walks us through: The Zen Habits Guide to Spending Your Time Intentionally found on zenhabits.net

 

This article covers some of these questions: How do we stop from just going through it on autopilot, just running to distractions and busy work all the time, just getting through things? How do we keep from feeling overwhelmed and lost at sea? How do we change our habit of being too busy, never having time for the things we want to spend our life on?

Expanding these strategies to build intentional days and the joy of letting go!

Have you ever stopped to think about your ROI - Return on investment? I joked about that after empty-nesting 24 years of raising kids….can I get a phone call?? Geeesh.

But really….being intentional might include making smart investments.

MARELISA shares her thoughts on Time Investment: Invest Your Time Instead of Spending It, on her blog daringtolivefully.com

We cover some thought-provoking perspectives like:

Are you spending your time in a relationship you’re unhappy with because you’re afraid to leave, or are you investing your time in creating a stronger bond with someone you cherish?

Are you spending your time working at a job that pays the bills, or are you investing your time in a vocation that will allow you to create a legacy?

This show is packed...hope you enjoy!

CHALLENGE: Stop the clock and take a realistic look at how and where you spend your time. Invest in love, friendship, experiences, and joy to maximize your investments. Be intentional with your time to build measurable value in our life. 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

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