Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Attitude and an Affirmation

“What you think means more than anything else in your life. More than what you earn, more than where you live, more than your social position, and more than what anyone else may think about you." ~~George Matthew Adams~~

“I think, therefore I am” - Descartes - from Discourse on Method

What I think matters. What I think determines what I do. What I think drives how I react, respond, and move forward. What I think helps shape how I live, and helps create my reality.

An affirmation for today “I am energized, focused, and effective.”

What do YOU think?

Monday, March 29, 2010


"Life is like a combination lock; your job is to find the right numbers, in the right order, so you can have anything you want." ~~Brian Tracy~~

Have you figured out your winning combination? If you have, consider yourself extremely lucky. Most of us are still working on ours. Even when I think I have determined mine, something changes and I need to figure out a new one. That’s life. I have often heard the sentiment that the only thing that is constant is change. (I would love to give credit so if you can figure out who said that first, please let me know…) In light of that, here’s my next attempt at my winning combination. It’s a lot less specific than others have been in the past. Maybe that’s the answer… Prepare. Plan. Stay flexible. Bend. Prepare. Might that work for you?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday: Positive Attitude

“Lighten up, have fun, and remember; life is much too important to take seriously.” ~~Joel Pashkin~~

Who’s that, you ask? He’s my dad. And in times when I have serious trouble maintaining a positive attitude, he likes to remind me to laugh a little, and lighten up. I know that when I have a positive attitude, when I just KNOW that I’m going to have a great day, it really impacts my productivity and often even my results. When I go into my day feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and gloomy, well, my day doesn’t typically turn out so well and I end up wasting an awful lot of energy. I KNOW I need to change my attitude! This morning I am reflecting not only on my dad reminding me to lighten up, but also on my son’s book, “The Pout-Pout Fish” by Deborah Diesen. It starts, “Deep in the water where the fish hang out lives a glum gloomy swimmer with an ever-present pout.” And as the story goes on, and the pout-pout fish spreads the “dreary-wearies”, much to his own chagrin, he eventually is able to turn his frown upside down and become the “kiss-kiss fish” who spreads “cheery-cheeries” instead. Today, I am the pout-pout fish, and you are my catalyst. Thank you for helping me to find my positive attitude. And, Dad, thanks for listening and laughing. I wish you all a cheery-cheerie day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday: Focus (and determination)

“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.” ~~Sonia Johnson~~

I am once again feeling inspired, empowered, revitalized and excited by the sheer determination and focus I witnessed today. There are some people out there doing some really great things, and these things are often thankless and random. Whether it’s sharing your network, assisting someone through a rough time, or otherwise giving of yourself in some way, how can you help someone today? It’s amazing how taking your focus off of yourself for a time can really help you actually get things done!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday: Preparation

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of 'emergency' is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.” ~~Dwight David Eisenhower~~

Truer words may have never been spoken! All the preparation in the world may not actually prepare you for reality. However, being prepared can certainly help you feel more in control of your uncertainty! OK, that sounds esoteric… I’m not trying to be cryptic. Here’s where I’m coming from: I sat down last night, as I do on “good Sundays”, and planned out my week. I put some things in place that would allow me to stay focused on the work I have to do. I paid some bills, cleared out my physical inbox, and cleared off and organized my desk. I deleted “junk” emails, cleared out personal emails that had come through over the weekend so as to minimize distractions for Monday morning, and even set out some hardcopy resources and reference materials. I had a solid plan for today. And, at 7:30 this morning, they all went out the window. So be it. The good news is that I was so well prepared, that even with a two hour delay, I am confident that I will accomplish everything I set out to do today. And, since I was comfortable with the planning I did, I got a good night’s sleep and didn’t stress about the amount of work I have to do. So, plans may be worthless, but preparation is priceless! In the words of Tim Rice (The Lion King) Be Prepared!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday: Motivation

“We cannot discover new oceans until we have the courage to lose sight of the shore." ~~Muriel Chen~~

Fear is often a motivator, but in my opinion, the wrong kind of motivator. While it can certainly be powerful, I’m not certain it’s truly helpful. Fear of not being able to pay your bills is surely motivation to find a job; but will it be the motivation you need to find the right job? While I get that fear might be the push you need to get moving, but it is not a healthy long-term motivator, and more likely is the thing that’s holding you back from being your best and accomplishing all that you are capable of accomplishing. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is hard. Examining your fears can be overwhelming. Expanding your horizons, living in the possibility, and overcoming that which historically overcame you is liberating! Step away from the shore! It’s time to discover new oceans! In fact, GO SWIM!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday: Goals

“Map out your future, but do it in pencil.” ~Jon Bon Jovi, quoted in Reader's Digest, "Quotable Quotes," September 2002 ~~ I’ve been doing a lot of talking lately about the importance of a 10 year (or 20 year) plan. How can you know how to get where you’re going, if you don’t *know* where you’re going? It has come to my attention that one thing that holds people back from creating a 10 year plan, is the fear that once they “write it down”, they have to stick to it. And, nobody wants to feel stuck. So, here’s my solution. Give yourself permission to change your mind. It’s ok. You need a plan; you need goals. They help you map out your future. It’s much easier to know what you should be doing now if you know where you want to end up. It’s wise to think about the steps you can take now that will help you get to where you want to be later. And be secure in the knowledge that nothing is set in stone. Things change. People change. Life happens.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday: Preparation

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” ~Tony Robbins

You never know what curveball life will throw your way. Being flexible may, on the outside, look like the antithesis of preparation, but in my opinion, it is because of proper preparation that I maintain the ability to stay flexible… in spite of my circumstances…

Flexibility is another key principle of success.

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” ~Lao Tzu

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday: Motivation + Affirmations

“Lots of things that couldn't be done have been done.” ~Charles Auston Bates

Today, some affirmations:

I accomplish my goals.
I have razor-sharp focus.
I am productive now.
I am motivated and encouraged.
I am inspired by the kindness of others.
I am worthy of success.

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your motivation to accomplish something great!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday: Positive Attitude

“In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality.” ~Kristian Kan

It is all in the attitude! I missed yesterday’s post on focus, ironically, because I was completely focused on a new project, and I have to tell you, it is going to be an awesome project! And, in so many conversations I had yesterday, in fact, possibly in every one of them, I was reminded that it truly is ALL in the attitude! I was with a group of people who, no matter how hard a day they’re having, no matter what kind of struggles they are facing, they keep a positive, upbeat, and encouraging attitude, because that’s their job! It’s their duty to be the face of hope to others who feel they have none. And, they do it in spite of what they have going on in their own lives. They are making a new reality for others, and they continue to dream even bigger, so they can continue to help make that reality even better. I was inspired. And today, in spite of all my challenges, and the sheer amount of work I have piled in front of me, I am choosing to make my own reality!

What does your dreamed reality look like?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday: Preparation

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

One step at a time… Put it all on paper, lay it out, and then take it one step at a time. When it just feels like there is too much to do, planning and preparation are more important than ever. I’ve written many times about the challenges of prioritizing priorities, especially when everything is a “Priority One”! But when you really examine your tasks, when you really evaluate the priority, you need to ask yourself, “is it”? Will it really matter in five years, or even in five weeks? Usually not! The important thing is to get them all done… but that doesn’t mean they all have to happen RIGHT NOW! One of my mentors used to tell me not to worry… it will all still be here tomorrow. I’m not suggesting that you blow things off. I’m certainly not suggesting that you ignore your responsibilities. I am, however, suggesting that when you feel overwhelmed, you need to prepare, plan, and then check things off as you go. You’ll get there!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday: Goals - A Rant

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. Not something to wish for, but to attain.” ~William Jennings Bryan

Warning: I am climbing up on to my soap box. I don’t do this often, but alas, even I am only human.

THIS IS YOUR CAMPAIGN! I cannot do this FOR you! I’m here to help. I’m here to support. I’m here to steer. I’m even here to direct on occasion. I will help you choose your path. I will help you stay the course. I will help you gain the tools you need. I will help you in any way that I can, but I CANNOT DO THIS FOR YOU! YOU need to take control. YOU need to do the work. It’s not going to happen without you.

OK. I’m getting off my soap box now. To those of you who are working hard at attaining… please let me know how I can help you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday: Positive Attitude (and Affirmations)

“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.” ~Katherine Mansfield

Maintaining a positive attitude is not always easy. In fact, it can seem downright impossible at times. Life can throw us great challenges. Stress, guilt, sorrow, fear, anger, and even despair are all real feelings… but they ARE just feelings. And while it certainly doesn’t FEEL like we’re in control of those feelings sometimes; it’s important to remember that we are. When we remember that we have the power to choose our attitudes about our circumstances it becomes possible to deal with those circumstances effectively. When the feelings of sadness, fear and the like become overwhelming, it’s extremely difficult to be effective at handling the very things that are seemingly causing the feelings. It’s only when we step back, acknowledge our fear for what it is, and then change our attitude about the circumstances, can we begin to overcome…

Some possible affirmations might be: “I have the power to replace chaos with calm.” And, “I accept and incorporate change in my life.”

We do have the power to choose and change our attitudes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday: Focus + Affirmation

"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways." ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Self-discipline, focus, and clear direction are critical to success. Minimizing distractions and staying on the track let you know that you’re going forward.

My affirmation for today: I drive my success and move forward, closer and closer to my goals.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday: Preparation

"If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe." ~Abraham Lincoln

Well, I don’t know if I’d go *that* far… Obviously I think preparation is important. And, if you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know that I am a firm believer in careful planning… but sometimes, you have to JUST DO IT! Making a list (and checking it twice) is certainly helpful, often critical, in certain situations. But it can also be time consuming and overwhelming. And if making your list, to too much planning actually gets in the way of accomplishing anything, well, that’s not a good thing. Sometimes, the best place to start when you don’t know where to start is right in front of you! Just jump in. If you’ve planned for long term, and are relatively prepared for the week, sometimes it’s ok to roll with it…