10/19/10

Real Fun

Here's a challenge that I found on The Sue and Steve Show:

How to play the Prosperity game:

You simply pretend that everyday you’ll receive a new sum of money. On day 1 you’ll receive $1,000; day 2, $2000; day 3, $3,000, and so on. Your job is spend all of the money delightfully every day. No roll overs. No savings. Spend every dime/ penny that day. Try it out for yourself. It’s wonderful. I love trying to figure out how to spend amounts like this. GO BIG!


Who's going to play with me?

8/20/10

Tell Me About Your First Time

Firsts are always memorable, aren't they?  The newness, the fresh perspective of an experience, it's great.  One question that I always like to ask people I interview is:

Tell me about the first time you can remember earning money?

The reason I ask them that is to see how entrepreneurially wired they are.  A lot of people tell me they are entrepreneurs.  They want the perks of being your own boss but they really aren't ready to handle the responsibilities of it.  Usually when someone tells me they started earning money when they were kids by mowing lawns or babysitting or even better setting up that lemonade stand, that tells me they have the entrepreneurial gift.  They just have a burning yearning for freedom and they are the type of people who will work their hiney off to get it.

Does this mean there are no exceptions?  Absolutely not.  There are those folks who never had a job until after college and they turn out to be quite motivated also, but let the record show that is definitely an exception.  There's no right or wrong or good or bad, it just is.  We need both independently motivated business owners as well as employees, that's how the world turns. 

The first time I remember making my own money was when I was 7 years old.  I have always been a reader and had accumulated a lot of books.  I probably had about a hundred or so sitting in boxes in our basement.  My friends and I were hanging out down there to get out of the hot, sticky New Jersey summer weather and I spotted those books just sitting there collecting dust.  A light bulb went on and I grabbed my friends and put them to work.

I instructed them to load the books onto a cart with wheels and we carried that loaded cart out onto our street.  I lived on a dead end and I told these girls to knock on the door and ask the people if they wanted to buy a book.  I ended up with close to $20 from visiting the neighbors on my street.  I think I sold each of the books for one dollar a piece (and yes I knocked a door or two myself).  When we made our way back to the house we carried the cart with the remaining books inside and I handed each girl ONE dollar for their efforts. 

They were fired up and went on their way while I counted up my earnings.  Not only did I want to go make money, not only did I take on the inventory risk, I knew the power of leverage!  I knew that I could pay two people one dollar each and enjoy my time, rather than sweating a task I really didn't enjoy and only get paid that one dollar.

Is it fair?  Of course it's fair.  It's business.  If you're an employee you don't take any risks.  You show up, you do your work and you get paid.  That's how it works, that's what employees sign up for.  If you're the business owner you take on all the risk.  Inventory, overhead, insurances, etc.  You then train all the people to run a system you spent the time designing and rent their time.  All the profits from those efforts are yours.

So it's in you or it's not.  If it's not in you, remember that's okay, there's nothing wrong with that.  But if it is in you, make sure you're doing everything you can to let it come out.  Your greatest potential is yet to be unfolded.

8/17/10

Are You There Blogger? It's Me, THE Reader!!

My sporadic posting has resulted from working on another project that has taken up a lot of my time right now.  I will gladly unveil this project to you in about two or three weeks when it will be ready to be seen by the world! (Dant da daaa!)  But until then, I have been popping by your web pages to get inspired.  Blogging right takes a lot of time and I am so proud of the consistent examples some of you show!  Keep it up and stay tuned for the big news!!

8/10/10

What is Normal?

What is normal to you is enthusiasm. What is normal to you is laughing a lot. Many, many times a day. Feeling strong and secure. Feeling so much self-confidence, so sure about who you are, that when you look at others you're always in a position to uplift them.




What's normal for you is to have so much energy that at the end of the day you are still looking for things to do. Having such a passion for life that you're eager to get together with other people to hear about what they're doing, to see if it's anything you might want to turn a little of your attention to. To have so much energy at the end of the day, that you're already eagerly planning tomorrow. Feeling disappointed that the sun goes down and enthusiastic the sun comes up.



What is normal is a zest for life beyond anything that most of you, over eight years of age, have remembered or felt in a long, long time. That's what's normal.



It is our anticipation that 30 days of talking the resistance down, to feel a little better, and writing on the Universe's side of the Place Mat what you'd like the Universe to work on--will put most of you in a position 30 days from today of feeling an enthusiasm for life unlike anything that you've felt for a long time. Give that six months and people won't even recognize you as the same person, truly.



Abraham-Hicks G-7/6/95 Calendar pg. 765

7/31/10

How to Use Portion Control

It's interesting how much people have put their hands into nature.  As I am on this journey of eating smaller portions and opting for healthier choices, I realized that there is so much "fake" stuff out there which we consume daily.

This morning I had a peach for breakfast.  It was plump, soft, and as expected the very first bite filled me with excruciatingly amazing flavor.  The juice flowed in and around my tastebuds like a Niagra Falls party right inside my mouth.  It was truly delicious.  My teeth chomped down on the meaty fruit until I had enough.  I almost finished the whole thing, but there came a point where the flavor lost its essence and I was satisfied.

This event made an impact on me.  I realized that foods that are natural, unaltered (other than pesticides:o) by humans were meant to serve us in taste and fill.  See, if I put a little sugar on top of that peach or maybe even som whipped cream, I would have probably been able to eat the whole thing and perhaps bite into another.  But, no, I was done.  There came a point where I just didn't want to keep bursting my mouth open with this flavor.

Think of any fruit, veggie, or other natural source of food.  Unaltered, you eat just enough to get your fill out of it.  That's the way we're supposed to eat.  We are hungry, we bite into delicious sustenance, and when we have had enough we stop.  But processing our foods with sugars, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, sauces and flavorings makes it hard for our taste buds to want to stop, even if our stomach is signaling we've had enough.

So I realize, that it really never is about dieting.  It's about choosing foods that are live, fresh, healthy, and just the way they are.  (Not that we could ever be perfect and not eat another piece of chocolate :o)  Becoming healthy really is about a lifestyle, not a fad.  Yum!

7/29/10

Wasting Time

You know how people say, "If it's a cliche' it's because it's a truth"?  Well, sometimes that makes sense, like:  'People don't plan to fail they just fail to plan'...true and it's definitely cliche'.  But how about this one:  Wasting Time...ugh.  I don't like that one, even if it may be true.

I was thinking about a time when I was in a store just browsing at the merchandise.  I really had no intention to buy anything so I was just roaming around from one aisle to the next.  I remember the sales lady coming up to me and I got all tense (the way we do when people charge at us trying to sell us something) and as she approached me in her sing song voice she offered the ever dreaded, "Can I help you find anything?"  To which I simply replied, "No thanks, I'm just wasting time."  Guess what she did when I said that?  Nothing.  She smiled, nodded and moved right along, as if she understood.

Is it really so acceptable for us in this society to feel like we should be able to simply WASTE time?  Now, I know that time in and of itself is a pretty vague concept, but really, waste??  Think of what you consider to be waste?  Garbage.  Refuse.  Scraps.  Leftovers nobody else wanted.  Do we really want to do that with our time?

Whether it's a cliche' or not, I'd rather invest my time.  Invest it in a way that each action from here on out will yield me awesome things in the future.  Maybe even spend time a couple of moments, spend it doing something that will build me a memory.  But please, pretty please with a cherry on top, no more WASTING!

7/27/10

Updates

How's summer treatin' ya?  I love hot days and I love everything about summer.  Here's what's going on:

~I'm down 4 lbs (YEAY!)

~I got my very first proof copy of my very first finished novel (Well, it'll never be finished for me:o)

~and I'm lovin' life.

Okay, so not too much, but why then do the days seem full to the brim?  Sometimes after a long day at the office the free time spaces you out, or maybe it's because life is so stinkin' awesome. 

Sorry for the sporadic posting this past week, I promise to mend my ways, I can't wait to hear read about your updates and what you're looking forward to this summer!

7/20/10

Are You Stuck?

For today's post I couldn't resist sharing this article written by Darren Hardy on Success Magazine's Blog.  Enjoy!





Are You Stuck?


By:  Darren Hardy, potential


I saw something absurd the other day. A highly engineered and specially designed high-performance race car stuck on a 35-mile-an-hour downtown street.

That is not what that car was made for. That is not what its creator (Enzo Ferrari) envisioned for it.



This 6-speed, F140 Aluminum V12, 4700cc engine with 660hp was built to go 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and race at 217 miles an hour (2010 specs). But here it is… stuck.



I see this absurdity every day.



But not only in the streets—in office cubicles, conference rooms, huddled behind computer screens, and dragging luggage through airports.



People who were specially engineered and designed with special talents, skills and abilities who are traveling down the wrong road, with their potential stuck in first gear; trapped and unable to race.



That is not what their creator had envisioned for them either.



Are you…



1. Stuck. Traveling down the wrong road? Are you in a job, company or business that has you boxed in on the slow lane? Is it keeping you from being able to get out of first gear and challenge your greater abilities?



Sometimes it’s not the car; it’s the road the car is on.



2. Traveling with Pintos? Are you going slow because you are keeping pace with ordinary cars, when you were designed for racing?



Sometimes it’s not the car; it’s the cars it travels with.



3. Are you even aware that you are a race car? You were specially engineered and designed for speed… to race. You were built for greatness. I’m not kidding. You are a miracle of machinery. Yes, you… the one reading this. It’s likely you have never even experienced half of what your top speed is.



Sometimes it’s not the car; it’s the one given the responsibility to drive it.



If you ever really gripped the wheel, braced your neck and punched the pedal with all your might… the awesomeness of your innate potential will shock and exhilarate you.



Punch it. NOW!



Who else do you know has greater innate potential than they might realize or be utilizing? Forward this post to them: http://darrenhardy.success.com/2010/07/are-you-stuck/



So, are you stuck? Are you on the wrong road, traveling with the wrong people, unaware of your true greatness? In the comments below share with everyone what you are going to do to “punch it” in your life, starting now.

7/15/10

Shed Those Pounds

Weight Watchers
LA Weightloss
Jenny Craig
NutriSystem
Slim4Life

Can you name another weight loss company?  In America alone the weight control industry reaches well over $30 billion per year!  That's a lot of moola spent on getting slim, or at least the thought of getting slim.  What do you hear about most of these programs, pills, and diets from users?  That they didn't work.

The reason they didn't work isn't because the programs are flawed.  Quite the contrary.  These programs usually encourage eating the right foods, in accurate proportions, and exercising.  So all the info and advice is right on the money.  So why then don't these results typically scream success for ever single participant?  Motivation, or lack thereof.

When you are ready to loose weight, really ready, you will.  There comes a point in life when you look at yourself, go 'ugh' and then are committed to that workout or the smaller portions.  About a year and a half ago I had that 'ugh' moment in my life and went from 161 lbs down to 137 lbs.  My initial goal was to go all the way down to 125 (the weight I had been most of my life until those few years).  

How did I loose 24 lbs?  I counted my calories and exercised at least 5 days per week.  Sure I used a tool that helped me along.  I highly recommend it, at CalorieCount.  It is a FREE (zero, zip, nada, zilch, NO CHARGE) online program where you enter your daily food intake and activity level.  You can even enter SLEEP ('cause you do burn them there calories while you snooze:o)!  Put in your current weight, your goal weight and goal date.  If it's unrealistic the program helps you define a more doable goal.  

Check it out and see for yourself.  But you have to be ready for it.  All the external stuff will do you a zip of good if you are not in a mental position to make a change.  Don't beat yourself up if you're not, just love yourself and grow mentally.  Become positive in your outlook and little by little as you gain the ability to see the good stuff in life, you'll have the ability to keep motivation for a long term goal. 

I'm in another 'ugh' moment after seeing my scale tip past the 145 mark.  The goal?  You got it...125lbs, the goal date?  October 3rd.  Check out the site and let me know if you are going for a goal or any tips you have in the healthiness/weightloss/exercise department.  This is gonna be a great ride!

7/13/10

I Want to Ride my Bicycle

You know that two wheeled device you probably have sitting in your garage that's stacked behind a bunch of boxes and other random things?  Yeah, yeah...that bike?  Well, I pulled mine out last week and totally emerged myself into riding it throughout the weekend.  Yesterday in the evening instead of desert I hopped on and went on a seven mile ride. Today I rode it to run errands.  I'm sweaty, hot, out of breath getting into shape, and loving it!

The last time I rode my bicycle frequently I was an early teenager.  I've dabbled with riding it here and there a time or two in those last 15 plus years but never again since my voracious riding days have I fully used the machine for what it is good for. 

When I decided to test the ol' bike out again, I was surprised at how much fun it is to go places around town while riding instead of driving a car.  There is so much you see that you don't notice when you're behind a steering wheel caged in a bubble with cold air blowing in your face.  Sure, I wouldn't turn away an invention that made me feel cool while sweating bullets, but there's nothing quite like being outdoors, breeze in your face and knowing your heart is thanking you.

My dogs usually are privileged to a 45-50 minute walk.  Now, they are lucky to RUN around 6 or 7 blocks as my warm-up.  They are way more tired and puckered out after the run than I would hope them to be after a leisurely stroll.  So there are many many benefits to my new found...err??? hobby?  or whatever you can call it.  Not to mention I've dropped two pounds just this weekend!  Woohoo!  Here's to our bikes!

7/10/10

People You Can Count On

How many friends would you say you have?  Now, be careful, I'm not talking about the amount of Facebook, Twitter or MySpace friends.  I'm not even talking about how many people you know or who you are related to.  I'm talking about real friends.  The people who actually give a damn about your well being?  If you were to ask me that same question, my answer would be a number that would fit in one hand.

Something I've come to realize over the last little while is that there are only a few people in your circle who are really there for you.  Whether you need help moving, have a flat tire, or need a place to stay, these are the select few who would be there for you for ALL of that and then some without you returning ANY KIND of favor at all.

Here's where the separation begins:  there are certainly plenty of people you know who would show up to a party you throw, there may even be many who would help you if you were in some kind of trouble or were facing a life changing problem.  But there are only a few, who would be there every step of the way.  These are the people who if you asked them, "Can you do me a favor?" would answer you by saying, "Sure what do you need?" instead of a naturally understandable, "Depends, what is it?"

These people are gems.  Treasure them.  Treat them as special as you know they would treat you.  All the rest of the people are great, too and of course should be treated well also, but make sure you know who that small circle is and be there for them without question...you never know when you'll need them in the same way.

7/6/10

The Places We'll Go & The Things We'll See

There was a game I remember from long ago when I was in middle school called, “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego.” I think the point of it was to answer trivia questions about different parts of the world and by the clues find out where this character was stationed. The thought of that game brought some memories and desires right up to the surface for me.


Traveling is something I love to do. It’s not just about the destination. The entire process that starts with booking your flight, packing, the airport, the hotels, etc. is thrilling. How fun is it to escape and put yourself into a different portal for a bit just for the purpose of exploring? There is so much out there for me to see and I look forward to going many places.

Here are the places I have been:



In the USA (Not counting cities I’ve just driven through:o):

New Jersey

New York

Florida

Maryland

Washington D.C.

Pennsylvania

Massachusetts

Georgia

Utah

Colorado

Nevada

Arizona

California



Outside of the USA:

Slovakia

Czech Republic

Guatemala

Germany

Austria

Switzerland

Spain



Oh how teeny tiny that list seems to me, especially considering how vast this universe is! Here are some places I am eagerly awaiting to travel to:

In the USA:

All the rest of the states

Outside of the USA:

England

Egypt

Brazil

Portugal

Cambodia

Thailand

Fiji

Bermuda

Mexico

Holland
Italy

India (I especially want to go here)

And the list will go on and on…

There is still so much to see and do. Where have you been? Where would you like to go?

7/3/10

Kill Your Own Meat

I watched a snippet of a show yesterday where there are two men who are trying to survive in the wilderness.  All they have with them is a Swiss army knife and a couple of water bottles.  It was interesting for about ten minutes because as much as I like to play games and outdoor sports, I'm not too big a fan of getting dirt behind my fingernails.

The thing that caught my attention was watching how they caught an animal andone of the guys skinned it and took out all of its organs and then prepared it for roasting.  As he was doing that he mentioned that "a lot more people would become vegetarian if they had to kill and prepare their own meat."

That thought blew me away because it perfectly describes why I can't eat meat anymore.  There's probably a lot of you who wouldn't mind doing the dirty work to enjoy your meal, but I couldn't take a warm, soft, fuzzy animal and kill it after I looked it in the eye just so that I can eat it.  Not when I have other options. 

In college I majored in Recreation Management and as an internship we could choose between two overnight trips to go on.  One was a two day mini trip which would visit various recreation facilities and spend the night in a cabin.  The second was a week long trip which would camp out in the woods and learn survival techniques.  I chose the first shorter trip, not because of the aforementioned dirt under fingernails dilemma, but because during the week long trip one of the tasks was to capture, kill, and prepare a chicken.  I was sick to my stomach thinking about doing that and if it hadn't been for the availability of the first trip, I would have totally changed majors. 


Think about it. Could you really see yourself taking this:


-

Then doing this:



Then this:



Then taking these out:



In order to have this:


If you can, then more power to you.  I don't necessarily think it's right or wrong, I just think we're all different in that way.  Maybe there's something I can do that you could never do?  Like put mushrooms on my pizza?  (Okay, maybe everyone can do that because that is totally yummy!! :o)  Where do you stand?

7/1/10

New Word Day

Reading is awesome for so many different reasons.  One of my favorite reasons is that imagination grows and I get to spend some time in la la land.  It beats sitting in front of the tube for me.  However, reading is also great because your vocabulary expands.

Usually when I pick up a book and I come across a word I don't know my lazy self kicks in and just tries to make sense of the sentence after I see the whole thing.  A lot of times it ends up making sense.  Sometimes I scratch my head to figure it out and then just move on once I have a decent picture of the message.  But other times...I see that same word in a different book!  The twilight zone theme song then plays in my head and darn it...I actually go look that word up!

So my friends, let's learn this word together, shall we?

Aplomb

(Oh, I know some of you are smarty pants and probably laugh and point at me for how easy this silly two syllable word is to understand, but some of us are in need of constant edu-ma-cating:o)

The definition I retrieved from http://www.dictionary.com/ is:

 a-plomb  [uh-plom, uh-pluhm]

–noun

1. imperturbable self-possession, poise, or assurance.

2. the perpendicular, or vertical, position.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Origin:

1820–30; < F à plomb according to the plummet, i.e., straight up and down, vertical position

—Synonyms

1. composure, equanimity, imperturbability.


—Antonyms

1. confusion, discomposure; doubt, uncertainty.

aplomb in a sentence:

His nonchalance and aplomb during hard times have always been his best character trait.
 
There you have it.  I dare you to use the new word today.  You can use it in conversation, on your social media page, or maybe even your blog!  Think you can pull it off?  I for one am full of aplomb in your excellent communication abilities!

6/28/10

Fun and Laughter at the Expense of Others

I found this really interesting product the other day.  It's called PET HEAD and it's made by the BED HEAD brand.  It dyes your pets fur and if you have  a pet that has hair-like fur you can also use it to style.

My poor dog was the victim of this new found item.  See if you can tell where I painted her purple:

She was so cute as she sat there innocently letting me paint her white spots.  I have another dog who is mostly yellow so I couldn't find a place for the purple to stand out except for a tiny white patch on her nose:

It's cute isn't it?  Just something different to look at.  Kinda like it's fun when we see someone trip and fall or get pranked.  Come on, you know you chuckle (assuming they're okay, of course).  The reason I do it is because it gives me permission to be clumsy and to be real. 

Life is fun, good, interesting, and the age old advice of being able to laugh at yourself is still as priceless as ever.

6/26/10

Better than the Leading Brand

Isn't that statement a little contradictory?  If the product advertised was BETTER than the leading brand, wouldn't it be THE leading brand?  I guess there will always be brain teasers in life.

Last night I had a late night craving for something sweet.  I reached for some yummy Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs cereal.  To my dismay there was barely a  serving couple of spoonfuls left.  Before I had enough time to be sad about this tragic incident I noticed we also had another box of peanut butter puff cereal, only it was a store generic brand. 

As I opened the new box and began to pour the contents of it into my bowl already half full of the Reese's cereal I noticed something startling.  It looked EXACTLY the same.  It didn't look like a different version of a similar flavor.  It looked identical to what I had just poured in from the other box.  What do you think the taste was like?  You got it!  Exactly the same as the Reese's cereal.  I could not tell that they were two cereals from two different boxes and two different brands mixed in that bowl.

So I pondered upon the fetish some people have about getting "NAME" brand stuff.  First I thought about how powerful having a brand can be that it makes people pay more for the product just because of the name.  Second I thought of how much we in the USA allow brands to determine our class in life. 

If the choice was identical in price and you could choose a pair of no name jeans or ones with let's say a Louis Vuitton label (assuming branding still held its value), which would you choose?  I would certainly choose the Louis pair.  But of course the price tag for those different jeans varies tremendously, mostly because of the name.  Let's face it when it comes to dungarees they're made of pretty much the same thing.

When I go to the store, I always go for the least expensive food item.  I don't care who makes it.  It has always been my thought that they come from the same plant or factory and then the item just gets a different label put on the container.  Last night when I ate the cereal and saw the evidence with my own eyes it amused me to think about how we put so much clout on branding.  However, when money no longer becomes an issue I will have no problem paying for the brand (especially when it comes to clothes and such).  But as a matter of life or death, I really don't think there's a difference or that it should matter. 

I wonder what the prevelant thinkin gof society is on this subject.  Thoughts?

6/24/10

Carbonation is an Abomination

Okay, maybe the title is a little harsh, but really something needs to be done about the amount of carbonated beverages consumed daily...by me.  Yes, my weak link in my otherwise amazing character!  I love soda.  I love it in all colors, sizes, flavors and brands.  It's delicious and deadly!

Take a look at what Global Healing Center says about the ingredients in the product:

INGREDIENTS IN SOFT DRINKS-A WITCH'S BREW


High Fructose Corn Syrup, now used in preference to sugar, is associated with poor development of collagen in growing animals, especially in the context of copper deficiency. All fructose must be metabolized by the liver. Animals on high-fructose diets develop liver problems similar to those of alcoholics.

Aspartame, used in diet sodas, is a potent neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor.

Caffeine stimulates the adrenal gland without providing nourishment. In large amounts, caffeine can lead to adrenal exhaustion, especially in children.

Phosphoric acid, added to give soft drinks "bite," is associated with calcium loss.


Citric acid often contains traces of MSG, a neurotoxin.


Artificial Flavors may also contain traces of MSG.


Water may contain high amounts of fluoride and other contaminants.

Ugh!  Nothing too exciting, is it?  Let's not mention the fact that soda causes an exorbitant amount of weight gain!  Hello, is that not the cream of the crap right there?

Why so fired up about this poor product that seems to have been an innocent bystander until it fell under the house of this post?  Yesterday I was sitting on the porch sipping a grape soda.  Not my favorite in the world, but it does the job.  I was merrily whistling through my evening enjoying a nice Summer night when I flipped the soda can around to the ingredients.  Normally, I see the calorie amount anywhere between  120 and 140.  I was appalled when I saw the calorie amount on this grape soda was 220! 

My head whirled and began calculating.  If I have to shed 3500 calories to loose ONE pound and I'm consuming on average 2 cans of soda per day, what is the net result?  Well, let's just say that the average caloric intake from my soda consumption is at 300 per day.  That equals 2100 calories per week!  So think of the progress if I completely eliminated it from my diet!

Of course that can be easier said than done, just like when it comes to changing ANY kind of habit.  But COME ON!  I didn't even love the grape soda, I was just drinking it, well, just BECAUSE!  It grossed me out to think of the crap entering my precious only body and I really wanted to make a change.  Not only will it help me look better and feel better; this change can help me realize that I'm strong enough to do anything else I put my mind to.  So, little by little, here begins a new journey.  Ain't life grand?

6/22/10

Equal Rights and Chivalry

Here's a post to stir up some thought.  As women wanting equal rights with men in the workforce, does that automatically make us have to give up chivalry? 

My position in life as to whether or not I consider myself a feminist is very much up for debate.  Certainly I feel that a woman in a corporate position should be paid equal to her male counterpart for the same work.  However, at the end of the day I think being an entrepreneur can eliminate that worry since you create your own paycheck.  But that's another story for another post.  I feel that women have just as much talent, potential, and capacity as men do.  So, even though I feel that equality in this sense should certainly be mandatory, I also feel a yearning to feel special as a "lady" and to feel the support of gentlemanly gestures because, I also feel that our strengths are different and that there are many ways to make this world go 'round.

Therefore:  just because I want to be equal in the sight of society when it comes to daily tasks, does that mean I am also giving up the right to have my door held open or help with my coat, etc.?

One couple my husband and I are acquainted with are very successful.  They own their own business and are leaders in their community.  Both husband and wife in the partnership are seen as the head of their organization and they both are equally accountable for mentoring and coaching.  In essence, everything you want to see in the image of equality.   The husband, though, still puts gas in the car for his wife, holds the door open for her when entering cars or buildings, and holds her chair out for her at restaurants.  I've seen this with my very own eyes.

So it got me thinking.  Is it really possible to want to be equal in a business and social manner, but still relish in the endearing qualities of the masculine caretaker?  I'd like to say it's more possible than not, however, I think this couple was the exception and definitely not the rule.  What are your thoughts?

6/20/10

Will Smith Actor, Singer, AND Philosopher?!?

I'm a big fan of positive thinking and such. I really believe we can change the course of our own lives and that the world is the way we perceive it to be. Half full or half empty? It's all up to each one of us. Some times you find quotes or books or people who inspire you in your pursuit of achievement.

The following is a video well worth the watch. Will Smith is an awesome actor, successful not only in career but family as well. I really like how in sync he and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith seem to be. Hey, no body's perfect, but we all have strengths. Some of us choose to work on those strengths, some of us don't. Here's how someone who chooses to work on their strength thinks...



6/19/10

Making Sense of Jane Austen

Last night I watched the movie "Jane Austen Book Club".  It was a great chick flick (although there were intriguing male characters as well).  It really appealed to all my senses including but not limited to:  books, girlfriends, relationships, and of course a happy ending. As the title would suggest it was based around a world immersed in the words of Ms. Jane Austen.

One thing this movie made me want to do was to pick up a Jane Austen novel and finish it.  Yes, I am guilty of not being able to get through her books.  Why?  I don't understand!  I love the movies about  her books, and I think she's totally fascinating.  Just as with many of you, I do consider her one of my heroes.  I totally love Jane Austen, I just can't seem to get through her writing.

This is an absolute tragedy, I know.  But please, don't be appalled at my confession.  I want to turn my life around!  I am absolutely determined to get through her books.  All of them.  I own Pride and Prejudice so I will make that one my first priority.  As soon as I finish my current reading choice (Emma Smith:  Mormon Enigma) my plan is to immerse myself into Jane Austen's creations.  One word at a time.

I would love to know what has stirred some of you into reading her novels.  What is it about Jane Austen that makes so many people tick?  After SO MANY LONG LIFE CHANGING YEARS, why oh why is she as popular as ever?  How can a writer stand that test of time?  She is incredible.  It's undeniable.  I am looking forward to finally clicking with the Jane Austen world!

6/17/10

Change

Change is a good thing.  Some times we have to convince ourselves of that, but most of the time looking back, we're all the better for it.  One client I had is a pastor of a church.  He is probably one of the most charismatic people you could ever meet and his family is incredibly genuine.  He explained to me about a custom they have in their services.

The band starts playing a familiar tune and then the pastor stands up and proclaims that it's time to walk on change!  What a great analogy, I thought.  Walk on it, like you can conquer it!  It was a great symbolic sentence.  However, they do it literally!  When he makes that statement, members of the congregation take out the change from their pockets and they begin to walk on it...literally!  He reassures those who do not have any spare change on them, by explaining that they can reach into a bin in the room full of change.  The coins they collect then become their own.  At that point they have the option to keep it, or throw it down with everyone else.  After the process is complete, he has volunteers going through the aisles scooping up the change.  That money of course is used as a charitable gift which sustains the church ministry.

Isn't that a powerful example of what it means to "own" change?  After all it is inevitable.  Things will move on and move forward.  We can fear it, or we can celebrate it.  We can try skirting the issue or we can WALK on it!  We can certainly be bigger than any obstacle in front of us.  If we don't feel like we have enough in us to change, we can borrow strength from someone else until we have our own. 

It's actually pretty exciting when you think about it!

6/12/10

Religion

Religion of all sorts has always fascinated me.  It's incredibly intriguing to watch a person wrapped up in faith.  It's beautiful, really.  The beliefs in and of themselves are so uniquely different and special, but each one of us is the same.  We all have a special yearning for something bigger, something higher.  It's interesting to witness that most of the time we reach up, away from our own selves to find it.  What I think is incredibly powerful is when we find what we are reaching for deeply within ourselves.

We are creatures of habit and comfort.  Finding a ritual which keeps us grounded is the basis of our peace.  One thing I believe that all religious leaders try teaching is that the peace we seek is inside.  Our guidance is what gives us the beliefs in the first place, and it can take us all the way home.

As I grow older my beliefs and faith mold into the things I see, learn, and come to understand.  One thing I feel completely certain of (for now anyway:o) is the common denominator in all I reach for is LOVE.  Not just giddy I-love-my-new-outfit kind of love, but deep, real, unending love that can take you through many dimensions if you let it.  That's who God is to me.  He is love.  His veins pump love throughout his divinity and it reaches to each one of us, because after all we're not separate beings.  We're all connected.

6/8/10

Falling Off the Wagon

Hello, my name is Eneida and I'm a vegetarian.  It has been 1 day since I've been clean.

Okay, so the story goes like this:  About six or seven months ago I watched one too many PETA videos and became increasingly sad at the way animals are treated and slaughtered all for the purpose of ending up between two pieces of bread for me to eat.  It didn't feel right and I decided, rather rashly, that I was going to live the vegetarian life once and for all.  My quest lasted for about two WHOLE weeks. 

Really, I can't pin point exactly when or where I decided to nibble on animal flesh again, but alas, I did.  I became a full fledged carnivore once again and went on with my life.  A few months later I was on the PETA website again and I came across the videos portraying farm animals and their living conditions.  Of course I saw the abuse and neglect and that feeling of sadness came back.  Again, I vowed to be a vegetarian. 

My goal was to begin my vegetarian path so that it would lead me to become a vegan soon.  Well, it's been over four months since then and I have eaten meat "3" times since.  So, no, I'm not perfect, I still fall.  However, it's a path I'm happy to be learning. 

Yesterday as we were helping some family with a GINORMOUS organization project, I realized it was nearing 2:00 PM and I had not had a morsel of food.  It was hot.  I was tired.  I was hungry.  Then, I smelled it.  The roasting of hot dogs in a pan.   Oh, the smell can actually be good when you haven't eaten, yet (hence another reason why breakfast is the most important part of your day).  So, as a break in between our tedious task hot dogs were served. 

My husband pointed out that I wouldn't be eating them so I was offered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead.  Let me just tell you...I ABHOR peanut butter and jelly.  I actually love peanut butter, but jelly is just gross.  Maybe it's too sticky or too sweet or a combo of both, but I cannot stand it.  So I interjected by stating, "I'll eat a hot dog."  After the bewildered look on my hubby's face faded I proceeded to load my piece of bread with mustard and a dog.  I ate not one, but T-W-O of those suckers.  They tasted all right.  Definitely not great.  Not worth breaking my oath, that's for sure!

I felt badly afterwards.  Was I really that weak?  But, I've decided to forgive myself and keep moving forward.  If anything eating those hot dogs made me realize that I don't really miss the meat.  Not when there are so many more options.  So, I'm again in recovery from carnivore-ism, may the journey continue...

6/6/10

NaNoWriMo

One thing that lays on every writer's heart is to eventually actually write a book.  Many a people call themselves writers, yet feel the task of book writing to be incredibly daunting.  Well, I'm here to tell you that writing a book is no big deal.  That's "write" (wink wink) it's easy!  I can confidently say that because I, my friends, have written my first novel.

Here's the catch.  Writing a novel is easy, revising and editing is the challenge.  How do you get through the initial task of putting your story down on paper?  The most important item you would need is accountability.  You read that right.  It's not a good plot, not a computer, not even research or ideas.  Although each of those are important and can make your process much smoother.  You need someone, something, some place that will keep you going even when you don't feel like it.  Once you get your story down on paper, the editing can begin. 

I wrote my first novel thanks mainly to accountability.  Who was I accountable to?  Well, not really a person, per se, but an event.  Every November it officially becomes NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  It's an even where you as a writer log in and create a novel, from scratch, between the days of November 1st through November 30th.  You can friend people, sort of like you can on facebook or twitter, and you can see their progress and compare it to where you're supposed to be.

This was an amazing tool in finishing my novel because I always wanted to keep pace with everyone.  Since I'm competitive it was nice to have a benchmark to work against.  I am the type of person who figures that if one person can do it, then so can I.  My dream of writing can only begin if I put pen to paper. 

So, even though we're a few months away from NaNoWriMo, start getting in gear for it.  The challenge is incredible and the rush is amazing.  Then, once you're done, once you have your entire story on paper without worrying about editing it until every word spits out of you, then you can begin to revise and start planning on what you'll wear to your first book signing.  Hmmm, what will I wear???

6/4/10

Day Dreaming

Currently, I am re-reading an excellent book.  This one falls within my top 10 of all time favorite books.  The title is:  "The Answer" by John Assaraf & Murray Smith.  I originally read it in a blur, trying to suck in all the good stuff and get on to my next read.  This time around I picked it up on a intuitive hunch and have breezed through the first 60 pages with much more amazing insight.
One part of the book talks about imagination.  There was a study done which discovered that by age 35 most people will loose a majority of function in the "imagination" side of their brain.  Why?  Well, what are you told to do as a child when you're caught looking out a window and not focusing?  Yep, you got it.  You get the good old, "Get your head out of the clouds" speech.  So we get programmed from a very young age to let go of our dreams and focus on what the world perceives as reality.  HOW TRAGIC!  Especially since we create our lives based on the things we imagine!
In business, it's true that I prefered working with younger people.  I know, I know, that can be viewed as discrimination, but in a sales industry you want to work with people who are hungry and motivated.  People who have lived through life a little longer have had the shine wiped clean out of their eyes.  They tend to stop hoping for great things and find it easier to settle for smaller feats.  Before you know it, if we follow these paths we can end up not caring about much other than getting to the weekend.

My hope is to inspire myself and others to constantly use the imaginations within.  There is a lot to create and the ability is ours, but nothing will happen if we first don't clearly visualize what we want.  What are some of the things you daydream about?

6/2/10

Creating a Mission Statement

Having a personal mission statement has been on my list of things to do since for-eva ago! I have always thought the concept of such a thing was valuable, since having direction and purpose always yields much more lasting and meaningful results. I have come up with several demos and have thought them to be pretty good, however, never truly felt connected to any of them.


I once heard the quote: "A leader makes decisions quickly but changes her mind slowly." This statement impacted me in regards to developing my mission statement. I figure it is better to begin somewhere with one and then as I progress through my life I can evaluate how it is performing for me.

What does a personal mission statement have to include in order to serve its purpose effectively? Well, the deepest requirment I feel is the ability to make you think about the moves you make in life. If you have a meaningful mission statement for your own life you will always be able to move from where you are to where you want to go because of the phrased you coined to lead your life.

Also, I think it is perfectly okay to borrow another mission statement. If you hear a statement that rings very true for you then go ahead and use it as your own. The purpose is that now you have a MISSION! That you are not just a casualty walking aimlessly through this precious gift of life, but you have direction and purpose.

Finally, a mission statement shouldn't be more than one or two sentences in length. If you walk into some businesses you would see some of them with opposite thinking.   You'll see some mission statements that are paragraph lengths long and very tediously padded with huge words. What happens after you read (if you are even motivated enough to read them) a lengthy statement promising profits to the company and satisfaction to blah blah blah?  You never remember them, and you need to make sure the same mistake doesn't happen with your statement.  Mission statements need to motivate you toward them, not bore you by sentence number forty four.

So what is my mission statement? Drum roll please....


"To inspire people to move in the direction of their dreams by constantly moving in the direction of my dreams."

Is it a perfect final draft? Most likely not. However, instead of just continuously aiming for who knows what, now I can begin in a solid direction. I want to inspire people to lead fulfilling lives and help them to feel free and to love life. The best way I know to do that is by being an example of doing just that for myself. Have you created a mission statement for your life? Put one together today and live by it, remember you can always reevaluate and change it later, the important thing is to take action now.

5/30/10

29 on the 29th

My birthday was on the 29th.  It was my golden birthday as I turned 29.  I remember that turning 25 had a weird impact on me.  I felt then as if I was really leaving the adolescent world and entering adulthood, regardless of the fact I had been out of college and married 5 years by then.  It was all about the number.  Well, I've just turned the age that I will say I am for the rest of my life, "29" :o).  This time, I feel great about it!

Getting older today means something different for me than it did a few years ago, and surely that emotion will continue to evolve.  I'm excited about my age, I'm looking forward to the next 10 years.  There is going to be some monumental shifts in my life over the next year that will set up my third decade on this earth.  Getting older really just means getting wiser.  All the experiences that have brought me to this point in my life (though some I would never ever want to ever experience again...did I say "ever"?) have made me into the person I am today.  How can any of that be bad?

It's a good day folks!  2010 is mid way through, which means we have half the year to go.  How are you doing on your goals?  Are you excited about what you can achieve between now and New Year's Eve?  Remember, the "how" isn't as important as the "what".  Know clearly what you're aiming for and along the way you'll find the strength and skills you need to make it happen!

5/28/10

Leaders are Readers


Last year I set a goal to read 50 books.  I fell short with 36, but I didn't feel like a failure.  Actually, I was proud of myself for keeping a steady pace of 3 books per month.  From those books I took away a lot of wisdom and implemented several processes which I think have made my life better.  So at the beginning of 2010 I threw out a goal to read 50 books...again.  It will be June in a couple of days and I've gotten through 4 books.

This may seem like my reading effort has drastically fallen off of the face of the planet, but it hasn't.  I read A LOT.  It wouldn't be too far of a stretch for me to say I invest about 3 hours per day (MINIMUM) reading.  What do I read?  Blogs, Websites, Magazines, Essays, Articles.  I read very frequently (thanks to having a smart phone with internet access readily available).  I subscribe to SUCCESS magazine, WOMEN'S HEALTH magazine, and the O magazine, and I read about 80% of the issues each month.  I search and find many helpful Self Improvement Blogs and Websites. 

So, if I were to compare my reading activity from last year to this year so far, I would easily have to say I read MUCH MORE now than I did before...even though it hasn't been in the form of books as much.  My quest in life is to continually pursue learning, one way or another.  My goal is still 50 books, though.  I do have a special place in my heart for pages I can flip compared to a mouse I click, so I have a deep desire to fly through some and devour the knowledge and creativity available for me.  It's just great that we GET to learn and have such easy access to it.

5/25/10

Fear is a Game

Change is more scared of you than you are of it!

Take a moment to reminisce regarding a time in your life when you had to do something frightening. Do you have it pictured clearly in your mind? Remember starting that business and having to make your first sales pitch? How about when you gave birth to your first baby? Maybe you remember way back in high school when you were forced into giving a public speech for a club. Whatever the circumstance feel that feeling for just a minute.
Certainly feeling fear isn't the most pleasant experience anyone can face. There is a tight grip in your stomach. You get all sweaty and even have some shakes. Your voice might be unsteady and all that is running through you from head to toe is a dripping anxiety.

Now, hold on a moment. Did I just describe fear? Or did I just describe excitement? Think about it. Now that you've pictured a fearful moment in your life, I want you to reverse the channel and think about a time when you were incredibly excited about something you were about to do. Maybe on your way to ride a favorite roller coaster. Maybe it was your wedding (okay, so that one could fit in the fear category, also). Maybe it was right after a successful meeting that announced a promotion to you. Are you there? Now compare the two feelings.

If I described the latter, I could use the exact same words that described what it felt like to be afraid. There is a tight grip in your stomach. You get all sweaty and even have some shakes. Your voice might be unsteady and all that is running through you from head to toe is a dripping anxiety. Now that you associated the same exact emotion with a positive event, those feelings don't seem so bad, do they?

We feel paralyzed by fear only when WE put a negative connotation to it. The actual feelings in the pit of our stomach and so forth are just feelings that your body is producing. The meaning behind it is what our mind produces. Take this tip next time you feel the fear beginning to take over. Remind yourself that you feel exactly the same way when you are about to embark on a thrilling ride. Allow your body to let you feel those sensations but control your mind into thinking you are excited rather than fearful. The power is now yours.

5/22/10

Life's Weighty Matters


Yesterday my husband and I were visiting some friends and hubby noticed they owned a new scale.  He lovingly calls me into the bathroom and says, "Tell me if this scale is right..."  I awkwardly tilt my head sideways, much like my dog Meghan does when I heartily mention the word 'FOOD', so I reply by saying, "How can I do that?"

It dawned on me that he wanted me to hop on that device, in front of HIM!  Is he insane?  Luckily we've been married over 8 years and if it was going to be a huge dilema to witness what would pop up on that scale, then I figured in the grand scheme of things, we had very few problems in life.  So, what the heck.  I hopped on.

144.5 lbs*

I was (gladly) shocked and immediately confirmed that the scale must be right.  Over the last few months I've stopped eating meat, but unfortunately I can't report I've been eating only salad.  So, I assumed I would have jumped up drastically in weight from the achievement of weighing 137 lbs a few short months ago.  Originally when I decided enough was enough with my weight I had last checked the scale at just over 161 lbs.  I'm 5'7" and I began to feel thick.  To feel like I was in someone else's body.  To feel not on course with where I wanted to go with life.  So I worked on it.  I exercised...HARD, I ate 1250 calories per day, EVERYTHING I did was in passionate pursuit of being the 130 lbs self I knew lived inside my body.

So, after months of not really focusing on my weight, and eating just a little too many slices of delicious east coast pizza, I figured that jumping on that electronic scale would have caused it to beep an emergency warning signal indicating it was about to self combust.  But it didn't, I had only gained 7.5 lbs and I know I can let that go.  Needless to say, I'm glad I got on that scale, because I had been in denial for the last little while.  I was dreading ever stepping on one, because heaven forbid it actually told me the truth, something I wasn't quite ready to hear. 

Well, now I've heard it.  And I'm ready.

*I can't believe I just posted that on here:o)

5/14/10

Inspiration

What do you do to feel inspired?

I guess it would depend on what you need the inspiration for?  Do you need to stamp out a creative project, or do you just need inspiration that ignites you with a determination to get a move on with life?  In each case, you would merit a different response.

Inspiration feels a lot like gratitude to me.  The actual, physical feeling is very similar.  You know, that swelling in your chest that makes you want to cup your hand over your heart?  It feels just that way to me when I am truly in appreciation of something important to me as well as when I get the glimmer of spirit that fills me and moves me forward.  Here are some things I do to feel inspired (which then trigger my feelings of gratitude):

1.  Read about people who have been victorious amidst struggle.

2.  Look around, and although not perfect, see things in my life that make my existence so much sweeter.

3.  Sit.  I just sit and think and let ideas and messages just flow through me.

4.  Sit.  Now, the sitting is to be quiet.  I guide thoughts out of my mind and focus on the darkness behind my eyelids.  Meditation is second to none in inspiration, it's amazing what you receive when you open yourself up.

5.  I truly look at beautiful things.  People.  Scenery.  Art.  Just looking at an expasive ocean or noticing the brightness of the color green on a row full of trees is just about as inspiring as it gets.

Oooh, I'm all giddy just "thinking" about these things...

5/11/10

Atlantic City

Isn't it amazing that as soon as you put your mind to something it finds a way of crystalizing into your actual "reality"?  Well, not long ago I decided to focus on some of the goals I came up with to achieve within the awesome year of 2010.  One of my goals was to take 4 trips.  I had one down, and three to go.  One of the locations I wanted to go spend time in was Atlantic City, NJ.  Last weekend, I got to cross that one off the list.

Not only did we get to go, we got to go for FREE!  Your mind is an amazing thing!  We got a free room and free dinner and lunch, so off we went.  I dropped my babies, aka dogs, at my uncle's house and we hopped in the car for a two day adventure.  We landed at the Tropicana Hotel and checked in.  The room was gorgeous.  It was big and the bed was H-U-G-E!  Can't beat that.  We freshened up and went to play at the casino.  Oh, we're not gambling fools, but some Texas Hold'em and good ol' Black Jack is always fun.  We retired to our room at about 1:00 AM and rested up for the next day.

In the morning we packed up and loaded our stuff in the trunk of our car.  We actually had a business meeting in Atlantic City that day, and although that may seem like "work" to some people, it was actually the highlight of the trip.  We got to hear from motivated and successful leaders from the company and it totally jacked up our energy level for the rest of our stay.

We headed back to our hotel after the meeting for some late lunch/early dinner at the buffet and stayed to play a little longer.  In the interim we saw the boardwalk and enjoyed the sights of the beach and that neat town.  All I can say is that your intentions are powerful.  As soon as you can start to focus on goals, they will have to come to you because that's how life works.  It's inevitable!  So, instead of focusing on what we don't have, let's focus on what we want and enjoy an awesome life!