Monday Motivation-March week 1

Monday Motivation for March will be about finding the Mindset to reach your goals.

There is no substitute for hard work and action.  When I think about some of the people I admire most, it is those who have worked their tail off to achieve a goal.  All of the successful people I know,  aren’t just lucky…they actively pursued their goals.

Every now and then I hear the media tout an idea or product as an “overnight sensation”.    Usually, people behind the sensation have been working long and hard to suddenly gain the attention that is then deemed to be overnight.    That sends the wrong message to those of us who have been toiling for years to reach our goals.  Suggesting that time and effort are indicative of failure instead of determination.  And, if that were the case, I should have given up on my dreams long ago!

Instead, change the way you view your accomplishments.  Think about your dedication and your journey as part of your progress.  Consider that NOT quitting or giving up on a dream can be part of your success story.

Monday Motivation- February Week 4

I pulled this excerpt from The Huffington Post.  It is by Maureen Anderson who hosts a national radio show called: The Career Clinic.  Click here to access the entire article.IMG_1050

When does persistence become stupidity? That’s what I asked a career consultant when I wondered if a talk show was in my future after all. He answered my question with two of his own. “Do you still want it with all your heart?” But of course. “And do you keep trying new ways to make that dream come true?” Yep. Well, then.

Then what? “Then hang in there.”

I entered the Public Radio Talent Quest in the spring of 2007. I didn’t win. I didn’t even come close. But the experience reminded me how badly I wanted what I wanted.

One day, raw from longing, I asked another colleague what his secret was. He was a social worker turned computer consultant turned motivational speaker and back to computer consultant who had a knack for achieving his dreams. “Write your goal down,” he suggested. “There’s just something about it.”

“Yeah, right,” one voice inside me snickered. “What could it hurt?” another part of me countered. And like a kid who doesn’t believe in Santa anymore but doesn’t want to jinx things either, I committed the following to my computer screen: “A real honest to God national talk show.”

You can guess where this is going. Within weeks I had a meeting with the folks at a brand-new, big station in Fargo — to talk about what would become The Career Clinic radio show.

Hosting that program — which now airs on 89 stations across the country — is like being five years old on Christmas morning every week. It never gets old.

I hope you’ll listen. And if it gives you the encouragement to go after more of your dreams, it will have been a good run.

Monday Motivation- Feb. Week 3

Happy Presidents Day!  The theme for Monday Motivation in February is “Finding Your Passion”

“Courage is not the lack of fear.  It is acting in spite of it.”- Mark Twain

Sometimes fear will get in the way of finding/pursuing your passion.  I often have terrible bouts of fear.  Fear of what others think of me.  Fear that I will fail at what I am trying to do.  Fear that I will forget what to do.  Fear I won’t know how to do it.  If you are having doubts or fear, here are some tricks  to overcome it:

1) Educate yourself- knowledge is power and with technology, it is readily available.

2) Find a supporter-  whether its a friend or your spouse or your parent…chances are you know someone who can support you and talk you through your doubts.

3) Find partner- if you have a friend or acquaintance that shares your passion, join forces.  Two heads are usually better than one and having a partner might give you the confidence to go out on a limb.

4) Find a mentor- I have often reached out to other business owners and entrepreneurs to ask for advice or guidance.  I usually get more help than I asked for (thank you so much) and I find confidence and courage in their words.

 

Monday Motivation- Feb. Part 2

The theme for Monday Motivation in February is “Finding Your Passion”

I am passionate about MANY things: fitness, education and inspiring others are just a few.  There is no rule that says that you have to be 100% passionate about one single thing in life.   I turned my passion of writing and retelling the stories of others into my business: MyOwnLittleStory.com.  Even though my business focuses on parents telling the stories of their children, I was able to cultivate my passion into an actual business.  Also, my passion for fitness led me to become a certified indoor cycling instructor.

What do you enjoy doing that you already do every day? Your passion doesn’t have to turn into a business- it just has to feed your spirit and ignite a little purpose in your life.  I have been a huge supporter of all things TED.  TED.com is an amazing resource for inspiration and perhaps even helping you get motivated.  Check out some of the videos- they are all pretty brief and the thing I love is that most of the people aren’t famous…they’re just people like you and me who found their passion.

Caden’s Terrible Eczema

This is the story of a boy who is sweet as honey, funny as three stooges (combined), mature as his mother, brave as a lion that I am proud to call my son.

I want to share Caden’s story, in my first attempt to reach out to parents who might need some help, like I did, for an extreme/horrendous case of eczema.  I am not out to win any contest for who has worse eczema, but I will say, this is not your “run-of-the-mill” eczema that crops up occasionally in small patches.  This is type of eczema consumes the entire body from scalp to toes.

Caden started with eczema at around 9 months of age: at that point it wasn’t too serious, more like the simple eczema behind the knees kind of eczema.  Then, at the age of three, things started spiraling downward and didn’t stop.  One morning he would wake up with red swollen skin on his arms, then his legs, then it would retreat and come flaring back worse and worse.  Every night Caden was up 7-10 times a night.  My friends would say, “Gosh it’s like having a newborn again”.  Not really.  Because there are no newborns that I know of who wake up with half of their skin scratched off then are hospitalized from dehydration because so much of their skin is gone, they can’t maintain normal body temperature.  More like a burn victim who is fighting for their life, than a newborn needing a warm bosom for milk.   But I digress.  I am not here to vent, I am here to share what I learned.

What I learned is that it was hard to find resources for kids with this serious eczema- and I would like to invite anyone who needs help or has experience to contact me directly or refer me to your friends.  I took Caden to a place called National Jewish Health in Denver, CO.  They taught me how to handle his situation in a consistent and proven way that has given us some hope.  Mostly, their treatment consists of multiple baths and immediate and ample moisturizing with vanicream to protect his skin and keep bacteria from finding a home on his skin.  But there are so many additional facets to the treatment.

Ultimately, what I want to share with readers is that I have a new perspective on life as a result of Caden’s struggles.  I have a new level of respect for anyone who deals with chronic illness.  We have struggled for three years, and it feels like a lifetime.  If your child struggles from eczema, please feel free to comment, question or contact me.  I will responds quickly.  I can tell you that we tried MANY things to no avail.  As for Caden, since we returned from Denver, he has been improving but they’re still not great.  Kids and adults still stare and ask him why has sores everywhere or why he is so red.  He is incredibly well adjusted with his reactions and responses and I am really proud of his confidence.  Of course, he seems fine, but it breaks my heart each and every time someone someone stares at him.

Monday Motivation-Finding your passion- Part 1

The theme for Monday Motivation in February is “Finding Your Passion”.  This passage was written by Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love.  After such great success on her first novel, she admits that briefly lost her passion for writing.   A friend suggest that she “Follow her curiosity” rather than continue to worry about rediscovering her passion for writing.  Below is the brief summary of what she wrote followed by a link to the entire article:

So here’s my weird bit of advice: If you’ve lost your life’s true passion (or if you’re struggling desperately to find passion in the first place), don’t sweat it. Back off for a while. But don’t go idle, either. Just try something different, something you don’t care about so much. Why not try following mere curiosity, with its humble, roundabout magic? At the very least, it will keep you pleasantly distracted while life sorts itself out. At the very most, your curiosity may surprise you. Before you even realize what’s happening, it may have led you safely all the way home.

Disconnect- for just one day

 

Three years ago, when I was in the midst of trying to take care of three babies, I felt completely disconnected from my husband.  Brad left the house between 5:30 and 6 every morning and wouldn’t return home until 6 at night.  Upon his arrival, he was expected (and willingly obliged) to help me get everybody fed,  bathed and ready for bed.  After all the work was done, we would collapse on the couch and stare at the TV.  We would always comment how there was really “nothing” to watch.  But we would sit there for an hour or two in a trance watching nothing!

As those days turned to weeks then months, I started seeing us as two trains chugging side by side down parallel tracks.  This wasn’t acceptable to me, because I saw those months turning into years, then decades.  Then, one day the kids are gone and Brad and I look at one another and say, “Who are you?”.  Maybe I was extrapolating too far, but something had to change. Continue reading

Change your mindset to reach your goals.

44547880This is one of the most important books I have ever read.  Based on what I learned from Mindset, I feel equipped to reach some of those goals that have eluded me for years.  And, as a mother, I have some new tools for parenting my boys so they embrace challenges and are prepared for any obstacles that come their way.  Read below for a “taste” of what I learned.

Are you a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?   Maybe you have no idea which mindset you might be, and you wonder why you should care.  But I assure you that the concept of mindset may be a game changer for you in almost anything and everything that you do.

The book, Mindset, by Carol Dweck, was suggested reading from my son’s 2nd grade teacher.  But this is not a book about parenting.   And the concept of “mindset” is just as important for adults as it is children.

The two different types of mindset:

The fixed mindset believes that your qualities are carved in stone.  We are each born with a fixed intelligence, capabilities, a certain type of personality and character.  These things cannot be changed.

A growth mindset believes that your basic qualities are things you cultivate through your efforts.  They believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable) because it is impossible to forsee what years of passion, toil and training will accomplish.

To further the explanation, I will summarize an example that was in the book: One day you go to a class that is really important to you and you really enjoy.  The professor returns midterm papers to the class and you got a C+.  Is your initial reaction that you are stupid or you like the class less?  Or, does this grade motivate you to study harder for the next exam in hopes of getting a better result?

Now take that example and apply it to a situation in your life where your results were less than optimal.  Did you quit that activity or start liking it less?  Or did you rethink the situation and find a way to achieve better results? Continue reading

Newsletter for January

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You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.- Marcus Aurelius

This simple quote has been a guiding force for me over the last 8-10 months.  I thought it was about time for me to share it with you all.  There are days that I find myself lamenting things that are out of my control, and I will waste hours on them.  What will my friend think of me if I have to cancel our plans?  I spend an hour worrying about it, and then discussing it with some unfortunate victim; but, all that wasted time and ENERGY didn’t change the outcome. (My friend was not mad at me by-the-way).  Just recently, a lady cut in front of me at Trader Joes.  I politely confronted her and she turned her nose up at me.  The nerve!  I proceeded to call my husband and waste 30 minutes of his time telling him the story, Continue reading

Let go of those things that hold you back.

UnknownMy sister sent me this passage a couple of months ago.  I googled the origin of the passage and couldn’t find an author to attribute it to.  Please take a moment to read it.

As two Buddhist monks were walking down a wooded path, they came across a woman in fine clothes that had stopped by a small section ahead of her that had flooded.

“I want to get across without damaging my clothes. Can you help me?” the woman asked of the monks.

One immediately hoisted her up, sloshed through the flooded area, put her down, and continued on his way.

The other, initially stunned, had to hurry to catch up. He seethed for hours and through the night. In the morning upon waking and resuming their journey, he demanded, “How could you pick that woman up and carry her across! It is not our business to be caught up in her troubles! What concern of ours to care for the state of her clothes? We are living this life to remove ourselves from that sort of thing!”

The other calmly replied, “I put her down yesterday. Why are you still carrying her?”

Is there something that has been holding you back from achieving your goals?   Let go of the fear.  Rise above criticism.  Chase your dreams.