The only guarantee in life

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If you spend too much time
thinking about a thing,
you’ll never get it done. ~ Bruce Lee

In my recent post—“Are you ready to do the thing?”—I talk about the one thing we’ve always dreamed of but have never done. For each of us, that thing probably looks different. Yet no matter how many good intentions we entertain, it won’t happen unless we make it happen. Or until we’ve run out of time. This, for me, is the catalyst. Because if I imagine a future in which I never did “the thing,” I could never forgive myself. I’m at a point where I’ve exposed my fears—of failure, of wasting time, of not being good enough (you name it, I’ve thought it)—and simply run out of excuses. And here’s the bottom line: There are no guarantees. We will never know if we’re good enough, or if we’ll fail. But there is one certainty: we won’t know unless we try.

What are you waiting for?

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Are you ready to do the thing?

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Now that I’ve been reading and writing again (see “A new way of thinking…”)—essentially, practicing that which I want to become greater at—I can’t deny a rekindled motivation. And the vision I have for the future is now more than a pipe dream: it’s a plan. Complete with deadlines and manageable goals mapped out. During a recent workshop exercise, the leader had us close our eyes and imagine ourselves a year from now. That we’ve done “the thing” we’ve always dreamed of—written that book, earned the degree, gotten that job, took the trip, retired early. What does it feel like? How about three years… five years… 10? How does it look? Then, we repeated the exercise, only we never did the thing. It’s a year from now: how do we feel? How about three, five and 10 years later? What do the people closest to us say about it? The truth is: time goes by whether we do the thing or not.

What’s your thing?

A new way of thinking: what I learned on ‘sabbatical’

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After my last post, penned two months ago, the mojo I’d regained (see Change up the rules…) suddenly vanished without warning. I felt uninspired. Specifically: unmotivated to read or write. Worse yet: I feared I’d lost my love of the written word; hence, my sabbatical of sorts. But I never strayed far. I attended a writing workshop for six weeks to keep my finger on the pulse of creative plotting strategies. I also wrote an article for an online trade magazine. And, during it all, I picked the artistic minds of several writers and learned a new way to approach my writing: with permission to play. Not only does this concept eliminate the pressure to “get it right the first time” (be honest, does that ever happen, anyway?), but it also inspired a vision for one, three, five plus years down the road. Most importantly: I’m reading and writing again. As a wise yogi once said: Whatever we practice becomes greater.

What do you need to practice more?

Image source: http://www.mindylacefieldart.com.

The best use of our time: a legacy lived out

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In my post, “How to jump start your day…,” I suggest a break from the daily grind as a method to motivate beyond the initial cup of morning java. Yet, as I sit at my laptop and attempt to sum up a half century of lessons learned to craft a life from which I don’t want—or need—to escape, a longtime friend of mine fights for her life. Cancer: A word that even reeks of insidious intent. Another friend struggles with feelings of loss and isolation, while another mourns a broken relationship. Still others suffer in silence. Admittedly, I’m ashamed when I utter words of complaint over a trivial inconvenience, an unpleasant interaction, a facial blemish visible today and forgotten next week. And it seems trite to believe I have the answers, a cure-all. But what I think it all boils down to is this: to live out a legacy of love. Passionately, transparently, courageously and honestly. While there’s still time.

What does your legacy look like?

Photo source: https://bitsofpositivity.com.

How to jump start your day: a quest for the Holy Grail

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Fantasy: I am so excited to begin each day that I jump out of bed in the mornings. Reality: I silence the alarm, squint at my cellphone and weep a little on the inside when I realize it’s time to get up. As much as I like my day job, what I’d like even more is to find that reason to jump out of bed in the mornings. Yes, I’m grateful, thankful, blessed—which the wooden sign hanging over my kitchen window calls out to those who enter the room. But aside from my morning coffee, there’s very little that excites me about the ritual I perform once I’m awake. This past weekend, however, I broke free from my daily routine and enjoyed a mini getaway up north. I’m convinced this deviation from my everyday agenda is the Holy Grail required to jump start my days. Mission: Figure out how to make it work Monday through Friday.

What gets you excited to jump out of bed each morning?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

There’s no ‘i’ in team: what happens when we apply good sportsmanship

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Ouch. That’s the sound of conviction. For me, it often transpires during my morning quiet time. I read a quote or scripture and realize, once again, that I fall short. For instance, in one breath I push an attitude of gratitude, but in the next I grumble when I don’t get my way. The most recent “my bad” happened while my partner of 30 years and I were in the middle of planning a getaway to celebrate our wedding anniversary later this year. While studying the topic of pride, I watched the entire play unfold as if in instant replay—with me in center field—and it wasn’t pretty. You see, all of a sudden it had become “my anniversary” and what “I want.” Yet for three decades, now, my husband and I have shared a partnership based, primarily, on good sportsmanship. What does this look like? The ability to take turns. Cheer each other on. Compromise when necessary. And play fair for the win.

Got team spirit?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Monday’s got me like oh. My. Gosh.

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Have I mentioned I can’t even? My mojo-with-a-twist intentions out the window faster than the weekend flew by, I realize one thing: I need to get it together ASAP. Apply, with abundance, positive affirmations to my day—my life—and get a grip. It’s one thing to tout an attitude of gratitude, it’s another to live it. Plus it’s not getting any easier. In fact, more often than not, I want to call in sick. From the mundane to the earth-shattering, I just can’t seem to walk the talk. I wrestle with my demons. I struggle with my monkey mind. I’m tired. Yet I hesitate to be real, to be honest. Because it’s not attractive. And someone else lives with a much harder row to hoe than I do. But then I run across my “Rx for a woe-is-me mentality:If you always see the negative side of things, eventually that’s all there is. Reality check: thank God tomorrow is a new day.

How do you survive Mondays?

Image courtesy of aechan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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