I quit.

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One day, you wake up and just know it’s time to say, “I quit.” I quit the negative self-talk. I quit complaining. I quit obsessing (see “A time for everything…). I quit whatever no longer serves me—the toxic behaviors that harm vs. heal, the co-dependent relationships that eclipse vs. edify, saying “yes” when I mean “no.” I quit making excuses and, instead, take ownership of my decisions, my goals, my commitments, my successes—and my failures. I quit piling on the unrealistic expectations, and replace them with my victories, big and small. I quit dreaming new dreams without attaching wings: the tangible steps I must take to create the reality my heart envisions. One day, you wake up and just know it’s time to say, “I begin.” And embrace every thrill ride, every bump, bruise and disappointment because it means you’re alive and present in this moment. That you’re breathing and you were created for a purpose.

What do you need to quit in order to begin?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Top 2 Ways to Get the Most from Life

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James R. Doty, in his book, “Into the Magic Shop,” talks about growing up in an environment of poverty and neglect. At 12 years old, he entered a magic shop and, through a simple act of kindness extended toward him, the trajectory of his life was transformed. If Doty had chosen to blame his upbringing for a lack of potential, this world-renowned neurosurgeon likely would’ve proven another sad statistic. Instead, he focused on his abilities through the power of both the brain and the heart. When tempted to obsess over our circumstances, we must, instead, choose to focus on our capabilities. In other words, rather than look for excuses to set ourselves up for failure, we should latch onto everything we can do. And then do it. I’d like to take it a step further: It also requires faith. Because faith knows we’ve already received and then acts accordingly. It’s like dressing for success before walking out the door.

Do you focus on your circumstances or your capabilities?

Image source: https://psychcentral.com/.


The only guarantee in life


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.

Make each moment outstanding



[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

What do you really, truly want to do with all that you have? This is your chance to make it happen. Don’t waste this moment regretting other moments in your past, or fearing moments to come. Live this moment with joy, gratitude and positive purpose. Let go of the thoughts that bring you down. Live today in a way that lifts you up, and all of life with you. Stop repeating the same old tired excuses to yourself and to others. Choose now to be free of the limitations you’ve invented for yourself. Everything necessary for joy and fulfillment is with you right here and now. Because all it really takes is you, and your choice to fully live. Stop waiting, stop wishing, and stop putting off the rich fulfillment you know can be yours. Now is your moment to live like you mean it, with all that you have, so seize this grand opportunity and make it outstanding. ~ Ralph Marston

How do you make it outstanding?

Good things come to those who don’t wait

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]


Have you figured out what your obsession is? Your passion? What makes you tick? What you would choose to do if you didn’t have other responsibilities and commitments? Maybe you’re already doing what you want to do, but is there something else you’d add to the list if you had more time… or money? In my post “The excuses stop here,” I discuss my passion for writing and how I make every excuse in the book not to write. But I also put my foot down: No more excuses. So now what? I spent some time scouring through Poets & Writer’s magazine and reviewed upcoming contests and calls for submissions, as well as conferences taking place in the new year. I’ve written out a list of writing goals for 2015. I started shopping for a combo cork/magnetic board that doubles as a piece of art to hang over my desk to keep track of the “big picture.” It’s a start.

What new goals have you made for yourself?

The excuses stop here

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The excuses stop here

 [Image credit: Stuart Miles]

No sooner had I figured out it takes time to see change (just like it took time to get where I am right this minute), then I experienced self-realization once again: If you’re happy doing what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work, or effort. It is a passion that stokes the fire, wakes you up and ignites an excitement within. Once we pinpoint the “what,” then we must fashion our goals around it—to be single-minded on the prize. For me, that “obsession” is writing, but I also look for excuses not to write (so I’ve been told). Although I want to deny it, I can’t ignore the reality: I’m not writing… I talk about writing, I plan my writing, I dream about writing. It’s not that I can’t do it (I wrote a book in 30 days earlier this year—see Quit talking, start doing). It’s that I make everything else more important than my writing. But that stops today.

What’s your biggest excuse in life?

The stuff that goals are made of

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The stuff that goals

[Image credit: debspoons]

The self-help books are geared toward goal setting.  How to lose five pounds in five days, become a millionaire, fix a relationship, find your purpose in life or locate your pot of gold.  You name it, there’s a book that’s been written with your name on it.  But for some reason, we find ourselves bogged down with scapegoats (see Excuses, excuses) to avoid going after our goals.  I also think we’re making it harder than it needs to be.  Perhaps it’s a matter of writing our goals down and committing to the things that progress us that much closer to achieving them, and eliminating (or saying no to) the things that don’t.  For example, if you want to write a book, playing online games instead of writing won’t make it happen.  But writing a blog or an article—although not a book—is still writing, which lends itself to the practice.  And try starting small rather than not starting at all.

What is one goal you’re setting today?

Guilt-free living

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[Image credit: Simon Howden]

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: life is too short.  At my age, I’m finally learning how to embrace this philosophy by giving myself permission to say “no” (or even yes) without feeling guilty — and without the need to apologize or make excuses for myself.  After a week of hitting the gym following time-off to allow my ankle to heal, I skipped my work out on the eighth day because I decided my sleep was more important.  Following a healthy dinner one night, I indulged in a few Girl Scout thin mints for dessert and enjoyed every bite, knowing I’d be in spin class the next morning.  And although I would have loved spending time with several sweet ladies this past Sunday evening, I also knew I needed to prepare for the week ahead.  Things, people and pleasures will always vie for our time, but we need to learn how to choose which ones will keep us moving forward.  Without feeling guilty.

Do you struggle with guilt instead of enjoying the moment?