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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It’s only failure if you don’t try

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In the spirit of new beginnings, I recently tried a food service. You’ve seen them pop up in TV commercials, on the internet: HelloFresh, Sun Basket, Blue Apron, to name a few. I reasoned that paying someone else to shop for exactly what I need would allow me more time to focus on the basics I write about in “New year, new you…” However, I soon learned it wasn’t for me so I canceled the service. Next, I decided a fitness tracker would help me #WorkSmarter toward my health goals. I bought, tried and returned three different fitness trackers, proverbial tail between my legs. The salesperson who processed one of my returns said, “I hope you patted yourself on the back for trying something new” (four somethings including the food service!). But I hadn’t quite looked at my efforts that way. Because, you see, I didn’t fail. To quote Elbert Hubbard: There is no failure except in no longer trying.

Have you patted yourself on the back lately?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

If you don’t like where your life is headed: live like you’ve already arrived

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Although we manifest the fruition of our thoughts—whether negative or positive (see “Dress for success”)—and we control the “more” we wish to attract into our lives (see “Be the change”), we must take this a step further and believe it before we see it. This means to shed our former way of thinking/doing/speaking and live like we already possess what we want. Remember: the words we speak—self-fulfilling little prophecies—set us up for change and either failure or success. One day I awakened and realized I didn’t like the direction my life was headed. I desired something tangible to fill the gap between real time and Someday. The answer? I began to speak life into my circumstances. And then I took action to align my surroundings with my vision. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes it means I have to be the bigger person. Become vulnerable. Take risks. Because it’s the difference between surviving or thriving.

What do you need to believe before you see it?

Photo courtesy of FrameAngel at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

10 ways you’re making your life harder than it has to be: reposted (+ 10 ways to turn it around)

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This is it in a nutshell: https://thoughtcatalog.com/tim-hoch/2014/06/10-ways-youre-making-your-life-harder-than-it-has-to-be/. Plus 10 quick tips on how to make life easier (repeat after me):

  • When we continue to rehash (supposed) offenses: Let it go.
  • When we look for affirmation from others: I’m enough.
  • When our worries escalate to panic-attack proportions: It’s temporary.
  • If unrealistic/uncommunicated expectations eclipse our blessings: Be grateful.
  • Sometimes we pray, sometimes we wait but we must always do our homework: Be wise.
  • It’s okay to be picky and/or less bold when taking risks: Failure is better than not trying at all.
  • The truth on comparison shopping: The grass is not greener.
  • We cannot retrieve time we’ve lost or fast forward to the future: Practice mindfulness daily.
  • Let go of [fill in the blank]: Focus on what we can control.
  • About giving back: In the end it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years. ~ Abraham Lincoln.

How do you make life easier?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Breaking free: rote action is no action

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I write about change. About Someday. About setting goals, taking baby steps, chasing dreams. Extending kindness and sparkles. Eliminating toxic people from our lives; hopefulness. Perseverance. What’s next. And then I “get” busy. Push it all to the back of my closet as I flit from task to task. Pretend I’ve taken hold of life by its proverbial horns. But my tiara is tarnished and I’m tired and all I want to do is jump off the non-stop roller coaster and figure stuff out before it’s too late. I think, for me, discontent no longer points to an unrealized purpose but, rather, my own personal purgatory where life isn’t just passing me by (see “Take action…”). Instead, it’s the rotten stench of anguish and despair that almost suffocates and renders me ineffective. Rote action is no action. Busy-ness can only put off, so long, what must be accomplished to escape from the grip of fear: of failure, regret. The unknown. So, what’s next?

How will you break free?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When you feel like you’re getting nowhere

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When you feel like giving up

 

A couple of weeks ago, I submitted a 2,000-word story to a writers’ contest but can’t stop replaying the prose in my mind, knowing I could have done X, Y or Z to create a more compelling argument for why I should win the New York trip to study under a top-selling novelist. Then there’s a guest blog post I committed to writing, due in less than a month, yet I’m not sure I’m on the right track. During a recent yoga practice, I experienced one of those light bulb moments when I realized that, even after nearly four years since stepping foot into the hot room, I continue to learn something new—about yoga, about writing, about myself: Practice is simply the art of repetition—a habit or routine we adopt. And, whatever it is we’re practicing might not ‘click’ until we’re ready to move to the next level. So I keep writing, studying the craft and, most importantly: breathing.

What do you commit to regular practice?

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When you fail, because you will

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When you fail

The blues of mental and physical wear and tear
are not as devastating as the yellows
of the quitter. ~ James J. Walker

The next morning, I reeled from the previous evening’s confrontation with a homeowner in my community. Although he did not attack me, personally, he questioned the integrity of the association BOD on which I serve. He pushed my buttons; I sunk to his level with my response. Twelve hours later, I struggled to lift my ego off the floor. I allowed one person’s attitude to steal my peace and rob my sparkle. When I see this homeowner next, I plan to apologize. But, until then, I need to accept 1) I’m human and 2) this isn’t the last time I’ll fail. And maybe it really isn’t failure but, rather, an opportunity to address my own flawed heart. A heart that is resilient—that breaks a million times—its scar tissue a reminder that I am not a quitter.

Do you believe in failure, or opportunities?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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