It’s a Clear Morning

Today we are painting at my house. There are three rooms that have not been painted in the time we have lived here and it is time for the ugly colors to go! Rest assured this is not a DIY blog, so stay with me.

We chose the one on the left

We went on Thursday night to acquire paint samples. We came home with three. Two we really liked and one that – well, another one. The two we liked were taped to the wall in the room to be painted. We stared and stared at the samples trying to determine which should adorn the room. We agreed on and answer. Then morning came and we again looked at the samples on the wall.

THEY LOOKED COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!

Sure it was the same colors from the night before but the sun shinning, the natural light; it changed the way they looked! We still decided to go with the same color (although the second made a strong comeback in the daylight).

This experience made me think of all the times and event or an argument, or one of life’s situations seemed to dire and dreadful at bedtime. Things that keep you awake all night with worry and fear. Only to be cleared away like storm clouds with the sunrise.  I’ve read articles about sleep which  indicate the brain does some sorting and filing while we’re sleeping, pulling together related information and storing it for future reference. Perhaps this is why things tend to look better in the morning. While we sleep our brain has had a chance to put all our scattered data together in one place to help us look more clearly at our situation.

It is hard for me to remember when I am in the grasp of the agony that like the paint samples, things will look different in the morning. Like painting a room we get to choose the color of our lives, we can choose to feed a dark color or a sad color or we can choose happy and bright. Just remember that the dark colors of the night often look brighter in the light of day!

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Are Your Thoughts Ruining Your Life?

Do you ever feel like you fall into a convolution spiral of negativity?  It is like a tornado that blows through your existence. The negativity may not destroy everything, but at the very least it rearranges and creates havoc from what was the order of your life.

It only takes the one little gust of negative to start whirling around in your brain and soon it picks up other negative thoughts, about you, your job, other people, etc etc etc. Then the dark clouds of depression and inactivity arrive. Soon the world seems bleak and unmanageable. The negative attracts more negative until you are a ball of negative energy spreading your unhappiness to the rest of the world. In this negative state it seems impossible to change.

The good news is that you are in control. You can change! As simple as it sounds, you can decide to create a little gust of optimism whirling in your brain. In my experience, the positivism doesn’t pick up steam as quick as it’s negative counterpart but, if you keep feeding with positive thought, soon it too will be it’s own firestorm of positive thoughts.

Try it. Just for today, every time your brain serves up a negative, find a positive to throw back. At the end of the day, you’ll feel better, guaranteed!

 

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The oak tree is the purpose of an acorn

Big Oak Tree

Goals are like acorns

The oak tree is the purpose of an acorn. In my youth, rather than being that little acorn fulfilling a purpose of growing into an oak tree, I was forever stuck as a sapling. I was scaling down my dreams to fit what I could easily accomplish.

For years, I made the mistake of wanting enough. I wanted to make enough money to pay my bills. I thought I was not being greedy, I just wanted enough to live comfortable.  I got my wish. I always had just enough.  What I have come to realize is that I was limiting my dream. Are you living a life of enough? Or are you living the life of a towering oak?

The reality of life is that if you only want enough, it is all you will ever receive. Dream big! Not just in monetary terms but in all areas of your life. Expect the best relationships. Pursue your dream job. Follow your wildest dreams.

You are powerful beyond your imagination. Harness it! Set your goals high. Come on little acorn, you are destined to become the mightiest of oak trees.

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What to do when EVERYONE is against you

I suppose there is a time in everyone’s life when we feel like the person in the above cartoon. It is especially true when you start to make changes in your life. You have decided to pursue your dream. You are excited and then those close to you (or maybe even strangers) rain on your parade.

So what do you do, when it feels like the whole world is voting against you? Sure you can sing the little childhood ditty ‘Nobody like me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms’  and give up; or you can have a more adult response and do something.

Here are a few ideas and some things you can do:

  1. Make sure that whatever you are doing is something you really want to pursue. Is this something that will make you happier? Will it improve the quality of your life? If so, embrace it and move on to step two. If not, it is time to examine why you are doing it in the first place.
  2. Remember this is the ONLY life you get, so make the most of it. If you are not happy with your life and you know a way to change that, go for it. This is your dream! Get to it!
  3. If you keep thinking that you wish someone would understand, try explaining it to him or her.  It sounds simple, but give them a chance to understand why you are following your dream and ask for their support.
  4. Realize there are some people who will never understand nor are they capable of being supportive. Perhaps they gave up their dream and are bitter about anyone who pursues their dream. They are playing the role of the spoiler. Maybe they are stuck in their ways, steadfast in their opinions, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t change their mind. Decide you cannot please everybody and move on (this is not easy but possible).
  5. Do not let someone else’s negativity ruin your happiness. Do not become consumed with other people’s opinion. The truth is, you will never control their reactions. It is time to put you first and follow your dream.
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Resolve to Change

Humans are creatures of habit.  Most, if not all of us, have our usual rituals of things that we do.  Just imagine your average morning routine.  That routine is nothing more than a habit of what you do in preparation for your day.  Changing a habit is difficult. When you have finally made your decision to go after your dream and you have committed to take action, you are creating a new habit.

I am a believer in visual cues when getting out of your rut.  If you saw the movie GI Jane with Demi Moore, you may recall the scene when she dramatically resolves that she is going to persevere and become a Navy SEAL.  At the moment when the viewer may believe that she is on the verge of quitting, she stumbles into the barber shop and shears herself.  I am not advocating for such radical demonstrations of resolve, however, a visual reminder of your resolve to complete your goal is beneficial.

If, for example, your resolve was to drink less coffee, or to quit drinking coffee completely, perhaps your visual cue would be to move or remove your coffee pot.  If your resolve is to write, perhaps you carry a pen in your pocket at all times.  Maybe choose a wristband or bracelet which will serve as your visual reminder to eat less or exercise more.  Any visual cue can work as long as you have truly resolved to live your dream.

What visual cue will you choose?

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Time to lose Your anger

I had dinner with friends last night. We were talking about Stay on Target Coach and the benefits. My friend made an interesting observation about her current situation. She said ‘I am so angry with myself for being in this predicament; I am unable to move forward and change.’

A few days ago, I wrote about change. In that post I talked about how changes do not have to be life altering. Small bumps in the road do not have to derail our train. However, what do you do when the small bump has derailed your train? What if the train has been off the track so long that the anger and frustration has created an environment of inaction?

Unfortunately, as humans we want a quick fix. We want to see results yesterday. However, wherever you are did not start yesterday, and the time and energy spent looking back is unproductive. For my friend, her anger is impotent because it lacks a motivating quality.

Just as a small change does not have to derail your train, a small change can move you toward a goal. If you made a commitment to just give 1% more effort toward your goal each week.

ONE Percent! There are 10,080 minutes in a week. If you assume that, you sleep 8 hours each day that is 6720 waking minutes. One percent of that is 67.2 minutes or roughly 16 minutes per day.

Can you make a one percent change to accomplish your goal? I challenge you to start today!

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