Who You Are Is What You Do Everyday

The Difference between Who You Are and Who You Want to be is What You Do. 

 

I stumbled upon this quote recently. I’m not exactly sure where or from whom. It resonated with me. It resonated so much that I wrote it on my blotter – I wanted to keep it close – to be reminded.

 

7511002522927As I am training for what I am calling my EPIC QUEST (walking a marathon – that’s 26.2 miles folks), I have a certain amount of solitary walking time. Time to think. Time to ponder. On one of those recent walks I decided I needed to add a word to the quote. I needed to add the word EVERYDAY.

 

The one thing I am learning from my epic quest is that tomorrow seems like a fine time to train. Tomorrow has all the hope, all the allure, and all the good feelings of training. Today is full of things to do, excuses and rationalizations. However, who I want to be – a marathoner – is created not on race day (although I will have to show up and finish on race day) but becoming a marathoner is made up of everyday for the next 9 months and 9 days.

 

Success won’t be what I do on race day but what I do every day leading to race day. 

 

The same is true with every aspect of life. Want to read more and watch less TV – it’s how much TV you watch today that matters. Want to eat a healthier diet – it’s what you eat today that matters.

 

Who do you want to be? 

 

You must get up every morning and realize who you want to be. You must live everyday in every way as the person you want to be. A week – A month – a year of living every day as the person you want to be is the only way to become that person.

 

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It’s Life not a Math Problem (or is it)

A few weeks ago I sat in my office and listened to Jenn tutoring math. The subject was either calculus or algebra, to be honest I wasn’t really paying attention, I was doing my own work. However, I suddenly hear Jenn ask, what do these triangles have in common. Before I could stop myself I shouted, ‘they’re both triangles’ and everyone laughed.

Since that day I have considered how often I use math on a daily basis. As the kid who was once told by a teacher I was ‘too stupid’ to do math, I avoid the topic as much as possible. (Just for the record, thank to the encouragement of the next year’s teacher THIS ‘too stupid’ kid took and passed several advanced math classes, but that is another blog post). While I am no math whiz, I do enjoy the logical way math operates.

Math has set rules. If you follow those rules you will get the same answer, EVERY time.

Analytical reasoning is the primary tool used in solving problems of every kind, including math problems. When I was in school I, like many people hated the dreaded ‘word problem’. Why? Because not only did it require I do math (bleck) I first had to determine the problem before I could solve for an answer.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view of math), life is not a math problem. Or is it? Solving problems is something that we all do everyday for as long as we live. It can be a very rewarding, especially when the situation requires some measure of creativity in finding a solution.

Here are some Math Strategies, you can apply to life

1. Do Something – You can’t solve a problem by being so overwhelmed that you fear action. When confronted by a life problem start doing something. There are always barriers, and people caught up on staring at the barrier never try to figure a way around. They’re not sure what to do, so they do nothing. Meanwhile, the successful people I know just start doing things. They take steps. Even if they aren’t always the right ones, they make progress. They adjust course as they go along, but they move forward. They do something!

2. Try Small Cases. Many problems in math revolve around X. X is an abstract. Sometimes it helps to solve the problem by substitution (example: Substitute 1 for X. then 2. And then 3, etc) and see how the problem behaves.

While very much like strategy 1(do something) this give a clearer path for what to do and something that’s relatively easy to try. Don’t just leap in with one big bet. Start with a few small tests, look for the pattern, tweak and test again. Once you’ve unlocked the pattern: only then do you go big. Your odds of success increase dramatically.

3. Show not Tell. Math teachers always make you show your work.  You can’t just throw out an answer without the proof to back it up. No doubt you have met people who talk a good game but once they have the job or gain your trust, you realize they don’t have the knowledge or work ethic to back it up. Well, in the real world it is time to put up or shut up.

But the difference between being a stuffed shirt and someone who truly makes a difference in the world is the substance behind the rhetoric. Be a person of substance.

 

 

4. Don’t lose sight of your goal. I have a tendency to get so excited when I figure out a hard problem that I stop to celebrate. Unfortunately, on a math test and in real life the timer doesn’t stop running because I figured something out!

You MUST keep going on to the next problem.

However, in life (unlike math), today you may follow a certain set of steps and get one answer and tomorrow you might get something completely different.  You see, in life there is always a variable; other people, different circumstances or timing. These variables make the outcome unpredictable and sometimes unnerving. But if you’re doing something, testing and adjusting, you have substance and you’re steadily moving toward your goal – you can conquer any of life’s problems (even math word problems).

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Forgiveness is not an Occasional Act

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ~~ Martin Luther King

We have all heard it said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. We know that holding on to past anger and resentment eats away at out own happiness. Yet, we still battle with letting it go.

Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?

When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root.

What are the benefits to you for forgiving someone?

Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

How do you stop holding a grudge and forgive?? (this is the hard one for me)

1. Acknowledge the problem. Figure out what it is that’s causing you to hold a grudge. You have to know what the problem is in order to solve it.

2. Share your feelings. A grudge can form when an issue isn’t fully confronted. Without being judgmental about yourself or another, clarify your feelings on the situation. Communicate with the other person about the issue. Whether you work it out on your own or involved the other person, you may feel more relieved by releasing that build up.

3. Accept what is. Choose to create your own healing, with or without an apology. Don’t wait for the person you are upset with to come around.

5. Don’t dwell on it. Once you have decided to move on, keep on moving.

6. Let it go. Letting go allows room for peace and happiness..

7. Forgive. Of course forgiving does not mean you will forget the issue. Forgiving isn’t the easiest to do especially when you’ve endured a lot of hurt and pain, but it’s the only way to truly let go and have peace.

 

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As I was sayin- OH LOOK! a Squirrel

Sometimes the hardest thing about writing a daily blog is figuring out the topic. Once there is a topic, then it is really just a matter of getting my facts, photos, etc, etc. The writing usually comes easy for me – I have the gift of gab 🙂

However today, as I started to write I received a phone call; which I handled and then set back to my writing. Then I saw an email come in, something very important that was / is past due; I jumped to handle it. Next a text message came in about an event I am attending tonight. Soon half my day was gone and I still only had my topic and research toward my blog post.

As much as I hope my words can and do inspire you, I usually write to myself. I wrote about Focus in July of 2010 and how having a visual reminder of your goal is important. However in my example focus wasn’t my issue, it was distractions.

Often distractions kill our momentum. We have clear sight of our goal and then we allow others to shift our attention. Chances are you already know these ways to help you keep your attention on the task at hand. However, a refresher is always helpful.

  1. Turn off the ringer on your phone. I understand how difficult this is; especially if you have kids or others for whom you are responsible. So if you are in a situation where you need to be reachable by a select number of people, try giving those people special ringtones. Then leave your phone where you can hear it, but not see it. Only get up and go to the phone for those sounds, all others can go to voicemail and you can deal with it later. You can read more about telephones – from tool to intrusion here.
  2. Stop email notifications. This is actually hard one for me. However, those notices take away time and the flow of your thoughts. Email isn’t urgent! Set times when you read, and respond, to mail. Stick to it!
  3. Stop being social. Facebook, twitter, and now google+ are time wasters. Don’t get me wrong, they have benefits. I use the technology and they are great tools but make sure you are aware of how you use the tools and that the tools do not ‘take over’.
  4. Make a to-do list and stick to it.

If you can control your environment, you can accomplish your goals.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the benefits of a virtual workout partner.

 

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Is Your Life Routine?

It is easy for life to become routine. The problem with routine is that we stop noticing the world around us. It becomes easy to miss things when you see them daily. It also becomes easy to take people and things for granted.

For example, when a relationship is new and different, it is almost impossible to not be aware of the other person. The newness of the relationship makes it all new and different. After being friends for quite some time; the relationship can become so comfortable that we forget to notice the person and the specialness of the relationship and take one another for granted.

My challenge to you this weekend is to notice the people around you; especially those closest to you, a spouse, a child, a parent, a best friend or neighbor. Really notice them. Notice the wonderful things they bring to your life. Remember all the joyful times you have shared.  Think about the gap that would be left in your life if they were to no longer be available for you.

Now for the hardest part of the challenge, tell them! Let those important to you know, not just that they are important, but specifically what about them is special to you, Why you love them and how they enrich your existence on earth.

 

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Worries Got Your Down?

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”
Swedish Proverb


Worries are slippery little devils! In my experience the root of my worry is rarely what I think I am worried about. For example I may think I am worried about my relationship but the reality is that I do not want to grow old alone. My relationship is fine, but my concerns over being old and alone are causing anxiety.

I recently heard someone say stop letting your worries bully your mind. The truth of the statement was immediately relevant to me. I, and maybe you, let worries bully our minds. I can worry for day over a comment (either to me or from me). I rarely take action; I just mull it over in my mind for hours.

Find the root cause of your worry and take action. Inaction is the fuel of worry. Get busy first finding the root of your concerns and then working through solutions to those concerns.  Do not let small concerns overshadow your greatness!

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