Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

The Pure Joy Of Reading Hard Cover Books-Why It Is Good For Us

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. – Confucius

Do you remember reading as a child. The wonder of it all. Getting lost in adventures. Such a wondrous experience, one I eagerly took part in and enjoy still today.

Books are everything. They offer adventure, escape, wonder, and excitement. We gain knowledge. Books teach us. While we are lost in enjoyment our brains are being filled with words, inspiration and knowledge.

As a child, books increase our vocabulary and make us inquisitive about the world around us. They make us eager to learn more, read more and open to learning as we grow. When we read as a child and as an adult it opens our minds and gives us the ability to analyze.

Envision Harry Potter and the effect it has had on so many children. They are wrapped up in all the situations playing out on the page and thinking about all the possibilities. Their imagination soaring.

At the same time they are evaluating and learning concepts. They are learning skills that they will use the rest of their lives.

I love the texture of a book in my hand and the pages as they slip through my fingers. The weight of the book, even it’s smell. The crisp clean smell of a new book first opened and the old musty smell of a book sitting on a library shelf. Reading is a tactile experience imprinted on your brain that stores memories and feelings.

When we read we can lose ourselves in the story. It is relaxing and invigorating all at the same time.

Brain scans are revealing what happens in our heads when we read a detailed description, an evocative metaphor or an emotional exchange between characters. Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life.

Annie Murphy Paul, March 17, 2012

Reading evokes empathy with the characters. We respond with emotion to the trials and tribulations, the highs and lows of their lives. We suffer and rejoice with the characters. In real life our perceptions and our responses to human interactions may become more empathetic as a result.

Neuroscience and the use of brain scans is showing the affect words have on different areas of our brain.

Keith Oatley, an emeritus professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto (and a published novelist), has proposed that reading produces a vivid simulation of reality, one that “runs on minds of readers just as computer simulations run on computers.” Fiction — with its redolent details, imaginative metaphors and attentive descriptions of people and their actions — offers an especially rich replica. (Annie Murphy Paul, March 17, 2012)

We expand our knowledge and strengthen our brain by reading. We read for enjoyment and to learn.

The most important aspect of reading is overlooked, our brain, the health of our brain. We take it for granted. When you make the decision to exercise what are you thinking about ? The way our body looks, the definition of our muscles, the health of our heart. The most important muscle we have is our brain. Our brain with the help of our nervous system controls everything we do.

When we read we are exercising our brain. Just like muscles, the brain benefits from a good workout. And reading is more neurobiologically demanding than processing images or speech. As you’re absorbing a book or article, “parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging,” says Ken Pugh, PhD, president and director of research of Haskins Laboratories, ( By Lauren Duzbow , June 2008)

Reading makes us smarter by increasing our general knowledge and our vocabulary. Our expanded ability to use words allows us to be better in all aspects of our lives. We become better, more interesting conversationalists. We become better writers, better teachers, better bosses, better parents.

When we read we stimulate our brain. We are exposed to new thoughts and ideas. Have you ever been reading and thought “Wow, I never thought of that!” or “I want to be more like that.”

Reading can give us a different perspective. When we are done reading a page, a chapter or a whole book we can sit and soak it all in. We reflect, we think and we are richer for it.

When we read we relax, lower our stress levels and sleep better. We relate better to the life and experiences of other people. We become better humans.

Pick up a hard cover book and relish in the experience. Feel the weight of it in your hand, feel the pages as they slip across your fingers and smell the wonderful aroma. Sink back in a chair and absorb. Lose yourself in the wondrous joy of reading.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a nice day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Determination And How It Helps You Be Successful – Why It Matters

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

Mario Andretti

When I was working in Retail Banking I was motivated but more than that I was determined. To be truly successful I think you have to be both.

I was motivated by need and I was motivated by being a single mother of two young boys. They were my driving force. It was not enough for me to just have a job, an entry level job. To be able to provide for me and my children I knew I had to push myself to move up the ladder. I needed money and for that to happen I had to strive for excellence..

It was more than money though. I was motivated to be successful and to set a good example for my two sons. They saw me working hard. Going to college, working full time and sitting with either an open book or the computer virtually all the time.

Was I successful? Yes, I was. Why? It was because I was motivated but it was really because I was determined. You can be motivated and I believe that the majority of people are but not everyone chooses to be determined. It is a choice.

When you are motivated you have a willingness to do something. There is usually a carrot at the end of a stick as a reward. Motivation can change at any moment. It can literally disappear.

My motivation was to increase my income to support my sons. My motivation would have decreased if I had received additional income from a different source. It could also disappear if I did move up the ladder to a certain level and became comfortable there. I might not be motivated to keep working at moving up that ladder anymore.

Determination is different. Determination is a personal quality that can be applied to any situation. It is something you have inside you, a force of will. You decide you want to do something and you are determined to see it through even when you know it will be difficult.

Motivation would be wanting to move ahead at work.

Determination would be continuing to push toward that goal even when there are roadblocks in the way.

To put it in simple terms, motivation is whatever causes you to want to do something and someone can motivate you. Determination is your personal choice. No one can make you be determined.

So how does determination help you move ahead?

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Determination is powerful. It is a strength of character and a overwhelming force to be reckoned with. It is a key factor for success.

Probably the most well known creed of determined people is “never give up”. When they determine something they want, they set a goal and make a plan on how to get there. They will power through set backs and obstacles. If something does not work they find another way.

Determination can be the difference between achieving a goal and being successful or the person who gives up before they reach their goal.

You may have wonderful talents and great work ethic but if you do not have the magical addition of determination you may never be as good as you could be. There are many people from all walks of life that we admire and respect but we may wonder why they never quite made it.

Sometimes we are faced with challenges and set backs both personally and professionally that are just too much. That is true of so many yet they there are some who power through when most people wonder how could they do that. We would have totally understood why they could not.

To name a few:

Benjamin Franklin dropped out of school at the age of 10 to help support his family.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old. His teachers thought he was lazy and he would never amount to anything.

Stephen King’s first novel was rejected 30 times.

Oprah Winfrey overcame a childhood of turmoil to become North America’s first black millionaire among many other honors. You can read her story here: https://www.notablebiographies.com/We-Z/Winfrey-Oprah.html

When you are determined to succeed you will push yourselves to do more so you can reach your goals. There will always be obstacles to overcome for all of us. There will also be failures. When that happens do not stop. Failure is a lesson and an opportunity which you can use to improve. Be determined to learn, get better and push on to success. Your determination will be what pushes you to overcome challenges.

If you were just motivated to complete your goal and you faced failure this is the moment where you might say enough and accept your status and not push to be better.

Determination tells you that yes you can continue and you will take the next step on your journey toward success.

“Your opponent, in the end, is never really the player on the other side of the net, or the swimmer in the next lane, or the team on the other side of the field, or even the bar you must high-jump. Your opponent is yourself, your negative internal voices, your level of determination.”

Grace Lichtenstein

I truly believe that people are born with determination, that it is a natural trait. I also believe that you can develop a determined personality. There are steps you can take to change your perspective. It will be easier for some than others, but it can be done.

Changing your perspective, deciding you will be DETERMINED will require multiple steps. It may take longer than you think or it could happen quickly. It depends on your mindset.

Your mindset is so important. Your actions will be determined by how you look at yourself. If you have a positive mindset you will be able to set goals and be focused on achieving them. You goal is to stay positive and also develop a determined mindset.

One thing I think is really important is to talk to your support system, i.e.: your partner/family. When you are determined to achieve any goal you will be working hard. Let the people closest to you know what the goal is and why it is important. Make a plan that will involve them. It is important they understand what you are doing and how they can support your effort.

Realize that you have to be focused, completely focused. It is easy to waver or go off track. Develop a habit of reviewing your goal and your plan on how to reach it. Read it every day, either first thing to begin your day or last thing at night, or both.

Relax. You will be working hard and expending a lot of energy . Take care of yourself. Step away and do something to relax. Breath. Take a walk. Exercise. Do something enjoyable with your family. It is important to be rested and in a good mood, a positive mood.

Realize that developing a determined mindset doesn’t happen all at once. It will not happen overnight. Do not be disappointed if you find yourself slipping into old habits. Step back and reassess. Think about your end goal and why it is important.

Don’t expect immediate results. Be willing to spend the time now to realize your end goal. Determination is an action, an action you are taking. There may be a learning curve involved. Just like learning a new skill of any kind you have to put in the effort to become an expert.

Let go of negativity. If you feel it creeping into your thought process boot it out. There is no time for meaningless thought. Negativity has no value. Stay away from negative people and their influence. Develop a positive mantra that you can say to yourself whenever you are stressed, tired or a negative thought starts in your head.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”

Calvin Coolidge

Determination. It will power you to success. You have a Vision. You have Ambition. Execute with Determination. You will have Success. What decisions will you make today?

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great and successful day. Power on.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

A Blank Page – What Am I Going To Write About Today? – Where To Look For Inspiration

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.

That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

― Octavia E. Butler

Today I am being persistent. I am writing this with hesitation because I really do not want to write today. I am tired and feeling a bit funky and just off.

I have this massive amount of outside work to do. That is what I did this weekend and so today I am overtired. I also have nothing to post. Woe is me!

So what do I do? Right now I am looking for inspiration. I do have a few ideas I want to work on but they are just that ideas. They need more time then I have today. So I am going to write about finding inspiration.

When I woke up this morning an idea was just there waiting. So if you are lucky that will happen often. I won’t be writing about that particular idea today though, that is waiting for another time.

So where do I normally find inspiration? Here are a few ideas that work for me.

  • Quotes. I love quotes. First they offer inspiration for so many things. They just make me feel good. They also offer great ideas for writing. I often find them on Twitter and you can always do a search online.
  • Reading. I always try to read other blogs and articles. I recently read an article written by John Pa, https://johnpa.com/2019/06/08/770/ who also blogs on Word Press. His article inspired me and gave me the idea for an article I wrote for Medium.com. We had similar life experiences and I had never thought to write about it before. So thank you John.
  • Life experiences. We all have experiences that we can write about. There are so many that we can share. Funny, sad and in between. Write about your kids and what they say and do.
  • Work. I have written most of my blog posts about my work experience. Work experiences offer so many possibilities for writing. Again they can be funny, sad or anywhere in between.
  • Pets. I love animals and they have always been a part of my life. We once raised Texas Longhorn cattle. I know I have a story or two to share about my experiences with them. Do you have a cat or a dog? Write about them.
  • Exercise/sports. Huge topic and very popular. Are you a fan of a particular team? Write about them. Do you have a funny story about going to a game. Were you lucky enough to meet your favorite player? Write about that.
  • Music. Do you have a passion for a particular style of music or a particular artist? Do you have a lot of knowledge about either? Many songs are inspirational. Do you have a favorite feel good song? Write about it
  • T-Shirts. Yes t-shirts. I have found them online with great sayings and I have used them for blog posts. Sometimes great images as well.
  • Things you randomly see and hear. You could be at a movie, the grocery store or at the park. It is funny how a simple overheard comment may turn into a light bulb moment. You know you can write about it.
  • How about a TED presentation? There has to be inspiration found there.
  • Dreams. I normally do not dream or at least I do not remember them. My husband on the other hand has some whoppers, I mean really bizarre. I am sure I could find a blog post or two in there somewhere.
  • Relationships. Oh My…of course there are inspirational posts available from our interactions and from their life experiences. My husband is retired law enforcement and he also worked in the private sectors as well. He has traveled extensively. Many possibilities there.
  • Notebook. One thing I do is keep a notebook handy so I can write down ideas so I do not forget them. I keep a notebook on my desk by my computer and keep it by my side if we watch TV at night. That is usually when I read and make lists.
  • Recorder. I would really like to carry a small recorder. I will think of things and write title lines or sentences in my head. That happened this morning when I woke up and it happens when I am outside, on the tread mill or driving in the car. I still have the general idea in my head but I lose some of it. I hate when that happens.

What do you do everyday? What hobbies do you have? What kind of makeup do you use? Do you use natural products or make them yourself? Do you have a passion for fashion? Do you write poetry?

Inspiration is everywhere. We just have to look and listen and we will find it. Writing this today has been beneficial to me because in thinking about possibilities to share with you, I also shared them with myself. I have not thought of some of these possibilities before.

I hope some of my ideas for finding inspiration help you. Ideas are really everywhere, we just have to open our minds to them.

https://pixabay.com/illustrations/lightbulb-bulb-light-idea-energy-1875247/

If you would like to read my article published at Medium.com which was inspired by the writing of John Pa you can find it here: https://medium.com/@lindalatt/panic-in-the-er-the-fear-and-terror-of-the-unknown-722513da811a?source=friends_link&sk=76b202b949769d8c145cc1c7692021e8

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day!

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Blogging Is Like Therapy-How It Helps You View Your World

Photo by asim alnamat from Pexels

Really? No way, that is what I would have told you before starting my blog. It’s true though. By writing I have opened myself up to all sorts of ideas and different ways of looking at just about everything.

Writing makes you think and it makes you contemplate. Research is virtually an everyday occurrence which in turn opens you up to even more ideas.

When I am gaining knowledge about what I am researching I am also learning about myself. The topics I research tell me about myself and my reactions tell me even more.

Writing this blog allows me to share my thoughts and opinions. This is something that I did not have an outlet for before. I am an introvert, no way around that. It is just who I am.

When I was working in the business world I had to force myself to communicate well with people. It was something I learned to do because I had to. It was not something I was ever truly comfortable doing.

Strangely, even though I am definitely still an introvert, I miss having the interaction with other people. Strange. It does seems strange but it is true. Writing my blog allows me to have that interaction. I cannot see you, I cannot hear you but I am talking to you, just not verbally.

So that is therapeutic. It allows me to talk. Something I did not realize I missed or needed so much.

I have things to say. I have events, feelings and emotions to share. This is my outlet. This is my therapy.

More than the simple act of writing is the idea that I am being recognized. I have something to say, I have an audience and someone is listening. You see me, you hear me. I feel as if I have value.

https://www.pexels.com/@tookapic

I also am starting to write, attempting to write, articles or short stories. These stories are more about my own personal life experiences. They tell my story. My last attempt can be found here: https://medium.com/@lindalatt/panic-in-the-er-the-fear-and-terror-of-the-unknown-722513da811a?source=friends_link&sk=76b202b949769d8c145cc1c7692021e8

This story allowed me to go back and feel emotions that deeply affected me many years ago. I would love to have you read it and let me know what you think of my writing. It would mean a great deal to share that with you and to hear your thoughts.

See what I mean? Writing is therapeutic.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

There are many events that happen to us in life that affect us deeply. We are very emotional creatures, we humans. Writing in any form allows us to take note of how we feel and to bring our emotions out a little at a time. Writing allows us to investigate our feelings.

Many of my blogs are more business related but they also talk about our personal interactions and feelings. They talk about our mindset and about personal growth and gratitude. One blog was about dealing with defeat. All of these are emotional for any of us. We react to them at work and they also affect our personal life.

Most of what I write I have experienced in one form or another. Writing about them has given me the opportunity to revisit those events and poke around a bit in my feelings and reactions.

Writing about our experiences allows us to look at things through a different lens. It can be enlightening.

Photo by Maurício Mascaro from Pexels

When writing about our past experiences we may become aware of something we did not recognize at the time. We did not see it clearly either because we did not take the time or it was painful and we pushed it away. If we ignore it then it will not hurt us. Oh, but it can!

Writing allows us to address issues created by something we chose to push aside which can lounge in the recesses of our mind and fester. Writing about these past experiences helps us clean house, dust out the attic. We all need to do that because we all have “stuff” we hang on to and we shouldn’t.

From my perspective I think writing is very therapeutic. Just randomly writing down your experiences and your feelings is a good practice. You can write it in a blog if you want or write it in a notebook or journal. If you choose to write in a blog, you never have to publish it. It can be your private personal record.

Everyone has wonderful feel good experiences you want to relive. We have the normal everyday ho-hum events which can be humorous and delightful. We may also have some gut wrenching life experiences that have deeply affected you, your family and perhaps your friends. Writing about them will allow you to document your life. *I am going to post one of my gut wrenching family stories this week, so stay tuned.

Writing will also allow you to analyse yourself. It gives you the opportunity to put your “stuff” in order, rearrange your thoughts and be a better person for it. It might be painful at times but in the end you will benefit from it.

A word of caution. If you have some really earth shattering events in your life, sure you can write about those but always realize you have more options available to you as well. Seeking professional help is always a good idea.

I do not know why but writing about something instead of just thinking about it and reliving it in our mind is somehow different. When we write down the words and see them on paper it makes our thoughts clearer. Maybe it makes them more real, I am not sure.

Maybe, it is because when we think about something we have a tendency to go over and over the same thing. Especially if it negative. It can feel like we have it on automatic re-wind.

The act of writing and seeing it on paper, or the white screen of our computer, helps us get rid of the attached emotions. It helps us move on so we don’t have to keep recycling the same old story.

Writing is a journey from what you think you know to new places in your mind and soul.

Linda Joy Myers

https://www.pexels.com/@rawpixel

Writing has been therapeutic for me and I hope it will be for you as well.

As always thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How To Become A Better Writer. 11 Steps To Take To Improve Your Writing Skill.

Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

 

So you want to be a writer or you want to improve your writing? Me Too! Here are some tips I hope will help you on your journey!

After writing my last blog post I realized how much there is to learn as a writer and also what I have already learned. When I started my blog I considered myself to be a fairly competent writer, but not a “writer”. Competent, meaning I took writing in college and really enjoyed it and did well. I did a massive amount of writing to complete an accelerated college degree. My job required a certain amount of proficient writing.

Does that make me a writer? No, I still have so much to learn and I am eager to continue. I have read so many articles on blogs and writing. Articles on how to write title lines, how to be descriptive, why it is important to find your focus,

Here are some of the things you can do to become a better writer.

  • When you start writing it is important to pick a lane. At least for blogging. What do you want to write about? What are your interests? Do you want to write about fashion or art? Do you have expertise in a certain field that will potentially help others? Write about something you enjoy or is meaningful to you.
  • Write something. You have to start somewhere. It’s okay, you will look back later and (hopefully) see how far you have come and how much you have learned.
  • Edit. Don’t just write and hit the publish button. Read it, edit it, read it again and edit it again. Look for spelling errors, grammar errors and sentence structure. Do your sentences make sense or do they need to be rewritten. I read my blog posts over and over and I know I still make mistakes. I found I would be typing as I was thinking and sentences made sense to me. After rereading a few times I knew they might not make any sense to someone else.
  • Be concise. You can write something and use 20 words or say the same thing using 10 words. Which sounds better? Sometimes less is more.
  • Be descriptive. Write so that your content is engaging and brings the reader into the story. Your writing should draw them in and make them want to keep reading.
  • Title lines are really important because that is what a reader sees first. Write them so they are concise, interesting and offer the reader a benefit for reading.
  • The beginning of your blog or story should be powerful. Spend more time here than anywhere else. Write it in such a way that the reader wants more. Leave them hanging so they have to continue reading to find out what happens.
  • Read. Since starting my blog I am reading more and more. I read to learn and I read for my enjoyment. You will find so many different styles of writing. You will find you are drawn to certain writers. What is their style? How do they structure their writing? You will be influenced by many and from them, you will develop your own style.
  • Ideas. When I first thought about the possibility of writing a blog I took a notebook and started writing down ideas. Then I researched and made adjustments. Keep a small notebook and a pen with you all the time. When something pops into your head write it down immediately. Ideas will come to you at the strangest times like when you are exercising, mowing the lawn or taking a shower.
  • Scheduling a time and a place to write. This may not work for everyone and there does need to be some flexibility. Some people like to write early in the day and others prefer night time. It is truly beneficial to have a place to write where it is quiet and there are few distractions.
  • Feedback. Look for someone you trust to read your writing and hear their thoughts. Ask for suggestions, what was good, bad or indifferent?  Did they enjoy reading it? I know when I first started I was really hesitant about reactions but that is counterproductive now isn’t it?.

These are some of the things that I am doing or in the process of learning how to do better.  I am not an established blogger (this is my 5th month) nor am I an established writer.  I believe I have included some goods tips to follow for any type of writing. 

My advice is to do all of these things but to also research and look for more.  There is a multitude of articles some of which are really good and some not as much.  Look for the people with the most expertise and success. 

If you want to write, do it. Take a Journey. Start and see where it leads you. 

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https://unsplash.com/@helloimnik

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day!  

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Blogging Does Not Equate With Quality Writing! Nonsense! Hogwash! Are Bloggers Good Writers?

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Blogging does not equate with quality writing! There appears to be some controversy about the quality of blogs. I have read a few articles recently inferring that bloggers are not considered writers.

Nonsense and Hogwash!! Blogging may be a more informal format but that does not make the quality of the writing any less. There are many “new” writers who are bloggers (I am one of them) but we are not unqualified because we are new.

Every writer is new when they first start writing regardless of the medium they are writing in. Also, not every experienced writer is necessarily a good writer. How many times have you read an article, a short story or a novel which was poorly written and had bad grammar and punctuation?

Good, bad or indifferent, everyone has something to say. Blogging is an excellent outlet for sharing your opinion, sharing your expertise and giving solace to readers.

Many individuals and companies write blogs. They keep us up to date with current events. What’s going on today? What information are you looking for? All you have to do is look at Twitter and Facebook and you will find blogs by such entities as Forbes, Inc.com and The New York Times and many, many more.

“I think of us as journalists; the medium we work in is blogging.”

Joshua Micah Marshall

The point is that blogs are for everyone and they are being written by everyone.

Just because the format we are using is a blog does not mean we are inferior writers.

I have read many articles that indicate you have to be a good writer to be a good successful blogger. That makes sense. You can start a blog if you are not an experienced writer but it is important that you hone your writing skills.

While blogging can be less formal, less researched, and more geared for online reading or social sharing, to do it well requires the same kind of practice and skill as crafting a novel. 

by Jane Friedman

One interesting tidbit I have found since starting this blog is the number of people who decided to start a blog for a multitude of different reasons that ended up writing short stories or novels. Writing a blog helped them develop their writing skills and they became good quality, excellent writers. They had no intention of that when they started but that is where blogging led them.

There are many established novelists that write blogs as well.  One reason is it helps them keep active and practice their craft of writing.

So you see bloggers are good writers. We are good people who have something to say and have decided to share our thoughts and beliefs with the world. Along the way, we gained purpose and thoughtful contemplation and a love of writing.

Having something to say and the need to add value to your life can be done with writing a blog. Quite possibly a love of writing is born. A love of writing can lead to increased skills as a writer, some great blog posts and maybe some awesome short stories or a novel.

As bloggers, let’s not be afraid to call ourselves writers. And let’s not be afraid to write. To really write. To let our words tell a story, and draw people in, and paint a scene so vivid it makes our readers feel like they’re right there with us.

By Elle Croft  WRITING June 28, 2018

Writing a blog can improve your writing skills. Bloggers write all the time. A blog post is usually short so you can write multiple posts in a day, week or month.

You post to your blog at regular intervals and you are the one who decides what to write and when to post it. One of the benefits of that is the immediate feedback you receive.

How many people have read a post you have written, liked it and left a comment? If you get positive feedback you know you are doing well. If the comments are negative then you know you need to improve.

Over time your writing will improve. You will learn from your feedback and you will recognize some posts did better than others. You can look at your most popular posts and understand what your readers like.

So when someone asks what you do and you tell them you are a blogger they may not be impressed. They may not take you seriously and they may not think of you as a writer. You are a writer and you work hard at it.

Blogging is important because it gives a voice to everyone. Blogging allows women, LGBTQ, and people from all walks of life, all religions and all races to tell their stories. Each of us has wonderful stories to tell. We have a wealth of experience to share.

If not for blogging so much of that would be lost. If not for blogging there would not be the opportunity to learn to be a better writer and to gain experience and confidence. If not for blogging there would be so many great short stories and novels that might never be written. What a loss that would be.

How about you, what do you have to say? What story do you have within you? Start a blog and share it. It will help you and it just may help someone else by brightening their day or giving them the information they can use in their own lives. Come on, write a blog!

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photo by  Eugene Chystiakov@eugenechystiakov   Unsplash 

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Gratitude-How Does It Help You In Life And Work? Simple Steps You Can Take

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nutures the soul”  Rabbi Harold Kushner

Gratitude. Everyone knows what it is right? Do you understand and practice gratitude? Do you think about it or do you take it for granted?

According to the dictionary, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

There are many more detailed descriptions of gratitude. Harvard Medical School writes that gratitude is “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals–whether to other people, nature, or a higher power” 

So what are the benefits of practicing gratitude? It can be beneficial in every aspect of your life. For it to be beneficial for you at work you have to look at how it benefits you personally. You cannot truly practice gratitude in one and not the other. You can’t fake gratitude.

Think about yourself and your life. What aspects of your life are you grateful for? Do you have good health, a family, a job? Are your parents still alive? Do you have children or a pet you love? Do you have a job and an income? Do you love books, gardening, hiking in nature? Are you able to do all these things?

We take so many things for granted. My parents are gone and I wish they were still here. I have good health and so many people do not. Going outside and listening and seeing nature around me. Hearing the sound of my grandson learning to talk.

I am grateful for all those things and they all make me happy. We are happier when we are grateful for the things we have.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here are just a few of the benefits we receive from practicing gratitude:

  • Gratitude causes happiness. We are happier and have a more optimistic outlook. When we are happy everything else becomes so much easier.
  • We think less about ourselves and more about others. We look for ways to show gratitude to others for what they do and to help others in return.
  • We have more self-esteem and we are less envious/jealous towards others.
  • We feel better. We are more relaxed and we sleep better. Because of this our overall health improves and our energy levels increase.
  • We are more friendly and open towards others which in turn promotes better relationships both personally and professionally.
  • When we have gratitude we are more helpful and show more understanding toward others. We are more empathetic.
  • We listen better and are more respectful. People will want to form a friendship or a better relationship with us because we are more pleasant to be around. People trust us and value our opinion because they know they will be treated with respect.
  • Our outlook improves and we are more helpful towards others which in turn may lead to better work relationships and better results in networking.

Being grateful and showing gratitude to others may be something you do not think about. You understand the concept but take it for granted that you do practice gratitude. But do you?

Some people are certainly better at it than others to the point that you might say they were born that way. I attempt to be grateful but I know I could be better. I always greet people, tell them to have a good day and say thank you.

I really believe that most of us, including me, just take things for granted. We are busy, we may overlook it and then say you will say thanks the next time. Then we forget. Have you ever held the door for someone and they walk right through and do not look at you? They do not smile or say thank you.

Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more commonplace. I am a woman and I have held a door for men before and they do not even acknowledge me. Pretty rude wouldn’t you say? It won’t keep me from doing it again though.

Sometimes such a simple act can make all the difference in a person’s life. It makes me feel better by doing it, it makes me smile. Most of the time someone smiles back.

As a society, I sometimes feel we are disconnected. What kind of life will it be if we all become unaware of each other because we are so lost in our own thoughts or activities?

Gratitude is important. Individual people, families, the people we work with and society as a whole all benefit from the practice of gratitude.

Make a practice of thinking about what you are grateful for. Acknowledge someone who has done something for you.

Do simple things like saying hello, smiling and offering to help. Buy someone a coffee. Write someone a thank you card or send an email saying how much you appreciate them. Hug someone. Take flowers to someone. Be quiet and listen and acknowledge what is being said. Be kind. If you have not seen your neighbor lately, particularly if they are older or not in good health, knock on their door and ask if there is anything you can do. 

I am grateful for being able to share my blog with you today. What are you grateful for?

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How Blogging Has Helped Me In Just 4 Months – What Are The Benefits?

When I started my blog I had no expectations. I looked at it as an opportunity to do something that would keep my brain stimulated. Maybe it would help me do other things as well. There is a list of things floating around in my mind that I have an interest in, a curiosity really. Will writing the blog push me to do some of the things on my list? Maybe, maybe no, but I think the chances are in my favor.

Writing my blog has definitely been interesting, sometimes exciting, sometimes overwhelming and never dull. I have been disappointed on occasion and just a teeny bit angry a time or two.

I have learned that it is a lot of work. More time being gobbled up when there is always so much to do. Going into this I had no idea how much effort is required. It isn’t just the writing but it is learning how to create an account on WordPress and Twitter and Facebook. That was just the beginning.

Then there is all the other potential sites like Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram, UTube, Google and Pinterest and the list goes on. How do you connect them and do you want to? what is the best practice? do you want to monetize your blog. Yikes! I am still working my way through all this and hoping to do it intelligently.

So the process does require effort but I love it! The time and effort is worth it and it is stimulating.

So just what has happened that makes me feel it is worthwhile?

“I write to discover what I know.”

–Flannery O’Connor

  • I am more appreciative. This is a hard one to explain really. It is all about my mental outlook about myself and my surroundings. Writing, doing research, reading other people’s blogs makes me more aware. I feel like it has opened me up. You know like that flower bud wrapped tightly and then it slowly opens up into full bloom. I think what I am attempting to say is I had become closed off in a way. I had no expectations and now I do. I want more.
  • I am definitely exercising my brain which is so very important to me. As we all do, I am getting older. I refuse to use that as an excuse to stop doing new things and to settle for a ho-hum life. It’s a good life but no one should limit themselves. Life is what we make it and it can always be better.
  • Blogging gives me a voice and a way to express myself. I think everyone has something worthwhile to say. Many people are introverts and I certainly have that tendency. It is easy for me to spend long amounts of time by myself. At the same time I do have things to say and I think it is a healthy practice to use my voice. Blogging has given me that outlet
  • Having worked for many years I have what I believe is good valuable information to share. I have raised a family while working full time and going to college part time. I earned my degree with honors and steadily earned promotions at work. I was named employee of the year and I was a speaker at the organization I worked for and was also on the speakers bureau of the local Alzheimer’s Assoc. Blogging has given me an opportunity to share my thoughts and hopefully help someone else.
  • Blogging has helped me become a better writer. It has been awhile since I had done any form of writing so this is refreshing to me. I enjoy it and I am relearning the art of writing. I have branched out a little and started writing articles for Medium.com. Here is one of my articles: https://medium.com/@lindalatt/alzheimers-disease-857b0b63004c
  • It has given me more confidence. The effort of writing my blog and all of the other factors that go with it has been a challenge and I am so glad. I am learning and I am getting better. Five months ago I had no intention of doing this and here I am. I feel better about myself on many levels. Blogging has been a very beneficial experience.
  • Blogging is allowing me to tell my story. I have experiences to share, I just never expected to have the opportunity. People have interesting stories to tell and now slowly I am sharing some of mine. Here is another article published on Medium.com that I love because it is my story of first love and it is special to me. https://medium.com/@lindalatt/the-boy-from-california-ea85d7f5de77
  • A wonderful benefit of blogging is making new connections with other bloggers and writers. Remember I am an introvert so I tend to be content being by myself. Slowly establishing connections with people I would never had the opportunity without my blog is wonderful. It is a nice benefit.
  • Believe it or not writing this blog has helped me be more organized. Although looking at my desk right now you would not believe me. Blogging is helping me organize my thoughts and think of events in a different way so it is a definite benefit. I am more focused.
  • There is the potential for making money. That is not my purpose for writing my blog. I am writing for the pure satisfaction of knowing I can and for continuing to get better even as I age. It is wonderful to experience it. Extra money is not a bad thing though.

Blogging may not be for everyone but it does have benefits. You do have to work and put in true effort. Just like everything else what you get out of it will be determined by what you put into it. If you have a story to tell…..maybe you should consider telling it in your blog.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day.

Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How Can We Benefit From Defeat? Loser or winner, which one do you want to be?

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou

Ralph W. Emerson wrote: “Our strength grows out of our weakness. A great man is always willing to be little. While he sits on the cushion of advantages, he goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits; . . . he has gained facts; learned from his ignorance; been cured of the insanity of conceit; has got moderation and real skill.”

Winning, we all want to win. Nobody wants to lose. Few of us just do not care. We are naturally competitive and it starts early in life. Something as simple as playing with friends when we are very young can turn into a competition. The winner of the race across the yard is happy and expresses his joy with a happy smile and jumping up and down. The loser of the race is not smiling, may even be crying and is probably angry. Losing makes them feel bad. They do not like the feeling and they decide next time they will be the winner of the race.

Being defeated is never comfortable but it is always an opportunity. When we lose it is important to reflect about the why. Why did this happen, why was my opponent better, what did they do that I did not do? We need to evaluate our performance and find ways to improve.

When we fail the world does not end and life goes on. What we do with our failure will determine where we go from there. If we just accept our failure and decide, “that’s it, I cannot do any better” we have placed a limit on ourselves. We will become complacent and become mediocre. We will not improve.

On the other hand if we take the time to dissect our failure we give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow and to become better.

“The taste of defeat has a richness of experience all its own. To me, every day is a struggle to stay in touch with life’s subtleties. No one grows without failing.”  

 Bill Bradley, former U.S. Senator and professional basketball player

Failure is a challenge. A challenge that only you can decide to accept or to deny.

I would not recommend denying a loss. Do not place the blame somewhere else. Own it and use it to become better.

When you accept the fact that you did lose you have already taken a step forward. It happened, this time someone else did a better job. Let’s face it, we cannot and will not win them all. It is realistic, and it is the best practice to understand that. You will be more open to analyzing what happened and learning from it. It will enable you to do a better job next time.

Life is all about lessons and learning. When we are working or playing there is always an opportunity to learn and get better. The good thing about losing is we pay more attention. Winning is great but when you are really good and win most of the time you tend to relax and just go along for the ride. There is no reason to practice or to try new things.

When we lose, it is like a kick in the gut. It makes you stand up and take notice. Loss makes you question yourself. What happened? Do you like the feeling of defeat? Hell, No!

When you have worked hard at something and end up not coming out on top it is extremely disheartening. It can suck the life out of you, cause anger and be the catalyst for depression. Case in point was my reaction for not having an article accepted which you can find here: https://medium.com/@lindalatt/what-made-me-throw-a-temper-tantrum-3bcdb2ee8a82?source=friends_link&sk=d42129c788ad027864c15e13c470c90b

Defeat and anger can be used as a tool, a weapon. I was really pissed off but it made me just want to try again and again. It is an incentive. Use your anger and disappointment to improve. Work harder!

If you are angry good, that is not a bad thing. Use your anger to strengthen your will. Challenge yourself. Everything we do is constantly in flux and nothing is guaranteed. Take your anger and turn it into positive action.

Ask your self why you did not win. Be your own biggest critic. If you are working with a group, or have a mentor, ask for feedback. Look for ways you can improve the next time.

Dissect yourself. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses. We all have some of both. Remain positive and keep working toward being better. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all wake up every day and ask ourselves what we are going to do better today. A tiny thing but just think about the possibilities.

Winning and being successful is not guaranteed. You have to be willing to put in the work. When I started my blog I had no idea the amount of work that is required to be successful.

I am a long, long way from success but I am passionate about my dream I continually work on remaining positive and having a great attitude. I always strive to be better.

I hope I have the right formula moving forward in my quest to be a writer, a good writer. If not then I will do some adjusting on my journey. I will put in the work. There will be more disappointments but with each I know I will learn from it and get better. I will be a better writer and a better person for the effort.

Hopefully, I can help influence you as well to stay positive. We may not always win but as long as we learn from our mistakes we are all winners. Always put in the best effort and always look for ways to improve.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!

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Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Statistics Show Women Are Better Leaders-Here’s Why

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.”– Nancy Rathburn

Women are awesome. Plain and simple they get the job done. That is why statistics show they are performing better than men.

When women enter the workforce they are equal to their male counterparts. Each performs about the same. For a time men then move ahead and are considered more effective. However, as women mature they move ahead and stay ahead.

functional area competencies chart

This continues until about age 60 and then you see men being viewed as more competent with the result that at the highest levels of an organization there are only 3 – 4% of women.

The strange thing is the statistics show women are more competent. The corporate culture just hasn’t caught up yet.

leadership chart
Bob Sherwin, Contributor Jan. 24, 2014 COO of leadership consultancy Zenger Folkman published in Business Insider

Why are women better? What do they do differently?

  • The standard answer is that women work harder just to be recognized. The better answer would be they work harder longer.
  • Women practice Self Development. The difference between men and women is usually once a certain level of recognition is reached men have the tendency to stop and women keep on working. Women work hard and they work consistently to self develop. They continue to ask for feedback and they also continue to work to improve their skill level.
  • Women take initiative. Using initiative is demonstrating your ability to work proactively. It shows you have the ability to think about different situations and find ways to make them better. Initiative is demonstrated by making suggestions at meetings, starting projects or fixing problems by yourself.
  • They understand the importance of developing others. Perhaps because so many women have to do their own self development they are better at developing others. They understand the importance. They also understand the frustration caused when it is not done effectively. When you develop others, and truly embed that in your culture valuable employees will be much more likely to stay in your organization.
  • Women display integrity and honesty. Females in a management position understand the hard work and effort necessary to move ahead. They have worked very hard to get where they are. As a result they are much more likely to recognize those employees that have the same work ethic. They will recognize and praise their contribution whenever possible.
  • They are driven to get results. Every boss wants to have good results but women will put in the extra time and effort on a continual basis to achieve great results. They are used to going the extra mile to get where they are and they are not going to rest on their laurels.
  • Women are great at developing relationships. Relationship building comes naturally to women. They tend to focus not only on short term relationships but also long term. It makes sense to build not only a good relationship with your team but your business relationships as well. You want a good satisfied team and a good satisfied business connection.
  • They work to inspire and motivate others. Women are good at setting goals and helping others reach those goals. They encourage teamwork and mentoring others. They will invest time in training, for themselves and their team. Women are great mentors. Why? because women have the natural ability to nurture and guide.
  • Women know the importance of collaboration and teamwork. To be successful you have to be able to build a team, a good solid invested team. You cannot do it all. Women know this because they have learned the value of relationships and collaboration in their journey of advancing in the workplace.
  • They are not afraid of change. Women want change. They know how difficult it can be for a women to build a career. When they achieve a management position they are eager to create change in the workplace. They want to change the work culture within their organization to create opportunity for other women to advance.

It has taken a long time, too long, for women to achieve the recognition that they have worked so hard for. It has been difficult and it is not over. Yes, women are advancing up the ladder but those top rungs are still there. Women are so qualified but still not always recognized.

How do you get to the next rung on that ladder? Make the decision. Decide the exact place you want to be and make a plan on how to get there. Then focus, focus, focus. What is the job description and what are the requirements? Break it all down. Do you have the expertise now? If you do great. Now decide how you can surpass those requirements. Work on all the skills you need to get the job and then keep working to improve. Exceed all expectations.

Surround yourself with good people and create a support system by cultivating relationships with people you admire and respect. Be the person that other people want to work for. Always be supportive, always be honest and always follow through.

Take initiative and always look for new ways to do things better. Be credible by having an in depth understanding of every aspect of your job and how you want to change things.

Learn to stand up for yourself. Choose which battles you want to fight. What is important and will it be worth the fight. Be thoughtful in your decisions and make a choice. It can be a delicate dance but you will earn respect by doing so

 “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” -Clare Boothe Luce

As my granddaughter told me when she was a wee little girl, “You can do it, grandma!” Yes, we can ladies. It may be a little harder but it is so worth it. You are going to be Awesome!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a successful day!