Posted in Communication, Excitement, Friendship, Inspiration, Learning, Positive Thinking

Quote Of The Day

“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

~ Amy Poehler
Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash

As always, thanks so much for stopping by today. Have an inspiring day.

Posted in Coping, Life, Motivation, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Do You Ever Feel Like You Are On A Treadmill And Can’t Get Off?

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

Do you ever feel that way? Does your life feel like you are stuck in the same routine over and over again?

I think it is easy to get stuck in a rut and continually do the same routine day in and day out. Why? Because it is easy and it is comfortable; until it’s not.

When I started this blog I did so because I did not want to get stuck in my life. I did not want to become stagnant and that is how I felt. I did not like the feeling.

So I started a journey of what I hoped would be discovery. I am still on that journey, but I still feel stuck.

We cannot always control our life. Other factors, events, and people will influence us and possibly keep us from progress. That is life and I am still struggling to define myself.

At the end of last year, faced with assessing my progress, I was not happy with my overall situation. I felt boxed in by responsibilities that I had been pushing on the back burner for much too long. I made the decision to take some time to organize and rearrange my life and the way we live.

What I have discovered is it is not easy to do. We become so accustomed to living the same way, and not making changes, that we push back from actually making those needed changes in our life. That is what I find myself doing.

Yes, I have made some changes, but not nearly enough, and I am not happy with myself. I find it upsetting that I cannot commit to my goal of eliminating the clutter from my life. I laugh at myself sometimes because it is laughable. I cannot tell you the number of times I have walked into our closet, contemplated what to do, and then just walked back out without doing anything.

Part of my problem is not knowing what to do with everything. Recycling is so important and I become fixated on what to do with different items. What do you do with old blue jeans? or old shoes? I did find out that Nike has a program for recycling old sneakers which is great and there is a company that recycles old T-shirts. I have actually kept several items just because I hate the idea of them ending up in a landfill.

I have to get past that or I will never get rid of anything. So I have started a pile of items to donate. I will also probably take some items to an auction house and I have been listing some items for sale.

The point I am trying to make is that change is not easy. We do get stuck in a routine that may not be beneficial to us. I think it is easy to avoid change and I know it is not good for us.

What I am doing is not only clearing out items in my home that have been here too long. I am also working toward clearing out the debris in my head. I highly recommend it.

I think we all need to challenge ourselves all the time. It is good for our mind and it is good for our soul.

We only have so much time and we do not know how long we have. I need to get this done now.

So this week I will be kicking into high gear. Wish me luck, because I know I will need it.

How about you?

There is nothing wrong with change…if it is in the right direction.

Winston Churchill

I am trying to change in the right direction. I will give an update soon.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Posted in Business, Excitement, Inspiration, Learning, Life, Positive Thinking

“Why It Is Important To Explore Creativity – 4 Ways To Be Creative And Add Fun To Your Work”

https://unsplash.com/photos/jR4Zf-riEjI

Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

What is creativity? According to Lexico, powered by the Oxford dictionary, it is “The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.”

When I think of being creative, I think of someone like my granddaughter, who loves and excels at the creation of art. I also think of myself when I was working for an organization. And in my employee reviews, my creativity was always mentioned as one of my top assets.

There are many forms of creativity. The act of creating a drawing, a porcelain bird, a piece of art you hold in your hand, or what seems like an opposing form, an idea for creating a new product and the promotion of that product, or a new way to solve a problem.

Creativity is thinking outside the box. Someone can look at items and events with a different lens and find patterns and connections that no one else can see. It is taking those patterns and connections and creating a solution to a problem or creating a new product or theory.

“Creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our ‘inner’ pool of resources – knowledge, insight, information, inspiration and all the fragments populating our minds – that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world and to combine them in extraordinary new ways.”

— Maria Popova, Brainpickings

Srinivasa Ramanujan, a mathematical genius, said that the insight for his work came to him in his dreams.

Albert Einstein had the extraordinary scientific achievement, the discovery of the principle of relativity, after having a vivid dream.

Niels Bohr, whose dreams lead him to the discovery of the Atom 

 “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” 

— Mary Lou Cook

Creativity is a skill. It is a skill which is becoming more and more valuable.

When you look at the ever-changing world we live in; creativity is necessary to create new jobs and also new and better ways to change the way we look at existing industries.

One problem we have right now is climate change. When you list the causes of climate change, you will find many areas where creativity will be required to create innovative new systems.

Many people worry about the loss of jobs, but jobs will be created to replace those outdated industries and systems.

We are all born with natural creative talents, but quite often, those talents are not utilized and become dim. Some of us will be more naturally talented than others.

It is possible to increase our creativity just as we are able to learn any new skill. It is necessary to learn techniques to build creative skills.

To develop a creative mindset, you have to be able to challenge existing assumptions, be open to new ideas and possibilities. As with learning any new skill, you have to step outside your comfort zone and experiment and consistently ask questions.

Dr. Robert Epstein, a psychologist and creativity researcher, has identified four core competencies that enhance our ability to think creatively and generate novel ideas. https://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/can-learn-creative/

  • Capture new ideas

Find an effective way to preserve novel ideas as they occur, without judging them or editing them. Carry a notebook and write down your ideas or use a voice recorder.

I use a notebook to write down ideas for my blog and articles published on Medium.com.

  • Seek out challenges

Stop avoiding challenging problems or projects. Think about the possible ways to generate new ideas and solutions. Seeking challenges may lead to failures, but accepting failure is a necessary part of being creative.

With any project we do while learning any new skill, we face failure. It is part of life. When we fail, we learn the most.

  • Broaden your knowledge and skills

Whenever we acquire knowledge and skill that is outside of our current area of expertise, we expand our abilities. With more diverse knowledge, we will be able to make interconnections between what we know and something we had never considered previously.

  • Manage your surroundings

When you work in the same surroundings all the time, there is nothing to stimulate new thoughts. When you think of a classroom or your office, it is always the same. But if you introduce something out of the ordinary, it can stimulate you to think in a different way.

Change your environment by going outside, go to an exhibit unrelated to anything you usually do or have an interest in.

Read books about subjects unrelated to what you do or how you think. Listen to different music, go to an art class, or enroll in a college class you would never have considered before.

Diversity will help you move out of your comfort zone and stimulate your brain. Your thinking will change, and you will become more creative.

“Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” –

– Edward de Bono

Creativity is becoming more important and more valued by employers.

Your ability to think outside the box and be creative will be essential in all aspects of your life.

Some of the skills you will need are effective communication skills and your ability to interact well with a diverse group of people.

Critical thinking, such as dissecting a problem and logical reasoning, is an ability you should work to develop. Employers value people who are self-directed, self-disciplined, and self-monitored.

You should look for classes, webinars, and written material to gain as much knowledge and skill in this area as possible. It will serve you well at work and in any area of your life.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”

— Maya Angelou

 I believe that you add fun and happiness to your life when you add creativity.

By being creative, our life is more exciting and stimulating. We are more relaxed and live more in the moment, and we become more confident. We are more fun to be around.

Every time we open ourselves up to something new through creativity, we become less afraid. Because of learning, it’s okay to challenge ourselves; we are more likely to continue and open our world to endless possibilities.

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” 

— Kurt Vonnegut

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

Posted in Inspiration, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Quote Of The Day

You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward, just take the first step.”

Unknown
Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

As always, thanks for stopping by. Take a step forward today.

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

Do You Have A Fixed Mindset Or A Growth Mindset? How to Master Yours!

A Mindset is a perception that people have about themselves. Our mindset has an effect on much of what we do. Our personal and professional relationships, our achievements or successes, our ability to learn and gain skill are all affected by our mindset.

There are two kinds of Mindsets, a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset.

With a Fixed Mindset we believe we are the way we are and we are born with a certain amount of abilities. Do we believe we are athletic and good at sports, or not so much. What do believe about our math abilities. Are we a “C” student? We think and accept that we are a certain way and there is nothing we can do to change it. Having a fixed mindset is a negative mindset because it it is limiting and does not allow for improvement or growth.

With a Growth Mindset we believe that we can change, we can learn, we can become better and we are not limited in what we can do. We do not say, I was born this way or I am just lousy at sports or I can’t get better grades. We believe that if we put in the effort we can improve. If I study hard I can get an “A” this semester.

Can we change our outlook from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset? Absolutely! All we have to do is put in some effort.

 “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” Oprah Winfrey

The first step is recognizing and understanding what your mindset is. Our mindset will define who we are. Will you be happy or unhappy? Will you be successful or not?

How do you know for sure if you have a Fixed Mindset?

  • Do you always concentrate on what is wrong and just can’t let it go. Are you even able to recognize when something good happens? If someone congratulates you or give you a compliment do you brush it off and instead talk about what you did wrong?
  • Do you constantly complain? Are you just plain grumpy? Do you make negative comments about other people even when you do not know them?
  • Do you talk negatively about the actions of other people but when you have an opportunity to have a conversation with them you never mention it?
  • Do you feel like everything and everyone is wrong or against you, out to get you or harm you in some way?

Do the actions listed above apply to you? If you recognize yourself then yes, you do have a negative or fixed mindset.

What about these? These are all representative of someone with a fixed mindset.

  • Do you believe you were born with a certain level of intelligence which cannot be changed? Do you make comments such as, “I am not smart enough to do that or “there is no sense in taking that class or reading that book because I won’t be able to understand it”.
  • Do you decide not to try out for a team sport because you believe you are not good enough and you will never get better?
  • How about work meetings or a work seminar, do you participate or do you stay quiet and hope no one will pay attention? Do you think you have nothing to contribute?
  • Do you make comments about someone who is less intelligent than you to make yourself feel better?
  • Do you brag about something you did to make people think you are smart?

Someone with a Growth Mindset believe they have the ability to learn, to improve and develop new skills. They believe they have potential and will actively look for ways to become smarter. Do you do the following?

  • Concentrate on what is good. Look at any situation and see it as positive or an opportunity.
  • Always make positive statements. If someone asks how you are, do you respond “I’m great”.
  • Do you compliment other people, tell them the did a good job or that you like the way they do something?
  • Do you believe that other people will help you and that they care about your feelings?

How about these? These are all signs of a Growth Mindset.

  • Do you believe you are smart and that you have the ability to learn and become smarter, learn new skills, be successful?
  • Do you think you are a ho-hum golfer but you are willing to participate in a work team so you can spend time with your colleagues? Do you believe you can improve your skills by taking some instructions?
  • Do you actively participate in work meetings and research an idea and share your findings?
  • If someone compliments you, do you thank them and accept their praise and not question their compliment?
  • Do you like to be challenged?
  • Do you consistently look for something new to do?

What should you do to develop a Growth Mindset?

First and foremost, listen to your own voice, the way you are thinking. What is it telling you about your mindset? Do you have a tendency to be negative or are you a positive thinker? Know where you are now so you can take the appropriate steps to improve.

You can choose. When you are faced with a decision, take a moment. Do not just react. Decide how you want to proceed. Weigh the consequences. Will you learn from the experience? Will you experience growth if you decide to do the thing that makes you uncomfortable? Go for it!

Choose your friends and associates wisely. Pick positive people, both at work and in your personal life. Look for a mentor, someone you respect and who can help you improve,

Tackle tasks that you know will stretch your abilities. It may intimidate you but that is OK. Get out of your comfort zone and into your growth zone.

Read, a lot. Listen to webinars like TED talks. Take a class. Learn a new language. Do things that challenge you and that you will learn from.

You may not be successful with each endeavor but you will have gained some knowledge. The experience will enrich you. Do not be afraid to try again. Each time you will learn a little more. You will gain confidence and confidence will make it easier to keep growing.

Over time you may have some interesting conversations with yourself switching back and forth from your old fixed mindset and your new growth mindset. Spend time reflecting on how each makes you feel and what results you achieve. Focus on implementing the growth mindset and keep pushing forward. Make the effort and you will be successful.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

As always,thank you for reading my blog. Enjoy a day of opportunity.

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

Frustration, A Powerful Tool For Change

I am so Frustrated ! I was hoping this wouldn’t happen but here I am totally awash in frustration. It is so bad. I have been dealing with it all day to the edge of Depression. I can feel myself teetering on the edge and I am trying not to fall in.

I have been really focused and pushing myself to excel. I started blogging and I became really excited when I was doing research and I discovered some great articles. They were published on a site I had never heard of before and they were all well written. I started reading random articles and in doing that I found information about writing and being published on that site.

Could I do that ? I was really hesitant but overwhelming interested. I thought about it, and thought some more, and then decided why not. I gave it a try. I submitted one article and they accepted it. However, it was only available on their site. It was not published and available for the general public to see. Bummer !

So as excited as I had been originally, after not being published I still thought, OK I can do this. I wrote another article which was accepted and it was published. I was actually paid a small amount of money. Yes ! I was totally, jump up and down, excited.

Of course, that experience made me want to jump right in and write another article. It took me awhile to decide what to write about. I chose something I thought would be interesting to a large audience. It was not an easy process and it took me forever. At least it felt like a long time. In actuality it was 4 + hours each day for 5-6 days including research.

The topic I chose was religious in nature and my own belief. The best part of the process of writing was expressing my own viewpoint and feelings. It is something I think about and sometimes talk about and it felt good to actually write all those feelings down. So it was not a problem writing that first part of the article. I actually think it was good for me to clarify those feelings.

Once I had written about my personal experiences, and why I came to my conclusion about faith, I felt I needed to add more. I did research about the history of the Bible as a backbone for the article. I did so much research and it was difficult putting it into perspective. The point was to add definition to my article and show the controversy about the accuracy of the Bible. This is turn would support my beliefs. Actually, the controversy could support anyone’s viewpoint which I noted in my writing.

When I was finished writing and submitted the article I was not 100 % satisfied with the portion about the Bible. I did feel it was sufficient to show the controversy about it’s accuracy. Looking back now I am wondering if my addition of that information was why my article was not chosen for publication.

In particular concern to me was the presentation of my research and the proper disclosure of my references. Did I do that properly ? Also a concern to me was the conciseness of my writing. Did I present my findings in such a way that the reader could clearly understand ?

I assaulted myself over and over with uncertainty. Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I went from a feeling of joy and satisfaction to one of questioning my abilities. Instead of feeling joyful I was very frustrated and mildly depressed.

So where do I go from here ? Walking outside this morning with my cat at 6 am I did not feel any better than yesterday. I was still questioning how I should proceed. Should I totally walk away from writing articles for this publication ? Should I take a break from my blog as well so I can clear my mind. Spend some much needed time in my gardens. Time needed for the gardens but also for me ? It would be so therapeutic.

Yesterday I contacted the publishing company for any insight they can give me regarding my writing. I am hoping to hear from them soon with some definitive answers. I clearly do not know why and it makes it more difficult to learn from this experience. I want to move forward and make the correct improvements. No matter what our individual level of competency there should always be the quest for improving what we do.


“Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.” ―Brian Tracy

It is very upsetting to me to be told what I have written is not good enough. No one wants to hear that, or except it. So now what do I do ? For me there is really only one option and that is to keep trying. I want to write and I want to write for this company. Being rejected is a challenge.

I will not go quietly into the night. I will stay and fight. I will look for ways to keep improving and although I dread being rejected again I will submit more articles.

This is a frustrating little bump in my road forward. I know I have to improve and I know it will not just magically happen. I will have to work for it. So that is what I am doing; working and looking for ways to improve my writing.

I have been doing a bit of research today and found a site called Grammarly. I am trying their free version but it does not provide enough help. I think what I really need is the Premium version and that cost $29.95 per month which I cannot afford. I will continue looking for other options.

Just at the right time I read Thembi Terry’s Blog, “Three Free Online Courses That Helped Me As A Blogger”
https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/135723873/posts/52148

I read her post the day before I submitted my article and saved it so I could look into those courses. Now I definitely know I will. Thank you, Thembi Terry.

Although yesterday I felt defeated, today that feeling is easing. Writing my blog is all about moving forward and improving my life. So these are the steps I will be taking.

  • Remain positive. No negativity allowed.
  • Look for ways to improve my writing skills.
  • Visualize my outcome. My very specific goal is having my articles accepted for publication.
  • Remain focused. I do not want to spend too much of my time looking for easy options. Hard work will get me the results I want.
  • Create a journal of what I am doing so I will have a record of what I accomplished and what still needs to be done.

There you have it. My frustration and what I am doing with it. Just writing this today has been a great help. I am focused and I know what I have to do.

As always, Thank You for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day !

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

Taking A Leap Of Faith

When I started this blog I took a leap of faith.  Both of my sons are active on Social Media and I started to become more and more interested in what they were doing.

 https://twitter.com/AricKeyes https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSqpq1yNjFU1PO7geJ9Iy8Q

It was intriguing and I wondered if it was something I could do too.  For the most part I knew nothing about anything regarding social media. I Mean Nothing.  I do not have a cell phone, I was not on Facebook or Twitter.  The only forum I had joined was Pinterest and Instagram which I had joined to look at the horse we had donated. I wanted to see him as he adjusted to a new life.  Still looking at you Rocket Man; miss you. https://www.instagram.com/meadowsofmendonstables/

So I thought about it for awhile and then thought some more.  I had developed
an idea in my head for what the blog would be about and I mentioned it to my sons who both encouraged me, made suggestions and gave me helpful information.

So here I am, I did it, I took that leap of faith.  Am I happy I did it ?  Yes.  Do I wonder if it is the right thing ? Sometimes. Do I have a lot to learn ? Oh my yes ! Will I continue ? Yes. 

I sometimes question why I am doing this.  But as it says under my time line:

“As I age I am looking back at my life, taking stock, and looking forward to all I still have ahead of me.”

I am discovering while writing some of my posts that this is healing in some ways, allowing me to talk about things that happened in my past that I am uncomfortable with.  For years I struggled with my feelings and trying to cope with them. I did not talk about it; only to myself, especially while trying to fall asleep at night.  As I wrote in my last post,  I have finally accepted it and I now understand that writing this blog has helped me to realize that I have moved forward.

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
― Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

So I have been doing a lot of looking backwards and will continue to do so because there was one large negative but there were also many very positive experiences as well. Things to be happy about, to be proud of, and to share.

What about the future ? One of the reasons for the blog was to motivate myself because life is short and there is so much I would still like to learn and to accomplish. I admire people who keep doing, keep learning, keep participating and I want to be one of them.

One quirky thing I want to do, at least quirky for me, is zip lining because it looks like so much fun. Scary ? Maybe, I am not sure. Today I looked on line and I found an article about zip lining in NY State, and there is one relatively close by at Bristol Mountain. I see a challenge coming for myself and my sons and granddaughter. I really want to take this leap of faith.
https://www.newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/2015/06/9_best_places_to_zip-line_across_upstate_new_york.html

So what other adventures do I want to do ? Not sure at this point but I will keep looking and let you know. There are many smaller things I want to do which involve learning new skills. Learning to me is really important and I want to do so much more of it. Fitness is another and it is a love/hate relationship for me. Once I get going I am OK but if I stop, I stop.

For me deciding to take a Leap of Faith was not too difficult. I was motivated to do so. It has not always been that way and it may not be in the future. So what can I, or you, do to take a leap of faith, large or small ?

Decide why it is important to you and use that as your motivation. Your approach may be different depending if it is for personal or business reasons. That may also make a difference for your time schedule.

If you are not happy with something that happened in the past, and you are not satisfied with the present, focus on the future and how you want your life to be. If you have had an experience that left you feeling really good, really positive, think about why. What did you do then that you can replicate now.

Then focus and make a plan. How will you start ? Set some goals and then take the first step. Do that and keep going. Take one step at a time and as you complete each step successfully you will become more confident. If something does not work, do not stop. Reassess and make adjustments but keep going.

With anything we do, each of us, should take time to relax. Take a break, visit a friend, read a book, go for a walk and also congratulate yourself for a job well done.

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