Posted in Coping, Inspiration, Life, Motivation, Positive Thinking

Time To Get To Work – Don’t Wait For Opportunity – Create It But Always Be Flexible

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Dream It, Believe It, Work It

It can be challenging to keep ourselves motivated and to remain focused. I struggle with that all the time.

I always have good intentions, but it is easy for me to wander away from following through. I am retired, so I do not answer to any one else. If the sun is shining, like it has been the last two days, I would much rather be outside. These were probably the last two days of spectactular fall weather this year so, yes, I did spend my time outside.

Consequently, I did not write anything. What to do? Get down to it and get it done. There is no opportunity left from the last two days, so I have to create the time and work fast.

So how can you create opportunities?

I already did the first one…I made the decision to go ahead and write the blog now, even though I am very limited on time. Sometimes when we are busy, like I was today, we pass over an opportunity. In my case today, I could have changed my morning schedule around and put off something else until later. If I had done that, I would not be worrying about it now.

Imagine opportunities everywhere you look. As you go about your normal activities always be looking for ideas. Watch other people, listen to conversations, and maybe you will find an idea. In my case, it would be something to write about. Someone else may find an idea on how to improve on an existing product or service.

Don’t sell yourself short. You have more potential, and therefore, more opportunities than you may think. Most of us discount our talents; it’s human nature I guess. Whenever we interact with someone there may be an opportunity we are unaware of. When you are at work, or out in public, your interactions may impress someone. How you speak, your smile, your compassion may be an opportunity for a promotion at work or a job offer from an unexpected source.

Think of your work as important. Most of us do not respect ourselves. We are important, what we do is important. When you make a decision to place more value on yourself, you will automatically have a better attitude and be more confident. Others will notice the value you place on your work which may lead to more opportunities in the future.

There is a lesson learned from what I did today. I took advantage of time outside and getting lots of major work done. I needed to do that. The downside is I did not prioritize my inside work.

It is so important to have a plan and a schedule we follow. It is even more important to be flexible and have the ability to make adjustments in our day so we can get everything done. I was stressing from not writing this blog so it was ready first thing this morning. If I had made the needed adjustments first thing in the morning and did some prioritizing, there would be no stress.

Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.”

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

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement, Success

What Shoes Are You Wearing Today? One Step, Two Steps, Change – Finding Balance and Shifting Gears

Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius from Pexels

“Getting in balance is not so much about adopting new strategies to change your behaviors, as it is about realigning yourself in all of your thoughts so as to create a balance between what you desire and how you conduct your life on a daily basis.” 

Wayne Dyer

Life is a continual balancing act. Each day there are choices to make. Which shoes are you going to wear today? The right question should be, how many shoes can I wear today.

You know I thought life would slow down as I have aged. In some ways it has. I am certainly not responsible for as much as before, but there are decisions I must make each day. There are other people I must include in those decisions, and I have to decide which is most important.

Looking back I know I had so many responsibilities, raising two children as a single parent, working full time, going to college part time and all the other life experiences that were so important and necessary. Now I wonder how I did all of it.

I look at my children and wonder how they are doing it today. Life is even more complicated now than it was then. Everything moves faster, and there are more pressures and stress. Maybe that is why I feel like my life has not slowed down as I anticipated it would.

Finding balance is an ongoing process, and it is also always in flux. Each day of your life will be different. There will be various activities with different people involved. There will be highs and lows and the decision of what is the most important thing to do each day

Next week, it will likely be different. Sure, there will be some activities that will be pretty constant, but they may not be precisely the same. Next month, the same thing will happen.

So, to find and maintain balance in your life, you must be able to be flexible and switch gears, quickly, and continually…day in, day out, and onward.

But what is balance? What do you consider to be a balanced life, day, or week? Do you know? It will be different for each of us, which makes total sense. If you were to ask twelve people what a balanced life is, you would receive twelve different answers.

Thinking about balance is essential. How would you decide? I think a good exercise would be to break down the different parts of your life; write them down. What would they be?

I am sure you would include Work, Family, Health, Money, Your Home, Down Time. Each one of those areas can be analyzed as well. Family would be one. You can break that down into your significant other, your children and your parents and siblings, etc. Don’t forget your self in that equation either. There are other considerations as well, such as Personal and Professional Growth or Religion.

How much of your time can you allocate to each one of those areas? How many hours do you work each week? What responsibilities do you have at home? Do you have more than one job? Do you have help from someone who shares some of these responsibilities?

When you break down all the areas of your life and the time you have each day, each week and each month, do you think your life is in balance? If you can answer yes, congratulations, you are doing the right things.

Most of us would probably answer, no. It can be a harsh reality when you slow down enough to look at how you are living your life. It may be on point, or it may be totally out of whack, or it is somewhere in between. Most of us are probably in the in-between area.

The first thing most people will tell you is that you have to set some goals. There always has to be goals, and that is a good thing. Our goals bring some needed structure, something on which we can focus. Without them, we make our life more prone to being out of balance.

What are the right goals? The problematic part of goal setting is making our goals realistic. I would say to focus on the most critical aspects of your life first, such as work because that provides you financially and your family because they provide for you emotionally and are your support. Once you set your goals, focus on them, and make it your priority to get them done.

You should have short and long term goals. Your short term goals will help support the ability to obtain your long term goals.

Your goals should be very specific, not vague. You should be able to break your goals down into easy to do mini-goals. They should be realistic and achievable.

When you are planning a schedule for each day, the same thing applies. Your schedule has to be realistic and attainable. If you are always stressed out because you cannot keep up, it is time to make some changes.

If you are in a relationship and have children, it is necessary to have the support of your spouse/partner. They are an integral part of the whole equation. Each has to support the other and have the ability to interact with each other. The most important part of this relationship is the ebb and flow of your interaction. Do you support one another at any given time. Remember that is the most crucial part of finding balance. Your life is always in flux, and it will change each day, sometimes moment to moment. You have to have the adaptability to change as well to maintain your balance.

Simplify. When you are looking at your life’s plan and trying to establish short and long term goals to bring everything into balance, look for ways to simplify. What is 100% necessary and what isn’t? If something is not required, and it does not add much value, eliminate it. Is there a better way of doing something? Is there someone else who can do it for you? Can you afford to pay to have something done, so you do not have to do it?

You will always have many shoes to wear in life. Sometimes, they will be work shoes, and sometimes they will be the shoes you wear for fun. Sometimes, no shoes at all.

Life is a moving event. It is always in flux. Something or someone will change. You will lose something, and something else will take its place. Hold on and enjoy the ride.

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

Thomas Merton

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Be happy today.

Posted in Curiosity, Excitement, Inspiration, Learning, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

What Is Mental Dexterity? How You Can Increase Yours

Photo by Emily KenCairn of Apiary Studio on Unsplash

Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. We are in this life to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain.

Tom Robbins

Mental dexterity” means a sharpness of mind, or skill in thinking creatively and understanding and expressing something quickly and easily.

When you think of dexterity what comes to mind? I automatically think of flexibility.

The definition of flexibility is the quality of bending easily without breaking, the ability to be easily modified, or the willingness to change or compromise.

Our brains have that flexibility, that power — our wondrous mind and the possibilities that each of us carry within us. How many of you think about your brain, and it’s capabilities?

To some extent, each of us is aware on some level, but I believe most of the time we are not. For the most part, our brain goes about its busy work without any thought from us.

We should be paying more attention because inside our brain is the potential for so much more. We have to stimulate, or exercise, our brain for it to be flexible, and maintain its dexterity. We should treat our brain as we would our bodies if we were training for a marathon.

Have you ever heard of Neuroplasticity? Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to regenerate itself. It is similar to rewiring an engine. Our brain automatically does this based on our experiences or stimuli.

It refers to the physiological changes in the brain that happen as the result of our interactions with our environment. From the time the brain begins to develop in utero until the day we die, the connections among the cells in our brains reorganize in response to our changing needs. This dynamic process allows us to learn from and adapt to different experiences”

– Celeste Campbell (n.d.).

How exciting is that! Think of the possibilities. We reboot our computers, but our brains reboot themselves. Humans have the potential for extraordinary change.

So how do we stimulate and nurture our brains to produce brain growth and enhance our abilities?

There are so many options and, guess what? Many are the same, or similar, to what we are already encouraged to do for good health and longevity.

Yoga – yes, yoga. It is physical activity, and it also helps connect your brain to your body. The breathing practice creates mindfulness. Yoga can be a form of meditation which connects you to your mind and creates focus. It requires self-discipline and concentration. Practicing yoga can lead to a self-analysis of our mental and emotional state.

Physical activity/exercise – Exercise increases our heart rate, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen sent to our brain. Physical activity also stimulates the release of chemicals that effect the health of brain cells and the growth of new blood vessels in the brain. Exercise helps produce new blood vessels in the brain and the abundance and survival of new brain cells. That is so exciting!

Learning new skills – Do something new and different, such as a new language, playing chess, learning to play a new instrument. I like all those ideas, but this is my favorite: learning a new subject. Researching and learning about the brain would be an immense undertaking. There is so much to learn.

Reading Fiction Books – Yes, one more reason to read, I love it! The storytelling aspect of a novel is a multi-faceted form of communication that engages a broad range of brain regions. Studies show that reading improves our brain connectivity. When we read fiction, the neurons in our temporal cortex trick our mind. We think we are doing something, but we are not.

Being creative – Drawing, painting, working with clay, fabric art, and yes, writing. When you are creative, you are using different areas of your brain. The creative mind is always working, and your brain is activated by what you are doing.

Learning to play a musical instrument – When you play a musical instrument, it creates a better connection between the left and right side of your brain. The left side controls your motor functions, and the right side is learning the melody. Your cognitive function that helps you carry out any task improves when the two areas work together.

We have so many options available to us to improve ourselves. The fact that we have the capability to regenerate our brain means we can regenerate how we think, what we do, and how we influence the world. We can make our minds stronger, better and because of that we can do the same with our hearts and bodies.

Our brain is like a magic box that holds so much more than we can ever imagine……Don’t limit yourself.

Janelle Kene

Think of the possibilities if we all could do this, if we choose to do this. Power up, people!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a wonderful day…may the regeneration begin!

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

The Art Of Working Together – Soft People Skills To Use For Success At Work

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” 

–Helen Keller

So you want to play well with others? Sure, of course, it is essential to be successful in all your human interactions. Today I am writing about the use of soft skills as they apply to work, but they are also relevant in all our relationships.

People skills, what are they? They are the way we interact with each other. Using soft skills when we communicate, help us to be effective.

Effective communication, I feel, is the most critical. All other soft skills are connected and dependent on your ability to communicate.

Being able to communicate effectively is vital. What message are you trying to convey? You want to be able to verbalize in such a way that everyone can understand. Included are both verbal and non-verbal skills.

The words you use, the ebb and flow of your voice and clear pronunciation all contribute to your ability to communicate. Are you talking at a noise level that everyone can hear you? Is the tone of your voice exciting? How you speak can be fascinating, mesmerizing, or just plain dull.

Just as important is your non-verbal communication. You may be saying something, but your body language is sending a different message.

Perhaps you are speaking in a soft tone, and the subject is being considerate of one another. People hear one message, but when they look at your facial expression and they way you are holding your body, they see something different. Are you clenching your fists and have a closed-off expression or angry face? People will notice.

When you speak, either one on one or in front of a group, you want to be relaxed and confident. You want them to be drawn in by what you are saying. Eye contact, facial expression, a relaxed smile, your personality, and the passion you have for what you are saying are all important. These are all soft skills.

Soft skills are necessary to interact effectively with people. In the workplace that includes the employees you work with, your boss, clients & customers, and vendors. It includes person to person, telephone, email, social media, and written communication.

Soft skills include the ability to listen. Included is being able to read the body language of the other person and asking clarifying questions. Being able to make eye contact and perhaps lean in toward the other person indicating your interest is also included.

Soft skills are sometimes intuitive if you are lucky. They are skills that you can assimilate over time. You can sit in a class or meeting and read a manual or book, but you will not be able to apply them the next day.

You have to practice and develop soft skills until they become natural. When that happens, then you will become effective using them.

Self-motivation is a soft skill. If you have a positive attitude and take the initiative without supervision, it shows you are committed to doing well, and you are reliable. Self motivation is a highly valuable soft skill to have.

Being a team player and being able to motivate others in your team is a soft skill. It indicates a clear vision on your part of the importance of working together and being successful.

The ability to problem solve. Not everyone can do this. It is dependent on your attitude. You have to want to solve the problem, and you have to be able to analyze it. It also requires the ability to work with others and be able to communicate your thinking effectively.

Another valuable soft skill is flexibility. It is easy to settle into a comfort zone, and being flexible is important because it shows you are open to new challenges. You are willing to learn new things. It shows a great attitude, and it is valuable to your employer.

Time management is an essential soft skill. The ability to understand your responsibilities each day and put them into a logical order so you can complete them is a skill. Not everyone has that ability. it is a skill that makes you more productive and more valuable as an employee.

Developing soft skills should be a goal for everyone, each individual and each business. If you want to be successful they are essential. Soft skills can improve your ability to negotiate and network, bring your customer service to the highest level, as well as the level of effectiveness of your communication.

Having excellent soft skills is the extra ingredient needed to find, attract, and keep customers. As an employee your soft skills will make you valuable and help you advance. As a company, it will help you become and maintain a respected and successful business.

Harvard Study

As always, thank you for reading my blog. How are your soft skills?

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

Stronger Than Yesterday -Develop Your Plan

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”– James Dean

Everyone wants to be strong and we should always strive to be stronger in every aspect of our life. Stronger physically, mentality and emotionally.

So how do we do that ?

First do an inventory of you. How do you feel ? What bothers you ? Did you have a dream or dreams that you have put on the back burner or have you totally given up the idea of doing them ? How is your health, both physically and mentally ? Are you depressed ?

Is there something that happened in your life that you have not been able to accept, that really bothers you and you have not been able to bounce back from. Something that changes your outlook or makes you decide to do something different. Perhaps you decide to start a new career path or just add a new element to your life that makes it more meaningful.

Life throws us curves and some curves we are able to accept, or adapt to rather easily, and sometimes not so much. When that happens and you just can’t deal with it, or think you can’t, take some time to think about something you did before that helped you to move forward more easily. Write it down, what did you do that worked, and what didn’t. Can you implement those same tactics now.

To improve in any area of our life it is important to have a plan and set some goals. When you make a decision to do X, Y or Z, you need to be realistic.

Is the goal attainable ? Can you actually accomplish it ? Do you have the knowledge right now or are you physically able to do it. Is it something that will make you feel better, make you happy and overall improve your life?

Examples might be designing a web site. Do you have any knowledge or expertise to do it or will it require going to school to learn how, or will you have to hire someone to do it for you. Do you have the money to do that ?

Another example would be writing a blog like I am. Anyone can start a blog but do you have the writing skills for it to be successful ? Do you have the knowledge needed to understand how to promote the blog such as what the heck is SEO ? Answer: Search Engine Optimization. What and how is the best way to use it. I am just learning about all the ins and outs so trust me there is more than just writing involved.

How about Fitness ? The vast majority of people either are physically active or want to be. I have mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with exercise and I know there are many of you who feel the same way. If I do not have a plan or a major goal it is almost impossible for me to even start and then be consistent. I am going through that right now.

One thing that stops me, or I use as an excuse, is the proper way to do something. Like using hand held weights. Sure any one can pick up a weight but it is how you actually perform the movements that will give you the best results and also prevent injuries.

So yes, there is also a proper way to form your plan or set your goals. First realize that there really isn’t a perfect plan that exists that everyone can follow because everyone is different. My plan may not work for you and vice versa.

A plan should include a time frame. When do you need to complete your plan ? It creates in your mind the belief that what you are doing is important, you really want to do it and it moves you forward into the action needed to actually execute your plan.

It should be straight forward. When your read your plan does it actually show exactly what it is you truly want to accomplish ? Does it make sense ? If someone else reads it will they be able to understand your intent?

When reading your plan does it motivate you to follow through ? The reason you want to complete your plan must be written in such a way that when you read it you will want to take the action needed to achieve your goals.

Do you have an easily understood action plan ? You should be able to look at your plan and understand the steps you have to take to reach your goals. What is step number one, step number two and so on.

Be flexible when putting your plan into action. You may come to realize that something just is not working and you have to eliminate that portion and possibly introduce something else that will be more effective. It is important that you and your plan is adaptable.

If you research goal setting on the internet you will see the term Smart Goals. I have seen that reference several times and it is a good format to follow. Here is one example:

I strongly believe we should always have a plan for self improvement.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to Fail” Benjamin Franklin

If we do not constantly evaluate and adjust our way of thinking we limit ourselves greatly. We become stagnant. It is important at any time in our lives and I believe the sooner in life we come to realize this the better, the more fulfilled and enjoyable our lives will be.

When I look back at my life I often wonder what the heck was I thinking ? Why did I do this and why didn’t I do that ? If only. I do not know statistically how many of us just sort of float through life but I think the percentages are high, much higher than they should be. Why is that ? We do not plan, we take things for granted, we do not have high expectations. We should.

I have come to this point in my life where the possibility of dying is more possible than not. There is still so much I want to do. None of us, at any time in our life, knows how much longer we have; there are no guarantees. I have a plan to do as much as I can now but I wish I had made a plan for my life when I was 20, 30 or 40.

We place limitations on ourselves, knowingly or unknowingly. Our tendency is just to think everything will work out. Please do not do that. No matter what age you are make a plan. Do not limit yourself. Dream. How can you improve ? Read and then read some more. Take a class. Learn another language and how to play a musical instrument. Laugh, smile and share. Think about yourself and your family and friends but also think about others. Help yourself and do something to help someone else.

Make your plan and be stronger today then you were yesterday. Live well and Prosper.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”– James Dean

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