Posted in Inspiration, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential

Quote Of The Day

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” #Change #Focus #Motivation #Quote

Socrates
Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

As always, thanks for stopping bt. I hope your enjoyed today’s quote.

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

Quote Of The Day

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” 

― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov from Pexels

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a Mindful day!

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

Calm – It’s A Skill We Should All Strive For – 8 Steps To Take

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

Blindsided! Assaulted! Worry! Unease! Overwhelmed! Are these familiar feelings?

Like an explosion. You feel it surge over you. A negative response to a multitude of possible happenings.

You feel blindsided. Time to calm down, relax, breathe.

How do you calm down, not just right now but in the future? What can we do to quickly alleviate a stressful reaction and automatically calm ourselves?

Being calm appears to be easier for some of us then others. I would place myself in that category most of the time. There are times though when everyone has a demanding, stressful experience and it is overwhelming.

Some of us are easily thrown by everyday life experiences and find it difficult to calm ourselves. When you find yourself not being able to cope it can feel like your thoughts are bouncing off the walls. It is difficult to bring yourself out of that feeling. It feels almost like you are vibrating and you feel scattered.

So how do you learn to be calm? With any change, it is not automatic. We are training ourselves, learning something new and there is a process. We are learning small things that we can do and make into habits and part of our everyday life.

Smile, breathe and go slowly”

Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Is there an image, a quote, a book that makes you feel good? Perhaps a memory that you think of often that makes you happy or gives you a feeling of contentment. Use that. Whenever you start feeling a surge of distress think of that one thing that calms you.
  • Try yoga or meditation. I love yoga, it is very relaxing and is good for you physically and mentally. Both meditation and yoga are scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. Find a class near you and try it for a minimum of a month so you can feel the calming effect. Make it a habit. I think you will be glad you did.
  • On the other side of that is someone who is a totally focused, high energy type. Okay, accept that is who you are and go for it. Work hard, play hard so at the end of the day you are tired and feel happy. You have achieved you own form of bliss. I would encourage you that at either the beginning or end of that all out day you learn to practice something calming. We all need to calm down at some point. It’s good for us.
  • The wonderful experience of music. So many wonderful songs and types of music to choose from. Everyone should be able to find a list of songs to listen to. Let the sound surround you and sink into it. Let you mind go to relax and find calm.
  • Revisit a old hobby that you loved to do and lose yourself in it or try something new. Everyone has something they love to do but may not take the time to do anymore. I love working on a piece of old furniture and restoring it, bringing it back to life. I love art and would like to try some sketching. Lose yourself in the act of doing. Your mind and body will relax and stress will melt away.
  • Slow down. I know that is easy to say but it is a good practice and it is calming. When you find yourself rushing, slow your pace. Take a deep breathe and think of something soothing. Hum one of your favorite songs.
  • My favorite. Go outside. Take a walk by yourself and let you mind go, relax. If you have a dog, take them for a walk and have a conversation. It’s great because they are not judgmental and offer comfort and affection.
  • Rethink decisions. Why did you choose to do something? Why do you maintain a friendship that drains you and causes anxiety? Move away from activities and relationships that bring you down. Find a new friend. Find new activities that are beneficial for you and your family.

Take a deep breath, get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second.

Greg McKeown

Be mindful of where you are, how you feel and what is truly important to you.

Smile, relax, breathe. Life is wonderful and full of possibilities. Do something you love each and every day. Stay connected to the things you enjoy and calm you.

Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

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

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 Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Focus-Why It Is Important -7 Tips To Help Maintain Yours

Have you ever had a day, a week, a month or even longer where you just felt scattered? Wow, I am certainly having that moment in time right now. My brain feels like it is going to explode!

In this case I feel scattered because I am trying to do too much at once. I am hungry to learn, gain skill and succeed. Right now I am overwhelmed. Just a smidget.

Like most of us I am impatient. I want to be able to do it all and I want to do it NOW! I am finding that to be just a tad unrealistic. Unless you have Super Powers it is just not happening.

So I am taking a really big breathe right now and focusing on writing this blog post. The problem is there is a never ending video going on in my mind. It is hard to turn it off.

The last day or so I have been doing as much reading as I can. I have been reading blogs and articles about improving my writing. Searching for other sources and other outlets where I can write. Looking for tips, suggestions about the best practices and also what not to do.

If you look, you will find! Reading and research are such worthwhile activities. My problem is understanding I simply cannot do it all today. Maybe in the next few days or week, a month. Maybe even a year.

I need to be realistic about my skill level at this point in time. I am not ready to publish everything I write. I do not have the skill set quite yet. It is necessary for me to accept that. I need to do what I know I can now and keep working on learning and improving my skills.

So what am I going to do? Pretty much what I have been doing, except now I need to be really focused. Here are 7 good practices to follow:

  • Making a Schedule to follow each day. The best time for me to do this is at night before I go to bed. It helps me focus and keep my mind from being scattered with all those things I want to accomplish.
  • Reading the writing of all genres of writing. Investigate different styles of writing, learn how other writers add depth and nuance to the story they write.
  • Setting a time to write each day for a specific amount of time or a specific number of words.
  • Maintain a journal, or notebook, to write down ideas and keep track of sources, writers I like, books I want to read, etc.
  • Find what is your favorite, most productive, atmosphere for writing. Do you like to write when it is quiet or do you prefer music in the background?
  • Find a different relaxing place where you can write. I love being outside and I would love to sit in the gazebo and write. The downside is writing it all by hand and then inputting it on my computer later. Doing that would be a good opportunity to read what you have written and do editing.
  • Realize that not all your writing will be perfect. If you are writing for multiple outlets you might not always be published. Think of it as practice. Don’t trash it! Save it and consider it a draft. Come back to it later and redo it. Second time may be the charm.

So what do I do tomorrow? More of the same. Writing this has made me focus and also helped me understand I cannot do everything I want all at once.

I hope my experience helps you focus 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

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, Self Improvement

A New Day Brings a New Beginning

A New Day brings a New Beginning

I am currently under construction.  Thank you for your patience.

Under Construction, have you ever felt this way ?

Absolutely ! I bet you have and I know that I have. But when you think about it each of us is under construction; in one stage or another. We may not realize, or acknowledge it, but I believe it to be true.

Humans are sort of like that onion we have heard about where when you peel away a layer and sometimes we cry. We do build ourselves in layers, a little bit at a time.  Sometimes the layers we build may be defective or might not fit.

Life is always in flux.  We may have a perfect, or near perfect, life or we may have any variation of what would be called a not so perfect life.  Good or bad there will be ups and downs and there are always ways to improve ourselves and our lives.

If our lives are moving along smoothly with no major problems it is easy and normal to just accept, enjoy and go with the flow. But I think it is also in our DNA to strive to be better and to dream about more. The definition of “more” may be different for each one of us.

My definition of “more” has changed as I have moved along my path in life. Childhood into adulthood, single, working, marriage, children, divorce, then work again. Raising children as a single parent and working hard to move ahead at work, going to college while working, getting promotions. Striving to better myself and give my children a good life. Weaving in relationships, the ho-hum, the very bad and then finally the good.  A new marriage, moving and moving again. Retirement from working for a company. 

Relationships with my children through all this and, yes, they did survive, as did I.  Were they affected by everything that happened to me and how I handled it? Yes, they were. When we are in the moment of something, especially the negatives, we do not always think of how it is effecting our family, or our friends or our work. Everything can be affected; we just may not realize it at the time. That is not a good thing.

I am lucky and have wonderful children, now wonderful grandchildren and the joy they bring. I have a Wonderful Family. They sustain me.

What I am attempting to say is that life is a never changing event.  Sometimes there are negatives. There may be the unexpected events that happen like losing a job or a health problem. Sometimes there are positives, like getting that promotion or getting a good pay increase. Sometimes there are those wondrous events like the birth of your children and grandchildren; loving someone who loves you back.

None of these things are guaranteed and most take a good deal of effort.  So how do we make it all easier because sometimes it can be overwhelming.  There will be highs and there will be lows and sometimes the highs will be just as difficult to cope with as the lows.   Life can be an emotional roller coaster and we may not be prepared for all it gives us.

Hopefully when either a high or a low in our life happens we will have a supportive family and circle of friends.  Someone who will celebrate the highs and help us keep centered and who will also listen and be there to help us when there are lows. That unit of support is so important.  If you are religious then turning to your faith and talking to a member of the clergy/priest, minister, rabbi, etc. is also a good option.

I am going to reference an article I read that really brought one thing home to me. For some reason I had forgotten how this felt, finally.  The article was written by Anna Hlavsova and the article name is “Highs and Lows Are Part of Life”.  In the first paragraph she writes,

 “If you are like the majority of humans, then your coping strategies are likely to include avoiding the actual experience.  Distracting or rationalizing is a common way to stop feeling what you are feeling”. 

The complete article can be found here:   <https://thriveglobal.com/stories/highs-and-lows-are-part-of-life/>

It is so easy to try to avoid the pain of the actual experience.  We can look at it any which way, and believe me, you will, but that is the worst thing you can do.  It will fester, it will hurt and you are just expanding it’s control over you.  Do Not Let That Happen.

In reality, what hurts you the most may be your own fault and no one wants to accept that.  No, no, no, it was because of this or that, but somewhere along the way you made a decision. That decision probably lead to another and another that were not going to work out, were not going to help you, and somewhere inside you knew it, or should have, and but you did them anyway.

As fast as you can take a deep breath and start looking at what happened and dissect it.  It will not be easy and this is where you need that support group. Sit down and wrap their compassion around you like a blanket and talk and maybe cry and/or scream, but Get It Out.  If you do not it will be with you for years; trust me.   In some way, large or small, it will affect everything you do.  You will may feel incompetent, you definitely will lose some, or all, of the confidence you have worked so hard to achieve. You will question yourself over and over and you will lose a lot of sleep.  I cannot tell you how important this is. Seek Help. Your friends and family may not be enough so consider a professional. Wow, I did not start out intending to say, or share, all of that but as you might be able to tell I did go through this and it was not pleasant so it was worth sharing.

Read Anna Hlavsova’s article it is very good. From <https://thriveglobal.com/stories/highs-and-lows-are-part-of-life/

I think we all have a little voice inside that sometimes will whisper to us and we should listen. That is an opportune time to reflect and question before we totally commit to what we are doing.

So, we are under construction. When you build a house we look for a house plan we really like and then we hire a professional to build it for us.  We are putting in a good amount of effort to gives us the best outcome.  We should be doing the same thing with building the best us.

How do we do that ?  Well, we can make a good plan and we should look for the best information and/or people to help us.  Think about what happens at school or work.  We read and gain knowledge and we listen to instructors and take classes.  We learn and we expand our knowledge.  There is structure to all of this and there should be in our life as well.

We should have a plan and we should have a set of goals.  They should be your goals, not someone else’s.  Set a goal for what you want to do, what you really want in your life.  Then break that goal down into steps; those steps are what you will follow to get to that goal.   Each goal will require taking different steps. Start with the easiest step and then move on to the next.  The nice thing is as you accomplish one step you will gain some confidence and it will be easier to move on to the next step.

Realize that it will not happen as quickly as you would like.  It will take time and effort just like building a house. In the long run I believe we are all better off when we give ourselves time. Make a plan, do the first step and then give your self time to assimilate what you have just done and how it has positively affected you. Be sure to keep going though and take the next step.

Going back to your support group.  Talk to someone you value as a friend and let them know what you are doing and ask them to help you keep on track.  It will make you feel more committed to your plan.  If no one knows it is really easy to just stop.  If you have someone who you trust and admire at work ask them to be a mentor and to give you guidance.

Write it all down.  I do this all the time and it helps to be able to see it, read it and make adjustments if necessary.  It will help you stay focused.  It is also a way to make you responsible; you made the plan and you are the only one who can complete it.  Own It.

As you are working toward your goals be aware that there may be some ups and downs.    You may reach some obstacles or roadblocks; something that holds you back.  Be prepared for that and understand that it happens.  Be kind to your self and realize that you are not the only one this happens to.  Do some assessment of your habits and how you might improve those as well to make it easier. 

Make a schedule that you can follow and look at it everyday.  Schedule in time for each step of your plan.  It is too easy to say I know I have time to do that tomorrow, then tomorrow comes and you realize you really don’t.  Feeling rushed to complete something creates pressure and that leads to stress.  Your schedule should be realistic and it should always include personal time.  Be sure to include time to enjoy yourself.

As you progress you should also take time to step away and reward your self.  Buy something that you may have really wanted for a long time, go to a concert, go away for the weekend, or just plan a special day for your family or a friend. Listen to music, read a book. Give your self quiet time.  Congratulate yourself for Moving forward !

In all of my blog posts I try to bring a mixture of my thoughts and experiences and I also do research and read other people’s blogs and read articles.  In this post I looked at many and I like to give credit to those people.  My favorite for this post was by Anna Hlavsova and the article name is “Highs and Lows Are Part of Life” which I have already noted.  I also read  https://www.verywellmind.com/the-healthiest-approach-to-self-improvement-4172573 which I also enjoyed and felt was worthwhile reading.  Also http://briankim.net/articles/deal-highs-lows-life/ and https://thriveglobal.com/stories/highs-and-lows-are-part-of-life/

You will find there are common threads in each article but each brings a slightly different perspective.  We are all different so reading different articles is always a good idea. You may find something in one or all that is helpful.

It’s a New Day And A New Beginning. Go For It.

“Planning is important. But the doing is even more so. You can have the perfect plan, but if you never set it in motion it doesn’t matter how good of a plan you have. Rather take one step at a time, and you find yourself amazed.” John Pa

From <https://twitter.com/>