Posted in Coping, Inspiration, Learning, Life, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Quote Of The Day

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”

–B.K.S Iyengar
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

As always, thanks for stopping by. 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

Personal Review-Rating Yourself-How Do You Complete An Effective Evaluation ?

In my prior life working for an organization, one of my favorite jobs was completing the performance reviews for the employees I managed. I truly enjoyed it!

Why did I like it? It was my opportunity to do an in-depth evaluation and help my employees do their absolute best and move forward. I always felt that was my real responsibility as their boss.

Before I was promoted to a management position I had worked with someone who was terrible at performance reviews. It irritated me and made me angry. He did not like doing them and I do not think he understood the process. He certainly did not understand the importance of the review.

One employee could be doing a fantastic job and another employee was performing below standard and their reviews would be very similar. There was really no distinction made. As a result there was no growth of the employees.

At the same time he was evaluating the employees I was evaluating him. I learned what not to do.

It was exciting doing my first performance review. I wanted to give them good information and I wanted to make them better. If there were problems, they were noted and thoroughly discussed. If they were doing a great job I let them know it and I always gave them direction moving forward. This is how you are doing and this is how you can improve.

So I know how to do a review and although I have never written my own personal review I was always evaluating my own performance. That is just the person I am. I always wanted to be better. I believe there are many people who do the same.

Now I am not working for someone else. I am retired and just starting to write. I want to be a writer. I am evaluating myself all the time. Maybe too much so. This is totally new territory for me and I am constantly trying to evaluate how I am doing.

It has been four months since I started my blog. My plan is to do a performance review at six months and then again at the one year mark. So what format am I going to use? I will use what I know and make adjustments if needed.

It is a really good, productive idea to do you own performance review. You may not be required to but I think it is a good process to complete. It cannot hurt and it certainly can help you. If you are honest you will be able to do a much more thorough review than the person who is actually responsible for doing yours.

Here are some steps to take.

  • Do a review of your job description, any annual goals you were given on your last review or when you were hired. Were you given any specific instructions on how to perform your job? This is a guide line and you should use it as a reference for completing your review.
  • Be honest. Really think about your performance. Could you have done a better job on this project or this sale? If you were working with someone else did you truly participate. Did you do your share? If there is a certain part of your job you do not like, do you avoid it? Are you looking for ways to improve your performance?
  • It should be written in a clear concise manner. Use the proper language and be professional. If you are doing a review that is strictly for your eyes treat it just as you would if you were presenting this to your boss.
  • The true objective of a performance review is growth. When writing your own try to be realistic. How did you really do? Look at any stats available. What percentage of growth did you have? Could it have been better? If you did a really good job be sure to state that but don’t overstate the results.
  • If you realize that you did not accomplish a goal or that you could have done a better job in a specific area, admit it. Show that you are aware you could have done better and that you are taking steps to improve. This will show that you are self aware and able to self manage.
  • Include a plan for you performance going forward. It should be part of any review. This is a good opportunity to plan on what to do to make yourself better. It should be detailed and easy to understand and to put into action. This is really an opportunity to show how committed you are to self improvement. It is also showcasing your self-confidence and strength as an individual and as an employee.
  • It is important to be serious about what you are doing. Do not take this too lightly. Do not fluff things over. Really commit to the process. When you make a plan for improvement do not make it too easy. Your employer will recognize what you are doing. Also do not make it too big, don’t set yourself up. Make a plan that will make you work to complete it but it is still achievable.
  • This is your time to shine. Highlight what you have done well. I think this points out the importance of self evaluating yourself throughout the year. Document what you have accomplished and be sure to include it in your review. It is also important to break down what steps you took to complete you goals. This is an opportunity to showcase your intelligence, your analytical skills and your ability to work with others.
  • Take your time. A self evaluation is not something you should rush through. This is your future. Write it, Read it, Evaluate it, Change it and Rewrite it. You may not be comfortable doing it at first. The more time you spend the more you will learn about yourself. When you are finished you should feel more confident about your abilities and motivated to move forward. You should feel prepared and eager to keep improving.

Your goal for any self evaluation should always be self improvement and self awareness. The end result should allow you to understand your abilities and your weaknesses. It should give you a clear understanding of how satisfied you are with your performance for the year and what specifically you want and need to do going forward.

When you do a self evaluation it is a win-win. The more often you do this the better it is for you. You will steadily improve and see better results. I recommend making it a goal to add it to your schedule. Make it a priority to do a daily review, then add weekly and monthly summaries where you reflect on the overall results. At the end of one year you should see growth in productivity, level of knowledge and your skill set.

You will be a better employee, a better leader and a better person. You will be happier and more content. Your self confidence will soar.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a growth filled 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.