#71 Do It Again (Don’t Give Up)

Spend your perseverance energy on those things that serve your interests. Sometimes, the cost of continuing far exceeds the potential benefit.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive.  hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#71

Do It Again ~ Don’t Give Up

Remember the proverb “If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again”?  [attributed to William Hickson but thought to originate from Thomas Palmer]

And what about “There is no failure except in no longer trying” – Elbert Hubbard

Or “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished  by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all” – Dale Carnegie

Perseverance

Many of the most successful people in the world attribute their success to perseverance and indeed, it is simply required to succeed on most levels. We hear time and time again, stories of people who applied numerous times, who auditioned over and over, or who replicated experiments nonstop until success was achieved. While we certainly must have limits and set boundaries for our emotional and physical health, as long as there is something to gain – having the grit to continue is typically a good idea.

Tipping Point

Is there a time to give up? Most experts agree that it is a healthy decision to redirect when we no longer have advantage in the endeavor. Obviously, if continuing would generate harm from either a physical or an emotional perspective – it’s O.K. to refocus in a different direction. The secondary question is about priorities.

Priorities

How important is this thing that you are trying to accomplish? Are you working to discover the next cancer treatment? Are you attempting to learn a new language? Getting into physical shape? Or learn a new crochet stitch? These are examples of things that may certainly be within your reach if you keep trying. Spend your perseverance energy on those things that serve your interests. Sometimes, the cost of continuing far exceeds the potential benefit. Focus on the things that you value and let go of those that you do not.

Extra Push

When you get frustrated or tired in your pursuit of a goal it’s great to have a motivation kit. It’s not as neat and tidy as it sounds because we often need different motivations for different tasks. When you’re going to the gym and want to give up – that’s when you hire a trainer or get a gym buddy. Create a support system that is also invested in your success – mom, dad, your best friend or your boss.  They are the people who often will encourage you – often blindly – in the direction of your dreams. Create a vision board to help keep you steered in the direction you want to go. Define your priorities and make a list – keep it in front of you at all times.

Whatever it is – go for it and find the strength to …

Do it again ~ don’t give up.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#82 Create a Plan

It’s really very simple. Life is just one big, personal house that we begin designing in adolescence with a vision of who we are and what we want for ourselves.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#82

Create a Plan

Any good life coach or business development coach will tell you that the secret to success is a plan. We can easily relate to this concept if we understand that many aspects of our life are akin to building a house. Every house that’s ever been built began with a vision and then moved into the planning stage and a blueprint is designed.

Blueprint

The blueprint is the base ‘plan’. It’s a conceptual illustration of how things ‘could’ work with all systems in place and in the absence of major changes. It’s a starting point and a visual from which to work.

In your plan, this means writing things down… make a list – create a binder – build a vision board, etc.

Foundation

The next step is to lay the foundation. This may be the most important piece as everything else is supported by this base and many of us have witnessed first hand what happens to a house when there is a deficiency in the foundation.

In your plan, this means education – training – experience, etc.

Construction

Few of us have ever built a house single-handedly. Indeed, most of them are built with the cooperation and coordination of people who are there in support of the entire project and they are aware of the ‘plan’.

In your plan, this means family – friends – experts, etc.

Work Order Changes

Sometimes, as we move about the construction, the plan on paper doesn’t actually work the way we thought it would in real life. When something needs to be changed there’s a mini plan developed to accommodate the shift. Most often, it’s no big deal. Sometimes, it’s a major repositioning and we need the support of everyone involved and maybe even a bolster to the foundation. Some houses get built with very little deviation from the primary plan. When I did it, there were 22 work order changes; the irony of it is not lost on me.

In your plan, these modifications may be health – relationships – money, etc.

When the foundation is in great shape, the alterations are handled efficiently. When it isn’t – sometimes you go back to square one and adjust the original plan in detail.

It’s really very simple. Life is just one big, personal house that we begin designing in adolescence with a vision of who we are and what we want for ourselves. The biggest mistake that we make is going into adulthood without a blueprint for how it will unfold. Maybe you did but there’ve been so many ‘renovations’ along the way that you now need to go through each room to make sure that they meet the conditions set forth with the current revision. It’s a process many of us can benefit from every couple of years.

If you never did implement a formal design… it’s never too late. Take the time to consider your future and …

Create a plan.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#92 Be a Cheerleader

It’s possible to be a cheerleader without going overboard and puffing someone up unrealistically.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#92

Be A Cheerleader

I’ve written about mentoring, appreciation, and friendship and in each case, there is potential for this suggestion – to be a cheerleader. Of course, I don’t mean the high school sports variety. By cheerleader, I mean someone whose focus is championing for another, directly encouraging and supporting.

We all need someone in our corner cheering for us – egging us on for a win – for success. Cheerleaders don’t criticize or correct, they inspire, urge, celebrate and rejoice in each little maneuver that delivers someone closer to the goal.

Pure Cheering

For some people this comes really easy – we all know one … that person (often a Grandmother) who encourages you no matter what – even if it’s not all that great of an idea or goal. And then there’s the rest of us (often parents) who who say “that’s good, but…”. A true cheerleader eliminates the “but”. A cheerleader leaves their personal opinion out of the equation. Unless someone is headed in a direction of self harm or violence – they are pure support.

Value of Cheerleading

While there has been a lot of controversy in recent years of building people up – sometimes without merit, it’s an important element of developing and sustained self-esteem. It feels good to know that someone is ‘on our side’ and that there is a person ‘has our back’ no matter what. Trust is established in this manner as well as confidence. Yes, it’s true that blowing smoke at people isn’t helpful because the real world doesn’t always ‘cheerlead’ for us. It’s all in the delivery!

Honest Cheering

It’s possible to be a cheerleader without going overboard and puffing someone up unrealistically. Instead of saying “you were great!” (if they really weren’t)… say “Your effort was amazing!” or “You’ll get it next time.”  Instead of claiming that a negative isn’t present at all… focus on the positives. Instead of buying into the disappointment that a ‘big’ thing that didn’t happen – celebrate all the small victories.

I’m sure there is someone in your life that can benefit from your decision to…

Be a cheerleader.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#111 Run or Walk a 5K

We tend to do these kinds of things more frequently if we have moral support in the form of crowds.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#111

Run or Walk a 5K

The weekend before Thanksgiving is approaching and it’s typically a popular weekend for ‘Turkey Trots’ and other big, sponsored runs. Why not make the effort to participate?

Perspective

To put this into perspective – most walkers will complete a 5K in about 45 minutes. It’s only about 6000 steps for the average stride (a piece of cake – or pie – for all of you who seek that 10K step goal) and you’ll burn 300 calories. Running of course, will be faster and burn more calories.

Benefits

While walking a 5K once and only once will feel like an accomplishment to those who participate, making it a regular practice has tons of benefits for you body and mind.

Walking improves your mood.

Walking improves your body strength.

Walking improves your cardiovascular strength.

Walking improves your balance and coordination.

Motivation

Maybe the best thing about these ‘organized’ walk/runs like a 5K is that they motivate us to do it with others – to be ‘a part’ of something. We tend to do these kinds of things more frequently if we have moral support in the form of crowds. It’s easier to participate with someone than if we have to make the decision to get up and out on our own.

So, gather some friends and jumpstart your holidays with something that is good for you…

Run or walk a 5K.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#122 Go To a High School Play

We’re telling our local school boards and elected officials that being a well-rounded student is more than grades and sports.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#122

Go to a high school play

I suspect that the timing of this post may be apropos as the first half of most high school’s academic year is more than half way past. There’s a good chance that a high school in your community is – right now – preparing for its first theatrical production of the year.

I was a ‘drama geek’ in high school as were several of my children and what I know for sure is that everyone involved in these productions – no matter how elaborate it may or may not be – works their fanny off and gives great heart to the project.

The community support of these endeavors is paramount to the performers on stage and the hardworking teams that keep them there. This is where young stars are born and others confirm their lack of passion for the commitment necessary to build careers. It’s where self-esteem is cemented and friendships are fostered. It’s where confidence is built and where for a few minutes, getting lost in fantasy is healthy.

These high school kids may not be seasoned actors, they may not have acutely tuned voices, or the best comedic timing but they have heart. Their courage, spunk, and energy is generally undeniable.

Making the effort to fill the auditorium of these local high school productions makes the statement that not only are ‘they’ important, but support of the Arts is also a priority. We’re telling our local school boards and elected officials that being a well-rounded student is more than grades and sports. We both proactive and passively encouraging.

If you don’t have a high school student, gathering information about the productions in your community are only a phone call or a web visit away. Take some time to find out what productions are scheduled this year and put it on your calendar. It makes a great night out and it’s usually very affordable. Do yourself – and your community – a favor and…

Go to a High School Play

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#166 Organize a Food Drive

Perhaps now… before we’re all inundated with people asking, it would be more effective! It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy…

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#66

Organize a Food Drive

Perhaps one of the best feelings ever is that sensation that settles in when we do something selfless that benefits someone else. It seems as if there is some type of disaster annually that strips communities and its residents of resources and even without, there are always people in need for a variety of reasons. Food pantries exist for this very reason yet during disasters and especially near the holiday’s, their contents dwindle to levels that make it difficult to meet need.

Feel good feelings

As an individual, it seems that there is often little we can do other than contribute money but that means someone else does the grunt work. This suggestion is aimed at increasing your sense of Eudaimonia (a deep sense of well-being) by initiating, organizing, and following through with a food drive in support of a local pantry or a larger effort at providing supplies to disaster relief.

Getting started

After connecting with a charity that will accept the donation, it may be necessary to establish a collaboration with your work, school, or spiritual organizations to get energy, committment, or permission. Generally it’s as simple as placing collection containers in an obvious place and inviting people in that environment to participate by contributing to the cause. Unexpired canned or boxed food items are always appreciated as are paper products that any family could use. Some drives are specifically aimed at children or infants. What a blessing it would be for a food pantry to be inundated with a supply of diapers it can offer its patrons!! (I know, diapers aren’t food but they are often desperately needed).

Start now

This is a common effort during the holidays and we’re entering that season so it may be something you want to add to your to-do list or your ‘holiday intention’ yet I would offer “why wait?”. Perhaps now… before we’re all inundated with people asking, it would be more effective! It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy… a phone call to a pantry or charity to get needs and details… an email or flyer distributed to your cohorts… the actual collection… and then delivery. It could be one box or ten.

Motivate the gang

This may be a great activity for your family, your bible study, your business team, your department, your bowling team, or your book club. It’s bound to boost your gratitude level, your sense of belonging, and your overall well-being and that’s just the benefit to you! Your energy will most definitely help others and make life easier for someone who need their own boost. I hope you’ll consider…

Organizing a food drive.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#208 Reflect Honestly

When we are hiding from what is real, we are unable to demonstrate our most authentic self; to feel our absolute best.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#208

Reflect Honestly

Survival

I’ve encountered a lot of people who prioritize truth telling yet lie to themselves. If we are attempting to live our best possible life, it’s important to self reflect with complete honesty. We avoid the truth because it may induce feelings of shame, guilt, or embarrassment; none of which feel good. We conjure stories about our lives that help us cope with living them – sometimes regardless of whether or not it’ a reflection of what is real. We create subjective narratives for emotional survival.

Objective View

One way to access our life honestly is to step back from it and view it as if it is a stage play with players you don’t know or perhaps a television show with characters that are not emotionally attached to you. If your life was a television show – would you watch it? Would you be screaming at the screen trying to tell one of the characters something? Would you be disgusted and turn it off? How would you rewrite the script?

Sometimes taking this perspective means seeing things we don’t want to see. It means we may need to make a change that we don’t feel prepared for or equipped to make. It means accepting that what we wanted, may not happen or what we believed, is actually false.

Support

If you believe you have been avoiding a compelling truth in your life, garner a support system be it another family member, a trusted friend, or a counseling professional and begin the unraveling of what is true. Sometimes it’s a simple effort; at others, it’s more complicated because one lie often begets another and they become convoluted and woven into reality. It may take time and patience to see yourself in well focused light.

As a professional, I often find myself in the position of helping people in this manner and one of the distinctions is aiding clients in understanding the difference between ‘who’ they are and ‘what’ they do… one is personality and the other, behavior. Clarity may take time but the benefit is authenticity.

Authentic Self

Authenticity is not possible without truth. When we are hiding from what is real, we are unable to demonstrate our most authentic self; to feel our absolute best. There is great freedom in living only from a truth place. It’s the origin of true happiness and possible only when we …

Reflect honestly.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.