Archive for the ‘Thought of the Day’ Category

You own your time!

I was watching a show on the weekend where Harry Belafonte was being interviewed. He was being asked for advice on how to be a social activist today. Of course, Mr. Belafonte has had a lot of experience as a social activist from his work during the civil rights movement to fighting apartheid in South Africa. The person who was speaking with him thanked his and he said something that has stuck with me – he said the pleasure was his and that time is the only thing can give anyone since it’s the only thing he truly owns.

I believe that’s a powerful statement. Do you feel like you own your time or do you feel like someone else has control over it. I know that my greatest points of frustration were times when I felt like my time wasn’t my own. I wasn’t consciously choosing where my time was spent. I was doing things that other people wanted me to do, or things I thought they wanted me to do without considering whether it was the best use of my time. By the time I figured out it wasn’t time well spent, I had already too far gone.

When I’m at my most fulfilled, I’m doing the things that are important to me. They’re either things that bring me joy, or things that are going to bring me closer to achieving my goals. The sweetest spot, is when the things that I’m doing that help me get closer to my goals are things that I enjoy J

I believe there are three things you need to do in order to really own your time:

  1. Get clear on the mission and vision for your life
  2. Know what your priorities are and why they are important to you
  3. Set boundaries based on your priorities

When you have these three points covered, you have clarity on the activities that are a good use of your time. You know what to say yes to and what to say no to. You reduce feelings of frustration and overwhelm which has a positive ripple effect on your relationships!

Regardless of how much control you feel you have over your time right now, the good news is that things can always change for the better. You want to take back control of your time? Get comfortable saying no. Create a plan for how you want your day to go and be mindful of interruptions and distractions. Ask for help.

Want some help getting started? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary, no obligation call with me today!

Doing things differently

Today is the 14 year anniversary of my father’s death. If you’re new to my blog this might not mean much. If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I’m an unapologetic Daddy’s Girl and his death is what started the journey that I’m on today.

In the past this has been a melancholy day for me. I tend to isolate myself, thinking about the day it happened, reminiscing about good times spent with him, and feeling very sad. This year, I decided to change things up a bit.

If you knew my dad, you knew that he didn’t make excuses not to show up. Even when he was doing radiation the first time around, he went to work every day for the first 4 weeks, doing half-day shifts and then driving to the subway to go to his appointment.

So today, instead of throwing myself a mini-pity party I’ve chosen to honour my father’s memory by doing what he would do – which is do the things that make me happy and allow me to be of service to others. He’s probably watching me and wondering why it took me so long to figure it out 😉

I don’t know if there will ever be a time where I don’t miss my dad. He was such a huge part of my life for a long time. I’ve come a long way in the grieving process. I have good days and bad days. I will be forever grateful for the time I had with him, and even though I would have liked more, I have come to accept that everything happens for a reason.

A couple of week’s ago I talked about breaking cycles and I’ve decided to practice what I preach. Sitting at home, taking a day out to feel sorry for myself has stopped serving me. I’m not getting anything positive from doing it. There was a time where I felt I needed to take that day, and that time has passed.

Instead, I’m choosing to honour my dad’s memory in a different way. I’m going to dedicate everything I do today to him. I’m going to keep on truckin’ like one of his belt buckles used to say, confident that he’s cheering me on. ♥

Breaking with tradition

I remember hearing a talk where the speaker was talking about traditions. They share an example of a woman who had always seen her mother cut off the ends of a roast before putting it in the baking pan and placing it in the oven. When she started making her own roasts, she prepared them the same way. One day, while doing her prep, someone asked her why she cut the ends off the roast. Her response was “that’s how my mom always did it”. After being questioned, on a visit with her mom, she decided to ask her mom about it and her mom replies that it was the only way to get the roasts to fit in her pan!

I think that story sticks in my mind because I’ve done the same thing in my own life. I’m not talking about cutting the ends off a roast, since I can’t remember the last time I prepared, never-mind ate a roast! I’m talking about doing something because that’s how it’s always been done in my family without ever asking the reason why, simply assuming there had to be a reasonable explanation.

The truth is that we don’t have to do things the way they’ve been done in the past. So much has changed in the last 5 years, so when we think about 10 or 20 years ago, it can feel like a whole new world. When so much has changed, why would we think that we can’t or don’t have to?

I’m not saying that we have to get rid of all traditions and customs. I do believe that if the traditions or customs no longer serve us and our evolving beliefs and understanding, why do we continue with them? I think that it is possible to adapt our traditions and customs to changing times.

I know that it’s often easier said than done to adapt traditions and customs to changing times, but I do believe it’s necessary. I think that it is possible to maintain the essence of the tradition without feeling constricted by it. It’s not about abandoning your culture or your family. It’s about finding a way to hold on to what’s important in a way that works for you. Why chop off that valuable piece of roast if the whole thing can fit in your pan? 😉

I feel like communication is vital here. If you’re doing things because of tradition and you’ve never asked about the origins, the value or the importance of it, then I think you’re missing a valuable lesson and probably an entertaining or insightful story! We might not all be blessed to have access to family members that can share the history of traditions with us, but it’s definitely worth investigating, wouldn’t you say? ♥

Breaking negative cycles

Since I know that there really is no such thing as a coincidence, I knew I had my subject for this week’s blog post after having conversations with 2 different groups of people where the subject of breaking a cycle came up. In both situations, the person who brought up the idea wasn’t happy with their current situation. They both realized that if they wanted things to change, they had to stop the negative cycles that had kept repeating in their lives.

Breaking these negative cycles is often easier said than done. In some cases, we’re not the only contributor to the cycle repeating. Since we have no control over the thoughts and actions of others, then only thing we can do in these types of situations is change how we react to them.

I believe that self-awareness is a key factor to breaking negative cycles. When we know why we react in a certain way, the triggers that provoke us to act in a way that we don’t want to, we can start to create a plan to do things differently moving forward. This isn’t a task that can be accomplished overnight. It takes time. It requires us to take responsibility for our actions and being honest with ourselves. Sounds like fun, right? 😉

While getting honest with ourselves and taking responsibility for the good, the bad and the ugly of our past might not sound very enticing, it is worth it. This isn’t an exercise to beat ourselves up about the things we’ve done that we could have handled better. It’s about forgiving others and ourselves and moving forward on a positive note.

We’ve all heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If we want to make significant changes in our lives then we have to break the negative cycles that have been holding us back. It means making a conscious choice to do things differently and actually doing it! How many times have you identified a bad habit but haven’t done anything to shift it?

If you want different results, you have to be willing and able to commit to doing things in ways you’ve never done before. Remember that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Thanks to the Internet there is an abundance of resources at your fingertips. If you want more hands-on guidance, you can always find a coach or mentor to help you. The point is, that if you want to make changes and break the negative cycles in your life, it is possible. It’s all up to you! ♥

Time to get real

Okay, we’ve got less than two months left in 2018. It’s time to get real because there are goals that you set for yourself at the start of the year and it’s never too late to check on the progress you’ve made. I know that there were probably some rough patches and things you wish you had done better. The question is, what can you do differently in the next two months to get the results you want?

It’s time to be as honest with yourself as possible. What habits are working for you and which ones are working against you? Most of us don’t have to think too hard to figure out the answers. Knowing what we need to change is one thing. Doing something about it is a completely different matter.

We face this challenge whether our goals are personal or professional. We need to take time out to analyze what’s working and what isn’t working. If you’re spending a lot of time on your goals and not getting the results you want, then it is time to rethink the strategy. Either you need to hire out for the things that aren’t in your wheelhouse, or you need to take a course to gain the skills and knowledge to do those things in an effective and efficient way!

I know that tracking our progress is something that many of us avoid. We don’t want to face the reality that we’re not on track to make our goals a reality. If you’re fearful to take a look at your progress, you already have an idea that you’re not where you want to be. The opposite could be true as well though; you could be closer to realizing your goals than you think. You’ll never know for sure until you take the time to see where you really are.

Even if you realize that you’re not as close as you wanted to be to achieving your goals, the good news is that there’s still time! You have just under 2 months to make significant things happen. All you need is clarity on the vision, focus on the things you need to do to get you there and a willingness to take daily action to get you there.

What you have or haven’t accomplished in the last ten months doesn’t have to determine your success in 2018. You can do anything you put your mind to! What are you choosing to focus on accomplishing in the next 2 months? I look forward to celebrating your successes in December, as we head into a new year get ready to see what else is possible! ♥

Living on purpose

The other night I was thinking about situations I’ve found myself in over the years and how wrong they could have gone. I came to the conclusion that I’m still here because the work I was sent here to do isn’t complete yet. That realization comes with more questions though, doesn’t it? Specifically “what am I here to do?” and “am I doing it?”

I’ve understood for a long time that I am here to help others. Do what and how took a bit longer to gain clarity around. I believe that I am here to help others achieve their goals and create the life they want for themselves. While I am doing this in the work I do with my clients, I feel like I need to continue to do the work on a larger scale. I’m still working on the execution of how to impact more clients and I’m grateful for the reminder that the work isn’t done yet 🙂

There was a time when I thought that publishing my book would be my greatest contribution to the world. Now I’m hosting a podcast and the feedback has been great so far! I’m excited to see what’s next and where the next phase of my life will take me.

One thing that I know for sure is that there will be unexpected surprises along the way. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be an entrepreneur, an author or someone who actually seeks out public speaking opportunities I would have said they were crazy. The more time I take to be mindful, the more self-aware I become and the clearer I become about what it is I want to do and the possibilities to make it all happen.

We all have a purpose. Some of us seem to know what that is almost from birth. Others take a little longer and some trial and error to figure it out. However the realization comes to us, once we know what our purpose is, life becomes a lot more interesting.

If you need some help figuring out your purpose, or how to live your purpose more intentionally, book a complimentary 30-minute, no-obligation call with me! 🙂

If you’re already clear on your purpose and living it fully, enjoy the ride! ♥

Fourth Quarter Check-In

Just like that, we’re in the final quarter of 2018! While you may be asking where the time went, now is the time to review what you accomplished in the first 3 quarters of the year.  If you didn’t achieve all that you wanted to personally or professionally, the first thing to remember is that it’s not too late to finish the year off with a bang.  The second thing to do is make a commitment to making next year more productive than this one!

From my personal experience, I know that if I don’t write my goals down (and review them regularly), they don’t get done.  I also know that when I when I have a plan in place to make the goals happen, they actually do, even if they didn’t go exactly according to plan.  Achieving your goals is about going beyond “wishful thinking”.  Don’t hope your goals become a reality, create a plan and take action and make your goals a reality!

If this year wasn’t as successful as you had wanted it to be, now’s the time to review what worked and what didn’t.  You may need to make some minor adjustments, or you may need a complete overhaul.  Whatever it is that you need to do to get better results next year, setting the foundation now can only work to your benefit.  When January comes around, you will not only be able to hit the ground running, but you’ll also have things in place that will allow you to maintain momentum and commitment through challenging times.

Reviewing what didn’t work and tweaking the plan isn’t meant to be a self-deprecating exercise.  It doesn’t make sense to beat ourselves up about things that have already happened that can’t be undone.  When we know better, we do better, and that’s the approach that we must take when it comes to our goals. There is a wealth of information out there that can help you to gain the clarity you need and access the resources required to achieve your goals.  We just have to be willing to ask for help and remain open-minded about the possibilities that exist that can take us where we want to go in all areas of our life, business or pleasure.

Where do you want to be personally and professionally a year from today?  Once you have clarity on this you can start to develop the plan to make it happen.  Not everything is going to go according to plan, but you will have a guide that will help you to figure out whether you’re getting closer to or further away from your goals.  Wishing you much success in the final quarter of 2018!

 

A rising tide lifts all boats

I love the quote that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” There’s something about quotes that give me a visual that makes them stick with me more than others. I have been blessed to benefit from the rising tide of others and I hope that I have been able to do the same.

The latest example of this came after interviewing someone for my podcast a few weeks ago. She offered to share the opportunity with the women in a business coaching program she’s a part of and I took her up on the offer. I sent her a write-up with what I was looking for and sent it to her, hoping that maybe a few people would be interested in being interviewed.

Imagine my surprise when over 12 women reached out to me within day! Not only did I know have 12 potential guests for my podcast, but there was someone who saw that post, who then shared it in her own Facebook group. That share has resulted in even more potential guests! 🙂

I think that the reason for this is the intention behind the podcast. The purpose of my podcast is to share stories of struggle and triumph to offer hope and inspiration to people going through their own life challenges. The reality is that everyone is going through something at one point or another in their lives. When we are going through those dark times, it can feel like you’re the only one who understands what you’re going through. It can feel very isolating. Hearing the stories of the women I’ve interviewed shows us that we’re not alone in our struggle and that there is a way through it.

I’m grateful that there are women out there who are willing to share their struggles so that they can be of help to others. I think that there’s nothing more meaningful than hearing from the experiences of others and taking in what they learned from it as well as any advice that they have to offer. To me that’s a lot better than hearing it from some one who’s talking from a theoretical perspective rather than real life experience.

We all need support in making our dreams a reality. We don’t always know where that support will come from. When we get support, we have to remember to offer it as well. If a rising tide lifts all boats, the higher the tide, the more boats it can lift, so don’t hesitate to accept and offer help when you can!

Do unto others?

The Golden Rule – Do unto others, as you would have them do onto you. It seems simple enough. Treat people the way you want to be treated. It can get complicated though can’t it? What if you don’t think that you deserve to be treated with respect in dignity? Does that then become how you treat others?

I don’t think that truly confident, self-aware people treat others badly on purpose. I think that those of us who treat others unkindly do it because of something lacking in our own lives. So how do we do better?

I think the first step is awareness. A lot of the times, the things that bother us about other people are the things that remind us of ourselves, and not in a good way. If we pay attention to those things and realize that these things are a reflection of ourselves, then we can do better.

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying that “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” It’s a lot harder than it sounds though, isn’t it? The behaviors that trouble us the most are habits that have developed over time and it takes time, work and commitment to not continue those bad habits. Doing better doesn’t happen overnight.

Consider the people you admire. Preferably people you know personally, but even those people you don’t. What are the qualities of the people you admire? The people, that when they do something, you think that you’d love to do something similar. Is it their kindness, their generosity, or maybe it’s simply their ability to make you laugh. Whatever those things are, think about how you can do that in your own life.

It’s easy to judge people for the things that we don’t like about them.  Maybe they gossip too much or say one thing to your face and say something different behind your back. We’ve all been guilty of doing things we’re not proud of. It’s when we don’t accept and forgive ourselves for these things that we continue to do those things and judge others for doing the same.

Instead of saying treat others the way that we want to be treated, I think we should be more specific. Treat people with kindness, compassion and empathy. It may not be what we think we deserve, but it’s what we need. ♥

No one’s perfect

I used to think that once I started my journey of personal development and self-awareness that life would get easier. I figured that drama would be eliminated from my life and everything would be love and light. Boy, was I wrong!

This isn’t to say that there isn’t any point to personal growth and development. Creating a spiritual practice, whatever that looks like for you, doesn’t make you immune to life’s challenges. What it does do if provide you with tools to cope with those obstacles in a more productive way.

I remember reading something about Wayne Dyer once regarding his divorce. Someone was saying that he’s full of shit because clearly what he preaches doesn’t work because he and his wife were parting ways. I think that a lot of people believe that those who help others deal with challenges in their lives shouldn’t have any of their own, but how realistic is that?

Pastors and therapists have family troubles. Does that mean that they can’t provide you with the guidance you need? Do you want advice from someone who has never known struggle in their own lives, or do you want someone who can empathize and provide you with support based on their personal and professional experience?

Call me a cynic, but people who appear to have “perfect lives” make me uncomfortable. It feels unreal to believe that there are people going through life without encountering any kind of challenge or obstacle. Unless they’re living in a bubble, how is it that they have never had any worry of trouble in their life?

I don’t think that it’s possible to avoid conflict in our lives. I don’t believe those experiences should define us either. What I do believe is that there are things we can do that help us to deal with the difficult times we encounter in life. There are tools available to us that allow us to get through those times without allowing them to swallow us whole.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned from the interviews I’ve done for my podcast to-date, it’s that everyone goes through something in our lives that rocks our world. What may seem life shattering to some may look like no big deal to others. The point is that stuff happens and it doesn’t make us good or bad, capable or incapable.

I don’t think perfection is the end goal. I think the point is to grow, to learn and to do better once we know better. Instead of judging one another for not being perfect, we should support one another as we work through the challenges that life presents us with. ♥