Posts Tagged ‘life’
Friday, May 10th, 2013
Mundane: (adjective) typical, ordinary, lacking interest or excitement, dull.
Mundane a great word. The way it rolls off your tongue even sounds mundane. I know it’s an adjective but I wish it was a noun. I’d define it like this:
Mundane: (noun) the dreaded place people settle into when they stop challenging themselves, stop trying new things, stop dreaming.
When you’re there, the days blend together. You come home from work, grab the chips out of the cupboard, turn on the TV and eventually fall asleep on the couch, day after day after day, all the while promising yourself you’ll start that exercise program tomorrow. You take a sleeping pill to go to bed and caffeine when you wake up. You’re not happy but no one knows that because you smile and function reasonably well at work. Mundane is a secret that turns into a habit that weighs you down but you rarely complain because life is good enough…ugh.
I saw a post on Facebook once that said something like this:
The definition of hell: At the end of your life, meeting the person you would have become if you had lived to your potential.
That’s an unsettling thought, more unsettling if “Mundane” rules the day. On the other hand, if you love your life, if you’re living without regret, I don’t think it would matter because life is filled with infinite possibilities which are narrowed down by a combination of circumstance, opportunity and the choices we make. Honestly, where we end up isn’t as important as the way we travel.
So pay attention to how you travel. Loving your life and escaping the grips of mundane is about traveling through life with purpose. Every day you cross the paths of numerous people…family, friends, co-workers, and strangers and your impact on them is either positive, negative, or neutral. Choose to make it positive.
The last thing I say to my kids as I drop them off to school in the morning is, “Make someone’s day better, today.”
It’s so easy…smile, hold a door open, help with a project, compliment someone, thank someone, listen. The ripple effect of kindness is beyond measure and if you live with that intention your life will never be mundane.
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
The journey is tough…often messy…sometimes unbelievably cruel. Everyone has experienced variations on that theme. No one escapes the “unfairness factor” of life. When you’re young and struggling, you think you’re the only one. But with age comes the realization that life is a two sided coin…happy/sad, success/failure, easy/hard. Just as you need two sides to even have a coin, you need the ups and downs to have a life.
However, those ups and downs aren’t an excuse to “settle” in life. Have you ever thought to yourself, “Oh, my life’s good enough. It could be a lot worse. At least I’m not_________?”
I know you can fill in that blank. There’s always someone dealing with things worse than what you’re going through, someone who weighs more, someone with a worse marriage, someone with more health issues, etc… You’re supposed to appreciate what you have, right? Okay, but be careful:
Happiness doesn’t come from measuring yourself against a standard of misery. That kind of thinking just lowers the bar and keeps you from reaching your potential.
I think you should love, not like, love your life, in spite of the hardships that cross your path.
Here are three things you can do to get more excited about your amazing life:
1. Build a great support team
Humans are incredibly social creatures. We have built in mimic and acceptance tendencies. In other words, you are who you hang out with so hang out with people you admire, people who are a great influence on you, people who believe in you. Friendship is a privilege not a right.
2. Don’t judge yourself by your past
Mistakes are tests. You can learn as much from things that go wrong as from things that go right. It’s important to treat yesterday as homework. Those lessons can set the stage for a great future. They give you wisdom…UNLESS you judge yourself by them. Babe Ruth had way more strike-outs than home runs. If he focused on the strike-outs, he never would’ve hit the home runs.
3. Have at least one “happy” goal.
What would make you happy, really happy? Build a goal around that with tons of detail so you can take little steps toward it every day. Focus on the things you CAN do. With persistence, tiny steps eventually turn into success. You deserve that.
The challenges we face are like mountains we have to climb. It might seem like your mountain is steeper and higher than anyone else’s, but keep climbing because the higher the mountain, the better the view from the top.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Do you love your life? Are you excited to get out of bed in the morning? Are you thriving in your current situation or just surviving?
Several years ago, I woke up one day, wishing I was somewhere else. I guess I was so caught up in the routine of getting through my days that I lost sight of the bigger picture. Instead of being proactive, I was re-acting to the things going on around me. That’s not to say my life was bad. It wasn’t, but it wasn’t great either. It was “good enough.”
There’s no passion in “good enough.” It’s safe and it comes with sympathy from the rest of the “good enough” people in the world. For example: “Oh, so what your boss micro-manages you; at least you have a pay check. You should be grateful for that.”
Stop thinking that way! You weren’t born to acquiesce your way through life. Here’s what you need turn it around:
1. RIGHT PEOPLE:
- Personally – Who do you spend the majority of your time with? Who are the major influencers in your life? Regardless of your age, you’re a reflection of the company you keep so choose to spend time with people you admire, people who love their lives, people who are always looking forward. Remember, friendship is a privilege not an obligation.
- Professionally – Who do you align yourself with in the office? These relationships need to be strategic. Negativity and gossip can derail your career. It’s important to build relationships with co-workers who support the vision of the organization.
2. RIGHT GOALS:
- What would you do professionally if money was no object?
- What could you change about your personal life that would make you happier?
Be specific. Paint a clear picture of what your life would look like in five years if you accomplished that goal. Is it different than your current path? If it is, CHANGE your current path! Start taking small steps that move you in a direction you love. Dream about it. Visualize it. It’s never too late to create something that excites you.
3. RIGHT THINKING:
Believe in yourself. Change, adversity and roadblocks are part of everyone’s journey. You might even be victimized but being victimized isn’t the same as being a victim.
- When you carry yesterday with you, it turns into baggage. It becomes a self-limiting excuse and you become a victim.
- When you treat yesterday as an event, separate from who you are, you can let it go. You can even use it to build a stronger foundation for tomorrow.
Bottom line: Expect to struggle but remember, you’re not defined by the challenges you face. You’re defined by how you face those challenges. Life is a gift. How you travel through life is a choice. With right people, right goals, and right thinking you’ll never wake up wishing you were somewhere else.
You’ll love your life.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
How much do you know about digestion? How much do you rely on the “experts” to guide your food choices? Have you ever believed any of the following statements?
- “I like diet coke. There’s no way it can be THAT bad for you. Those additives have been tested and re-tested.”
- “A high carb, low fat diet is good for your heart.”
- “Sugar has to be okay, it’s in fruit. It’s natural. It’s fine as long as the rest of your diet is healthy.”
- “You’re not going to get cancer just because you eat sandwich meat or cheese with rBGH…that’s ridiculous.
- Every time you turn around there’s some study out there telling you something’s bad for you.”
We live in the United States of America. We have the safest food and water on the planet…don’t we? I’ve always trusted the people who regulate these things because they know more than I do and it’s their job to keep us safe.
Wake up! THEY’RE NOT KEEPING US SAFE!
After years of listening to mixed advice and wondering about the unexplained cancers and illnesses of several of my friends, I decided to started reading. I read Alejandro Junger’s book “Clean“. He talks a lot about the acid/alkaline affect of food so I read a book by Chistopher Vasey called “The Acid-Alkaline Diet,” however, there are many more books available on this topic alone. Honestly, the number of books and blogs on nutrition is mind-boggling. A friend recently gave me Marion Nestle’s book “Food Politics” and I learned how influential the food industry is on government nutrition policies. And then, this morning I read an article on Mercola’s blog explaining how some of our biggest, most trusted companies put chemicals and additives in our food that are banned by other nations. Turns out, they provide the same products to those countries without the banned substances!
As a result of the research I’ve done, I believe most of us are dangerously ignorant about our food supply and to make matters worse, most of us have a limited understanding about how our digestive systems work.
It’s challenging to sort through differing opinions and come up with a food plan that will insure long-term health. There are no guarantees and it’s much easier to simply eat for pleasure. But that’s not a risk we can afford to take. My health is my responsibility so I’m choosing the following:
- Minimize sugar except the sugar that comes from eating fruit. Sugar in any of it’s forms…fructose, corn syrup, sucrose, etc… has no nutritional value and it’s acidic in our bodies. Cancer cells love that (knowledge trumps temptation).
- Switch to organic meat, eggs, cheese, vegetables, and fruit. It costs more but I think the hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and genetically engineered crops we ingest thanks to big corporate farming are more dangerous than we realize.
- Minimize consumption of wheat. You can’t buy wheat that hasn’t been genetically modified. The more I read about it, the more I realize I don’t need it or want it in my diet…not even 100% whole grain. Before you disagree, google ”is wheat bad for you” and read several of the opinions out there.
- Absolutely no artificial sweetners. Stevia (not Truvia) is a natural low calorie option and it looks like Nectresse might be okay, too.
These are the choices I’m making. I recommend you pull your head out of the sand, do some research and make your own set of choices. You life could depend on it.
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Why do you do what you do? Or as my thirteen year old likes to say, “Why are you why you are?” Then he adds, “They’re just letters, Mom.” (YRUYUR).
I’m a professional speaker and author, not because I’m a rape survivor and not because I’m an Ironman. I’m a speaker and author because I want you to become your own champion.
Becoming your own champion is about finding your voice. It’s about being authentic in a world that’s often anything but authentic. It’s about becoming a great student, a great friend, a great employee, a great leader. I want you to love the amazing gift of your own unique life in spite of the pressures you face on a daily basis to meet the expectations of a world that’s constantly bombarding you with messages about how to look, how to act, how to think, how to feel, and what to believe.
I want YOU to own your life, to wake up in the morning excited to seize the day. I want you to fight to become the best possible version of yourself. No excuses, no regrets, no blame on bad luck or misfortune…none of that!
Yes, life can be incredibly unfair. You will struggle. So you have to remember that you’re defined, not by the challenges you face, but by how you face those challenges. When the going gets tough I want you to understand how to rebound because you’re worth it.
I speak and I write because it took me thirty-five years to get it right. I want you to get it right today.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Ever wonder why you should get out of the bed in the morning? How about because someone might need you?
This morning after dropping my boys off at school, I saw a lady desperately chasing after a city bus. She was in the road running while flailing her arms, trying to get the bus driver’s attention. He didn’t stop and she finally gave up. As she stepped up on the sidewalk, another woman pulled over in her convertible and apparently offered the lady a ride. I watched in my rear view mirror as she got in the car. It made me so happy.
I thought to myself, “That’s it! Right there, that’s the meaning of life.” You should get up in the morning because someone might miss the bus and you can be there to give her a ride. It’s the little things that we do for each other that make all the difference.
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
People are contagious. The people you spend the most time with infect you with their attitude, their ideas and their energy or lack of energy. Over time we become more and more like the people hang out with. That’s not always a good thing.
Take a good look at your inner circle of friends, your teammates, and think about whether or not they’re good for you. Are you a better version of yourself because of their influence? Do they move you closer to your goals or pull you away from them? Are they in your life because they need you or is it mutual?
You don’t have to keep the same friends just because you’ve always had them. Friendship is a privilege not an obligation. If you have people in your life that don’t fit your life, spend less time with them and start building a support system that adds to your success. Life’s too important to do anything else.
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
Last year I had the flexibility to work on my golf game. An injury kept me from running and biking so I put lots of energy into chasing that little white ball. I made some new friends in the process and had a lot of fun. Now with the golf season gearing up, I have a decision to make. I want to play but circumstances have changed and I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do.
As I struggled with the choice, it occurred to me that there are only three kinds of decisions: 1. The things we have to do. 2. The things we should do. 3. The things we want to do.
The things we have to do are urgent. The consequence of choosing not to do them quickly impacts our lives. Going to work, going to school, and paying bills fall into this category.
The things we should do are important but not urgent. The consequence of choosing not to do them has no immediate impact on our lives. Working on a project that’s not due for several months, spending time with your children, paying attention to your health, and cleaning your house fall into this category. You can worry about them tomorrow or the day after that or… But be careful because the “should do” things determine your long-term happiness. They’re critical to your success.
The things we want to do give us pleasure and immediate gratification. Things like relaxing in front of the TV, eating a bowl of ice cream, playing video games, and working on a hobby, like my golf game, fall into this category. There are endless ways to fill your day with things you want to do.
That’s my problem. It’s easy to have fun; it’s important to have fun. However, it’s more important to make sure the “want to do” things in your life aren’t getting in the way of the “should do” things.
My injuries are healed. Running takes far less time so I’m opting out of golf this year, unless it includes one of my children. What gets in the way of your “should do” things?
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
Most of our behaviors are habit driven. The way we walk, the way we brush our teeth, the way we deal with stress, how much we chew our food, etc… It’s fascinating if you really think about it. It’s also important. Our brains love patterns. Habits free up our brains for other tasks. If we don’t have to think about routine things, we can use that energy to learn more or to be more creative.
Habits are an important part of our success so we need to evaluate them once in a while and make sure they’re helping, not hurting us. If you’ve developed a pattern that’s working against you, change it. Create a better pattern and keep repeating it until it becomes automatic. For example, if you always eat something before you go to bed and you want to change that, brush your teeth earlier and read for twenty minutes instead. You’ll struggle with the change for a few weeks, but if you stick with it, you’ll eventually be proud of yourself for creating a healthier pattern.
Life is easy when your habits work in your favor. Make your life easy.