Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Make Today Beautiful

Today, spend a few minutes thinking about something you really, really want to do. Next, spend a few more minutes thinking about the steps needed in doing what you really, really want to do. Then, do step one. Continue to step two.

Stop putting things off, quit making excuses and just do something. We only live once and we need to start acting like it. Make today different. Make today special. Make today beautiful.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ignore the Voice

Getting things done is to be applauded.
Getting things done well is even better.
Getting things done and putting forth your best work is what we all should strive to do.

Doing your best work each and every day is difficult. To really do this, you must believe in yourself. Believing in yourself is the easiest way to quiet the voice of fear we all have. You know the one that whispers you can't do something or tries to convince you that you are in over your head or you are not good enough to get the job done. We all hear this voice from time to time, some of us more than others.

Don't let this voice stop you from putting forth your best work. The more you listen to this voice or give it any credit, the louder and louder it speaks. DO NOT LISTEN.

Wake up every day knowing you are going to put your best foot forward. Go through the day striving to do your best work. Put in the time and energy your best demands. Speak up. Take some chances. The more you do this, the quieter and quieter the voice gets. It never goes away completely, but you can train yourself to ignore it and do what needs to be done. It's not going to be easy, but learning to ignore the voice will change the way you live your life. You have something (probably many somethings) to offer, don't let the voice hold you back.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Don't be afraid to voice your opinions, push the envelope and stick your neck out. Everyone can dream of something better, but it takes courage and determination to see things through. Don't let fear hold you back form accomplishing anything you can imagine.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Questions and Answers

What keeps you from following your dreams? What's holding you back from doing what you really want to do?

Answer these questions honestly and look at the reasons you give. Now, really examine these reasons and see if there is validity to them. Is there any way to overcome these reasons excuses and move towards living the life you want to live?

It's worth putting in the time and the effort to figure out, don't you think?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Do Your Best Work

What would happen if everyone decided to do their best work today? What more could we accomplish if everyone was on, everyone was active, everyone was engrossed and everyone was giving the work all of their attention? We would be able to accomplish anything.

Now, the chances of this happening are slim. You have no control over everyone around you and you can't force them to do their best each and every day. We hope we are surrounded by people who are doing the job because it is what they want to be doing, but we know this isn't always true. Everyone has their own motivations and we can't change them.

We can choose to do our best work each and every day. We can control this part of the equation. Yes, we are never going to be perfect and there will be days when our best isn't coming, but if we try, really try to give our best every day, we will have more good days than bad. How much better would your work be if you just strive to do your best every time? How much happier would you be?

No one said it was going to be easy. We all have tasks that drain our drive and make us want to shove spoons into our eyes. We all have good days and bad days. The great among us realize this and still strive every morning to give their best work during the day. Each and every day they decide that whatever they are working on is worth their best work. No more and no less. Lead by example and start today. Give it your all and do your best work. Then, do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next and the next...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Great Days

No matter what you do, some days it is just hard to get out of bed. On days like this, what do you tell yourself as you struggle to begin the day?

We all have ups and downs. Everyone has good days and bad days. At some point, we all struggle to get up and begin the day. What you tell yourself on these days is what matters. If you start the day with negative thoughts and voice the fears you have for the day, most likely your day is going to be bad. Instead, remind yourself that today is going to be a great day, nothing can stop you and there is nothing to fear. Start the day on a positive note and see how differently you view what happens.

Today is going to be a great day. If you just take a few seconds to remember this, it will make all the difference. Try it and see what happens.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chase Your Interests

Let's make a pact. Let's stop watching our life go by as if it is a movie and instead start controlling our life and steering it in the directions we want. Instead of passively sitting by and hoping happiness or dreams or passions fall in to our lap, let's start chasing our interests. Today is as good of a day as any.

If there is something you have been interested in learning or trying, find a class or a lecture and sign up. If you want to learn Spanish or programming or yoga or meditation or particle physics, look for a way to make this a reality. If you hate your job and want to find a new one, start networking and applying for the job you want. If you want to start exercising, find a gym or a group of people who also want to start and then get going. We have to stop sitting around hoping everything will happen the way we want and start chasing our dreams.

This doesn't mean we have to have a plan or even know exactly what we want to do, but by learning more and trying more, we open ourselves up to more and more. A class or a lecture can show we really aren't interested in what we thought we were and that is just fine. If this is the case, move on to another interest and try again. As long as we are constantly searching and trying new things, we are working towards finding the things we love. 

Our life wasn't meant to be spent doing the same things over and over again. Our interests change, our passions can change and we are meant to continue to learn and grow. Try new things, learn new things and have fun doing it. While we might not enjoy or even be good at everything we try, at least we aren't sitting back hoping things will change or get better. Start today. Do something, anything, to add more knowledge and experience to your life.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Attack the Day

What do you have to offer? By this, I mean what do you have to offer the world, your co-workers, your employees, your work, your friends, your loved ones or strangers. What makes you tick? What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?

We all have something to offer, but we hold back. Why? What are we afraid of? What perceptions do we allow to filter through our mind that causes us to hold back from offering?

This is your life to live. You only get one shot at it. Each morning, we are one day closer to the end. This may sound a little morbid, but it is true. We have a finite amount of time to do what we want to do and share what we want to share. There are only so many days left to chase your dreams. Do you want to spend one of these precious days wasting time doing things that don't really matter, that don't push you forward, that don't help you get where you want to go?

Let's all try something today. Attack the day...live today with reckless abandon. Offer something, whatever you can and don't let anything hold you back. Then, let's see how we feel tonight as we are closing our eyes to sleep...maybe we will feel so good that we'll want to do it all over again tomorrow. What do we have to lose?

Monday, January 23, 2012


With the technology available at our fingertips, we have the opportunity and the ability to produce great work. With this technology, we also have the ability to waste our time doing anything other than work. Why do so many people sabotage the work they are doing by wasting time doing so many other things?

I think there are two main reasons for this sabotage-
1) We're afraid to do the work
2) We're bored with the work

There are a variety of reasons why we are afraid to do the work. We are afraid to fail. This fear was instilled at an early age and is reinforced throughout life. Fail and failure have become very negative terms in our society. No one wants to be labeled a failure. Until we can convince ourselves failing is a part of living and is to be expected, we will never be able to move beyond this fear.

We may be afraid at succeeding. This sounds ridiculous, but this fear stems from the fear of change. If we succeed, how will our life be different? How much more work will we have to do? We don't talk about fear of success very often, but it is a real fear.

Until we can overcome these fears, they will still continue to sabotage our work. We have to acknowledge the fear and then stop listening. Fear has a way of over-exagerating everything that could happen. When we fail, which will happen from time to time, the outcome is never as bad as we imagined it would be. When we are afraid of success and still push through to succeed, we will see there was really nothing to be afraid of. We will always have doubts and fears yearning to hold us back, but we have to stop listening to them and do the work.

When we are bored with the work, it is very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of time wasting. We can convince ourselves what we are doing is work, is leaning, is growing, but we are really just wasting time. With our technology, we can waste time on Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and reading blogs, but even if you disguise this as networking or gaining knowledge, all you are really doing is wasting time. We have to be interested in the work to really focus on it and do the best we can. If you can't figure out a way to become invested, it is time to move on and find new work to do. There has to be passion and drive to do great work, otherwise get out of the way and let someone who has them do it.

Stop letting your fear and boredom sabotage your work. Take a long look at what you are doing and why you are still wasting time. Don't make it easy to waste time...turn off Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and e-mail. Focus on the work at hand and get it done. There is time for all of the other things later, when you are not in work mode. With the technology at hand, utilize it to do better work, not for wasting time. We all have the ability to do great work, not in the same areas, but in whatever realm drives us. Start today. Accomplish something you have been putting off and don't let the pull of time-wasting draw you in. Turn off the distractions and focus. You will be surprised at what you can do when you stop listening to your fear and boredom and actually get to work.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What if?

When you lay down to go to sleep each night and close your eyes, what do you think about? Do you think about everything you did that day? Do you think about what the next day brings? Do you think about your dreams and what you want to do? Do you think about all the things you haven't done? Do you think about all the things you have done and wish you didn't?

At different times, I have thought about all of the above. I have experienced feelings of happiness, love, accomplishment, guilt, shame and peace as I have laid in bed with eyes closed. I am sure most people have felt the same. Which of these would you prefer to have floating through your head and body as you try to fall asleep?

What would happen if you named your dreams and worked to make them happen? Would you be able to fall asleep knowing you are doing everything you can to chase what it is to make you feel alive? With this knowledge, would you be able to fall asleep happy and at peace?

By following our dreams and doing what calls to us, we won't eliminate all the negative feelings that float around when we are at the most relaxed. These feelings, these moments of doubt, happen to everyone. But, when we are chasing our dreams, we have an easier time ignoring them and pushing them away. It is easier to replace doubt with happiness and peace when we know we are on the right path.

Tonight, as you lay in bed, think about what it is you really want to do. Listen to your heart and see where it wants to take you. What would happen if you started to listen?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Go Do It

If you could do one thing today, what would it be?

Now that you know, go do it. No excuses, no buts, no "I cant's".

Go do it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Live Your Life

I read a lot of blogs. I get some through twitter and some through e-mail and some I just pop on from time to time to read. I am interested in what other people do and what they think and how they are trying to change the world (if they are trying). I am fascinated by people doing things I can't or would have never thought to try. With today's technology, it is easy to get lost in the exploits of others (with stunning photos or videos or narratives) and not do anything yourself.

I read these blogs to learn and find inspiration and to see what makes people tick. All too often, I find myself living vicariously through them instead of doing my own things. There is a very fine line between finding inspiration in others and living vicariously through them, even if you don't personally know them. Many of us who are searching will come to this point at one time or another (I hope) and strive to do something of our own. 

We have the initial drive to create, but keeping this motivation is hard. It's especially hard when we hit snags or roadblocks or we just aren't sure where to go next. Finding motivation when times are tough, when we are uncertain or afraid is the key to doing what we want. This doesn't mean that we should never quit; we just need to know when it is the right time to quit and when it is time to push through the fear and keep moving. No one will ever be able to teach you the difference, but you know. You just have to learn to tell the difference between the resistance and your true self. This sounds easy, but they sound a lot alike. 

I wish I had the perfect roadmap for you, a way to easily tell the difference. The truth is, I don't always know, either. But, I am still learning. This is one of the reasons I read so many blogs...I want to see how they do it, how they can tell the difference. We can learn from everyone around us. We have to keep learning. It's the only way we will grow and develop and chase our dreams. Just don't fall in to the trap of living vicariously through someone else. Live your life.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What Do You Really Want To Do?

When you allow yourself to think and dream, what do you really want to do? What passion are you holding back, not allowing yourself to realize? What reasons do you have for holding back?

What needs to happen for you to do what you really want to do? Sit down and write it out. Start at the top of a page with whatever you're dreaming of doing. Now, write out the steps below that would allow you to do it. Can you do step #1 now? If not, break down this step into smaller steps to figure out what you need to do to get to step #1. Now, what needs to happen for you to start on sub-step #1?

If you actually do this, you will realize there is nothing stopping you from getting started. You don't have to have the entire plan in place or the ability to do all the steps right now. But, you will find it is much easier to do step #2 once you start and do step #1. What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fresh Eyes

Forget everything you have been taught. Start looking at the world through fresh eyes and start questioning things. If you see something that doesn't make sense, ask why it is like that. If you see something that does make sense, again ask why it is like that.

We are moving forward in a world filled with technology and innovation changing daily. What we learned in school doesn't necessarily apply to the world as it is today. Find people who are doing amazing things and ask, yes ask, these people what makes them tick. Learn from them and incorporate their knowledge (the parts making you giddy or scared) into your life.

Be curious of the world around you. Ask questions. Try out new ideas. Explore passions. Learn something new ever day. Get rid of preconceived notions. There are numerous things we can do differently to reach new levels. If you see this and think I am in a place that makes me happy, help those around you who are questioning. Learn from other people and teach other people. No one knows it all and amazing only happens when we help each other.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Find Happiness In What You Have Part II

I think yesterday's blog post Find Happiness In What You Have is important enough to discuss a little further.

Happiness brings a lot of good into your life. When you are happy, you take better care of yourself. When you take better care of yourself, you are healthier. When you are healthier, you feel better. When you feel better, it is easier to be happy. It’s a circle that helps to keep producing what you want. The same is true in the inverse. Being unhappy can send you down a spiral of not taking care of yourself, being unhealthy and feeling like shit. When you feel like shit, it is harder to pull yourself up to be happy. 

Every day is not going to be sunshine and rainbows. But, we can choose to start every day as if it is going to be a great day. At first, we have to constantly remind ourselves that the day is going to be great. The more you do this, the easier it will get. This reminder needs to come in whatever form works best for you, framed quotes, a mantra, a picture, a poem. What works for me may not work for you.

We need to build happiness into our morning routine. Find something to do every morning before leaving for work. If you love to read, give yourself an extra 15-30 minutes to read. Try to eat something you love every morning. Make sure you give yourself enough time to not have to rush around frantically. These all sound like simple things, but the more you focus on them, the more you will be surprised at just how easily the little things can change improve your mood.

If you commute to work, find some music you love or an audio book or a podcast or if you like silence, find silence. I was listening to a lot of NPR on my drive to work, but I realized I wasn’t arriving in the mood I wanted. Thinking about it, the NPR program was usually very serious. As much as I enjoyed it, it wasn’t putting me in the mood I needed to do the best work. So, I switched back to listening to music (though I do come back to NPR every now and again). 

We all have the little things that make us smile from time to time, the key is to notice them more often. They will float around in our world, but we are often so busy we don’t see them or we are in a mood that doesn’t allow us to see them. We have to train our mind to notice them more. The happiness we yearn for is closer than we think. 

Right now, think about the things that make you happy. Figure out what little things will make you smile, will make you slow down just enough to bring a little joy in to your world. Search them out, embrace them. Do whatever it is you need to do to bring them in to your life. Then, let these little things show themselves more and more. When we ignore them, it becomes easier to ignore them each day. When we notice them, it becomes easier to notice them. If this was my last day on earth, would I want to spend the day constantly worrying about what the future is going to bring or would I rather live a little more in the moment, smile a little more, laugh a little more and still work on what the future brings?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Find Happiness In What You Have

The truly successful have found happiness in what they have. This doesn't mean we can't continue to strive for doing more, doing different, being better or changing the world, though they will all be easier to do when we attack them from a happy mindset.

We spend so much time rushing around and trying to make things better that we often forget to enjoy what we have. We need to have goals and dreams, but the chase for them should not include ignoring today. By being present in the moment and finding joy in what we do, we are giving ourselves the fuel to continue to push forward. When we start to believe that happiness will be around the next corner or it will appear when we reach our next goal, we are setting ourselves up to constantly chase something we will never catch. Find the happiness in what you have and then start making change because it is what you want to do, not because you think it will make you happy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stop Listening

Sometimes, you have to stop listening to what your mind says you must do and listen instead to what your heart tells you to do.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

You Have Exactly One Life

I first saw this a couple of days ago and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Colin Wright has a great website you should check out if you have the time. While you may think he is crazy or there is no way you could ever do anything of the sort, we have the chance to learn something from everyone. Poke around on his site and see what you think.

We only have one chance at this. Do we want to spend it bitching and moaning about how things are not working the way they should? Do we want to spend it toiling away at jobs bringing us no sense of happiness or fulfillment? Do we want to shy away from what scares us? Do we want to continue to believe that happiness comes from some external source? Or, do we want to go at things full throttle, do the things that are important to us, make our own happiness and live the life we want?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Business As We Know It

With so many advancements in technology, why are so many companies sticking to outdated business models?

With wireless, laptops, smart phones and tablets, we can work from anywhere. We no longer need to be present in a cubicle to get the work done. In fact, for many of us, getting out of the cubicle allows us to do more and better work. Why are companies stuck in the mindset that people need to be physically present to do the work?

In most companies, if you hire someone to do a full-time job and they are able to complete all the tasks in 30 hours a week, the employee is rewarded by getting more tasks added to their plate (tasks usually coming from someone who is not able to get their work done). Is this fair? If the employee wants more to do, then great. This is a win-win for everyone. There are a lot of people who will see this and then slow down on the work they do so they aren't given more and more. This doesn't benefit anyone.

We can talk about culture agreements and making the work environment fun and giving staff more privileges and the need for people to think and make decisions, but until we start treating employees as adults, none of it really matters. As employees, we are often stuck in the mindset that we come in at 9:00 and leave at 5:00 and other than those hours, we are free to do what we want. Yes, we may have some deadlines to meet and yes, we may work at other hours, but we have to be present between the hours of 9:00-5:00.

How would it change if people were actually allowed to figure out how to get everything done on their own time and in their own way? How much more could we accomplish and how many more ideas would come from staff who are fully engaged and enjoying their work (instead of just working for the weekend)? How much money would the company save if they weren't constantly tracking the hours and PTO of every employee in (or outside of) the building. How much more work would be accomplished if someone could work from home when they had a sick child or wanted to work from the beach on a long weekend?

We are stuck in a business model that may have worked 20 or 30 years ago, but isn't it time we started embracing a new way to do things? Sticking with something because it is the way it has always been done is a way to get left behind. I hear many people say they want to have a company where people are engaged, having fun and love their job. What happens if we started treating them like adults and stop running things with a factory mindset? Many companies continue to lose the best and the brightest because they don't fit in to the 9-5 crowd. They know they do their best work at night or early in the morning. Instead of being able to do their best work for the company, they start their own or find a place to go that will treat them like an individual and an adult.

The way we do business is going to change. Either you can help push the change, get the best and the brightest, make a difference and set the standard in your industry or you can continue to fall behind. It's your choice.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stop Taking Things Personally

Too often, we confuse criticism or a comment on our work as criticism or a comment about who we are. We take things too personally and become offended because someone is pointing out a different way to do things or places where they see improvements can be made. We put a lot of time and emotion in to work and it often becomes enwrapped into our being. Separating this emotion when we receive the criticism or comments can be very difficult for most people.

When we take things personally, we find ourselves becoming depressed about the job, cynical and afraid to take chances. We don't welcome the feedback and we won't do anything that may invite it. Because we are afraid to take chances, we often become stuck doing the same things the same ways and improvements are not made. We all know people like this and many of us would honestly say we have been this person. I know I have.

As hard as it may sound, we have to get better at separating our emotional side from the work. We have to see the criticisms and comments as what they are, possible ways to improve our work and not direct attacks against us. The person commenting may not know exactly what you are doing or the complexities of the project, but eyes from the outside will often see things you can not see from the inside. Their comments or critiques can be very valuable, but you will never listen if you take them personally. When you start to get frustrated or angry, tell yourself this isn't an attack on you, but just a suggestion to improve your work.

If we all looked at these opportunities as chances to improve, instead of fodder for frustration and anger, would we be able to make great improvements to our work? Would we be happier?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make Each Day Better Than The Last

Every morning, when you wake up, you have a choice to make. Are you going to dread what the day brings or are you going to attack every challenge with gusto and leave nothing on the table at the end of the day?

Too often, we dread what the day brings. We don't want to deal with what we do at work; we don't want to do the chores around the house we need to do; we don't think we have the energy to do everything on our plate. When we dread the coming day, we set ourselves up to be unhappy and unfulfilled. How can someone every find fulfillment in work when we would rather do anything other than the work?

If instead, you decide to attack each challenge head on, knowing you will give it your all, you set yourself up to enjoy the day. Although we may have difficult things happen each day, with the right mindset in the morning, we can keep these events from being as negative as they could be. When we choose, yes choose, to be happy with whatever the day brings, we will feel better at the end of each day. Choosing to do this day after day may be difficult at first, but is the only way to ever be happy and content with who you are and what you do. Each time you end the day feeling as if you gave it your all, it becomes easier the next day to choose the same path.

Stop spending time dreading the day ahead of you. The things we worry about rarely happen and when they do, they are rarely as bad as we imagined. Dreading the day sets us up to be unhappy and causes us to do poor work. Instead, choose to enjoy every day, knowing whatever the day brings, you will be able to handle it with grace and gusto. Choose to be happy. Choose to be fulfilled. Choose to make each day better than the last.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's Next?

For many of us, this question can be caused by two different events. In one, we are trucking along and getting the work done and doing a really good job and we want to know what to move to when we have completed a task. This is a way for us to keep the flow do more work while we have the drive. In the other, we are looking for a way out, a way to stop doing whatever it is we are currently doing, hoping the next task will move a little more smoothly or bring more excitement into our lives. We are stagnate and need something else to do thinking it may give us that little spark.

Neither reason behind the question is particularly bad, as we need the spark. When we have it, moving on to what's next is a great use of the energy and drive we have. When we can't seem to find the spark we need, we aren't going to be able to do the work needing to get done. We just have to be aware of the reason behind our question. Constantly searching for, and never finding, the spark should signal to us we need to go about things differently or find something else to do for a while. Without it, we will continue to dread everything that comes next.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Mornings

On Monday morning, are you excited to get back to work? Are you looking towards the week with a plan to get things done, to make improvements, to solve problems and to come up with new ideas to help make things more efficient? Do you start each week with a positive attitude, looking forward to what you are going to accomplish and enjoying what you do?

If not, maybe it's time to think, really think, about what needs to change so you can answer all three questions with a resounding yes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Things Will Work Out

Although we may not understand or even want to understand at the time, everything happens for a reason. Of course we won't be able to see it as it happens, but every occurrence in our life changes the path we are on. Life is going to be full of ups and downs, we just have to keep pushing forward no matter what.

It's easy to see this when we look back on our lives. You can see points in your life when something major happens and then see how it leads to things you did later or even how it has led you to the point you are at now. You can see how relationships that ended have led you to your current relationship or how upheavals at work have led you to your current job. At the time, things which seemed like the end of the world probably opened more doors for you to get to where you are.

Remember this, when things seem to be bleak or you just can't make sense of where you are in life. We will never know the future and we will never know how what we do today will change what we do tomorrow. We can't connect the dots, except when we look to the past. Just keep pushing and things will work out, maybe not today, but if you give it your all, things will work out in the long run.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Get the Best Work

At work, many people are told they would do a better job if they just did this differently or if they acted a certain way more or if they showed more or less emotion. In some cases, this type of feedback is beneficial and can help people realize they are perceived in a way they didn't know. In other cases, this feedback is telling people they need to conform to something they are not, if they want to be good at their job.

In the second case, what would happen if we placed people into positions based on the reasons they aren't great in their current position? What if we embraced the differences instead of trying to make people conform to a mold based on the set beliefs a certain position should act a certain way? How do these set beliefs change from boss to boss? How do we really know one managerial style or customer service style is better than another? What do we need to do to get the best work from the most people? I think this last question is the most important of them all.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Stressed and Overwhelmed

We all have days where it feels like the world is plotting against us, when nothing works and if something could go wrong, it does. We quickly become stressed and overwhelmed. This usually just makes things worse because once the stress sets in, we can't seem to make a dent in anything. Our mind starts whirling with everything on our to-do list, but we can't figure out where to start or what to do. We feel like we are drowning in work and will never be able to get back on top of things.

This happens to the best of us. It has happened to all of us in the past and we were able to get control and get things done. We just had to focus and start doing things one at a time. It may seem overwhelming at the time, but looking back, it probably wasn't that bad. It's our reaction in situations like this that makes it so much worse. Instead of allowing the hopeless overwhelming feeling to take hold, slow down and do anything you can to help eliminate the stress. This has been floating around on Tumblr for a while and can help you get through these tough days:
Relax. We have all been there and we will all be there again. Being overwhelmed is not the end of the world and shouldn't ruin your day. Put in the work, focus on the priorities and get as much done as you can. Once you take some deep breaths and slow down that overactive mind, things will become a little clearer and you can work your way out of the pile. Even on the worst days, when the world is plotting against you, remember tomorrow will be a new day. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Little Things

I know it's cliche, but the little things in life really do matter. Yes, the big things are wonderful and amazing, but they happen so rarely and the time between them is often so long. When you focus on only the big things, you spend so much time feeling anxious or nervous or stressed or nothing. Slow down and focus on the little things. Take deep breaths and notice the world around you. Notice the people around you. Do something that makes you happy because it makes you happy. Express your love and gratitude to the people who deserve it. Spend some time reading a good book. Listen to music you love.

The little things add up quickly and once you start to notice them, you will also notice the stress, anxiety and nervousness lessen. They will never completely disappear, but when they compete with the joy and happiness the little things bring, they will be easier to ignore. We all want to be a little happier and more fulfilled and by noticing and appreciating the little things, we are well on our way.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Life You Want

We only get one try at this thing called life, so what is holding you back from living the life you want? For many of us, I think it all boils down to being afraid. We are afraid to try something new. We are afraid to go against the grain. We are afraid to take risks. We are afraid to upset the status quo. We are afraid to step into the void, without knowing the outcome. We let this fear hold us back from becoming the person we are supposed to be.

We don't have to settle for less than we want. We don't have to do what we are told to do. We don't have to follow the path laid out in front of us. We don't have to do what is expected of us. We can do what we want and follow our dreams. We can reach for the stars. This isn't the easiest path, otherwise everyone would be following their dreams instead of being trapped in the cubicles they dread. It will be scary, but do we really want to allow fear to hold us back?

There are many stories floating around of people who completely change their lives when they are told they have cancer or any other illness that may kill them. We are all going to die, do we need to be told it is going to be sooner rather than later before we start making this life meaningful for us? Start small, if you want. Do something every day that scares you. Try something new. Most of the time, the things we fear never happen. Even when they do, we find it is hardly ever as bad as we thought. Let go of these fears and start living the life you want to live.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Plans, Ideas and Solutions

Preparing a plan, developing an idea and coming up with solutions are all important, but unless you do something with them, they don't really matter. The best ideas remain only ideas unless they are put in to action. The best plans remain only plans unless they are put in to action. Solutions will only work when they are put in to action. Many of us stumble on the last step because it is the hardest to do. 

Doing requires all the risk. Your plans, ideas and solutions can all look amazing on paper, but there is no risk involved until you take action on them. We need people who can come up with them, but we really need people who can act on them. Take the risk and see if they actually work. If they don't work, you have to come up with more plans, ideas and solutions, but you'll have a little more knowledge when developing them. Keep pushing until you find some that do work. Implementation is much more difficult, but is the only way your plans, ideas and solutions will have value. Otherwise, they are just words on paper.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What To Do With 2012

Well, 2012 is upon us and if you haven't already, it is time to figure out what to do with this year. We can continue along the same way we have lived 2011 (and probably 2010 and 2009), or we can try something new. Even if 2011 was a banner year for you, is there something more, something different, something interesting you can do in 2012?

For me, and I believe for many, there is a list of things waiting to be done. I have physical lists and mental lists of things I have always wanted to do but have not. I want 2012 to be the year I stop procrastinating and start checking things off the list. I know this sounds easy, but there is a reason I haven't checked them off the list yet.

It is often easier to continue doing the same things day in and day out and never push forward to complete things you really want to complete. We have structured our lives in a way that makes accomplishing them very difficult. We have a groove we follow and it is usually easier to keep following this groove than to pop out and change our routine.

I hear a lot of my friends talk about how they don't have the time or the money to do things they want to do. They make resolutions each year to do them and by the end of January, these resolutions have fallen away as they continue in their previous groove. Once you are in your groove, physics works to keep you there. For many of us, the forces acting upon us are the same forces acting upon nature. Just like it was easier for the Colorado river to stay in its groove for years and years, our groove keeps us where we are.

Starting a new routine can be difficult, but once started it becomes easier and easier to follow. Do you want to continue in your current groove or would you like to start a new groove, a new routine to help you accomplish things you haven't been able to accomplish just yet? In 2012, I plan on checking off some of the items on my to-do list. It's going to take work, but if these items have been sitting there for years and haven't disappeared, I think the work will be well worth it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! In Kansas City, 2012 has dawned with beautiful blue skies and chilly temperatures (though by chilly, I mean cooler than it has been, but much warmer than usual). This year is going to bring many changes to all of our lives and I am sure we will all have our share of happiness and sadness.

Sitting here, drinking coffee on the morning of January 1, I think about everything 2012 has to offer. This is a year of endless possibilities. We may not be able to control everything it will bring, but this morning, we have a choice of which path we are going to start down. Do you want 2012 to be a repeat of 2011? Or, do you want to do something else, something different, something new this year? Whatever you decide to do, start moving forward today and let nothing stop you. Let's all make 2012 a year to remember!