Recharge Your Spark – Smart Goal Setting Made Easy Get Results With Smart Goal Setting From The Inside Out Wed, 15 May 2013 19:50:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 7 Life Lessons From On The Job That Build Character Wed, 20 Jun 2012 20:55:17 +0000 7 Life Lessons From On The Job That Build CharacterResponding to an email today brought me way back and had me thinking of jobs and work I’ve done that build character, teach foundational life lessons, and have helped me be who I am today. Multiple jobs  come to mind, but especially the ones during college where I worked on a constr... Read more..]]>

discover 7 life lessons that build characterResponding to an email today brought me way back and had me thinking of jobs and work I’ve done that build character, teach foundational life lessons, and have helped me be who I am today.

Multiple jobs  come to mind, but especially the ones during college where I worked on a construction crew, as a carnie for the County Fair and State Fair, door to door solicitations for the environment, and a puppet handler / sales person. You see I didn’t work because I wanted to work these jobs because they were my top choice.  Rather if I was going to continue to go to college I needed to pay for college, which I did.

I wanted a better life. Although I was the third child of six, I was the first one in my immediate family to go to college.

Today I want to share the story and 7 life lessons learned when I worked as the only women on a Construction Team building in Western NY.  These lessons are ones that still shape the work I do every day.

7 On The Job Life Lessons That Build Character

  1. Don’t let your ego get in the way
  2. You can’t force yourself onto the team – you’ve got to earn the trust, respect and connection
  3. Know why you’re doing you work (what’s the result you want, and what emotional connection do you have to it)
  4. Be kind
  5. Don’t overreact, take a few breaths before you speak
  6. Be patient, and diligent
  7. Be willing to do more than you are asked, without complaining

I took this job because it paid well, better than being a waitress which I also did for many years, but that was only because there were more hours and I could make overtime.  My brother-in-law at the time got me the work.  I was hired because I was a woman and they needed a woman on the crew to help build UNI-Marts in small rural towns of Western NY and PA.

Since I didn’t have any real construction skills I was hired as a painter – both interior and exterior.   I guess they figured anyone could do that type of work.  I don’t remember an interview and think I just showed up on site ready to go.  I mean would they ask, “Can you hold a paint brush?” when they should be asking, “Are you ready to be with 10 – 14 men who don’t want you here?”

The problem during construction is that there isn’t always something to paint.   My choices were to go home and not be paid or find something useful to do; this is where I’m quite resourceful.  That summer I also learned how to hang false ceilings, put in linoleum tile (I became quite good with a blow torch), wash brick with acid, and adequate with taping drywall as well as I was happy to be a gopher.

I was quite idealistic during this time of my life and as you saw from some of my summer jobs listed above I tried just about anything and didn’t let my bristles get bristled. Live is an adventure and each with a great story.

Day one on the job set the tone.  The onsite lead said, “low man ha ha woooo-man ha ha on the totem pole gets coffee for the crew – that’s you” – so I did it again and again.  In fact I was happy to do it and made friends with the local store or coffee shop because it also meant I didn’t have to use the port a potty which with a crew of men didn’t smell the greatest especially towards the end of the week.

The first weeks if there was obvious painting I did it, but I was pretty much not included in any of the days plans and had to figure it out myself.  Unless they wanted me to get coffee they wouldn’t tell me when it was break or lunch.  I was often late for most of these times but that didn’t mean I got to stay on lunch or break longer either.  It wasn’t a horrible situation, and it wasn’t the greatest.

The almost immediate joke was they could leave me stranded on top of places and pull out my ladder when they went on break or lunch.  If this wasn’t available they would completely ignore me during any social break time – other than to take the coffee order.

I wasn’t quite sure how to react and tried a variety of options.  One day when I was caulking the rubber lining on top of the building we were working on, the ladder mysterious disappeared just before someone yelled “lunch” and I couldn’t get off so I watched them eat lunch from afar.  Yes I wanted to get down, and I yelled over to them a few times, they ignored me acting as if they didn’t hear anything.  One of the guys Marty had the balls to say loudly, “did you hear someone yelling, nope it’s nothing.” And then they laughed.

Instead of screaming and yelling some more I stopped, took a breath and tried to figure out what to do.  I literally couldn’t get down so I figured I’d just sit there quietly.  Post break no later emerged.  Then one of the guys came by after lunch I yelled down, I was so busy I forgot to bring my lunch when we went on lunch would you mind tossing it up?  It was my way of feeling ok and to add I can take a joke.  He didn’t bring my lunch, but the ladder re-appeared.

Although I did learn to better time my work where I couldn’t get stranded this wasn’t always possible.

Now others may have gotten really angry and quit.  I already knew they didn’t particularly want me there and when I first started they let me know another buddy in the business (aka one with skills who deserved the job) would have been their preference.   I was 19 and not willing to let them have the best of me by quitting and of course I really needed the money for school.

Then I tried a new strategy of ignoring the actions and our reactions.  Once again, I was painting the mini roof by the gas pumps and again the ladder “somehow fell” immediately upon the words “break” being yelled and they left me there.   I decided I wouldn’t yell anything, I’d just keep working acting as if I didn’t notice we had break.  When they came off break I didn’t whine or complain. I asked for more paint so I could continue the work which of course meant the ladder was needed.

I got my paint, my food, and a drink of water and kept working thinking it’s not going to be an issue if I don’t put energy and make it an issue.  I thought a lot about these guys, none of the regular crew went to college, most had been doing construction since they were teenagers, and this was it for them.  I was the orange in the apple cart.

With my new tactic of no ego and not over reacting I was hoping the picking on me would get boring if they weren’t getting a laugh out of it.  I wasn’t sure how much energy or real resentment there was for me being this “orange” in the cart.

Of course the site was always full of practical jokes – and it takes two sides to make a good joke work but the underlying meanness left as I shifted how I acted and embraced them as a bunch of guys and a crew with a job to get done.  All I modeled and asked was for them to respectfully treat me as a person, who just like them is working to support herself.

Of course when the stories and words out of their mouths were extra spicy I’d put my fingers in my ears and yell things like “I can’t hear you Mr. Potty mouth my sweet ears are being damaged,” to which they’d crack up and mostly shift the language without being assaulted by a woman telling them not to swear. I knew I was growing on them and I mean really, it was the 80’s and a construction site, what would be expected?!   What was the best I could do then and what I see now as brilliant immaturity  helped create a boundary of this works, this is too much and if you want to tell “THAT” story it’s when the three of us are not working in the same small room.

It also helped that I worked hard and I supported them in their work by helping with set up, bringing supplies over, and cleaning up. I did whatever it took to make the job move forward without whining that it wasn’t my job.  I saw that they were slowly shifting their tactics.

Towards the end of the third week something interesting happened that changed the dynamic.  Some local guys decided to come on the site and started to really harass and yell at me things I won’t put on print.  I was scared.  I remember just standing there afraid not knowing what to do.

Remember, at that time there weren’t too many women around on construction sites so I was both an oddity and taking a man’s place. I know you’re probably already saying, but you were already being harassed – yes but I felt like it was more of a test and I knew I was moving through and past it – little ego and great humor do wonders.  At no point did I feel that anyone was trying to hurt me.  I think they initially thought they could make me uncomfortable enough that I’d leave, but that didn’t happen and we were on to the second stage of ok we’re stuck with her, but maybe she’s not too bad even though I’d still prefer a guy.

Back to that afternoon when local guys came on site and were harassing me.

Amazingly, almost immediately a couple then a group of “my” guys came around me, yelled back and took control of the situation.  I cried out of fear and gratitude which was the only thing I could do at that moment.  I think this surprised them because throughout all the crap that had gone on I never cried or really whined.

It wasn’t until that moment that I knew yes indeed there was a shift, I although not a full fledged part of the construction team, when push came to shove been accepted in whatever way I was going to be accepted.

We all took an unexpected break and Roy said, you know, we’ve been really hard on you, I know you understand why and you also take a good joke, but when those local guys came on site it made me realize that it wasn’t ok for someone else to do that to you – are part of our crew.   They don’t have the right to do that to you. I also think we’re beginning to enjoy having you around, just a little bit, I mean who else can you leave on a roof and send out for coffee every day?

At the end of the day they asked me to stay and have an end of day beer with them for the first time and I knew the rest of my summer on the crew was going to shape up.

Your Favorite Lessons Learned At Work

What are some of your own favorite lessons learned that built your character early in your work life that still resonates today?

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Where Are The Leaks In Your Life? A $1,000 Lesson Tue, 12 Jun 2012 23:22:43 +0000 Where Are The Leaks In Your Life? A $1,000 Lesson Where are the leaks in your life? How many leaks are in your life and what are you doing about them? Here’s a story that may help you make a phone call in the next hour that could save you $1,000 or more, that is if you're willing to take focused action. An Expensive Life Lesson Read more..]]>

Where are the leaks in your life?

How many leaks are in your life and what are you doing about them? Here’s a story that may help you make a phone call in the next hour that could save you $1,000 or more, that is if you’re willing to take focused action.

An Expensive Life Lesson

What are the $1000 phone calls in your life or business that are waiting for your attention?About 10 years ago I was a DIY co-owner of a triplex aka landlord. My partner and I had decided to take care of most maintenance so that we could to keep costs down since we figured we were at break even during our first year or two. The unit’s location was in what we had hoped would be an up and coming area that would reap some financial reward for our ingenuity and physical DIY efforts. The unit was sound and the surrounding neighborhood well, it was as I previously said, up and coming.

Turnover in the units were high. Since I lived closest I was the one that often placed the ads, fielded the calls and then waited for people to show up which I might add they often didn’t show up and then wouldn’t return phone calls. So when two female college students inquired about the top floor we were thrilled. All of us remember taking chances, cheaper rent and living on the edge. We also met the parents because we required a co-signer due to their ages and lack of credit history. We thought we were all set for at least a year.

One afternoon we were working in the yard planting some shrubs around the perimeter so that it could eventually fill in the ugly chain link fence which had been installed by the previous owner. We figured this would both improve the look and provide privacy. One of the girls, I’ll call her Susan came down and asked me to help her with a window screen that had popped out.

When I went upstairs to help with the screen I noticed that the toilet was running. I asked Susan how long that had been happening and she wasn’t sure. I opened the back of the toilet to inspect and saw that I needed to replace the inside piece because the flapper was broken (yeah not really sure it’s called this but if you look in your toilet you’d call it a flapper too). I then showed her how to stop the water flow so that they could properly flush as well as not have the water run.

Since the building had originally been a single family home not all of the utilities had been separated during the renovation into a triplex and that’s just how it was. The water and garbage came in one bill for the unit. We added up costs for a year, divided it by three units and then by 12 months for an average monthly cost. I also kept an eye out for any unreasonable charges such as excessive garbage at $5 a pop to bill which became a surcharge. The tenants were OK with this, and it was written into their lease, so we figured we were good to go. Potential problems had not crossed our minds.

During the conversation I told Susan, she responsible for the water bill so it was very important to not let the water run because it would increase the bill. I also remember an intuitive hit in the back of my mind which said, I hope this isn’t an issue, because I wasn’t quite sure how we could “prove” if push came to shove in small claims court that any significant increases were one unit’s fault due to the combined billing.

Susan immediately called her dad, he was a maintenance man at a local community college, and he said he’d come by and take care of it so we wouldn’t need to. We agreed that he’d submit the cost of the pieces with her rent check and there’d be no charge for fixing it. I was relieved because although I knew what needed to be done and thought I could do it, I had actually never done taken a toilet apart.

Fast forward, I receive a water and garbage bill for some crazy amount like $1,400 instead of a couple hundred dollars and immediately call my partner in a panic. At that point we didn’t think about the leaking toilet because how this excessive amount could be related to a running toilet didn’t cross our minds.

My partner assumed we had a leak to the building since no one had reported flooding in the building. The water company came out and couldn’t find a leak. They determined we had significantly increased our usage and we owed $1,400 which was more than $1000 above the normal every eight weeks bill.

Our profits were already pretty much non-existent and we panicked which doesn’t help much with the creative thinking process. This meant it came out of our own pockets. Some of you are saying, welcome to being a landlord!

We called all our tenants and asked for entry to the units due to the water problem thinking perhaps something was leaking but unreported which wouldn’t have surprised us with our current tenants.

Although we had permission to enter, our tenant Susan wasn’t home. As we entered the top unit and heard the running toilet both of us had an eureka moment that’s not the good kind of eureka moment.

I ran to the toilet, opened the back jiggled the flap so that it closed and the water stopped literally running as well as figuratively saving us more money from running down the drain. Multiple scenarios went through our minds as we tried to determine whose fault it would be, how we would get them to pay, and if they didn’t pay what actions we would take. If anything we had a better plan now than we did when we noticed the damn toilet was running in the first place.

Probing Question:

Why do we wait until the snowball has become large enough to trigger an avalanche before we take action? Wouldn’t it be easier to just squash the snowball without foot?

If you apply this to your life you can think about actions you’ve said you would take, but haven’t taken because you, procrastinated by choosing not to pay attention to an inner feeling you had or you gave your control and power away and hoped that someone else would think it’s as important as you think it is important.

Probing thought:

If there is a leak anywhere in your life, you are the only person that will find it as meaningful and urgent.

The meaning of trust:

Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

I have to admit that because the father had said he would take care of it I trusted he would take care of it, that is how I grew up – you walk your talk or you renegotiate. But I learned not everyone is good for their word. Just because they say they will do it, doesn’t mean they will be reliable and do it without a doubt or at least tell you they didn’t do it.

Come on when is the last time you count 100% on what you hoped to happen to happen unless you created circumstances that virtually made it impossible not to happen?

It’s not that I’m a negative Nellie, rather if something is important to me I can choose to do it, I can choose to ask someone else to do it and hope it happens. Or I can ask for help and set the circumstances up so that I know it’s complete. By throwing “it” out there without creating the right environment for it to come to fruition, all you have left is to hope to God for a miracle which is what many of us do without even realizing it. Because even the most loved and trusted people in your life may leave you hanging without meaning to because even though you thought you set up good circumstances and need you were really only tossing it like a partially cooked piece of spaghetti hanging on the wall.

Haven’t we all had a similar “half baked toss it out there” scenario?

Tomorrow you have an early client meeting. The night before as you’re cooking dinner you ask your partner to make sure the dog gets out, to help your child with his homework which is due tomorrow, and ok by the way, since you’re only doing the dog and homework, please fill up the tank because tomorrow you have an early morning.

The next morning at 6:45 am you leave spouse with dog and child to get to the bus and you jump into your car. You turn onto the highway for your 30 minute drive and notice you’re on E. Do you chance it or do you get off the highway knowing you’ll now be running late. The first word that comes to mind – CRAP (ok so this is PG rated).

You’re furious. You find your phone and call your partner who responds, Good morning sweetie to which you respond with not so kind words. As you pause your loving spouse somehow states, Yea I know I told you I’d fill the car up with gas. Really I meant to do that, but I was walking the dog ….blah, blah, blah – then we had dinner, it was such a great evening (buttering you up just a little) and it must have slipped my mind. You’re going to rock in that presentation today (How does he keep cool anyway?). Sorry sweetie, I love you.

As mad as you are in that moment, if it was important enough to you, you could have confirmed it was done with your spouse or even checked on Mint if you didn’t want him to think you’re nagging. Because when you read the meaning of trust above it says “firm belief” for me which means without a doubt. In this example nothing was done to create “without a doubt” circumstances.

In order to have more of what you really want in life and business you must create the circumstances until you know without a doubt you’ll get that end result you desire. In the meantime you’ll have plenty of life obstacles to work through.

The bottom line was one phone call on our part to confirm the leak was fixed or by thanking them for the offer but doing it ourselves because after all it’s our building. This could have saved us $1,000.

Take Action In Your Life:

All this goes back to the article title – “Where are the leaks in your life?” And if that’s not juicy enough to inspire action,

What are the $1,000 plus phone calls in your life or business that are waiting for your attention?

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Courage Quote That Kicked Me In The Butt Thu, 07 Jun 2012 00:22:10 +0000 Courage Quote That Kicked Me In The Butt This is one of my favorite inspirational  and uplifting quotes about courage that totally kicked me in the butt. The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity. -... Read more..]]>

Rollo May Quote on Courage, Cowardice and ConformityThis is one of my favorite inspirational  and uplifting quotes about courage that totally kicked me in the butt.

The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity. -Rollo May

Thirteen years ago I began a journey as a self employed service professional when I quit my job and all I knew to be true in my life.  I stumbled quite a bit because I was moving into an area that was so unknown to me that I found it difficult to create any type of clarity. It was as if everything was a moving target and I spent a lot of time spinning out of control.

Although I didn’t find this courage quote until a year later when I hired a business coach to help me figure out how to create income and potentially a business around this thing called coaching which I am still doing today, when I saw it, I knew without a doubt it nailed my experience.

My work in the consumer products industry was very exciting and fun for many years.  One day I woke up and became conscious to the fact that I had fallen out of love with it and my life as a whole, but I was too afraid to make any changes.  I mean, who would pay the mortgage?  What would happen to my identity?

It took about three years before I actually left my job.  At that time I knew that each day I stayed took something away from me as a person, yet I was still too afraid to leave.

In retrospect I wish I would have had a coach that could have helped me see a bigger picture and strategy because I believe I could have found much more joy in that work without giving away a part of my soul.  That is one of the things I always do with clients that are thinking about leaving their work whether it is with a large company or they are self employed  – I help them reconnect to what’s most important – their core values, their big picture vision, etc. and provide a place where they can be vulnerable and say what they want to say without feeling like they are being judged.

Often they see that what they want is there, it’s just packaged differently.  Other times the clarity they gain helps them muster the courage to make a bigger change.

What I hope for you is that you take the time to re-read the quote and with courage ask yourself:

What is one step or action you could take that stops your from doing things that drain you and would allow you to start doing something you want even more?

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How To Live More Fully When Someone Is Dying Fri, 01 Jun 2012 19:46:14 +0000 How To Live More Fully When Someone Is Dying[caption id="attachment_99" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="An Amazing Loving Man"][/caption] While at my desk earlier this week a thought of a friend entered my consciousness.  He is a friend who is dying from Stage 4 Lung Cancer and Brain Cancer.  I created a reminder and task to connect with him next Friday.  At this moment it seems so... Read more..]]>

An Amazing Loving Man

While at my desk earlier this week a thought of a friend entered my consciousness.  He is a friend who is dying from Stage 4 Lung Cancer and Brain Cancer.  I created a reminder and task to connect with him next Friday.  At this moment it seems so insensitive because it’s set up as a to do and because it’s next to a reminder to check on my husband’s business card order.  While writing this blog post it reminds me that these two totally unrelated tasks come with the paradox – one with emotion and one emotionless that I could do while half asleep.  Contradiction is part of the complex life you and I live every day without really thinking about it.

Driving home I saw my neighbor in her garden and ran back up the street to connect.  She also has Stage 4 cancer except hers is ovarian.  We had an amazing conversation and connection.  I now wonder if this seemingly unrelated conversation and connection happened so that I could be prepared for what happened next.

Last night at about 10:40 pm I did something unusual for me; I checked my email before bed.  My heart stopped a beat as I read the subject line:  Abdi.  I immediately felt an incredible wave of sadness; pretty much it was like a tsunami knocking me on the ground.  I knew without a doubt I was too late, I had missed the moment of opportunity to give and receive unconditional connection.

I cried as I read the words:

I just returned with Alix from visiting Abdi in University Hospital. Our friend is now in the last few hours of his life. Just a couple of weeks ago he was still doing pretty well and was even able to drive.

My husband looked at me and knew part of what I was feeling and told me to call Andy whom had sent the message.  I told him that I wouldn’t and couldn’t as a call would selfishly only be for myself at that moment so that I could receive the blessing of connection.

I went to our room and allowed the feelings of sadness, of loss, and of regret for not having taking advantage my conscious hit to connect earlier this week.

The feelings of the circumstances surrounding this new information of Abdi’s unexpected decline at this moment and those of my father’s own decline and  death burst the damn of emotion and left me unable to do anything in that moment of swirling feelings.  Damn it.

You see my father also had terminal cancer and was “suppose” to have a time of dying in which we would have the opportunity to be with him, but instead he unexpectedly died due to a stroke or aneurism (they don’t autopsy terminal patients).  His body was found next to his car with the back seat door open and his gardening gloves on which meant he was doing what he loved, just as Abdi’s been living so fully and deeply.

Throughout dear Abdi’s cancer journey my own life’s bandwidth was full of caring for my mother’s unexpected nine month medical journey.  I logically choose to put my energy there.  I sporadically checked on Abdi’s Caring Journey Blog.  I felt love from what I read and emotionally conflicted knowing it was important to stay focused on my mom and our immediate family which took all the energy I had.

Now that a couple weeks had passed since my mother had left and returned back east, I was able to breathe and de-clutter my mind allowing for newness to emerge. Abdi ‘s kind loving soul entered my mind and I created a date to connect which I spoke to earlier in this post.  My regret is that I will never have an opportunity to make and experience that call with him. For my best mental being I know I must forgive myself for those immediate thoughts of not “being enough” during the past months of his cancer journey and for not making that call earlier.

Instead, I will allow my thoughts to linger over the lovely conversations we had over coffee at a local shop pre-cancer.  I will choose to remember and fill myself with the memories of serving together on the board for Voices Education Project.  In fact I met him just after finishing my own breast cancer journey which was a fragile time for me.  He always had a big smile and kind words which is what attracted me to him in the first place.

I will remember his generous being, hardy laugh, and amazing world view.  Of course I will cherish the numerous big hugs that constantly rippled out in the world touching myself and many others.  I will remember how we both left delighted, full of new possibility, filled with friendship.

One of the hardest parts of being the person who lives is the sadness and loss due to the finite knowing that these experiences with Abdi can never be had again.  I will do my best to hold the amazing and loving thoughts of shared experience and bring them forward with newness rather than linger on what is now missing.

People and experiences are never replaced, only new ones are created.  It’s our choice to linger in the past and to wish we could feel it again just as it was at that moment, but this is never possible and will leave you with more longing. This I have learned through the experience of dying and death in my life.

It’s also our choice to be in the present and filled with satisfaction and love that happen in the moments we create through our conscious and thoughtful actions.  To me this is a life worth living. This is the advice I give to myself and will allow me to take actions that come from my core values and fill me with deep satisfaction instead of wishing for what cannot be.

I want to share a few words from Abdi’s last post on Caring Bridge – which I believe he would be happy to share.  My hope is  that you may have a brief experience of his expansive and loving self.  Even though you didn’t get to experience his hugs, smile and laugh in person, you may bring alive experience these feelings for yourself and perhaps shift your own thinking or actions so that your life may be one that is better lived.


I moved a few weeks ago to a sweet apartment on Lake Washington on the edge of the water. When I look out the window I see Lake Washington and Mt Rainier. For a sailor it is the perfect sight.  Each morning I greet the movement of the water at my window and its beauty nurtures me and makes me feel like I am a part of everything. Next I will be awaiting the rising of the full moon with candles lit in the windows.

This was my third move this year and so you may ask why?

Back in November when Jeff and Robin offered me the cottage in their garden I was feeling very vulnerable and both my lungs and brain seemed out of control and the oncologists were concerned that I may have only a few months of my time left on this beautiful planet.

Jeff and Robin were kind and took some risk in asking me to move in with them in my condition. A little over a month ago when my overall condition improved and the cancer seemed contained I felt that I needed to move forward. When I moved in with Jeff and Robin I did not think I would get my suitcase out of storage and travel again.

“But at this stage, I want to start creating a new life based not on fear, but on hope”. No one can predict what the future holds for someone in my condition. “I want to believe I can try to fly again.  I want to believe my wings are strong enough to allow me some travel and some risk.”


I continue to be grateful to all of you who have supported me in so many ways and have applauded me on this sometimes arduous marathon.

I continue to be touched everyday when I remember and realize more deeply on how close I came to dying in order to go so deeply and to learn about love every day.  Beauty and love have sustained me. A few months ago when I was very ill my Oncologist asked me about my quality of life and where I would draw the line in terms of how I would measure life and how far I am willing to go.

The night before that visit I had parted the curtain to see the full moon. Remembering the sky and the full moon, I told him that as long as I can watch the moon through the window and enjoy listening to the poetry of Rumi or the music of Mozart I think life would be worth living.

So I end this long posting with a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye.

This poem has crossed my mind many, many times in the past 11 months. It has been with me even in the most difficult periods of my illness. It just appears and sits there with me and keeps me company!

This is the poem that reminds me to have the courage to fly again, to give it all I have.

I have already crossed some challenging mountains. What have I got to lose?

Inspirational Poem: So Much Happiness

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…

Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

May these words, touch, move and inspire you as they have me.

As Abdi say’s above in this inspiring quote:

“I want to start creating a new life based not on fear, but on hope”.

What one action are you willing to take today that creates more hope in your life?

I’d love to hear your comments.

Thank you for reading, Peace – Michele.

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Is Your Life Complacent Or Are You Really Alive? Thu, 24 May 2012 21:43:34 +0000 Is Your Life Complacent Or Are You Really Alive? Think about your life, are you being complacent or being really alive? If you actually choose, what would it be - complacency or truly alive? Obviously it seems like a no brainer - most if not all of us would choose to be really alive.  The question is why does so much of the population actually live the later - a passive role of letting life happen? Or is it simply that we can't help living b... Read more..]]>

Think about your life, are you being complacent or being really alive? If you actually choose, what would it be – complacency or truly alive?

Obviously it seems like a no brainer – most if not all of us would choose to be really alive.  The question is why does so much of the population actually live the later – a passive role of letting life happen? Or is it simply that we can’t help living by Paretto’s 80 / 20 principle which means that 80% of us are passive, complacent and living your life at the expense of your dreams.

Yesterday I read a great blog post on Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn which shared a documentary’s trailer for “I’m Fine.  Thanks”

I found myself emotionally touched and it reminded me of why I choose the url of Recharge Your Spark.   This morning I contributed on Kickstart so that they can finish this independent film and documentary.

Here are some of the inspiring thoughts and ideas that come from the  documentary’s trailer:

  • Are you living your life at the expense of your dreams?
  • Is your life one of quiet desperation?
  • This (complacent, passive, at the expense of your bigger dreams) is not the way you have to live, there is something better out there.
  • Make your own choices.  Live your own dreams.
  • I don’t know what is around the corner, and I’m so fulfilled knot knowing.
  • Life is meant to be lived
  • Many are living the passive role of letting life happen
  • What makes you come alive?
  • Be challenged in your thinking
  • Is the life you’re living the price you’d pay for it?
  • If it’s worth doing, you’ll never have enough information or know the clear path – if you can already see the path you are simply recreating what you already know.

The goal of the documentary  I’m Fine. Thanks:

We believe that the stories we captured deserve to be told – and that by sharing them we can inspire thousands and thousands of people to take action and change their lives for the better.

Our goal is to ignite a movement of people who are tired of settling for mediocrity. We want to eliminate “getting by,” “doing fine,” “could be worse,” and “can’t complain” from the vocabulary of our modern culture.

We want to rally together a like-minded group of people who are fed up with living life through someone else’s script – and ready to live life on their OWN terms.

Together, with your help, we believe we can challenge people to dig back up their childhood dreams… to tap back into their deepest passions… and to take action to make those values more of a priority in their life moving forward.

If any of these inspiring thoughts touched even a little bit of who you are – go on over to Kickstart and help make the difference to this film becoming a reality.

Comment to let me know which inspiring thought touched, moved or inspired you the most.

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Procrastination & Lack of A Deadline Stop Success Wed, 23 May 2012 20:15:32 +0000 Procrastination & Lack of A Deadline Stop Success [caption id="attachment_92" align="alignleft" width="277" caption="What are you waiting to have happen?"][/caption] This morning after scanning my client email folders I gav... Read more..]]>

lost opportunity goal setting humor image of squirrel

What are you waiting to have happen?

This morning after scanning my client email folders I gave myself 30 minutes  to peruse and perhaps unconsciously procrastinate through unopened email including my “smart goal setting” Google Alerts. Fifty minutes later I was still perusing  email and surfing  the internet a.k.a really  procrastinating under the guise of finding juicy and relative content about goal setting and not taking actions on my daily to do list which will bring the success I want.

What this means is that like many of my clients I struggle with falling into habitual patterns that don’t support the bigger goals and vision you have for yourself.  It takes  daily connection and action  to create the type of awareness that will have you feeling productive and satisfied.

What I’ve noticed for my self is that I’ve set up good systems such as every week or so I scan through my Google alerts looking for articles, ideas, trends and connections on the topic of goal setting that appear meaningful and will help you have better result and the success you desire.

But I’ve only held up one side of my system and I’ve become somewhat of a content squirrel getting ready for winter in that I’ve been hoarding my nuts so to speak because I have more than enough to share from current client experiences and from the  flowing content that neatly arrives in my email inbox and folders.

A few things have gotten in the way of sharing my goal setting nuts.

  • I lost focus of the end result and instead created an unconscious pattern of searching for more data than I can really use. It felt satisfying in its own way since I could tangibly see I was doing something, but the satisfaction was more often than not short lived because I knew I wasn’t on track. A simple tool I share with clients and will re-institute is to use a timer that goes off after a specific period of time so that you don’t get sucked in to the task at hand and instead are focused on the bigger picture of the day.
  • My mother, some of you are nodding and smiling a sly smile – what your mother?!
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of a Real Deadline

For the past year  I became a caretaker in my “spare time” which became  almost full time except for the fact that I have a family, clients and work to do. Care taking and idea storing started in April of last year when I choose to support my neighbor who was in a biking accident.  I was invigorated from the care taking project and ready to jump back into my own needs once all had settled, but a month later not expecting the unexpected, my mother’s two week visit to our home turned into nine months. This time was filled with multiple medical adventures from breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, cardiac issues and a full knee replacement. She just went back to NY state.

During this time I started not paying attention to the bigger picture and was stuck in a pattern I call JIT or just in time.  Just in time is where you focus on this is right in front of you which may or may not be beneficial when you look at your bigger picture strategy.

One of my guilty pleasures is research, I I began hoarding my nuts and ideas into folders and files waiting for more time to be available.  But we all know that when you wait for things to happen, they just don’t happen because it takes a vision, strategy, emotional connection to the idea, and a plan of action that you actually act upon. Yes I said it – you need to act upon it.

I felt as if I was more than full and could neither eat or store many more nuts.  In fact some of my actions and lack of actions were beginning to look a little like a nut to others and I lost potential business because of it.

A friend in IT didn’t get the nut analogy – so I abandoned it for one of bandwidth.  I told her that my bandwidth was at capacity in my life and work.  When this happens to any of us it means that we no longer have the capacity or ability to add one more thing.  We must take something away to create the space and capacity to move forward.

Full capacity meant many of my ideas, creativity and writing felt stuck and forced instead of fun and flowing. Instead I talked more about doing it than actually doing it which is a true sign of both full capacity and procrastination.  Clients and commitments aka “real deadlines” in my mind got first priority.

When other time became available for my own business focus I often found myself in a zone of procrastination where the actions I took were not the most effective use of time.  I found myself starting projects that I didn’t have the time or energy to complete.  I didn’t recognize the power of “no” – this would have been a perfect time to say no, it’s night the right time. Sometimes it’s perfect to just say NO which will bring you more success than if you constantly say yes but don’t take action that does what you say you will do.

It was as if I couldn’t just take one nut from my store and share it because I wanted to share all of this great information that I know would make a difference.  So I’d load up my opportunity funnel with too many nuts at once and sit on them so to speak.  They’d get stuck in the funnel (see the lack of goal setting humor picture above which is created by yours truly) and then the opportunity would be lost.

As you know when you have a to do list, you can’t do it all at the same time.  You are most effective and productive when you look at your list, look at your day, and create a daily plan.  Then what’s most important is to actually do your plan.

Creating a daily plan helps create a “real deadline” when there are items on it that don’t include other people that will call or expect a response.

Yesterday as I member of the Robert Middleton’s Marketing Club (my aff link)  I also attended the free teleseminar on Killer Article writing which served as a great inspiration to get back into my writing groove on a consistent basis.  I share this information because Robert’s down to earth information and ideas have been so helpful for me.  His blog, stories, tools and systems help one really think about their own big picture strategy and action plan.

Anyway, back to the points at hand.  It’s easy to get distracted and not stay true to your vision, strategy and goals because life if filled with constant change and growth.

Here are some ideas to help you get back on track, and let go of hoarding your own nuts.

  • Use tools (whether it’s a timer, goal setting software, a system, etc) to stay aware are a must.
  • Create a “real deadline” for yourself and putting it on your calendar – such as an accountability partner call you will more often than not move into action because knowing someone will ask you about your results often creates reason enough.
  • Move into action
  • At the end of the day spend 60 seconds reviewing what you accomplished and reward yourself – end with the personal acknowledgment “woo hoo job well done!”

I’d love to hear what you do to help yourself either stay or get back on track.

PS – you can scan this article by reading the bold text and take away many of the main points in about 60 seconds.

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Core Values What Would You Do In This Life Situation? Wed, 09 May 2012 19:33:04 +0000 Core Values What Would You Do In This Life Situation?A Different Look At Core Values My mom came for a two week visit that was extended into nine months due to medical issues. As you may or may know my mom left Sat am - and we are adjusting to life without mom and making steps to re-ignite as a family. My mom did rope me into one more thing before she left. In sharing this story I wonder, what would you do? What would your core values and sense of self compel you to do or not do?  I found it to be the lesser of two evils so to speak. Here's the Rogue Kitty Kasper Life Situation, and my story: Read more..]]>

A Different Look At Core Values

My mom came for a two week visit that was extended into nine months due to medical issues. As you may or may know my mom left Sat am – and we are adjusting to life without mom and making steps to re-ignite as a family.

My mom did rope me into one more thing before she left. In sharing this story I wonder, what would you do? What would your core values and sense of self compel you to do or not do?  I found it to be the lesser of two evils so to speak.

Here’s the Rogue Kitty Kasper Life Situation, and my story:

A friend of hers from her former senior’s building has a rogue cat as in it’s not allowed but has been living there for 6 years. Her friend Eva (names are changed to protect the not so innocent) is now quite disabled – and has limited movement.

She was beside herself that the building was to have its yearly inspection (yesterday) and her friends couldn’t come and sneak out the cat. So my services were offered – by my mom, because I have SOOO much time.

Anyway, as you may or may not know, I’m one of those people that cannot lie to save my life. I was very uncomfortable with this, but the thought of a home bound 70+ year old woman losing her cat (here’s a similar losing cat story from Eve Samples) and only source of daily TLC felt worse so I was compelled to help once I thought about her life.

The question I asked myself,  What is most important? … following rules which unfortunately create more isolation or creating a sense of wellness and joy in someone’s life that has so little and this means so much?

Yesterday I left my husband to get our 8 year old son to get ready for school and headed to the building for Code: Rogue Kitty Cat Kapers

As I was buzzed in, and noticed there was a lot of activity downstairs which was due to the pending inspection that day. I also didn’t want the manager to recognize me. Although he hadn’t seen me in a few years I was there almost daily for five years when my son was young and my mom helped us with care.

The manager, Sam (gotta keep changing those names) did look to engage me and gave me a look of I think I know you. I looked blankly back turned my head and fiddled with the elevator all the time thinking shit what if I/we get caught?

I went to the apartment.  The cat lives on an upper floor. I had been told that only one person in the hallway knew about Rogue Kitty, as well as other pertinent information such as she hates her carrier and would mew loudly which isn’t the best way to secretly get Rogue Kitty out of the building.

I helped hide the evidence in the apartment such as the food dish, water dish and scratch post. Noticing Eva’s lack of “seeing” kitty evidence I even vacuumed.

The carrier was placed in a black plastic bag so that it wouldn’t stand out as an animal carrier.

Eva told me to take the stairwell closest to her apartment because I could directly descend to the garage instead of going down the long hallway and chance her loud mewing being hear by another resident.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a senior building, but my experience has proved that everyone is quite noisy and take pride in knowing things. I was amazed that more people didn’t know about Rogue Kitty. In fact my mom only found out a week before she left because Eva was already feeling devastated at both the thought of being found out and losing her buddy and her previous accomplices couldn’t help.

Instructions were: I would place the cat in the backseat of the car and crack the windows before leaving. Although the inspection would end at 1:30 we decided that I wouldn’t come back until 5 when the building manager would no longer be in his office.

They said their goodbyes and I opened the door, looking both ways for no bodies and then I guiltily sped to the stair well – fumbled with the heavy exit door open while balancing the cat carrier. Please don’t let anyone see me I thought. “good girl” I said as I felt her shifting her weight – “everything is good” I said hoping she wouldn’t start to mew.

At the bottom of the next stairwell the stairs abruptly stopped and I was confused.

I went back up a flight, maybe I missed something. I descended again and found myself at the same place with no further stairwell. “Crap!” I knew I needed to go down one more set of stairs.

I wasn’t sure where I was in the building because the building is built on a slope so I wasn’t sure if “1” meant first floor with the manager and others hanging out or if there was also a “g” for ground floor and this is the floor where the manager’s office was located. I opened the door and was still confused. I felt I couldn’t risk running the length of the floor and bumping into people and having the cat mew.

When my mom lived here I used to spend a good 20 to 30 minutes each time I came over chatting with whoever was hanging out in the front entry. Since I was feeling guilty I also felt like I didn’t want to be recognized, get into trouble (abetting a rouge cat and having its owner cry tears of sadness) or diminish my mom’s chances to re-apply which she would be doing in the near future.

I saw two doors. I opened the first one and it lead to a hallway so I closed it. I then ran over to the exit door and pushed it open. It lead to the back side of the building. I ran out hoping that I wouldn’t get locked into a courtyard,  At moment past my ability to shift gears I realized I should have left the door propped until I knew if I could actually get to the street, but it was too late and the door closed with me starring at it.

I shifted the carrier into my arms like a box and continued to whisper nervous sweet nothings to Rogue Kitty which were similar to the ones I’d whisper to my son when he was an infant and would begin to get uneasy in public. “Hey sweet pea, you’re doing a good job. We’re almost there.” Thankfully Rogue Kitty was either comfortable enough not to mew or totally distraught and couldn’t get it out, although I like to think the first choice was true.

I turned the next corner and found myself in the larger courtyard. I now recognized where I was from when mom lived in the building. I also knew that the windows to my left were from the great room next to the manager’s office. I continued to hold Rogue Kitty like a box and walked slowly but purposefully because I realized it would be kind of odd for a strange person to have come in the building and now be outside alone carrying something with no Senior in site. My heart was still racing and I was actually sweating. I realized I only potentially looked guilty of something because I felt very, very guilty.  Then I reminded myself of my true purpose.

The next corner put me in the front of the building and big glass doors. I didn’t want to be there very long as I knew someone could open them up to check in with my location and actions. So I put kitty on the ledge, jumped the wall and picked her up to continue my trail around the block to the garage.

I came around to the garage and as my luck would have it the door to the building was wide open and multiple people were there hosing down the ground and moving things. Unfortunately the drop off car was 20 feet from said location and I decided it was not a good idea to take Rogue Kitty to her car due to potentially being found out with a loud mew.

I turned and carried her to my car. Once we were safely inside I thought. OK, Kitty we now have the day to kill and I can’t let you out. I drove to the local drug store my original intention was to stop there on the way home before heading into my home office.

I was in the store long enough to have about 8 items in my hand basket when the phone rang. It was Eva and there was a problem. She forgot to ask me to move the litter box and she wasn’t able to do it herself. I’d need to immediately come back as the inspection was due to start in the next 10 minutes and she wasn’t sure when they would be at her place and was very nervous they’d learn about Rogue Kitty.

I of course thought it was more possible that they’d notice the smell of lingering and prevalent cigarette smoke (which also isn’t allowed), but at this point only Rogue Kitty was my worry. So I had made sure I sprayed a little extra glade before initially leaving.

I quickly paid for my items. As I drove back I thought do I go through the front door again or use her key for the garage and go up the stairwell? I parked around the corner of the block and jogged over to the garage. The outside door was closed which was a good sign, but the hallway door was open from the inner building and 8 feet in front of the door  which I was now standing with the key in hand was Sam the manager and a few other people. Crap again. I withdrew my key and arm and quickly walked away because only residents are suppose to have keys.

I called Eva again so that she could more quickly buzz me in at the front door. It still  took her a few minutes to negotiate her own movements to the buzzer. Although we had hung up, during my waiting time I kept my head down and stayed on the phone pretending to talk to Eva so that none of the multiple people including the manager would engage me. From past experiences with my mom I knew that they would often open the door and greet faces they recognized or ask questions confirming that you were legit.

The buzzer rang, I opened the door, kept my head down, as I continued to talk to my phantom caller I walked past numerous people and directly to the elevator and pushed the button. Although I seemed like an eternity it was less than a minute before it arrived.

Back at Eva’s I hid the litter box evidence and vacuumed the corner. I couldn’t get all the litter up so I rearranged some furniture to disguise the very visible evidence. I asked if I could have some of her recycling so that I had an excuse to check out my escape route. We said our goodbye’s again. I had to assure Eva that Rogue Kitty was just fine, picked up my recycling and left.

I went down the hallway and found the other stairwell which did lead to the garage, her car and where the garbage and recycling go. I then went back upstairs and retraced my steps back to the elevator so that all saw me leave through the front door. I don’t know why, but I figured it made my visit appear legit and my next appearance scheduled for later that day wouldn’t seem odd.

I drove home and thought after 6 years Eva definitely doesn’t know her building because “that” stairway did not lead to the garage and laughed at my earlier actions.  I’m so glad that all went well, although I wasn’t looking forward to my afternoon adventures.

One home I gently unwrapped Rogue Kitty’s bag, thanked her for a job well done and placed her in my son’s room closing the door so that our dog wouldn’t create a stink.

She had a quiet day and somehow flipped her cushion so that she was underneath it. I did try to give her some water but she wanted nothing to do with me. I also knew not to take her out as Eva told me she hated her carrier and hoped that Rogue Kitty would forgive her for putting her in a pillow case to get her in it.

At 5:20 pm with a safe entry through the garage using Eva’s key I re-entered the building and brought Rogue Kitty to her loving and waiting momma. I put everything back in place from litter box to scratching post. It was a happy reunion with Eva thanking me about 17 times in the 10 minutes I was there, and even though I know Rogue Kitty would be grateful if she fully understood our adventures she wanted nothing to do with me and promptly hid behind the couch.

What would you have done? Leave your thoughts in the comments.


PS.  I did have a conversation with Eva about applying to a building that accepts cats.  She wasn’t aware that other buildings accepted them.  She is concerned about “how” she would move, although I am not that excited about being the “one” I told her that when she gets accepted I’ll help her figure it out even if I have to rope a few neighbors into it.

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The Number One Reason You Don’t Change Wed, 07 Mar 2012 23:34:39 +0000 The Number One Reason You Don’t Change[caption id="attachment_81" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Stop Giving Up, Discover How To Change"][/caption] This could also be known as 5 Reasons You Don’t Change.  Ever wonder why you don’t change and keep repeating the same patterns again and again so that it feels lik... Read more..]]>

Discover How to change and stop giving up

Stop Giving Up, Discover How To Change

This could also be known as 5 Reasons You Don’t Change.  Ever wonder why you don’t change and keep repeating the same patterns again and again so that it feels like you’re feet, life and grandiose plans are stuck knee deep in mud?

Brace yourself because the answer is quite simple.  The number one reason you don’t change is that you GIVE UP.

Right now you may be saying, “What?! Really? Is that it! Not me!!! “

“Instead of telling me THAT I want you to give me an answer that is much more complex and meaningful because “I” don’t give up.”

To which I’ll respond, “Really?”

After working with hundreds of people I see the same patterns show up.  It goes something like this.

Step 1:  You’re Complaining A Lot

In fact at this stage it probably feels great to complain and rant.  It kind of blows off steam and momentarily you feel better.  You probably have a person or three that have become your own personal “rant buddies” over coffee or wine.

What’s amusing about this stage is most people don’t fully recognize they are being a victim and complaining about the same things again and again.

Step 2.  Consciousness Begins To Seep In

One day you’re complaining and something hits you like a big fat brick in the head.  “Thunk”  You are now aware that you’re not as happy or satisfied with the way things are in your own life, relationships and career.

Friends, family and co-workers say things like, “did you notice you’ve been complaining a lot?”  And you now have some recognition that you’re dissatisfied with X.  You can interchange the “X” with your own dissatisfaction and pain point.

This is a great stage.  In order to leave dissatisfaction behind and move forward it takes consciousness.  I find myself sharing with clients,complaining it a sign that you are not in alignment with what is most important to you, aka your core values.

Step 3.  Ch, Ch, Changes – Yes you’re definitely going to make changes!

With your new found consciousness you reconnect to your inner spark of yesteryear.  You decide that you are going to quit your job, change careers, and spend more time doing what you love.  You are going to make a difference and change your world, maybe even a small piece of the bigger world too.

You’re feeling energized and excited.  You tell everyone and it feels that your “happy place energy” is contagious. Woo hoo, everything is looking great.  You notice you have no problem getting out of bed in the morning and look forward to your own “what’s next.”

Step 4.  The Big Pain In The Ass Set Back

Just as you were stepping out in the world with your new found dreams, something happens that rains on your parade. You trip, you stumble and you fall.  You scrap both your knees so to speak.  Grrrrrrrr.

Step 5.  You Give Up (For A While or Forever)

You’re angry perhaps angry enough to say you’re pissed off.  Ouch!  You notice some of these thoughts taking over.

“This is just too much”, or
“I have no idea where to start”, o
“I’m so overwhelmed and not sure where to focus!”, or
“It’s so much easier for someone else to do this because they don’t have all the crap on their plate that I do.”

You’ve fallen victim to being a victim instead of leading your way.

You stop putting in that extra energy to keep looking for that new job, start a side business, excel in your current work, spend more time doing what you love.  The result is, you feel deflated and defeated.

When you wake up in the morning things aren’t looking so shiny so you hit the snooze for the second time.  For every step forward it feels like you are taking two or three backwards.   Damn it, it would help if it wasn’t so gray and raining because that’s not helping your mood (disclosure this writer lives in Seattle).

How Can You Break The Giving Up Pattern?

It takes gumption to keep taking action and not give up.

It takes connection to your core values.

It takes a personal story of your vision.

It takes the kind of story that can light your pants on fire.

Most importantly it takes continued consciousness, awareness and focus to stay connected to what is most important and where you’re choosing to go.

Your Core Values

If your life depended upon it can you name your core values? Good, many can name their primary values.

Can you tell me on a scale of 1 to 10 with one being “not really” and 10 being “you live them every day” and not “you want to live them every day”?  How many of these values score a 10?

What I’ve come to discover is that if you’re not a 10 you’re not fully committed.  Without commitment you won’t get what you want.  Now you better understand why you’ve given up in the past and experienced these Five Reasons You Don’t Change Stages again and again – you’re not a committed 10.

If you’re still reading I know I have your attention.  Your task if you really do want to break this being stuck habit and giving up pattern is to download the Goal Setting Core Values Workbook now and get some clarity of which three core values really make you tick.  It will help you take the first step toward creating awareness and connection to what’s most important and help you break the pattern.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, which stage most trips you up?  What sets your pants on fire?


Set The World On Fire Image Credit
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How to Build Your Courage Muscle and Self Confidence Thu, 23 Feb 2012 19:08:17 +0000 How to Build Your Courage Muscle and Self ConfidenceWhat’s Your Courage Muscle and How Do You Build It? These three uplifting quotes will help you understand the courage muscle and self confidence concept. Courage is like a muscle strengthened by its use.  Ruth Gordon Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.  Dr. Robert Anthony Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill [caption id="attachment_78" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Build More Self Confidence Like a Super Hero"] Read more..]]>

What’s Your Courage Muscle and How Do You Build It?

These three uplifting quotes will help you understand the courage muscle and self confidence concept.

Courage is like a muscle strengthened by its use.  Ruth Gordon

Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.  Dr. Robert Anthony

Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill

Learn How To Flex Your Courage Muscle and Build More Self Confidence Like a Super Hero

Build More Self Confidence Like a Super Hero

The more people I coach and work with the more important I find it to learn how to build your own courage muscle so that you can create the kind of satisfying work and life you really want instead of living how you think others want you to live.

Every day in life we have the opportunity to live by choosing what we want. Unfortunately many individuals unconsciously accept and potentially regret what you are given because you don’t have conscious clarity.

Right now you may be wondering “where is she going with this?” Stick with me for a couple minutes and you’ll discover what it means to have the conscious clarity you need to build your courage muscle and self confidence.

Having a young son I quickly discovered how some kids live in the moment and expand like a blooming flower and how others are significantly more reserve waiting to be told or given permission to bloom like their counterparts.  I often wonder if this difference is innate or if it is developed through experience?

For example, my son participated in his school Talent’s Show.  Children were able to choose if they wanted to be on stage.  Those who said yes had between 60 seconds to 75 seconds depending upon their K-5 grade level.  They could also choose to stand up there solo or with classmates.  They had freedom to choose what they wanted to do as their talent.

Talents ranged from solo acoustic singing both in tune and not, to a young boy showing off his “frog jumps” across the stage, to skits, which is what my son and three friends co-created and performed.  These children stood on stage in front of 200 to 500 people depending upon the time of night they performed.  That takes courage I thought to both just get up there as well as to be afraid and perform which you could tell some definitely where.

Questions About Your Courage Muscle & Self Confidence

  • Why do some of these kids feel the freedom to perform and others do not?
  • Why do some of these kids feel the freedom to perform solo and others do not?
  •  What kind of courage does it take to be on that stage?
  • What type of courage does it take to perform even when you are afraid?
  • What type of courage does it take to sing off key or miss multiple notes on the piano in front of hundreds of people? – some people would say they failed because it wasn’t perfect – is it really a failure?

Each child post performance would stand there on that stage – “naked as a jaybird” so to speak and “vulnerable as a newborn” – and I surmise it was in the crowds hands to choose to laugh, sit in silence, sing along and ultimately applaud each child.  What I saw with each applaud was a soul filled and a smile on each face as if it was their own courage muscle seal of self approval.

I also wondered, why although all had the same opportunity did some of the kids choose to sit in the audience watching their peers instead of performing?

I think that at some point you shift – if may be conscious or it may not, but you shift.  Maybe it’s because you haven’t used your courage muscle in a while and your courage muscle bank account is empty or even perhaps overdrawn.  At that point you are more concerned about the outside’s view of you – what others say instead of being more focused and influenced on what you think about and want for yourself you are focused on the outside looking in.  This is when you most need to exercise your courage muscle and consciously choose to take actions, exercise it, and fill up your reserves.

I know that my son is more introvert than extrovert, and it takes him flexing his courage muscle to say yes.  Hence he performed with a small crowd of three friends.  Yet, he’s still got enough internal confidence and courage to want to stand on that stage and perform and stand there in the moments of post performance silently waiting for the outside approval of others.   Then it happens, the applause.

I saw his face and the other performers light up as they took in this public acknowledgement. The conscious choice to perform itself is really what builds his courage muscle just like it does for each child on stage.  The applause is the icing on the cake and I’m sure tastes delicious.

I dare you to take one action each day, whether big or small that gives you the opportunity to build your own courage muscle and self confidence.

What are you willing to do that perhaps you’re a bit afraid to do – but because you read this will do it anyway?

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You Are Perfect Just The Way You Are Tue, 24 Jan 2012 22:16:35 +0000 You Are Perfect Just The Way You Are[caption id="attachment_73" align="alignright" width="224" caption="Joy Comes From Within Especially When You Do What You Love Even Playing In The Snow"][/caption] Uplifting quotes, especially ones that remind you that "you are perfect just the wa... Read more..]]>

Uplifting quote of being perfect just the way you are

Joy Comes From Within Especially When You Do What You Love Even Playing In The Snow

Uplifting quotes, especially ones that remind you that “you are perfect just the way you are” –  are my favorite.  These type of quotes provide just enough inspiration and motivation especially when your day isn’t as perfect as you would like it to be.

“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”

My girlfriend from Chicago sent this quote to me – of course it came with the request to send it to 8 individuals – some one’s way of creating some viral inspiration that feeds on our desire to feel both love and fear of superstition.   I choose love and sharing in a way that supports a bigger self.

I hope you enjoy this quote and do remember every thing you want and really need is really inside you already because you are perfect just the way you are.

What’s one action you could take today that would bring a sense of joy to your life?  I dare you, take it and reap the uplifting benefits.

PS. Tracy this one is for you

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