Friday, July 31, 2009

This is the Moment That Counts

"Today is the future I created yesterday."
- Louise L. Hay

Living in anything else but the present moment is a waste of time. The past is over and the future isn't here yet. In fact, what's creating your future is what you're feeling, thinking and doing right now. If your focus, in this moment, is longing for the next, guess what you're creating in your life? More longing.

At some point, when you're sick and tired of always wishing you were at the next destination, living in your next state, reaching your next goal, it dawns on you that there will always be a next destination, goal and thing to aspire to. At this point, you have two choices:

1) Live in this moment and fully love what is (i.e. enjoy your life).
2) Live for a future moment that may never come, always unhappy in this moment, never satisfied with the life you have, basing your joy on a future that won't ever come because you're too busy longing for it to actually spend this moment creating it.

The truth of the matter is this:
Right now is your place of power and it's the only moment you truly have.
How you choose to spend it is your business. Spend it wisely.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No One Has to Understand

Have you ever tried to pour your heart out to someone only to get a blank wall of misunderstanding back? You walk away frustrated, annoyed and the only thing you can say to that person is "You don't get it..." And maybe they don't but why should they have to?

It is a huge misconception (not to mention a gigantic energy leak) to believe that anyone else (including your spouse) needs to understand why you do what you do, feel what you feel and want what you want. It's not up to them to choose, critique, or validate the quality of your life and choices. And, yet, so many of us give other people that power.

The truth is this: other people's approval is desired but not required.

Your life moves whether other people "get it" or not. In fact, it moves better when you trust yourself enough to know that even if no one else gets it, you do.

No one has to see things your way. All extraordinarily successful people understand this. Why do you think Frank Sinatra sang "My Way"? It is no one else's job to create your life but you and every time you spend time and energy fighting to get people to see things your way, you not only waste time but you work hard at creating a life that is more about "them" than it is about you. Is that the life you really want?

One of the key steps to achieving extraordinary success comes in being able to say loud, proud and consistently: "I am that I am am" and not feel compelled to explain what that means to anyone else. After all, they don't have to understand.

The only person who needs to "get it" is you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Get It Right This Time!

You have a dream but doubt has you.
You're on a 5 year plan that you'd like to make 2.
You're achieving great things, building a great life, and, yet, there's still so much more to do.
You're fulfilling your dreams but each road still is tough.

What do you do when you're on the path to extraordinary success
but you find yourself getting stuck?
Stuck on the details...
Stuck on the doubts...
Stuck on the limitations and finding a way out...

You do what it takes, day by day, to quit the worry, feel the fear, and achieve it all anyway!

In three words, you Stay Strong!

You can get your daily dose of unstoppable, inspirational, downloadable, Pump-You-Up-And-Bring-You-Back-to-The-Greatness-That-Is-You daily inspiration by becoming
a premiere Stay Strong member.

Stay Strong is for the individual who has a goal with a deadline,
plans and persistence to spare but is looking for
the momentum-building education to take life to levels
you never even dared!

Are you the one?

Become a premiere member today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Are You the Ant or the Giant?

If you feel unhappy with any aspect of your career, you have the power, in this moment, to change it. Your job is more than a title and list of responsibilities. Your field is more than a profession and a series of degrees and certifications. To experience more in your career, you've got to take more control of how you work, when you work, who you work for, and what you get paid.

It is not the company's job to promote you. In today's economy, it's barely their responsibility to train you. If you desire success in terms of career growth and expansion, you have to take the bull by the horns and blaze your own career path.

How do you do that?
Work like the ant and network like the giant.

"Within every ant is a giant and within every giant is an ant."

Ants work very hard. They plan, prepare and store what they need for the winter well in advance. They can lift so much more than their own body weight and, together, as a community, they build, save and thrive.

Giants aren't as quick as ants but their mere size gives off an air of power and strength that you won't perceive in an ant at first. Perceived power brings with it a first impression of strength and, as we all know, first impressions are usually lasting impressions.

In your career, you've got to work like the ant (smarter, not harder, lifting more than your weight, planning ahead and using wisdom) but you cannot showcase this totality of effort for your entire office to see. Too many people play the martyr at work and choose to be the "workhorse" and then wonder why, when performance appraisal time comes, they're always passed up for the promotion.

If you will work twice as hard as everybody else for the same pay, what incentive are you giving the company to pay you more?

That's why you maintain your work ethic, bring in the best results but you showcase the strength and power of the giant so when people in the office see you, they don't think "Oh, he'll do the job of three people for the price of one." No, they see you relaxed, enjoying the workday, networking with senior managers and they'll wonder "How does he get so much done when he spends a lot of the time in a peaceful state? He must know somebody..."

To be a big fish in any pond, you must convey an impression of strength and power that can't be conveyed if you look like a chicken running around with his head cut off.

Work hard but don't play the workhorse;
show that you get paid just as much
for your presence as you do for your productivity.

What's Your Interior Monologue?

Success boils down to the converations you have with yourself. To stay focused and to maintain your vision, you've got to be vigilant about what you tell yourself.

Actors, when they prepare to take on specific roles, do character studies where they dive into who their characters are, their motivations, their histories, family dynamics, personality traits, etc. From that study, an actor will develop an interior monologue of thoughts that this character would think and they actually begin to think these thoughts whenever they rehearse or perform. It's called "getting into character."

In much the same way, to achieve extraordinary success, you need to monitor and rehearse your own interior monologue and fill your mind with the thoughts that will bring you success.

Examples of success driven thoughts include:
* I love and approve of myself
* Life supports me
* I am fabulous
* Every experience is a success
* I have unlimited potential
* The rough is only mental; I think victory- I get victory
* I am grateful to be alive
* Whatever comes my way, I can handle it
* I am strong
* I have everything I need to succeed
* I am a winner
* I love my life
* I flow with life
* Money comes easily and frequently
* I am a genius
* I choose peace
* I feel good
* This is a terrific day
* I am phenomenal
* I love what I do and do what I love and I'm making great money doing it
* I am more than conquerer

When you first start thinking these thoughts, it will feel like work. More than likely, you are undoing years of negative programming. As you make this a habit, whenever doubt or self criticism sneaks in, you'll know exactly what thoughts to call upon and you will say them with power until the doubt and fear melt away. Spend three weeks changing your interior monologue and see what happens.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gratitude is Built for ALL Things

Gratitude is a cornerstone of success. Having a sense of thanksgiving and praise for life is key to attracting more of what it is you're thankful for.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things: waking up, breathing, walking, talking, love, good relationships, a wonderful job but what about the not-so great things?

What about the awful boss who never promotes you?
What about the less than supportive spouse who doesn't like the idea of you starting a business? What about the whiny kids who would rather jump off the walls than take a nap for you when you really need to get work done?
What about the meddling in-laws who come over unannounced?
What about the university who's just overcharged you for last semester and who you can't get a hold of to have the billing error fixed?
What about being thankful for the not-so-great stuff?

What most of us fail to realize is this:
The "bad" experiences are our greatest teachers and
they have, within them, the most powerful leessons.

It amazes me how easy we forget our blessings when having a bad day.

I woke up this morning and things didn't go as planned.
#1- I woke up late (I'm usually up by 5 am) and I woke up at 8:30 am.
Waking up late for me is like getting to work 2 hours late for anyone with a 9-5 job. I have 2 toddlers at home right now that are up at 7:30 am and if I don't get in my meditation/prayer/power of positive thinking/work window in at the crack of dawn, it doesn't get done so today, guess what? It didn't get done.
#2- Unmeditated and very agitated, I tried to do work and get my "to-do" list done (I have a ton of to-do lists; I'm a list woman) and between the toddlers bickering, my 12 yr old asking philosophical questions (he's so smart!) and having to cook in between, very little work got done, to the point where I went into my room and cried. Yes, I cried...

Add to that the fact that the Internet was slow, my email communications provider's website wasn't working and I was feeling a slight tinge of writer's block and it was a doozy of a morning/afternoon.

Finally, I did the smart thing: I surrendered. I took a shower, said my affirmations, got dressed and took a long nap (thank God for grandmas who can watch their grandchildren). I woke up refreshed, renewed and with a very different perspective.

All morning long, I'd focused on what I wasn't able to do. I was focused on doing things my way and was completely resisting going with the flow. I was missing out on opportunities for gratitude because I was so set on seeing what wasn't working. A nap solved that issue because I rested and with rested eyes, you see things much differently.

I woke up and realized that I am so blessed. My children are healthy, happy, rambunctious and full of energy. They love life and their simple appreciation for my time teaches me how to love life as well.

I looked at my 3 year old and, for a moment, was brought back to a time when I was pregnant with her, sitting in an Ob/Gyn's office, having an ultrasound, being told that she might have Downs Syndrome. They asked me if I wanted to terminate the pregnancy. I flashed back to that devastating moment and, all of a sudden, I was reminded just how blessed I am. That child was born absolutely healthy, no Downs Syndrome and she is fiercely independent, fiercely vivacious, and absolutely loving. Is there any greater gift?

For the last two days, I've been thinking about a line out of Louise L. Hay's "You Can Heal Your Life." In it, she says, "Money is the easiest thing to demonstrate." The first time I read that, I thought "HUH?" but thinking about the miracle that is my daughter, I see how right she is.

You can't pay for good health. There's no amount of money you can pay to not have a child with Downs Syndrome. Love is priceless. Family is priceless. Every major thing in life that is essential to living, including breathing, is FREE.

It's time to be grateful for everything, even the bad experiences because within the bad experiences of life are miracles we may not be able to fully see until long after they've passed. I teach about extraordinary success because every day I live it. I'm learning that the extraordinary part of success comes in the ordinary aspects of living, that courage is a choice, and that gratitude is a requirement.

Joy in the storm is a life lesson; don't worry if you're not getting it the first 5,000 times a bad day hits. It comes with time and, eventually, when it storms in your life, you learn how to dance in the rain.

I wasn't dancing this morning; I'm dancing now:)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"What if" you didn't say 'what if'?

One of the most annoying things I sometimes find myself doing is what I call the "what if" mentality. You've been there... You have a situation occur, you take time to make a decision. Even as you make the decision, you're still up in the air, you decide and then you spend at least two weeks going over in your mind all the "what ifs."

What if I'd done this?
What if I'd not done that?
What if I waited?
Would it have turned down differently if...

Oy vey! The list could go on forever.

The "what if" mentality will drive you crazy if you let it. I'm learning how to let go of the "what ifs" and say "Woulda/shoulda/coulda", so what? What's done is done. Now what?

I love John Maxwell because he says there's a difference between problem spotting and problem solving. When you're stuck in the "what if" mentality, you're problem spotting, i.e. you're identifying all the things that are wrong and you're not looking for any of the opportunities that exist right now (let alone actively pursuing them). Problem solving is where you take ownership and responsibility but you do not judge or blame yourself. You say, "Ok, I made a decision, didn't come out quite like I wanted. What's my next move?"

It isn't always easy to make that transition but I have a "what if" catcher in my mind. Anytime I start to drift to past experiences or present circumstances and start to think things like "I should've done this or that", I stop myself and say "But what am I going to do now to get to where I want to go?" and no matter how much my mind wants to return to the blame/shame/guilt game of "what if", I keep coming back to the same question, "Now what?'

If you stay with the "Now what?" and leave the "what if" behind, you'll find that you're much more positive, much more productive, and, before long, you're out of whatever situation you got yourself into.

Cut out the "what if" mentality. The question doesn't serve and there never is an answer to what could've been. Either way, it's not what happened and you'll never get a chance to live that exact moment again.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Verbal Kick in the Pants

Discouraging comments are fabulous motivators.

Someone threw a belittling comment my way the other day and, for about thirty minutes, I was hurt... and mad. After about five minutes of saying to myself "Feeling this way won't get you what you want", I forced myself to get real:

#1- I was taking the comment personally. I knew that what this person said was about that person, not me and, yet, I was making this very personal.

#2- If one comment could irk me this much, in some way, shape, or form, it had to hit home. There was something here I needed to look at.

#3- To make this issue a "non-issue", I needed a perspective adjustment and, more than likely, an action realignment.

Within an hour's time, I worked out my issues with the comment and came out of the whole thing extremely grateful.


Because the comment pinpointed an area in my life that needed serious work and, if someone else hadn't struck the chord of discontent, I would've lived on ignoring the fact that it was there.

At times, we like to behave as if the changeable things in our lives aren't in urgent need of changing, as if living "ok" is fine for the meantime when it couldn't be farther from the truth.

If there's anything in your life that's keeping you from extraordinary success, it's a BIG deal. But, until you see it as urgent, it won't move to the top of your priority list... and that's where discouraging comments come in.

Sometimes you have to hear the unadulterated, exaggerated, oftetimes blunt truth from someone else to wake up to the call to action that's quietly been asking you to DO SOMETHING.

You might not heed your own inner calling to change but when someone else throws it in your face in a way that sets you off, don't get mad. Get grateful. That person didn't insult you; they inspired you.

The question is:
What are you going to do now?

Friday, July 10, 2009

They Don't Get It...

Some of the biggest critics of your dream share your DNA. They may even look like you. Whether you sleep next to them or see them every Thanksgiving, these are the people who knew you first, know you best and care about you most.

So why, then, are they also the same people who appear to doubt, dismiss or try to destroy your dreams? Why does it seem like, of all the people you tell your goals to, they're the only ones telling you the 999 reasons why your plan won't work?

The relationship between your dreams and your family is a complicated one. On the one hand, your family wants only the best for you. They know you deserve the best and they believe in your ability to get it. On the other hand, your family members are over-invested in your well-being. They want you to be safe, happy and free from rejection or pain. Combine that with their own personal hangups, fears, past failures and beliefs that only certain kinds of successes are worth pursuing and you've got biased individuals who give more credence to their opinions than you ever need to.

The problem with family is not that they say or do discouraging things.
It's that we buy into it.

Anytime you make anyone else's opinion of you more important than your opinion of yourself, you turn over the controls of your life to that person. You give your power to them by allowing your passion to be diffused by their position.

Don't do it!

Family patterns are set by the time children hit 5 years of age. As an adult, you might find it difficult to redefine the relationship boundaries between yourself and a parent, a sibling, or a spouse. It might feel a little like a betrayal to say "This is me. I'm doing what I feel is best."

Keep in mind two things:
1- You never have to explain.
When a family member starts to offer unasked for advice, simply say "I'll consider that" (even if you won't), and change the subject. The moment you start to explain why you're doing what you're doing, you become 7 again and you're back to trying to convince your parents to let you wear a certain outfit to school tomorrow.

2- Don't share your vision with people who can't see.
You may desire to share your dreams with your family. You may long for their approval and support but understand that they, in all sincerity, cannot support a dream they don't understand. It's not their fault. They aren't being consciously malicious. It's simply a matter of vision. If they don't "get" it, they don't have the full capacity to back it. Keep your vision to yourself until it shines forth so bright that everyone will see it.

A special note about spouses...

If you have an unsupportive spouse (i.e. a spouse who discourages you from pursuing your dreams), you have to take a renegade approach to furthering your goals by doing three things:

1- Don't take it personally.
Whatever your spouse is saying about your goals has everything to do with how he/she feels about him/herself and nothing to do with your actual capability in achieving the goals. Notice that when your spouse's mood changes so too does his/her level of support in your dreams. Again, opinions are cheap. Tune your spouse out.

2- Don't stop.
There is a tendency, on the part of some spouses, to delay or even halt pursuing a dream in the hopes that the unsupportive spouse will one day be "ready." That day may never come. #1- God didn't give that dream to your spouse; He gave it to you. #2- Your spouse may not have the judgment, righteousness, and capacity to adequately assess your goals; in fact, given the clear point that he/she is emotionally tied to you, your spouse is too partial to be wise counsel. #3- As long as what you're doing is edifying the family and changing people's lives in a positive direction, what's the problem? Unless it has more to do with your spouse's ego than your ambition... Think about it...

3- Do evaluate your motives.
Take a very close look at why you're pursuing what your pursuing. Is this in the best interest of your family? Is this going to improve your household or hurt it? Is this a calling on your life or is this a wish you'd like to fulfill just because? You have to do the soul searching required to give you a faith and courage strong enough to keep going, even if your spouse decides not to go on the journey with you.

Final Point
At the end of the day, it's not your family's life. It's your life and the only one who can live it is you. You have to trust your intuition, go with your own choices and take responsibility for living your best life. No one else can do that for you and if you turn the reins of your life over to other people's opinions, your regrets will still be yours to bare. No one else is going to have to live your life but you so make sure that you're doing the living of it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What to Do About "Fair Weather" Friends

Remember all those times growing up when your mother pointed a finger and said "You are the company you keep"? She was right.

Time is precious which makes selecting friends an important, selective process. But how do you know who your real friends are?

One word: listen. If you spend enough time letting people talk, they will always show you who they really are. I'm not a fan of "fair weather" friends, people who are there to do lunch and shopping on a Saturday but have an early morning and are too busy to talk on a Sunday when you're having a serious family issue.

No one said friends have to be therapists. Friends who drain you of life energy with their endlessly dramatic "Woe is me" stories are not friends you need. Neither are the "Yeah, but..." friends. These are the people who bring you their troubles and no matter how many solutions you offer (hell, Oprah could be standing in front of them offering solutions), their response is always the same: "Yeah, but..."

Being a true friend is about being supportive,
not getting used.

In the same vane, eliminate your "fair weather" friends, the people who'll stay on the phone for hours seeking YOUR advice but always have to go after five minutes when you have a problem that needs solving or the friends who love to be friends when there's no significant other in the picture. However, once the next 'flavor of the month' comes along, they drop you like it's hot... or the friends who love to have you as a friend because you are Mrs. or Mr. So & So with Such & Such firm, living in a prestigious neighborhood, driving the fancy car. Once your social status goes, so will they.

So why am I talking about friendship on a site dedicated to building extraordinary success?

Because you are the company you keep. If you're expending your energy worried about other people's problems, annoyed by other people's lack of empathy, embroiled in 'Keeping up with the Jones', where's the energy to pursue your dreams?

The people in your inner circle will either help you or hurt you; there is no neutral. Be sure your friends are built-in sources of inspiration, aspiration and joy.

If they bring more grief than comic relief,
kick them to the curb!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Are You Tired of Hiding?

I've fallen off the exercise/fitness bandwagon. I'm a fitness junkie, a former personal trainer, and I've fallen off the wagon. It's been two weeks since I've worked out and about a month since my nutrition has been somewhat decent and I feel YUCKY! I always know the moment my body is out of proportion. The second I go into sweatpants rather than mini-skirts, flowy, pregnancy looking tops rather than tight knit tees, I know something's up.

I feel like I'm hiding... from my own body. So now I've spent the last couple of days saying affirmations, reading "You Can Heal Your Life" and I know all the mental patterns behind weight: protection of the self, security, blah blah blah blah blah and the question keeps coming up for me, "Why am I not back on track?"

Frustrating is the word! FRUSTRATING!!!!! But... There's a lesson here and I'm determined to find it, learn it and teach it so here we go...

Hiding is easy. Most people do it. We hide behind our degrees, our families, our careers, our weight, our 'niceness' but hiding never equated to joy. When you hide, you lose the opportunity to be seen. Well, you don't lose it; you reject it.

Hiding serves one purpose: it allows you to be less than who you are.

How do you hide?

It may not be weight. It may not be social status. It may not be your kids. But if you feel like you aren't 100% of who you are, you're hiding in some place, in some way in your life.

What I want to do is not point to the hiding but open up to it. There's nothing wrong with it! As kids, we play hide-and-go-seek. Why? Because the finding is SO MUCH FUN!

So now I'm finding myself, asking the questions, looking within, and I see that this, for me, is not about extra weight on my hips but extra pressure on my shoulders and what I'm doing right now to deal with the weight (besides developing new workout and nutrition regimens) is giving myself permission to hide. I give myself permission to go within so I can re-discover and come out... in divine right timing.

I know myself. I'll get back into prime shape. I know I will. It's not happening as fast as I would like but it's all happening right on time. In the meantime, I'm going to love myself right where I am. My heart beats, my eyes see and my feet move. The rest of it is on its way!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Learning What Your Best Is

"Always do your best."

It is the fourth agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book and it's a principle that most people overthink. Don Miguel Ruiz helps to eliminate the complication by saying the following:

"Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best- no more and no less than your best. If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough. When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself and it will take you longer to accomplish your goals. But if you do less than your best, you subject yourself to frustrations, self-judgment, guilt and regrets."

Doing your best, in all cases, requires 3 things:
1- You give your all to what you do
2- You understand that mastery comes with practice
3- You can appreciate your results and view them within the context of your present situation

1- You give your all to what you do
A divided mind will not produce fabulous results. Learning how to be present in any and all situations is key. Being present means you are focused on what you're doing. Whether it's washing the dishes, driving a car or writing a book, your mind is fixed on completing the task at hand to the best of your ability. Add to that your energy and passion. Not only are you focused on what you're doing but you're excited in the process of doing it. You know how much benefit will come from this activity (for yourself and others) and you can't wait to hit completion and share it with the world. That's called giving your all.

2- You understand that mastery comes with practice.
Rome wasn't built in a day. A big part of doing your best comes in acknowledging that your best is and will get better with practice. The "best" is subject to where you are in your life and since where you are is always changing so too will your best. Cultivating the best begins with saying to yourself "There's always more to learn and I'm open and willing to change." The moment you start saying "I don't need to learn that. I got it", you've shut yourself off from new levels of success. Doing your best is a process of lifelong learning and continuous improvement.

3- You can appreciate your results and view them within the context of your present situation
In the quest for success, don't dismiss your current results. Every day contains success within it. Celebrate your successes. Savor your wins. Bask in your growth. Focusing too much on getting to the "next" level keeps you out of the present moment and the present moment is where your success is created.

"But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next."
- Don Miguel Ruiz

It's also important to cut yourself some slack in what you define as your "best." Your "best" will be different when you are sick versus vell, when you're single living alone versus married with three children under the age of 5, at age 5 versus 25 versus 45. Do not set up unrealistic expectations that, in your current situation, you cannot achieve. You will be exhausted, frustrated, and, at the end of the day, less productive than if you'd set up realistic goals.

A slower pace is by no means a less successful pace. All roads, when accompanied by passion, planning and persistence, lead to success. Your best is your best. Your job is to create, cultivate, and celebrate your best by living and giving IN the present moment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Power to Attain What You Want

You have the power to attain what you want.

Did you know that?
Are you 100% sure?
Or do you require convincing?

Whatever your dream, whatever your goal, you have the power to attain it. You may not think you have the time to do it, the strength to reach for it, the heart to keep going for it when temporary defeat shows up but, if that dream is in you, guess what? You do.

Power is about choice. The power begins with a choice and the choice happens when you say "I can do this" AND believe that. That's the catch.

There are a lot of people who say those words but, without faith in them, without a strong conviction that it is possible for them, there's not enough passion and heart behind it to make it happen. It's not a money issue or a might issue; it boils down to being a heart issue.

Lukewarm people don't succeed. Why? They don't have it in them; they don't pour it out of them; they don't know how to focus or channel their energies into the right things and the second defeat comes around the corner, they give up.

That's not who I'm speaking to. The person I'm speaking to is the individual who knows they can do this. You may not know how or when but you do know that you CAN do this.

So what's next? After you have the faith, after you know what you want, after you've decided that this is your future, what's next?

Create the right environment for power to magnify purpose. Begin with a peaceful mind by encouraging, expecting, and seeing the best in ALL situations. Try it for 30 days and see what happens!