You Should be the Hardest Worker in the Room

Why you should be the hardest worker in the room

Listen, no one is going to do the work for you. Every day is a new day and trust me, it doesn’t always feel like it’s getting easier. In fact, some days it can feel like you’ve taken 3,000 steps backward and it’s harder than it’s ever been. Feeling that? Why put in so much work then?

You put in the work because it DOES get easier. You put in the work because the bad days are just that… bad days. Even when you are feeling like you haven’t made any progress whether it’s in the gym, in school, or at your work, you’ve made the progress.

I like to talk about the power of compound interest. Compound interest is a great financial tool, but you’d be surprised how much you can leverage it in your daily habits and life as well. All it takes is a little more effort today than it did yesterday. If it’s harder than it was yesterday to do half the work, so what? If it feels hard, then you’re doing something right, just keep at it.

My promise to you is that if you keep up the hard work, even when it feels like it’s too much, you’re going to cross over that hump and you’re going to enter into a world of infinite possibility.

How to Leverage Compound Interest in Life

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ok, so how do you leverage compound interest in life? The math on this is easy.

If you are working an 8 hour day, work 1 more length longer. Maybe you work 15 minutes more today than you did yesterday. The next week, work 30 minutes longer. I guarantee you that extra work doesn’t feel as hard as it did when you first tried it.

Just tell yourself… one more.

How about at the gym? If you’re doing 20 reps, I want you to do just one more! Go for 21. Does it burn? Does it feel like too much? Great! It’s not too much, it’s just one more!

Being the hardest worker in the room means you have to be willing to cross the barrier of what you thought was possible. Remember, it’s not what you were born with, it’s all about what you’re mindset is and how hard you’re willing to work for it.

I’m going to give you my secret to staying motivated. Watch this video. In fact, save this video and play it every day. Maybe you move on to other motivational videos after that, but I can tell you that if you put the time in to grow your mind and change your mindset, you will change your life.

Ben Lionel Scott on YouTube

Affirmations to Work Harder

Looking for a way to challenge yourself to work harder? Try these affirmations to work harder and see where they take you…

  1. I AM the hardest worker in the room.
  2. I AM embracing pain.
  3. I AM unafraid to grind everyday.
  4. I AM doing one more of everything I do.
  5. I AM pushing past any limits.
  6. I AM enjoying the process.

Stay motivated and stay strong. Remember, not every day is going to feel like the best day. Those are the days that you will progress the most.

What Does Grind Mean in Life?

The word grind means a lot of things in our culture, but what does grind mean in life? It clicked for me finally what this word really means and how we can apply it to our lives. You hear entrepreneurs and athletes say it all the time – they’re in the grind. I’v even been saying it a lot lately!

Can anyone find their grind? I’ve been doing a lot of deeper thinking lately. Critically asking myself questions of how or why we do certain things. When it comes to self development, I really wonder if every person is able to find their grind, or if it’s reserved for people who have a certain trait.

For example, if you’re someone who seeks spontaneity, then do you find yourself able to get into the grind? Or, if you’re someone who enjoys doing something different every day rather than repetition, do you avoid “the grind” altogether?

First, let’s start by answering the most important question.

What does grind mean in life?

Per Google’s definition, the grind in life meaning is: “hard dull work.” Isn’t that negative! But, just wait… Miriam Webster Dictionary defines it as: “dreary, monotonous, or difficult labor, study, or routine“. Now that is pretty unfortunate.

It’s unfortunate because so many of us our programmed now to think that “difficult labor, study or routine” is negative. Why must it be dreary or dull? Why can’t repetitive work just be that, monotonous and hard. Should’t we decide whether the monotonous, hard work is dreary or not?

In fact, that’s exactly what we have to do to ensure the grind continues to hone us. We have to be willing to do the hard work every day to get better at something and to grow. If we aren’t willing to do that, or we shy away from the grind because of a negative connotation then we are doing ourselves a disservice.

What if the grind is something we need in our life? Then, we need to change the way we define it and the way we view it.

Repetition

Students working hard at their skills. Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Repetition is key to getting better at something. You’ve heard the term “practice makes perfect”. This is the more simplified version of that statement. Just do the hards things every day over and over and over again until one day you wake up and that hard thing is no longer so hard anymore.

Repeating the task or the effort will eventually lead to an outcome. Really, just think about probability. If you roll a dice over again, repeatedly until you get the outcome you want, it will happen. It may take a lot longer than you expected, but there’s a chance every time when you roll that dice that you’re going to land on the outcome.

As with probabilities, there’s a guaranteed chance you will get your outcome if you just try and you put in the effort to keep trying. Whether you’re learning a new subject or trying to accomplish a goal, the outcome will happen. You don’t know when, but you have to keep going. This work state, this effort phase is really what entrepreneurs and athletes, creatives, and other people who recognize you have to hone a skill call “the Grind.”

Small Tasks Turn into Big Changes

A critical part of the grind you have to remember is that it doesn’t always happen in large, massive moments. The daily grind is a series of small tasks that turn into something bigger over time. As you know, you can’t transform overnight. But, a series of small changes can lead to something really wonderful.

As the dictionary would tell us, this grind isn’t so easy. You may find it incredibly dull. You might actually call it “dreary” if you use that term, and I would say that some days it does feel that way. But, if I’ve learned anything over the last 22 days of the new year, it’s that each day is what we decide to make of it.

We can wake up and dread the grind and the work we have to put in, or we can celebrate it and push through it. It’s all about our mindset when it comes to these repetitive tasks each day. They won’t be as exciting on the 20th day as they were on the first when you were just getting started. So, how do you keep going?

It’s all about mindset! On that note, I’ll leave you with this video that has really transformed the way I look at the grind. If you’re aiming to achieve something, I hope you find this helpful to achieving your dreams.

Join the 5 AM Club – How to Make Waking Up Earlier Easier

Hey everyone – I’m recruiting! Really… it’s for this cool new club that gets the day started before the sun even thinks about rising. We do fun things like workout in a quiet gym, grab coffee in an empty coffee shop, get emails sorted before anyone has a chance to fill up the inbox, and most importantly, we spend time with ourselves.

Waking up earlier doesn’t just literally add hours to your day to get things done, but it also is better for your health. As an early morning workout enthusiast, I find that my body actually burns more calories throughout the day. I’m more energized, more alert, and I’m not as frantic trying to pack in all the important tasks while juggling work.

So, this is my recruiting pitch. If you’re not open to it now, I hope you’ll take some time to consider. Maybe even just start small – it’s amazing what 15 minutes can do!

Check out my Instagram for motivation.

Tips for Waking Up Earlier

So, you think it’s too hard? Well, maybe you haven’t found the right method to help you get started. I’m sure you’ve heard people say, just wake up 5 minutes earlier every day. Eventually, your body will naturally begin waking up earlier. While yes, it can be that simple, we all have those days where it just isn’t enough. You have to dig deeper, have a better strategy and be ready to fight the mental fog that will inevitably try to convince you to stay in bed.

  1. Find your why.
  2. Develop a routine.
  3. Create a mantra or adopt a strategy.
  4. Stick with it for two weeks.

Your Reason for Waking Up Earlier

I’m a big a fan of finding your why. Whether it’s a purpose for working out or purpose for getting more time back in your day, the reason for waking up earlier is the most critical to finding success. So, what’s your why?

Figure out the why that motivates you to move. Something has to rock you out of bed every morning, even on the days when it’s too difficult to get up. My why is made up of a few things that leads to a talk track in the mornings. See, you are your worst enemy every morning. Either you wake up with a positive mentality or you fall prey to a mindset that will slow you down.

When I wake up, the first thing I think about is what happens if I don’t. The implication of not getting out of bed when my alarm goes off at 4:15 is that if I stay too long I may miss a workout for the day, I may not get in those good feelings I get when I’m done with the gym, but most importantly, I may not get time to do something I love. I may not be able to go for a run or sit down and write a blog. Some days, I have a lot of work to do and my career, plus my side hustles like this blog and another business I’m helping to build may not get my attention because I have other priorities.

I’ve found my flaw – I’m inherently a person who hates letting other people down. And even worse, I hate letting myself down. So, I MUST wake up. I MUST get started early. Find yours.

An Early Morning Routine and Your Strategy

In addition to finding your why, make a routine and have a strategy. One of my favorite quotes says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” My way of looking at life is all about strategy. When you don’t have a way to tackle a challenge or a method to follow, you are likely going to fail. If you need a strategy for getting out of bed try following this sequence:

Alarm Goes Off
Talk Track: Tell yourself your Why.
Strategy: Avoid negative thoughts by counting backward from 5.
Movement: Stand up and get out of bed.
Talk Track: Tell yourelf your Why.

From there, you are well on your way to the rest of your day. Remember, what you tell yourself and the words you use are critical. If you let a negative thought creep in, then you’ll be a victim to your own mind. You must battle it and having a strategy is the only way you’re going to win.

Forming an Early Morning Habit

When you’ve developed your strategy, you’ve honed in on your why, and you’ve identified all the ways you’re going to make yourself successful at waking up earlier, the next step is creating a habit. The only way you’re going to make this last is if you do the work to stick with it for two weeks.

These are going to be the hardest two weeks, but it’s so important to not give up. Two weeks or 21 days is all it takes to form a new habit. Then, it gets easier. In fact, once you stick it out, you should be able to make your routine stick through even the toughest, darkest, coldest days. Just remember to follow your strategy.

What are you waiting for? Write down your strategy today when you have a few minutes, then get started tomorrow. There’s no time like now!

Change Your Perspective: Ask Not What Should I Do, But What Shouldn’t I Do

The best question you can ask yourself today is “what remarkably stupid things am I doing today to ruin my life?” Is that dramatic enough for you? Ruin is BIG word, but really we don’t fully understand the impact of our decisions until they’ve slapped us in the face. As I reflect on this question, it’s actually really simple for me to see that a simple change in my perspective can completely change myself.

This whole internal conversation was spurned by a consideration I had about what the difference is between perception and perspective. Perception is your interpretation of a situation. Whereas perspective is your view on a situation. Perspective is guided by your beliefs and attitudes and isn’t what you take away but rather what you bring to the table.

Consider what it takes to get motivated to accomplish your goals. Let’s use fitness as an example. You see that super fit, healthy image of a person that makes you feel a lot of different emotions. Perhaps, you see that image or person and think to yourself how badly you wish you could look that way. Maybe it evokes want, or guilt, or shame. Maybe it inspires you to go for a run or hit the gym. But, rarely are we thinking about that positive image when we’re in a compromising situation that we know will keep us from hitting our goals.

Instead, during those moments when we’re tempted by a donut or a big, unhealthy pizza that we know will just sabotage our diet, our will power crumbles. I don’t about you, but I don’t just carry magical motivation cues everywhere I go. Finding motivation in a time of what feels like crisis isn’t really my go-to. But, what if we were motivated by what we don’t want and our perspective is just skewed.

What if we saw these unhealthy habits and our view on it wasn’t that it was a delicious meal guaranteed to deliver a hit of endorphins and make my tastebuds explode with flavors? What if we thought instead that the pizza or donut is going to RUIN MY LIFE. How? Well, first it will clog my arteries or inject me huge increase in glucose levels. Then, I may get diabetes or start to gain fat around my belly that eventually causes a heart attack. That could lead to me in the hospital or maybe even premature death.

Ok, this is a very extreme example that doesn’t happen that fast usually, but let us for a moment think about how our brains are wired to think about the foods we eat in those moments. Shifting your perspective and asking yourself simply how you’re contributing to negativity or life-ruining consequences could save you from the rollercoaster of pleasure-seeking decisions that actually in the end do not provide you with any true value.

Sticking with the fitness example, now imagine looking at that desirable image of what you wish you looked like and thinking to yourself that it’s not too far off from reality. Your perspective shifts and now you’re not thinking about all the hard things you have to do to achieve that – lift weights, workout, eat healthy, but rather you are looking through a new lens of what you shouldn’t do. Suddenly, you’re making better decisions by recognizing that donuts are actually not all that good, pizza is kind of greasy and makes you feel bloated, sitting down all day makes you feel more tired, drinking a soda gets you all jittery and then makes you crash.

You simply asked yourself – what remarkably stupid things am I doing today that could ruin my life? Suddenly those things seem silly and unimportant. The best takeaway I had from reading that question to myself is that sometimes it’s just too hard to resist temptations thinking about the ways that I could make better decisions. But, when I look at it in terms of what stupid decisions I’m making and their consequences, it can be very eye opening and inspiring.

If you’re interested in exploring more on “changing your perspective”, check out this powerful other example.

I hope this helps you too! Share your thoughts in the comments or drop me a DM on Instagram @IntentlyAmy.

Thoughts on Parenting from a Childfree Woman

I started blogging about being childfree in 2018. It was during that time that I was able to digest and reflect on all the reasons people have children or choose the other path in life. I explored all sorts of topics, and listened to a lot of stories. Ultimately, it led me to focusing in on conscious choice – the idea that every decision in your life should be a conscious commitment.

Eventually what I found is that the conversations were sometimes too hostile. Two communities divided and completely unsupportive of the other. I found it to be a negative space that I just no longer could support. Childfree women were openly hateful toward children and parents were openly shaming childfree women. I decided this was not the type of energy I wanted to take part in every day.

After reflecting more on this and thinking about what I really wanted for my own future I realized there was a lot to break down. Maybe childfree isn’t the answer. Maybe my problem was that people weren’t using conscious choice in their decision to have kids and that made parenting a little off putting to me. What if I could do things differently and inspire others to do the same? I started to mold a new purpose to my blogging… sharing the ideas and wisdom I uncover throughout my journey of seeking knowledge and spiritual growth.

I listen to motivational videos every day… every day! It gets me going and reminds me why I am working so hard. One particular video got me thinking… Parenting is something you must prepare for and commit to. We literally must train for the act of raising children the way we train for sports or a fitter body. If we want to succeed and make this a fruitful decision, then we must be serious about preparation.

Life is a playoff game. We only get one chance at making each day the best it can be. It absolutely matters what you eat, what you think, what you prepare for.

If my commitment is to have to children then I have to wake up every day committed to making their life fantastic. The only way that will happen is by waking up every day with the attitude to create that life for them. For making myself the best I can be for them.

Teaching them. Growing them. Building them. Making them the best they can be that’s what we choose when we choose parenting. So, that’s why it’s important to choose excellence in our preparation. Choosing to be a parent is a life choice to be committed to something greater than ourselves, to shaping a new generation.

Perhaps we should think about preparation and how we train for these big moments in our life. Are we taking the steps to be our best? Are we asking ourselves hard enough questions each day? Are we pushing ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually enough to create growth?

If we answer no, then are we truly prepared for the responsibilities of parenting?

Think bigger…

A

The Good and The Bad of 2020 Lessons Learned

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021 and a whole new chapter in my life. As I enter this new year with a whole heart full of gratitude and hope, I wanted to share a few of the things that made 2020 both challenging and rewarding for me. I also want to make a few things clear… I’m doing this because of a few reasons.

  1. I am focusing on being more honest and open in 2021. This is not just with others, but with myself as well.

The first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.

Nelson Mandela

2. Blogging helps me stay creative and fulfills my love of writing. Making it a consistent practice helps me continually improve my writing and use of words. I always wanted to be an author and this is sort of like my place for that, it’s my life book.

Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.

Virginia Woolf

3. While I don’t put everything on display, I do seek to share my adventures in hopes to find connections with people who have shared experiences or to lead someone to discover something that may be useful in their life. If my blogs impact even just one person, I’ve done something positive for the world and therefore, it isn’t all for naught.

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

Sylvia Plath

The Good of 2020

All in all, 2020 was filled with a lot of learning opportunities. Everyone had to adjust to a new way of working and a new way of living life. My journey through it brought me to understand a few things better:

  • How to show gratitude – I started my daily gratitude list practice once again
  • How to be more positive each day – I made a commitment to wake up each day with a smile
  • Renewed friendships – I rekindled a few friendships that really have helped me get through tough times, but also that I feel I can offer a lot of support to
  • I learned to give with my heart again – Always a giver, I felt like I had lost that spirit. But, through renewed friendships and a focus on healing, I’m finding my path again.
  • Importance of family – I moved back to Texas to be closer to my family and I’m so happy as their presence is so important to me. I made the commitment to truly see my family as a priority.

In 2020, I also had a few surprises and exciting updates:

  • Started a new job
  • Began my journey to earning my Master’s in Business Administration
  • Found new opportunities to learn and grow in my personal health and development
  • Created a new business venture
  • Developed new skills

It’s amazing how much progress we make over a year, when we look back on it all. I believe I’ve grown the most during the most challenging times. So while most people wanted 2020 to end, I didn’t want it to. I was stretching myself, growing, and really becoming a whole new me. From running more, to eating healthier, to finding a way to build my own business and grow my mind. I don’t think 2020 was all that bad for my personal development.

But of course, there were times when it wasn’t so easy. Here are some of the things that forced me into this growing stage last year.

The Bad of 2020

Because I try not to dwell when “bad” things happen to me, I’m choosing to really only share a couple of the things that had the biggest impact.

  1. My 10 year relationship with my husband ended and I moved away from him and California.
  2. My grandmother got really sick, unrelated to covid, and has been in a hospital since March. With covid happening though, it’s prevented me from seeing her.

So, now that I’ve shared that, I think there are probably a lot of other people in the world who could say they’ve had it worse. Sure. Everyone is battling something. What I think was the most powerful thing about my “bad” list of 2020, was that neither of these things has really brought me down. Despite going through a divorce, despite having a heart full of worry and despair, I was able to achieve so much this year and still come out positive.

My good list will always outweigh my bad list. My good list just grows and grows. It’s where I put my focus. The bad list always has a light at the end of the tunnel. It always has a positive spin and I know that these bad situations don’t last forever, nor do the good ones. We have to keep mining for them and wake up every day with a smile ready to accept them.

I am working to bring a light to people’s lives in 2021. I am working to share what I find to be the most effective ways to look passed the bad and look at how to effectively flip it. My blog means so much to me. While I am always “busy” working and studying and focusing on my health, I know there is plenty I can be doing to share and make a positive impact. So for YOU, I commit to being a writer and to sharing what I learn. I commit to seeking new things to share with YOU my readers and my community.

I also commit to being a great writer so that you never have to feel burdened by my typos… 😛

To peace and wellness in 2021.

A

How To Write Your Vision Statement

In my last blog, I explained what vision casting is and how to use it to guide your life path. In this post, I’ll share exactly how to create that vision statement and what the process takes.

As I mentioned before, this is a pretty creative process. Writing a vision statement takes reflection, brainstorming, and a lot of critical thinking. If this isn’t something you’re used to doing, then it may feel a little uncomfortable at times.

Be willing to take a risk with your vision statement. Step outside of your comfort zone and really dig deep for what it is you want out of your life. So, as you get started, preparing to write your vision out, be sure to think about the basics of a vision.

I’ll write these out in question form so you can come back and ask yourself these questions along the way.

  1. What are the emotions and sentiments you would like to feel about your life and your journey? ie. “I am proud” or “I am amazed
  2. What impact do you want to make on the world?
  3. Where do you imagine yourself being and who are you surrounded by?
  4. Is there a certain thing you want people to remember you for?
  5. What is life like for you in 15 – 20 years?

The Steps of Vision Casting

To vision cast properly, you need to be prepared to look beyond your present situation. Remember, that a vision is something you aspire to create. It’s a place you want to be, not something you already have achieved. That’s what so magical about a vision. You have to believe that anything is possible.

To think through your personal vision, there are three simple steps. Each step in your vision process can be done throughout your day, or at an optimal time when you feel you have the most peace.

The important part of this is being sure that you have time to clearly think through what you actually want. You need to be able to spend time with yourself in an uninterrupted space, even if it’s just for 10 – 15 minutes.

  1. Let Your Creativity Flow
  2. Let Your Ideas Settle
  3. Write it Down and Reflect

Let’s dive deeper into each step.

The First Step of Vision Casting

The first step to crafting the perfect vision is the exploration phase. Some people consider this brainstorming or ideation, but it doesn’t matter what you call it. The only important part of this phase is that you write down every possibility of what you want for your future.

You see, most people don’t really know what they want. They want everything. Sure, it all sounds good. But, that’s not realistic. You need your version of the best possible outcome, so that it’s clear in your life path.

If you’re uncomfortable writing statements, or don’t have a lot of experience writing, then just bullet point out your answers. Be as specific as possible and write every single idea down, even if at the moment you know it’s not right. You’ll have time to sort that out later.

The Second Step of Vision Casting

After you’ve written down all your thoughts, the next step is let it all sit for a while. Yes, that means leave all your thoughts on that piece of paper or notepad or document on your laptop and move on for a bit. The most critical thing you can do in your process is to allow your brain to really process it all.

Processing your vision will give your brain time and space to clarify. I highly recommend meditating on the ideas that you brainstormed. Take time to sit in a quiet space, close your eyes, and reflect on the ideas you have for your future.

The Third Step of Vision Casting

it’s time to start writing your statement out. Keep in mind that your vision statement can change. You can evolve.

The structure of a vision statement is pretty simple. It’s your end state, your impact, your surroundings, and finally your time frame.

In most vision statements, the time frame is not really mentioned, but I really believe a personal vision statement should have an understanding of when it’s occurring. As you get older, you’ll create new vision statements for further in your life. It’s essential to always have a goal for where you want to go.

As you write out your vision statement, make sure it’s clear. Write it down on paper and put it somewhere where you can reference it maybe once a week or if you’re feeling committed, every day. I wrote my vision statement in my goals and gratitude journal. It’s a simple journal where I write my gratitudes and thoughts each day and I have my vision statement bookmarked to reference.

Enjoy the process!

What is Vision Casting for Personal Growth

In the business world, vision casting is a term used amongst organizational leaders. The leadership at a company may go through a time when they are establishing the vision for the company, which involves writing out a vision statement, making sure their values and daily practices live up to the vision, and helping their employees to see the vision. But, this business practice of vision casting serves a lot of purpose in personal growth as well.

As you learn to live your life more intentionally, you’ll need something to root you. A vision can help you establish goals, find the path you need to take, and keep you centered along the way. In this short blog, I’ll share with you why it’s important to vision cast. Then, in a few follow up blogs I will break down how to write a vision statement, resources to help guide your vision, and my personal journey through vision casting.

Why Vision Casting Works

Diligence is the mother of good luck.

The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.), 2006

There are a lot of debates on the internet about whether success is an outcome of luck or a result of hard work. Many people would agree success is guaranteed with hard work, but some do occasionally get lucky. Others, like Malcolm Gladwell would argue that it’s a little bit of both. You need to be in the right place at the right time. There may even be situations in which that path was just not meant for you.

So, what is it that actually makes someone become out-this-world successful and achieve their lifelong dreams? For me, the perfect summation to the factors attributed to success is vision.

The universe is a funny place. We are all connected in some magical way and the thoughts, emotions, and suggestions we put into the world tend to have a way of nudging things along. I don’t believe that we can alter destiny, but I do believe we choose the path we want to take. And it’s simple, it’s with our thoughts.

When we can tap into our thoughts and use them to direct the choices that we make each day, and develop the experiences that happen, then we are becoming more enveloped in our universe. If you’re up for going down this path a little more and reading about how to become “one with the universe” check out the EOC Institute’s blog on using meditation.

So, vision casting works because it drives the focus of your thoughts.

The Basic Architecture of a Vision

There are a few basic elements that make up the structure for a good vision. Of course, you’ll want to write it down, but it may take a while to develop. So, consider this a creative journey. If you’re someone who isn’t really into writing or being creative, use bullet points, short hand writing, and don’t stress too much about how you say something, but more so what it is you’re trying to say.

Remember that a vision is more inspirational and aspirational than it is actionable. It is meant to guide your future and give you purpose and clarity throughout your journey. You should be able to craft actionable goals based on your vision.

A vision is made up of five elements:

  1. A desired end state, which is more than a feeling but includes the state of being you’re in, perhaps values, health, achievements
  2. Your impact on the world around you, or your ultimate contribution
  3. The environment you see yourself in or the people that you’re surrounded by
  4. The values you project long-term, or who people will perceive you as
  5. It’s long term, so it’s aimed at who you are 10 – 20 years from now

I’ll leave you with this final note. A vision statement can be as long or as short as you want it to be. It can be as simple as:

Each day, I wake up with a feeling of pride for my life’s achievements and my family’s impact on the world to make it a better place to live for our future generations.

Short vision statement example

You can imagine with this vision statement above, that this person has a family that is dedicated to helping their community and contributing to society. That is their form of success.

Start to think about your vision and what success looks like to you in your future. If you could look forward to 20 years from now, what would make you feel successful? In the next blog in this series, I’ll explain how to write your perfect (but ever evolving) vision statement.

3 Steps to Making Conscious Choices

What’s the secret to making a choice you’ll never regret? The secret is there is no secret to it… Making choices confidently is done with one simple strategy in mind – think through it thoroughly! I can tell you from personal experience I’ve dealt with both types of choices in my life – the unconscious, the uncertain and on the opposite end, the conscious, the rooted.

Making conscious choices is really the only way to go about life with zero regrets. Otherwise, you’re constantly kicking yourself, wondering what could have been different. How often do you think back on decisions like that? When you’re completely committed to a decision, it changes your perspective completely, even when and if that decision turns out to be the wrong one.

Conscious choice doesn’t keep you from making the wrong decisions. It just helps ensure you’ve made the best decision at that moment for yourself. What comes of that decision is only left then to destiny. Whatever is meant to happen, will happen and at least you’ll feel good that you made the best decision possible.

The 3 Steps to Conscious Choice

When you have a decision to make, it’s always good to lay it all out and take your time. Of course, no one likes indecisiveness and that’s not what this process is meant to do. Indecisiveness is when you can’t make a decision. Conscious choice is the exact opposite of indecisiveness. It’s clarity in making choices and making them with full intent.

However, no one ever said you couldn’t take your time deciding. In fact, even the smallest decisions need room to permeate. Maybe you don’t always have time luxury to make decisions and that’s understandable, but I believe in using the time you do have wisely. Oftentimes, you’ll see that taking your time with a decision actually allows the universe to lay out more cards and create a clearer path for you.

When you have a big decision to make and some time, there are three phases to ensure the best possible outcome.

  1. The Written Problem
    As with any problem, it’s always best to write down your thoughts and situation clearly. Seeing the problem written down allows room for you to think through how you will deal with it. It frees up space to think beyond the idea and on to the alternate realities. Using the choice to be childfree as an example, write down the question, “Should I have children or stay childfree?” Now, you’ve established your problem, and it’s time to explore both realities.
  2. The Alternate Realities
    What happens when you make one decision over another? You only get one chance and one reality to live, so this decision is important. There is no going back, only forward. At this point in your conscious choice, it’s important to consider your alternate realities. You’ve written down the problem or the choices, and now you need to explore them each a bit further. Continue writing down what each reality could look like to you. What are the benefits? What are the consequences? How does each path make you feel?
  3. The Present Factor
    I call this final step the “Present Factor”. The question you should be asking yourself at this point is, what feels right to you at this moment? I can tell you that there are decisions that you either just know are right or know are wrong when you take the time to stop and ask yourself the question. Your intuition is good enough to tell you if you’re on the right path. So, listen to it. A lot of times, people make decisions only to look back and know at that moment they were making the wrong decision.

    Back to our childfree example, if you are not 100% committed to having a child, then why would you make that choice? Your body, your mind, and your soul will tell when the right time is to do something. All you have to do is listen. Let’s use a different example, one that maybe is less life altering.

A Conscious Choice Example

Let’s say you are contemplating looking for a new job. You have a job, and it’s fine. You are pretty content with life at this job. However, you know there is better opportunity out there. Should you start applying for new jobs? (The Problem)

If you started looking for new jobs, it’s likely you’ll need to interview. You’d possibly find something that is more exciting, more pay, and more fulfilling. Or, you could stay. Life is pretty good right now, you make decent pay, and it’s a steady job. (The Alternate Realities)

What is happening right now in your life that is pushing you to have this feeling? Well, you’re bored. You know that job hunting is fairly straightforward, you just need to make a few tweaks to get it right. You have the time right now to pursue this and as you reflected on earlier, there are many benefits and few consequences of finding a new job. (The Present Factor)

After you’ve analyzed all of this, you realize, it is the right time to look for a new job and you can confidently set out on this path to finding the right job.

Conscious choices are simple. They are just decisions made with intent. These choices have purpose and clarity behind them. On the other hand, unconscious choices are made unwillingly. They have no alternate realities, only the one that is destined to be. You trap yourself and limit your potential when you allow a choice to be made for you.

Imagine if you didn’t make the conscious choice to look for a new job. Rather, you just started looking with no plan. You didn’t factor in the present situation you’re in and you overlooked how busy you are getting at work and in your personal life. There’s no way you have time to update your resume, no time to prepare for interviews and the whole situation becomes overwhelming and sloppy.

You’ve now found yourself in a mess of emotions because you didn’t think through the situation. It’s really easy for us as a human race to do things impulsively. We make decisions all the time based just off of our feelings. If you’ve ever put your foot in your mouth, you’re well aware of how condemning this can feel.

With conscious choice, even the little things we do each day become more purposeful and graceful. For small decisions, you can skip writing down the problem, but never skip thinking about the alternate realities or considering how the present situations factors into this decision.

Try this out the next time you’re contemplating a decision and let me know in the comments how you think it worked!

5 Ways to Completely Change Your Day

In 2018, I thought waking up every morning was the hardest thing I had to do. I knew that with every sunrise, there would be heart ache, tears, and an unsurmountable feeling of missing my father. What happened after my dad passed away was a critical turning point in my life, and I truly believe it’s because I chose to do five things that, in their simplicity, never could I have imagined they would be so life altering. That was the most transformational year I’ve ever had.

I think my father’s impact on the world really struck me when I watched a grown man, who I had never met before, weep by father’s bed. He told me that without my dad, he would have never turned his life around after prison. It disturbed him to see such an amazing man be subjected to the cruelty of death by cancer. To this day, I don’t even know what it was that my dad did for him, but I could tell that man was as heartbroken as I was to see such a magical person fade from our world.

When I started to see the impact that my dad had on our neighborhood, his community, his friends, and our family, it was like a light had been taken out of everywhere I went. I went down to tell our local cafe staff that my dad was nearing the end, they all mourned. Our local tailor was distraught. Our neighbors never left our side until my dad finally passed. Every day during that period of time was misery.

If I was feeling this way each day, I couldn’t imagine what my sister and mother were feeling. I knew that I couldn’t fall prey to letting the darkness take me, because one of us had to make sure life moved forward.

Waking up every day with a positive attitude when nothing is wrong in your life, is easily taken for granted. You wake up, you do your routine, you get to work. But, during difficult times, it’s easy to forget how to get going. It’s even easy to forget why you need to get going. Hopelessness is a feeling I never want to welcome back into my life again.

At that time, I had been introduced to a TED Talk speaker and author name Shawn Achor. His book the Happiness Advantage really impacted me and my career during the time when my father was being treated for his cancer. It was difficult to balance a lot of things, but his book taught me to look at the world a little differently.

I came to realize that it’s not what life gives you, because trust me there are going to be a lot of lemons, but it’s how you handle what life gives you. Every bad situation can be flipped. Every horrible feeling can be overcome.

And so, I woke up one day on the couch next to my father’s bed. My mom and I spent nights sleeplessly watching him breathe. I stood up and I promised myself that I was going to do these five simple things every single day and that I would not allow our family to go into a depression or fall into problems because of what we went through. I wrote them down and I remembered my dad telling me to “be brave” before he couldn’t speak anymore.

5 Things to Do Each Morning

The Five Daily Habits

  1. Express Gratitude
    Each day I write down three things I’m grateful for. This is something Shawn Achor taught and I adopted it right away. Three things no matter how big or small, be grateful. Do this even when you don’t feel like writing anything down, it will totally change the rest of your day.
  2. Smile
    As previously mentioned, life is going to kick you in the a$$! That’s true for everyone. Some have it worse than others, but guaranteed that if you don’t appreciate every moment, and put a smile on your face each day, then it will only drag you deeper.
  3. Be Kind
    This is one of the most important things I believe anyone can learn to do. Being kind not just to others, but to your self is the greatest way to invite love and happiness into your life, especially in the bad times. If you’ve ever felt the sting of someone who was not kind to you, just think about how others may have received you. Remember, you don’t need the world to be kind to you first or in return. This is a gift you should learn to give everyone. Being kind to yourself includes eating healthy, meditating, doing yoga, and practicing things that make you feel good.
  4. Remember Your Vision
    On page one of my journal, I wrote down my goals for the next 6 months to 5 years. It’s important to really dig deep. Take an hour of undistracted time to really put some thought into these. Make sure write them down on paper, with a pen. This will help you commit. When you’ve written them all down, be sure to reflect on them at least once a week. Just reading them and remembering your reason for them will help you stay on the right path. It will give every action in your day purpose.
  5. Center Yourself
    Each day, I write down my “Thoughts” underneath my gratitudes list. This is my space for letting go of pent up feelings. It’s where I can brainstorm ideas for this blog, or reflect on events that recently happened. As you write down your thoughts, be as equally committed to sharing the good things as the bad things. If you feel it, share it. Sometimes, I like to go back and see what my train of thought was on a specific day. It helps to see where I was in relation to where I am now. I can tell you, it’s helped me to stay committed to decisions that have been important for me to push on in my life. It’s helped me recognize my priorities, my passions, and what I truly want out of life.

Everything you do in the morning is the setup for what will happen the rest of the day. Remember these 5 things, get a journal and just start at it! My favorite journals are Moleskins. You don’t need prompts or anything too fancy. Just write your goals, your gratitudes and your thoughts. Remember to be kind and wake up with a smile.