Wisdom from the Farm: Green Beans and Opportunities

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Today we’re taking a break from George Washington…do I hear a sigh of relief?  😉

Yesterday I was at the Farm picking up my CSA share for the week.  This week is the first of the bean crop.  When I walked to the rows of beans, all I saw was one long row after another of green-leafed bushes.  It didn’t seem to me that the beans were ready because I didn’t see any on the bushes.  I figured I’d have to go down a couple of rows in order to pick my allotment.  But when I moved aside the leaves of the first bean plant I saw it was loaded with perfectly mature beans.  I was able to gather my share from only a few of the plants.

This got me to thinking….

When we hit a rough patch, we’ve all heard the old adages that setbacks are really set-ups to something better; to look for the silver lining; that opportunity often comes to us in working clothes.

How many times, though, do we look at the “long row we have to hoe” and become discouraged?  And, how many times do we allow discouragement to make us give up before we even start?

 

We need to do something different because discouragement and giving up won’t get us to our dreams!

 

WEB-Beans-on-the-Plants-1
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

We need to step into that row and look closer at what’s there.  Move aside the “leaves” and see the “mature beans” of opportunity that are hidden there.

Yes we have to roll up our sleeves when faced with a challenge, and yes we’ll have to work our way through it.  But if we keep our eyes open we’ll see that our skills and talents are been further developed and honed; we’ll gain experience and knowledge and feel more self-reliant which will then boost our self-confidence and self-esteem.

 

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

And all of this will give us the instincts, intelligence, and abilities to spot and take advantage of the opportunities that await us.

WooHoo!

 

 

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to grab your hoe and jump into the row.  Start hoeing with the knowledge and expectation that you are becoming stronger and more empowered and that you’re going to come across an opportunity that will make all the difference in your quest to achieve your dreams!

Remember that you don’t have to hoe that row all at once!  You can break it into sections then break those into chunks and then into pieces.  Even if you have to break it down into looking under one leaf at a time, that’s okay.  It’s still progress and that’s the important thing.  You’re taking action and keeping at it.  That’s what counts!

You can do this, I’m sure of it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Tips from TV: What is Ruthless Self-Assessment?

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Classic_view_of_The_Thinker_(8437831806).jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Classic_view_of_The_Thinker_(8437831806).jpg

 

 

You’re probably getting so tired of seeing these posts about George Washington.  Bear with me, though, because what he did is typical of what successful people around the world and throughout the ages have done, and are still doing today.  George Washington did not discover these success principles but it was the History Channel’s storytelling, the experts’ facts, and the vivid re-enactments that made these principles pop out at me.  I want to share my insights with you–I hope they help!

Concerning Washington’s failure in the British army and his subsequent resignation, I’m sure he felt disappointment, anger, and perhaps embarrassment—and he probably even felt humiliated—but he didn’t allow himself to ‘go there’. Instead, he used his unflinching honesty with himself to find a way forward—a way to still achieve his dreams.

Scrupulously honest self-evaluation is fair with the information it uncovers. It doesn’t use the information as a weapon with which to beat yourself up. It doesn’t use the information as an indictment or proof that you aren’t good enough or that you don’t have what it takes to succeed. And it doesn’t conclude that you should give up on yourself.

Ruthlessly honest self-assessment means not giving in to negative thinking about yourself, not thinking that you’re all washed up because of weaknesses, failures, and mistakes. It isn’t punishment because you can’t seem to get your act together or to figure things out.

Being bluntly frank with yourself means feeling the disappointment, dissatisfaction, and even distress, but not sinking into these feelings and allowing them to develop into discouragement, despair, or self-denigration.

Ruthlessly honest self-assessment means admitting where you fell short and then brainstorming what you can do to improve.  It means then taking those ideas and coming up with a plan to become better—to become the person who is successful in the way that you want to be successful.

Ruthless, honest, unflinching reflection means finding a way to go forward in spite of the supposed odds and in spite of what others think or say or do.

 

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=79896&picture=light-bulb-turn
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=79896&picture=light-bulb-turn

Your homework today is to be very frank and candid with yourself about your journey to your dreams. What are you doing—or not doing—that needs to stop or start—change in some way? What weaknesses do you have? How are they getting in the way of you achieving your dreams? What can you do about it?

Brainstorm things that you can do, then do them! Break them into teeny tiny bits and bobs that are easy to fit into your schedule. Then do them!

You can do it, I’m sure of it!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Tips from TV: George Washington and Ruthlessly Honest Self-Assessment

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Washington_1772.jpg#/media/File:Washington_1772.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Washington_1772.jpg#/media/File:Washington_1772.jpg

 

Yesterday I wrote about George Washington’s habit of taking time to reflect (click here to be taken to that post). I learned of his habit during a program entitled Washington the Warrior that aired on the History Channel this past weekend. In today’s post, I want to point out another remarkable trait of George Washington.

When he was a young man, George Washington’s fondest dream was to be a high-ranking officer in the British army (remember this was before the Revolutionary War and being an officer in the British army was a common dream for many young men). Washington was on his way to achieving this goal when he was met with a disaster that was brought about because of his lack of experience and knowledge. It resulted in him resigning his commission.

As the experts pointed out, this catastrophic failure would have destroyed other men, but Washington was ruthlessly honest with himself and, instead of being humiliated, devised a plan of self-improvement so that he could still achieve his dream.

His brutal honesty helped him see where the shortcoming was–his inexperience and ignorance of military strategy and tactics. His brutal honesty showed him very clearly what he needed to do to correct the situation. His brutal honesty helped him stay focused on his dreams and goals.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_Washington_as_CIC_of_the_Continental_Army_bust.jpg#/media/File:George_Washington_as_CIC_of_the_Continental_Army_bust.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_Washington_as_CIC_of_the_Continental_Army_bust.jpg#/media/File:George_Washington_as_CIC_of_the_Continental_Army_bust.jpg

Your homework today is to make the time in your busy schedule for honest self-evaluation. Which projects have you been giving a ‘lick and a promise’ to that deserve your full attention? What tasks have you running around like a crazy person when you could delegate them to someone who’s better able to handle them? What should never have been on your plate in the first place?

Answer these questions then make the changes. Remember that changes are the same as steps: break them into small pieces and little parts. Break those into tiny bits and jots, small enough that they’ll fit into your schedule and fly under the radar of your resistance. Then do them!

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Tips from TV: George Washington and The Importance of Reflecting

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Matthias_stom_young_man_reading_by_candlelight.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Matthias_stom_young_man_reading_by_candlelight.jpg

 

Yesterday I tuned into part of a program called Washington the Warrior on the History Channel. The experts were talking about how early in Washington’s career, when he was in the Virginia militia protecting the frontier from the French and the Native Americans, he made some serious mistakes, which were due to his lack of experience and knowledge. The experts commented that Washington’s habit of reflecting and being ruthlessly honest with himself enabled him to uncover his weaknesses. He realized that he didn’t know enough about military tactics and strategy and that he needed to continue learning about how to be a good leader so that he could better inspire, motivate, and instill discipline in his troops.

The experts remarked that most men would have been devastated and ruined by the failures and setbacks that Washington suffered early in his career but Washington would not let himself become humiliated. He refused to beat himself up! According to his journal, he was very disappointed in himself but he kept in firm control and made sure to learn from the experience. 

He came up with a plan of improvement and then put it into action. Because he took time to reflect on what was and was not working—and keep notes in a journal—he was able to make tweaks and corrections that helped him become the person who would flourish when he was thrust into the right place at the right time: when he served as General Howe’s aid in the French and Indian War and took command of the whole regiment when Howe was killed during an ambush while the other officers and men were confused, frightened, and panicking.

Washington probably would not have become the man he was if, early on, he had not developed the habit of reflection, ruthlessly honest self-assessment, and keeping notes.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=76585&picture=charles-dickens-at-writing-desk
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=76585&picture=charles-dickens-at-writing-desk

Your homework today is to take time to reflect and be ruthlessly honest with yourself regarding your dreams. What little change can you make in this upcoming week that will help you make a small increase in the progress you’re making toward your dreams?

Remember it just has to be a tiny change that will result in a tiny increase in your progress.

Follow through with that change!

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Happy 4th of July! Celebrate Freedom!

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

Celebrate your freedom from just hoping and wishing you’ll achieve your dreams. Celebrate your freedom to pursue your dreams.

 

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Celebrate all your freedoms: The freedom to pursue the life of your heart’s desire; the freedom from limitations and lack; the freedom from your past; the freedom from negative thinking; the freedom from things that don’t work for you; the freedom to change your mind and live in a way that does work for you; the freedom to do something different; the freedom to make a difference.

 

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to take a moment to jot down your personal list of freedoms—freedoms to do and freedoms to not do; freedoms to be and to not be; freedoms to have and to not have. Write down all that come to mind.

Keep this list handy as an inspiration and motivation during the times when you need uplifting or need a boost.

Remember to celebrate yourself and the progress you’ve made!

Well done!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Review Your Week: Yay You!

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=15163&picture=happy-young-woman
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=15163&picture=happy-young-woman

 

 

Today is a good day to take a moment and gather the results of your reflections and thinking that you’ve been doing for the past few days.

Going forward, note how you’ll incorporate the tweaks and changes you want to make into your schedule. Remember to break them down into teeny tiny changes and tweaks. Those will be less jarring and intimidating, which means you’re more likely to make the changes and stick with them.

You can do this, I know you can!

You’ve done so well this first half of the year. I know this second half will be even better for you! Remember to keep breaking the steps into teeny tiny pieces and then do those little pieces!

 

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework is to pat yourself on the back for all the bits of steps and progress you’ve made. Regardless of the size and pizzazz, progress is progress! It all counts—even the smallest bits—because it adds up over time! Celebrate what you’ve done this past week, this past quarter, and the first half of the year!

I’m so proud of you! Going for your dreams can be intimidating, overwhelming, and it can cause a lot of anxiety. You’re sticking with it, though! That’s fantastic—YOU’RE fantastic! Keep it up, keep working toward your dreams!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Quotes About Planning

 

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http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4020&picture=woman-with-magnifying-glass&large=1

 

 

Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.Larry Winget

  

A goal without a plan is just a wish. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. ― Benjamin Franklin

  

Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning. ― Gloria  Steinem

 

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. ― Yogi Berra

 

 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Magnifying_glass_2911.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Magnifying_glass_2911.JPG

Your homework today is an addition to yesterday’s homework. After reflecting on how the first half of 2015 has gone for you, think about how you want the second half of 2015 to go.

Here are some questions to get you thinking:

What do you want to accomplish?

What do you want to begin doing?

What do you want to stop doing?

 

Keep a look-out for the progress you’ve made in these past six months.

What are you proud of?

What’s made you happy?

 

Keep reflecting and thinking about the first half of the week. Tomorrow we’ll think about where we’re headed in the second half of 2015.

I’m so proud of the work you’re doing and the progress you’re making—yay you!

I knew you could do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren