Ummm…Uhhhh…

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

“Ummm…uhhh…gee…thanks, Aunt Tillie.  This is just what I wanted.”

Yesterday we talked about negative people.  Today, let’s talk about the people in your life who you know mean well but sometimes they’re off the mark.

They genuinely want you to be happy and they want to help you get there.  But yet, occasionally, they may say or do something that is hurtful or insulting, or maybe they give you advice that you know is incorrect.  You don’t want to hurt their feelings or be discourteous of their honest efforts to be supportive but…

…what’s a person to do when this happens?

The best thing is to be respectful.

Recognize that the advice is coming from the person’s heart and is wrapped in their good wishes for you.  Thank them for their interest in you and what you’re trying to accomplish and tell them gently and tactfully that you’ll have to think about what they’ve said.

It’s very, very important that you thank the person.  They cared enough about you and your dreams to put in time and effort to be of help to you.   

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Be_Kind.png
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Be_Kind.png

Your homework today is to come up with gracious ways to thank someone for their gift of caring, even if it’s off the mark and won’t be helpful to you.  Be compassionate and have empathy.  Remember the times you tried to lend a hand to someone but they were inconsiderate of the help you tried to give.  That didn’t feel so good.  What did you wish they had said or done instead?

Here are a few sentiments to get you started on this assignment:

“Thanks for your idea.  That’s an interesting/creative way to look at it.  Let me think about that.”

OR

“You’ve given me a lot to think about.  Thanks, I appreciate it.”

OR

“Thanks for your insights.  I’ll have to think them through.”

The important thing is to say THANK YOU to the person.  And, letting them know you’ll think about it shows your respect for their efforts.  That’s what they want:  to be helpful and appreciated.

Go for it; you can do it!  Yay you!

I’m so proud of you.  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

 

Go Stuff It!

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

There is an important thing to do before taking the first step.  If you’ve started without doing this, no worries!  You can do it now–or when it becomes necessary.

Get some cotton (imaginary cotton is just fine) and then:

Stuff your ears with it so that you can’t hear what other people say about you and your dreams and goals.

Most people are trying to be helpful and show their support for you, but sometimes it comes out wrong.  They don’t intend to be hurtful or insulting but, without meaning to, their suggestions come across that way.

Some people in your life are naturally negative, even when they’re trying to be positive!  No matter how perfect the thing, they’ll naturally find the flaw or the problem.  And no matter how happy the occasion, they’ll find something that isn’t quite right.  And no matter how well you’ve done something, they’ll find a reason why it isn’t good enough.

Then there are those few people who don’t like you and who don’t wish the best for you.  They may even be openly hostile and venomous toward you.

The best way to deal with them is to not listen to what they say:  plug your ears with cotton!  As much as you can, avoid the negative and the venomous ones all together.  If you have no choice, though, limit the time your time with them as much as possible.

Don’t try to justify yourself and what you’re doing, don’t try to explain yourself, and– above all–don’t try to prove them wrong.  None of this will change their minds about you and what you’re doing.  If you engage them in any way, chances are the whole situation will devolve into a complete mess.  None of this will make you happy and it certainly won’t take you any closer to your dreams or goals

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=39477&picture=snake-animals&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=39477&picture=snake-animals&large=1

Engaging them isn’t worth it.

You have better things to do with your time.  You can’t afford to indulge in having bad feelings and negative thoughts.  Your goals and your dreams are too important, too valuable, to allow yourself to be derailed.

But, man oh man does that person–or those people–get under your skin!

What do you do about this?  How do you get back on an even keel?

The very best thing you can do is to take the next step!  You may be agitated and as a result only able to handle a little piece of a step; that’s okay.  Do something–anything, no matter how small–that will move you forward.

You may be so agitated, though, that you can’t move forward, even the tiniest bit.  In that case, do some self-soothing things such as talking to a person who believes in you, who always makes you feel good about yourself.  You can read a book that uplifts you and never fails to put you into a positive frame of mind.

Take a moment to remember and think about the accomplishments you’ve had so far, not only with your dreams and goals but also the times when you helped someone.  Perhaps you need to reach out now and help a neighbor or a friend.

You may need to spend time in nature–take a walk or work in the garden.  Perhaps it’ll help to play with your kids or your pet.

Once you’ve re-centered, then take that step!

Your homework today is to write down things you can do that will make you feel better when Life or a person has got you down.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Madonna_of_Sacrifice_NGM-v31-p551.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Madonna_of_Sacrifice_NGM-v31-p551.jpg

For extra credit, find someone you know who’s struggling or maybe doesn’t feel so great about themselves.  Give them a pep talk.  Tell them the things you admire about them.  Remind them of what they’re good at.  You’ll make their day–and your own, too!

You can do it!  Yay you!

I’m so proud of you for turning around a negative situation.  You rock!  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

“…I’ll Never be Hungry Again!”

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lange-MigrantMother02.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lange-MigrantMother02.jpg

What does that line–one of the most famous in all of movie history–have to do with moving toward your goals?  Because it’s as important to know what you don’t want as it is to know what you do want.

The right kind of negative statement can be powerfully motivating.  In Gone with the Wind at the end of the film Scarlet is silhouetted in a blazing sunset with the ruins of her beloved Tara around her.  That’s when she declares “…I’ll never be hungry again!”

Here is the full text of the movie quote:  “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to beat me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!”

In those words, you can feel her steadfast determination and fierce resolve.  We believe her and we’re positive she succeeded.

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

Your homework for today is to draw that line in the sand for yourself.  Decide once and for all what you will not tolerate any longer.  Write it down using language that is emphatic, filled with powerful emotion, and something that makes the steely strength within you rise up.  Make the statement short and to the point; write it down and post it where you see it often.  Say the words to yourself every morning when you first wake up and make those words the last ones you say before falling asleep.

For extra credit, rent Gone With the Wind and watch the ending scene over and over again.  Absorb the force and intensity of the speech.  Make it your own.

You can do it!  Go you!

I’m so proud of you!  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Jingle All the Way!

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

Jingles:

They’re catchy and tuneful, memorable and easily get stuck in your head.  You hear the first note or two and instantly your mind knows what it is.  You’re snapping your fingers and tapping your toes, and all day it goes ’round and ’round in your head.

You can do this for yourself with your own personal motivational statement.  Just think how powerful it would be to have a statement or a song that, to you, has power and energy in it–and have it looping in your mind throughout the day.  It’d be jet fuel, for sure!

For inspiration, think of your favorite company taglines, such as “Just do it” (Nike), “Where’s the beef?” (Wendy’s) and “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” (M&Ms).  Also, think of your favorite jingles, for example “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!” (Alka Seltzer), “My bologna has a first name it’s O-S-C-A-R…”  (Oscar Mayer), and “Mm, mm good, mm, mm good….” (Campbell’s Soup).

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Notes_on_the_staff.gif
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Notes_on_the_staff.gif

Here is a link to an article naming a few jingles:  http://money.msn.com/now/12-of-the-best-ad-jingles-ever  (scroll through the comments for additional ones).  Here is a link to an article naming a few famous taglines:  http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/28/nike-bmw-amex-apple-cmo-network-best-advertising-taglines.html

Your homework is to create a tagline and/or a jingle for yourself.  If you’re having trouble coming up with something original, then rework a famous one (since it’s for your own personal use, it isn’t copyright infringement).  Have fun with this!  And don’t worry about making a mistake or not doing it right.  All that matters is that it’s meaningful, memorable, and fun for you.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Colours_of_Happiness_3.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Colours_of_Happiness_3.jpg

You can even re-work one of your high school’s cheers or ones that your favorite professional team’s cheerleaders do.  If you can’t think of any, feel free to use this:

Rah, rah, rah! 

Sis-boom-bah!

I can do it!

I can do it!

Rah, rah, rah!

WooHoo!

You did it!  Yay you!

I’m so proud of you!  I knew you could do it!

Your friend,

Lauren

 

The Unexamined Life….

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=36062&picture=binoculars&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=36062&picture=binoculars&large=1

“The unexamined life is not worth living by a human being” ~Plato

What if you look back over these past seven days and find that your energy and enthusiasm has dwindled?  What if Life has intervened in ways you hadn’t imagined so you’re not really taking any steps at all?  What if you never really got out of the starting gate in the first place?

What do you do about this?

Is it time to pack it in, give up, and somehow reconcile yourself to the seeming fact that you’re just not one of the lucky people who can attain their goals and dreams?

The answer is:  NO!

Don’t let these thoughts get to you!

It’s very common to find your drive and motivation flagging and it’s an all too usual thing for Life to mess up our best-laid plans.  And, many people feel discouraged and disappointed from time-to-time.

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

When you evaluate yourself, be gentle.  I’m positive you can look back over these past few days and identify little things you did do to help yourself and small steps you did take.  Even if you’re at the very beginning point where you’re working on this in your mind, give yourself credit for the things you are doing.  Even just the simple awareness that you want something better for yourself and you’d like to–or hope to–one day do something about it is a reason to celebrate yourself.  Remember from previous posts that mind-work in the form of imagination, visualization, contemplation, and awareness is vital and valuable.  Also remember that teeny-tiny steps are the foundation of the larger steps you’ll take later on

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=29416&picture=trophies&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=29416&picture=trophies&large=1

Your homework today is to celebrate the victories you’ve had this week, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential.  It’s hard work breaking steps into small pieces, overcoming resistance and inertia, pushing aside fears and anxieties, and moving forward.  You did it, though!

You rock!  Give yourself a cheer!

I am awesome!

I am awesome!

I am awesome!

I’m so proud of you!  I knew you could do it!

Your friend,

Lauren

Rocket Fuel!

Image courtesy of NASA
Image courtesy of NASA

The thoughts you think–the words you say to yourself–are very powerful.  From time-to-time, we all need a little boost.  One of the easiest ways do this is to repeat words that are powerful and meaningful to you.  Here are a few suggestions:

Conqueror, champion, winner;

Strong, resilient, hardy;

Powerful, bold, audacious;

Mighty, dynamic, robust;

Victory, triumph, success;

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Weight_lifting_black_and_white.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Weight_lifting_black_and_white.jpg

Vibrant, vigorous, vitality;

Vim, zest, gusto;

Effervescent, radiant, dazzling;

Brilliant, genius, quick-witted;

Creative; innovative, ingenuity;

Smart; intelligent, brainy;

Thriving, flourishing, soaring;

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Eagle_soaring_%286053751442%29.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/Eagle_soaring_%286053751442%29.jpg

Talented, gifted; well-able;

Brave, daring, heroic;

Courageous, plucky, gutsy;

Dazzling, spectacular, magnificent.

Your homework for today is to go over this list of words and make a note of those that strike a chord within you.  Repeat them frequently throughout the day, each day.  For extra credit, pull out your thesaurus– or go to http://www.thesaurus.com — and search for words that make you feel energized and optimistic.  Note these and add them to your roster and repeat them to yourself throughout your day.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laughing_point.svg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laughing_point.svg

Yay you!  You’re awesome!

I’m proud of you!  I knew you could do it!

Your friend,

Lauren

Wagons, Ho!

 http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29653/29653-h/images/illus05.jpg
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29653/29653-h/images/illus05.jpg

“Wagons, ho!”  This was a common phrase in the TV westerns of the 1950s and early 1960s.  We can learn a lesson from it. 

It’s important to make consistent, regular movement forward.  You don’t have to take leaps and bounds; tiny baby steps are just fine.  You don’t have to take a step daily, although it’s ideal to devote a little bit of time each day–even 5 minutes–to your goals and dreams.  As long as you’ve earmarked part of your week or month to pursuing your goals and dreams–and you stick to this–you will succeed.  Of course, it may take you longer to accomplish your goals and dreams than someone who devotes a few hours every day to theirs, but then, you aren’t in competition with anyone–not even yourself!

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=42782&picture=turtle&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=42782&picture=turtle&large=1

Wagon trains were capable of traveling 10 miles per day.  Frequently, though, because of weather, terrain, attacks, and other factors, they moved much slower.  But they still made it to their destinations in Oregon, California, New Mexico, and other western regions!

It’s the same for you.  It doesn’t matter how big of a step you take or how often you take it.  As long as you consistently and regularly take those steps, you will make it!

Your homework for today is to realistically look at your schedule for the next few days and assign time to work toward your dreams and goals.  Search for those little pockets of time that we often overlook:  while you’re waiting to pick up your children; instead of going out to lunch, brown-bag it and devote a few moments to a small step; rather than spending all evening in front of the TV or surfing the Internet, allocate 15 minutes or a half hour to working on your goals–you’ll still have time for other things.

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/foun/images/fig1.jpg
http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/foun/images/fig1.jpg

So, in homage once again to the old TV westerns, head ’em up and move ’em out!  Wagons, ho!

Go you!  You rock!

I’m proud of you!  I knew you could do it!

You’re friend,

Lauren

Crafting a deeply meaningful, soul-prospering life