Distractions

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sciurus-vulgaris_hernandeangelis_stockholm_2008-06-04.jpg

 

We start a task and are moving along nicely on it, then we think of the email we need to send or a recipe for tonight’s dinner pops into our mind or we have an idea that could help a project at work. We pause in our current task just to do this little thing, after all it’ll only take a moment…. The next thing we know, it’s evening and we have half-finished projects strewn about and nothing really to show for the day even though we were busy every moment.

Distractions! Argh!

One antidote to this is to keep a notepad and pencil handy–or the recording feature on your phone can do the trick–and as your working on a specific task and you think of “important” things you could do right then, instead of stopping what you’re doing to spend “just a moment” following the distraction, jot a note to yourself.  When you’ve finished the task you were working on, then you can take a look at the distraction(s).

There are very few that are critical emergencies and must be taken care of immediately.  Most distractions can wait until you’re finished working on your current task.  And, when you take a moment to really look at the distractions you’ve noted, most of them can probably wait indefinitely for you to get to them.  Furthermore, there most likely would be no harm done if you did wait indefinitely!

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yepun%E2%80%99s_Laser_and_the_Magellanic_Clouds.jpg

Your homework today is to keep some sort of recording device handy, whether it’s old-fashioned pen and paper or something more modern such as using an app on your cell phone. Set an alarm to go off at regular intervals throughout the day—every fifteen minutes is ideal but every half hour or hour may be more practical for your schedule. The point is to check in with yourself throughout the day to determine if you are on-task or if you’ve become distracted. If you’ve discovered you’ve been distracted, then jot it down so that you can handle the distraction later; then get back on task. Of course sometimes distractions can’t be helped such as when your boss asks you to stop what you’re doing and help with another project. What we’re interested in here is eliminating the distractions over which you do have control.

You can do it!

Post in the comments section about other techniques you’ve come up with for eliminating distractions

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Spirituality

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

 

Yesterday we talked about taking care of yourself. An important piece of this is to also make time for your spiritual needs.

Devotion to a religious practice or following a program of meditation and contemplation are ways to check in with yourself spiritually. If neither one of those appeals to you then simply taking quiet time alone with yourself and your thoughts can be very restorative. Also helpful can be reading the thoughts of a writer whose works touch you profoundly. Reading poetry and listening to music can be deeply moving and inspiring experiences as well.

There are many ways to renew your spirit.

Your homework today is to discover your preferred way of taking care of your spiritual needs. Desiderata, written by Max Ehrmann in 1927, can give you a place to start:

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kirche_Gr%C3%B6ben_Lichtspiel.JPG

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

 

Post in the comments section your favorite poem or spiritual phrase that you’d like to share

I’m proud of you.

Your Friend,

Lauren

Take Care of Yourself

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Relax_(3409897731).jpg

When doing your weekly review, it’s important to check in with yourself. How is your mood? Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed? Are you discouraged? Do you find yourself snapping at family and friends or are you easily frustrated over things that normally wouldn’t bother you in the least?

Answering “yes” to any one of these could indicate several things: you aren’t getting enough sleep; you aren’t eating right; you aren’t breathing deeply and getting enough exercise; you aren’t taking enough time for relaxing and having fun.

Sometimes it’s considered a badge of honor to get only 2 or 3 hours of sleep or to pull an all-nighter. Research shows that making a habit of sleep deprivation jeopardizes physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. While everyone’s sleep needs are unique, scientists have found that most people need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Try not to skimp on your sleep!

Work on adding fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Even though you may be pressed for time and you seem to have no choice but to get take-out food, then have fruits and veggies as snacks. Getting proper nutrition can go a long way toward helping improve your wellbeing and outlook on life.

It sounds silly to remind yourself to breathe deeply but studies have shown that most people are shallow breathers. Your brain needs oxygen to think clearly and your muscles, organs, and systems need to be oxygenated as well. Put a reminder on your daily calendar to check in with yourself several times each day and breathe deeply. Fill up your lungs top to bottom, side to side, and front to back. You’ll be amazed at the burst of energy you’ll get from just a few deep breaths regularly throughout the day.

It may seem impossible to fit exercise into your schedule. Perhaps if you think of it as movement that might help you get going. Think of ways to add movement to your day. Of course taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking your car far away from the office building’s front entrance are two obvious suggestions. Probably there are other small ways to add movement, such as at work instead of bundling your print jobs and going to the print room only once, you can print out each document on its own and get each of them one at a time. I’m sure you can think of other ways to add more activity to your day.

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

One of the best things you can do for yourself is relaxing, being silly, and pursuing interests you enjoy. It’s good to laugh, to have fun, to be carefree, even if only for a short time. It may seem frivolous but and a waste of time but studies show that relaxing lowers your blood pressure, improves your memory, improves decision-making, lowers the risk of depression, and helps lessen junk food cravings.

Your homework today is to take time for yourself. Relax and recharge!

You can do it!

Post in the comments section about what you do to relax.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,
Lauren

Mile Markers

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bronx_River_Parkway_Westchester_mile_marker_10.JPG

 

The following two quotes from Earl Nightingale express the power of goals and how they make dreams into reality.

 

People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going

 

All you have to do is know where you’re going. The answers will come to you of their own accord.

 

Sometimes the word “goals” sounds so cold, machine-like and forbidding.  Goals are nothing more than guideposts to aim for and to measure against.  They tell you that you’re going in the right direction and that you’re making progress.  Think of them as the mile markers on the highway to your dreams!

Your homework today is to review this past week.  Do you have any mile markers in sight?  Have you passed any?  Are you being realistic in estimating how quickly you can move toward the markers?  Are you being hampered?  Do you have to be more accurate with your plans or is there something you can do to avoid the slow-downs?

Most importantly, celebrate the mile markers you have passed and the ones you are in sight of.  Even if it seems like you haven’t made any progress at all this week, as long as you can still see the mile marker you’re aiming for, that’s good enough.  Seeing the mile marker even without progress tells you that you’re still pointed in the right direction and you haven’t taken any steps backward!  So celebrate!

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

And, if it seems as if you have taken steps backward…as long as you’re doing things that you think are the right things to do in pursuit of your dreams, then this is cause for a double celebration: first to celebrate that you’re taking steps and second that what seems like backward motion could actually be a shortcut and a special gift that speeds you to your Big Break!  Keep a positive mind focused on expecting the best and keep on moving!

Plan your steps for this coming week and then celebrate—involve your family and friends!

Post in the comments section what you’re proud of this week.

You are awesome!  I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Thank You!

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

 

None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you.

~Harvey Mackay

 

Take ten seconds to think about the people who helped you become the person you are right now and to help you get to this moment in time. Won’t they be pleased to know you thought of them and acknowledged how they helped you?

~Mr. Rogers

 

Thank you, my Dear Readers, for following this blog. I appreciate it very much and I hope to continue to provide you with inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and pep to help you achieve your dreams!

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEMA_-_13355_-_Photograph_by_Kevin_Galvin_taken_on_01-01-2004_in_Massachusetts.jpg

Your homework today is to take time out of your schedule and think of the people and the things they did to help you become who you are and to get to this point in time. Thank them either in your heart, or write them a note, call them on the phone, or speak to them directly. And don’t forget about the small, seemingly insignificant things people have done for you along the way!

Make it a habit to regularly give thanks for all you do have.

You can do it!

Post in the comments section some of the people who have helped you.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Take Action

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:08913-Perspective_Run.jpg

 

Here are a few quotes to inspire you to take the next step!

 

We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once. ~Calvin Coolidge

People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do. ~Lewis Cass

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. ~Mark Twain

Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now. ~Jonatan Mårtensson

When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress becomes manageable. ~Greg Anderson

Don’t find fault. Find a remedy. ~Henry Ford

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps — we must step up the stairs. ~Vance Havner

Action is the antidote to despair. ~Joan Baez

Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live. ~Sébastien-Roch Nicolas (Chamfort)

All know the way; few actually walk it. ~Bodhidharma

Be content to act, and leave the talking to others. ~Baltasar Gracián, translated from Spanish

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. ~Peter Marshall

An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied. ~Arnold Glasow

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action. ~Frank Tibolt

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atalante_1_Lepautre_Louvre_MR_1804.jpg

Your homework today is to study these quotes and understand what they’re encouraging you to do: take the next step. While it’s important to plan, it’s critical to take action. You must take the next step.

Go for it! You can do it!

 

In the comments section, post that you did it—that you took the next step.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Friendly Universe?

 

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

 

Yesterday we asked ourselves the question Is the Universe a Friendly Place? I encouraged you to take the time to answer this because it gets to the core of your personal philosophy. Today I want to talk a little more about the answer you gave.

Those who answered “Yes” generally have a can-do attitude, which makes the journey to your goals and dreams more pleasant. This doesn’t mean that the going will be easy or that you won’t have challenges along the way.

The journey is basically the same for everyone: you’re challenged, you have to roll up your sleeves and apply time, effort, and elbow grease, you dig deep, and eventually you reach your dreams.

The difference is that people with a positive attitude tend to see possibilities and opportunities that people with a less positive attitude might miss.

Those who answered “No”, don’t fret. It’s actually a cause for celebration. That’s because this is a very valuable piece of feedback you just gave yourself. It’s good to know what your basic—default—outlook is on Life. You can use this information to tweak your plans and your routines so that you’re working with yourself instead of against yourself.

Popular thought says that in order to be successful you have to be peppy and happy and cheerful and energetic. That isn’t true. Naturally, an attitude of expecting good things to happen and a cheerful, energetic personality might make the journey more pleasant, but they aren’t requirements for success. You can be achieve your goals and dreams no matter your outlook on Life or your personality type. As long as you take steps regularly toward your goals and dreams and as long as you don’t give up or quit, you will achieve your dreams.

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

Your homework today is to recognize the personality style and outlook you have. How can you tweak your plans and your schedule so that they’re more in line with your nature? What gifts and strengths do you have that are a result of your particular temperament? How can you use these to help yourself?

Also, for those who tend to look on the gloomy side of Life, take the time to think about things you can do to counteract or circumvent your tendency to expect things to be difficult or to not work out. While this may be your go-to attitude, it doesn’t need to have the final say in how you handle your life. You can consciously override it or modify it. Jot down some thoughts on what you can do.

And for everyone, take the next step!!

Go you! You can do it!

Post in the comments section some of your strategies for giving yourself every chance to be successful!

I’m so proud of you! You’re doing wonderful work!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Crafting a soul-prospering life.