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Motivation

The One Thing You Can Always Change

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There’s an old joke that says, “Everybody complains about the weather but nobody does a thing about it.”

It’s meant to point out the obvious fact that there are many things in Life over which we have no control.

Zero. Zip. Nada.

We have no control over our height, or the color of our eyes.

We have no control over the time the sun rises or sets.

We have no control over traffic.

We have no control over the person who tries to sneak 15 items into the “10 items or less” line.

And, like the weather, complaining about these things is a waste of energy because we simply can’t change them.

But there is one thing about all these things that we CAN change…our attitude toward them.

Unlike the weather and the traffic and the person in the “express check-out,” we have control over our attitude. We can change it, make it better. We have that choice each and every day. No one can do it for us and no one can take a positive attitude away from us without our consent.

We control it.

So, take a deep breath when Life hands you a situation completely out of your hands. Don’t try to change IT…change YOU instead.

(And please, count those items BEFORE you get into the “10 items or less” line. Those of us behind you with only two items thank you.) 

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You Make Your Own Luck

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St. Patricks Day and four-leaf clovers go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, you are hard pressed to find a St. Patrick’s Day item: clothing, decoration, paper plate… that does not feature a four leaf clover somewhere in the design. We like those little clovers because they symbolize luck. More importantly, GOOD luck. And we all wish for that, don’t we?

But there’s a secret those four-leaf clovers aren’t telling you; a secret not just on St. Patrick’s Day, but every day of the year…

You make your OWN luck.

It’s not up to anyone else, which means YOU get to decide what kind of luck it is:

If you get stuck in traffic on the way to work, but thanks to leaving early, you still arrive on time…you just made your own luck.

If you are trying to lose weight, but fill the pantry with potato chips and cookies, causing you to grab a handful every time you go in there, well, you just made your own luck again.

And if the day simply falls apart through no fault of your own, but you smile in spite of it all, you just chose to make your own luck.

So, this St. Patrick’s day, grab a plate of corned beef and cabbage, hug a leprechaun, and remember that the luck you have is the luck you make!

Slàinte!

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The Sun is Always Shining Somewhere

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It’s a dreary day full of gloomy weather. The clouds hang low and cluster together, filling the sky.   You sit in your airplane seat, watching the rain that has been threatening to make an appearance begin to whip against your window. It is cold and simply miserable. It feels as though the sun is shining nowhere.

And then, the plane takes off, and as it climbs through the clouds, you are suspended in a sea of dark grey…and then lighter grey…and then, the plane lifts itself above the clouds and in the blink of an eye,  the world is once again bathed in sunshine and blue skies.

And we marvel that it was there all along.

Clouds come into our Life all the time. They show up in the form of problems and difficulties and obstacles. They tend to cluster together, because, well, that’s what clouds do. And sometimes we experience so many of them, that it feels as though the sun will never shine again.

But…it does.

For the sun is always there. Always. All the clouds can do is hide its light for awhile, until we rise above them to find the blue skies again.

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Dear ME

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Dear Me

Dear Me,

I’m writing you a letter from the future. Twenty years down the road. The future is an amazing place-I can’t wait for you to see it! The advances in medicine and science will blow your mind, however, be warned, we don’t have hovercrafts yet, your cell phone will still lose battery power at the worst possible time, and you will still have to wait in the line at the DMV.

But I’m not sending you a letter from the future to talk about any of that-you’ll find all that out soon enough.

No, I’m here to talk to you about YOU.

I know you’re going through some stuff right now, and it’s hard. Some days are harder than others; I remember it well. I can still feel the anxiety and the worry and the stress like it was yesterday. The sleepless nights are especially difficult. Make sure you keep some Chamomile tea on hand; it tends to help.

And you don’t know this yet, you really have no way of knowing because you’re still living it, but trust me…it will get better. It will. It might not feel like it right now, but see, dear ME, that’s just the thing: Now is just now-it’s not Always.

That’s the message I need you to hear.

You need to be kinder to yourself

You need to recognize that you are a worthy and wonderful human being, but you are human and with that humanity comes problems from time to time.

You need to realize that every one has problems of some sort. Everyone. Some wear them on the outside for the world to see, but many keep them tucked away, out of view. It doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

You need to remember that you are not alone. Ever.

And lastly, you need to remember that you have a future down the road, a future that you can make into anything you want it to be. No one writes the ending of your story but you.

So, take cheer, dear Me. You’ve got this.

Sincerely,

Me

(PS. And you might want to rethink eating that hot dog you’ll buy at the gas station on your next road trip. Trust me on this.)

 

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Goals Are Promises You Make to Yourself

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The Goal: I told myself last night that I was going to get up extra early and go for a walk before work and then on my lunch hour, I was going to go by the dry cleaners, and then the bank and then the post office, and then on my way home from work I was going to stop by the gym for some exercise and then stop by the grocery store and then make dinner and then reorganize my closet and then clean my office.

The Reality: The only things I ended up doing were going by the grocery story after work and making dinner. And then feeling bad that I didn’t accomplish everything on my list.

The Goal: I will lose 20 pounds in two weeks.

The Reality: I didn’t even come close and got so upset with myself that I ate an entire sausage pizza and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Sound familiar?

We so often make very ambitious goals- goals that require superhuman endurance and an extra 4 hours tacked on to the end of a day to make happen; goals so lofty they are doomed from the beginning.

And then, when we realize there is no way we can do them all, we berate ourselves as failures for not accomplishing them.

Goals are good things to have, necessary to our growth, but only if they are reasonable.

So, don’t set yourself up to fail. Make logical, attainable goals-make them manageable, and remember that goals are like promises you make to yourself.

So make sure it’s a promise you can keep.

 

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