Early risers

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Are you among the many early risers? My mother used to wake at 5 am for the sole purpose of enjoying her cup of coffee in peace and quiet before waking myself and my siblings.

As I age, I see the wisdom in her practice. There is something so peaceful about the early morning hours – the stillness allows my mind to focus. I like to take advantage of the quiet to review the day’s business goals, as well as celebrate the previous day’s accomplishments. Celebrating each step reached motivates me to continue the climb.

Are you someone who rises early?

Hidden Wealth

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Wealth looks different to different people. A homeless person, with only a box to sleep in, who has shoes and a hat could perhaps be considered wealthy within the homeless community. Someone owning a home, vehicle, and various electronics would be considered wealthy, when compared to someone who is homeless.

There are those who own a large home, two vehicles, several different electronics, with plenty of food in the fridge, yet do not consider themselves wealthy. They compare themselves to others who have more. It’s a never ending contest:

  • Our homes are never big enough
  • Our vehicles are never fast enough
  • Our clothes are never trendy enough.

Comparisons never get you closer to your goals,

unless comparing your past self to your present self!

Being aware of your strengths, talents, challenges, and desires makes you wealthy. There are many throughout the world who have more money than they will ever need, but still they are sad – they do not possess a sense of self. They are not aware of what they were meant to give to the world – their true calling. In their heart, they long for something but are not sure of what it is. Possessions do not fill the void.

Within your life and your business, look for the hidden wealth. Take the time to allow for introspection. Discover your strengths, talents, challenges, and desires. Find out what makes you who you are – what you can give to the world, your community, and to your self. Find your hidden wealth!

Share your thoughts with everyone – those who know your goals will often help you achieve them!

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

When did being negative become a crime?

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Think positively! Don’t be so negative! Turn that frown upside down!

There are days when I seriously want to rip my hair out when I hear those phrases. Since when is it a crime to be sad, angry or afraid? After all, these feelings are part of our emotional range as humans and sometimes life just sucks. Being so angry you want to punch something, or so sad that you weep uncontrollably, are healthy emotional reactions to intense circumstances.

It is true that seeing the brighter side of life, finding beauty in others and our surroundings, and recognizing lessons in every challenge are excellent traits to have. You’ll enjoy your time on earth more and most likely will be a healthier person. The key is not allowing your spirit to be swallowed up by these so called ‘negative’ emotions.

Allow yourself to fully feel these intense negative emotions, for however long you need to. The trick is recognizing when time is up. When it is, here’s what you do:

  • Square your shoulders
  • Tell your negative feelings their time is up
  • Remind yourself of your strength, beauty, talents, and blessings
  • Put a smile on your face

This is what works for me. How about you?

Why you need a vision board

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Do you have a vision board? Vision boards are a visual representation of our hopes and dreams. They typically consist of photos, magazine pictures, words, stickers, anything that is meaningful to you. These meaningful objects will remind you of the reasons you strive to realize your dream:

  • Why do you want your dream to come true?
  • What will you do once your goal is achieved?
  • How will reaching your goal affect your life?
  • Will anyone else be impacted when you reach your goal?
  • When would you like to realize your dream?

With the last point, setting a time limit is key. This allows you a date to focus on, motivating you to work each day on the steps needed to reach your goal. Set a realistic date, keeping in mind the time commitment you can afford and other necessary components you may require.

Place your vision board somewhere that is highly visible to you throughout your day. Alternatively, there are several programs available that allow you to create an online vision board, so you are reminded of your goals while working at your computer. That reminder will help keep you motivated when frustration strikes.

4 tips to managing Facebook groups

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Facebook. Like it or not, it’s probably here to stay, at least for a while. The world of Facebook has brought families together and torn them apart. It’s given rise to an industry and created yet another business marketing strategy. Facebook groups can be sources of support for those dealing with debilitating health issues, as well as industry-specific sources of advice and referrals.

Other groups, created for selling used items, can be great for bargain hunting. These types of groups can also be a hotbed of drama. Far too many people wish to find inexpensive items (sometimes giving fake sob stories to receive things for free) in order to post those items minutes later into a different group with a large price tag attached. I understand the concept of ‘buy low, sell high’. Scamming people by pulling at their heart strings, however, is disgusting.

If you happen to be an admin of a Facebook group, and wish to minimize the chance of scam artists joining your group,  please consider these recommendations:

  • Ensure your group is ‘closed’. This gives you control over the membership.
  • Before you accept someone into your group, scope out their profile. If they haven’t had a Facebook page for more than a few months, I would hesitate to accept them into your group.
  • Ask existing group members if they recognize the name of the person requesting to join.
  • Send a private message to the person requesting access to your group. Explain the group’s guidelines and request that the guidelines be followed before the person is granted access.

Your time is valuable. You don’t want to be constantly monitoring your group, watching for unwanted posts or reading messages from existing group members who want you to deal with those posts. Ensuring scam artists stay out of the group to begin with will save you future issues.

 

3 lessons from nature

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Have you ever considered how powerful nature is? Even with everything that man has thrown at it – causing forest fires, ongoing pollution and so on – nature’s perseverance and determination to thrive can teach us many things. Here are 3 lessons we can apply to our lives:

  • Push through even the most difficult challenges – the rewards are beautiful.

Allow yourself to be angry when faced with difficulty. Lost your job? Give yourself time – be angry, scared or worried. Then shake it off and decide what you’re going to do about it. Facing a terminal illness? Have your feelings – fear, anger, self-pity, whatever they may be. Then decide how you’re going to handle the situation. Are you going to fight the illness with everything you have or will you live out the rest of your life by managing the pain and enjoying whatever time you have left?

  • Patiently rebuild yourself after a disaster.

If you’ve gone through a divorce, bankruptcy or the death of a loved one, be patient with yourself. Love yourself enough to take time to grieve the loss, whatever it may be. You’ll know when the time is right to pull yourself together and move forward. When that time comes, those next steps will be difficult – maybe the hardest you’ve ever taken. Take them anyway.

  • Be endlessly forgiving of others.

Man disrespects nature on a daily basis. From littering, to oil spills, to major air pollution, the environment is continuously assaulted. Yet nature continues to provide sunlight and rain so gardens can grow, providing man with food. We as a race are endlessly forgiven and given so many gifts, which sadly many aren’t grateful for.

What challenges are you facing? Take a lesson from nature – push through, be patient with yourself and forgive others their trespasses. Your soul will thank you for it.

Best app for writers

Technology has revolutionized our world. Finding the best app for writers can be frustrating.  You want something that will get you closer to seeing your name in print. It seems there’s an app for everything these days:

  • Sleep cycle alarm clock
  • Tracking your defecation schedule
  • Blocking your ability to drunk dial
  • Ghost hunting

With over a million mobile apps available to consumers, the choices can be overwhelming. Writers need something that is responsive, easy to use, quickly accessed (inspiration strikes when you least expect it) and portable. Being a writer myself, I have found what I believe to be the best app available to fledgling authors. This app has been in existence for a number of years and has been used by many of the world’s literary giants.

This app is called “P&P”. The qualities of this app are numerous:

  • Portable and easy to use
  • Immune to power failure and computer crashes
  • Requires no technical knowledge from the user
  • Typically free or extremely low cost to install
  • Superior security measures – work is easily hidden

This app is readily available throughout most of the world. One of the greatest aspects of this app is it allows any user, regardless of language, age, gender or location to release their inner masterpiece.

A picture of this app can be found here.

 

How to focus when you can’t focus

Focus

 

Focus. Wikipedia defines it as “selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things”. When your to-do list is filled with tasks that require focus, choosing one and ignoring the others may be challenging. So challenging, in fact, that your mind wanders to other distractions, such as social media.

This lack of focus is a daily reality for many. Often, inability to focus can be a sign of depression, ADD/ADHD, or other disorder. A quick Google search will yield dozens of possible reasons and remedies for lack of focus, including the use of drugs.  Your lack of focus may point to a different issue, however – something that medicine cannot cure.

Be kind to yourself when trying to ascertain where your lack of focus stems from. Perhaps you need to examine your task list:

  • Look honestly at your situation. Do you have the time to complete the tasks on your list?
  • Are there unnecessary tasks or projects that can be delayed? Take them off the list.

Most importantly, forgive yourself for not meeting your own expectations. For those of us with perfectionist/type A personalities, this is a difficult place to get to. We often have a set of rules for ourselves that we would never place upon anyone else, nor would anyone else accept. Why must we cause so much stress for ourselves?

This is the million dollar question…

Now that you’ve died…

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You’re in a room filled with family and friends, some of them crying. You’ve died. Your body, dressed in an outfit you never felt comfortable in but wore anyway, lies in a simple wooden casket at the front of the room.

Now that you’ve died and time has run out, was your life story the blockbuster you wanted it to be? One of your friends stands up to speak and you have no choice but to listen, no matter how much it scares you. Will she have good things to say? The last few years of your life were so busy, you hardly had time to visit with her. Will she remember you as a good friend or someone who only had time for herself?

Your favourite flower, a red rose, adorns your casket. You try and fill your nostrils with its velvety scent then remember, head bowed in disappointment, that you’ve died. Roses are best appreciated by the living.

Before your last breath is drawn, what shift in thinking needs to happen? When you revisit your funeral, do you want to be wearing your favourite dress, listening to speeches filled with love? More importantly, do you want to know you stopped to smell the roses while you lived?

 

Why writing is like having children

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Writing can be a painful journey for some. A writer purges their soul for the world to dissect. It’s similar to having children. Little pieces of your heart, running around for the world to hurt. Yet humans continue to write and procreate. Why, you may ask, would someone allow such vulnerability?

Life is filled with painful experiences, interspersed with joyous events and heart-warming moments. When a writer feels good about a piece of writing, there’s a sense of accomplishment. When others provide positive feedback about that piece of writing, the sense of accomplishment morphs into pride.

The same could be said of raising children. If instilling values and morals in your children is important to you, and you see evidence that you’ve accomplished your goal, you feel good. When other people notice and comment on that evidence, you feel proud.

The writing and parenting aspects of my life continually collide, each requiring my attention. I suspect this won’t change much over the next fifteen years or so, until both my boys are (fingers crossed) in University. Even at that point I’m sure my attention will be required, just in a different way.