A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

One Billion Rising

One in three women becomes a victim of violence in her lifetime.

onebillionrising

February 14 is the day to make a different. Take a stand.

Blog. Tweet. Post. Share.

Find out when and where the One Billion Rising event will be held nearest to you.

Be there. Support. Protest. Lobby. Demand change.

I know where I’ll be…

obrbahamasWhere will YOU rise?

Wordless Wednesday: Positivity

Positivity

I saw this little gem over at Running Thriver, and it is speaking to my LIFE.

A lot of time, we don’t know who is watching, or listening. We don’t know who we’re inspiring. We don’t know about the spirits we lift in the little things, so I’m sharing this with you. Hoping that you’re watching, you’re spirits are lifted. 🙂 Many thanks to Running Thriver for this image, and her post.

Sunday Inspiration

10 Laws of Productivity – StumbleUpon

It seems like a lot of people have productivity issues. People waste time. Some people use time, but in the wrong way. A lot of people procrastinate. Some people have trouble getting started. Others find it difficult to keep going. The issues are not unique. People have been fighting them for as long as there has been time (and things to do with it). It takes a little hunting, and trying, and testing, and evaluating, but it’s possible to find a way to make it work. Make TIME work. And make YOURSELF work. Here’s something I came across, and just had to share with you. As always, I’ve highlighted major points (to me). If you have anything to add, feel free to do so in the comments.

Here are 10 laws of productivity we’ve consistently observed among serial idea executors:

1. Break the seal of hesitation.
A bias toward action is the most common trait we’ve found across the hundreds of creative professionals and entrepreneurs we’ve interviewed. While preparing properly as you start a new project is certainly valuable, it’s also easy to lose yourself in planning (and dreaming) indefinitely. We must challenge ourselves to take action sooner rather than later. The minute that you start acting (e.g. building a physical prototype, sharing a nascent concept with your community), you start getting valuable feedback that will help refine your original idea – and move forward with a more informed perspective.

2. Start small.
When our ideas are still in our head, we tend to think big, blue sky concepts. The downside is that such thinking makes the barrier to entry – and action – quite high. To avoid “blue sky paralysis,” pare your idea down to a small, immediately executable concept. Can you trial the idea of a multi-day festival with a smaller performance series? Take an idea for a skyscraper and model it in miniature? Work out the flow of an iPhone app by sketching on paper? Once you’ve road-tested your idea on a small scale, you’ll have loads more insight on how to take it to the next level.

3. Protoype, prototype, prototype.
Trial and error is an essential part of any creative’s life. As Ze Frank says, usually when we execute an idea for the first time, it kinda sucks. The important thing is to synthesize the knowledge gained during the process to refine the idea, and create a new-and-improved version. Serial idea-makers like Jack Dorsey, Ben Kaufman, and Studio 7.5 all attest: Prototyping and iteration is key to transforming a so-so idea into a game-changing product. Rather than being discouraged by your “failures,” listen closely and learn from them. Then build a new prototype. Then do it again. Sooner or later, you’ll hit gold.

To avoid ‘blue sky paralysis,’ pare your idea down to a small, immediately executable concept.

4. Create simple objectives for projects, and revisit them regularly.
When working on in-depth projects, we generate lots of new ideas along the way. This can lead to a gradual expansion of the project’s goals, or “scope creep.” This insidious habit can make it impossible to ever really complete anything. The best way to avoid it is to write down a simple statement summarizing your objective at the start of each project. (If you have collaborators, make sure there is agreement about the objective.) And then – this is the part we overlook! – revisit it regularly. When scope creep starts to happen, you’ll notice.

5. Work on your project a little bit each day.
With projects that require a serious infusion of creative juice – developing a new business plan, writing a novel, or just learning a new skill – it’s incredibly important to maintain momentum. Just as when you run everyday, the exercise gets easier and easier, the same thing happens with your brain. Stimulate it regularly each day, and those juices start to flow more freely. As Jack Cheng argues in a great blog post, “Thirty Minutes A Day”: “the important thing isn’t how much you do; it’s how often you do it.”

6. Develop a routine.
Part of being able to work on your project a little bit each day is carving out the time to do so. Routines can seem boring and uninspiring, but – on the contrary – they create a foundation for sparking true insight. In his recent memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami writes about how a rigorous routine – rising at 5am and going to bed at 10pm every day – is crucial to his impressive creative output. (In a side note: Alex Iskold derives a series of lessons for start-up entrepreneurs from Murakami here.)

7. Break big, long-term projects into smaller chunks or “phases.”
To help manage expectations and stay motivated for year-long or even multi-year endeavors, break each project into smaller chunks that only take a few weeks or a month to complete. The dual benefit of this approach is: (1) making the project feel more manageable, and (2) providing incremental rewards throughout the project. It’s crucial to pause periodically to take stock of what has been accomplished – even if there’s a long way to go.

With projects that require a serious infusion of creative juice, it’s incredibly important to maintain momentum.

8. Prune away superfluous meetings (and their attendees).
Few activities are more of a productivity drain than meetings. If you must meet (and this should be a big “if”), make sure everyone knows what needs to be accomplished from the outset. If people are present who don’t help out with achieving that objective, let them leave. Qwest COO Teresa Taylor, recently interviewed in the NYT‘s Corner Office, starts her meetings with the question, “Do we all know why we’re here?” and then follows with, “Does everyone need to be here?” To trim the runtime of internal meetings, you can also try the standing meeting.

9. Practice saying “No.”
Creative energy is not infinite. Seasoned idea-makers know that they must guard their energy – and their focus – closely. Take author Jim Collins for example. His books Built to Last and Good to Great have sold millions of copies. His business acumen and insights are in demand. Yet, “even though Collins demands over $60,000 per speech, he gives fewer than 18 per year.” More than that and Collins wouldn’t have enough time to focus on the research and writing that yield those bestselling books. When you’re in execution mode, keep in mind that “unexpected opportunities” also mean distraction from the work at hand. Saying no is an essential part of the productivity equation.

10. Remember that rules – even productivity rules – are made to be broken.
Did we say develop a routine? This and other tips here should only be followed as long as they are working. If forward motion has become impossible with your current routine, try something else. Whether it’s taking a long distance trip, popping into the art museum, walking around the block, or talking to a perfect stranger, make sure you occasionally shake up your normal routine. Breaking habits offers new perspective and helps recharge us to head back into the fray.

Source: 10 Laws of Productivity :: Tips :: The 99 Percent – StumbleUpon.

Ok. You’re up! Give me your thoughts.

Be Beautiful

As you already know, I like sharing things. Little bits of happiness. Advice. Smiles. Jokes. Today, it’s something I think we can all stand to read at least once in life. I spent some time hanging out over at Bloom Anyway today, and came across a link to THIS (and you KNOW I’m highlighting things):

Here are 36 ways to start feeling absolutely beautiful right now:

1. Smile. It lights up your face. It triggers happiness in your brain. It makes others feel happy.

2. Remember your posture. Stand up straight. Hold your head high. Throw those shoulders back. You look confident, energetic, amazing!

3. Focus on the best not the worst. Stop staring at the wrinkle or the bulge. Quit comparing yourself to Patty Perfect. Let your “worst” features recede and focus on your best instead. You have far more beautiful features than you see!

4. Be amazed at the wonder of your body. No matter your size, shape, or age, your body is a miraculous temple. Observe how wondrously it operates to house the beautiful person you are.

5. Appreciate your flaws. You are part of the Great Community of Flawed Persons. Welcome to the club. So embrace your flaws as a reminder of your connection to humanity. Flawed is the new perfect.

6. Be expressive. When you are animated and expressive, the fullness of your personality shines through. What could be more beautiful?

7. Get excited. Allow yourself to be enthusiastic and excited about life. Don’t let your concerns about appearance hold you back from embracing the beauty of living. It will reflect back on you! <<< I admit that I struggle with this. Even when I get excited, no one knows. This was actually brought up one day at work. Co-founder said, “Are you going to show this much enthusiasm with everything?” *sighs* Must. allow. self. to get. EXCITED. Legitimately.

8. Break a sweat. Get some exercise. Put on that lovely spandex and move your beautiful body. Get an endorphin high. Let your hair get sweaty and greasy. Through the sweat you are shining like star!

9. Practice beautiful movement. Try ballet, tai chi, yoga or some other movement that is fluid and allows your body to respond in beautiful new ways. <<< This is my thing for today.

10. Acknowledge your inner beauty. Get pen and paper and write down all of the beauty that you do, that you give, that you create, and that you are. You are a powerhouse of beauty.

11. Show kindness. A kind person is exquisite in their beauty. It shines from them like a beacon of hope and peace.

12. Don’t try too hard. Don’t overdo it with make-up or clothes. Don’t spend thousands getting surgery. Don’t exercise yourself to death. When you try too hard, you look desperate. It’s hard to feel beautiful when you feel desperate. <<< This is my life. Easy.

13. Don’t act your age. Your age doesn’t define you or your capacity for beauty. In fact, age ripens you and provides a lushness to your bad, beautiful self! Live the age you feel.

14. Create something. Creativity is the handmaiden of beauty. Creativity is beauty expressing itself through you. Paint, write, garden, scult, cook, sew, decorate — be creative and you will feel beauty spilling out of every pore.

15. Inspire others. As the poet Rumi writes, “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Do beautiful things. Live beauty. Be beauty. You will inspire others through your beauty.

16. Stop your thoughts. It’s hard to feel beautiful when your brain is whirring away like a ticker tape with negative thoughts about your appearance or age. When you are trapped in those thoughts, stop yourself and redirect your thinking.

17. See yourself through the eyes of a loved one. View yourself the way those dearest to you see you. Offer yourself the love they offer you. Feel the beauty they feel around you. <<< Now THIS is a REALLY good idea! Love it.

18. Connect with the beauty of nature. You are part of the natural world in all of its infinite glory and seasonal changes. As you experience nature, become aware of your connection to the beauty around you.

19. Listen to beautiful music. Certain music speaks to your soul. It touches and enlivens the most spiritual and beautiful parts of ourselves. Listen to Brandenburg Concertos #5 by Bach to feel your beauty come alive.

20. Make love. No explanation needed. <<< !!!!!!!

21. Wear clothes well. If you aren’t a natural at dressing to suit your body type, age, and coloring, find someone to help you find clothing highlight the beauty inside of you.

22. Hug often. Share loving physical touch with friends and family. It’s a beautiful thing!

23. Get enough sleep. You know what lack of sleep does to your appearance, not to mention your mental health. A good night’s sleep is a mini facelift!

24. Dance. Dance alone. Dance with a partner. Dance like no one is watching. Dancing makes you feel like a beautiful child, carefree and happy.

25. Update your make-up. Make sure your make-up doesn’t look dated, too heavy, or just wrong. Sometimes we get stuck in make-up ruts. An new look can highlight your most beautiful features.

26. Have a beautiful mind. Don’t corrupt your mind with ugly thoughts about yourself or others. Don’t dwell on unpleasant things. Don’t watch violence or negative programs or movies. Fill your thoughts with loveliness. <<< Good call!

27. Stop smoking. It ages your skin, it smells bad, it’s bad for you, and it doesn’t reflect self-love. Dropping this bad habit will instantly make you feel more beautiful.

28. Be outgoing, even if it’s hard. Initiate conversations. Show interest in people. Make introductions. Smile. Bridging the gap between stranger and friend feels beautiful.

29. Do physical work. If you have a desk job, sometimes you miss the beauty of a task completed with the physical evidence of your accomplishment. Do something physical like washing the car, raking leaves, gardening, etc. to see the fruits of your labor. Moving, working, accomplishing — that feels beautiful!

30. Take care of your teeth. Since you are now smiling often, you want your teeth to look their pearly best. White, clean teeth make you look ten years younger. Plus, it’s hard to smile if you are embarrassed about your teeth.

31. Create beauty around you. Let your surroundings reflect the beauty inside of you. Remove clutter. Clean windows. Add flowers. Let your home be filled with your beauty. <<< SUPER important in my life. I neeeed things clean. And neat. And clutter-free. Otherwise, I’m confused, unable to think clearly, unhappy… Not good. GOTTA keep the surroundings as I keep myself.

32. Cook a beautiful meal. Well-prepared, healthy, and delicious food prepared by loving hands is beauty for the mouth and the soul.

33. Reduce stress. Anxiety, a furrowed brow, a tense frown, hunched shoulders are all the physical manifestations of stress. Find the cause of your stress and do something to relieve it. Shine the light of your beauty on the situation. It might dissolve.

34. Exude self-confidence. Show the world that you know you are beautiful where it counts. Your self-confidence rises in direct proportion to your self-acceptance. Love the unique and beautiful person you are and share that with the world.

35. Dress up. Life has gotten increasingly casual. Dress up on occasion. In fact, be the best dressed person in the room. Wear red! Turn a few heads.

36. Express gratitude. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you have. The handful of complaints you have about your appearance is nothing compared to the cornucopia of blessings that surround you. Bathe in the beauty of your blessings, and it will transform you from the inside out.

 

Sweet list, right? What would you like to add to it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Happy Monday!

Happy Mon-dizzle!

Hope your week is off to a great start.

Before I get too deep into this Monday post, let me remind you of my post on Wordshaker. It’s a part of last week’s theme of “Embarrassing Stories.” Ch-ch-check-check-check it ooout! Read it here.

I freaking LOVE Mondays. I believe I’ve mentioned that before. I enjoy fresh starts. People get all hyped up about new years. I get hype for a new week. I love that I get to start over. Make my to-do lists, plan the next few days, strategize… Find way to do better. Be better. And of course, I just looove to challenge myself.

This morning, in my blog reading, I found the perfect post to start my week. I’m so hard on myself sometimes. I mean, I make light of things. I laugh things off. But really… I don’t give myself enough credit. I lament about not having any talents, and not being artistic, and all this crap. Forget that! This week, I’m gonna give myself credit. I’m not going to just take note of the things I’m lacking. I’m gonna count the things I have. I’m going to notice the good in me. And you should too!

Here’s the post (by The Naked Mom):

Often times, we are our own worst enemy.  Societally speaking, a fine line has been created between accepting and admitting our gifts and talents AND being conceited.

While, it is true arrogantly boasting about your talents is an unattractive quality, to say the least….we need to be cautious in not diminishing our personal gifts and worth by not recognizing them in ourselves.

If we are debilitated in the discernment of our gifts, not only do we extinguish ourselves, but we also neglect to illuminate the lives of others in an enriching way.  If we barrage ourselves with negative talk depreciating our own worth and value, then we leave ourselves ineffectual.

Some of our “personal tapes” of self-hatred are so embedded and ingrained deep within our psyche that we fail to even identify them , much less understand the power of their imprisonment upon our lives.

This is not to say we should all run around announcing to the world how great we are….how unbeliavably fantastic and awesome we are….it is not about superiority, nor is about inferiority….it is simply about being openly aware of the goodness that resides in you, the gifts…uniquely yours….to embroider yourself with the gifts of others.

Sidenote:  Talents and gifts are often thought of in terms of grandiose measure….a best selling author, reaching millions with their knowledge, a person in a position of power etc, and sadly this truth only aids in the demise of individual worth.  A gift could be whipping together a meal by which great conversation happens, it could be your way with words, your listening ear….the list goes on.

Recognize your gifts….the value of yourself.

This week jot down 3 positive things about yourself….3 attributes that enhance the lives of the people around you.  Ask a friend, if you are really frozen.

After writing down your 3 things….brainstorm and write down ways which you can use those attributes more often.

Post it in a place you see everyday to remain cognizantly aware of your worth, while putting forth a greater effort in employing your gifts.

Be easy on yourself and speak to yourself in kindness.

Enjoy your day!