Dear Michelle

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Dear Michelle,

Or should I go with “Heeey Michelle?” A belated Happy birthday to you first of all. The 5th floor sure does look great on you. Let me get right into it. I thought being 8521 miles away from your extended reign, you would not have that much impact in my life as an individual. Until the day Continue reading

Pay the price

Success has a price, and today you have the golden opportunity to pay that price. Choose to do so, and valuable, unique, new fulfilling success is yours. Though the price you must pay for success is significant, it is never a burden. Willingly, joyfully and enthusiastically pay that price, and true success will fill your life. To pay the price of success, you must engage your effort, your creativity, your resourcefulness and a whole lot of other strengths, skills and abilities. What’s truly beautiful is that when you pay the price of success, it actually ends up paying you back many, many times over. If you’re trying to avoid paying the price of success, you’re running away from your best possibilities. Stop, turn around, step up, do what must be done, and taste the sweet fulfilment that’s waiting for you.

 

 

Adapted from Elite Daily.

6 Things You Should Quit Doing To Be More Successful

We humans (that means me included) often get stuck in a hamster wheel of habit. We do things that aren’t good for us, remain where we shouldn’t and put ourselves through voluntary suffering all in the name of comfort. We don’t know these things are damaging, because it’s normal to us.

Snap out of it and quit before it’s too late. Here are six things you should quit doing today, before it’s too late.

Quit Stopping – I’ve completed six half marathons (13.1 miles) over the past few years and each one has been an emotional experience for me. Here’s how it usually goes…

The gun goes off: “This is great! Today is gonna be a personal record, I just know it.”

Mile 5: “Am I sane?”

Mile 10: “You want this, ouch, you want this, ouch.”

Finish line: “That. Was. Awesome. When’s the next one?”

They say that at the very moment you want to quit, you’re actually almost there. It’s the stupid human in us…we go so far and then our brains take over and tell us it’s too hard. When did we get the memo that life was supposed to be easy all the time?

Think right now about something you keep stopping. You committed to it, but then you suddenly quit because it started to require a little extra elbow grease. A project at work, a relationship, a fitness goal. Remember why you started it, then push onward. Because the more you stop and think about quitting, the longer it’ll take to get to your desired result. Or worse, you’ll never know what it feels like to reach the finish line.

Quit Saying Tomorrow – You know the saying, “Yesterday you said tomorrow?” Seriously, stop that! Delaying or procrastinating around something that you think is important means one of two things. You’re either scared to start because it means your life will change or you want it for the wrong reasons (i.e. someone else is encouraging you to do it).

So yes, that new healthy eating thing you want to do will be very difficult and possibly unpleasant. But every day you wait to start is another day you’re not helping yourself. And you keep telling yourself that you’ll wait until the kids are a certain age before you finish your degree, but is that really the main reason you’re waiting? Or is it because studying is not nearly as exciting as all the other options you have right now? And while you’re at it, why are you donating free money to the gym? They haven’t seen you in months.

Quit Being A Victim – When people tell me they’re doing something or making certain choices because they have “no choice,” it makes me want to bang my head on the table…and then put that on repeat. You have a choice in everything you do. Barring a few really crazy exceptions, no one holds your hand to the fire on anything. And if you’re choosing to remain in a place that isn’t positive, you’re victimizing yourself.

You are not so worthless that you have to keep dating that person. Obama and the economy are not forcing you to stay in that career. There are other places you could live. And it’s not your schedule that prevents you from being healthy.

Our social groups are great for complaining. We all discuss our problems with our friends and that’s ok. But there are limits. Everyone gets a few opportunities to complain about a particular hardship, but if you seek advice and respond with “but I can’t” (said in whiny voice) too many times, you officially become a victim. Eventually, you’ll have to ask yourself whether you even want to fix the problem.

Quit Saying Yes – My yoga instructor, Angela Wagner, reminded me recently that anytime we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. So when you say yes to a happy hour, you’re saying no to <insert your choice of workout>. When you say yes to a crappy review from your boss, you’re saying no to getting acknowledged for the great work that was overlooked. When you say yes to watching pointless reality TV shows, you’re saying no to doing the dishes. Or if you say yes to staying late at the office, you’re saying no to your relationship.

It could be you don’t need to entirely quit saying yes. You may just need to analyze when you’re saying yes and what you’re trading for it. You might find yourself saying yes to things you don’t even care about and no to things that could make your life better in some way.

Quit Expecting – I got an email the other night from someone looking for advice after reading this article. He told me that he’s been working for the same company for his entire career, rising through the ranks and loving it. But recently he realized he’s hit a wall – he’s had many reviews and each time he meets with management, they’re not giving him the promotion he knows he’s ready for. My question to him was, “Have you asked for it?”

It’s very rare for a company to proactively promote someone at a fast pace. Especially true in older organizations, if you expect your company to promote you when they feel you’re ready for it, you’ll be sitting around waiting for about 10 years to reach the next level.

Your boss is like your significant other. Don’t expect them to read your mind. They’ll only know what you need when you tell them. If you really have your heart set on something (like a promotion), you must be vocal about it. If you don’t speak up, you’re leaving the translation up to them. Expect at your own risk.

Quit Avoiding – Suck it up. We all have things we don’t want to do, but we have to do them because we’re adults. (Should I have started the paragraph with, “Dear Congress”?)

I once managed a team responsible for a corporate-wide project with a lot of moving pieces. There were some majorly miserable elements to that project and there were some really sexy parts (i.e. things you put on your resume) too. As I sat with my boss reviewing progress one day, she asked why I hadn’t finished one particular task (a task that couldn’t be delegated). I responded with, “It’s boring me!” Her response was, “Your point?”

Yeah, life doesn’t work that way. You can’t pluck the fun parts out and leave the tough parts on the table. You take all or none.

If we didn’t have to work hard to reach success, we wouldn’t appreciate it. If there’s something you’re putting off because it’s boring you, it’s hard, physically demanding or tiring…just get up and get it done. Quit avoiding it. There will be rewards along the way and there will be a great sense of accomplishment at the end.

Adapted from http://www.forbes.com/sites/glassheel/2013/10/01/6-things-you-should-quit-to-be-more-successful/

5 Things Super Successful People Do Before 8 AM

Rise and shine! Morning time just became your new best friend. Love it or hate it, utilizing the morning hours before work may be the key to a successful, and healthy, lifestyle. That’s right, early rising is a common trait found in many CEOs, government officials, and other influential people. Margaret Thatcher was up every day at 5 a.m.; Frank Lloyd Wright at 4 am and Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney wakes at 4:30am just to name a few. I know what you’re thinking – you do your best work at night. Not so fast. According to Inc. Magazine, morning people have been found to be more proactive and more productive. In addition, the health benefits for those with a life before work go on and on. Let’s explore 5 of the things successful people do before 8 am.

1. Exercise. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Most people that work out daily, work out in the morning. Whether it’s a morning yoga session or a trip to the gym, exercising before work gives you a boost of energy for the day and that deserved sense of accomplishment. Anyone can tackle a pile of paperwork after 200 ab reps! Morning workouts also eliminate the possibility of flaking out on your cardio after a long day at work. Even if you aren’t bright eyed and bushy tailed at the thought of a 5 am jog, try waking up 15 minutes early for a quick bedside set of pushups or stretching. It’ll help wake up your body, and prep you for your day.

2. Map Out Your Day. Maximize your potential by mapping out your schedule for the day, as well as your goals and to dos. The morning is a good time for this as it is often one of the only quiet times a person gets throughout the day. The early hours foster easier reflection that helps when prioritizing your activities. They also allow for uninterrupted problem solving when trying to fit everything into your timetable. While scheduling, don’t forget about your mental health. Plan a 10 minute break after that stressful meeting for a quick walk around the block or a moment of meditation at your desk. Trying to eat healthy? Schedule a small window in the evening to pack a few nutritious snacks to bring to work the next day.

3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast. We all know that rush out the door with a cup of coffee and an empty stomach feeling. You sit down at your desk, and you’re already wondering how early that taco truck sets up camp outside your office. No good. Take that extra time in the morning to fuel your body for the tasks ahead of it. It will help keep you mind on what’s at hand and not your growling stomach. Not only is breakfast good for your physical health, it is also a good time to connect socially. Even five minutes of talking with your kids or spouse while eating a quick bowl of oatmeal can boost your spirits before heading out the door.

4. Visualization. These days we talk about our physical health ad nauseam, but sometimes our mental health gets overlooked. The morning is the perfect time to spend some quiet time inside your mind meditating or visualizing. Take a moment to visualize your day ahead of you, focusing on the successes you will have. Even just a minute of visualization and positive thinking can help improve your mood and outlook on your work load for the day.

5. Make Your Day Top Heavy. We all have that one item on our to do list that we dread. It looms over you all day (or week) until you finally suck it up and do it after much procrastination. Here’s an easy tip to save yourself the stress – do that least desirable task on your list first. Instead of anticipating the unpleasantness of it from first coffee through your lunch break, get it out of the way. The morning is the time when you are (generally) more well rested and your energy level is up. Therefore, you are more well equipped to handle more difficult projects. And look at it this way, your day will get progressively easier, not the other way around. By the time your work day is ending, you’re winding down with easier to dos and heading into your free time more relaxed. Success!

Adapted from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2013/10/02/5-things-super-successful-people-do-before-8-am/