Want to live a fulfilled life? Make a gratitude list.
Years ago, I attended a Christian event and the guest speaker (I can’t remember his name, sorry) brought up the idea of a gratitude list. He said in order to live a happy, spiritual life, one must be grateful for everything, even the bad stuff. He went on to say that when our focus is on the blessings, we don’t focus on what we don’t have. What a brilliant concept and something I’ve tried to incorporate into my life.
So, with Thanksgiving only two days away, I want you to sit down and make a gratitude list. It can be as long or short as you’d like. Keep it somewhere handy where you can look at it at least once a day. Read it aloud or to yourself. Commit it to memory if possible.
Need an example to get you rolling? Here is my current gratitude list:
I’m grateful to be alive and have a healthy body.
I’m grateful to have the love of my life, MR N, to share all of life’s ups and downs. No matter what happens, he’s my rock and I’m so grateful for his unconditional love.
I’m grateful for the love of my family and friends. They’re the flowers of life and make my day beautiful (most of the time). lol!
I’m grateful for my spiritual life. I feel connected to the world and God.
I’m grateful for my blog/books/social media followers. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I’m grateful to live in a safe neighborhood where I can walk to the store, bank and dining out.
I’m grateful to share my writing with the world.
What’s on your gratitude list? Share one thing on your gratitude list below.
No matter what team you’re on, when everyone is working towards the same goal, the result is nothing more than success.
Last night, MR N and I wanted to play The Legend of Zelda on our SNES system. Even though it’s one player, MR N came up with a plan. We’d take turns and work together as a team. We each got 10 minutes (or until we died from those drat bluish-gray guards) to play. With each go-round, we learned who to avoid and what to do. As a result, we rescued Princess Zelda and found our way out of the castle. Yippee!
The only way we could’ve done passed the level is through teamwork. We helped each other navigate the castle and its pitfalls, all while cheering each other on.
Teamwork is working together towards a common goal. It doesn’t matter who gets credit (at least in our opinion) as long as we attain our goal.
So the next time you’re dealing with something difficult, grab your teammates and figure out how to overcome the pitfalls. You’ll soon be whizzing past your goal in no time.
I love Halloween because for one day/night, I get to shed off the regular ‘ol me and be something else entirely. I remember from the time I was four years old, I’ve been creative with my costumes. I’ve been Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, Strawberry Shortcake, a black cat, a witch and a book.
Halloween is a time to unleash your creativity. Whether you dress up or not, embrace the spirit of Halloween. It’s a time to throw away your fears and try something new. Free your creative side and see what happens. Rejoice in the act of fun and let your inner child take over.
What’s your favorite part of Halloween? If you’re dressing up in a costume, what are you going as? Share in the comments below.
Do you second-guess yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish in life?
According to baseball great Don Mattingly, this is a good thing. When you second-guess yourself, it means you’re striving for great things and improving yourself. This reminds me of game 7 of the ALCS (American League Championship Series).
It was the Houston Astros against the New York Yankees. Everyone, it seems, wanted the Yankees to win and didn’t give the Astros a shot at winning. It was Sabathia pitching for the Yankees and Charlie Morton pitching for the Astros. The last time these two pitchers met it was a blow-out in Yankee Stadium and Morton got crushed.
I’m sure that before game 7 Charlie Morton was second-guessing himself. I mean, this was it, the Astros last shot to get to the world series. Could he do it? Could he slay the Yankee beast? Could he prove to the MLB Network and the rest of baseball that he belonged?
Long story short, he defeated the Yankees and the Houston Astros are playing game 1 of the world series against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. The Houston Astros are proof-positive that no matter how many times you second-guess yourself, you’re making yourself better, stronger and more powerful.
So the next time you feel doubts creep in and start second-guessing your path, own it. It’s only your inner self gathering inner strength to make changes and improve yourself.
Keep focused on your goals and refuse to let a little self-doubt set up a tent in your soul.
You know that old saying where it talks about how you’ve got to believe in yourself before others will? Well, I’m here to tell you it’s totally true. You can’t expect other people to invest in you when you don’t exude confidence in your abilities.
Over the weekend, the winners of a book award were announced and we didn’t win. Heck, we weren’t even a finalist. Was I disappointed? Sure. Does the fact that a group of judges didn’t care for our poetry book stomp out my belief in our writing talent? NO WAY!
We all deal with roadblocks and there are times when we’re faced with a belief crisis. Do you keep going or do you stop? Are you good enough or are you a failure? What happens next?
The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t boils down to belief, courage and determination. Yes, you’ll encounter set-backs. Yes, you’ll be tested. Yes, you’ll second-guess your goals. No matter what, keep going! Let your determination lead the way and before long, you’ll be a roaring success!
What imagery comes to mind when you read the statement above?
For me, it’s all the hard life lessons I’ve learned over the years. It’s stretching my wings into the unknown, not knowing if I’ll be successful or a failure. It’s the heartbreak that ripped my body in two. It’s the leap of faith when I left my family and friend to forge a new life with MR N. It’s every obstacle life has thrown at me and how, with the love and support of MR N, we overcame it together. It’s all the lessons learned that while scary at first, taught me to find comfort in the uncomfortable.
No matter what life throws at you, your response determines whether you’ll be courageous or cowering, brave or scared, victorious or defeated. Don’t fear the unknown but embrace it. Open yourself up to a new experience and find solace in the unease.
What do you do when faced with an uncomfortable situation? Share in the comments below.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. — Thomas A. Edison
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to be successful. There are so many opinions about success (everyone has their own say, it seems) that it can be confusing. Your parents have an idea about what it takes to be successful. Your friends have an idea about what it takes to be successful. Your boss knows what it takes to be successful. Professionals promise to show you what it takes to be successful (Hint, it involves buying their book).
It can be daunting but, you have to look inside yourself to find it. Ask yourself, what does it take for me to be successful? Married? A six-figure income? A large house? Children? Best-selling author who is recognized on the street?
Whatever it is, write it down and keep it somewhere where you can look at it every day. Then, take the steps needed to achieve it. Remember, success is not a destination but a journey!
Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don’t. And believe that everything happens for a reason… if you get a chance, take it; if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy… they just promised it would be worth it.
Life too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.
That is my mantra for this week.
Last few weeks were hard for me. Over the weekend, I did a little retrospection and caught myself mulling over regrets. Here are some of my thoughts:
I wish I did better in school.
I wish I stood up to the bullies.
The thoughts went around and around. It wasn’t until MR N took my hand and said softly,
“I love you.”
I smiled at him. His three words silenced the voices in my head. Amazing.
I’m tired of living with regret. So today, I’m releasing all my regrets like little sparrows.
“Fly away,” I say.
Are you living with regret?
Gather all your regrets and release them like little birds. They no longer have any hold over you.
What do you do when your world is falling apart around you? Do you fall into a heap or do you garner what strength you have left and keep going?
September has been one of those months where I wonder what’s going on. Every time I turn around, something else kicks me in the stomach. Whether it’s the heavy smoker moving in next door or natural disasters or our favorite place to eat jacking up the prices or a business platform causing heaps of trouble, it’s hit me (actually both MR N and myself). I look heavenward and wonder if I’m channeling Job.
Normally when the world is caving in around me, something really spectacular is about to happen. I just have to get through the trials by fire to get there. So, I have two choices: I can give up or I can keep going.
I choose to keep going. Why? Because the alternative is depressing. If I don’t keep moving forward, trying new things and tackling whatever wants to kick my bum, I might as well invest in Kleenux stock.
Look forward to what’s right around the corner. The Universe is in your corner, cheering you on as you walk over hot coals. Your strength is your super power and you can make it!
This past weekend was an interesting one for us. We live in an apartment building and a new tenant moved in next door. He’s a smoker and the very night he moved in, our bedroom filled with cigarette smoke. We tried everything we could think of to combat the smell but on Labor Day, it came to a head. See, I’m allergic to cigarette smoke and I get asthmatic whenever I’m around it. MR N also can’t stand the smell and starts coughing. So, it’s more than the smell; cigarette smoke affects our health.
We contacted our landlord and asked her to have him smoke on his balcony or outside (like many other tenants do in this building). We’ve yet to hear back from her but knew we needed to come up with a plan. We couldn’t have another sleepless night’s sleep. We wracked our brain and then it hit us. Why not move our bed from the adjoining wall to in front of the closet?
So on Labor Day, we labored and did a whole switch-a-roo of our bedroom. It took some effort but we did it. The result? We love our new set-up.
Like the caterpillar, we thought our life was over. We didn’t know what to do and everything seemed to be stacked against us. The smell invaded our lungs and we couldn’t breathe. The darkness and despair was closing in, without a solution in sight.
But then a little idea sparked us into action and soon Light flooded our veins. We shed our old ways and let our butterfly wings unfurl.
Life throws you curve balls and even when it seems like the world is ending, a new opportunity/perspective is right around the corner. Your butterfly wings are ready to fly; you just have to let them.
Did you know that your happiness is necessary to living a successful, fruitful life?
For many of us, we were brought up to take care of others and ignore our own needs. While I’m sure our parents meant well, it’s bad advice. When we’re taking care of everyone else and not ourselves, resentment starts to fester in our hearts. We get angry at others for not taking care of us and this starts a vicious passive-aggressive cycle.
Life is a balance of taking care of ourselves and others. I’ve learned over the years that it’s much better to speak openly about my happiness rather than keep it quiet. MR N encourages me to speak my mind, even when it is something he doesn’t want to hear. Truthfulness, when spoken in love, is always better than a lie. I take care of myself and we’re stronger as a couple because of it.
Like the quote above states, it’s perfectly amicable to love and take care of yourself. Your happiness deserves priority in your life. If you’re unhappy, do something about it. Take care of yourself in every way you can. You’ll thank me in the future, I promise.
How do you take care of yourself? Answer in the comments below.
When was the last time you took time out to relax?
If it was longer than 24 hours, you’re not taking care of yourself.
The past week I’ve been the embodiment of exhaustion. We’ve come back from vacation and there’s so much to do. Work piles on assignments and more responsibility, our business is taking off, we’re trying to get our upcoming release ready for publication, not to mention MLB and NFL Preseason. Like I told someone yesterday, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
Today is National Relaxation Day and to celebrate, let’s incorporate relaxation in our day today.
But MRS N, you may be asking, I don’t have time to relax.
Make time. It’s not complicated. Even a few minutes a day helps immensely.
What do you do to relax? Share in the comments below.
I go out to our solarium, sit down in my chair and watch the trees, trains and birds. It’s even better than a bubble bath, although that is a close second.
Is your perspective mostly positive, mostly negative or somewhere in between?
As many of you know, I’m mostly positive. I look at life through positively rosy lenses. Sure, life can throw obstacles in my way and I have struggled through more stuff than the average person goes through but when it comes down to brass tacks, I’m blessed.
I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a man who loves me more than anything in the world and am making a difference in the world through my words and actions. Everything else is icing on the cake.
It’s time to get a new perspective, people. Instead of looking at what you don’t have or what you haven’t achieved yet, concentrate on all the blessings in your life. Be grateful for everything and try to see the positive in all circumstances. The hardships you’re enduring are strengthening and molding you into the person you’re going to become. Like a diamond, you need pressure to bring out your brilliance.
Are you struggling to concentrate and in need of a break? Maybe you need a prescription of relaxation.
I have just returned from a much-needed vacation and my mind, body and soul are refreshed. Stress isn’t even in the same county as me and it’s all because both MR N and I were able to relax. No devices, no emails, just the two of us at a resort soaking up the sun and spending time together. We laughed at the sheer amount of walking we did, not to mention going up and down the curved staircase in our two-floor suite.
Don’t think you can spare the time for a vacation or even a few days off?
Listen, we’re all crazy-busy and our calendars are overflowing with all the things we need to do but please take my advice and schedule some relaxation time. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it doesn’t have to be for 11 days. Do what works best for you and your finances.
Relaxation is so important for your health (both physical and mental). Shut your brain off from the stress and turmoil of your life. Soak in the relaxation and let your body and mind rejuvenate itself. Trust me, you’ll thank me for the advice.
Do you wake up thinking your life would be perfect if you won the lottery?
I used to think this way. I work so hard every single day and it would be nice to not have to work so hard. If I won the lottery, I would retire and spend my days with MR N raising money to feed the homeless and those in need.
Just last weekend, MR N and I were talking about the lottery. He checked our tickets and we didn’t win anything but a free ticket. I sighed, disappointed by us not winning. MR N came into the bedroom and leaned against the door jam.
“Baby, I won the lottery the day I met you. I won the lottery when you told me you loved me for the first time. I won the lottery when you came back to me, for good. I won the lottery when you left your family and moved 3,000 miles away. I won the lottery when you said yes. I won the lottery every single day we’ve been married. I don’t need a lottery win… I’ve had several already.”
He’s right, you know? Life is a lottery win. Happiness and success are winning tickets within our reach. How to get it? Grab ahold and focus on what you have, not what you don’t have.
Listen, we all deal with life’s ups and downs. We get windfalls and nosedives. Our successes are the results of hard work, dedication and natural abilities. Our failures are just a detour on the super-highway of life.
Take MR N’s advice and take stock in your multiple lottery wins. You’re a winner, just like me!