motivation · Personal Success

Set Your Mind to It

annie-spratt-261998.jpg
Photo by Annie Spratt

When I was five and my sister was four, our babysitter watched us coloring in our coloring books. Where my sister stayed within the lines, I colored slightly (OK, maybe not so slightly) outside the lines. “JoAnne colors nicely and Caroline needs to work on that a little bit.” Her sarcasm was not lost on me, even then.

This bit of criticism colored my world (pardon the pun!) “I am not a good artist.” This was just something I accepted for many years. But I’ve always longed to draw and paint. For someone with no formal art education, I think I am pretty OK. I think I can improve and I very much want to improve.

Thanks to Carol Dweck, we can all sigh optimistically now.

For eons, people believed in the “Fixed Mindset”  – that talents are innate and readily apparent; Believers assert that one should avoid mistakes and failures. In fact, if you find yourself failing at something, people who adopt the “fixed mindset” philosophy say you ought to just quit, because clearly, it’s not for you.

But Dweck, one of the leading researchers of motivation, discovered the truth about achievement and learning: The Growth Mindset. She says you learn from mistakes. You grow! Intelligence and talent are developed and in order to be successful, you must make mistakes. Clearly, this is true. The Wright brothers did not discover how to create a plane on the first attempt and Edison did not discover the light bulb on his first try, either. One needs to make mistakes to learn, grow and achieve.

Growth Mindset believers say “yet”  is the magic word. I can’t draw well yet, but with consistent practice and quality education, I will!

Check out her website: mindsetonline.com. It includes a test to determine where you are on the mindset continuum and ways to change it.

I’m going to start drawing lessons (free) on skillshare.com. Go Growth Mindset!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

motivation · Personal Success

Be a Wild Flower

Photo by Milos Tonchevski

milos-tonchevski-304529.jpg

I have a desert garden in my backyard. A beloved neighbor gave us all of her potted plants when she moved out of state and the plants have thrived. This year, some new wildflowers grew next to the pots. They’re not related to any of the potted plants and they are not being irrigated. Yet, they continue to grow beautifully on the little rain they get.

People can be like wildflowers. They are transplanted from some other place and they just grow. They take advantage of the resources available.  They don’t ask permission. They don’t shrink because the other plants were there first.

They are beautiful in their uniqueness, their peculiarity, and their originality.

We can all be like wildflowers: wild, courageous, strong and proud.

Be like a wildflower. Don’t look for approval or acceptance. Hold your head up high.

 

motivation · Personal Success

Bold Moves

stephen-di-donato-163548.jpg

Photo by Stephen Di Donato

Approximately 50% of the population makes New Year’s resolutions. Of them, only 10% realize their goals (Psychology Today).

To make major changes in your life, you need to make some bold moves. But “bold” does not mean drastic and sudden. I like to think of being bold as “being courageous” and embracing a level of discomfort in order to grow.

Waking up a half hour earlier than usual and walking for 30 minutes might be uncomfortable, but doing so on a consistent basis for six months or more will undoubtedly result in favorable change.

One of the main reasons people don’t reach their goals is because they set unrealistic objectives. They plan on making radical changes through extreme acts. In reality, all it takes is a bit of courage to expand one’s comfort zone and to do it consistently…kind of like erosion: slow and steady.

 

 

 

 

Health · writing

The Best “News” Alternative

One of my goals with this blog is to write frequently in order to hone my writing skills. In doing so, I vowed to write original work and to avoid merely re-posting the work of others.

However, I love THIS WEBSITE so much, I need to share it with you:

Untitled
 

GREAT BIG STORY

 

Reading or watching the news lately has left me feeling a bit anxious. An instant spirit lift is this website. It’s news, but it’s all GREAT news. They cover individuals who are making a difference in their communities: city, county, country and the world. I recommend subscribing to this gem so that you get a bit of non-fiction inspiration daily.

Have a great Make it a great day!

Health · motivation · Personal Success · relationships

Focal Point

 

if-136020.jpg
If

Taking a good picture with a manual camera requires forethought, patience and careful calibration. You choose what you take a picture of  – that is, you choose what you focus on.

You also choose what you focus to think about.  There is new scientific data that shows people who choose to meditate and/or think positively have increased plasticity of their brains. That is, they have strong external and internal networks in their brains. External networks light up when people think about external tasks and internal networks refer to matters that “involve themselves or emotions.”

Buddhist monks meditate and direct their minds to think compassionate thoughts and positive reflections. They purposely think this way.

Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist who ironically, suffered a brain hemorrhage. It (temporarily) disabled her ability for language and logic. With that, she was left with a dominant right hemisphere brain: creativity, intuition and imagination. She was happy. She was completely present and non-judgmental. All her thinking (and worrying) ceased. She had no negative thoughts! As her left brain recovered, she made up her mind (haha) to never go back. She chooses to think happy thoughts and to be blissful.

How do you do this?

Bolte Taylor says, “When you find yourself thinking negatively, it feels bad in your body. As soon as you feel it happening, think about something else!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health

Harmony

nick-tong-76567.jpg

A co-worker of mine constantly tells me she needs to make a change in her life. She tells me she needs to exercise and lose weight because she has children and she needs to be a good role model. I just listen. She’s been saying this all year. I know she will take action when she’s ready.

By “ready,” I mean, “fed up.” Isn’t that really how you get motivated? You take action and make changes when you’re “fed up” with how you’ve been living.

She made a good point, though. Her life is not just hers. She affects her children enormously. Her health and well-being necessarily influence them. If she’s at her best, she can give more.

Research shows that your physical health is optimum when you are satisfied in all of the following areas:

Zig-Ziglar-Wheel-of-Life-Concept.png

Identifying our “weak” area can lead to the most effective goal setting.

 

Health · Personal Success

Sunday Study

eugenio-mazzone-190204

I’m reading a synopsis of the book Unleash the Warrior Within. It’s written by a former Navy SEAL Michael “Mack” Machowicz. Obviously, he’s quite a self-disciplined, productive individual: host+ producer of Discovery Channel’s “Future Weapons”, author of Develop the Focus, Discipline, Confidence, and Courage You Need to Achieve Unlimited Goals and he possesses multiple black belts in martial arts.

One surprising piece of advice he gives (considering he’s a former Navy SEAL!): pursue your objective at 80%, not 100%. Why? Because you can’t give 100% long-term. You’ll burn out. This made me relieved because that is what I already do.

Yay! I’m not a slacker!