I didn’t fully understand the powerful meaning of these words. Until recently. Creativity has rarely been truly fun for me because a whisper in the back of my mind would say: What if it’s not good enough. What if others see it. What if they find out I’m not as good, as smart, as talented as they think I am. What if I’m not invited back… What if someone steals my ideas… What if… What if…What if… —the eternal enemy of creativity and creative fun.
I created a full fledged classroom out of stuffed animals when I was six—because it was fun. I came home every day and taught them what I learned in first grade—because it was fun. I was blessed enough to have a stellar five year old student in my little creative room, my sister Corina—because it was fun. She was so brilliant that she learned how to read and write from my silly and creative lessons—because it was fun. She went on to skip first grade in the process and grow to become a lover of music and art and all things wonderful, creative, and fun.
I kinda became a stick in the mud. An academic. A funless thinker and researcher and technologist and business analyst. Don’t get me wrong. All of the above could have been fun. And it’s becoming fun again. The What ifs killed the fun for me.
Yesterday I had a big breakthrough. I stepped in front of the camera for my first-ever LIVE Facebook video broadcast. No editing. No second takes to make me sound smarter and more likeable. No changing the angle to make me look thinner or more professional. A terrifying moment for a chronic perfectionist.
Why put myself through the agony? Because I wanted to connect with the amazing entrepreneurs I have the privilege to lead through a 30 Day Business Breakthrough Challenge.
I’m in San Diego. They are tuning in from around the world. I wanted them to see what was happening at the live mastermind event.
My insecurities were put to bed at the foot of service… because it wasn’t about me. It was about them. I wanted to cheer them up. I wanted them to feel the energy from San Diego, so it could fire them up.
In the next 18 months amazing things are going to happen for those who have the guts to get rid of the insecurities that have kept them smaller than they want and need to be.
I want to be one of them. I want to inspire others to do the same. So, I’m I’m stepping in front of the live camera more often.
I breathe. I tell myself: “It’s not about me.”
How about you. Why do you need to put your perfectionism to bed? If the reason is big enough. If it’s in support of serving others, you will do it.
I used to believe that having a willingness to be little meant little dreams, little aspirations, little goals, little faith, little risk, little voice. Not be seen. Not be heard.
I know better now. All of the above is just the opposite of being little because I, not others, become the center of my universe: Unwillingness to live to our God-given potential… unwillingness to pursue the passion burning in our hearts… unwillingness to serve others with our best gifts and talents—amped up to their full potential through hard work and discipline—makes us the center of the world because our focus turns inward.
My fears. My insecurities. My inadequacies.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was willing to be little. Mother Teresa was willing to be little. Men and women who’ve died for our freedom have been willing to be little. Jesus was willing to be little.
Being willing to be little is service. Love. Compassion. Empathy. Doing what scares us. Being willing to be little is being willing to be uncomfortable, do what’s unpopular, learn and work when it’s inconvenient—all of it so that we can serve others at a higher level.
Being little is not silence. It’s owning the voice we’ve been given.
Being little is not taking a back seat. It’s accepting the platform we’ve been given.
Being little is not false humility. It’s humbly leading within the circle of influence we’ve been given—despite my fears and insecurities; despite the critics and the cynics.
Now, let’s go out and be willing to be that kind of little today.
I can still remember the day I totalled my car. Apparently I went through a red light (don’t remember) and slammed into the side of a minivan that was making a left turn in front of me. It’s a miracle I came through it alive.
I couldn’t tell the police officer how it all happened. I was behind the wheel but my mind was somewhere else, distracted by what wouldn’t have mattered a bit had that day been my last one on this earth.
Mindfulness, simply put, is being fully present in any given moment.
Mindfulness can be as simple as learning to breathe, removing distractions, focusing on a single task, putting away the phone at meetings or during conversations, taking time to get centered and focused, etc.
I hope to do more and more of all the aevery day, when I work, when I’m by myself, when I’m around others—and when I’m driving. That’s what I hope those I have the privilege to influence will want to do as well.
That’s the motivation behind this new segment. My hope is that it will help you as well.
My Goal Setting Masterclass can help you become more mindful. It’s online and it’s free here. It’s my gift to you to take mindfulness to the next level.
Mindfulness at Work
If you want to learn more about mindfulness training at work, both the pros and cons (according to the experts), here are three articles you may find helpful.
By the way: if you want to take February 29 off and join me in San Diego, I’d love to spend the day with you as we mindfully plan your biggest LEAP ever. You can register here now.
I haven’t met the person who doesn’t enjoy inspiring quotes. Well, except for the occasional curmudgeon who will miss the point but will eagerly point out the grammatical errors and alleged cliches. Let’s ignore the latter for now.
I have a theory: we love inspiring quotes because our brains are starving for positive nourishment, the type of mental fuel that propels us towards greater faith, focus, courage, perseverance, and the will to live with passion and purpose.
Truth be told, inspiring quotes can be nothing more than brain candy… if we just read them and quickly forget their inherent wisdom.
May the following fifty quotes be like mental vitamins that inspire you to learn how to build the life and business of your dreams.
Millions of people set S.M.A.R.T. Goals every year (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). Yet, studies show that over 65% of people abandon them in the first 60 days of the year.
Here’s a another sobering statistic from Dr. Travis Berry, founder of Talent Smart:
The sad truth is that nearly 80% of us will fall off the resolution bandwagon by Super Bowl Sunday; and by this time next year, a mere 5% of us will have succeeded in reaching our goals.
For years, this was my story and the story of hundreds of people I work with every year.
If you are among those who are setting S.M.A.R.T goals for the year, chances are they WON’T help you take off in 2016… unless they are properly fueled with D.U.M.B. Goal Fuel.
Join me for a FREE 90 minute teleworkshop. I’ll share what I’ve learned in 20 years of failed attempts to achieve my most ambitious goals. And why learning to start out with D.U.M.B. goal fuel was the breakthrough I needed.
Come ready to work and walk away with the proper fuel to make it to the 2016 finish line. if you’ve failed in the past, things are about to change!
UPDATE: You can register to receive a copy of the replay and it will be sent to you when it’s ready.
Consider this 90 minute teleworkshop my “Breakthrough Gift” to you and your team. CLICK HERE to see what I’ll cover and to RSVP.
If you are like me, you know that this week—the last one of the year—is the most important, because it sets the tone for the next 12 months.
Usually, I use it to assess and reflect on the past, to be more intentionally grateful for the present, and to prioritize what I want to achieve in the future.
How about you?
Another thing I do is to make sure I close the year generously. I give away something of great value to those who have supported me and worked closely with me—and that includes my faithful blog readers.
For the last 24 years, Joyce Tepfer, my beautiful and inspiring mentor of 10 years, has been delighting thousands of audiences through the lost art of storytelling. With her signature gift of “Tea and a Christmas Story,” she invites her audiences to indulge in a mini retreat that never fails to prepare our hearts for the Christmas season. This year I’m honored to bring this taping of her story presentation for many more people to enjoy. I invite you to turn off your phone, gather the family, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy Joyce’s special gift.
Today I participated in a Found Art Workshop taught by my friend Leeana Tankersley, author of Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live. No one asked, “What do you do for a living?” I didn’t think about my next marketing campaign. Just three hours at the Soul Care Barn with ten other women who showed up for no other reason than to feed their creative life.
I breathed deeply. I listened. I let the words flow unedited from pen to paper. I used my hands and created a Found Art piece to remind me later that even entrepreneurs need to feed their creative life.
Almost four years ago I left my full time job to return to my entrepreneurial roots and pursue my publishing dreams. Within a couple of months I knew I needed the help and advice of a professional coach to help me organize my new office space and to simplify my systems. Calling Marcia Ramsland was the best investment I could have made as a creative entrepreneur. Listening to her advice and acting on it set me on a trajectory to do the work I love, to double my income, and to finally finish writing and publishing the one book I hope will change the world.
Why should this matter to you? Because today you too are cementing (or sabotaging) your future—perhaps without realizing it—merely by the way you respond to the advice others are sharing with you.
Do you ever get to the end of your day exhausted, not sure if all your busyness was meaningful or helpful to accomplish your most important goals? I have. It happens to the best of us. But when those kind of days turn into weeks, months, and even years, it’s time to pause and consider changes that can help us win the day.
I decided to write about winning the day because lately I’ve been getting one question—a lot—when friends and new acquaintances learn I finally finished and published my first book. It’s not the type of question new authors want to hear first, like “Where can I buy your book… today?
What they want to know is, “How long did it take you to write it? When I tell them it took 18 months, they follow up with, “Really! From beginning to end?” You have to be there to understand the sentiment behind the words. What they’re really thinking is Can I do this too?