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Personal Power Hour: Lolly Daskal Asks Six Questions That May Change Your Life.

Blame it on my Aries “do it now” mentality, my Leo “watch me” rising, or the fact that I am simply ready to start a new chapter–or, if we are being honest, a new book–I have been in serious life makeover mode as of late. After a lovely chat with an even lovelier colleague (shout out, Tamara), we decided to insert a “Personal Power Hour” into each of our days.  This hour will be spent checking in with ourselves, figuring out what it is that we really want, and creating a strategy to help us move from where we are to where it is that we’d like to be. Today, I decided to start this journey by answering six questions I found in Lolly Daskal’s Piece, Leadership Tips: 6 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself on  Inc.com. Lolly swears answering the questions will prove helpful in our path to success, and I think she may be right. Let’s give it a try, shall we?

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1. Did I work toward my goals today? 

I love the accountability requirement posed by this question.  There’s no hemming and hawing on this one; you either did or you didn’t. Fortunately, I did.  A few days ago, I had a bit of an epiphany and realized that I needed to  let go of my past and get a grip on my future. I  thought about the five things I would focus on if there were no limitations in my life.  It was an easy task, and a very surprising one. The answers were so clear to me once I took the time to sit down and ask myself what I wanted to do (instead of just asking everyone around me what they thought I should do).

Then I played mix-and-match and wrote down a number of goals that I feel are synergistic with my spirit and where I would be in the next year or two.  Being a sensitive type- A, competitive, procrastinating, impulsive and impatient overachiever, I tend to get overwhelmed pretty quickly, living in the purgatory between dreams of world domination and total disappointment. It is my hope that by devoting real in-the-calendar time to each one of my goals, I will streamline an often chaotic to-do list. But Lolly asked about today.  Today, I woke up and hit the gym for an hour (fitness goal), drank a terrible-tasting “green” juice (health goal), called to lower my interest rate on a couple of things (financial goal), am doing research on Argentina (travel goal) and plan to clean out my closet and do laundry (home design goal).

2. What bad habits do I need to stop? 

Oh boy, do I have some habits. They may not be “bad” per se, but they are certainly self-defeating.  Take, for example, my penchant for holding onto things, people, slights and relationships three times longer than I should. This tends to lead to experiencing three times the pain and frustration that could have been avoided had I simply let go when I should have. This is particularly credibility-crushing when the thing, person, slights are doing their damndest to be let go. I don’t have to detail the conundrum this sort of thing causes.  I am also a talented mess maker and key loser.  This would be a source of pride if I weren’t slightly OCD in my need to have things in order.  Oh, and I can go from Michael to Sonny in o seconds flat. So, as you can see, we have some work to do.

3. What motivated me today? 

I have the very fortunate disposition of being someone who seeks out sources of both inspiration and motivation.  I have always had very big dreams and plenty of ambition and hard work is something I really enjoy, so waking up with Julius Caesar-style focus is never an issue. That said, being motivated to do something is not enough; you need to know how to stay motivated and when to change your source of motivation.  I tend to get so motivated that I fixate on making things happen that no longer should. E tu, brute? Yes, indeed.

4. Have I been the kind of person I want to be? 

I am very comfortable with my character and values, but that still doesn’t mean I have been the kind of person I want to be.  The person I want to be is much more confident and centered than the one who sits here, often with a roller-coaster going inside of her. She’s also shaking her head at the many times I begged others and the universe for something that wasn’t right for me instead of simply, well, here it is again, letting go.

5. What mistakes did I make today, and what can I learn from them? 

I love this question. Love, love, love it!  The idea of addressing stumbles right there, in real time, is extremely attractive to me.  I have made plenty of mistakes, but the one today only cost me money. I completely overlooked a URL renewal and got slapped with a 90.00 bill as a result. Sigh. Lesson: Place expiration dates in the calendar along with due dates.

6. What am I grateful for today?

Ah, everything in my life and the chance to live.

 

OK, I have put it all out there for the world to read, but you don’t have to. Write down the questions and give them a go and tell me how you feel about this little process afterwards!

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“The Wrong Turn” (Just Like All Violence Against Women) Is Wrong

Many of you will remember the precious young woman who was violently gang-raped and left to die in New Delhi last year. It was a horrible story  and sadly one that is all too common in the world that stood up for a moment to pay their respects to the victims and their grieving families. Why anyone would think it artistic or appropriate to recreate this scene in a photo series is beyond me, and even if photographer Raj Shetye is being honest in his insistence that it is “not based on the Nirbhaya incident” it is still offensive and deeply troubling. This is a glorification of extreme violence against women being perpetuated by glossed images of beautiful models paying homage to the same scene that brought a young woman to an excruciating death.

Think it’s Art? Let’s put this into perspective for a moment:

“The woman and her friend had gotten on a bus after the movie, looking for a way back to her home. But the bus turned out to be driven by six men out for a joy ride, according to police documents. For nearly an hour, they were driven through the city. He was beaten. She was gang-raped, and penetrated with metal rods, causing such severe internal injuries that doctors found parts of her intestines floating inside her abdomen. Eventually, the two were dumped, naked and bleeding, by a busy road on the cold December night.” The Huffington Post

I am a strong supporter of freedom of speech and artistic expression, but never of those who behave in ways that truly depict a lack of value of the life and soul of another human being.  Shame on you, Raj Sheyte. If you had to endure that kind of horrifying, excruciating, terrifying experience and lost your life, you’d know that is not “art”. If you had to live knowing your daughter died screaming for her life, how would you feel seeing your photoshopped models in their fine clothes reenacting her murder?  How is this sexy?

I share the photograph and the link to the photographers site only so those of you who wish to let him know how you feel know where to direct your notes.

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Five Ways To Turn a Dream Into Reality

I. Read the Ending First. It’s fine to brainstorm and daydream, but without an initial end result in mind, you can’t strategize and put a plan in place.  Sit down and really think about where it is that you want to go, what “it” looks like and what you want to experience when there. Write down what your dream looks like without limitations and go from there.

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II. Put a Practical Plan in Place: Three steps.  That’s how to break it down.  Think of three daily steps to help you achieve three weekly goals which will help you achieve three monthly goals.  Again, write them down and stick to them unless you find a better step to stick to, then do better.

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III. Cut The Crap: You’ll be too tired to get out of bed, too interested in Kim Kardashian to log off of Perez and too busy to meet up with the mentor.  Where there is a will, there is a way, and a way to distract.  Prepare for setbacks, negative talk and excuses and then stand up to them and move past them one courageous step at a time. Remember, you’re trying to change your status quo. That starts with changing your rituals and reactions.

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IV. Educate Yourself:  What we don’t know often scares and intimidates us. Think about all of the nights you spent scared of the non-existent monster in the closet or anxious about the firing that never took place.  Seek knowledge through both new information and past experiences and use it to your advantage.  Forget reinventing the wheel, find out the best wheel to use and use it to move forward.

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V.  Lose The Losers: There are people who will yes you to death and people who will annihilate you with their negativity.  Both will drag you down.  Surrounding yourself with people who push themselves, inspire by example, offer constructive criticism and challenging you to be your best you is going to keep you on-track and motivated.  Motion-creates-motion and often turn dreams into bigger dreams which, if we stay on track,  become reality.

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What is your greatest dream? What do you hope to achieve?  What is your best advice for success?

 

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Dancing in (Mis) Step

Yes,

I have loved passionately,

I have trusted carelessly,

I believed promises,

Knowing deep down they were false.

I have chased when I should have stood still,

I have stood still when I should have run,

and

I have grabbed tightly when I should have let go.

There were times when I needed,

even begged,

for reassurance,

I already knew they were unsure,

and I feigned comfort in their generous lies.

I have made mistakes,

took missteps,

and misunderstood.

I have done things to make some judge,

And others smile,

but this life I have lived,

endured,

embraced,

 it is my own,

And on glorious occasion,

I have danced.

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A Journey in a Day

So much of what lies within her is unknown to those around her.

The fevered desires,

the frantic fears,

The hopes that what once was will be,

and never be,

again.

The days of dreaming often lead to nightmares,

An evening in bed,

sans the rest,

she spends her afternoons with her head spinning in a dizzying frenzy,

Often leaving her heart pounding to find a way out.

The loneliness on the earth that promises her the world,

The terror that new love will once again be fleeting,

leading not to the joy she craves,

but instead another bond that will tie her to a deeper pain.

The thoughts move at a trampling pace,

as the light of hope that beams through a morning window slips away into the shadows of despair.

Each moment she fights through is a memory she fights through,

a cycle she prays will end

before her end.

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Are You A Good Friend Or Could You Do Better?

Are you Supportive? You don’t have to always agree with someone, but you should try and support them as they work through whatever they are trying to figure out.

Are You a Colleague Or a Competitor? Inspiring one another is one thing, but trying to “beat” your friend at something or feeling their success is your failure is a fast way to ruin a relationship. It’s also exhausting for everyone involved.

Are You Kind? It sounds like a no-brainer to be friendly to your friend,  but I am always shocked to see how many “besties” make snarky comments and toss underhanded “compliments” at one another.

Are You Sorry or Just Sorry They Felt That Way? When you hurt someone’s feelings, fess up.

Do You Make An Effort?  How often do you reach out, make plans and keep them?  Do you send their calls to VM or do you pick up or call them back? Do you need Facebook to remind you of their birthdays? Do you give them a card on their special day? It’s one thing to let someone know that you care about them and another to show it.

Are You Really Loyal? It’s obvious and so often overlooked. Loyal friends not only stand up for and stick by one another, they keep their secrets, show respect when their friends are not around and genuinely have one another’s backs.

Do You “Yes” Them To Death? How often do you challenge them to be their best selves, to see someone else’s point of view, to go after their dreams, to see the big picture, to live their best lives?

Do You Pull Them Up and Lift Them Higher? When they are down, do you secretly love coming to their rescue or love the company of their misery? When they are up, do you feel abandoned or jealous or do you work to lift them higher.  Do you step aside and let them enjoy their moment? Better yet, do you shine the spotlight on them?

How Honest Are You and How Do You Deliver That Honesty? Are you “brutally” honest or do you share your thoughts in a gentle, firm and respectful way? Do you tell them the truth about your own life and situation?

Do You Give Them The Benefit of The Doubt? You know who they are, so  when they act out of character, do you check in or flip out?