Ambition

I am always impressed with people who have dreams or goals and manage to make everything happen the way they envision things, or just have a “to do” list and get things done.  They have ambition, self-initiative, and usually good time management skills.  I can never seem to be as productive as I would like to be, so I guess I’m partly just envious.  I know people who get more done by 9 am than I do all day long sometimes, but then again, I’m not a morning person.  They wake up on full throttle.  I have no clue what that feels like, and sometimes I spend more time thinking about what needs to get done rather than actually doing things.  I get great satisfaction out of checking things of my “to do” list and want to get things done, but I can’t always make things happen in the timeframe I would like to and should be able to, but it’s sometimes due to things out of my control.  Other times it is not. I can be very focused and productive though with the right motivation.

What really impresses me is when other people are willing to tackle projects or do anything that is out of their comfort zone, which seems to be a key factor sometimes.  They’re not afraid to try something they’ve never done before or figure things out as they go.  They just take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and run with it.  Continue reading

Winning At All Costs

winningMy son was somewhat perplexed following his volleyball games against another school yesterday and questioned his coach afterwards about some of his decisions.  My son was disappointed that, although his team played well, the other team won more games because they bent the rules and were encouraged to take advantage of our weakest player.  He thought the weaker player should have been subbed out for a stronger player.  Our coach explained that he was all about playing by the rules, teaching good sportsmanship, and being fair about rotating the players so that they get the experience to improve and build their confidence, especially at the modified level when the kids are learning the sport.  He also explained that at the JV level, what the other team’s players were doing incorrectly will get called every time, and those kids will look foolish and will have to relearn how to play correctly, whereas our team will not.

I told my son as I emphasized all the positives that I was more proud of him for playing by the rules, being a good sport, and playing with the right technique than I would have been if they won because they had bent the rules or played underhandedly.  I know it isn’t sitting well with him that the other team got away with playing the way they did, but it bothers me that he seems to be focused on the fact that his team didn’t win.

The whole thing makes me think of that whole mentality which some people have that it shouldn’t matter how you get the outcome you desire as long as you get it, even if you have to be deceitful, manipulative, bend or ignore the rules, or hurt people in the process.  Sports are one thing, but everyday life is another.   Continue reading

Pushing People Away

It amazes me how many people I know who would rather push people away than work on making any changes that they can to improve a relationship, regardless of the type of relationship.  I guess it’s easier than doing some self-reflection and realizing that you are part of the problem and need to make some changes, apologize, and/or make up for something.  I do understand how hard it is to make changes for the better, even if you do realize that you need to do so.  But why is it so easy to do the opposite and behave even worse, which only pushes the other person away?

I’ve experienced this in different forms over the years, and I feel like I’ve been pushed so many times, that it doesn’t take much for me to push back at this point.  I wish that weren’t the case, but it is.  It’s hard to step back from that, and it makes it even more difficult to take steps in the right direction.  And it’s challenging to refrain from reacting the same way or even worse each time to the same repeated behavior.  Trying to keep motivated to make improvements when you feel like you are the only one who is interested in making the effort becomes difficult too.

It’s definitely easier to blame others for everything instead of admitting that you have made mistakes, have failed at something, or have flaws.   Continue reading

Success

success - confucius

Everyone has his or her own idea of how to define success.  It could be measured by how much money you make, what kind of house and car you own, how many friends you have, how good of a parent you are, how far you have gotten in your career, how much of a positive impact you’ve made on the world around you, how you have positively impacted and inspired the people around you, and so on.  No matter how you define it though, it always feels best when it has been earned, whether it be through hard work, dedication, time committed, good character and integrity, positive attitude, or however else.

Success, for most of us, is not something that comes easily or automatically.  It is usually a series of countless small achievements or baby steps in the right direction, or at least mostly in the right direction.  There are usually set-backs along the way, but overcoming those makes it feel even better.  In fact, Booker T. Washington even said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”  I do believe that to be true in many instances because it is through overcoming obstacles that we build character and learn what our strengths are and what we can handle.

Success doesn’t always have to be difficult though, but it often requires focus and determination, belief in ourselves, willingness to fail, a positive attitude, and including others.  Not only do we usually have to rely on the help of others in order to achieve success, but it is also important to give back to those who helped us along the way.  If our success, whatever it may be, can somehow inspire others to be successful, that’s even better.

Sometimes finding success can be a very slow process, so much so that it doesn’t even seem to be happening.  But we need to remember that success can be like a tree.  You can see it at any point and time, but you cannot see it grow.  It’s important to keep that in mind when it feels like we are not making any progress in the right direction. Slow progress is better than no progress.  As long as we continue to take action without giving up, we can continue to achieve success.  It never hurts to remind ourselves that even though we might not be where we want to be quite yet, we’re closer than we were the day before.  Confucius also said, “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”  Even if we have to take a very round-about way, we will get there eventually.

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Don’t Give Up

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It’s been a while since my last post. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about topics to share.  I just haven’t had time lately to write any of them down.  I’ve been busy making progress on some pretty significant things on my “to do” list that have been there for quite some time!

There always seems to be so many things that I wish I could wave a magic wand and make happen, but that’s not reality.  It can be overwhelming sometimes, especially thinking about the bigger things or things that seem not all that realistic.  It’s hard to take that initial first step towards whatever desired outcome, but sometimes doing that and then finding a way to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even if they are baby steps, will get the job done.  Often times, once the ball is rolling, it builds momentum and just can’t stop.  That’s definitely been the case in my life lately…one good thing leading to another for the most part, with a few ups and downs in the mix.

That’s not always the case though, and it can be very tempting to throw in the towel, so to speak.  This can be especially true when it comes to parenting and working on relationships.  Lately, I seem to keep coming across all kinds of reminders about the importance of not giving up, including the graphic at the top of this post and this one as well…

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Another quote I’ve seen a few times is … When a child learns to walk and falls down 50 times, he never thinks to himself: “Maybe this isn’t for me?”  Kids don’t typically think about things like failure and disappointment as much as adults do.  They want something and will do what it takes to get it.  Sometimes our minds get the best of us and hold us back from doing all that we can and being all that we can be.  It’s too bad we can’t think more like kids sometimes, or rather not think about and analyze everything.  We need to remember that we can’t always wait for the right or best time to do things, setting goals is important, we can’t be afraid to take the first steps towards those goals, we’ll most likely run into obstacles along the way, it’s OK to ask for help, and that failure is OK.  I like Kid President’s quote… ”If at first you don’t succeed, you’re normal.”  We just need to find a way to get started and then keep going, even if it means putting aside our fears.

For me personally, I sometimes get stuck in a rut thinking about all the things I can’t do, but as soon as I change my mindset to thinking about what I CAN do, then I start getting somewhere because I become more likely to take risks instead of playing it safe.  Sometimes confidence can be a key factor in our successes.  Thinking outside the box often helps, too.  Finding a way around an obstacle, a different way of doing or approaching something, a fresh idea, or a new perspective can be the spark of excitement that becomes a catalyst for making good progress towards a goal or desired outcome. It’s all in how we think about it, really.

Comments are always welcome!  Clicking on the “Home” page tab will allow you to scroll through other posts, or you can select a category or tag word to find similar topics.  If you would like to read future posts, please follow the blog or my Facebook page.

Taking Risks

taking risks

This is so true, but it’s something we sometimes need to remind ourselves and each other.  Nothing in life is ever perfect, so if we are always waiting for the exact right time to do or say something, it may never come.  And if we are always waiting until we are certain of a particular outcome or how someone else is thinking or feeling, we may lose out as well.  There are countless other things like job opportunities and fun adventures that could pass us right by while we are waiting until a better time.  Life is a whole lot shorter than we think it is though, so the time is now.

I am speaking to myself as much as anyone reading this.  It is difficult sometimes to think beyond what we need to accomplish in a day, get out of our comfort zone, and have the confidence to try something new or maybe something we haven’t done in a long time or take a chance on something or someone. But if we don’t, we may regret not doing so down the road.  Sometimes it’s fear of change, fear of failure, or fear of the unknown that gets in our way.  Other times it may be lack of confidence or experience or any number of other things.  Whatever it is, we need to find the inspiration or motivation to get past those negative thoughts and push ourselves in the direction we would like to see ourselves.  We can’t just let life happen.  We need to make it happen.

It could be just a matter of a change in perspective that will help.  Instead of focusing on what we can’t or won’t be able to do, reminding ourselves of what we are capable of doing and surrounding ourselves with people who will back us up on those thoughts can be helpful.  Sometimes we just need to dig deep and muster up the courage to either take a few baby steps or a giant leap forward and not look back.

Comments are always welcome!  Clicking on the “Home” page tab will allow you to scroll through other posts, or you can select a category or tag word to find similar topics.  If you would like to read future posts, please follow the blog or my Facebook page.

Getting Over The Hurdles

path no obstacles

The last several years it seems like no matter what is going on in my life or where I’d like to see myself, there are always obstacles to overcome … some of them little ones and some quite large.  Nothing seems to be easy.  There is always drama, and everything seems to be harder than it should be.  The really happy and enjoyable moments are few and far between.  Despite all of that, I still try to look at all of the obstacles as hurdles that I can get over, or maybe around, and not as permanent set-backs.

It really does feel like I am running hurdles sometimes where I just about get over one hurdle and there’s the next one right in front of me, but I am determined to keep going.  Sometimes it seems like I will never get to the end of the race either, because nothing that I would like to see change for the better ever changes, but I still keep going.  It’s the only way to get closer to the finish line, and I am determined to get there.  I know it’s going to feel so good once I finally get there, and that’s my motivation. Continue reading