Tag Archives: purpose

Be the Woman You Want Her to Become

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Mahatma Ghandi

shutterstock_33451507Be the woman you want her to become. During a conversation recently with a friend about girl empowerment I shared what had been bothering me for a while,

“Did you ever notice that we invest so much time in ensuring our daughters pursue their dreams while most of us ignore our own or relegate our truest dreams to the back burner?”

She had noticed the same thing.

“What message does that send our girls and our boys about the importance of our desires and theirs too?”

If you ask any parent (or child), they will confirm that it is what we model in action that sends the most powerful message to young people Pursuing your dreams wholeheartedly isn’t selfish but is honoring Life and what you are designed to give to the world. It is speaking the truth in action that your life and time deserve the same level of attention and care as each member of your family.

What I have also noticed is that as children get older, they express significant pride in their parent’s professional accomplishments and impact on the world.

Take up space in your own life for the world’s sake and to give the girls and boys that are watching permission to do the same. 

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4 Actions You Can Take While You Are Working *Only* for the Money

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My job is soul-sucking.

It’s not the first time I have heard this phrase from someone that is miserable in their work. Many people that are deeply unsatisfied and unhappy at their jobs describe an oppressive (and sometimes hostile) daily existence including: a lack of trust in their co-workers or management, feeling pressure to perform without support (or sometimes active sabotaging), political game playing such as others taking credit for their work, experiencing subtle or overt sexism, finding the work meaningless, boring, or in some cases morally bankrupt, etc…

Others say they feel as though they are not living up to their potential or want to be involved in work and people that matter to them. At some point during the conversation, I usually ask:

So why not quit?

And the response:

I can’t afford it.

This is smart response. Financial security and taking care of your family are meaningful reasons to stay at your soul-sucking job temporarily. If timing is your choice, I never recommend quitting your current position without a transition plan and an understanding of what’s next for you.

Sometimes though, especially for those in high-paying and/or prestigious positions, the conversation leads to staying because of the importance of maintaining a certain lifestyle.

Reminder: A few weeks of family vacation where you worry about your work often, that beautiful house where you can’t sleep without medication, or weekend’s where you feel depressed and exhausted…is not much of a lifestyle.

Whether you are at a soul-sucking job or simply want to do something bigger or more meaningful, there is a third option. Stay while you plan your escape by:

  1. Saving. Reduce or alleviate the financial risk of making a big shift. Reduce your expenses, get a second job, support your spouse in working, or start a side gig. Most people that are unhappy at work feel that they do not have any other choice but to stay. Without some level of financial safety net, the risk and anxiety of leaving your job may be too significant.
  2. Dreaming. There is zero risk in dreaming about what you want. Carve out even five minutes a day to explore and be intentional about your work and life dreams by asking yourself the big questions. Reflect on what it is most important to you in the next phase of work and life.  With the right questions and process in a short time you will see patterns and a direction emerge. Reconnect with your dreams first and then get very practical about what is feasible and what would be a financially profitably way to approach it. Here are a couple of questions to get you started. Remember these are brainstorming exercises, so no filter and no right or wrong answer. This is between you and you.  Your answers may range from specific and small to visionary to vague: If time, money, or the opinion of others were not a factor, what goals and activities would you pursue? What issues, causes, and problems that need solving have you been particularly drawn to.
  3. Taking micro steps. Don’t stop with dreaming, because without action (and eventually a plan), you won’t make progress. Once you know what you want, then start making a list of infinitesimal, doable steps you can take toward it.
  4. Finding something meaningful in your work now. Bringing more of yourself into your life can help. Try one of these every day: write down one way in which you are contributing in a positive way to your company; start the day by recording one thing you are grateful for at work; reach out consciously to someone at work with a kind or encouraging word; go outside at lunch and breathe the fresh air; or brainstorm out-of-the-box ideas to help your company that would also fuel your own passions.

How about you, what one small, infinitesimal step can you take to begin toward work that is meaningful to you?

 

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Take Up Space in Your Busy Life: A Fun and Free 7 Day Challenge

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If you don’t choose how you spend your time, someone else will spend it for you. -Unknown

This challenge has ended. sign-up for free tips or join us for the 21 Day Passion Project, beginning July 18th.shutterstock_279026699

Join us for this fun and free challenge starting June 20th that will take 5 minutes or less and will easily integrate into the course of your daily activities.

Why Take Up Space?

It is easy to be lulled into waiting for the elusive right time to pursue your boldest desires or simply nurture yourself. But the truth is that the only perfect life phase for living fully into who we are starts today. If you are feeling squeezed out of your own life, then join us for this fun and free challenge to intentionally take up a little more space in your own life. It will take 5 minutes or less of your day!

When is the right time to express who you are in your own life?

I was chatting with a friend recently who shared that she never had time to pursue her art, bemoaning her endless to-do list and all the obligations pulling at her.

I think most of us have experienced her frustration. Life, after all, is busy. Often incredibly so. Daily work, family, volunteering and other commitments can make days and (gulp) years pass quickly, leaving little time for long-dormant personal passions and dreams. This is a familiar mantra for my peers: women with kids/teens still at home and often also running a business or working in a corporate setting. This was different though. My friend’s struggle gave me significant pause because she was in her late 60’s and has been an empty nester for quite some time. Wow…the busyness really never ends, was my immediate response.

What’s the structure of the challenge?

Research and our anecdotal experience show that sticking with anything new is easiest when it is fun, almost effortless, and broken into small, micro steps.

This challenge will take 5 minutes or less of your time and is meant to be integrated into your daily routine. Each morning you will receive the day’s challenge via email. We will also add you to a private Facebook group so that you can share in the fun with others also completing the challenge. If you are ready to take up a little more space in your own life, sign up here:

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When Your Potential Ends

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. -Nido Qubein*

I am conducting research as part of my work on a personal development program for young adults. In one of the books, I am reading (more precisely listening to on Audible) the author provides insight into the environment and characteristics that determine success in school and life. To illustrate the weaknesses of one model, he shares a story about a teen who attended a NYC charter high school. The student, Tony, did quite well academically in the highly-structured environment of the charter school and was accepted to a four-year university.

But when he started college, Tony floundered and after a couple of tries, eventually dropped out for good. Using Tony’s story, the author highlighted what was missing from this particular charter school and advocating for a formula that emphasizes traits like grit rather than a traditional model focused almost exclusively on intellectual/academic success.

During his research, the author interviewed and quotes Tony, now in his late 20’s and working at an AT&T call center. With resignation, Tony sighs,

“I really had a lot of potential.”

…and then not missing a beat the author continues with his growth mindset hypothesis.

And that’s when my next door neighbors may have heard my rant. 

Wait! What do you mean had? Had?

Tony is 28 years old; his dreams and the possibilities for his life are not in the past tense. Given the difficult circumstances of his early years, he has done extraordinarily well. But still he has the potential to do much, much more if he chooses.

Tony doesn’t need to accept his current circumstances as fate because of his college/teenage struggles no matter his history, but particularly keeping in mind that he was likely still recovering from trauma.

How ironic that a text that is focused heavily on the growth mindset (the malleability of intelligence and success) implies that potential has an expiration date?

There are countless famous, historic and everyday examples of people hitting their stride in every decade of life, literally until 100 years old.

Tony’s potential ends when he decides it does. And so doesn’t yours.


Take 5: 

Your potential ends when you decide it does. Take two minutes and consider what you have the potential for (maybe it comes in the form of regret or a tinge of if only) by brainstorming answers to this question:

What would you do today if money, time, or the opinions of others were irrelevant? 

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*source for quote: brainyquotes.com

One Reason You Don’t Have Clarity on Your Goals

 

CreativeCommons: BRTeaA firm has been helping me with a new product that I am working on. They are incredible in many ways…but completion is taking much longer than expected. Much, much longer. When they shot a few product photos for me, I realized what the problem was.

They never asked me what I wanted. 

Rather than taking the time (in this case just a few minutes) to ask me a few questions to understand what I needed and wanted, they did what was standard..defaulted to what they usually do.

Hmmmm…. Sounds familiar. I don’t know about you, but I still do this sometimes in my own life. Although understanding what you or I want our lives to be about is a bit more complicated than a photo shoot, the concept is the same. Often we go through our days without taking the time to step back and ask ourselves the big questions.

People – especially busy people – don’t have clarity on their life direction because they haven’t taken the time to ask themselves what matters most, what they really want their life to be about, and then made decisions based on that.

The moral of the story, if you want clarity about your dreams, start by taking the time to intentionally asking yourself what YOU really want. Not what is expected of you or others think you should do or is appropriate for your age or prestigious or easy…but what you really want. And then, act accordingly.


Take 5

If you don’t have clarity on your dreams, here’s a good place to start. Today, take a few minutes to brainstorm a list of what really matters to you….people, issues, causes, and values. Let me know what you came up with in the comments.


If you want an approachable way to ask yourself the big questions, here is a self-reflection road map to help you intentionally reclaim your dreams (and your life), check out the Reclaim Your Dreams Workbook for Busy Women available on Amazon.

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Suffering, Beauty, and the Dump

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I was so taken by the majesty of nature when I arrived at the dog park today.

I shot this photo but I wasn’t sure if I would share it.

It was early morning and I was up and out by six am.

10 minutes earlier I had been buying a Venti at Starbucks. Since the rest of my Saturday would be full of work and kids’ activities, I decided to grab a cup of coffee to take with me in the hopes of creating an atypical, slower-paced, meditative walking space.

As I was heading out of Starbucks, I noticed the grief-stricken face of a woman on the cover of the New York Times—I couldn’t pass her by. The mother’s daughter had been killed in a terrorist attack and a photographer shot the photo as she bent over her daughter’s coffin.

I took her suffering to the park with me (as I often do).

Then, when I arrived, Nature greeted me with this gift and the anguish and beauty were existing together.

(Until my phone rang.)

My daughter called to be sure I would be back in time to bring her to the dump to sell raffle tickets for her basketball team.

Yup, the dump.

And there it is—beauty, suffering and carpools to the dump.

Some days, life in the ‘burbs can feel so trivial in the backdrop of world events.

And hard to resolve in my head and heart.

But, today it all matters.

That mother was still with me as I soaked in the gift of awe-inspiring nature. And the drive to the the dump was meaningful in all its ordinariness because talking with my daughter is sacred.

I am taking it all in. Being fully in it.

Every bit of it literally exists in my cells.

Today, I am embracing life.

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