Monday, December 21, 2009

Don't let the lights keep you out of the tree!

Well I had to share a little lesson I was reminded of today.  Today was a beautiful sunny Sunday.  It is December so the temperature is in the high 50's - absolutely perfect.  As I have mentioned before when I sit at my desk in my home office there is a giant Oak tree right outside the window.  I believe that it was planted in the late 50's or early 60's when this subdivision was built which would make it at least 50 years old.  Needless to say it is huge with a massive trunk. 

It must be a fun tree to play in because the squirrels are always running up and down and playing on the branches (it probably helps that I keep a feeder for them hanging from one of the branches) but anyway today I witnessed something interesting that made me start thinking about human behavior. 

Since it is the holiday season and I love to decorate the house with lights I also decorate the trunk of the oak tree.  I put sheets of lights about 3 foot tall on the base of the tree and they go around 3/4 of the trunk.  So if you can imagine there is a strip on the back of the tree(about 2 feet wide) that has no lights (since it doesn't face the street).  Today my little squirrel friends (3 to be exact) wanted to play on the tree.  But every time they would jump up on the tree, they would feel the strings of lights and jump off.  All 3 of them kept jumping up on the tree and then jumping off.  It was actually quite comical.  This went on for quite a while and then I noticed that every once in a while one of them would actually jump on the side of the tree that did not have lights but instead of taking off running up the tree to get to the branches, like they always do, he would immediately jump off again.  It was as if he had jumped on the strings of lights so many times that he couldn't believe there was any part of the tree that didn't have lights.  His jumping persistence could have actually paid off when he hit the right side but he was blinded by his belief that there were lights there.

James Riley once said “The most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.”  Oh how those squirrels must have been discouraged.  They did eventually just give up and accept the fact that they couldn't get up the tree.  I hope that you don't let the lights keep you out the tree!  Persistence always pays in the long run if we are not blinded by our belief of what the current truth is - which may not be the truth at all.

And don't forget the old Japanese proverb that says "Money grows on the tree of persistence!"  Just thought that one was quite appropriate for the story!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It Can Be Scary to Revisit Your Old Goals

Last week I decided it was time to get a head start on my 2010 Goal setting session that I usually have in January.  I would venture to say that there are a lot of us that have them with ourselves in January.  So while brainstorming on what I really wanted out of the next 12 months I decided to take a moment and revisit an old Goal Board.  I still have my 2007 "Vision Board" and although it is a bit rough looking it did bring great joy to my heart when I sat down and took a look at it.

I almost could not contain my excitement - I just had to share with you the power of the mind.  Let me start by saying this board was up in my office for all of 2007, 2008 and the first couple of months of 2009.  I saw it daily, even if I weren't actually looking at it.  

1st - For a long time there actually were a pair of eyes up in the left top corner looking at me.  They stood for the eye correction surgery that I wanted to have to replace the glasses I had worn since 2nd grade.  I have dreamed of fixing my eyes for as long as I can remember.  But it wasn't until November of  2008 that it actually happened and I went from a person who couldn't see the BIG "E" on the top of the chart to having 20/20 vision.  Thanks Dr. Yokabitus at the Eye Clinic.

2nd - I wanted to write a book or some sort of informational product.  Well that has taken a bit longer but I am actually working on my book now and hopefully will be done by March and I am also cultivating a few ideas for informational products.  I would say that these goals will definitely be accomplished in 2010.

3rd - I wanted someone to write me a check for $1,000,000.  OK well that didn't happen exactly but we did sell our companies at the end of 2007 which allowed me to retire and have the money to live comfortably for a long time.  That was something I definitely couldn't have seen happening in January of 2007.  Oh by the way - this one is back on my 2010 Vision Board.

4th - A big bathtub.  In January of 2007 my house had the smallest 1957 bathtub in existence - ok that is just my opinion.  The tub was only 12 inches deep and it was so short you almost couldn't straighten your legs out.  Finally in January of 2009 I decided it was time to remodel my house and now I have a fabulously deep soaking tub in the spot that once was so cramped.

So as you can see these things did not all happen in 2007 but since the board stayed up through 2008 & 2009 they did all come closer to existence.  Time passes so quickly we should each take the time to focus on what we want out of life.  Be careful that you aren't focused on the wrong thing - what you don't want out of life.  So what is on the poster for 2010 - A Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, A Personal Assistant and A BIG Checking Account Balance, just to name a few.....

Friday, September 25, 2009

10 Self Imposed Road Blocks for Women Starting Businesses Part III

At this point we have covered the first seven road blocks that women build to stop themselves from starting businesses.  I hope that you have taken the time to study them and have acknowledged where you might have issues that need to be addressed.  At this point you have dealt with most of the mental issues with the exception of #10, which is a big one.  However, even with that one still out there you should be feeling pretty good about moving forward with your business ideas.  Before we take a look at the last three road blocks let's get a quick reminder about the first seven. 

ROAD BLOCK #1 - Not Enough Money
ROAD BLOCK #2 - Negative Self-Talk
ROAD BLOCK #3 - Comfort Zone Addiction
ROAD BLOCK #4 - Doubting Your Business Idea
ROAD BLOCK #5 - Not Knowing Where To Start
ROAD BLOCK #6 - Not Smart Enough
ROAD BLOCK #7 - Feeling You Have to Know Everything Before You Can Start

ROAD BLOCK #8 - The So-Called Experts (Dream Squishers) - They mean good (well most of the time) your family and friends that is.  You tell them about your dream and how you are going to change your life and your future and they start to tear it apart.  They tell you all the reasons why you are not going to make it and why it absolutely won't work.  I know this may seem off course, but have you ever had the opportunity to watch a bucket of live crabs? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

10 Self Imposed Road Blocks for Women Starting Businesses Part II

So are you still dreaming of the possibilities?  Have you taken the time to absorb Part I of this series and over come the first three road blocks?  Have you noticed the recurring theme?  Most of the barriers that women put up are mental or at least have to be dealt with mentally.  So far we have discussed the first three road blocks that women put up when facing the possibility of starting their own businesses. 

ROAD BLOCK #1 - Not Enough Money
ROAD BLOCK #2 - Negative Self Talk
ROAD BLOCK #3 - Comfort Zone Addiction 

Today we will focus on the next four road blocks.

ROAD BLOCK #4 - Doubting Your Business Idea - Oh you knew I would get to it eventually - the big "D" word and I'm not talkin' divorce.  No sister, the big "D" word is Doubt. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

10 Self Imposed Road Blocks for Women Starting Businesses Part I

Everyday there are women in this world that decide it is time for them to step up to the plate and create a better life for themselves and their families.  They start to dream about what could be if they had more money, more time for their families, more time for themselves or simply the ability to make the choices they want instead of the choices that are forced upon them.  If you have not taken the time to day dream lately I think you should try it right now.  Close your eyes and let yourself imagine the possibilities.  Be sure to come back and finish reading since I know you are probably so tired you could fall asleep.

Could you picture yourself in a better, happier place?  Were your children well cared for, happy and well educated?  Were your bills paid when they arrived in the mail instead of waiting till the very end of the grace period to pay them?  Were your aging parents well cared for?  Did you quit your job because you are finally in control of your own finances?  Did you have someone to clean your house so you would have time to spend playing with your children?  (It's OK to dream about that - God doesn't take off points if you have someone clean your house.)  So what did you imagine you were doing to make this extra money for these things and to have these abilities and choices? 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Exciting Decisions About Life!

I am so excited!  About so many things I do not know where to begin.  Who am I kidding?  I have two exciting new projects in the works and I can't wait to tell you about them.  First I am going to tell you quickly about a new website I am creating for a passion of mine.  Back in 2002 I started learning about personalities and how those personalities can almost always predict the direction a person will take.  I love figuring out someones personality and truly get a kick out of being right (by the way I am a D personality on the DISC scale and that explains that).  So anyway I am creating a website called to teach others how to recognize different personalities and be able to use that information to make their lives better.  I will be talking about it in detail on My Social Media Project Blog. I just put the homepage up today on Personality-Quiz-Tools so please check it out.  I would love your feed back.

Now for my super exciting news!!  If you have read my past blogs then you know that I am at a cross roads in my life - the intersection of What Do I Want To Do With The Rest Of My Life Avenue and I Feel Like I Am Running Out Of Time Street.  I did know one thing all along and that is that I want to do something to help women.  God has truly placed that on my heart and I am going to do something about it.  I have spent much time contemplating my strengths and talking to everyone I could about what I should do.  I am so excited to say that I have finally decided on the path.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How NOT to Say Your Sorry

I have recently witnessed several people, who will remain nameless but don't deserve it, issue apologies that I found to be appalling. Is it possible that "Saying Your Sorry" has become a lost art form? Do peoples parents no longer teach them how to feel true remorse and issue heart felt apologies?

As a lover of knowledge I thought we should start with the definition of remorse - a sense of deep regret and guilt for something one did (from That definition includes the words regret and guilt, two words that seem to evade us in our society today. It seems that lots of people are only sorry when they get caught - regret and guilt do not even come into the equation until they are caught. The words from "Take a Bow" by Rhianna come to mind "Don't tell me your sorry cause your not, Baby when I know your only sorry you got caught."

I thought I would list several things not to say or do when you are apologizing:
1. Do Not use the word "but" in an apology. As in "Honey I am so sorry that I backed over your cat but if you hadn't let it go outside it wouldn't have happened."
2. Do Not blame someone else for your actions in your apology. Same example as #1.
3. Do Not rationalize your actions in your apology. As in "Sir I am sorry I ran into your car. If Chevrolet put better brakes on these vehicles it wouldn't have happened." Wow it is amazing how much that sounds like blaming someone else (#2). If I had used the word but in the sentence I could have covered points 1, 2 & 3.
4. Never ever ever ever start an apology with "I know you want me to apologize so...."
5. Probably the single most irritating mistake that people make when apologizing is the tone they use. There are two extremely different meanings when someone says "Sorry" in a remorseful tone than when they say "SORRY" in a harsh hard loud tone. If you don't believe me just ask a child.

I know that you could probably add many items to this list and I look forward to your comments. So now what? I hope you are thinking about how you present your apologies. It seems to me that it is pretty easy. I think that apologies without remorse do more damage than good. Do not insult the other person with a bogus apology. If you can truly say you are feeling regret and guilt, thus remorse, an apology should be straight forward. Say you are sorry, take full responsibility for your actions, assure the wronged party that you have learned from your mistake and will not do it again.  Most of all mean what you say!