Category Archives: Motivation

Do you lead your life?

Most people don’t lead their life, they accept their life. Most people don’t challenge their thinking. They don’t question the way things are. They don’t reexamine their thought processes.  They don’t ask why they think a certain way. Instead, they accept the answers given. They are okay with no progression no evolvement.

Don’t be most people.

Question yourself. Question others. Inspire curiosity. Don’t accept ‘no’ to your ‘yes’. Don’t tell God your plans ask Him. Then listen. Always seek forward movement and reflection. Constantly ask yourself, why. The answers should inspire more questions and the questions should inspire action.

Go ahead. I dare you. Ask yourself, why.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

post inspired by A More Beautifull Question by Warren Berger.

 

 

Define What Matters

I’m on day 7 of Hospital bed rest. It was going fine (relatively speaking) until last night. Out of nowhere I was completely broken, discouraged, and had a suffocating feeling of being trapped. So like all adults do, I called my mom to come sleep here with me.

As I woke up this morning, from little to no sleep, I continued to struggle. My eyes red from tears that had dropped continuously through the night. I decided to take a shower, clear my head, and watch this weekend’s past service. One of the major take-a-ways for me was the understanding of pain and how the joy of the Lord is what will sustain me over these next few weeks (well, and in life).

In defining what matters, my focus goes from myself and to the mission. Quite literally my mission is to provide a house for our baby and to do what the Dr says. Success in life is not the absence of pain, of heartache, or of bed rest. Success is the leveraging of pain. By focusing on what matters, the goal, the mission, I can embrace the pain knowing I am making progress. Every day I am here our baby is making progress. In defining what matters, I can refocus my attention on the goal.

Although my analogy identifies the pain of having to be on bed rest and the multitude of emotions surrounding this, the fundamentals of this message resonates in all areas of our lives. Often, we focus on the negatives of what we are experiencing. We question God and seek to eliminate any discomfort. The reality is pain like failure is crucial to joy, which is God’s will for us. (John 10:10). There is no gain without pain. There is no opportunity for growth when you are unproductive and tired. Pain allows us to experience change, and this alone is a blessing. I challenge each of us to be clear in defining what matters. In the midst of any trial, focus on the mission and not the moment. In doing so, your pain becomes temporary, and your balance is restored.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

The Entitled Traveler

This is the story of a lady named Jane. Jane is an overworked mom traveling with her three kids, her sister, her sister’s kids and her elderly parents. Jane packed the family up with each person handling two large carry-on bags, oversized coats, purses, and personalities. Jane is overworked and tired, she deserves a vacation. She deserves a vacation. Jane waits in line, as we all have to. Yet, to her, a line is merely a suggestion for her sprawling family and their overstuffed bags. As kids are bumping into others and nearly knock down the rope that keeps us peasants at bay, Jane laughs disruptively without a care in the world. After all, she’s going on vacation.

Jane is on my flight. Prior to boarding, Jane lines up causing unnecessary chaos as others have followed her lead. No one has started calling for boarding. The airline has to announce three times that they will be calling by row when the time comes. Hint: take a seat. Finally, Jane realizes that this too includes her and that she must wait her turn. While the line again is forming, Jane allows her entire family to go in and out of line so they can handle some last minute business. i.e. run to the bathroom, grab water (you get the idea). So while the rest of us have planned accordingly are stuck waiting in a line that continues to ebb and flow as more of her family decides to join. One family member has been left behind as the others board the plane. Instead of getting out of the line, as most would have done by now, Jane continues to communicate by yelling across the airport to her relative. Oh yes, she’s holding up the line. Once again, we wait till her family is served. We wait for Jane.

Ah, the landing. Yes! We are finally home. We gather our backpacks, the one bag we packed for our 10-day trip, and wait to get off the plane. (Yes, people it’s possible to not bring 5 pairs of shoes). Typically, you wait your turn to get off the plane as people exit slowly by row gathering their belongings and gain their bearings. You guessed it, not Jane. Jane is seated in the back yet, is one of the first off the plane. I was in row 5. How is this possible? Jane had clearly instructed her family to jump up as soon as the plane landed then stand in the aisle to not let anyone else pass through. Jane was in a hurry. Jane needed a vacation.

As I shrug off my extreme irritability, I remind myself that I’m lucky to be where I am and promise to keep my mouth shut. Who knows maybe I’ll never see Jane again. Unfortunately, I’m wrong and run into Jane again with her large, chaotic brood. This time, it’s at security. Yay!

Instead of following instructions, like waiting your turn and putting your belongings on the tray, she rushes through creating a backup as the bins are now stuck. She yells at the airline worker, who is explaining the rules, that she is in a hurry. Well, obviously. The airline worker sticks to the protocol as Jane paces back and forth setting the tone with her family and creating more obstacles for herself. Her entire family gets through the line, but one member is called to the side for extra security. Do you know what Jane does? She approaches the inspector and tells him they are in a hurry and asks if he can be done. This is it for me. In a time where safety is a top priority, you expect that the worker hurries through his job so that you can get on with your life?

As I reflect on this experience. I realize we are all Jane, the entitled traveler. We are so involved with our needs, our wants, and our preferences that we have become desensitized to the needs of those around us. Can you imagine if the airline worker had said, “you’re right I’ll stop and hope that this person isn’t a security threat.” Yet, this is the mentality we have. We expect people to make exceptions for us. We expect the government to do things for us. We expect people to bend to our will.  After all, we deserve it.

In the light of the attacks that are happening all over the world, the attacks happening online, the attacks that are happening in your own backyards, how can you think you are more entitled to freedom, happiness, and love than others? It astounds me that people can be a racist when all humans come from the same strand of DNA. It astounds me that people hate someone for their religion, especially in America, when it was founded on celebrating this freedom. It astounds me that people are willing to create discord within their own families because they don’t agree with something they do or think. Life is too short to live like this. This is not love. Don’t be Jane.

Think of someone other than yourself and change the world.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

International Women’s Day: 2016

Celebrating-International-Womens-Day-2014-650x410Today is a day of excitement, opportunity, and progress. Today is International Woman’s Day. Why is this important?

Because women still don’t have equal pay. Because people are more concerned with how Hillary looks than what Trump says. Because women in the U.S. have only been able to vote since 1920, less than 100 years. Because women grow humans in their bodies. Because women suffer pain that men can never experience. Because women are strong, we are built this way. Because women should have the same rights as men everywhere. Because women should be given the same opportunities to reach their potential.

The experiences privileged to women know no boundaries. You can’t build walls, or turn people away from the shared experience united in sisterhood.  International Women’s Day reminds us of the inequalities that are easily forgotten in the day to day. Women face barriers in education, in the workplace, in family planning, and in career opportunities. This day is about uniting here and across the globe to bring a voice to those who don’t have one. IWD is a day of empowerment, of awareness and of celebration.

‘My hope is that then one day we won’t need this special day at all. In reality, we should be having conversations about women’s achievements every day of the year if we are to really bring about change. But unfortunately, we still need International Women’s Day in 2016. We need it until we have an equal number of women in leadership positions, women earning the same as men for the same work, and women across the world having the same rights as men. Because until that happens, every other day of the year is basically International Men’s Day.’
Quote by Janneke Niessen, European Digital Woman of the Year and is co-founder of Inspiring Fifty and Improve Digital

photo cred: http://guardianlv.com/2014/03/celebrating-international-womens-day-2014/

The Unspoken Pressure

Many of the things I’ve learned since coming to Law School have nothing to do with the judicial system. Yes, of course, I’ve learned a ton in that regard, but more importantly I’ve learned a lot about myself. It’s easy to succumb to unspoken pressure when you’re in an environment of people who are extremely intelligent, driven and opinionated.  By pressure, I mean the feeling of needing to compete, of seeking peer approval or of feeling like you have to pursue a certain path in order to be successful. (a.k.a pay back your student loans).

Recently, I was able to meet with an attorney for a ‘mock’ interview. It was a great opportunity to sharpen my skills while getting prepared for pursuing internships or experience. One of the things he said to me (I’m paraphrasing) was that you have to stay true to who you are and what you want to do. This is something I always thought I knew. Yet, after the pleasantries were exchanged and I shook his hand. I went to my car and cried. I cried thinking, “What have I done?” “Why am I here?” “Why have I made the choice to take on more student loan debt?” “Why am I in Law School?”

Doubt started to overwhelm me. I thought about going home and giving up for the day. After an internal monolog, I pulled it together and went to school. Resolving to not get caught up in the idea of what other people are doing, which is much easier said than done.

I’ve known for quite some time that I don’t want a conventional career. (For goodness sakes, I was a theater major). I refuse to create a life dedicated to another [wo]man’s dollar or another [wo]man’s dream. With that mentality often comes uncertainty, instability, and sacrifice. These words have never really scared me. On the contrary, these words excite me.

I went to Law School to gain the skills to catapult my love for serving others into helping turn their dreams of entrepreneurship, of entertainment, of artistry into realities. Ultimately, I want to advocate for, protect, and serve creative geniuses.

I’m excited to be on this journey. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Although there is much uncertainty, instability, and sacrifice involved I know I made the right choice. Others may think I’m crazy or wonder about me, but I’ll remain true to myself, my unique talents, and the dreams that God has given me.

xoxo,

BC

“First, do no harm”

“First, do no harm” is used in the medical profession as a guiding principle for physicians that, whatever the situation, the patient’s well-being is the primary consideration. I understand this is used by physicians in a literal life or death situation, but can’t it also be used for ourselves in every aspect of our lives?

Shouldn’t we be more in tune to whether or not the decisions we make are going to impact us negatively or even permanently disable us from living the life we’ve imagined? This life I’m referring to is above and beyond a monetary or materialistic gain. It’s about living a life worth living, the life you were meant to live. If you’re like me then the worst, most crippling feeling in the world is to be a cog in someone else’s machine. As I make decisions I keep this very, real fear in mind in order to ensure I don’t lead down that path professionally and/or personally.

Ultimately when I say, ‘first, do no harm’ I’m suggesting that when you are creating your goals you must be mindful of every choice you make. Will it impact your family? Will it limit your ability to give back? Will it allow you to go on that vacation that you’re yearning for? Keep your priorities in order and make your decisions surrounding those. No judgement here as to what those are. Just consider what harm really means for your life and who could suffer as a result.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

Nothing is Missing

Last Friday I received one of my weekly TUT messages, read below:

Know what’s missing from most people’s live? The realization that nothing is missing from their lives. You already have whatever you may be looking for.

I read this about a dozen times. I agree with the message completely. Yet, something didn’t quite sit right. For me, success and fulfillment are only achieved if I’m progressing forward. While I think this message is an important reminder to be grateful. It also puts things into perspective when thinking about all the ‘wants’ vs. needs in life. (If you’re reading this then you already have a better quality of life than most in the world.) 

So my big takeaway – being grateful doesn’t require you to lower your standards. It’s similar to the methodology of SCRUM, in that you check-in on your progress to ensure you’re still headed in the right direction.

Keep moving forward, be grateful for where you are and what you have. Although nothing essential may be missing it is however, essential to keep moving forward in pursuing your goals. Realizing that you have it great now is part of having a grateful heart and attitude at all times.

xoxo,

Blonde Chick

 

Are you a Challenger?

As a young professional, the one thing you should always be pursuing is knowledge. At this stage in the game you’re not very experienced so the one thing you can do to is gain experience by reading. Yes, reading. People don’t want to hire ‘know it alls’ or people who only know what they already know. You have to be an expert by challenging the way people think or rather exposing them to new ways of thinking. In a true partnership, it’s a game of give and take while always giving something of value.

So, at this stage in your career  – how do you position yourself an expert? One way is to  read books on the topic of interest, whether personal/professional development, industry specific or even best business practices. The goal is to expedite your growth through the lenses and pages of those who have already chartered the journey you’re on. How you do something has become way more important than what you have and what you know. If you can learn to become a challenger, you are can master the ‘how you do something.’ The book ‘The Challenger Sale’ teaches you exactly how to do just that.

Although, the book ‘The Challenger Sale‘ offers great insight if going into the world of sales. It also provides greater insights as to how you can be a Challenger in any profession, and how by taking this approach you can dramatically increase the impact you can make on your career.

  • A Challenger has a deep understanding of the business their customers, or hiring managers are in and use that understanding to push thinking and teach something new. The best employees win not by “discovering” what people already know they need, but by teaching a new way of thinking altogether. It’s better to have thoughtful reflection than excited agreement. 
  • A Challenger is really defined by the ability to do three things: teach, tailor, and take control. If you can do these three things well you can truly create the career you want.
  • The Challenger is focused on challenging their target outside of their comfort zone whereas others are simply focused on being accepted. In summary,  you have to be willing to live outside your comfort zone while challenging others to do the same.
  • The Challenger is focused on providing great insight and value. You have to be willing to be disruptive. Be memorable, not agreeable.
  • You must become the ‘insight generation machine’ that without you they are left in the dark.

Become a Challenger today and start creating impact. How will you start teaching, tailoring and taking control?

xoxo

Blonde Chick

It’s All in the Details

My hubz and I really enjoy watching travel shows especially the Anthony Bourdain series. There was one episode we watched recently about Tokyo and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it! Traditionally, the Japanese are known for paying attention to detail to an extreme — just look at bonsai or exquisitely crafted sushi! This same obsession to detail can apply to several scenarios in our life. For me, I kept coming back to focusing on the details that shape goals. Culturally, the Japanese focus on one thing or one pursuit in order to reach as close to perfection as possible, beginning with the tiniest of details.

In our overworked, overloaded and distracted society just thinking about being able to focus on one thing seems impossible. Yet, but what would it mean for your life if you could? If you could focus on just one thing at a time? I’m the worst at doing this. My mind rushes from one thing to the another, from one idea to the next always seeking the latest best thing. Lately, however, my mind keeps going back to the same handful of ideas. So I’m challenging myself to focus on the one thing to in order to see what will develop. Instead of flip-flopping through my plethora of ideas – I need to focus on the details that will enable me to create my bigger picture goals.

I challenge you to also identify what one thing in your personal or professional life for you to focus on. Make it a goal to intentionally spend time focusing your energy and mind towards accomplishing that one thing. Even if it’s 20 minutes a day, start by identifying the details that form your goals. Then as you master each detail of one component you can add on from there. Slowly but surely, you will create what you set out to accomplish by focusing your efforts on the details that make up the bigger picture.

Anything Can Happen…and It Usually Will

As I laid around this past Sunday after celebrating the Mothers in my life, I thought just how lucky I was. Not in the usual way of feeling lucky or blessed, but in a new way. How lucky am I to know that anything can happen and actually believe that it will. The world is cruel, harsh and cold. Even in the business world it’s cruel, harsh and cold. People are (no matter what your mission statement says) in it for themselves or their families.

Living in a society that is less human and more social media can cause you to lose hope or sight of your why.  So how do I keep my thinking elevated? How do I sit back, smile and sigh knowing that while now is good the best is yet to come? My perspective is how. I can control how I choose to see things. Pain is inevitable if only temporary so why let one little burden bury me? I won’t. I refuse. I keep progressing forward. Check out my 3 quick tips on how stay positive knowing that anything will happen.

My perspective is how. I can control how I choose to see things. Pain is inevitable if only temporary so why let one little burden bury me? I won’t. I refuse. I keep progressing forward.

Check out my 3 quick tips on how I stay positive with that ‘knowing anything will happen’ attitude:

1. My sister (Amber) is an amazing woman with four adorable little kids. She not only writes, runs and manages her home, but she makes time for me, pretty much every day! This time together, although brief, helps me to redirect my thoughts and keep my goals on track. She recently wrote a blog, Co-Creation, that illustrates the importance of working together versus taking on the mountains in our life alone. By having someone to continually co-create with and to offer fresh perspective keeps me outward looking rather than festering inwardly. She should win ‘saint of the year’ for all the venting rants she hears from me on a weekly, if not daily basis! Moral of the story – find your Amber, someone to help challenge your perspective while offering a place of accountability and trust as it relates to your goals.

2. Just show up. This can be the hardest advice to take especially after a hard day, night, week, year etc… Yet, just showing up keeps you moving even if the direction will ultimately change. I can’t tell you how many times this has proven the difference between my success and my failure. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most talented, the most disciplined, the smartest, but I always show up when it comes to going after my goals. Your character is often defined by doing what you have to even (especially) when you don’t want to. So get out of bed, put that smile on and show up! Any day is a new day to allow anything to happen. Don’t miss it by missing out.

3. Change your perspective. You are in control of your thoughts, your actions, and your mouth, which in turn is your happiness. It can be cliche to talk about happiness in this ethereal way. However, your happiness can’t be measured in material items, it can’t be measured in Instagram hearts, it can’t be quantified. As life gets rough, as it always will, change the way you look at the situation. In the book, Before Happiness, it describes what a positive genius is and how to be one. If you can learn to see the world through a positive lens, not rose-colored, only then can you summon all your motivation, emotion, and intelligence to achieve your personal and professional goals. Next time you’re faced with an obstacle flip it upside down and look at the possible positive outcomes. Flip it and reverse it (your perspective that is).