Have You Put Your Dreams on Hold?

Have some of your dreams been moved to the back burner because life just got in the way?  Well, if those dreams keep coming back to you, maybe it’s time to dust them off and take another look at them.

For me, I’ve wanted to go to Stonehenge in England for over 20 years.  I was fascinated that this massive stone circle was built in 3,000 BC.  How did the people so long ago move stones that weigh over 30 tons!!!  All without modern equipment, and even computers.  I just couldn’t imagine it and it totally fascinated me.

But traveling to England was way down on my list of “things to do in life.”  It came after going to college, getting married, buying a house …  You know – all the things that happen in life that cause you to put your dreams on hold.

Well now, in my new life, I have a new husband and his job took him to … wait for it … England.  Out of the blue, I had this opportunity to dust off my old dream of seeing Stonehenge, and I jumped at the chance.  I certainly wasn’t disappointed.  It was everything I had imagined and more.

So, don’t give up on your dreams just yet.  Although your life may have taken some unpredictable twists and turns, you never know what path will lead you back to the dream you had so many years ago.  What is it for you?  What dream keeps popping up over and over again?  Are you adventurous enough to follow it?

Categories: Personal Development Professional Development
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Are We Really That Different?

My first week in England has shown me a different way that people live – or do they?

One of the first things I noticed is that they name their houses, and the names make sense.  For instance, End Cottage is at the end of the road, and Ivy Cottage is, you guessed it, covered in ivy.  My favorite is Cotswold Cottage because it shows a picture of a pink rose with the house painted the same color to match it.

Their scones come in only one flavor – berry.  When I ask:

“Do you have any chocolate chip scones?”

I’m met with blank stares.  So, berry it is (which is actually raisin, but I don’t point this out).

Gammon is ham and they love their “pies”, but in England they are meat pies and not the apple or strawberry kind.

But at the base of it all is a heart warming people who respond to a smile and are willing to help you feel comfortable in their home town.  Deep down, where it counts, they are not any different than you or me.  So, no matter where you live, share one of your smiles and make someone feel at home.

In our busy lives, it’s sometimes hard to look up from our phones and actually look at someone, smile, and welcome them.  But I can tell you, being in a country where I knew no one, those smiles made it one of the best places I have ever visited.

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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

When you reach out and have the courage to step out of your comfort zone, you will learn some of the most amazing things about others – and yourself.  My goal for spending a month in a small English town was to immerse myself in another culture and learn a different way of life.  So one morning, I walk down to the town square and enter a local cafe.

A middle-aged gentleman is chatting (that’s what they call it in England) with the server behind the counter.  It’s a very small café so I can hear every word.  I decide to step out of my world and enter theirs.  A simple “hello” does it.

The next thing I know – I’m sitting across the table from the gentleman, sipping coffee, and I ask him one simple question:

“So, what do you do here in Dorchester?”

I have found that people love to talk about themselves, so this is always a great ice-breaker.  And if you listen – truly listen – you will learn so much about others, and ultimately yourself.

This gentleman responded: “a bell ringer”.

A what???  I didn’t even know that bell ringing was a profession, but here I was, sharing a “coffee date” with an official bell ringer of 31 years.

It made me realize that there are so many different paths in life we can take.  So try it.  Step out of your comfort zone and meet someone new.  All it usually takes is a simple smile, or a friendly “hello”.  And if you feel comfortable striking up a conversation, ask an open ended question to engage the other person.  In this world of texting and emails, sometimes it’s nice to have an actual conversation.  You never know what you may learn or where it may lead you.

Categories: Personal Development Professional Development
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Hit the Refresh Button on Life

Have you ever wanted to hit the refresh button on your life?  You notice that I said refresh and not restart.  I asked my good friend, Joey, if he thought there was a difference, and without hesitation he said:

“Yes, there’s a huge difference.  Restart is erasing what you have and starting over again.  Refresh is enhancing what you already have.”

I like that explanation, so that is why I’m choosing the refresh button at this point of my life.

I have this great opportunity to go to Wallingford, England for one month.  It is unexpected, and most welcomed.  I need a time out to walk away from all the piles that are sitting on my desk.  You know what I’m talking about  – those piles you may find on your kitchen countertop, your bedroom dresser, or wherever you have found room for them.  It’s all those unread magazines you’re hanging onto, the recipes you promise yourself you’re going to try someday, and so many other unfinished projects.  We all have them.

Every day I try to chip away at that pile, but I swear that it seems to grow.  I can’t get control over it.  So now, I’m going to walk away from them for one month and clear the clutter that’s in my mind.  I want to open up some space to see what creative ideas and thoughts will pop into my head.

You may not have an opportunity to take a 30 day “time-out”, so try a 30 minute “time-out”.  Free up some space in your mind today and see what creative juices start flowing.

One technique that works for me is to actually write my “time out” on my calendar.  Maybe it’s taking that new class at the gym, or sharing an ice-cream sundae with someone special.  Try it – mark it on your calendar and stick to it.  Treat it like any other appointment.   Who knows – you just may learn something new about yourself.

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