Trade In Your “To Do” List

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Take a minute right now, this very moment, and jot down everything you would like to accomplish by the end of the day. Use paper and pen, your phone, or any other technique you use to keep track of your lists.

Don’t read any further in this blog until you’ve completed this.

OK, now that you’re back – Is your list completed?  Take a good look at it.  What is so important that it made your “to do” list today?  As I look at mine, I have things like:

  •          Pick up clothes from the cleaners
  •          Finish speech for upcoming conference
  •          Make reservations through Spot Hero for Chicago trip
  •          Spend one hour today marketing to new clients
  •          Clean the house

As I review my list, I notice that there’s nothing really earth shattering on it.  Nothing that’s going to make a real difference in anyone’s life.   It’s all about things!

So I’ve decided to trade in my “to do” list for a “hope for” list.  I’m going to add things I “hope” to accomplish by the end of the day,  like:

  •    Share a smile with someone today
  •    Send a card to a friend for no reason at all
  •    Make someone laugh

These aren’t things I HAVE to do, just some ideas to bring more joy into the world. 

What about you?  Do you have any other ideas for a “hope for” list?

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Where is Your Safe Place?

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On a recent trip to Italy – yes, I was fortunate enough to travel to Italy – I looked out my hotel room window and saw something strange on the patio below me.  At first I couldn’t figure out what it was, then realized it was a cat curled up in a basket.  It looked so safe and warm and comfortable.

And it made me wonder: what safe places do we create in our own life?  Where do we go or what do we do to help us survive the craziness of everyday life?

It could be something as simple as a walk through nature or curling up to take your own nap. 

And now that I think of it,  it doesn’t even have to be a physical place.  Maybe it’s a state of mind, like meditation.  Or it could be listening to music.  Recently I’ve discovered Metta Chanting thanks to my good friend, Debbie, who recently introduced me to it:  I never heard of it before and now I listen to it often – sometimes as I am writing my blogs, and other times in the evening when I am trying to calm my mind so I can fall asleep. 

So my question to you is:  Where do you go to find some peace, if only for a minute or two?  Have you found your safe place? 

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A Treasure on Tissue Paper

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Today I was busy packing away the last of my Christmas decorations.  Yes, I know.  I should have done it last week but I didn’t.  No excuses – I just didn’t.

Well, as I was wrapping some of the more delicate items in tissue paper, I noticed some writing on one of the pieces of paper.  It was very faint so I had to hold it up to the light.  It was a hodgepodge of phrases, and when I took a moment to read them, it really made an impact on me.  Here is a sample of what I found:

  • Live Joyfully.
  • Your first decision of the day is the most important.  CHOOSE HAPPINESS.
  • Live your life NOW.
  • Sometimes we are scared. It’s OK.
  • You have a great bottle of wine.  DRINK IT.
  • Achievement tastes most sweet when first we dare to fail.
  • The only things you will regret are the things you did not do.
  • Tomorrow is promised to no one.
  • Have the courage to live a life that is true to yourself, not the life others expect of you.

There are several other sayings but I’ll stop at 10.  Now, I’m not sure where these phrases came from, I just know that unexpectedly finding them on a sheet of tissue paper gave me a lift, it put a smile on my face, and I wanted to share it with you.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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I’m All Ears

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I want to be a better listener!

After getting off the phone with my friend, and listening to all her trials and tribulations, the conversation was suddenly over.  I never had a chance to say one word.  Nothing about myself.  It may sound selfish, but I wanted to be part of the conversation.  When we hung up, I felt empty, alone and like I didn’t matter.

That made me wonder – have I done this to others?  That thought scared me so I decided to make a pledge to myself, right here and right now, to be a better listener.

To get started, I’m going to play this little game with myself.  The next time I’m in a conversation, instead of thinking about what to say next, I’m going to look at the conversation as a learning experience.  A time to discover something new.   Maybe there’s a new restaurant in town I haven’t heard about, or a business contact I can be introduced to.  Who knows?  I may even make a new friend.

I pledge to listen with curiosity and stay focused.  Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do starting right now.  I believe it will take some practice, but I’m willing to try.  So if we should meet in the near future, and have a conversation, let me know how I’m doing.

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What If You Fly!

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I was walking through Staples, and suddenly it seemed like this journal jumped out at me.  I mean it really seemed to leap from the shelf.  I saw this quote and I just had to have it:

What if I fall?

Has this ever happened to you?  That suddenly, unexpectedly, something “speaks” to you and it literally sends shivers up your spine.  You can’t explain it – and you can’t deny it.  

It seems that our lives are often filled with “What if.”  Those two words can stop us in our tracks and paralyze us with fear.  So as we enter into a new year, here is my challenge to you:

  • WHAT IF we can follow those two words with something positive?
  • WHAT IF every time a negative thought creeps in, we stop it in its tracks and replace it immediately with something positive?
  • WHAT IF we see only the possibilities that are in front of us when we utter those two words?               

Now, that’s the way to start a new year.  Welcome to 2018 and all it’s possibilities!!! 

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