Navigating the Detours in Life

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I am constantly lost. Directions have always been a challenge for me. I can’t tell north from south, east from west, and if I tell you to turn left, that’s your cue to turn right. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my new best friend, Alice – my navigation system. No matter how long I have lived in one place, or how many times I have taken the same route, I still get confused.

People always make fun of me because I never know where I am or how I got there. I used to beat myself up over my lack of direction, but over the years I have learned to enjoy the detours along the way, both on the road and in life.

When I was 21, I had my whole life mapped out. Did it turn out the way I planned? NO! But by enjoying the twists and turns along the way, I have found treasures I never imagined possible.

As some wise person once said (no, it wasn’t me but I wish it was):

“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.”

So, you see, detours can be good – and lacking a sense of direction can be a real adventure. It’s like watching a movie for the first time, not knowing how it will end.

 

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The Adventures of Retirement

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Retirement. What does that word mean to you?

From the time we enter our very first career, we are consumed with it. We start to save for retirement, plan for retirement and dream of the day when we reach retirement. I hear so many people say: “I can’t wait until I retire.” And my response is always the same: “WHY?”

My take is that people who look forward to retiring have something in their life they want to do more. They either want to read more or work in the garden more or spend more time with their grandchildren. They want more time to do all the things they can’t do now because of their current job. And for them, retirement is welcomed.

But what about those folks who are forced into retirement. For some reason their current career has come to an end and they’re just not ready for the next phase of their life. What does retirement mean to them?

This happened to me at the age of 63 when I suddenly found out that I had lost my job. I was stunned and confused and scared. Then, for some unknown reason, I decided to try Toastmasters. Just about everyone I talked to said it was a great organization, and since I had the time, I thought: Why not? That was the stepping stone that lead me to my current career as a Professional Speaker. Who knew? It certainly wasn’t something I would have tried if I was still working in my previous job.

So, to those of you who are forced into retirement, I encourage you to see it as a whole new adventure; a whole new beginning. This is your opportunity to explore a new world and try something that brings a smile to your face. It could be cooking or traveling or knitting. Possibly take some classes on the topics that interest you, talk to the people who work in the industry that intrigues you, take that leap of faith and risk trying something new.

Start with baby steps and see where it will lead you. You are about to go on the adventure of your life.

 

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Life’s Too Short for Annoying People

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

This morning I shared a cup of coffee and some great conversation with a dear friend of mine.

She told me that she just celebrated her 19 year anniversary with the love of her life. As a gift, she decided to write 19 reasons why she still loved him – one reason for each year they were together.  It was truly a precious gift.

That gave me an idea. What if I flip the switch and think about the people in my life who actually annoy me? You know what I’m talking about – it could be that co-worker who won’t stop chatting, or that boss who doesn’t give you credit for all your hard work, or that friend who only talks about herself and never asks how you are doing?

What if I take a closer look at all those people who tend to aggravate me and list just 5 things that are good about them? It could be something as simple as “they have a sweet smile” or something more obvious like “they bring brownies to work for everyone to enjoy.” I could even work on substituting words for their annoying behavior, like:

  • Cheap could be replaced by Thrifty and Budget Minded
  • Gossipy could be replaced by Informative
  • Unfocused could be replaced by Unpredictable and Fun

It just may help you see them in a different light. If nothing else, it can turn your annoyance into tolerance.  I’m not sure if it will work, but I’m willing to give it a try. What do you think? Are you willing to join me by looking at the annoying people in your life a little differently? The photo I’ve included can work as a wordsmith to help get you started. Let me know how it goes.

 

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If Fear Were Not an Option

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Have you ever been asked the question: “What would you dare to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Have you ever thought about what your answer would be?

Recently, a friend asked me this very same question. I had to think long and hard and I’m still not sure if I know the answer. Where would I be today if I wasn’t afraid of rejection or that feeling of not being good enough. Would my business be more successful? Would I have more friends?? Would I have taken more risks???

What would you do if fear wasn’t an option for you? I recently read an article that said the one thing that most people regret at the end of their life was not taking chances. I hope this is not one of my regrets. So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, I’m going to keep asking myself that question: “What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail.” In fact, I’m going to write it at the top of my whiteboard right now so I can see it every day. Who knows what new doors it may open – for both you and for me.

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Repairing Cracks with Gold

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Have you heard of kintsugi? It’s also called the “golden repair.” It’s the Japanese art of repairing pottery that has been broken into pieces. They actually use a lacquer and powdered gold to reconstruct the piece, putting the emphasis on the crack and the repair. The result is a renewed, reimagined and beautiful piece of artwork.

What a concept!

I couldn’t help but wonder: what if we applied this to real life? Think about it. All those scars and wrinkles and broken pieces we have accumulated over the years. Instead of thinking of them as damages, what about seeing them though the eyes of kintsugi – displaying them with pride and sharing the lessons we have learned along the way. Think about repairing them with gold to show the world just how valuable our broken pieces are.

As we move forward into the New Year, turn your regrets into repairs filled with gold. Put emphasis on what has been broken, repaired and reinvented. Celebrate all those challenges you have survived.

 

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One Wish for All

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Wherever this day may find you, whatever your beliefs may be, I wish you lots of smiles and laughter and love and hope for a future that is yet to be revealed. May the twists and turns of life take you down a path where you will find someone to reach out a helping hand. And once you have found a place where you can take a breath and enjoy the scenery along the way, may you reach out your own hand and help someone else who may have lost their way.

Here’s to the magic and peace of every day.

 

 

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Share Your Magic

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I really love this time of year!

It may sound hokey, but it’s true. I think it’s because there are so many things that happen only during this season: holiday songs, plays, concerts, parades, and decorations everywhere you look. The list goes on and on.

Once December is over, PUFF, it’s all gone. Packed away and not touched again for another year.

I can still remember when I was a little girl, my father and I would watch the original movie: Miracle on 34th Street – every single year – just the two of us. It was a time to feel loved and safe and peaceful. It was a time to laugh and cry all at once. Now when I watch this movie by myself, it’s almost like my father is sitting there right beside me, sharing his love and the magic all over again.

Yes, that’s a good word for it: magic. During this season I can be a child once again. To believe in the magic that surrounds us – all of us. It’s a time to reach out to others and sincerely wish them happiness, to smile from your heart, to believe in kindness.

I know it sounds sappy, but I can’t help it. At this time of year, I look around at all the twinkling lights and the beautiful decorations, and I do believe. I believe in the goodness and joyfulness that surrounds us every day. Sometimes we have to look for it a little harder, but it’s always there. The holidays just make it easier to find.

I sincerely wish you a magical holiday season. No matter what your beliefs are, we can all use a little more magic in our lives. When you find yours, don’t forget to share it with others.

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Yes, I Said It: Try Something New

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

The holiday season is upon us in full blast!

Cooking! Decorating!! Shopping!!! You barely have time to catch your breath. So, what I’m about to tell you may not make any sense…

Find some time this holiday season to try something new!

Yes, that’s right. I’m challenging you to STOP, take a breath, don’t worry about everything and everyone else, and find some time for a little fun. Carve out a few minutes to enjoy a little laughter.

Every year I promise myself that I will try one new thing at the holidays. This year, I’m going to see the lights at my local zoo. I’ve gathered up a few friends, checked the weather, and off we go.

If you are not sure what’s going on in your area, contact the almighty Google and find festivities that are close to you. It doesn’t have to cost any money. There could be a tree lighting ceremony, a shopping mall that is all lit up for the holidays, or just taking a drive in your neighborhood and see all the houses that are decorated. Sometimes, it’s the things that are in our own back yard that we take for granted and never stop to actually enjoy them.

The point is to take a “time out” from all the holiday craziness and find something that makes your heart smile. And please, share your experience with us. We just may be able to add a few new things to our own list for next year’s season.

 

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Just Choose Already

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

It’s that time of year again. It’s the holidays and a time of giving and laughing and celebrating and feeling overwhelmed and being totally stressed out. These mixed feelings often happen all in the same day – heck, all in the same hour!!! So, what do we do about it? How can we take a breath and truly enjoy this magical time of the year when we feel like pulling our hair out?

Choose!

Yes, that’s right. You get a chance to choose. When you wake up in the morning, stop, look around and decide how you want to spend the day. Didn’t realize you had a choice? Well, think again. Every single morning, when you wake up, you decide how you want to spend that day. Will it be filled with wonder or weighed down with stress?

Now, we all know that we can’t control the circumstances that surround us. We can’t make that holiday gift suddenly appear once we realize that every single store, online or off, doesn’t have it in stock anymore. We can’t make the holiday dinner cook itself. But what we can do is realize that most of our holiday stress is not a life or death situation. And I guarantee that it will not the worst thing that ever happened to us. We will survive and I promise you that the sun will rise again tomorrow.

So, make no mistake about it, every single day of your life you get to choose – and you are the only one who can do it. Now, you’ve already heard this information a million times before so what are you going to do with it? Will you actually choose to have a glorious day? Personally, right now I’m choosing to meet a friend for dinner. All my emails and decorating and endless holiday shopping will just have to wait one more day. I will raise my wine glass to you, wishing you the choice of a stress-free season.

 

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Who Will Be at Your Table This Year?

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

Thanksgiving is just two days away, and as I reflect on the past, I realize that the way I celebrate this holiday has changed over the years.

First, it was all about family. I can still remember the craziness of kids running around the house, my mother trying to get the food on the table while it was still hot and everyone bumping into each other as we tried to help in that tiny kitchen.

As I grew older, I couldn’t always travel home. That’s where my friends came in and they became my new family, all just as loving and sometimes a little more accepting.

Now, this year, I will be celebrating with my husband’s family, learning new traditions and trying to understand the inside jokes. New surroundings, new faces, yet we will still be surrounded by the familiar sharing of love and laughter.

Over the years I have come to realize that no matter who is sitting at the dining room table, this holiday is about being grateful for all that you have right in front of you, to creating new memories and being ready for whatever may come your way.

So, at this time of year, no matter where I may be celebrating, I am eternally grateful for the family and friends who have entered my life. Thankful for those who stayed and those who merely passed through. You are all a huge part of who I am today. And my hope is that I make others feel welcomed into my life, whether it’s a holiday or not.

So, to everyone who is reading this post and to all those you touch, I wish you a sincere Thanksgiving, a heartfelt Friendsgiving and a life filled with all the happiness your heart can hold.

 

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