Start With YOU.

Do you ever wish that others would change – family members, colleagues, or neighbors? Or, do you think that if you could only move to a new job, town, or relationship that life would be grand? While these external adjustments can make life better for a time, the annoying people and circumstances follow you – even if the names and specific events are different. 

Many years ago as I complained about this dilemma to a friend, she leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Anita, you take you with you wherever you go. Why would you expect anything to improve unless you improve yourself first?”

While not as “easy” as blaming, complaining, or feeling sorry for myself, improving from within is way more effective. So if you find yourself facing people or situations you don’t like, ask yourself the following: “How can I polish my character?”  Do this and one of three things will happen – the person or circumstances will get better, you or the other person will be removed from the environment, or that individual won’t bother you anymore. 

So if you notice a little complaint or a bit of blaming creeping into your thoughts – STOP! Instead of crafting a plan to improve others, start with yourself first. 

Have a great weekend.
Anita

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Give Up . . . But Don’t Give In or Quit

Society, especially in the Western World, prides itself on pushing, striving, and controlling – situations, people, and even the environment. It’s pretty obvious that it’s NOT working. We live in a stressed out, overburdened, and ozone-action day filled world. So what’s a person to do? 

How can you give up without giving in or quitting? It’s quite simple, but far from easy. All you have to do is let go and refuse to resist. When you find yourself at battle (internally with worry, doubt, or fear, or externally with rush hour traffic, an annoying co-worker or family member, or a person with twenty items in the “express” lane) PAUSE. Don’t do anything, except take a deep breath and let the frustration pass through you rather than attempting to control it, squash it, or pretend that everything is fine. 

Someone once showed me an exercise. She asked me to press my palm against hers and not let her push me over. The more pressure she applied the more I “had to” apply to push back. After awhile it got pretty tiring. Then she said, “Don’t resist at all.” When she pushed, I let go and she passed by me with ease. What a freeing experience. 

So the next time you want to push, strive, and manipulate your way through a frustrating situation, give up, without giving in or quitting. You’ll find that the small annoyances disappear and you will have the confidence, energy, and capacity to tackle the important things that require your attention.

Have a wonderful day,
Anita

Do You Want to Accelerate Your Success?

Many people have a list of all of the things that they want to be, do, and have. They think about these goals and dreams and visualize what life will be like when they achieve everything on the list. Some even take it a step further and link the goals to deeply positive feelings – yet they fall short and end up frustrated, disappointed, and feeling like a bit of a failure. 

Does this sound familiar? 

Several years ago I leading a project and getting nowhere. I started working with a coach and we went through the whole how to achieve your goals and dreams drill (which is useful.) We confirmed my goals were still important to me. I thought clearly why I wanted them and imagined how good I would feel when I achieved them – and of course, I took action, lots of action. For people who know me – I always work really hard. So, it was no surprise to anyone that I was giving 100% to that project, too. Yet, no matter what I did, the project didn’t really go anywhere. Ugh! What was up with that? 

A close friends suggested that I was “making the possible impossible.” I must have looked confused so he continued, “Is there anyone in the world whom you would not like to also see achieve these goals?” “I suppose,” I said reluctantly. He was telling me, in his not so subtle way that if I hoped someone else would fail to achieve his or her goals – I was doing exactly the same to myself. I wasn’t sure if I believed him, but started an experiment. Anytime I noticed that I felt negative toward another person’s accomplishments, I stopped myself. 

While my project was not an overnight success, I saw some immediate wins. In the end, we had a big victory – inspiring many, including me. 

So if you are not advancing the way you want to, start celebrating others’ successes sincerely, wholeheartedly, and happily.

Watch what happens and report back. I really appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks,
Anita

Do You Still Care About Your Goals?

Some people pursue goals and dreams that longer fit who they are, what they want, and what they believe in. Yet, they made the commitment and they are going to see it through to the (sometimes bitter) end. 

Take my friend, Jack, who became an accountant because it was a solid steady thing to do and he was good at numbers. He built a good career in accounting until the economy caused deep cuts in his company including his job. 

He did all the right things to succeed in his job search, but no job interviews and certainly no offers. Now you might think it was the economy – I did. Yet some of Jack’s fellow accountants found work – really good jobs. 

“What am I doing wrong,” he asked me one day. There was nothing obvious. Then I asked a question that could have led Jack straight out of my door. “Do you still want to be an accountant? You don’t seem to have care that much. You know I really like and respect you, but I wouldn’t hire you because your heart’s not in it.” 

Jack was not very happy with me and I thought that he was going to yell at me, but he didn’t. “Anita, you’re right. I haven’t been excited about accounting for a long time – and I have responsibilities and need to put food on the table.” 

Well, Jack did find another accounting job – this time part time – which gave him the cash flow he needed to support his family and the time to find new goals. Today he is studying to be an assistant to large scale glass artists. Go figure. 

So what about you? 

If your goals and dreams are still perfect for you, proceed with vision, vitality, and solid action. 

If not, explore other options and envision your transition from what no longer inspires you to something that combines your talents, values, and passions. 

Either way, please share you successes.

We can’t wait to hear all about them. 

Thanks,

Anita

Chasing versus Advancing

Yesterday I sent the following tweet: “Advance toward your aspirations instead of chasing them. You will ultimately achieve your goals and dreams faster and be happier.”  Since it was a Sunday, I didn’t really expect to receive a response. Happily, I did from my friend, Paul. “Hi Anita, I’m curious – what do you see as the difference between advancing and chasing? Paul” He made me really think – which I view as an absolutely great thing. Here’s what I wrote: 

Hi Paul, 

That’s a great question. 

A friend of mine, Tom, who is CEO of a small cap company, once told me to stop chasing after my goals and dreams – and to let them come to me. He believes that chasing can convey a sense of desperation that can lead people who would like to help and support running in the other direction. At the same time, Tom didn’t mean that I should hope and wait for my goals to materialize. He is clearly a person of action and expected me to take action based on my research and (hopefully) wisdom. In this sense, advancing is having a strong target and vision for what you want, preparing on an ongoing basis to stay current, and taking action with a confident (and not arrogant or anxious) heart. 

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Anita

So today ask yourself: “Are you chasing a goal or dream out of desperation with only a slight belief that you will achieve it?” OR “Is your goal or dream real – with a clear vision of your desired future, solid preparation and planning, and action that you take confidently and with appreciation?” The former could be an exhausting chase that lasts forever and the latter is the basis for happy, successful, and lasing achievement. The choice is yours. 

I wish you success – today and forever.

Anita

Just say “Thank You”!

Have you ever given a person a compliment – about an attractive sweater or a handsome suit – and received the response, ”Oh, this old thing. I just dragged it out of the back of my closet.” Or, have you received a compliment on an excellent work project or fabulous dinner and replied, “Oh, it was nothing. No problem. No big deal.” 

If you stopped and listened to what you and others actually say when given a compliment, you’d be surprised, appalled, and puzzled. Regardless of the underlying psychosocial reasons, this is quite a simple problem to solve. 

I’ll tell you what my mother suggests. Her approach is simple, straightforward, and ultimate satisfying to both parties. When you are fortunate enough to receive a compliment or an acknowledgment for a job well done, Just Say Thank You!

Thank you,
Anita

Are You Willing to Succeed?

A willingness to consider other points of view and new options is key to having a successful life. So why are many people reluctant to be open-minded? Perhaps it’s fear of the unknown, fear of looking silly or stupid, or even a fear of change. Whatever the “reason”, the real risk of failure comes when you do the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome. So if you are about to approach a person, activity, or event and feel your mind close up like a clam – force yourself to stop and refuse to do what you’ve always done. Do something brand new and if you cannot think of anything, ask a couple of five-year-olds and listen to their advice. 

Thanks,

Anita

Enjoy Yourself!

Does the idea of enjoying yourself strike fear in your heart? If it does, you’re not alone – it does in mine! With that said, realize that enjoyment is a key factor in living a full, vital, and satisfying life. So give yourself a break . . . and enjoy a little. 

Now this doesn’t imply some trip down the path of hedonism, overindulgence, and sloth. It’s taking pleasure in what’s in your life – everything from smiling at the person from whom you buy the NY Times each day to savoring the aroma of your morning coffee.  Enjoyment is the sum of all of those little encounters in daily life that are “bad” on days when you’re bummed and “positive” on days when an attitude adjustment is neither required nor necessary. 

So proceed into today with an open mind, an open heart, and open arms. Then at the end of the day, tally your moments of enjoyment and give yourself a point for each one. Then take a bow for a “job” well done. 

Thanks,

Anita

Clean Up Your Room For Success

Are you working at a particular goal and still not making the progress you’d hope for? First, check to see if that goal is still important to you – something that you are ready, willing and able to commit to. If not, choose something else. 

However, if your goal is something you choose to have – perhaps a little pre-spring cleaning will help you get there. Looking for the connection between progress and tidying up? It’s not as odd as you may first think. 

At a physical level, clutter makes it difficult to find things, move through the mess, and is generally unsettling to your mind, body, and spirit. Organizing a pile of papers or cleaning out a closet will give you a sense of accomplishment, boost your confidence, and provide an opportunity to give away things you don’t need but that someone else might treasure. Commit to even 15 minutes a day and in a short time, you’ll rediscover corners of rooms and sections of tables you thought were lost forever. 

At a mind and spiritual level, internal clutter can cause distraction, memory lapse, and general malaise. One way to organize your thoughts, ideas, and feelings is to write them down. Any notebook or word-processing program will do, although you may choose to buy or create a special journal. Commit to writing for 10 minutes at the beginning or end of each day. Just write, DON’T JUDGE or edit. You’ll feel more open, alive, and joyful. Perhaps you’ll discover ideas that you will turn into the next New York Times best seller. 

So if open your heart, mind, and arms and clean up – even a little – your progress will grow at a rate that will surprise and please you. 

Thanks for reading,

Anita

“It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish!”

After two really long weeks, I arrived home after a very hectic Saturday at work. I was ready for a movie and one found me. It’s called, “Last Holiday” starring Queen Latifah. She plays a shy and somewhat fearful woman, Georgia, who puts her goals, passions, and dreams on hold. Yet all this changes when she hits her head at work, goes for medical treatment, and is told that she has three weeks to live. 

Fortunately, this is not true, but Georgia believes she is dying and gives herself a wild and luxurious holiday. She treats herself to first class everything – including a change in what she believes about herself. As she changes herself at the core, everything around her responds with generosity, respect, and magnificence. 

What struck me is how I live as less than I truly am – just like Georgia did at the beginning of the movie. It’s impossible to live happily at less than full capacity. Shrinking from we truly love, dream about, and have the passion to do is a crime to yourself and to the many who could benefit from the talents only you have. 

So this year, I am living a bit more each day according to my big time goals – some I will reveal sooner and some later. I would  love to know how you are stretching beyond what you previously thought was possible – how you are pursuing your big time goals.  I hope you share them.  You could encourage and inspire many – including me. 

We Need Are Your Greatness NOW! 

Thanks in advance,

Anita