Stop Thinking so much and JUST DO IT

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Good Morning,

Happy Monday…yes, it’s Monday, yet again.  Like so many others, I really didn’t want Monday, but perhaps another Sunday? Another day to relax and recharge, to slow down and contemplate, to rest and reassure myself that I am on the right path.  Have you ever felt like that?  Ever feel like you just need a little more time to stop the madness of day to day activity, to relish the calm, slower pace and regroup?  Yet, the calendar flips over and there stands Monday staring you in the face.  I sincerely struggled with Monday,today.  As I rolled into this day, full of deadlines and commitments, I began to realize how powerful Mondays are though.  Without even realizing it, we have the potential to begin a fresh week and orchestrate it the direction we want it to go.  Instead of moaning and complaining, dragging myself by my ears, I could actually turn this whole train of thought around.  I chose to make this week meaningful, chock-full of joyfully tending to each thing on my “to do” list.  I chose to stop “thinking” so much and actually DO the things I desire to do. Seriously, this is liberating.  When I allow myself to wallow in the feelings of “overwhelmedness ” or become “duty” minded, it really takes the joy and the freedom from me.  Whereas, when I begin to tweak my thoughts and make them align to my purpose and desire, immediately there is a shift deep inside of me!  Instead of dreading the day, I begin to work tirelessly on my tasks at hand.  Creativity is freed and my mind opens to the immense possibilities of what I can accomplish in this day, this week.

I have a very active mind.  I have gazillions of ideas and thoughts swimming through my head on a daily basis.  Sometimes, it becomes overwhelming because I just have so much I want to do.  Time and resources may limit my actions. Yet I find that if I sort through the list of ideas and begin to focus on a direction, I am able to set a plan of action and fulfill the desired outcome.  The problem lies in the focus and direction.  Often times, it is helpful to list out all the ideas and tasks you wish to accomplish, and begin to group them into action plans.  Time management can be your best friend.  If you just “think and think” and never apply an action plan, you end up in a state of becoming overwrought.  Make your lists, set your action plan and focus until you complete the task.  There is so much to gain by doing this.  You begin to have a list of some of your most creative ideas and you also begin to actually complete them, giving you a sense of accomplishment rather than defeat.  You will be able to stroke things off your list as you finish the task, filling you with a greater sense of pride on how much you have produced.

I don’t know why we sometimes “fight” the systems that are effective. I guess it’s human nature to sometimes drag your feet in the process. Today, although the weather is getting cold here in Ontario, strengthen yourself and make an action plan. Begin to work toward finishing a task and move forward creating the lifestyle you deserve to have.  I encourage you, today, to turn your day around. Grant yourself permission to rise above the negativity that floats through your mind.  Become intentional with your time and your life. This life is your expression; don’t waste anymore precious time floundering around.Stop thinking so much and just DO IT!

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The Battle of the Sheets

Happy Monday,

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Yes, Monday..that day of the week that can be so difficult. This morning particularly I did NOT want to get up.  The beginning of Fall I find difficult because it’s still dark out in the early hours of the morning and it gets dark earlier in the evening.  I really miss the sunlight.  I have to be honest, it’s so much easier getting up when it’s bright and sunny.  Today on the other hand, is dark, overcast and rainy. A mixture of the worse combination of weather, for a Monday morning. So i had a what I call “the battle of the sheets.”  You know how that is, when you want so desperately to stay in bed and sleep “just a bit longer.”  It was a struggle, a massive struggle this morning!  I am here to tell you, I won!  I forced myself out of the comfort cocoon of warmth and set my feet on the floor.  Once I took charge of myself and set my feet on the floor, something transpired inside of me.  I felt the victory; I realized I had won.  My mind began to fill up with words, things to say, and messages to write.

I began to understand how this small triumph really is part of a much bigger picture.  Okay, so I sleep in a little bit, no harm done…but what about the time I would rather surf the net than write an article, or the time I would rather stay at home instead of going to businesses to promote my business, or the time I would rather get “take out” because I am too lazy to cook a well balanced meal?  Can you understand the concept here?  All of our little actions begin to be part of our larger actions.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we can never sleep in  or grab “take out” occasionally, what I am expressing is that we need to practice habits that build good qualities inside of us.  When we begin to let our desires overpower us and control our actions, we are practicing poor management skills. What you don’t master begins to master you! Small, seemingly benign, actions grow into large monsters if we aren’t careful.

Today, was a powerful example to me.  If I had just turned over and said, oh well, I don’t feel like getting up; I would have missed this revelation of the importance of controlling myself and enforcing healthy behavior patterns.  My mind is alert, pregnant with possibility this morning.  I feel as though a river of inspiration is running through my brain.  This doesn’t happen everyday (unfortunately) and to think I would have missed the opportunity to experience this if I let my desire to stay in my cozy bed overtake me.

We all have missed opportunities.  We all slack at times.  Personally, I am going to begin to use the term “battle of the sheets” as a guideline to monitor those times I allow myself to become complacent.  I will acknowledge, this is a “battle of the sheets”  who is going to win?  I know that I will begin to be even more productive by seeing that I have a choice.  I can allow the “sheets” to keep me wrapped up, OR I can put my feet on the floor and carry on in strength and victory. I want to be the winner!

Today, let’s be motivated to be the very best we can be!  Let’s master our desires and impulses. As we do, we will be in such a better place to receive the rewards of our harvest.

Have a tremendous Monday!

Charlene

The Truth Hit Me .. and I was Changed

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I have had the privilege to volunteer many times for Free the Children,  an organization I deeply admire.  The organization was founded by Craig Kielburger in 1995 when he gathered 11 school friends to begin fighting child labour. He was 12.

One morning, Craig flipped through the Toronto Star in search of the comics, he was struck by a story. A raw, but courageous story of a boy his age named Iqbal. Iqbal Masih was born in South Asia and sold into slavery at the age of four. In his short life, he had spent six years chained to a carpet-weaving loom. Iqbal captured the world’s attention by speaking out for children’s rights.  Eventually, Iqbal’s wide media coverage caught the attention of those who wished to silence him. At 12, Iqbal lost his life defending the rights of children. What Craig learned from Iqbal’s story was that the bravest voice can live in the smallest body. Craig had to do something. Craig gathered together a small group of his Grade 7 classmates and this is how Free the Children was birthed.  Today, Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner, with more than 1.7 million youth involved in our innovative education and development programs in 45 countries.  I admire many things about Craig and Free the Children, but his passion and integrity are two characteristics  that are extremely refreshing.

It is amazing what one person can do to cause change in the world. Imagine, he was only 12!  He saw a need and developed a passion and vision. How inspiring.  For more check out  Freethechildren.com

So back to my story!  I was asked by Free the Children to do an interview for a video for ” We Day.”  Snippets of what I said, along with others, on how we felt about the organization and volunteering for them, would be blended into a presentation. I was honored by this opportunity. This was a cause that I truly believe in.  I pondered what I could say, in a few minutes, that would influence others. If you aren’t familiar with “We Day,” it’s a huge, one – day, event with thousands of young people and adults in attendance.  I wanted to make sure that what I said, mattered.  I contemplated for days.  Then I began to think about what I was going to wear for this video footage.  I mean, seriously, I had to look good, after – all I was going to be on the big screen with thousands of people viewing this video!   I picked out an outfit that I felt I looked best in.  I made sure all my accessories were matching.  My hair and my make up were just right.  I left for my interview; feeling a bit nervous but very inspired.  I was excited.  Just a few minutes before I arrived, I realized that I had forgotten  to put my dressy shoes on. I was wearing my slippers!  For a split second, I was mortified.  Here I was working so hard to create an image that was appropriate and now I had shown up in my slippers.  I had no time to go back and get my shoes.  I was doomed to film in my slippers.

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That is when the truth hit me and it hit me hard!  Here I was, speaking for a group of passionate people about being the change in the world and I was concerned about my shoes!  My priorities were out of line.  My attitude was  quickly readjusted, as I began to think of children in other countries that don’t have the opportunities that we have.  They aren’t allowed education and access to water and a wardrobe of clothes with shoes that match their outfits.  I felt so ridiculous to be concerned over such a trite issue.  I walked into that interview with a real story and a renewed purpose that day. I shared my experience with them.  I was humbled by the life lesson I learned by accidentally forgetting my shoes that morning.

I believe it is time we all begin to shift our perspective.  We need to be less concerned with frivolous issues.  It is time to get a vision for the issues that matter.  In closing, remember the words of Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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It’s all in the Plan

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Happy Monday Motivational!  All weekend I was contemplating what to share for motivation today.  I was asked last week what the vision for my life is.  Hey…that’s a BIG question.  Fortunately, I am in a place that I do have a vision for my life.  Sadly to say, I haven’t always had a vision .  I guess I was somewhat assuming that “things” just kinda happen while you live.”  While it is true, things do just happen while you are living ; the truth is, unless you have a vision or plan for your life so much time and effort is wasted and you set yourself up for failure.  If you don’t have a PLAN,  you are planning to fail.  I started going over this concept again and again in my mind this weekend.  I thought how many,really great people,are just aimlessly living their lives?

The other day I was walking through my neighborhood and came to an area where a bunch of carpenters were.  They all had their tools and were conversing about building a complex.  Quite interesting.  So there they were with tools and just decided to put up random pieces of boards and doors and a window or two…obviously this is a bizarre story.  We all know that this is not what really happens.  The carpenters at this site all have a blueprint for the project they are building.  Every single detail is listed and thought out before the ground is even broken.  They have a “plan” and they will succeed at building the complex as long as they follow the blueprint.

Have you ever watched a chef as he prepares a gourmet meal?  It isn’t some arbitrary throwing together of ingredients.  Each step along the way is built into the recipe.  The chef knows that when he has finished, he can expect a certain end result.  If he were to just throw in” a bit of this and some more of that ” there would be no guarantee of the finished product.

When you get on a train in NYC and have the destination of Disney in Florida, obviously the conductor of that train has a route to follow.  You don’t purchase your ticket in hopes to arrive at the destination.  The conductor has a path to follow.  You can rest assured that the train you are on will arrive exactly where you desire to go.  There isn’t any guessing work because he has the route already mapped out.

So it is with our most precious commodity, our lives.  Unless we have a vision for our lives, then we will not get the desired effect that we are hoping for.  The time we have to live is limited.  It is really important for us to examine what it is that we want to accomplish in this life .  Make it happen!  Set up some goals, make some action plans, and become accountable for what you desire to happen in your own life.  This may sound like a lot of extra work but honestly in the long run it actually causes you to have a better quality of life.

Have a great Monday!

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Monday, Monday….

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To be honest, ever since I was 7 years old, I pictured myself as a “world changer!” Not sure why…just that is how I was wired I guess!  I wanted to be a writer, traveler, speaker or anything that would help other people.  In my small little mind, I only saw potential.  I didn’t think of the million of reasons why I couldn’t.  I had a child-like faith that I just knew I would make it happen.  I felt as though this was my mission in life.  I remember when I was 15 I saw an advertisement for a  trip overseas to help in a developing Nation .  As I looked at that article, I could picture myself right there.  Then I saw how much it cost to participate.  I was 15, didn’t even have a job yet, and needed a lot of money to go on this trip.  Even then I wasn’t deterred.  I went to my mother and told her, “Mom, I am going on this trip to help  this community that needs help!”  First of all, my mom was in shock!  Secondly, she did what every mother would do and told me it was impossible!  “Get it out of your mind, Charlene” she said.  She listed all the reasons why I couldn’t go including cost, distance, and even my age.  Seriously, I don’t know where my resolve  came from but I just looked at her and said calmly, ” I am supposed to go, so it will work out!”  I am not certain how this news even “leaked out” but several days later I was approached by a man in my church who inquired about this trip I felt I was to go on.  I was full of purpose and enthusiasm as I related to him all the details.  He asked me to attend a meeting with a few other people slated for a couple of nights away.  The night  of the meeting I stood before 5-6 men and women and poured out all the details of this trip and how I felt I needed to go there.  By the end of that meeting, I had my plane ticket in hand and all arrangements had already been taken care of by these amazing people!  I don’t even remember going home that night, my mind was overjoyed!  What an opportunity this was.  This first visit to an overseas country only stimulated my desire for traveling, writing ,speaking and helping others at home and abroad.  In fact all of those dreams came true for me through this first trip, to a small degree.  I was chosen out of a team of 25 others upon return to stand in front of a crowd of thousands of people and relate my experiences.  Needless to say, this trip was a life-changing event for ME.  Here I went to help others and yet I believe I took home far more than I gave! ( Thankfully, I have been able to go on other trips.  )

I relate this story as a source of encouragement .  No matter how small you feel or how seemingly impossible something appears, you can make it happen!  Happy Monday!

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Monday’s Motivational is being presented as a Tuesday Tidbit!

Hello Everyone!

Monday’s can be the toughest day of the week!  Agreed??  Well this past Monday (yesterday) was a holiday here in Ontario, so I decided to post Monday’s Motivation today, as many are just going back to work today.  That is even rougher than an ordinary Monday.  You have had 3 wonderful days of “whatever you wanted.”  So it’s kinda rough going back into to the office…and for me, well I am just finishing a week-long vacation at the ocean with my entire family.  All 5 daughters and son-in-law and grandchildren and a host of friends which we consider extended family.  So getting back into the swing of the work week has been a bit brutal!  That being said….Tomorrow is my birthday!  I don’t say that to attract any attention to my birthday ,  However, over the past few years, I have come to cherish the celebration of my birthday.  It gives me a special time and place to see how far I have come and to calculate all the amazing things that have happened over the past year in my life.  This year has been quite an eventful one in my life.  First of all, I turned 50 last year…which is a big deal all the way around!  In the course of 7 months, I lost my job, due to economic pressures in the company and was laid off, I lost 2 close relatives to cancer and a brother due to a heart attack.  Despite,or more precisely due to, these great losses I have been able to reach a place in my life where I have left my comfort zone to pursue my life dreams.  I am thrilled beyond words to be pursuing this.  There are times that I get stuck between the fear of failure and the hope of success, yet in those times I believe that I will succeed.  I believe I am exactly where I should be in my life It is past time to put aside the fears and doubts that have kept me stagnant.  What an adventure!  I am sure as the days unfold I will have so much to share with you on my journey.

My words of encouragement to you today are…Do you have dreams that have been tossed?  Are you so busy rushing through this life and waiting for a perfect time to pause and to begin something that your heart has been begging you to do?  Not all of us feel the need to start a new career or move to some exotic place, but yet deep inside there is that yearning for the one thing you always wanted to do?  Perhaps it’s a hobby, or visiting another country, or planting a garden for the first time, or you can fill in the blank with whatever it is.  I suggest to you that life is way too short NOT to be following your dreams!  There is so much more fulfillment that can be had in this life if we slow down a bit and take time to really enjoy our lives.  It was a huge eye opener for me having so many losses this past year.  I decided that I couldn’t afford to wait any longer.  I needed to get in touch with my mission for this life and finish my days being fulfilled and happy.

 

Let today be the day of new beginnings for you!

hugs to all!

Charlene

See the Potential

Good morning everyone….another Monday.  At least this week it isn’t raining where I am.  But it’s still Monday and time for our Monday Motivational!

Have you ever watched the program “Flip This House?” I have watched that show while  thinking to myself, what do they see in that house?  That is the beauty of the show though.  The person who buys the house SEES the potential.  They are able to look beyond the current condition of the house and see real beauty that exists within it.  Once they have a vision of what they see the house as becoming, they begin the arduous task of flipping it.  Despite obstacles or anything that comes against them during the renovation, they are able to see in their mind the finished project.  They work tirelessly until they reach their goal.

My story begins with the fact that I have this tiny backyard.  When we bought the house a couple of years ago there was  rolled out sods of grass  in the backyard.  In attempt to sell the property the previous owner laid the sod making it look presentable.  The problem is the sod never took. So last year we pulled up the  dried dead sod because we wanted to redo the backyard.  Unfortunately for one reason or another that project never got done last summer.  So this year I had a backyard  full of dirt and weeds.  Quite disgusting really.  In my mind though I could see a cute space that would be relaxing and enjoyable.

I had a “deadline” in mind because I knew my sister and her husband were coming to visit us this summer and this yard had to look good!  There was no way I was having them visit and see my disgusting backyard of dirt and ever-growing weeds!  The way the weeds grow really makes me wonder why the grass couldn’t do the same thing….but I guess that’s just the way it is.  Those weeds are hearty!  For a couple of details that I feel you need to know to understand the depth of this story better are:

 

* I am not a strong person.

*  I am just 5 feet tall when I stretch.

* I am not a landscaper.

* I had a limited amount of funds for this project.

* I had ONE day left till they would arrive.

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Last Thursday, I set out to start and complete this project.  I began by pulling all the weeds out of the ground.  This in itself was quite the job.  But understand, I saw the potential in my mind of this backyard.  I saw that it could look good. With complete focus I continued on throughout the day.  I put bricks down.  I planted flowers.  I put mulch down.   I worked and worked and as I did I was so excited , simply because I saw the yard becoming a place of beauty.  While I was out in the backyard I was “blogging” in my mind.  I wanted to share.  I had to tell everyone.  Sometimes when you look at something that looks downright useless and ugly, with a vision and an action plan it can be turned into a thing of beauty and purpose.  Honestly, if you saw this yard before and then after, it is startling to see the difference.  I began to think of so many concepts while undertaking this project.  I thought of the concept that no matter what the current condition of something, it can be “flipped” into something useful and appealing  I began to think of people and how stuck they sometimes feel in situations that are ugly.  How they begin to think, it’s useless.  They imagine that nothing can be done to salvage them.  I was full of faith and motivation realizing the truth,  with a vision and an action plan nothing exists that can’t be flipped into something favourable.

 

 

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Today, I encourage you to take those things that you think are useless and ugly and make them into a place of magnificence!  Have a vision and make an action plan and follow through!  The finished project will leave you feeling so accomplished.  As I sat in my flipped backyard on Thursday evening viewing the finished project, I can not express the joy I had.  I had turned this pathetic place into a haven of peace that my family, friends and I can now enjoy.

Have an incredible day!

Charlene