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        In Africa, they have a saying. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”        

  
     
    
       
        
           
                
           
        

        

       
    
     
  


          This saying has crossed my path many times but I was inspired to write about it when I heard it again last week. Researching this quote brought me to many incredible articles and blogs that spun directly off the message. Most of the articles went deep into team building; political analogies regarding government allies; and a myriad of other interesting and thought provoking topics. I am more interested in the quote and how it impacts us as individuals on a daily basis and regular activities. I have often caught myself saying, “It’s so much easier if I just do it myself.” I have witnessed young parents attempting to get their child dressed and suddenly grab the laces of the child’s shoes and say, “Here, let me help you with this, we need to hurry.” I have frequently overheard one employee say to another co-worker, “I don’t have time to teach you how to do this right now; it’s easier if I do this myself.” The more time we “waste” doing things ourselves the more quickly frustration and stress builds up in our bodies. Suddenly, thinking we have to do things on our own becomes a feeling of resentment; we feel as if we’re “always” left to do things on our own. We will travel farther on this incredible journey of life when we invest the time to do things "with" others who are traveling with us.       I remember working in this one office where I was the first person who was called upon to fix the copier when it jammed. I didn’t have the time to teach anyone else how to repair the machine; “it was easier to do it myself.” More and more jams in the copier left me feeling resentful; they were left feeling inadequate. Finally investing the time to share my knowledge on "copier jams" was a win-win for everyone. Watching the confidence grow in a child as they accept more and more responsibility leaves a parent feeling more at peace with the knowledge their child is equipped to “survive” in the real world.    Turning a simple task that you may be able to get done more quickly can turn into a wonderful memory and treasured experience if you take the time to do it together.  “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  Thank you for going the distance with me. I look forward to your comments. 

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In Africa, they have a saying. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

     This saying has crossed my path many times but I was inspired to write about it when I heard it again last week. Researching this quote brought me to many incredible articles and blogs that spun directly off the message. Most of the articles went deep into team building; political analogies regarding government allies; and a myriad of other interesting and thought provoking topics. I am more interested in the quote and how it impacts us as individuals on a daily basis and regular activities. I have often caught myself saying, “It’s so much easier if I just do it myself.” I have witnessed young parents attempting to get their child dressed and suddenly grab the laces of the child’s shoes and say, “Here, let me help you with this, we need to hurry.” I have frequently overheard one employee say to another co-worker, “I don’t have time to teach you how to do this right now; it’s easier if I do this myself.” The more time we “waste” doing things ourselves the more quickly frustration and stress builds up in our bodies. Suddenly, thinking we have to do things on our own becomes a feeling of resentment; we feel as if we’re “always” left to do things on our own. We will travel farther on this incredible journey of life when we invest the time to do things "with" others who are traveling with us.

     I remember working in this one office where I was the first person who was called upon to fix the copier when it jammed. I didn’t have the time to teach anyone else how to repair the machine; “it was easier to do it myself.” More and more jams in the copier left me feeling resentful; they were left feeling inadequate. Finally investing the time to share my knowledge on "copier jams" was a win-win for everyone. Watching the confidence grow in a child as they accept more and more responsibility leaves a parent feeling more at peace with the knowledge their child is equipped to “survive” in the real world.

  Turning a simple task that you may be able to get done more quickly can turn into a wonderful memory and treasured experience if you take the time to do it together.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Thank you for going the distance with me. I look forward to your comments. 

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It's the thought that counts!

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It's the thought that counts!

It’s the thought that counts! 

Halloween has just passed and the door is wide open for the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas holidays to present themselves. Throughout the season, we frequently spend time with friends and loved ones and it's common to share gifts. When you receive a gift this holiday season, would you ever think of taking it and immediately throwing it on the floor? Would you ever thoughtlessly throw a gift back at the person who gave it to you? Of course you wouldn’t. Then, why do we take the gifts we’re given on a daily basis and do just this? When someone gives us a compliment, why do we regularly throw it on the floor or thoughtlessly throw it back at a person? Think about it; it’s exactly what we do. Someone tells us, “You look really nice today.” Quickly and without thought, we reply, “So do you”. We often hear our guests say, “Wow, this dinner was amazing”. We degrade and smash their compliment/gift and reply, “Oh, it really was nothing. It only took minutes; it's an easy recipe”. When someone compliments our shirt, shoes, or piece of clothing, we frequently say, “These old things, I’ve had them for years”. We treat compliments like a sticky, jello-like goo that we can’t hold or handle. Our instinct is to throw it back at the giver or drop it and let it slide to the floor.

When someone compliments you, open it up and try it on. Wear it and simply say, “Thank you”. When your instinct is to dismiss the compliment or give something back in return because it feels awkward, tell the giver, “Thank you, that makes me feel good to hear that from you.…thanks for sharing”. Tossing back an insincere response to their gift isn’t the answer. Cherish their comment; they’ll appreciate it and so will you. A simple, “Thanks for noticing”, will acknowledge the gift and allow the giver to share in your joy.

When giving a compliment, try acknowledging the person and not always the product or end result. When you want to compliment an article of clothing, say “That’s a beautiful shirt; YOU sure know how to pick great clothes”. How about, “This was a great party; YOU sure did a great job at pulling it all together and making it fun”. Women have a tendency to compliment another woman’s make-up.  I appreciate it when someone says, “Your make-up looks really great, YOU always know how to make your eyes stand out beautifully”. When you compliment someone’s accomplishments at work, tie it back to the person who accomplished the task. “Great job on closing the Johnson deal, YOU put a lot of time into that transaction, it shows”. Now, take it one step further and personalize your gift. You wouldn’t buy someone a blank trophy for winning an award without having it personalized with their name engraved on it; personalize your compliments too; engrave their name. “Dinner was really delicious MARY, YOU made the holiday special for me…thank you”. In gift giving, it’s commonly said that, “it’s the thought that counts”; put extra thought into the compliments/gifts you give.

Welcome and accept the gifts you’re given every day and tie a bow around every thoughtful gift you give to others. Every day is a celebration!

Thank you for all of your comments to my blogs; it is YOU and YOUR comments that make my writing and sharing such a joy for me….please, keep them coming; YOU fuel me.

Annamarie

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                         Spilled Milk!                  "Worry, Regret's & Guilt"

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Spilled Milk! "Worry, Regret's & Guilt"

Please don’t tell me how to “feel”.

Have you ever shared your feelings of guilt with someone else? Have you ever been told, "Don't feel that way"? How about when you tell someone that you’re "worried", and again they say, “Don’t worry”.  My feelings are my feelings. Telling me “not” to have them or "don't feel them", isn’t going to work. Now, it’s a completely different story if we discuss “how” these negative feelings aren’t doing me any good. An even better idea is for us to talk about the different ways I can move forward and eliminate these feelings. I’m willing to listen; but telling me “not to feel” isn’t going to work.

Today’s blog topic has been created at the request of a few of you readers. Your requests inspire and fuel me to research, ponder on,….. and write. I enjoy it when you request a blog topic; it’s a great compliment. Your request tells me you’re interested in my thoughts and they help me to learn. You have given me a great gift. Thank you.

Let me begin by saying that I worry; I have regrets; and I have feelings of guilt for some of the pain I have caused others by my actions. However, I do my best not to allow these feelings take away my enjoyment of life today or my dreams for tomorrow. I say that “I do my best” because it’s a constant work in progress. I am forever learning, growing and evolving. To tell myself or someone else, “Don’t feel that way”, isn’t going to help. Please note that I refer to worry, regret and guilt as “feelings” and not “emotions”. A newborn baby isn't capable of experiencing the feelings of worry, regret or guilt. Through my research, I’ve enjoyed the references of emotions differently than feelings. I can take ownership of my feelings; I’m responsible. When I’m responsible, I can change and evolve.

When left unattended, worry, regret and guilt are absolutely useless feelings; yet, we allow them to bind us up in psychological and emotional knots. These knots block joy, love and laughter from entering our life while they increase stress and “dis-ease”. From “dis-ease” come diseases. Blood pressure will rise, digestion will cease to work property and a host of ailments will develop. When we take worry and do something about it….ahhhhh, that’s another story. With a clearer understanding of its negative impact, worry can be reduced to a feeling of “concern”. Worry is an endless loop of negative thoughts; a hamster wheel of “dis-ease”. When you have a worry, write it down on a piece of paper. When you write it down, it can’t grow or keep spinning out of control. Looking at what you’ve written down, ask yourself this question. “Can I, and am I willing to do what it takes to change this situation?” If not, then agree that it is of no use to you and throw the paper away. If you can do something, then take the steps to do it. Write down what some of these steps are and you'll have a plan. Suddenly, your worry will be appropriately reduced to a “concern”. Concerns are manageable; worry is useless.

I utilize many props in my seminars and a tall glass of water comes in handy for my next demonstration. I replicate a story from another lecturer on the subject of stress management; it perfectly applies to the subject of worry, regret and guilt. Holding up a glass of milk that is half-full, I ask a question. Being an inspirational speaker, my audience suspects I’m going to ask if the glass is half-empty or half-full. Instead I surprise them by asking, “How heavy is this glass of milk?” Some people call out to me and say, “Half a pound to a pound.” They are surprised when I say, “The absolute weight of the glass doesn’t matter. The truth is, it depends on how long you try to hold it.” My audience listens attentively as I continue on to say, “If I hold the glass for about a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for thirty minutes to an hour, my arm will begin to ache and my muscles will burn from the discomfort.” It is when everyone is most attentive that I continue on to say, “This is the same way with stress, worry, regret and guilt. The longer we hold on to them, the heavier they become. Put them down.” 

Wallowing in feelings of guilt and regret weigh us down and prevent us from making changes to move forward. Guilt, like jealousy, will eat you from the inside out. Its purpose is to get our attention to make a change. Not all guilt is rational but the negative feelings we give it are always destructive. Make amends for your behaviors and the actions that caused you to feel guilty in the first place; then put it down.

I have this story to share about regret. The day I made the “elective” decision to remove my entire pancreas; spleen; duodenum; section of intestine; ½ stomach; gallbladder and too many other organs to mention in my digestive and endocrine system, was the day I vowed to never live with regrets of any kind. The pre-malignant tumor hadn’t turned malignant “yet”. I knew there was a possibility that it wouldn’t spread and yet, maybe it would. I had already lost eight family members to cancer of the pancreas and digestive systems. Knowing full well the life before me, that was laid out by the doctors, would be filled with complications and challenges, I focused on the word “life”. Regrets have no place in my life. Initially I was burdened by the statements of "What if". Most of these "what if" statements were presented to me by others. "But what if it never spreads?; What if you have the surgery and didn't need to be so radical?; What if you get in there and discover you're too late?" When making a change in my life, I've learned to do as much due diligence as I possibly can. Search my intellect and most importantly, search my heart. Make decisions and always live without regret.  

 Life, like time, can only go forwards. Join me and live with purpose, love and laughter! Wasting the precious days of life by worrying over and regretting the days of the past while you feel guilty, is like "Crying over spilled milk". Wipe it up and move forward.

 





 

 

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Are you "Fascinated" or "Frustrated"?

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Are you "Fascinated" or "Frustrated"?

The power of words has always intrigued me; especially the words we tell ourselves. Now, as a case in point, let me tell you about some words I told myself for many years.  With the start of each year I was inspired, motivated, and focused to get healthy. Without fail, I was successful in losing weight; only to gain it right back. Contributing to my lack of permanent success was my vocabulary. I was telling people, “I lost the weight”. When I think about it, I’ve never been happy to “lose” anything. When I was a young girl, I “lost” an Olympic commemorative coin. I made it my mission to find that coin; and I did, along with extra stuff. It made sense to me that when I tell people I “lost” my weight, my sub-conscious will help me find it; and it did, along with extra weight . Conversely, when I cleaned out a cluttered closet or a cabinet in the garage, the stuff remained GONE. I realized that I was telling people, I “got rid” of the junk. When I changed the words I was using, I was in more control and the weight stayed away. Yes, I “got rid” of the weight. I will continue to “get rid” of additional weight, and my attitude will always be lighter because of my vocabulary.  

With the very first awareness of their vocabulary, the participants in my seminars improve their attitudes.  Participants feel a powerful change in their outlook when they replace the word “frustrates” with “fascinates”. You may not be attending one of my workshops right now, but try it. Instead of being impacted negatively by the actions of someone else or the situation, you’ll be "curious" to find a solution. Changing from “frustrated” to “fascinated”, you have a desire to better understand. Have you ever said, “It really frustrates me how you think!” Instead you’ll say, “It really fascinates me…” At the very least, you’ll smile and not continue to fuel your frustration.

Try this exercise with something that currently “frustrates” you. Write it down.

 “It really frustrates me how………………….…”.

Can you think of solutions to this frustration?

Do you even feel the desire to come up with a possible solution?

Now, write that same situation down by saying,

“It really fascinates me how…………..….”.

Before you start to write down all the possible solutions to this situation, focus on your attitude. Notice your willingness to move in a positive direction. Recognize your new willingness to take the steps to improve the circumstance.

Now, write down the possible solutions to alleviate this situation. 

Look at the powerful change that comes from using the word “get” instead of “have”.

You’re sending a powerful message to your children when you tell them they “get” to do their homework, instead of “have” to do their homework. This little change also helps to teach gratitude and fuel a more appreciative attitude.

We “get” to go to work.  We “get” to go to the gym and get fit. We "get" to clean the house. We "get" to work in the yard. 

Do you ever feel “overwhelmed”? Simply saying the word “overwhelmed” will make you feel overwhelmed. Whenever I use the word "overwhelmed", I'm told that I run my hands run through my hair; spiking it up from root to tip. This gesture conveys to everyone how stressed I’m feeling. I've learned to change the word “overwhelmed” to “in demand”. Pause here for a moment and think about it. Feel the smile on your face when instead of saying, “I’m really overwhelmed lately” you'll say, “I’m really in demand lately”. Feeling "in demand" means we're wanted; we're needed; we're IN DEMAND. When we are “in demand” we are in control of ourselves. That is an extreme way for me to prove my point; but I did. You smiled. 



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Sing Louder....The Stronger Voices Win!

Do you remember when our elementary school teacher divided the class in half and each side was assigned a song to sing? One half of the class was instructed to sing "Row-Row-Row Your Boat" and the half was assigned the song "Are You Sleeping Brother John?"  I remember the concentration I had to have to stay focused on the song I was assigned. Often the voices on the other side of the classroom would cause me to lose focus and start to sing their tune. Frequently we could all end up singing one song or start singing the different song than what we started. Some kids would put their hands over their hears to avoid being influenced to go off track.  This example is similar to the influence that negative voices from other people can have on us. When you're trapped by negative people, it can be difficult to stand out and sing a positive tune. Before you know it, you feel the heaviness of their attitude and chime in with their hopeless and helpless tune. Don't do it! Sing out a positive and hopeful tune and focus on what you enjoy. Seek out other positive voices and surround yourself with good energy. 

I'm tired of the negative bashing of America. That negative song that bashes politics, policies and our people. Frequently posts are made on Facebook and other social media sites that trash -talk our country. One negative comment after another without so much as a positive statement is numbing and disheartening. I fight it! Conversely, I don't support the Ostrich approach of sticking your head in the sand and pretending that problems don't exist. I support a balance; a meshing of outlooks and attitudes. Blasting our country; our politics and our people insistently, won't make your voice heard any more clearly. In fact, when you don't balance your negative voice with positive comments, your voice is viewed only as routine negativity and not constructive thought. People tire of you and will eventually avoid you all together. The negative commentary has no impact except to bring others down. Nothing positive will result.

Take a moment to look at what you do like about America....and post that thought or feeling. Post what you do like about a situation or circumstance. Let the positive voices give you perspective to make positive change for the right reasons and not simply because it's easier to complain. Seek the higher and tougher road to post constructive thoughts. It was so refreshing to have my family from Denmark visiting with me this last week. It was a joyful sound to hear them sing about the beauty of our country.....America. I heard about the friendliness and helpfulness of the American people. I listened to their admiration of our systems and policies as well as their thoughts on improvement. I enjoyed the light in their eyes as they shared their experiences of the Grand Canyon; Yosemite; Las Vegas; Los Angeles and numerous other locations across our country. They never reduced their admiration and loyalty to their own country as they talked about the challenges facing Denmark and Europe. They balanced their voices of positive and constructive views of Denmark and America. It was a wonderful reminder of how beautiful the Land of the Free and the brave really is. 

Harmony comes from a balance of tones. Think of the positive attributes you have in your life and focus on them as you constructively address the issues. Sing out in a stronger voice to share the joys you have and the blessings you've received. Drown out the negative and useless bashing of life and tell the negative influences that you're not going to sing that song. Be proud. Be strong. Be hopeful. Be constructive and not critical. With a positive voice, you'll be heard.

Please comment on what you do love about your life; your country; and....you! What do you love about yourself and your life?

 

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Coming out of the closet.

She had no arms, one leg and no head. Every night she was dragged into my bedroom closet; this is the room where she tortured me. You see, my Mom was a seamstress. Ladies would come to our home and she would sew them dresses; make alterations; and keep me and the rest of our family well dressed. However, every night the sewing mannequin was dragged into my closet to get her out of the way and let her sleep.  

When the closet door was shut and my bedroom light was switched off, the torture began. This "thing" would chase me and hunt me down....it made me sweat. Finally, when I couldn't take it any more; I ran out to my parents and yelled, "LET HER OUT!"  You see, from behind the closet door, she was ugly and powerful. When they opened the door and I could see it in the light, I could see it for exactly what it was.....only a mannequin.  

When left in the dark, the fears that come into our thoughts will only grow and torture us. We water them with worry and they become distorted. If I have a fear or concern, I've learned to write it down on paper and use the four step process to conquer it. No matter if the fear is about health; business; family or something else; bringing it into the light and open the door. "Let her out!"

First step: Write down my fear or concern.  When I write it down, it can't grow. This way I'm able to look at it realistically and not let my negative imagination get involved. 

Second step: Write down my "possible" concerns about this fear. "What am I specifically afraid might happen?"

Third step: To each of the "possible" concerns, I'll write down what percent am I positive this outcome will occur.  By assigning a % percentage of my convection that I know it's going to happen, I'm engaging the logical and non-emotional side of my brain.

Fourth step: For each "possible" negative outcome of this fear that I've listed, I'll write down steps and actions I can take to prevent it from occurring. Or what can I do to lessen any negative result? This helps me to feel in control and not helpless. 

(There are other steps to empower you but this is a great foundation to gain perspective and confidence)

Example:

Step 1:  Write down the fear.        "I'm afraid to travel because of my diabetes."

Step 2: Write down the possible concerns.                    Step 3: Write % it will happen

              I'll go hypoglycemic or not have any insulin.         5%

              I'll end up in a hospital that won't know how to handle me or my insulin pump.   1%

              I won't be able to eat the foods of that country/area.                3%

Step 4:  Actions I can take to prevent this fear from occurring.   (Written in a positive voice. I WILL)

              I will take plenty of glucose tablets with me; I will take plenty of insulin: I will take a new prescription with me to make certain that if I should happen to lose my insulin, I can get some at a pharmacy in that city/country; I will research the names and locations of hospitals in that area; I will bring information on insulin pumps with me to give to a hospital if necessary; I will research the foods of the area and I always know there are plenty of fruits and vegetables to eat; I will research what the foods of that country are and know what their carbohydrates are well in advance of ordering my food. 

My fear is no longer a fear because..... I have a plan and I'm in much better control.  When you do this enough times, it becomes a natural habit....it becomes a practice you'll do instinctively.                 

I'm not saying that I have no fears....believe me, "I do." I wanted to share this technique with you because I've found it helpful. It helps me to see what I can control; what I can't; and what I have to let go of. It helps me to hand over my fears to my higher authority. When in doubt.... I'll always trust him.

Let me know if this helps....and please feel comfortable in sharing your fear with me and I'm happy to work through this process with you. Maybe other posters can help.

Take care..... 

Annamarie

Please share my blog and site....it will help me when it comes time to publish my book.

 

 

 

 

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