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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Notes from the Universe Movie

Notes from the Universe Movie

WOW! I've watched this twice and I still tear up! This is going to be my newest inspiration first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I've also put this on my wall on Facebook. I never want to lose touch with this video. And I would love to be able to produce YouTube videos such as this that move others such as I have been moved. Whether related to my books or to just sharing. That is my wish. I have been blessed to watch this, to have it make its way to me. Now I share it with you.

UPDATE 08.02.2011:  The above link is currently not working, resulting in an error code instead of this inspirational YouTube movie.  So I have added the URL in my favs found on the right sidebar.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Few Websites to Share

I like to read inspirational snippets first thing to start my day off right.  With my schedule I need fast, quick, to-the-point.  So while I have subscribed to others, the very length of them had me unsubscribing.

Here are a few that I would like to pass along to you.

For spiritual-based guidance, check out http://www.marymorrissey.com/.  She offers Life Coach services too, but her daily inspirations are free.

There is a longer recurring email that I’ve kept.  It’s overall great.  See for yourself at http://www.philiphumbert.com/.  Sign up for his free daily doses of TIPS for Extraordinary Living.

For authors, I’ve already mentioned the (monthly?) e-zine of http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/ in a previous blog.  Still worth noting again. 

And lastly, someone to help you in reaching manifold goals.  I met a lovely lady named Sharon Schierling the other day who offers multiple services.  If you need travel arrangements, organizational skills and small business assistance, contact her at one of her websites at http://www.refinedperspectives.com/.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Those "What I Did Over the Summer" School Essays

I always dreaded those first-day-back-at-school assignments to write what I did over the summer.  It was the same.  We spent two weeks visiting both sets of grandparents in Kansas.  It was wonderful and I have great memories.  We also went to the pool to swim at home.  I visited nearby friends within walking distance.  When I got a little older, I babysat.  But all that paled to my schoolmates' tales of spending a month in France or camping in ten different states or sailing along the coast.

I'm all grown up now and when I run into someone I haven't seen in a while, it still gives me pause when asked "What have you been up to?"  I haven't found the cure for cancer; I haven't gone abroad with the Peace Corps; I haven't traveled to Mexico to build a church; I haven't helped rebuild a city ravaged by hurricane or tsunami.  I have donated funds which I hope found its way into each of those endeavors.  However, it just doesn't have the same zing as spending my time there, getting my hands dirty, making unused muscles sore.  And my donations were not one or two digits followed up by six zeros, either.

Writing my books does not reach the lofty goals I mentioned above.  But that's just it.  That's the point here.  When I run into an acquaintance I haven't seen in years, I can tell them "I'm an author, with three e-books on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, plus I'm working on finalizing my debut novel.  I have eight more fiction books in the works, too."

Just do something a little outside your normal, day-in/day-out, staid, predictable routine.  Like adding miniscule spices and hard-to-see herbs to your food can make a huge difference, add some variety to each and every day.  It could be stopping on the way home and spending just ten minutes picking wild blueberries by the railroad tracks near your home.  Or taking a one-day powder-puff mechanics class that gives you the added skill of being able to change out your car's air filter.  It could be starting a conversation with someone in your yoga class, making a new friend, finding out more about their fascinating life.

Not only does this cause us to grow, both in confidence and in knowledge, but you took action.  Action begets more action like success begets more success.  Every day find one way to add some ingenuity to your schedule.  Drive a different way home.  Really survey your surroundings, searching for treasure not-yet-named.  Check out various parks in your area and see if any have hiking/biking trails.  Take them!

I cannot possibly list all the choices here.  My mind, time and responsibilities hinder me.  But just get your imagination on notice that you want to see things differently, see more choices.  Your life will blossom.

One more thing.  Yes, there will be someone who will cure cancer.  That person's success will be worldwide and affect a lot of people.  However, that does not mean the reasons for you being here, your goals to reach, are not needed either, or by as many people.  This blog is to instill self-esteem which I believe is a foundational building block, if not the foundational building block as self-esteem is just another way to say self-love without the egocentric connotations.  Self-esteem is needed by all.

So don't rank your success against someone else's.  They are all needed on this earth.  And because you help just one does not make your role in the universe less than someone who helps millions.  Like that story of the child throwing one starfish after another back in the water.  Someone pointed out to her how there were so many she couldn't help, so many she did not reach for, trying to discourage her from even doing what little she could.  Her reply?  I'm helping the one I throw back in the ocean.

And what a great concept.  I'm helping ONE.  If everybody helped just a single, solitary, sole individual, the whole world would benefit and be the better for it.  I happen to believe that I am the person I should help first, to better me.  That way I have a growing wealth of wisdom to dip from in order to assist another.  You are doing your part, in no small way, when you help just one.  Keep at it.

Also, please feel free to share your get-out-of-my-rut ideas with the rest of us.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Midyear Resolution

I am an author with currently three nonfiction e-books offered via both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Yet I consider myself a novelist first.

So here is my July 5 midyear resolution.  I have two novels written to The End.  However, both need a deep-down final edit.  Courtesy of Margie Lawson's Deep EDITS (trademarked) system, I have about forty-two things to review in each book before either are uploaded for sale.  To accommodate all that, and wanting one novel available online by my birthday in November as my gift to myself, I chose the shorter story to do my first-ever Deep EDITS "practice" run. 

Since my selected novel is a little over two hundred pages and I have almost five full months until my self-imposed deadline, I have apportioned fifty pages to each of the first four months, with the fifth and final month for a final read-through and time set aside for choosing my cover art and uploading all.  That works out to approximately two pages a day for July through October.  That is doable.  Even with my crazy sixty-five-to-eighty-five-hour workweek, that is doable.  If I miss one day, no biggie.  I can allot four pages to the next day.  This is an armadillo I can chew bit by bit.

What midyear resolutions are you willing to commit to?


What an emotional word.  And that's where I want your focus for a moment.  On nebulous emotions, thoughts.  I read a lot in the self-improvement literature and find confirmation of my own beliefs.  Since I believe everything is created twice--first in the mind, second in the physical world--it would seem that we create wealth the same way.  First in the mind.

So, your initial thought would be to DECIDE to be wealthy, whatever your definition of the word may be.  Whether $10,000 a month or a year, or some figure higher or lower, go for it.  Truly, finally, irrevocably take a stand.  It surprises me the number of people who seem reluctant to choose.  Simply pick one, if both ways seem equal.  You can always go back and select the other if you don't like the results of the first. 

No Godmother of Wealth is going to give you permission to seek after your desires, your goals, your dream life.  You must do so.  It takes some guts, maybe some life experience, to push us to do so.  Maybe someone telling us we cannot possibly do that.  In the absence of your own declaration, let me do it here for you.  I give you permission to have the wonderful life you were created for.

The next step is to PROCLAIM that you are in charge of your life.  After all, you would need to be in order to manifest the perfect life for you, right?  Again, no one else is going to hand it to you.  Even if you marry a monied person, would that individual share the funds with you or would that person support you emotionally, be able to read your mind on what you really want and need?  A soul mate is still a separate entity and to expect one-hundred-percent compatibility is a fantasy ready to be refuted in reality, plus having a yes-man around all the time would be really boring in my opinion.

However, you can do all those things for yourself, without fear of voicing your dreams to a naysayer or faulty communication getting in the way of sharing those needs and wants to another.  You must declare yourself President of your perfect life, Emperor of your empire, Excellency of your enterprise. 

Then once you have comfortably settled into those two standards--with no negativity rebounding from your own internal editor--set about planning actions that lead directly to your dreams.  Do them.  Each day.  Even small tasks lead to great victories.  Keep at it.  Persistence is part of reaching goals. 

Don't discount the little steps on the way to greatness.

Define Who YOU Are

Building upon my last post, defining your measure of success, with my first ever blog on "I AM," I am blending the two here to focus on you.  Who we are at the core.  Take some real, uninterrupted time for this.  If you were to interview for a job, what three adjectives would best describe you to an interested employer?  Repeat this for an interested soul mate.  For your favorite sport, pastime, hobby.  For your circle of friends, close family members.  For your charities you support.  Get a rounded picture of this unique individual called you

Like the morning pages exercise any author would recognize, I recommend establishing a morning habit of reminding yourself of your good qualities.  Begin your waking day with "I am" thoughts.  Such as, I am blessed to be alive, healthy, of sound mind and body.  Make three your goal each day.  Even better, make three DIFFERENT ones your goal each day for a month.

I happen to believe that "I am" statements invoke the cooperation of God.  No matter your religious stance, a practical view of derogatory statements would seem to produce depression, self-denigration, failure.  So choose uplifting and encouraging statements and thoughts instead.  ESPECIALLY when speaking of yourself.  Such a foundation of self leads to thinking well of others--for you cannot give what you do not have.

Give yourself the gift of YOU.

Success, What Does It Mean to You?

Success.  It's a many-faceted word.  To paraphrase Webster's, it's wealth, favor or eminence which is favorable, desired.  Or it can be a person who succeeds.

What does success look like for you?  You need to know so that you will recognize it when it appears in your life.

For me, success is not about the money so much as the freedom it brings me.  I am my own boss.  To me, that is my topmost sole definition of success.  Now, I do require a certain level of income to pay my bills, my mortgage, purchase food, etc.  And I look forward to increasing those earnings to have savings, investments, donations.  A cushion.  A mad money fund.

Yet, in the various self-help books I have read over the decades, there was a common thread found in many about how you succeed financially within your own business--not someone else's.  Not that you cannot become wealthy working for others.  You can.  You start early, you save consistently, you live off of seventy percent of your income.  You retire wealthy.  Still, America was founded on the efforts of the entrepreneur.  There are interesting statistics about entrepreneurs even today.  But I digress.

Stop.  Take even thirty minutes to define your version of success.  Maybe you need to brainstorm words to start.  Or you may prefer the visual approach and need to daydream your perfect twenty-four-hour period in order to translate that vision into the verbal or written mode.  Whichever, I believe we would all benefit from knowing our personal success definition.

That would explain why some books or methods don't reach us.  One may focus on making millions when $400,000 would set us up for life for all our wildest dreams.  Another may offer living off the land and funded largely by elbow grease, which would upset our more comfort-oriented people.  It's not that either approach is wrong as it is "wrong for them."

Keep an open mind.  Take half an hour and delve into your rational and emotional markers for your success.  Then watch as they unfold.