Looking Forward to 2017

Now that 2016 is coming to a close, it’s hard to believe that things are going to be so different. A new President, celebrity deaths, changes all around. Are you ready for them? Are you looking forward to them? Is 2017 a year you are looking forward to, or dreading? It all depends on your outlook. Are you ready to grow, or are you fixed?

What are you willing to work towards? In other words, do you have a bucket list? If you go through life letting it take you where ever it wants to, you’ll look back wishing you had done more. Why not make 2017 the year that you go for whatever it was that you long for. What are you longing to do that you haven’t? This year, do it.

What do you want to leave behind? Is it time to let go of some things that are no longer good for and/or working for you? Whatever works that needs to be tweaked: tweak it. If something needs to go, let it go. When it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on. Don’t let 2016 be an anchor to keep you stuck. Weigh it, and get going.

What do you want to pursue? Have you been avoiding something scary that you know that you want to go for? Make this year the year you give it a chance. A bucket list is just a wish list if you don’t take action. Action is usually the difference between success and a failure to launch. Stop listening to your critics and listen to your intuition. A gut feeling is spot on, and when acted on is almost always the right thing to do.

Who and what deserves a chance? Who are the people in your life that deserve to move forward with you, and who needs to be left behind? If your BFF isn’t interested in moving in another direction: move them out of your inner circle. Is there’s someone special that you may not have noticed before: give them your full attention. An opportunity that arises that has never been before you: grab it with both hands. A new avenue of income keeps leaping into your path: follow where it leads. Chances are worth taking when you know it can lead to something good.

Have you looked in mirror? What do you need to do differently? Do you like what you see? Who you’ve become? If not, do something about it. All change starts from within. But, be willing to ask others what you need to change. We all have blind spots and corners. If your ego gets you into trouble, accept and change it. Need a makeover? Get one. Need to shed a couple of pounds? Eat right, and get some exercise. Lacking patience and a poor communicator? Go to a seminar, or get some coaching. Whatever you need to do: do it. Be willing to let others help you with your weak areas.

Soon it will be 2017: year of tremendous changes. Only you will know what kind of year you want, and how to go about getting it. If you’ve burned bridges, don’t expect someone to send you a boat. Not everyone will want you to come back over to their side of the river. Especially, if you’ve done permanent damage. If that bridge is burned, accept it and move on. So, be positive, daring, brave, and have some fun in the process. 2017 is looking to be a great year.

 

 

Make A Positive Impression

Have you ever met someone that you connect with in a positive way? I don’t mean trauma bonding like some people do. I mean a real connection with someone. It can be a business partner, a new friend, your kids, your spouse, your significant other, or the clerk behind the counter. Making a lasting and positive impression sticks with you. Are you making one?

In our travels there are going to be people in life that are going to make different types of impressions. The type made will really depend on how genuine and authentic that person is. Notice how some people come across as insincere, and it shows. Funny how they are usually the only ones that don’t notice it. They act like they are the very air we all breathe. In the end, the only thing they do is remind you of how annoying they can be. They think that they are the light of the world. After a while, it becomes a blinding glare, and you’re just are glad to see them go. A lasting negative impression is definitely a lesson.

People who are genuinely positive leave a good impression. They really are the light of the world. When you are in contact with them, they make you feel at ease. This is not be confused with feeling special. Con artists and Narcissists are masters at making people feel special, all while they’re using them. When you feel at ease, you’re more likely to be: yourself, truthful, engaging, relaxed but energized, and interesting. Feeling better after being around them, and vice versa.

If you want to make a positive impression, take yourself out of the limelight. Other people want to talk about their accomplishments, triumphs and good fortune too. In other words: they have a life too. There’s nothing worse than a person that can’t stand to see good things happen to someone else. Envy, jealousy, pride, arrogance and ego have been known to ruin relationships all the way to the core. Once this type of person is gone from your life, you really don’t miss them. And, you find that your life is much easier, and more fulfilling. The worse this person was, the more grateful you are to know that they’re gone.

Positivity leaves people wanting more. Negativity leaves people wanting to escape. So which would you rather? A person that misses, and wants to spend time with you? Or a person that’s celebrating your departure?  That’s the difference between a positive and a negative impression. One will tell others how lucky they are to be around you, the other how grateful they are that you’re gone. This works both ways. If your circle is one where you all can share, then you’re on the right track. If it’s one that you really can’t be yourself in, and have to go along to get along… Well, you get the picture.

Positive impressions help people to trust you. They also help you trust others. Once trust is violated, it’s almost impossible to regain. Many a pseudo personality type person has found out the hard way that they aren’t fooling anyone. And, you can only get away with being a fake and/or fraud from a limited amount of time. Trustworthy people don’t have to fake it till they make it. Making a positive impression helps you to meet people that are caring, and loving. These are the people that everyone wants to be around. They can teach you, and help you see the bright side. Now that’s  a real breath of fresh air.

 

 

Be Open, and Good Things Come

Are you open to change, or does it scare you to death? Change in life is a part of life, and fighting it isn’t going to make it go away. How you handle change will make or break your future. People don’t realize what you do today, really does affect tomorrow. Not keeping the future in mind is not only a big mistake, it can cause you to be in a position where you don’t recover easily. Are you thinking with the end in result in mind? Or, are you just living for the moment hoping that it will last?

Being open is a wonderful experience. It can lead you to places you never thought possible. Often times, we take things for granted while wishing for change. This is normal, but what if you make the wrong move? It could very well be permanent. It’s a chance you have to take, but is it worth the risk? If thinking about different, possible, yet plausible conclusions it can be. Risk itself can be an unknown, but a calculated risk? That’s a different story.

Whether it’s with business, family, friends, a new relationship, you’re going to have to open up. At least somewhat. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of strength. How the others handle it, is really up to them. It can either strengthen a relationship, or reveal it’s weaknesses.

I’m a people person, with me, what you see is really what you get. Warts and all. Why? I love authenticity. Genuine people make the best conversationalists. They have so many great things to talk about, and they like to share. Sharing is a sign that someone is open and wants to know more as well. It shows that they are engaged. Social media can’t touch a real conversation, not by a long shot. And texts only give you part of the story.

To be yourself with a person that can appreciate it is a blessing. Masks are for people with secrets. Most people like to hide the very parts of themselves that make them the most interesting. That’s a shame, because those are also that parts the help you to connect on another level with someone. Connection is important in any type of relationship. A false one will cause you to distrust, and therefore bring pain. A real one? Will help you to trust, and enjoy those in your circles and bring a sense of well being.

Too often we have to be something we’re not, if, we’re around the wrong people. A false self will only work for so long. You will be found out. Eventually. So why not be the person that you were meant to be. So what if not everyone likes or loves you, the right ones will. And, that’s really all that matters. Being with the right people brings out the best in you, and others that are in contact with you. It’s a win/win. Who doesn’t want that?

Being open and honest will enhance your life. You don’t have to worry about people “finding out” who you really are. Give them the chance to decide for themselves. People who are good for you really will have your best interests in mind. Being open and expressing your real self is priceless, and when with the right people: a godsend.

 

 

No Worries

Are you a worry wart? Constantly looking for the other shoe to drop? Can you spot the bad in everything? Consistently ready for a fight? On edge and skiddish? Waiting for the next betrayal or person to let you down? Why are you so worried? Life is too short to be this wound up. Especially so tightly that no one can get in. Are you worried about being worried? Relax, life is meant to be lived not feared.

Aren’t we all tired of people that are constantly on the lookout out for the worst to happen?  They really are a drain. Energy vampires that suck the life out of everyone around them. These people could take a sugar high down. Worriers take the fun out of everything, and they do it on purpose. Why? They don’t know how to have fun, or enjoy life themselves so they feel it’s their duty to make sure everyone knows about the down side of any and everything. Sheesh.

Ever try to bounce an idea off these types? It bounces right back, in your face, hard. They don’t want to see the bright side of anything. God forbid you actually succeed at anything, they can tell you the downside of that too. They seem to think that if they don’t alert you to the worst that can happen, you’re too stupid to realize that it can. I mean really, taking risks is not without some problems. That’s why it’s called taking a risk. You have to take a chance and step out into the unknown. It’s also a path to growth. Something the worried don’t want to attempt. Imagine having something go right? And, get stronger, more confident, and able to handle more for it? What a concept.

Worry is counterproductive. It keeps you from sleeping at night. It turns people off, and it makes you miserable. It can also be addicting. Think about it: worries get attention. If you’re the one that’s pointing out all the bad that can happen, then all eyes are on you. Sad, but true. And, it can cause others to start to see things that weren’t there too. It’s good to be aware to the down side, but that should never overshadow the good. It takes more energy to worry, and it doesn’t help.

Instead of worrying about something, ask yourself these 4 questions that Dr Benjamin Carson asks before he performs brain surgery on his patients: What’s the worst thing that can happen if I do this? What’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do this? What’s the best thing that can happen if I do this? What’s the best thing that can happen if I don’t this? Valid questions that empower you, help you think things through, and make wise decisions.

It’s simple, but not easy to live a life worry free. You have to have faith to be able to do anything in life. “No faith, know fear. Know faith, no fear.” A great quote, not sure where I saw it first, but it’s true. Have faith in yourself and others. Even a higher power is good. Worry is aggravates stress, and stress can kill you. So why give into something that can end you? Worry is time consuming, and mind numbing, so don’t give into it. Most of what you worry about isn’t going to happen anyway, so why bother?

What Do You Really Want?

Do you know what your really want? Do you know, or just think you know? It’s a valid question that not to many people ask themselves. Going with the flow is nice, if you don’t mind getting taken off course for years at a time. But, if you know what you really want, you’ll work towards it. Not getting side tracked or distracted. And, getting there much faster than someone that’s just floundering in life.

So why do people flounder? That’s a tough one. It depends on the person. If you’re going through life, and it’s all about a good time… Well, that will cause you to turn around one day and see that everyone else is accomplishing something while you’re still trying to get a grip on your life. Other people just don’t look in the mirror to see the full story. They’d rather look at someone else to tell them what to do. That works when you’re a child, but as an adult? Usually, you’ll end up doing something you hate, just to please someone you love.

No knowing yourself is another reason for not getting what you want. If you don’t know, how is anyone else going to know. If the emphasis is put on impressing people, guess who loses? People love then next new shiny thing, and if you lose your luster because of indecision. Well, out with the old and onto the new. If I love strawberries and you hate them, but eat them anyway. Is it what your wanted? No. Did you enjoy them? No. So, why eat them? Going along to get alone is really just a disguise for not really being yourself and wanting acceptance at all costs.

Knowing what you want involves saying, “No” when necessary. It’s a boundary issue. People without boundaries rarely know what they want. And, they fear those that do. Why? What if I’m not part of the equation? What will I do if they want something separate from me? How will I handle it? Simply put: I don’t know what I want, and if you do, then where do I stand if it doesn’t include me? When you know what you want, this isn’t an issue. You feel comfortable letting someone else be themselves. If they can be themselves, then you can be yours.

Knowing what you want, can keep you focused on the right things. If it’s positive. Negative people are selfish, and only care for themselves. Hence, all the negativity. They love to rain on others’ parades. Especially if the others know what they want, and they don’t. Negative people know they that they don’t want others’ to succeed. They are quick to point out why something doesn’t work. That people only tell you positive things because they’re lying to you. You name it, they’ll find a way to negate it. Know what you want can help you to turn a deaf ear to the Negative Ned and Nell’s of the world.

Knowing what you want takes time, and exposure to different things. What makes you tick? How you function, and what you get excited about in your own little world. What do you like and dislike? What makes your heart race, or calms your spirit. Ask yourself what you really want. If it doesn’t fit with what you’re doing now, then makes some changes. You don’t have to change your entire life, just the parts of if that can get you to where you want to be. Don’t burn bridges, remodel them. Some parts of your life need change, others, just need to be revamped.

Your Inner Circle Determines Your Success

If you think that you can be successful with friends that enable you, and don’t challenge you, think again. Your inner circle makes or breaks you. This is not something that you should take lightly. Success is contagious, and so is failure. People’s track records need to be taken into account. What have they done in the past? Is their track record a good one? Have they had a real measure of success, or are they poseurs? Is your circle setting you up for failure or success?

Your inner circle is a reflection of you. You are a reflection of the 5 closest people to you. Surrounding yourself with “yes” men or women will be your downfall. You need people in your life that will tell you the truth when you need to hear it. If everything you do is wonderful, and perfect then there’s a problem. Big egos attract big egos. You have to be willing to let someone show you your blind spots and corners. Real friends do that, they help you to see the real you. Warts and all.

Your inner circle should challenge you. There’s room for improvement in all aspects of your life. If you’re not growing, neither is your circle. There’s the problem. If you’re comfortable with the status quo, then they will be too. Why rock the boat? If you want to be successful, you have to sometimes do things that you don’t like. And, you have to make some sacrifices and concessions. Compromises, and agreeing to disagree are essential to success. Nothing tests your resolve more, than having to deal with and accepting, that people have their own way of doing things. Including, having their own thoughts and opinions.

Your inner circle should encourage you. There is a world of difference between encouraging and enabling. People should encourage you to do what’s right. Enablers do whatever it takes to keep you happy. On the surface that may seem nice, but if you get into trouble it could spell disaster. Encouragers will help you to become your best self. Even, if that means moving on to bigger and better things: without them. Enablers feed your ego, even if it’s not good for you. Ensuring that they stay a staple in your life.

Your inner circle should be trustworthy. There’s nothing worst than not being able to depend on the people closest too you. Are they going to be there for the goods times only? More importantly will they bail on you in the bad? Trustworthy people can be trusted at all times. They aren’t selfish, “What’s in it for me?” types. They understand that being there for you in a pinch is a real test of friendship, loyalty, caring and love.

Your inner circle attracts the right kind of people. Let’s face it, there are lots of people out there that talk a good game. But, when the things get rocky, they get flaky. Good people don’t leave you high and dry for a reason: anyone can hit rock bottom. Circumstances can change in a heart beat, and the right kind of people know that life is about rolling with the punches. If your circle is only in your corner when you look good, or make them look good. Be prepared to be ditched when something better comes along.

Your inner circle should respect you enough to be honest with you. If you hate honesty, you will be surrounded by liars. If you prefer living in denial, then expect your circle to deliver. There are going to be times when the truth hurts. People who care about you won’t let you go around making an ass of yourself. Period. If someone is only along for the ride, don’t expect them to be truthful. It’s a downer. Your inner world is important, but if no one really knows how you tick, that can make it hard to relate. If they only see an image, don’t be surprised when you’re treated like one.

Your inner circle should be authentic. Real people don’t fake it till they make it. Period. If your inner circle loves everything you love, and never wants to do something different from you: then someone is lying. Going along to get along can get old really quickly. Real people have their own identities. If it’s all wrapped up in the group, then someone needs therapy. Being yourself means you have your own: opinions, ideas, way of doing things, likes and dislikes, quirks and idiosyncrasies. In other words, it’s what makes you an original. Clones are mirrors of who they imitate. If you only surround yourself with mirrors, don’t be shocked when you all get shattered at the same time.

Success is a choice, and so is choosing those closest to you. People can look successful, but looks can be deceiving. You can present whatever you want in public, but it’s what happens behind closed doors that really defines you. Your inner circle should know and care about the real you. Not what you project, and not what you want everyone else to think that you are. Successful people know this. Your circle is who you are based on who you hang around with. If you want to be successful, deal with people that are doing something with their lives, and making sustainable things happen. Real success lies in the behind the scenes, not the “in your face” false fronts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trial By Fire

I can honestly say that the past 10 years have been a trial by fire. And, I’m happy to report that last year ended much of the trial, and that I’ve become a stronger person because of it. I’m glad that through it all, I’ve become a better person. My inner circle has changed, and my life has taken a turn for the better. I never dreamed that my life would start falling into place after having so many negative things happen. It’s all been worth it. A destructive ending has brought me to a creating beautiful beginning. Who says that something good can’t come out of destruction?

No one wants to have to go through a trial by fire. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Bad things happen to good people all the time; why should I have been any different? The best part of my trial is it took the wrong people out of my life and replaced them with the right ones. That was worth all the suffering that I endured. There’s something to the saying, “getting double for your trouble”. It’s true.

I chose to become better, not bitter because of it. Boy am I glad I did. I’ve taught my kids that being angry, resentful, and bitter keep you stuck in the past, and doesn’t do you a bit of good. In fact, they can hinder you for opportunities that can help you get out of a rut. When you stay stuck in the past, you can’t move onto the next level. Life is all about changes and new experiences.

When the things in life become something that you have to protect yourself from at all costs, that’s not good. Once you move forward, your whole world opens up. You can be happy even in the worst circumstances because: this too shall pass. It does, when you accept what you can’t change, and work with what you can. That’s empowering.

It’s easy when you surrender to what is, and focus on what can be. You sleep at night, without any worries. You get along with others, and you have a peace within yourself. That’s when you realize that whatever life throws at you, you can handle. Because of my trial, my comfort zone is fairly large now. Things don’t bother me the way the used to, and nothing really gets under my skin much now. It is what it is, and I’m good with that. I’m comfortable with myself, and others around me. I don’t worry about what others think of me. I’m myself and unashamed. I don’t feel guilty about telling people no when I need to.

Inner peace is the best feeling. When people are free to be themselves, you get the very best from and of them. While being themselves they want to be their very best. And, they want you to have the best that they can give you. Being yourself is the best gift that you can give to the people that appreciate it. It’s authentic. The right people can make your life heaven; the wrong ones, a living hell. Let yourself heal when you’ve been hurt. It’s the best gift that a trial can give you. I can say that I’m fully healed, and I’ve learned how to love people again. Almost lost that one. Almost.

My trial is almost completely over. There is one variable that refuses to get out of the way, but no matter. My circumstances haven’t changed that much, but I have. I can honestly say that I’m glad that I’ve learned what really matters, and that it’s easy for me to smile no matter what I go through. For everything that I’ve lost, something better has come along to replace it. I’m now truly a positive reflection of what’s coming back to me. Not everyone is on board, but the ones that matter are.

My kids and I have learned to look at the positive and focus on that. It’s not always easy, but it’s better than the alternative. Things are better when you look at the positive. Focusing on that makes any trial easier to navigate, and to withstand. The trial was for a reason, and it was for the best. You really find out how: patient, resilient, resourceful, capable, emotionally intelligent, and how much self control you have while being tested.  Besides, you don’t get stronger by running away. You get strength by facing the: flames, heat, and pain.

Passion and Desire

Are you doing the things in life that fuel you, or drain you? Passion and desire are the key elements in life to help you keep going. How can you continue to do something that you hate? No matter what it is, you have to have the drive to stick with it for the long haul. If you are doing what you love, then you’ll find peace and joy. Do something that you hate, and you’ll live with regret for longer than you care to.

It’s amazing how much you life changes when you’re doing the things that bring you joy. A business that is just starting is stressful, but not if you’re doing it for the love of it. If you’re in it for the money, sooner of later, you’ll dread having to do what you do. Waking up each morning will fill you with a sense of dread and depression. Not a feeling you want to wake up to in the morning. So you might as well do something that you would do for free. If you don’t make any money, you still love it.

Passionate people are fueled by their desire to do well, accomplish their dreams, and fulfill their goals. Competition with self is the only thing that matters. “Did I do better today than I than I did yesterday?” That’s where the drive comes from. They don’t need external validation, kudos from everyone they know, or even the support from those closest to them. They have all that they need within themselves, so they press on. The fuel comes from the heart.

Knowing yourself and what you really want makes success obtainable. Ask anyone who has failed and given up on something that they claimed to love, and they will tell you that they don’t know why they wanted it in the first place. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, then you won’t have any problems giving up when things aren’t going your way. So without the desire or passion, it fades off into the night. And then off to the next new “shiny” thing. And, to the next one. And so on, and on, and on…

The great thing about passion and desire is that it brings the right people into your life at the right time. I have a new business partner that really shares my vision for what I want to accomplish. He really gets it, and what’s more? He shares my passion for helping people.

He’s a part of my inner circle, and brings a positive energy and presence that exudes: integrity, character, self respect, gratitude, intelligence, drive, ambition, accomplishment, achievement, honor, influence, confidence and leadership. These are great assets in a business partner, or anyone else that you have to work with. He has a passion for what he does, and has business partners around the world. He’s respected and admired for who he is, and what he does. Who wouldn’t want a mentor of that caliber?

Are you someone that anyone can say those things about you? Passion, drive, ambition, desire, and influence are all needed to make a difference and impression. These things are innate in those that know what they want. Success is just the natural outcome. Do you know what you want, does it keep you up at night? Are you willing to do what it takes? Will you get back up when you fall knowing that you might have to start all over again? Will you dig deeper until you’ve got nothing left, and then dig deeper still? Passion and desire, they’re your fuel, keep your engines burning.

 

 

Are You Really Happy?

This year has taught me a lot about happiness. I’m a happy person. Happiness is about being positive and spreading it around to empower others. Unhappy, negative, miserable people don’t understand that happiness is about looking at the bright side. It’s easy to be negative, and it’s easy to constantly look for the other shoe to drop. So how do happy people continue to be happy despite it all? They don’t look to others to make them happy.

Here are some things that I’ve learned about how to be happy and positive in a negative, hostile environment:

Keep your inner circle positive. You attract like minded individuals. If you’re: negative, critical and judgmental, a gossip, petty, angry, vindictive or a complainer, that will be your inner circle.  Happy people have positive, empowering, solutions oriented, caring, giving, and uplifting people surrounding them. These people radiate positive energy, they don’t drain you.

Limit social media. This one goes without saying. Social media has some of the most negative and provocative content around. A surefire way to start a fight is with a statement and/or opinion, meme, or rebuttal with hostile intent. Many cowards use social media to do their dirty work. In the end, it really can be used as a weapon. Limit how much you get into the fray.

Read things that make you feel good. Self help books aren’t the only things that can make you feel good. Books that have happy endings are great for this purpose. Whether it’s a mystery or a Manga, all’s well that ends well.

Follow at least one passion. What do you love to do? Whatever it is, start doing it. If you don’t have a bucket list, then start one. Not only are they fun, but they can get your mind really going. Following your passion will help you to feel alive. And, when things get tough it will give you an edge. It will help keep you going.

Give yourself a break. No matter what’s going on in your life, cut yourself some slack. If you don’t who will? Life is full of roller coaster drops, twists and turns. It’s important to make sure you don’t let it get to you. Not everyone in your life wants to see you do well, or ride off into the sunset. So, you might as well be the one that does.

A positive attitude brings positive people.  Negative people play games. They thrive on chaos, confusion, and drama. Positive people bring peace, love and joy. They want to see you up, not down. They empower you, not try to have power over you. They influence, don’t manipulate. You can’t wait to see them, and then are sorry to see them go. They add to and don’t take away from your life. These are the keepers.

A positive attitude brings positive things. What you focus on expands. When you’re positive, people are drawn to you. They want to be around you. Good things start to happen, and keep happening. Your energy is a drawing not a repelling force. When you need something it’s there. When you are ready to do something, things fall into place. You don’t have to fight for it, because it comes to you effortlessly. Attracting what you want instead of what you don’t want.

Being happy means no matter what happens, you see the bright side. Things happen for a reason, and they usually have a way of working themselves out. It’s true. Look for the good in people and in things that happen in your life. Move with confidence that things will work out in your favor. Don’t let life or people get in the way of your happiness. Happiness really is a choice. There is power in choosing happiness in spite of your circumstances. Happy people can and do look for the positive in all situations. No matter what.