Things I’ve learned so far

I’m in a brainstormy mood tonight and decided to jot down things I’ve learned so far… Twenty was easy so I went to 30. Then I got to 33 which seemed like an odd number so I went to 35. The list was getting a little long but 35 seemed like a weird place to stop, so I rounded up to 40.

Thanks to all of my guides who are behind this list. Here we go. Continue reading

Wishing v. Working

When people tell you to “follow your passion,” it sounds so easy. “Just follow your passion and everything will turn out great.” Make a wish and it will come true. Right?

What you don’t hear is that it takes work to make your wishes come true.

I don’t want to downplay wishing. Dreaming big schemes is the first step to creating a new reality. But once you come up with a terrific vision, how do you get from “energy bubble” to “done?” Continue reading

How to improve your concentration

Being focused on what you’re doing helps you do good work. And it’s fun to sink deep into a project.

If you’re feeling a little scattered, here are 5 Buddhist tips for meditation that also help with concentration.

Pay attention to where you’re working
If you’re trying to do serious work in a noisy, active place – good luck! When you need to focus, give yourself the best shot possible by finding or creating a calm, quiet place with few distractions. You may think you can concentrate amidst chaos, but give quiet a chance and see how much it improves both the amount and quality of your output. Continue reading

Taking the first small step

I had a big, cool idea in the 1990s. I wanted to write a novel. I decided this at a crazy-bad time. I had two little kids at home and a demanding job. But I thought about writing all the time. I had to figure out a way to write a novel.

My first baby step was to make a list of novels I loved and characters I wanted to meet in real life. I gave myself a week to brainstorm all of my favorite books and characters.

Then I took another week to think about common threads. What appealed to me most in my favorite novels? And what types of characters was I most drawn to? Continue reading

Making a Big Decision

When you’re faced with a challenge, you feel it first in your gut. Something is up. You think and think about it, but how do you decide when so many factors seem to weigh in equally? Back to your gut. This isn’t an intellectual problem – big decisions come from your gut. You want to be decisive. Why is making a choice so hard?

  • You don’t want to make a mistake.
  • You don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
  • You don’t want to flip-flop on something you decided before.
  • You may not want to stick out in the crowd – or within your friends and family groups.
  • Habits are hard to break; it’s hard to start a new routine.

So look for common threads. Continue reading

The importance of asking for help

A participant in a talk I gave last week shared a great story. She’s a single mom who worked full-time while raising her daughter. For them, there was no question that household chores had to be divided or they wouldn’t get done. To survive, they made a list of weekly chores and put them into a hat. Each week they would draw to see who did what. And here’s the fun part. If you got something you really hated, you could attempt a trade. FYI: She said cleaning the cat box was always worth at least two chores in a trade. 🙂

Most of us who raised kids tried a mix of ways to get them to help out around the house – from charts and graphs to outright bribes! The “hat” method adds suspense each week. And I picture cheering as you draw certain chores or avoid drawing others.

This conversation got me thinking about how much most of us hate asking for help. We feel like we should be able to do whatever we’ve taken on and don’t want to appear weak or needy. At the same time, most of us love offering a helping hand. Think back on a time when someone really needed help and you came to their aid. Can you feel your energy rise remembering that? Continue reading

Words can start a revolution

“Every conversation won’t change your life. But any conversation can.”

Like much of what I’ve posted for the past week, this idea came up at the Good Life Project camp last weekend. I’ve been thinking about this in a couple of ways.

  1. Listen – new ideas and insights can turn your head.
  2. Start a conversation – you never know what you’ll learn.
  3. Speak up – your voice is a gift and it’s important to speak your truth.
  4. The world is mysterious. And being open to the idea that new thinking can come from anywhere is one of the most delightful mysteries.
  5. You don’t always plan change – sometimes it just falls on you.

Continue reading