Category Archives: Purpose

I Am My Own Best Friend

i am my own best friendI am just amazed at how often I hear the phrase, “I am my own worst enemy,” or some other similar phrase implying the ideas of being self-critical or self-sabotaging. I wonder to myself how might someone’s life look different in the days and weeks ahead if they could turn this statement upside down. What would happen if instead, we stated, “I am my own best friend.” 

How would that change the way you live? Here’s how you can change your thought process:

Kristin Neff has been researching self-compassion for many years now, and she has shared this in a TedTalk on her website. She shares that self-compassion has 3 key ingredients, which are:

  • Self-kindness – treating you like you would treat a good friend
  • Common humanity – recognizing that we all suffer
  • Mindful awareness – connecting with/being in the present moment, without judgment, and without a need to hold anything or push anything away.

So, with self-kindness, it sounds simple enough, but unfortunately, we have a lot of programming in which we are self-critical, always on guard for the moment that we are going to screw up. We would never treat our friends like this and we could really benefit from changing this pattern with ourselves.

The idea of common humanity is really helpful too. When we recognize that we are not the only ones suffering, and even realize that everyone suffers from time to time, maybe we can feel less alone. This could give us another reason to lighten up and be kinder to ourselves.

The third component is mindful awareness. With mindfulness of the present moment, we can be more fully connected to our lives and to our thoughts and feelings in each moment. Rather than trying so hard to avoid our difficult thoughts and feelings, we could hold them more lightly and not be so overwhelmed by them.

If we could be our own best friend then we would always have someone to do things with!

Doing my best to live life on Purpose! -Terri Mudge

Life Coaching Made Simple

WhLife coachingat do you want your life to be about?  What gets in your way?

Have you ever stopped to answer these questions? Or do you just keep going along, like most people – doing what comes next, the next obligation, the next task that is pressing in your household, or even the next fun event?

Of course, we can’t just stop fulfilling our responsibilities or doing the things that matter, or can we?

And yet what happens if we don’t stop? Well, ‘Life happens’ and our time gets filled up with things that don’t necessarily matter.

I have a few friends that have retired in the last few years, and it has been interesting to see what happens with the large amount of time that they thought they would have. It was filled up quickly… and not necessarily with things that they wanted to be doing.

But even in our mid-life or early, adult life, I just don’t think people put enough time into answering this question for themselves. It seems that we just go along with whatever life happens to offer us, kind of letting life make our decisions for us.

So, Life Coaching can be about taking some time for yourself to explore these questions. Basically, a life coach helps someone bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

So, here’s a sample of the kinds of things that we would do. First, we look at where you are today, by exploring what’s important to you in several life domains {work/fun/family/friendships/health/personal growth}, and then we ask if you are living up to your hopes for each of these areas. If you are not, then we look for the barriers that get in your way. We all have barriers that we will face, especially if we are moving out of our comfort zone into new, challenging situations.

Life Coaching Example:

Let me offer an example.  I have had a desire to be a public speaker for some time. Yet, I also have a rather significant fear of getting in front of people. You might say I have a love/hate relationship with public speaking. So, in order to move forward towards my goals, I have had to push through the barrier of these fears.

In my case, I used several strategies. For example, I joined a Toastmaster’s group so that I had to practice speaking (to a small group) on a regular basis. I put in some stretch goals, like scheduling a speaking engagement about 6 months away, so that I would have something to shoot for.

Then, I continued to work on my skills on a regular basis, and with the encouragement and feedback from the Toastmaster’s members, I was able to build my skills and confidence. I continued to have issues with anxiety. And I still get butterflies every time I speak, but I also have a clearer presentation style, because I have practiced many, many times. And it feels really good to have followed my dream.

Also, I always keep in mind why I am doing it. If I begin to lose motivation or think about quitting, then I just go back to my journal notes where I had written about my goals and values and why I was doing this in the first place.

Here’s another example:

For someone considering a job change, it is quite difficult to imagine the future and a lot of fear comes up. Again, first examine your values that are involved, and then see what small steps you will need to get you there, and when motivation falters, go back to your values and renew your resolve. It also helps to have an accountability partner, or a supportive cheerleader.

Another example might be exercise and/or diet goals. As you probably know, many people have goals in these areas, and many people fail in reaching these goals. Again, the system is the same, it’s important to know why you are doing this, so you make a statement about the values involved. The next step is to make a plan, and to have routines and supports to make this easier. The final step is to plan for relapses, with methods for getting back on track.

So, one of the things that I do as a Life Coach is to help people to see what it is that they actually want to ‘be about’ in the world. What I am talking about today is that we need to take the time to stop and assess what our goals are, asking what type of lifestyle do I want to have, and how is my current schedule/habits/choices matching up with that ideal life?

As a Life Coach, I use structured and creative methods to help people explore what they want to add to their life and what they want to discard. I help you to get motivated to do the things you want to do more of and to develop the skills to push through the challenges of behavior change. It’s not easy to change habits, but it can be well worth the effort, especially if we can begin to enjoy the life we want to have even sooner!

Doing my best to Live Life on Purpose.

 – Terri Mudge

 

Let’s Live a Life Worth Living

goodnewsbadnews-3Are you someone that is focused on clear goals and unaffected by outside influences or are you swayed by distractions, emotions, and other people?

I’m not saying I have it all figured out, or that I know what your life should look like. I’ve just learned the insight that comes from slowing things down for just a minute, and giving yourself the gift of examining your life and contemplating where you really want to go in life.

Many of us live our lives on auto-pilot and letting other people or circumstances decide where we go. Of course, we all have responsibilities and commitments that are influential in our daily choices. Things like, kids, spouse, job, church, and social demands. In order to become more conscious about how these influences are affecting our life choices, ask yourself this question:

“Is this a free choice, or am I being controlled by an outside influence?” If it is an outside influence, ask yourself: “Do I really want to allow this to make my decisions for me?”

Sometimes there are inside influences that push us around, too.  Things like, feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, boredom, or urges to fulfill some desire. Staying true to our values is difficult when stressors arise, like minor annoyances and irritations, whining kids, ringing phones, traffic, bad weather, being hurt or disappointed, or even rude people.

What can I do when I catch myself being pushed around by an emotion? I can stop, slow down, and notice what is there. Simply noticing what urge is happening, what desire or knee-jerk reaction is there. Then, I “consciously” choose my next step.

I like the ABC model of managing emotions or desires.

A –  Awareness – Slow down and be aware of what’s happening in this moment.   What are the external or internal happenings in my environment?   Thoughts, feelings, sensations?

B –  Breathe –  Take a few slow, deep breaths and focus attention on the breath movement.  Experience the breath like waves, flowing in and out.

C –  Choice –  Choose the next action with awareness.  Consider responding instead of reacting to your environment.

These concepts can help you to thoughtfully consider your next move with more consciousness and get off auto-pilot.

mindfulwaythroughdepressionRead more about the ABC process from the book: The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, 2007, by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Four experts demonstrate how to avoid the mental habits that lead to despair, so you can face life’s challenges with confidence. Or watch this video: The Mindful Way Through Depression: by Zindel Segal 

Let’s Make September Resolutions and Make Them Work!

shutterstock_162526487-wNew Year’s in September!

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions.  We all hope to make huge strides to change our lives for the better on January 1st.  Buoyed with excitement and optimism, you head into the new year with ambitious new goals – learn a language, lose 20 pounds, hike the Appalachian Trail – only to have those high hopes dashed by March.

Make that February.  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, data shows that the first week of February is when many people who started working out at the gym on January 1st drop out.

Dust ‘Em Off and Begin Again
Let’s take time to revisit those New Year’s resolutions this September. It is a time for new beginnings in a lot of ways. School starts, business groups start meeting again, football season is around the corner, and we are all focused on working a little more than we have over the lazy summer months.

Besides giving your resolutions a second chance, most people still need help in creating the stick-to-itiveness to make progress on our resolutions. Here are some suggestions:

#1  Keep Starting!
Leo Babauta, of Zen Habits, says we can “Keep Starting” to make the changes we want to see, and this is a great method for renewing our resolve.   We need to be prepared for the setbacks, and with understanding and self-compassion, try not to let our frustration keep us from acting in our best interest. Be patient and keep in mind that change also can happen gradually.  Each step you take gets you a little bit closer to your ideal.

#2  Re-write the resolution
Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal has written a book called, “The Willpower Instinct.”  One of her messages is that you’re not a terrible person because you’re having a hard time sticking to a resolution. Perhaps you’ve just formulated the wrong resolution.  In a TED blog she says that the kind of resolutions that work are when you slow down and ask yourself what you want for yourself and your life.  Who do you want to be? What do you want more of in your life?   How might you get there? What would that create as a consequence?  When you start from that point of view, then resolutions can be incredibly effective.

#3  Choose to be About Something
Being dedicated to a value or vision, or even just a valued way of living can offer the persistent, stick-to-it-iveness that we need to keep heading in the right direction.  If we are too focused on our goals, we can become ‘stuck.’ Instead, if we choose to “be about” something, then we can behave in this way and live by that value in whatever we do.  For example, if I hate my job, or I am being blocked in doing the best job that I can, due to certain circumstances, then by living by the value “I am a hard worker” it allows you to feel a sense of accomplishment.

Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” and there’s a good deal of truth to that statement.  Perseverance and commitment are often just day-to-day choices to do what we say we are going to do.  If we can make the choice to put good things into our life, then all we have to do is keep on doing those things, creating a vital life by filling our life with good habits.

The bottom line is that to be successful in your resolutions and any goal is a matter of showing up for your life, being present, and connecting to what’s important.  Finally, do what matters whether you feel like it or not.

Good luck with your September Resolutions and wish me luck with mine – because we are all in the same boat, paddling as hard as we can. Wishing you many days of doing what matters most to you!

Productivity Part 1: The Single Most Important Thing to do to be Massively Productive (aka Get More Sh*t Done)!

LYL-Lost-ComplainThe original article was published here on

~ Live Your Legend written by CHELSEA DINSMORE

What is the most common response people have when you ask why they don’t do what they want to do?

Wait for it… (no pun intended)

“I don’t have time.”

This is the single biggest excuse people use to not do things – whether that is to get fit and healthy, to improve themselves or their relationships or to discover the work that lights them up.

But the thing is, one of the only things we all do have in common is time! So how come some people can be massively productive (have a family, work full time or run one or more companies, travel the world, volunteer and give back, etc.) while there are other people in a very similar situation who apparently ‘don’t have time’ for anything?

I got thinking about this the other day over dinner with my family. I was explaining to my father-in-law some details about a financial seminar I attended. In the next breath, I mentioned something about LYL and followed that with the tasks on my personal agenda. He asked me:

“Are you the bionic woman?”  

After a good chuckle, I started thinking about the tips and tricks I use to manage what I have going on in my life. I definitely have less going on than some people and maybe more than others, but I do feel like I am able to accomplish a lot, while still maintaining balance – and most importantly, with very little associated stress.

As many of you know, Scott’s favorite nickname for me was his Chief Balance Officer (his second favorite nickname for me was Buddha in Barbie’s clothing) because I don’t spend a lot of my time stressed and anxious and he loved how I helped him stay sane and balanced.

I am by no means perfect and there are plenty of times where my plate feels full but overall, I think there are tips and tricks that can help us manage the many things we all have going on without the added stress. To give you an idea, here’s a short list of what I am currently involved in:

  • First and foremost, processing the loss of Scott, my dear husband and soul mate. This takes a tremendous amount of emotional energy and also requires time for self discovery and reflection and for working with the people I am leaning on to help me in this area. This is by far the biggest thing on my plate.
  • Administrative and legal tasks. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows that there are a lot of time consuming and ‘not-so-fun’ administrative things that need to be dealt with.
  • Running a business. Keeping LYL alive and thriving is no small task. It’s more than a full time job. However, I do have flexibility in where and when I do that work. For example, planes are some of my favorite times to do work, in fact I am writing this from a plane at the moment! I write. I create. I manage. I prepare for speaking and interview requests. I respond. I envision. I decide. I execute. I strive.  And, I learn…
  • Learning how to run a business. I was an employee of a company prior to this but I have never been in charge of a company so there are skills that I need to develop, practice and repeat. Which is a living example of why your WHY is so important. I may not know all the HOW’s ahead of me but my WHY is stronger than almost any other than I can think of!
  • I still work part time for my other job at The Dailey Method. Not because I need to, but because I love the community, the classes and working with my friend and mentor Jill Dailey.
  • Finding Balance. I tend to close my computer for work related purposes by 6:00pm. Occasionally I open it to pay bills, plan travel, etc. but mostly the computer goes down when the sun goes down.
  • In-person time with family and friends. When I am in SF, I make plans with friends and family about 5-7 times/week, whether that is lunch, dinner, a walk or a workout class.
  • Travel: The seminars listed below, time with family and friends, and personal exploration take me on the road quite often.
  • Keeping my mind and body healthy.
    • I work out 5-7 days a week.
    • I separately schedule stillness (in the form of meditation, watching the sunrise/sunset, or taking a walk) 5-7 days a week.
    • I get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights.
    • I am a part of a women’s mastermind.
    • I am part of a group where I can attend a number of different seminars this year on all different topics (business, finance, life, wealth, contribution, spirituality, etc.).
    • I listen to podcasts 3-5 times a week.
    • I am on average reading about 2 books/month.

So that’s sort of my life in a nutshell at the moment…

Note: I am not at all stating that any two situations are the same. There are some things you may be dealing with that I will never understand. I am aware and grateful that Scott and I built a business that allows me to work, to travel and to have flexibility with my schedule. I only list the above to give a tangible rather than hypothetical example of what is on my plate.

The Power of Productivity

So with all that being said, I want to share with you a deep dive into my own personal productivity strategies so that you too can get massive amounts of important stuff done.

But before we dive into all the tips and tricks, for this week I want to focus on sharing with you the single most important thing of all to be massively productive. Because if you don’t nail this one thing, the rest of the tips and tricks will simply make no difference.

So let’s dive in!

There is a ton of advice out there about how to be productive, but why is it important in the first place?

  1. YOU TAKE THE REINS OF YOUR LIFE

When you step in the driver’s seat of your own life instead of being subject to what is around you (one of those being ‘time’), you stop being a victim and start being a victor of your life. When you start to manage what is happening inside of you, instead of just reacting to what is around you, you take control of one of the few things we have in our power. This is what allows you to succeed no matter what happens around you – because no one can ever take you away from you. You start to discover what you are truly capable of, and that is empowering and inspiring all at once.

  1. FINDING EASE IN CHAOS

It is so easy to get overwhelmed when we have a lot going on. But stressing about what you having to do simply stops you from doing what you have to do. This doesn’t serve you or anyone else. So finding ways to focus and get sh*t done without all the baggage will make life easier for everyone, you and all those around you.

  1. THE MORE YOU DO, THE MORE YOU GIVE

The voice inside of you is meant to be heard. So the more you get out in the world instead of passively standing by and observing, the more your own unique voice will be heard. Whether that is in the form of what you create or who you help. The more time you spend genuinely doing things that make you you, the more you will give to yourself and to the world. Plus, it feels good to get sh*t done because as humans we all desire to grow and to give.

The #1 Thing you Need to Do to be More Productive

As I said above, we’ll get to the more practical tips over the coming weeks to help you get a lot of stuff done. But first let’s talk about the number one thing you need to do to manage all that you have going on with ease instead of angst.

And guess what? It has nothing to do with how you manage your schedule or what you prioritize.

Ready for it?!

Stop Complaining

Yep. The less you complain, the more sh*t you will get done. Without. A. Doubt!

Because the moment you stop complaining, you take responsibility. And the more you take responsibility, the more you own what you do. There’s a major difference in thinking that you have to be doing something rather than that you choose to be doing something.

And, on top of that, if you spend all of your time complaining about the sh*t you have to do, all you’re actually doing is prolonging the sh*t you have to do. Complaining literally just leads to more time for complaining!

In my opinion, you have three simple choices in any given situation:

  1. Complain 

Know anyone who has complained about something for the past 10, 20, 30 years?! Yep, that’s what we are talking about. The hardest work you will ever do is the work you do on yourself, which is why so many people stay in situations they don’t like. When you start to grow, you are forced to face your fears head on and get out of your comfort zone. Which can be scary! So staying in a situation and complaining about it is actually the easiest thing to do. And is often times a permanent and painful option.

  1. Change 

This would mean leaving a situation altogether or reworking where you currently are in that situation. I think we all know the person who jumps from one thing to the next, thinking is it going to make them happy but they never really end up satisfied with anything. That’s why it’s important to recognize that this can be permanent and joyful change if you are really aligned (which would actually be option 3) but most often is temporarily joyful if you are still relying on external factors (things and situations) to bring you happiness and fulfillment. Things will never permanently make you happy if you aren’t aligned with who you are.

  1. Align 

Aligning with a situation requires reworking your mind, your beliefs, your meanings, your associations about a particular thing to take ownership for what you are doing so that your actions are aligned with your why. Often times this involves getting outside of yourself and thinking bigger or broader about why you are doing what you are doing (i.e. who you are helping, the greater cause you are serving, etc.). This is often times a more permanent and joyful option but as you grow as a person you realign, then you grow, then you realign. I think you get my drift…

So, it’s pretty simple.

If you want to do more… stop complaining and start doing.

It’s not rocket science but it works because you start to take responsibility for the things you are choosing to do every day – because you are in fact making that choice.

Change Your Language, Change Your Life

We’d never leave you on that note without a take-away to help you put this idea into action, so here is a simple activity that will create that sense of ownership in the things you do.

It’s super easy, all you have to do is to change your language. Here’s a little step by step process:

  1. Notice how you say things. Do you find yourself saying “I have to go pick up the kids from school.” “I should go to this work function.” I have to go to the gym.”
  2. Replace “I have to” or “I should” with “I choose to.” Because really you don’t have to do anything! If you are doing it, you are choosing to, so own up to it. Make sure you make this correction not only as you speak aloud to others but also in your head. Your thoughts dictate your actions and your actions are what determine how much you actually get done!
  3. Notice the freedom you feel. And you may even start to release some heaviness (and realize that you are, as Tony Robbins says, ‘should-ing all over yourself’). So if you do happen to notice this, it might be time to take some of those things off your list… It will free you and those around you!
  4. Once “I choose to” feels like it has become your truth, take it a step further and replace “I choose to” with “I get to.” Because I can guarantee you someone would die to be in your shoes. You have to go pick up the kids from school? There’s someone out there who would do anything to have children of their own. You should go to a work function? There’s someone out there who thinks your job is their dream job and would love to be in your shoes. You have to go to the gym? There’s someone out there whose body does not allow them to go to the gym, so be grateful and honor the body you have. You “get to” do so many amazing things. Appreciate them!
  5. Once “I get to” feels like it has become your truth, take it a step further and replace “I get to” with “I want to.” Because when you can say this with genuine authenticity, you will want to!

It may sound like a subtle change, but will make a huge difference.

And because this post in it’s entirety turned out to be over 13 pages long, keep your eyes peeled for next week’s post where we’ll share 10 Practical Tips to Maximize Productivity!

For now, go do what you choose, get and want to do.

– Chelsea Dinsmore

P.S. Thanks to my dear friend Joel Gagnon for the inspiration for this post!

Source: DINSMORE, CHELSEA. “Productivity Part 1: The Single Most Important Thing to Do to Be Massively Productive (aka Get More Sh*t Done)! | Live Your Legend.” Live Your Legend. Http://liveyourlegend.net/, 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Unconventional Productivity

~ Zen Habits By Leo Babauta ~

I am always in search of strategies to help deal with procrastination, and this one looks good.
By Leo Babauta

There isn’t a productivity guide in the world that will solve the problems that pretty much all of us face daily.

I’m the same as you — I face these obstacles to getting stuff done:

  1. Doing busywork, instead of important work.
  2. Going to distractions instead of doing difficult work.
  3. Being tired and not feeling like tackling hard tasks.

These are all really the same problem: when you have important but difficult tasks to do, you run to distractions, or do busywork, or just goof off because you don’t have the energy.

I deal with this every day, and I don’t always solve it. But what if we could dive into this problem, and figure out what was going on? We’d be masters of the universe..

Pause Training

In truth, we face this problem of running from discomfort all the time, but we just don’t normally see it happening. This is why meditation is such a great training ground for the mind — you sit there and have nothing to do but notice the mind running from the discomfort of the present moment. Over and over. And in time, you learn how to work with this.

So I suggest you use your important tasks as meditation training, so that you’ll learn to work with the discomfort that arises.

Here’s how:

  1. Pick one important task you really should get done today.
  2. Clear space in front of you to do this task. Close the browser, or all browser tabs except the one you need to deal with this. Shut off the phone, clear everything else away, focus your mind on this one task.
  3. Sit there and do the task.
  4. Watch your mind want to run.

Now we’re going to do “pause training,” where instead of running from the discomfort, you pause. Breathe. Turn your attention to this discomfort — it might be fear, frustration, uncertainty, self-doubt, tiredness. Drop your story about this discomfort, and just notice how it feels physically, in your body. Where is this feeling of discomfort located? What quality does it have?

You’ll notice that the discomfort actually doesn’t feel that bad, even though you habitually want to run from it. It’s just energy. It’s not actually good or bad, but just energy that’s in your body, one that you normally don’t want to have and normally judge as “bad.”

Try this pause training for yourself. It won’t work to just read about it, you have to work with it. Get to know it, become intimate with it.

Unconventional Productivity

Once you’ve started to work with the discomfort, you’ll see that it’s No Big Deal. Nothing to worry about. It’s just a feeling, just energy. You’ll relax a little around it. Try to develop a friendly attitude toward it, instead of being harsh on yourself. Just notice, just smile, just breathe, just be gentle.

How do you turn this No Big Deal into productivity? Here’s a system to try:

  1. Set your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) every morning, first thing when you start work. List a few other “should do’s” after that, but focus on the MITs first.
  2. Pick one of the MITs, and clear space to do it. Before you check email.
  3. Do some pause training. Notice when you want to run from this task, pause, investigate the physical feeling of discomfort with gentleness, friendliness and curiosity.
  4. Set a heart intention. When you relax into the discomfort, and see it’s not a big deal, set an intention around the task — are you doing it to improve your life, to do something good for someone else, to help the world? Find the heart in your intention — it’s ultimately coming out of love. Say to yourself, “It is my intention to do this task out of love for __” (fill in the blank: yourself, someone else, the world, etc.).
  5. Work with love. Open your hear and do this task with the love that comes out of your intention. Notice when you’re feeling discomfort and want to switch to something else, relax, do pause training if you need to, and then start again.
  6. Take breaks. Every 10-15 minutes, get up and walk around. Stretch. Drink water. Check in with yourself and see how you’re doing. Then return to the task or pick another MIT.

You won’t be perfect at this, so don’t expect perfection. Just work with it, gently, and you’ll get better and better with practice.

Falling Up

bk2vKH4-cropOh No! I screwed up again!

I screwed up again, and now I have self doubt and worry settling in, then I found these words from an online blogger that helped me handle the difficult feelings.

From Scott Dinsmore:
“Every screw up gets you closer to your masterpiece. Make mistakes as often as you can. Start falling.”

“Make lots of mistakes, and you will get closer to your goal!”

I love this. And, I can relate to this, too. I have made plenty of mistakes, and expect I will continue to do so.

And, I might even try to make more mistakes now. Really, if it gets me closer to where I’m headed, why not?

Ok, well, here’s why not? Because it doesn’t feel good. It feels like crap to have regret, and you just want to crawl into a hole.  I certainly don’t want more of that. I have done my share of hiding out or avoiding, and when I do, my life gets smaller. I miss out on relationships, on opportunities, on more fully living life.

I don’t know if other people notice my hiding, I’m sure some have, but sometimes I think I am getting away with it. I am just a quiet person, so I think that I can just go on with my life, but just be there and not say anything and people won’t notice. Well, this hurts me in the long run. It prevents me from building relationships as I would like, it causes me to miss opportunities by being so wrapped up in what I need to say, or thoughts of what others are thinking, or what I need to do next. I miss the chance to share, to connect, to be IN my life instead of living like a by-stander.

But, what this idea liberates me to do, is to go ahead and get out there, and when I mess up, as is inevitable, then I can see this as the growth opportunity that it is! Screwing up may not be so bad after all.

Try this on for size! Instead of being sad about falling down, take a deep breath and realize you are really falling UP!

Doing my best to Live Life on Purpose!

Terri Mudge

Woulda-coulda-shouldaWoulda-Coulda-Shoulda is a poem by Shel Silverstein from his book, Falling Up, a poetry collection filled with illustrations, drawn by the author.

Barriers Get in the Way

Flooding Photo Mobile, AlaRoadblocks, road closures, sink holes, oh my!

Well, Mobile and the communities in this part of the world had some experience with torrential down-pours over the last few days.  And, today, as we go about our business, we are seeing roads closed due to sink holes appearing, and trees knocked down, and plenty of debris in the way.

So, of course, I look to see what I can learn from this and use as a metaphor for life.   It seems to fit right in with my battles to get a blog up and running.

Blogging is a new experience for me.   Actually, I have been practicing at it for over a year now, and this is actually a revise of my first blog.   I have had revisions of my website, and revisions of my blogs .. . And, still this blogging thing feels weird.  I am continuing to muddle through, dealing with the frustrations of navigating the blog site, deciding what to write, and pushing through the nervousness of choosing when and what to post.

There’s some creativity involved in the writing and finding pictures, and that’s the fun part.  Then there’s a lot of hassle, honestly.  For someone like me, who is not a computer geek,  I find that everything that I do takes 3 times longer than what someone else may be able to.

So, along with all of the frustrations, I am hoping that I can keep at it, and one day at a time, one blog at a time, and even one word at a time, I can make this happen.  This is about sticking with things, persevering, pushing through the frustration, the barriers, the roadblocks.

And, it makes me think of many other areas in our life.

We have a fine idea, a desire to do something new and different, to stretch, to grow and experience a new passion, or experiment with a newfound interest.   And then, it happens: barriers, roadblocks, frustration.  What happens next?   Well,  as some people say, “Life happens.”    We don’t have enough time.  It’s too expensive.  We may get started on a new interest and then we lose interest, or we just get side-tracked by other tasks that we also need to be doing:   It’s time to go to work, kids want lunch, laundry needs folding, bills need to be paid, and one task after another. 

Here’s a few of my tactics for getting through all of the roadblocks.

1.  Use a simple mantra, like “Just Do It” (borrowed from Nike).  Or (borrowed from AA (One Day At a Time, or even one hour or one minute at a time).

2.  Next, Ask yourself what is important to you about the task and then connect with the value.

3.  See if you can create some structure to make it happen.  We all need help in getting motivated sometimes.  So, what about getting an accountability partner, or someone to share in the endeavor.

So, I am planning to keep pushing through the roadblocks, working towards a goal that is important to me, and I will create a structure to make it happen.   Thanks for listening.

Doing my best to . . . Live Life on Purpose

Terri Mudge