Monday, March 19, 2012

You Woke Up!

A few years ago I met a dynamic young lady who was hit by a mack truck while riding her bike. She was in a coma for a while, but she survived and if you met her today, you’d never know that she’d been in such a tragic accident. The doctors were surprised that she lived.

She shared that after that experience and the extended coma that she was so grateful to be alive. She said that she wakes up elated every morning and excitedly proclaims, “I woke up!” Something as simple as waking up is major for her because she could have died, and for many days while she was in the coma, she could not wake up.

Waking up is something that we take for granted. We wake up, and instantly begin to worry about everything that needs to be done or everything that is wrong in our lives, but how often do we get up and celebrate the fact that we woke up?

Being grateful for the simple things has a positive effect on our lives. Trust me, I’ve been practicing this since the beginning of the year. I make sure to pay attention to my blessings, no matter how big or small, by keeping a gratitude journal. I write down every single thing that people give me or every kind act that they do for me as well as positive things that happen in my life every day.

This week I encourage you to celebrate something as simple as waking up. You have been given the gift of being here for another day.  What will you do with this day? Will you dwell on the woes and the worries of yesterday or tomorrow? OR will you bask in the glow of this beautiful moment, this fresh new chance that you’ve been given to get it right this time?

Take a deep restorative breath and whisper if you are in the office, or shout if you are alone...”I woke up!!!!”

Monday, March 5, 2012

Down Times Are For Good Times

Down times are the best times to prepare for the good times.  There was a time, right after I graduated from my Master’s program at the University of Michigan when I couldn’t seem to find a “real job” to save my life.  For months I searched and sent out my resume only to find that I was either extremely over qualified, or I didn’t have enough years of experience in the field for the types of jobs that I was applying for. I had a few legal side hustles, but I was technically unemployed and forced to sit down for five months for the first time in several years.

I had always been a full time student with a minimum of two jobs and several extra-curricular activities.  I was always on the go. This challenging situation left me with very little income and a lot of extra time on my hands. This was the time when I sat down and wrote my first book.  Now six books later I realize that my moment of hardship was a blessing in disguise, because had I gotten a job right away, I never would have stayed still long enough to accomplish that goal which catapulted my writing career.

Whether your money is low, your heath is poor or whatever the challenging situation is that you currently find yourself in, don’t think of it as a time out, think of it as a time of preparation and incubation. If a lack of money has stopped you from being able to go out as much as you used to, take that time at home to read and research a topic or project that’s been on your mind to explore as a business venture. If you are unemployed, use that time to get your health in check by exercising and paying more attention to what you eat. A break-up from any type of relationship can be used as a time for self-development and reinvention.  

I remember reading a story where an accident left a man paralyzed. He too was a person that was always on the go, so being paralyzed was the only thing that made him sit still long enough to write a script that turned him into a millionaire.

A down time, for whatever reason, is not a bad thing. It is a time for you to map out a master plan for your future success.  If something has slowed you down, I’ll give you five more minutes to wallow in self-pity then I want you to stop that…forever…and use that energy to build, to grow, to create your good times to come.