You Have What it Takes

It’s like you are sitting there, getting bored, and decide to yourself,
“I think I will find something hard to do.”
~My Beloved

My husband is known for his over dramatic assessment of my personality on a regular basis. (In other words, he is spot on 99% of the time.) He typical takes an isolated incident and blows it into a full scale character trait of epic proportions. (Translation, he knows me better than I know myself and has the uncanny ability to assess my tendencies.) So, when he delivered the aforementioned declaration, I just pshawed the whole thought and went on about my day. (I mulled over it for days and days and now you will be subjected to some of the findings.)

The truth is, I have been known to get excited about various things. I have embraced a few interests and these I pursue with a passion. It can be viewed as zealous and over indulgent to some. Masochistic to others. However, for myself, it is my attempt to embrace the fullness of possibility, laugh in the face of fear, and prove to myself that I do, indeed, still have what it takes to overcome the big challenges.

How will one know what is possible to obtain if one does not continually stretch the bounds of accomplishment? Amazing records are broken every day – athletics, knowledge, accomplishment, business, endurance. All of these fields are inhabited by folks that get up earlier, stay up later, work harder, learn more, and refuse to be told that the best that has been done is the best anyone can do. And why not you or I? And why should any of us be content to be as good as we have always been because others find it unreasonable to think we can strive to be better than expected? Foolishness.

And there are few things I am more defiant of than fear. Fear, while a necessary emotion for a variety of reasons, cannot be allowed to sit in the driver seat of decision making. If being afraid or unafraid is the sole determiner for our yes or no, we are remiss if we do not quickly reevaluate our standings. This is so much the case when we tackle those challenges that appear hard. Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of harm, fear of the unknown – all of these forms of fear can be paralyzing if not routinely assessed, processed, and dismissed. This habit is not an easy one for most and must therefore be practiced regularly to maintain.

Today I encourage you, us, to know without a doubt that we do, in fact, still have what it takes. If you exercise it regularly or have been out of practice for a while, there is still no time like the present to work that fortitude muscle out. Pick something, anything, that requires discipline, is greater than something you have done before, scares you just a bit (or even a lot), and sends your heart fluttering into the “hey, wouldn’t that be cool” zone. A bunch of different things can happen, and I can promise that utter failure is probably not one of them. Even if it does, you won’t be the first or the last. On the more likely flip side, you will probably experience some level of success, embrace a new possibility, laugh in the face of fear, and know for a fact, you’ve still got it.

Thanks for the coffee…

**Photo credit

Attempting Impossible

Start by doing what’s necessary;
then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

~Saint Francis of Assisi

One of my favorite contemplations on All Saints Day is the remembrance that all the Saints honored were human. Most all were flawed, wronged, broken-hearted, misguided, misunderstood or generally, well, normal and just like me.

What they accomplished (and I so often forget) is remembering that it is in the journey, the putting of one foot in front of the other, that real accomplishment lives. It is in the belief that steadfast dedication to the progression of a mission is just as, if not more, important than ones ability. There is also a case there for the idea that a little prayer is always helpful, but that’s a different column.

Regardless of higher power belief system, the lesson of the Saints holds true. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things. And while skill, intelligence, natural-born talent may assist or propel, one must find the determination to do and the perseverance to continue.

We are not discussing those moments where the journey is easy, although those times are much enjoyable. We are discussing those times when it is easier to stay in bed, pull the covers over our heads to block out the needs of those around us, and throw up our hands in defeat at the bigness of it all.

Today I encourage you forget the fear encompassed in the idea of failure. Instead consider the harm if nothing is done at all. Consider those in need, the project that brings good, the idea that helps. Then consider the old idea, “If not you, who? And if not now, when?” Then pick one thing. Just one. Commit to that, the necessary, the needed, the must be done. Then just keep going. Most folks I know are so much more talented than they believe and so much more capable than they dare to admit. Yeah, I am talking about you. Let me be the one to remind you (and me) – Most things we think are impossible have already been accomplished by someone, somewhere, so it isn’t. And those things that haven’t are just waiting on someone like you to be first.

Thanks for the coffee.

What Would Jimmy Buffett Do?

It takes no more time
to see the good side of life
than to see the bad.
~Jimmy Buffett
Tales from Margaritaville

I am a glass half full kinda girl. In fact, I am a “Woohoo! I gotta a glass with stuff in it and room for more stuff this is awesome!” kinda girl. Optimism, in my view, is an understatement for the possibilities in which to view life.

I am also, interestingly enough, prone to paralyzing fear and doubt. There are moments of “holy crap there is no way any thing I do will make sense, turn out, or save me from ruining the entire world as we know it.” Dramatic? Maybe. But completely accurate in describing the ninja in my head that tries to steal my half full glass.

When these two forces collide in my brain space, there is really only one thing to do – mix a margarita and consider the age old question, “What would Jimmy Buffett do?”

Okay, so I jest (a little). But the truth is perception, while not everything, is a monumental part of that thing. In each situation, there are always multiple views, angles and possibilities. We can choose to focus on the dire and the paralyzing. Or, we can choose to focus on the possible and the enriching. Now understand, while I am an optimist, I understand reality. I am not saying ignore the negative. I am saying that unproductive side shows are best kept in their proper perspective.

Today I encourage you exercise your influence over your perspective. Ask the questions, “Where is the good?” Understand that while it seems easier to see the bad, it actually takes more energy. Negativity is the biggest momentum killer I know. So, while it may take a bit more initial effort to find the positive opportunity, it will pay off in increased energy, creativity, and production. Plus, rumor has it that decreased stress will make you skinny. Who knows? I am just saying. At any rate, happy sure feels better than ticked off.

Thanks for the coffee (or the margarita),

Photo credit to snicky7884

Invincible Summer Within

In the depth of winter,
I finally learned that
within me there lay
an invincible summer.

~Albert Camus

I almost hesitate to mention again what you already know. Times, they are a’changing – and these are some bumpy roads. You know it, I know it. It goes on all around us and regardless of what the ominous “they” try to tell us, we don’t know what is really going to happen next.

I hesitate because honestly, who needs world wide circumstances to make for a difficult situation? Even in the best of times, we each experience challenges and heart break. There is little to be gained by blaming a circumstance or cycle. It takes nothing more than being human to guarantee the occurrence of strife and difficulty. We are not challenged because we live in these times. We are challenged because we live at all.

And we love to look at these challenges and tout, “Now we will see what we are made of!” And that is wonderful. A formed blade spends a great bit of time in the fire. And we take these obstacles and declare triumph at their conquering. The flag in the mountain peak. Thumb our nose at the valley. And our pride swells because we have been tested and found capable.

But in the throes of fear and anxiety, we forget the adrenaline of the start and the satisfaction of the finish. When the battle has waged longer than planned and the difficulties more than anticipated, the excitement of the sport wanes and our fragility becomes more apparent. It is in that exposure of our frailty that we experience doubt of success.

Today I encourage you know that regardless of the sensitivity of the fragility, the warrior within you is still invincible. Invincible. It cannot be broken – only sacrificed or abandoned. We have within each of us the perseverance to maintain, thrive even, in the most destitute of circumstances. Easy? Probably not. But possible. The way is often shrouded in overgrown brush and is hard to find and navigate. But it is there. The summer, the fire, that passion, is indeed invincible. Get your dancing shoes ready. We are going to need them.

Thanks for the coffee,

Photo Credit to Dar’ya Sipyeykina

Warrior, Hero, Challenge Crusher

In fact, I am nothing more
than a loud mouth
with a fighting spirit and
a desire to drive attention to a cause
that has tried to strike me down.

~ @TheRealClint

It is always interesting to watch how a person responds to being called a hero. Those who expect it typically don’t deserve it. Those who are humbled and appreciative typically do.

Observing how some respond to challenges often creates an array of emotion. Watching my friend Clint battle cancer, wrestle with the labels, attention, and new role have brought to mind battles within my own family, challenges of different kinds and responses that occur when we suddenly feel the wall at our back.

It is during these moments when it is the most possible to determine exactly what it is we are made of. In these times, impossible becomes possible. Weakness becomes strength. Fear becomes secondary. Love becomes everything.

It is in this discovery that challenges become important. Of course given the choice, there are some challenges that I would let you keep and I will deal with some things going unlearned. However, we don’t get that choice. Life is what life does.

And when life does, the only thing left to do is for us to respond accordingly. If that means getting real vocal, mustering up that fighting spirit and latching on to a desire, then I say that challenge just became defeatable.
Today I encourage you to spend some time with your inner warrior. Too often we allow our responses to be reactionary and led by choices not of our own making. Instead, acknowledge that you are a powerful being in your own right. While a great many of our circumstances are not within our control, our voice and our fighting spirit are. While we may long for a different path, the truth is we have to walk the path we are on. When there is no option but to display a hero’s will and a fighter’s strength, it is good to know our inner warrior is more than capable of taking on the battle.

Thanks for the coffee,

**Photo Credit to S├ębastien Bertrand

Wisdom Trumps Fear

Those who have no compassion have no wisdom.
Knowledge, yes; cleverness, maybe; wisdom, no.
A clever mind is not a heart.
Knowledge doesn’t really care.
Wisdom does.

~The Tao of Pooh

The rapture, as far as I can tell, did not happen. For those who haven’t heard, it was supposed to happen on Saturday with the end of the world following in October. There is now a large group of people who have quit their jobs, not paid their mortgages, spent their life savings – all in preparation.

In other news, the Westboro Baptist Church protesters are in my neck of the woods. Lucky us. Looks like Savannah’s tourism draw worked too well this time.

In truth, there has (with easy pickings) been a great deal of fun and resentment poked at both of these groups – myself included. I don’t like it when I get like that. When I am honest with myself, there is always fear hiding out in negativity.

Mostly, I am fearful that people who have found their spiritual center, are looking for their way or are just coexisting with folks who believe differently will use the hate spewed by the latter or the failure of the former to stitch together a blanket that covers up everything. I often have to remind myself that wayward or deplorable actions that come from a sect of people under a banner of goodness, are typically a perversion of the banner created by the few – not a true representation of the banner.

I am fearful that these activities just become “one more thing.” A 24 hour news cycle is a hard thing to shield ourselves against. “If it bleeds, it leads” was tough enough when news was confined to its time slot. Now that it is in your face, discussed, dissected, commentated, speculated, hashed and rehashed – it is easy to let the negativity get in and hurt. It becomes easier to say, “It figures. Stupid people, stupid system, stupid ideas. The whole outfit is going to the dogs!” It takes effort to reason through it, one more time. It takes strength to endure and believe, one more time. It takes mental clarity to recognize that this “one more thing” will fail to create jadedness, one more time.

Today, I encourage you to love the deep thought. Refuse to take things on the surface and delve into the deeper recesses of what actually lies there. There is a lot to be said for gut reactions – I believe in them completely. The trick is the correct interpretation of that reaction. Negativity is always rooted in something else. Follow it far enough down, there will be fear. It is my belief that wisdom trumps fear. Fear just has the advantage of being scary. My inner Warrior ain’t scared. It is wise enough to move through this one more thing.

Featured Photo from contemplativechristian

Wishbone or Backbone

Stop wearing your wishbone
where your backbone ought to be.

~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Over a fantastic Mexican lunch, a girlfriend was telling me of folks she knew. They were “granola crunchers” – feel good spiritualists who relied heavily on good energy and positive thinking. They were mediators and crossed legged hummers.

“You probably wouldn’t like them,” she says between burrito bites.

After the initial surprise of her comment, I suppose I can concede how one might assume that. I tend to toe a hard line when it comes to personal responsibility and action. I also tend to harbor quite a bit of disdain for lack of either – mostly in myself, often with others.

However, there is also a strong case to be made for my equal appreciation of positive thought and intentional attitude. Few things start a day off better than a strong cup of coffee and positive mental focus. I also do, in fact, have an affinity for granola and those who crunch it.

However, hanging out all day with the coffee, in your pjs, without forward motion makes all that positive energy worth little more than the used up grounds in the pot. It would be more accurate to say that while I do not prefer one without the other (positive thought and forward action), if had to start with one, I would certainly choose the latter. But that’s just me.

Regardless of which comes first, the truth of the matter is that only your gumption to put in motion that which you think to be beneficial to the surroundings will bring about effectual change. With the exception of the small population that can move things with nothing more than their thoughts, the rest of us are bound to produce through sleeve rolling.

Today, I encourage you to crunch granola while hiking up the challenge mountain. Remember that while it has been correctly stated that hope is not an action plan, it can provide the motivation and inner fortitude to move towards that thing hoped fer. But, we must stiffen that backbone and get to moving. No matter what. It is not the difficulty of the road we are walking that breaks our stride. It is the willingness to allow our stride to be broken that creates disaster.

Thanks for the coffee,

Feature Photo credit – Asif Akbar

Classy Win

Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.

– Paul “Bear” Bryant, Alabama Head Coach (1913-1983)

When I first saw today’s quote, my first focus was on the list of characteristics. My checklist brain behaved like it usually does and placed little tick boxes by each of the traits and thought of a few conflicting traits to make sure those things were not on the list.

However, after thinking about it for awhile, I realized that I was, as usual, focusing on the wrong thing. My Type A personality places importance on pushing through the list to completion. More important than a check in the box is a realization that there is a life to live right up until the last breath.

Stated another way, during life’s journey, we will not be able to place a check mark in the box that says “Show Class.” We will never be finished with that task as it is an attitude that must be reattempted during every situation. I can, however, appreciate my successes on my good days and be gentle to myself on the bad ones.

Today I encourage you to take inventory of your personal checklist. Have you set yourself up for failure? In the world of long to do lists, methods of success and tick boxes, are we stretching for finish lines in areas that were never meant to be objects of completion? Notice we haven’t talked at all about outcome. Interesting don’t you think?

And as always, thanks for joining me for that cup of coffee…

Image credit

Defining Diligence

A fantastic friend bought me a copy of The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: King Solomon Secrets to Success, Wealth and Happiness by Steven K. Scott. Scott, evidently, had a knack for failure – or, at the very least, set backs. He was advised by a friend to read a chapter of Proverbs every day and when he got to the end, do it again. The idea was learning from Solomon would be a sure fire way to get – and keep – one’s life on track.

The first area covered by Scott is diligence – what it is, why it is important and how to know if you have got it. You know me, I had to look the word up.

diligence – persevering application, assiduity

Assiduity? What an interesting word, I thought. What does that mean?

Assiduity – the quality or state of being assiduous (marked by careful unremitting attention or persistent application)

After I read the definition of the words, I felt I had a pretty good jump-start on this diligence thing. Then I got to his checklist at the end of the chapter. Some of the items were

  • Have a clear and precise vision for what you want to achieve
  • Creatively persist through disappointments and failures
  • Work expeditiously (with target dates)
  • Work effectively (achieving effective results)
  • Attain true excellence

Ummm, alrighty, maybe not a bad idea to keep reading and learning. A bit further off than I originally thought. But that’s okay, it’s all a journey of one step at a time.

Bought a Big Bat

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

– Dr. Seuss, Writer, 1904-1991

You just have to love Dr. Seuss!! There is no better way to start off a New Year than with an “ain’t nothing gonna break my stride” attitude.

Welcome back to Turn Around Tuesday. I want to take a quick minute to thank everybody who has been supportive through an interesting 2009. I’ll be taking you to lunch in 2010.

2009 was interesting for a good many people. I myself watched one business die, another one blossom and opportunities unfold. Lighthouse Leasing & Management has grown to over 200 properties in 4 counties. We are busy but we enjoy serving our owners by taking great care of their tenants. I received my long worked for brokers license in October. That allowed me to add a Keller Williams affiliation to my real estate tool bag. Possibility is bubbling like champagne for 2010!

However, some things got off track in an effort to create a laser focus and trim the fat, so to speak. Some things needed to derail and I will leave those in the train graveyard. Others are patiently awaiting my attention. TAT is one of those things. The conversations started over at MLWFY and Beautiful Chaos are others. Connection with people outside of my client/tenant list is a huge priority. I am appreciative for the patience and the boot in the butt I got from the folks who know how.

Today I encourage you to pick up your bat and swing away into 2010. I have a list of things I want to remember because I learned, leave in the past because they are useless or worse, distracting and stars I am shooting for in 2010. Most importantly, I have decided to get out of my head, over myself and on the ball. Granted, this is a work in progress and some days will be better than others. Yours will be too. Know what that makes us? Just like everybody else! Sing it with me – “Ain’t nothin’ gonna to
break my stride. Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh-no, I got to keep on movin’…”

What’s Going On

Still For You
This section serves the same purpose as the sidebar did previously. Events, activities, promotions – whatever – submit them to me and I will do my best to get them listed here.relevant content, and they get exposure.

Anticipation Celebration & Burning Bowl Ceremony
Vicki Manibusan of Capstone Financial Partners in Savannah will be leading this event at Asbury Memorial United Memorial Church on Saturday, January 2, 2010, 2:00 pm.

Vicki describes the event as “a guided exercise to help you think about what you want to accomplish in the coming year.” Bring pen, paper, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Vicki can be reached at (912) 222-9410 for info and RSVP.

Leadership Bryan County
The next Leadership Bryan County class is slated to begin January 15, 2010. As a graduate, I can tell you this is a great opportunity. Call the Chamber at 912.756.3444 to register.

*Photo from mattc3004