Monday, May 31, 2010

Red, White, and Blue

Growing up with a Marine Corp Dad you become very patriotic at a young age. This has stuck with me throughout the years. Yesterday when I was driving back home from Northern Minnesota it was so nice to see all the flags and flowers decorating the cemeteries - small or big. White crosses, American Flags, flowers and ribbons.

One of my concerns is that patrizism doesn't seem to be passed down to our kids. The cemetaries weren't full of 20 years olds putting flags and flowers on the grave sites but men and women in walkers - barely able to get out of a car, but still paying their respects.

There were a number of pictures that was being passed around in an email last week and in the collage of pictures was one of a man in a wheelchair standing as the Flags came down a street in a parade. It was sad. Not because the man in the wheelchair was standing up, but because everyone else - all much younger then him, were still sitting down in their chairs or on the curb. The price of freedom and the respect of the American Flag was not an understanding of theirs.

Maybe to many people don't know someone who has given up their lives for us, who have fought in a war to protect us, or who have served a nation. Maybe they don't understand the true meaning of "giving up your life for others".

I am not sure what it will take to get that idea and feeling passed down to future generations, but I think we have to--no, we need too.

As a life time member of the Ladies VFW Auxilary I have to own this as part of my future desire. As a daughter of a Marine Corp Vet that sacrafied so much, I must own this, as a citizen of the USA I must own this. I don't know how anyone can not be moved by seeing thousands of white crosses in a row, or an old man in a wheelchair standing to pay respect for a flag, or by seeing an American Flag draped over a coffin of a fallen soldier.

It doesn't matter if you support the war, what matters is you support the troops.
So as you drive around today going to your favorite fishing spot or bar, or head to friends for the BBQ stop and remember and talk to your kids about what today means.

Red - The blood that was and is shed every day so that we can live in a free nation.
White - The crosses that mark the graves of those who have given their lives for our rights.
Blue - The hope for a new day where war is not the answer and we no longer have to bury a child for our freedom.

Happy Memorial Day Everyone.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Unofficial Kickoff of Summer

Memorial Day weekend - The Unofficial Kickoff weekend into summer!

Usually by Memorial Day Minnesotans can say goodbye to snow and cold and hello to warm and sunshine - it is the kickoff to summer. The parties start, grills are going, people gather, fishing is usually very good, trees and flowers are in full bloom and you can officially plant your garden without a real threat of frost.

Ah, summer.

This year was a little different as it seems like summer had already been here for about a month. The weather has been amazing, the fishing pretty darn good, and the grills have been firing up for some time.

So how do we take the energy of the unofficial start and relay it to our lives? Feel the energy! As part of the Four Seasons Coaching approach, summer is the time to renew and grow. It is the time we can personally get the grills going, gather with friends, share our stories, and grow into flowers.

Each of us have the capacity, each of us have the ability, so what we need to find is the energy. We all need our unofficial kickoff to summer.

What has been happening the past few months for you? Have you found a new passion? Maybe met someone pretty special? Reconnected with an old friend? Or maybe you are finding that you have an obligation that needs to be taken care of. What is your energy and where does it come from?

As we enter the season of summer find that energy, tap into it and see where it takes you. Like Memorial Day weekend you may be pleasantly surprised at the ability to move yourself!

Dedication your day to finding your personal unofficial kickoff of your summer!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jig of Joy Day

It's Friday, we all made it! I like to think of it as the "Jig of Joy Day".

Jig of Joy - dance, sing, and be excited for the day. Actually, nearly any day can be a jig of joy day, but mine fall a lot on Fridays.

This saying comes from an old friend of mine, Jeff, who could always see things from a positive light. When things weren't quite right, Jeff was there to remind me that it was a Jig of Joy day. When I had a hard night or a long morning, he reminded me that it was a Jig of Joy day. And we would dance...yes dance. Right there in the hallways of the job we would jig.

For those of you who know me my dancing skills go beyond belief! For those that don't know me, belief here is not a great thing. But I dance, I do the jig of joy dance. It builds energy, lightens the soul, and reminds us that days are to be celebrated, enjoyed, and remembered.

I have many reasons why today is a jig of joy day - the weather is perfect, I have worked very hard this week and got a lot done, I connected with an old friend, I found my purpose in life, I planted a flower garden, I gave love and was loved, and I made every day a jig of joy day and the energy I feel is immense.

Jig of Joy folks! Dance like no one is watching! Jig in the halls, on the bus, in your head, in the driveway, in the shower, with the cats, with the kids, with a stranger. As you do the energy of a thousand people will consume you!

Here's to your personal jig of joy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Be remembered by what you DON'T Do!

There probably isn't a time in each of our lives that we don't raise the question to ourselves "How do I want to be remembered"? Pretty basic question and as we get older the answer probably changes.

There are a lot of things I have done in my life, many people I have met or helped or who have helped me along the way, and a lot of big achievements or goals I have reached. The problem is that when people remember me, they probably won't say "do you remember when Janice got her PhD" or "do you remember when Janice blew out the snow in the driveway". Maybe they will but what I have done does not always determine who I am.

A friend sent me an email this morning about how your reactions will determine who you are. It's true and I believe it. The email was a quick slide show from Steven Covey, world known author and motivational speaker. In the slide show Mr. Covey states that only 10% of life is out of our control, and 90% is ours to control. It's true!

Our reactions to the 10% is our 90% control! I believe that 90% is what we will be remembered by. How we react to a statement, an event, a problem, a compliment, a challenge, or an opportunity. Our reaction creates us.

I like to think that I will be remembered by the collection of things I don't do. I don't get upset when a child makes a mistake as I know that mistakes are part of growing. I don't hit the dog when she throws up on the cleaned floor as I know this means I need to take better care of what she is eating. I don't yell or scream when someone cuts me off in traffic, rather remind myself that I am safe and will continue to be a good driver. I don't let my emotions go beyond the situation, rather make the emotion match the situation.

I want to be remembered for having a gentle and forgiving heart that was able to calm any situation by my reactions. I can control 90% of what happens to me and that around me. The 10% - doors don't close, kids fall down, dog eats grass, coffee spills, and sprinklers don't go off - Happens! It is how you choice to reacted that you will be remembered by!

Be Remembered by what you DON'T Do today!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Play Nice in the Sandbox!

I use to hear that all the time growing up. I wasn't much into sandboxes and if someone tried to take a toy from my brother, I was there to save the day, recover the toy and make sure whom ever took it in the first place was made very aware it was not going to happen again.

As I grew up my brother needed less protecting, but I still hear my Mom yelling at times "Play nice in the sandbox"! I usually heed the words, but today I didn't feel like playing nice in the sandbox, in fact I found myself going back to the old days and wanting to "make someone very aware" that I wasn't going to put up with the taking of the toys!

It was a feeling I don't get very often, but one that makes me very aware of my hidden temper as well as my ability to manage myself through it. It is hard though. Really it is. When I see things happening to others that just aren't right I want to 'take back the toys' and make them very aware that it will NEVER happen again.

The good news is that I didn't take any toys or make anyone aware of anything as I stopped and thought of a better way of handling worked. It didn't seem as fun as throwing sand but you know what you happens when you throw sand...most of it flies back into your face.

There are times when others will remember us not by what we do, but by what we don't do. To throw or not throw...Play nice in the sandbox.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finding a Passion you didn't even know existed!

For the most part, many of us go through life happy and satisfied. I mean in general. There are more good days then bad so we consider ourselves happy and satisfied. We all have our bad days, growing up moments, emotions and moods but if we were just to live we would do okay.

For me "okay" just isn't enough. I want passion and purpose in living. It is what I strive for and while trying to not be so driven in everything I do, I have a passion and purpose in living.

The story today is about someone who was doing very well with "Okay" and rarely complained about a job, person, or situation. She was doing "Okay".

Three or four years ago she decided "Okay" wasn't good enough anymore. After some soul searching and want exploration she decided to leave corporate America and start her own Pet Sitting business. Very risky with the economy and other factors, but it was her passion.

From the time she started this business her attitude changed - a lot about her changed. She has gone from someone who wanted to just disappear into the crowd to someone who owns a Harley and isn't afraid to share the noise.

It didn't start with a Harley it started with a Scooter for her business. That turned into needing to get Motorcycle Endorsements, which led to getting a small 250 Yamaha to practice on, to last month finding a Motorcycle to fit her and buy. It ended up being a Harley 883 Sportster - Red with chrome and leather!

No one, including her, would have ever expected this shy introvert lady would find her passion in a Harley, but she has. It is like a new person full of living has come to life. She has confidence and can lead and organize rides like the best of them.

This past weekend she went with a group of ladies from the Women's Shift Kickers Group in Minneapolis to Milwaukee for the Annual "Celebrating Women Riders" event hosted by Harley Davidson. Over 1000 ladies roared their engines into Milwaukee for the 2 day event and she was one of them.

When she got home on Sunday night she came through the door with her leather boots, white T-shirt, blue jeans, leather vest, and a smile on. I could tell immediately she was not only hooked, but she found a passion.

The morale of the story is try new things. Experience new places. Meet new people. Passion isn't always visual, sometimes you have to go outside your box to find it.

So her purpose and passions now are: Taking care of animals of all kinds and organizing/riding trips on the Harley. She found her purpose and passion by not being just "okay" with life! She is living life!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Who's your "Tom Tom"?

Mindset location...I think you all get what I mean now, but what happens if you stray off course a bit into the Falsehood? Who's your "Tom Tom"? Who gets you back on track? Who is there to help you find that good mindset location?

Everyone needs someone; partner, mother, friend, spouse..we all need one or two personal compasses in our lives. Someone not to judge our current direction or location, but someone who will help us program those GPS's in our bodies. Someone who can direct us into a better location if we stray away for awhile.

I have a number of GPS people and each keep me honest in my words. I have people who will question and support me when I start getting into a negative location. Who's your "Tom Tom"?

In order for my Tom Tom's to be effective though, I need to program them. Yes, program them! If you share your plan and direction with your personal GPS people they will know where you are going, why you are going, and when you plan on getting there. Just like a good old GPS should do.

The problem is most of us never share our where, why, or when plan with those we look to so frustration sets in when the path isn't the one we wanted. If you don't them tell how will they ever know?

So, today May 23rd vow to set up your personal GPS people! Share with them where you are going, why you are going there and when you plan on getting there. Help them help you! I guarentee you will be better off and less likely to even travel to Falsehood with them!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mindset Location

Yesterday I talked about how location is go important when we are looking for a home. Today I want to take that analogy and show you how Mindset Location is just as important.

The phrase "Living in Falsehood", is a good one to use on yourself when you are looking at who you are, what you want, and what your life goals and dreams are. Your mindset location will either get you there or not.

So what is in that neighborhood of Falsehood?

There are two things we all can be assured to do when a situation happens or when we want something or when you are faced with a reality. First our emotions kick in. Good, bad, or ugly - they are emotions and must be listened too. The second thing that happens is the emotions of the heart lead to thoughts of the head. This is usually where Falsehood begins.

The best way to describe this is to give you a real life example of what I mean.

I have a friend who's father recently had a stroke, actually a number of small strokes that landed him in a hospital unable to walk and having trouble using his right side. Scary stuff!

So what emotions do you think Frank went through and is going through? Scared? Anger? Frustration? Fear? All very real feelings that match the situation. These emotions must be embraced in order for Frank to move on. YES, embraced. It's okay to have them, all of them and over time we can hope these emotions can true to excitement, peace, and calm, but for now these are the emotions and they are very real.

Franks Mindset Lcation of Falsehood come from these emotions. If you have ever known someone who has had a serious health issue you can hear them say:

I will never walk again, Why did God do this to me, I should just die, I shouldn't have lifted that heavy box, I can't recover, I am such a failure, I have no quality of life left..the statements go on and on. But are these statements true? Maybe, but maybe not.

Frank may never walk as well as he did before, but maybe he will. Did God really do it to him or is this just a part of living that He wants us to show our strength in? Frank could just 'die', but from what the doctors say that isn't going to happen for a long time. The box was heavy and he had lifted boxes for the past 40 years. Frank can recover and with Physical Therapy and retraining the brain should be able to be nearly as good as he was before. Is Frank really a failure or has life treated him a blow that is going to take some time and energy to get through? Is the quality of life purely based on being able to run a marathon again like Frank use too?

What does it do to you when you read the "I will Never..." statements..pretty hard to get any energy up to work through this. Now Frank has never been a really positive person, so it is even more challenging for him to change his mindset location, but I know he can. The negative mindset of Falsehood is a complete energy drainer. I like to think of it as the toilet bowl effect. It just circles around deeper and deeper, round and round until is just drains the toilet..right!

Okay Frank what if you looked at the statements and brought them into a positive energy "Truehood". What would that feel and look like?

Within the past few months I have heard him say things like: It's going to take some time but I am confident I will be able to walk again! I have met some amazing people at the hospital and think that when I recover I am going to volunteer more and help others through this type of event! I am able to do a lot still and I will continue to work to get myself back on track! Whoa! What kind of energy do those statements produce? It's like watching a good "pick me up" Musical! It's full of truth and energy.

I have no doubt Frank will completely move out of his past Falsehood location and once again be a shining light for himself, his family, and his community. I can say this as the positive attitude is there - he is living in truth. That doesn't mean it he has an easy road ahead, but he does know where that road will take him.

Location, Location, Location!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Location, Location, Location!

If you have ever bought a home or looked for an apartment you will hear the line "Location, location, location". It is one of the criteria you use when you select your dream home. A beautiful home in a shipyard probably isn't a great location, nor is an apartment across town that will double your commute and cost you double just to get to work. There are decisions that are made on the location.

When you look for a place to live long term location is a must. But what is it about that location that makes or breaks a deal? Safety, shorter commute, close to recreational areas, on a lake, no association fees, good neighbors, lack of development or something else that is important to you? We probably each can sit down right now and write down the perfect location for our home.

I bring this up today as there are other decisions each of us make every day where we should also be aware of location, location, location. I heard the phrase "Living in the Falsehood" yesterday and I thought it was such a good reminder that living in the location we want is more than an address. So what is Living in the Falsehood?

Falsehood is that location in of our personal mindset. It cannot be avoided as we all have self doubts and make illogical and unnecessary statements about our abilities, our fears, and our selves. What can be avoided is buying the mindset property here!

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

My brother just got back from an amazing journey to watch the space shuttle take off and on his way back to Seattle from Florida he had to switch planes in Denver. Usually not a big deal in the summer, but this week it was a little different. There was a huge and dangerous thunderstorm brewing in Colorado and the plane he was on had to land first in Colorado Springs before flying very low into Denver.

Once in Denver the airport was shut down due to the weather and he had a choice; wait in the airport and hope the weather cleared up or head to a hotel for a night. You may find this funny but my brother decided to stay at the airport and deal with whatever came to be - just live in the moment. After a few hours the last flight back to Seattle had cancelled and he was faced again with a choice; go to a hotel for 6 hours or spend the night in the airport.

His choice was to spend the night in the airport. Not because he had to, but because he had never done it before and his mindset said "what the heck - I am going to make the best of situation". He found a cozy corner next to a French Cafe and snuggled in for the night; even got a few hours of sleep. He woke up to the smell of fresh baked French goodies and rich coffee. Location, location, location.

Once up he headed to the ticket agent area to see what was available for him to get back home to Seattle. As he was in line waiting he overheard a lady (as our Mother would call her an RB - Rich Bitch) who was living in Falsehood. She was talking very loudly to a grackle of other RB's and here were her Falsehood statements.

1. I told the airline that this is just not appropriate and if they didn't get me on the next flight home I would call the Seattle TV station and tell them what was happening.
2. Now I know what it is like to be homeless and have no place to stay!
3. Why did this have to happen to me?
4. I have no make-up, no shower; it is absolutely terrible how this airline is treating us.

The conversation went on and on and it would have been fun to be there, hand them a tin can, and throw a dime in it!

The point of this there were two mindset locations happening here.

My brother saw the positive side and said what the heck! There were tornado warnings in the area so I choose to be safe, be adventurous, be open, be caring, be nice, and be willing to deal with the situation. Welcome to Positivehood!

The RB on the otherhand went to that mindset location of Falsehood. Why did it happen to me, the airlines should have just flown out, they are treating us like caged dogs..Welcome to Falsehood, maybe more like Negativehood, but every statement is false! This event didn't happen to her, there were thousands of people standed by a thunderstorm! The airlines should not have flown out as it could have been disasterous if the plane had been hit by lightening or thrown about in a torndao. The airlines didn't treat them like caged dogs, they choice to react to a situation and see no good that could come from it.

Tomorrow I will talk about how we each get pulled into our own Falsehood location with negative thoughts and fears, but as you go about the day today live in the Positive, be aware of your personal Falsehood statements (I couldn't, can't, shouldn't, don't), and when you catch yourself using one of those negative words, just stop for a moment and access your location.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Need My Space!

I need my space..that is the line you see on mugs and t-shirts at the Kennedy Space Center gift shop in Florida. How true it is, at least for me and my sister Janice.

We are so much alike, especially when it comes to needing our space. I think we get this from our dad. While we like to be around people, there is nothing wrong with having some good quality "me" time to do nothing, or do the thing/things we want to do without having to answer to anyone and to be in a space that is our own. To a lot of people I know, they just cannot understand this, and I have given up even trying to explain it to people, so I just take advantage of it whenever I get the chance. To just stop talking, stop answering questions and just get lost in a crowd, watch and observe people and things and do what I like to do. Some call if being selfish, but I have no problem with it as I find it keeps me somewhat sane.

This past weekend was just that weekend for me, and it took on multiple meanings for me. In addition to a person needing their own "space" we actually all need "space". I always learn something about myself when I get some serious "me" time and I learned quite a lot this past weekend about the space shuttle and all of the scientific miracles that have been discovered in space to save and extend lives for all of us on earth, the space space station and the future of space exploration. On Friday afternoon, May 14th, I got to witness the 132nd launch of a space shuttle, the last mission for the space shuttle Atlantis. This is the last mission for Atlantis after its first flight back in 1985, which I remember from college. There are also only 2 remaining shuttle missions as the shuttle program will be ending with the completion of the international space station later this year. Both Russia and Japan will be taking up astronauts and supplies to the space station. The purpose of the shuttle was used to bring the equipment up there and back to earth for repairs and then back again and since the space station is nearly complete, the program will focus on other exploratory missions to Mars and other areas of the universe. The Hubble telescope is revealing some amazing discoveries which is mind boggling. I remember the first space shuttle launch when I was a junior in high school, October 1981 and here we are 29 years later and the program is ending. What is amazing is that there have been 132 space shuttle launches in the last 29 years, and it seems it has become so common people seem to take this for granted, and I have always tried to watch every launch on TV when possible, as they all give me goose bumps, and this one was no different-this was intense!

I always wanted to be an astronaut and remember the Apollo missions as a little kid and seeing them walk on the moon. How cool would that be? Well then throughout school I realized I was really bad at math, so that blew my dream of being an astronaut, but I could still fly, so I was determined to at least travel by plane. I always wanted to travel on the Concord, but missed that as well. At the Kennedy Space Center I did get to go on a Space Shuttle simulation, that takes you through the 8.5 minutes of the flight to space, which I am sure was just a sampling of the really feeling.

If you are lucky enough to get a ticket, there are two locations to watch a shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center. I secured a spot in a grassy knoll at the Kennedy Space Center next to to John and Alissa, a couple from Maine who just graduated from college and took a rode trip down to Florida and drove 32 hours straight. This viewing spot is 7.4 miles from the launch site which still offered a great view, however it was obstructed by the tree line. The grounds were packed and the temperature was in the mid 90's at launch time, with scattered white puffy clouds. High clouds are OK for a launch and a few puffy clouds in the lower atmosphere are fine. Viewers prefer having some puffy white clouds as that helps the sound bounce and enhances the viewing experience. So with no rain or storms predicted, the launch was on schedule for 2:20pm on Friday May 14th. The grounds had large screen TVs that documented the astronauts as they made their way to the astrobus, over to the shuttle launch pad, suited up and ran all of the tests hours before lift off. Guest astronauts also spoke to the crowd and talked about their experiences and answered questions.

At the time of launch, the crowd was on their feet when Shuttle Launch Control announced a 10-minute count down and when it came down to 10-seconds, the crowd counted down like it was New Years. With the launch, you See, the Hear, then Feel the launch and what a feeling it was. We watched the big screen for the initial launch and within 2-3 seconds the shuttle was already above the tree line, heading towards space. About 2 seconds later you could hear the rockets and the puffy white clouds help bounce the noise around, and they also use water at the launch pad to help silent the noise, then about 6 -10 seconds later your body starts to vibrate from the shock waves that are hitting you - a truly incredible feeling that lasted several seconds, all the while you are taking in this bright gold/white light as bright as the sun. Within seconds the shuttle was out of site, with just a plume remaining. The TV cameras with zoom definitely capture more and make it appear almost in slow motion. I couldn't believe how fast this went. Within 8.5 minutes the space shuttle was in space, traveling 17,500 miles per hour. How fast is that? Light travels at 2,500 feet per second, and the space shuttle travels 10 time faster at 25,000 feet per second. It actually travels faster than a rifle bullet.

Once in space they will perform 3 space walks as well as deliver more supplies to the space station and they also have a Russian built component for the space station. The final two missions will be taking up a few more space station "rooms" which I also got to see on a tour of the space center, including the Atlantis launch pad. The space station really is an amazing structure and is a living research lab.

Did you know...

If you are anywhere within 200 feet of the shuttle launch, you will die from the heat of the rockets which is just over 3,000 degrees.

If you are within 800 feet you will die from the rocket sound as your eardrums would explode, so I felt safe being 7 miles away.

The space shuttle get 6 inches per gallon

The shuttle flies about 53 miles above the earth and connects to the space station in about 48 hours after take off.

They will be in space for 11 days and they circle the earth every 90 minutes

The shuttle is the only machine that is a rocket, a space craft and a glider. It converts itself in the different stages - an amazing machine.

In the event something was to go wrong with launch, there is no turning back, however immediately after liftoff, the shuttle could land in either Spain or France within 2 minutes. All launches are weather dependent on sites in Florida, California, Spain and France.

As the shuttle heads back to earth at 17,500 miles per hour, it needs to reduce speed to 300 mph in 30 minutes and they then glide to a landing which takes 45 minutes, at 200 mph. They only have the one chance to land once they are in the atmosphere.

You can see the space station from earth.

The outside temperature at the space station is -455 Fahrenheit.

There is security around the launch pad and emergency vehicles and underground tunnels the astronauts can escape to if necessary. Bunkers are located around the area as well. Helicopters and jets are flying around the sky prior to and during launch protecting the launch.

Upon reentry, it will only take them 45 minutes to land. When landing the shuttle exterior heats up to 2500-3000 degrees, so to keep the interior cool, they cool it down to 60 degrees and when landing in Florida, it is typically 90 degrees, so by the time it lands, the inside of the cabin is back up to 90 degree and they have to stay in the shuttle for another hour as they wait for it to cool down and to make sure they can readjust to gravity. The gravity test that take is to try to catch an apple. No astronaut has ever caught an apple when it is tossed to them as they drop it as to them it weighs as much as a bowling ball.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Be the 1st to Apologize

How many times have you been in a small argument about something that really means nothing to you? Really..think about it. Maybe the kids got on your nerve as they spilled milk on the counter, or your wife forgot to put the toothpaste away, or your partner forgot to tell you he wrote a check for $200 from the checking account. It happens and many times our first reaction is anger and we say something that is completely out of proportion of the event. Have you ever caught yourself doing this?

I know I have and it makes me stop and think which is worse, the toothpaste on the counter or the angry darts that come from our mouths? I would reckoned to say that the words coming from our mouths probably out weight the little issues that happen in life.

Words are so powerful, body language is so powerful, and anger can be so powerful. What if we harnised that power for positive results rather than negative? The results would be amazing, really they would.

The little things that make us angry would no longer impact us because there would be no anger darts thrown. The situation would resolve from just making an adjustment rather than making everything such a big deal.

The first step to healing the anger darts is to be the first to apologize - sincerely. This does not mean saying sorry - but apologizing. Sorry is inward guilt, apologizing is outward responsibility. Most likely the person who is doing something that annoys you will say "I'm Sorry". It is at that time, with that word, that you have a choice --angry darts or forgiveness.

If the angry darts fly - stop and be the 1st to apologize. There is nothing so bad in the world that anger can solve or control. "I apologize for my reaction" will take all the emotion and power from the issue and help get past whatever the issue is.

Living purposefully is about understanding your responsibility in life..all parts of life. Your personal impact on those around you cannot be overlooked. How you act, talk, and give looks all play a part in somebody else's day. Be aware and when you find yourself in that moment of the straw that broke the camels back; back off and apologize.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ten Things I have learned from my Brother

Today, May 17th is not only Norwegian Independence Day, it is also my baby brothers birthday.
I know I posted this morning, but I couldn't let the day go by without letting you all know how blessed I am to have a brother who has taught me so much. Here are a few things I would like to say about him.

Ten things I have learned from my brother.

1. Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe it. Steven is someone who will stand up for what he believes in. Many times at great lengths and cost, but he has a strong belief in what is good and right and he stands up for all of it.

2. Never be afraid to change jobs as it will lead you to deeper learning and appreciation for who you are. My brother has worked in a lot of areas from graphics design to software training. Every time he changes jobs it isn't about the money or title, it is about learning, growing and having fun at what you do.

3. Not everyone has to like to fish or watch baseball. My brother doesn't like either, but he is quick to ask me how fishing was or how the Twins are doing. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you can't at least show interest in the people who do.

4. Even if you walk around the same lake every day you can see something different each time. Steven walks around Greenlake in the Seattle area nearly every day and most days 2 or 3 times around. When he does this he sees so much from the seasons changing to just the different people who are also enjoying the day.

5. Always keep your appearance up as you never know when it will lead to a new career. Steven was getting a cup of tea in downtown Seattle when someone noticed his hands. Since that time my brother has been a hand and foot model and done a number of commercials. All from a cup of tea and a quality appearance.

6. Saving money allows you to live a dream life of travel. My brother is one of the best money savers I have ever seen. He lives debt free, drives an old 1986 Saturn, and invests his money into quality investments. Because of this he has traveled the world, literally. As I type he is hanging out in St. Petersburg Florida after seeing the space shuttle take off on Friday.

7. Always send your Christmas Cards the day after Thanksgiving. It never fails that on the Saturday after Thanksgiving I get Steven's Christmas Card. Like clockwork!

8. Keep your friends close and no enemies. People who you do not want to hang out with, let them pass your way. Spend your time on your friends as life is full with a variety of friends.

9. Don't wait to be happy. If you want to do something do it. Don't wait for someone else, or something else, or some time from now. Just be it because it will make you happy.

10. Finally the last thing that I learned from my brother is that your best friend can be a family member - this is my brother. He is my best friend, confidant, and I do not know what I would do most days without talking to him via email or phone. He is a life line that has always been there for me, even in the rough times. He took me in when I needed a place to stay, He fishes with me even though he doesn't like it, and he giggles with me. He is the best brother a person can have and I sincerely do love him. He makes my life better just by being here.

And that, my friends, are ten of the many things I have learned from my baby brother.

Happy Birthday Steven.

What do you do with a light West wind?

What do you do when you wake up to a light west wind? Go fishing of course!
It was Minnesota Fishing Opener this weekend and I have one more morning out on the lake and the weather could not be perfect. A little overcast and a light west wind.

Seems in life we need to wait for the perfect conditions at times as well. No reason to go down a path if you don't have everything in place...well at least have most of everything in place. I do like to take risks and try things, but on a morning with light west winds and a few clouds in the sky, Lake Sarah should be the perfect walleye time.

It's part of the steps to success...wind, overcast, the right lake, a boat, leeches, rods, and a good fishing buddy. All parts of the day that hopefully the fish will appreaciate and we can have a good catching morning.

As you get ready for your day do you have as many of the steps set to be successful? Do you know where your wind in coming from, where you are going, and what you will use to get there. People wonder why I have a passion for fishing the way I do, and I really have to say that it calms and reminds me that in everything we do there are steps to success.

There is no guarentee we will catch fish, but every step is pointing to the goal.

What is your passion, what is your purpose, what are your steps? Happy Monday Fishing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

United in Strength

Remember how we each need to have a support team around us to fulfill our dreams? Well todays blog is to celebrate such a support team. May 15th is dedicated as a holiday to celebrate Armed Forces Day. A day dedicated in 1949 when all the different armed forces were consolidated under the Department of Defense. May 15, 1950 was the first official Armed Forces Day and now, 61 years later these brave service men and women, remain one of the largest support teams in the world.

You may not agree with the wars, violence, and power, but you surely can agree that without these brave women and men of our nations armed forces we would not be united in strength for the cause of peace and better human condition. My father was a Marine, the Uncles were in the Army, I have a cousin in the Air Force, I have a good friend who was an old coast guarder, and a number of friends in the Navy. Each of these people are outstanding citizens and quality people. Their work ethic and desire to do good is really amazing.

Because I believe in them I support them. So for all the troops out there that support me every day I say thank you. You are united in strength and admired by many.

For more history on Armed forces day visit:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Dream fulfilled in 8 seconds

I will tell you what the dream was that was filfilled in 8 seconds at the end of the post, but want to see if you can figure it out. I know at least 1 person will know as he was there to witness this dream.

Remember we I was talking about the field of dream and if you build it they will come? Well it's not so much the final product as the road it takes to get you there.

Some people spend their entire life purposing their dream. They get degrees in amazing fields like engineering, aerospace, physics, education, and law. It is the foundation, the field if you will, of their 8 second dream.

Next they go through countless training exercises that challenge their mind and bodies to ends we cannot imagine. They are thrown into deep swimming pools and spun around in circles for hours, just to have a chance at their 8 second dream. The strong and brave make it through and become one of the few to ever reach this goal. Let's call this the bases with home plate being the goal.

Throughout this there are people they love and know cheering them on from the sidelines. They never want to really play the game but they understand the importance of the game to their spouse, daughters, sons, grandsons, partners, or friends. These fans give up some of themselves ever day and worry every night that this dream of their loved one may not happen or something terrible may happen because of their dream. This is a real possibility as they have seen it a few times in the past 20 years of complete failure of others to reach this dream.

Then there is the hope and trust. The hope and trust these people put into others is mind bending. They put their lives in the hands of 100's of others for these 8 seconds and hope that for as much training they have gone through their support staff has done the same. This would be the scariest part for me. To get so close to fulfilling your dream and to have to hope and trust that the 100's of people that are part of this don't mess it up. Managers and owners of baseball clubs...this is you.

So education, endless training, personal support and trust and hope. Do you know what the 8 second dream that came true was? At 2:30 EST yesterday a crew of six dreamers flew the last flight for the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Steven, my brother was there to witness the take off and he said it took 8 seconds from seeing it to not. A dream of a lifetime for the crew starting with a 8 second dream!

Education, endless training, personal support and trust and hope. What is your 8 second dream and how willing are you to work for it?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Be Unstoppable

Be Unstoppable - that's right unstoppable! Do you know what that means? That means doing everything in your power to make the steps to your dream realities.

Yesterday I started a small escape from the Cities and heading to my folks place for the Minnesota Fishing Opener. I have waited 3 months for this so this is a big one for me. It means I can catch nearly any fish I want (Not Bass yet that is in a few more weeks).

As you may recall from one of the earliest posts in this blog, it is a bit of a drive up here, 250 miles or 5 hours. Towing a boat behind the truck a little longer in time. I prepare well when I come up as there is no going home if you forgot something. Dad reminded me to bring the poles; something I forgot when we all went ice fishing in January. This time I forgot my hiking/fishing shoes so I HAD to stop and pick up a couple pair.

Okay back to the focus of my post.

After listening for two hours of Living with Purpose CD from a training class I am in, I pulled out the CD case for the Oak Ridge Boys and alas..the CD was not there! Now what to do, I had a Kenny Rogers CD but just wasn't in the mood for Kenny so I decided to find a Country station in the middle of God's Country up here. I found one that had a local guy giving the Market report - not Wall Street but the hogs and cow markets from the sales lots in Fargo. He ended his statement by saying "things are looking up for the cattle farmers." Great news, I guess, if you are a cattle farmer; probably not a cow though.

Anyway, the song that played after hearing that things were looking up for the cattle farmers was one by Rascal Flatt's called Unstoppable! I don't know if they timed it that way to play immediately after saying the positive statement that "things were looking up", but after two hours of positive listening, the cow futures looking up, and the song "Unstoppable" coming on, I thought it was somehow a sign of what I was to write about this morning.

I wanted to share some of the lyrics with you as it really is a powerful song; especially when faced with a long road of regrets, doubts, and failures. Here it is.

Unstoppable You Tube Video

Like a river keeps on rolling
Like the north wind blowing
Don't it feel good knowing

You find your faith has been lost and shaken
You take back what's been taken
Get on your knees and dig down deep
You can do what you think is impossible
Keep on believing, don't give in
It'll come and make you whole again
It always will, it always does
Love is unstoppable

Powerful messages here - river keeps on rolling, north wind blowing, find your faith, take back what's been taken, dig down deep, you can do, believe, make you whole again, always will it is unstoppable.

Whoa! If that give you a few goosebumps!

Each of us face challenges every day that make us want to quit and run away. Be unstoppable and everyday. Keep picking yourself up when you fall, be unstoppable!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Changing IU's into IOU's

This morning I had a real eye opener on how my IU's (irrational and unnecessary) thoughts are getting in the way of my wants and goals. Here is an example.
One of my goals/wants is to write a book from my dissertation. I have something good to say and write, but for the last two years I have talked myself into so many irrational and unnecessary thoughts that it still is out there as a want/goal.

My IU's are: I am not smart enough, no one will ever read it and it will fail, it won't be on the best sellers list, I don't have the time, it really isn't that important, and I can't write.

Pretty negative reasons to not do something that is a goal/want of mine! What if I changed IU's into IOU's (I owe you (myself) a little more honesty)? What really is standing in my way of completing this? The IOU is the positive devil's advocate in your head...yes he or she can be positive. So the story would go:

I am not smart enough - really? You have a PhD and did 4 years of work to get to a point of research, you have a 4.0 GPA and you are seen by others as having amazing qualities and insight...really you're not smart enough? Okay, I can cross that one off my list.

No one will ever read it and it will fail - really? It that is so why do I have followers on this blog and why does my mentor and committee members still bug me about writing this? Really no one will ever read it?

It won't make the best sellers list - really? Is that really important? Aren't people successful writers even if they aren't best sellers? What if it helps one person would it not be successful?

I don't have the time -really? Is it that I don't have the time or that I don't schedule the time? I sit on a couch and watch TV or the Twins play nearly every night - really I don't have the time?

It isn't important to me - really? My life's passion is about helping others get out of their own way and I don't think it is important to create a view of how do to this? Really it isn't important?

I am not a good writer - really? I seem to have people tell me all the time of how good I am at telling and writing stories. I have comments on how well written this blog is. I have people asking me to look at proposals they have written to get my feedback. Really, I am not a good writer?

IU's into IOU's! I owe myself a better vision of my goal. I owe myself the time and energy to really figure out how to MAKE it happen rather than place barriers to my success. Really? Yes Really!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If you build it, they will come!

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME- one of my favorite sayings from the Movie Field of Dreams. You probably remember it too, but have you stopped to think about the meaning for each of us?

It isn't about building a baseball field in the middle of Iowa, it's about getting a second chance. It's about making a dream come true. It's about finding your purpose and doing whatever it takes to make it happen.

From the movie you remember that "Ray", the main character, traveled to New York and then to Chisholm MN to find the people that would make his dream come true. The interesting thing is that he wasn't even sure what his final dream looked like, but he went with the passion in his heart. He knew he had to do it. The leap of faith he and his family went through to get to the final dream was painful. The possibility of losing the farm and looking like a crazy man were always there. Painful to say the least.

When I think about life and the purpose behind it there is a lot of pain that we all must go through to get to the final dream. Easy - NO, pleasant - not always, right in front of our eyes - rarely. The purpose isn't that our dreams are given to us, we have to work hard and suffer through to get to that final place.

If you build it, they will come! Don't wait to start and don't worry about people that tell you "it can't be done" or "you're crazy". If you have a vision follow it.

Now that doesn't mean all of us get to build a baseball statium in our backyard, so think about the dream and find the meaning.

I thought about this a lot this weekend with my posts on sharing my dream of living by the lake. That is my baseball stadium. When I look at the meaning behind it, the purpose of why I have this dream becomes very clear.

I want to live in Minnesota and be close to my folks as they get a little older.
I want to have a place that friends enjoy visiting and can find solitude in their days.
I want to live in a place that brings joy and peace to my soul.
I want to share my thoughts and purpose with others.

A dream is only as good as the purpose behind it and I believe will only come true if you know and are passionate about that purpose.

What is your dream? What is your purpose? If you build it, they will come!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pause for a Moment and Find

Last night I baked over 5 dozen cookies to bring into work today. As I was baking I was online checking emails, coming up with answers to work stuff, getting my 'to-do' list set and all of a sudden it hit me; The smell of baking chocolate chip cookies! I closed my eyes and just took in a long deep smell. There really is nothing better to smell in the air for me. Maybe this is why I have a little weight issue going on.

What that aroma did was to remind me of the simple pleasures in life that we either take for granted or forget to enjoy. I paused for a moment and found a smile coming on my face and my shoulders releasing just a little.

How many of us go through our days not pausing for a moment to find a smell, a vision, a feeling that makes us just smile a little or just be silent? The opportunities are everywhere.

Maybe it is the smell of the coffee brewing, or you walk past a restaurant on your way to work and take in the fresh made bread scent in the air. Maybe it's the tulips that are as bright as can be right now - do you stop and just for a moment enjoy?

Pause just for a moment - enjoy a small vacation in your head! Look for a smile on a strangers face, or a wave from a child, the bright colors of a flower, or the scent in the air...pause for just a moment and find something to appreciate.

Pause and find.

Monday, May 10, 2010

One Step at a Time

This dreaming business is tiring! Yes, I am tired! NOT of dreaming, but all the work it takes to make those dreams come true!

This does not mean that I don't enjoy the escape from reality and go to my dreams. I will never stop dreaming as it brings me great hope of a wonderful tomorrow. Today's are pretty darn good, but dreaming makes all the 'steps at a time' come together.

Last week I was feeling a little overwhelmed at work as there is so much to do and so many people who want 15 minutes of my time. I was wondering how in the world am I going to get everything done! It hit me..."see yourself in the moments that are going to happen (the dream) and figure out what it will take to get there (the one step at a time approach)"! It worked!

Last week was probably the most productive I have been in a long time because rather than concentrating on the end, I concentrated on the steps to the end. Like the old English Proverb says "A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".

This is so true - probably why it is called a proverb, you can't go wrong with proverbs!

The journey starts with one step not the end. If you are just learning to walk do you think you can go rounding around as walking is easy right? Probably not, you are hoping to make it 10 feet to the awaiting arms of someone. One step is one step..not the journey! Put thousands of steps in place and you have a journey. It all starts with a step.

I think part of my problem last week was I was trying to end the many journeys that I have happening at the same time. I sat down with a colleague and said "we have to stop"! "We have to figure out what the end looks like and start making steps towards that end". We were so busy worrying about what it would look like in the end we lost focus of putting one foot in front of the other.

When you are faced with a challenge, a problem, or a dream, remember to take it one step at a time. Concentrate on that step and only that step. Not the step you want to take in 2 weeks or 2 months or 2 years, but that one step. After a while the 2 weeks, months, and years go by and all the steps you have accomplish bring you to your dream, your journey.

Nothing is ever accomplished without working hard on that first, second, third and every step after. It is not the dream but the process that gets you through as a stronger, healthier, more focused, and more purposeful.

One step at a time folks, one step at a time!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ten Things I have Learned from my Mother - Happy Mother's Day

Today I am lucky as I get celebrate my birthday with Mother's Day. I decided to write 2 posts as both of these events are important enough to have seperate writings in this blog.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mom's out there that have helped shape us into the who and what we are today!

Ten Things I have learned from my Mom

1. Even the worse days of fishing are the best days

Last Winter Mom and I did a little ice fishing on a hometown lake. We caught nothing, but the sun was out, the weather was perfect, we had laughed at dragging the ice house all over the lake, the ice gave out in a section where Mom had tapped, and we didn't get the pickup stuck made this worse day of fishing one of the best.

2. Anyone can grow daisies!

My Mother has the greenest thumbs around. It truly is amazing, she can grow flowers from weeds I am sure. She is some sort of a goddess when it comes to giving life to a black dirt patch the size of a football feild. Her flower beds have 100 different varieties of flowers, plants, and trees that would be the envy of even the most professional florist. One day when we were walking around her flower beds I said "I can't grow anything" -- I have a terrible green thumb and am sure it skipped a kid.
Her response "Anyone can grow daisies Janice"! How true - anyone can grow daisies!

3. Fill your home with love

My Mom is one of the most amazing women I know and even though she can be critical and oponionated there is no time that I can remember that she didn't welcome me home with loving arms. She doesn't care when you come to visit as long as you come to visit. Anyone who walks through the door knows that they are is a love of being around others that goes beyond the hard german front.

4. Bake, even when there is no special occasion

My Mom has taught me one of my favorite passtimes and that is baking. The key to a good baker is to be like my Mom and bake even when there is no special occasion. I cannot remember a time growing up or going home that there wasn't 4 pies baked (just in case someone doesn't like apple we have others), cookies in the cookie jars or a special cake from a recipe in some magazine. Bake, even when there is no special occasion!

5. Make strangers your friends

I have seen my mother ask my father to go down to the city camping park and see if those campers want to come over for dinner as the weather is really nasty. I have seen her open the doors to our home to military guys who had no place to go for Christmas. I have seen presents appear like magic for those same military guys under the tree. Opening your home to others opens your heart!

6. It's okay to change!

I have watched as my Mother go from a slacks and nice shirt, or better yet a skirt wearing mother to a chaps and skull caps. Yep the "growing up Menonite" had changed to "growing old leather Mama". Not that is a change!

7. Don't settle with the view from the back

Maybe this is more about controling your life, but I think my Mother has taught me to not be afraid to enjoy the view from the front. When my father started riding motorcycles Mom refused to ride with. How could she in a skirt or slacks! It took a few to get her into the idea...and Jeans...but after that she was hooked. Problem was that the view from the back was getting old! So what does a grown woman do? Buy your own Harley and enjoy the view from the front as well!

8. Traveling 2000 miles to bowl 12 games is normal and a great thing to do!

This applies to more then just bowling. I think my mother would travel 2000 miles because someone told her there was a 6 family garage sale there! Seriously! She has taught me that distance should not be a part of any decision to do something. Go and have fun!

9. Some of us WILL look like our mothers so 'what's wrong with that'!

I am a spitting image of my mother in so many ways. I bake like her, cook like her, drive like her (except the speed part), laugh like her, talk like her and look like her. If you took my Mom's pictures from when she was in her late forties and my picture today, you would be amazed. As Mom would say "so what's wrong with that"! My thoughts - absolutely nothing!

10. There is always room for ice cream

If you can be addicted to ice cream I think my mother is. This is not a bad thing as I believe people should enjoy life. If ice cream is one of those pleasures we should enjoy it too! I truly cannot remember a time where there wasn't at least 2 different types of ice cream in the freeze. Seriously, white and chocolate, maple nuts, mint..the list goes on and on...always 2 different types. Why? Because my mother says "there is always room for ice cream"! Enough said!

To my Mother and all the Mom's in the world, here's to you. May you be recognized as Mothers, partners, friends and lovers! Happy Mother's Day!

Oh how blessed I know I am to have a Mother who I call friend!

The Art of Turning 47!

Today marks the 47th year of being me. For the pst 47 years I have been blessed beyond believe.

Blessed with good friends that have shown me who I am and not so good friends who have make me who I am.

Blessed with opportunities of a lifetime that have made me a better person and disappointments that have made me a greater person.

Blessed with family members who have taught me how to be caring and family member who have taught me how to care.

Blessed with talents that have excelled me to great things and weaknesses that have helped me identify my talents.

Blessed with unconditional love that has keep me going and greed love that has made me understand what love really means.

Blessed with seeing how others see me and seeing myself for the first time over and over again.

Today is about celebrating the blessings I have --both good and not so good. The art of turning 47 is in finding the positive and purposeful meaning in life.

I truly am blessed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dream a little Dream for Me!

Yesterday I shared with you my big dream...and I mean big, but it is my future! It seem to inspire a lot of people to dream big and I heard from a few of you that you could actually hear the birds from my description of my future. This is awesome and I challenge each of us to dream big - find that one 3-5 year goal that you really want to accomplish and see it for yourself.

Can you see yourself doing it? Maybe it is getting married, or becoming a parent, or maybe owning a home...whatever that long term vision is for yourself SEE IT. Take notice of what it looks like, how you feel, the smell that will be in the air (flowers or dirty diapers), but really put all your senses to use and dream.

Dream a little Dream for Me

It always seems easier to dream big. Maybe it is because some of take it as just that, a dream, and never really think it will happen. If this is you I have a challenge for you. Start small! What are your dreams about tomorrow, or next week or even next month? What does that look like for you? Break down the impossible into possible steps. Think thruogh the long term want and break it down into manageable steps.

Remember when I talked about "How to eat and Elephant" and the answer was "One bite at a time"? That is how we can make our elephant dreams come true! I will use my dream from yesterday as an example of small bites.

In order for me to have my long term dream I need to do a number of 'tasks'. I need to be financial situated to make that type of a purchase. I need to have a PhD so I would be taken more seriously by potential editing companies in my field. I need to start a blog as that was the email I am dreaming of receiving from California. I need to remember what is important to me and write it down. I need a boat. I need to excel at my career so I could move up and move on. I need to assist others through coaching live their true purpose. If I can accomplish all of these "needs" how successful will my dream be?

I think very successful as I have set the path of what I want to do in order to have my dream come true.

Do you think that one day I woke up and said "today I am going to get my PhD"? Or "Today I am going to move up in my career"? No, each of these long term goals took me a long time, so I sliced my elephant into even smaller bites.

In order for me to get my PhD I needed to take classes. I needed to pass comps, I needed to write a small thing they call a dissertation, I needed to have a support team, I needed to be wiling to give up some things to achieve others.

So as part of my bigger dream I had a lot of small dreams along the way. I could see myself being hooded and having a black book with my name and PhD behind it. I saw my business cards read: Dr. Janice Aanenson, PhD. I heard people call me Dr. J, I could smell the flowers I was going to receive at my party. May sound corny, but I did! What was the result? I have a PhD. Was it easy--NO, but did I know what I wanted and cut it down into small chunks so I could be successful--YES!

If you can see yourself in the result you have the ability to get to the result! Waht you believe you can reach, you will reach. I am a firm believer of this.

Today I want to say that your dreams should be about the "big dream" come true. If you are challenged with starting small and looking day to day, think big. Waht is that goal, that dream. Write down what it will take to get there and visualize yourself doing the small stuff. If that is still to big, write down what it would take to make the smaller stuff happen and see yourself doing those.

Most of us can see ourselves doing the small stuff. Remember the small stuff is part of the elephant! Dream your future and see your present. The results will be amazing!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I have a Dream!

I cannot think of anyone who hasn't heard these words of Martin Luther King. I have a dream!

This was MLK's way of visualizing a better future for so many people and started a movement of epic perportion. King had a dream that one day equality would be part of life, not a seperation of life. Big dream, big results.

Today I wanted to talk about this concept as the past few days I have been hearing a lot of emotions around what I have written regarding regrets and woes. I wanted to set the stage for what we should be aware of and not fall into; and lead us all to the opposite side of what we should do.

In life coaching part of the exercise of finding your purpose and passion is to discuss how you see the results. Visualization is such a key to success. If you can't see yourself doing something most likely it will never happen or most likely isn't really want you want to happen. It is a powerful part of the Four Seasons Coaching, Spring, process. But how do we do this?

We do this by trying out a few visions of ourselves and seeing which ones we like, which ones make sense, and which ones we really know can happen. I doubt that MLK just wrote a speech. In fact I know he didn't. There was a lot of thought, planning, discussing, reworking, revolving, improving, education, passion and purpose to his dream. The speech was just helping the rest of us support and visualize his work.

I have a dream, you have a dream. What is it and can you write it down and visualize it? Let me give you an example of what I mean. For those of you who know me this should not be hard for you to visualize me in this state of purposeful living.


One of my long term goals is to have a career that allows me to work from home. This career will be in the field of life coaching. As part of the goal I will live in a home next to a lake. Every morning I will wake up and pour myself a cup of coffee in the open kitchen that overlooks the dining room and the lake front. I will watch the sun as it rises in the east and the water sparkles as the rays hit the soft waves. The boat will be on the lift 50 yards from the patio deck that is off the lakeside front. As I sit on the bar stool drinking my coffee I hear the robins singing and in the backgroud of the pine trees I can see a bright red cardinal. The water is still and as I gaze onto the lake I see a pair of loons with 3 babes following close behind.

As I refill my cup of coffee the dogs will be ready to go outside and I let them out the patio door. I sit in an overstuffed chair and open up the laptop to see a number of emails from clients and potential clients. One email in particular catches my eye as it is from a publishing house in California. I open it and as I read it find that they would like to contract me for a book that stems from this blog. I am excited and quickly write back that I would be interested in talking with them about the possibilities.

Can you see it??? I can, clear as day as if I am living it right now. I have a dream that I can taste, feel, see, hear, and touch. I know this will become my future, my life, my purpose.

I have a dream...what's yours!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Woe is ME!

It must be spring as I feel the need to really talk about things that make me go crazy. Regrets - don't need them, Blame - don't want to do it, and now woe - needs to stop!

Do you ever have a day that just doesn't go right for you. I mean everything seems to go wrong. You forget to take an umbrella and it rains, you don't take the bus like you usually do and get in a fender bender, you walk to work and find they are working on the sidewalks, you take your vitamin C and still get a nasty spring cold, you put down weed killer and still the dandelions appear, you want to go for a bike ride and the wind and cold make it get the picture, woe is everywhere!

My answer...if you don't wear long robes, heal the blind and ride into town on a donkey GET DOWN FROM YOUR TREE!

That's right folks - If your name isn't Jesus Christ get down off YOUR tree!

Woe - interesting word. It means to have grief, regret or distress. Woe is me would mean then that you regret yourself, you are in distress, or you are full of grief.

So how do we remove the woe in our lives?

I talked earlier about regrets so we all know what to do about them - own them, pay attention and see the outcome, but how about distress and grief?

What is distress? Distress is a situation that causes you great pain. Now there are times that many of us are in great distress. This is not right or wrong it just is. The key to stopping the woe in the situation is to figure out what the distress is about. If you are sick and in physical pain, distress is very easy to figure out. Of course you do not feel well and of course it is a bad situation, but woe comes only from not acknowleging that distress happens and it is how we deal with it that makes it a woe or a blessing.

What is grief? Grief is the maximum distress one can feel. It means that the outcome of an event is unfortunate and most likely unexpected. It is OKAY to feel grief, in fact grief is part of a healing process. Woe comes in when we take no action for healing and rather live in our misery. Woe is me.

Regrets, distress, and grief - all very powerful emotions and left unattended to can be debilitating and life changing.

Negative regrets happen when we do not pay attention to what is important in our lives.
Negative distress happens when we refuse to remember that to be alive means to live.
Negative grief happens when we stop to look at how the event or situation can improve who we are.

Death, life, sickness, divorce, accident, or whereever your woe comes from needs to be embraced. It is only in the embracing of the hard stuff that we really can grow into who we are.

Woe is me? I don't think so - I would rather think of it as Blessed is me!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Taking care of Blame

The past few days I wanted to write about regrets as I believe it is one of most debilitating things we can do TO ourselves. Remember regrets are just feelings we have when we forget what is important to US. Regrets are ours to own and ours to solve for.

Another debilitating feeling or action is blame. Each of probably do this many times a week. So many times I hear statements like:
I was like because traffic was horrible!
I don't know why God did this to me, it's His fault!
If you would have done what I said I wouldn't have had this happen to me!
I am not successful because I am never given the opportunity to be successful.
She ruined my life!

The list of statements goes on and on but all of them blame someone else for our situation. Time to wake up folks as the only person to look at when things go wrong is ourselves.

If you are overweight don't blame McDonald's! You are the one that drives up to the window and orders the large fries!

If you are late don't blame the traffic! You are the one that didn't leave early enough to get someplace on time!

If you are not happy don't blame someone else. It is not their job to fulfill your dreams it is yours!

If you get sick don't blame the doctors. It is your job to take care of yourself.

Blame is way more debilitating then regrets as at least with regrets it is about taking or not taking action. Blame is just letting things happen.

So what do we do to remove blame and send it packing with our regrets?

First take responsibility for what is going on. Be part of the solution rather than part of the problem! Blaming something or someone does not relieve you of the pain rather increases your pain.

Maya Angelou has a quote that says "Just because I am in pain, doesn't mean I need to be one"! Oh how true. By blaming others and not being part of the solution you become a pain to yourself, your mind and everyone around you. Nothing is gained from turning a bad situation into a worse situation, but there is everything to gain from turning a bad situation into a better situation.

Blame - recognize it in yourself and take notice when you do it. Take responsibility for who you are and the actions you take. Remember that taking no action IS an action and you must take responsibility for those too! Finally, like regrets, blame is completely avoidable if you start looking at your life.

If you know that people get upset that you are always late and you always blame traffic, take action! Leave earlier!

No regrets and certainly no blame. Get rid of the negative living and take responsibility for the solution..that my friends is purposeful living!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to live the rest of your life with NO regrets!

Thanks for everyone who made a comment about yesterdays post. I heard many say "if only I had known what I would regret I would have made different choices". Key words here are: KNOWN and CHOICES. We all have the capacity to know and we all have the ability to make choices that impact our lives.

So how do we live the rest of our lives with NO regrets? Pretty easy to do if you are willing to be honest about what is important to you and know what you want in your life. Sounds a lot like purposeful living!

I will use my life as an example for all of you. There are four parts; understand what is important to you, pay attention to what you are doing, every day remember to live purposefully and keep in mind what you want to never regret.

Write statements for these parts and you can live without regrets.

Understand what is important to you

1. My family is important to me.
2. My health needs to be more important to me.
3. My friends are important to me.
4. Living a life that is full of new experiences is important to me.
5. Fishing is important to me.

Pay attention to what you are doing

1. I spend time with my family, but think I want more time with my folks.
2. I need to start having a dedication to healthy living and choices and I do not right now.
3. I spend time with my friends and am happy about what I give and get with them.
4. I am more comfortable with the common then the new and I want to expand my experiences.
5. I want to look at fishing as my personal quest and personal time; with or without company.

Live purposefully

1. I will remember what is important to me and live my live with daily purpose.

What I never want to regret

1. I never want to regret that I didn't spend enough time with my folks when they are gone.
2. I never want to regret that I lost a friend by not paying attention to their needs.
3. I never want to regret that I didn't take better care of myself.
4. I never want to regret that I didn't give something a chance or a try.
5. I never want to regret that I missed out on a great day of fishing.

Regrets happen when you forget what is important in your life, so remember what is important and dedicate yourself to purposeful living. In 20 years you will be able to say "I have no regrets".

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do you have Regrets?

Do you have regrets? Most of us do in one form or the other. I should have done this, or I really missed that opportunity, or I wish I would have x...we all have them and most likely you can name the ones you have.

So what are you doing about them? You know you CAN do something about them. Maya Angelou has a quote "sometimes life gives you a second chance", that I really think rings through with regrets.

For every regret I have ever had one of two things have happened. Either the result has been more important then the regret and thus it has become a blessing OR I have taken the regret and found a second chance to do what I regretted in the first place. Let me give you some examples.

Turning regrets into blessings. This takes some work, but maybe less work and more insight into who you are.

I use to regret never getting married, settling down in northern MN and having a houseful of kids. That possibility was 20 some years ago. After many years of feeling great regret for not figuring out how to make it work out with Kelly #1 (yes there were 3 in my life), I finally figured out that had that come true for me I would NOT have a PhD, I would not have lived in Seattle and got to know my brother better, I would not know much more about computers, I would not be passionate about coaching, I would not have a blog, I would not have the friends I have, and I would not a loving life. Regrets or blessing? I like to think this was a blessing.

I use to regret that I was alone for so many years; and I mean alone. I was living in Seattle in an apartment by myself and I worked a lot of hours and would go home. I didn't have a lot of friends and my brother was busy with his life so many nights I sat on my deck alone and feeling lonely. My only 'friends' were from work and they all went home to their families, roommates, or partners...I went home to an empty apartment. It was the first time in my life that I wasn't surrounded by people all the time and I regretted moving to Seattle, living by myself, and not having people around me. Regret or blessing?

Looking at this years later I learned that this was really a blessing as had I not been that lonely for that long I would never have known what I wanted in life. I knew when I moved back to Minnesota that I needed to be around people, that I needed to feel needed, and that I wanted to make sure others living alone knew that they were never alone.

Getting a Second Chance. This is the other side of what to do with a regret; look for the second chance.

I have more examples of this side of regrets both big and small, but it's all about looking for and taking second chances to make it better.

Summers in MN are sometimes short so you have to take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors that you can. I can count on one hand how many times I went fishing last year, one hand. This from a fishing fanatic! I got so busy doing things or doing nothing that I didn't enjoy my passion. Very regretful for me. Now I have a second chance.

In 2010 I have gone fishing more since January than I did all of last year. I actually went ice fishing 3 times and have shored fish 3 times already and opener is still 2 weeks away! Having second chances is about taking opportunities! I contacted a fishing buddy from my home town and went ice fishing, I took a drive to a monster chain of lakes in the Twin Cities and found some awesome shore fishing places...all because I didn't want another year of regrets in regards to my personal fishing habit.

This may seem trivial to many, but regrets hurt the worse when they are about something you love the most!

So, Regrets - blessings or opportunities? Think about the regrets you have in your life. What are you going to do about them? Life is full of second changes! Putting regrets in a new light you get a blessing! It's up to you--live in pain for what has happened or in pleasure for what you have done!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy day after May Day!

Not a very well celebrated day, but do you remember when?

When we were growing up May Day was a big day. We would make up little baskets of gifts or treats and run around town hanging them on the doors and running. The idea was to give someone something without a need for a Thank You or even the other person knowing who you were.

We did this a lot and even Friday when I chatted with my brother, I could tell he was smiling thinking about the fun we use to have. Giving without getting anything in return. What a grand idea.

Of course it was always fun to hear the knock at our door as well as we ran to the door to see who it was, there was a May basket for us.

Such a small gift, but isn't it usually the smallest gifts that are appreciated the most?

I was going to write about this on Friday to have us all go and give a May Basket to someone. Maybe we should just stick with the idea though. There are 31 days in May so lots of May 'Days' ahead of us. What about making someone else smile for no other reason then it feels good to make someone else happy.

A small gift, a quick knock, and run. What a great way to spend an evening.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It didn't hurt at ALL!

Giving Back that is!! Up at 6:30 and after getting a few things done around the house we headed out to do our civic duty and clean up the highway area. By 3:30pm we had nearly the whole 4 miles clean up and IT DIDN'T HURT AT ALL!

Civic duty, social duty, community work, volunteering, giving back...whatever you want to call it we really should all try it. It isn't like going to the doctor or dentist (other things we really all should do) but it DOESN'T HURT AT ALL!

Can you imagine how better this world and the people in the world would be if even 40% of everyone in the USA gave 3 hours of time a year for a cause? (The last census showed 26% of Americans Volunteer for at least 1 hour a year)

There are more than 309 million people in the US (34 million in Canada) and nearly 7 billion in the world. Doing the math calculation of possibilities is pretty amazing!
Remember 3 hours total for a year!

So 309 million x 40% = 123,600,000 people and if everyone did 3 hours of services that would be 370,800,000 million hours of FREE GOOD work!

Amazing! So what could we do with that many hours?

It takes about 900 hours to build a home so if 20% of the US gave 3 hours this year we could build over 412,000 homes for the homeless.

It takes approximately 10 minutes to plant a seedling tree so if the same held true there could be over 22,248,000,000 more trees for the next generation.

It takes 1 hour of work to make 30 packages of food at Feed my Starving Children. With all the time that means over 11 billion packages of food a year!

You get the picture right!

The question is are you going to be part of the 20%? You may not think you can't make a difference with the 3 hours a year, but look at the possibilities if you do and IT DOESN'T HURT AT ALL!

Be part of the 40% I promise It won't hurt at all!