Sunday, February 27, 2011

When it snows --- go skiing!

I was having a terrible day yesterday. Not that anything terrible happened, but it snowed again. This winter has really been filled with snow, snow and more snow.

Usually I wouldn't complain as the lakes are so low that all the snow will really help them out. I also usually don't complain as I love winter! It is clean, fresh and different.

Yesterday I found myself done with it! Yes, done with winter and done with snow! I am ready to move on to spring - the growing season!

It then hit me! In my Life Coaching I use the four seasons to represent the stages of growing. Winter is the time of reviewing and assessing as you prepare for spring growth and opportunities. Like the snow this season I have had a long reviewing and assessing time in my life. New challenges, new bosses, being laid off, decisions to end the Coffee Matters part of my business, creating a new budget, new friends, family members having major health issues...the list of events goes on and on!

Yesterdays snow took the cake and although I am heading north today to do one of my favorite things of Ice Fishing, I still was just terribly moody. I finally put on my coaching hat this morning and said "when it snows --go skiing!"

You see sometimes you may be ready to move on, but there may be another plan from a higher power that says SLOW DOWN and SKI! Or fish, or rest, or relax.

As much as we think we are in control of our lives we have to remember that there is a higher power that has a say in it as well.

So, today as the white surrounds me and I drive 5 hours I am going to pray for patience, pray for understanding, and pray that I go skiing!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Creating the Life you Dream!

I have to say that I sleep very well at night. I fall asleep quickly and don't wake up much for anything. The interesting thing about the time I spend in bed is that my dreams are so vivid and real it seems like reality! It got me thinking this morning that maybe my dreams ARE my reality or SHOULD be my reality!

I dream about how to fix things, what solutions will work, what our next home will look like, who my friends will be when I grow old and even the types of dogs I will have. It really is crazy in my head, but it all works so well.

I go to bed with an issue or a thought and 7 or 8 hours later I wake up with the solution! Now, this doesn't happen for many but that doesn't mean it can't! I get that maybe some of the nighttime dreams you really never want to come to life, but maybe there are a few that you do want to make your reality.

I seriously don't think I come up with the solutions at night, rather it confirms my plan. You see you have to work to create the life you dream about! It doesn't happen overnight. If it did I would be dreaming of winning the Lottery every night! No, creating the life you dream is about really thinking about what you want in life and making a plan on how to get there!

Most people want to try and do this themselves - others may think they are weird, others won't like it, others won't agree. Hearing one of those zingers usually stops most of us in our tracks and we put that dream in the back of our minds. We stew about it but are scared to every talk about them again.

Here's the deal...who cares what others say or think! Your dreams should be your reality! Your dreams are the best part of who you are as it gives you hope, faith, and belief in yourself! Dreams are your reality!

If you want something the only way you will get it is if you go after it! You will not be rich if you never work, you will not have deep and lasting friendships if you are unwilling to be a friend, you will not find love if you do not love yourself! Your dream is your reality ONLY if you are willing to play the leading role!

As we come to the end of February and move into spring it is time to clean house and mind and begin to create! You plant flowers and gardens why not ideas and dreams!

Creating the life you dream isn't easy but it can be done! What is your dream? What is your reality?

Friday, February 25, 2011


A friend reminded me this morning that life is like a computer - sometimes you have to de-fragment it in order for it to work a little smoother. Well I agree.
This past week has been a great de-fragmentation week. I guess I have more time on my hands with the lay off last week, but it has been good time. No, GREAT time!

As normal I started by writing a list of 'to-do's. Change this, change that, sign this and send that. All very transactional and all very much needed. As I was on the 10th or 11th written item I stopped and thought to myself if I have a to-do list I also need a to -NOT do list as well!

It was amazing how many things I was able to think about NOT doing! It became longer than the to-do list! This was my de-fragmenting moment. It was the moment I thought to myself "my to-dos really are the important things and the to-not dos are things that I just have to stop!"

Here are a few of the to-not do list:
1. Do NOT make the layoff a negative
2. Do NOT fall into bad eating habits because of this
3. Do NOT stop exercising
4. Do NOT stop letting others help you
5. Do NOT get down on yourself for not being able to help everyone else get through this
6. Do NOT just take a job, find a perfect position to grow and love

You get the picture...some very good de-fragmenting in my head! Had I not done this I really believe I would not be in the state I am today. I am stress free, looking forward to the future, and ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. I am eating healthy and working out. I am letting others work through the emotions while being there if they need me. I am looking at a position that would be so perfect for me it is kind of scary!

As the weekend approaches, take time to de-fragment! What are you going to do and what are you going to stop doing!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Leaving a Lasting Impression

There is something wonderful about life when you realize you have left an impression on others.
This week the notion of leaving a lasting impression has a large part of my life. I have received emails, phone calls, and pictures all showing how little ideas, leadership styles, helping others, believing in myself, and having a positive attitude have impacted others.

I want to thank everyone for all their support as I transition from one job to my career passion. It has meant so much to see, hear, and feel the support. In celebration of all of you, here are a few photo's I would like to share.

Becoming Purple - Live with a positive attitude, remove obstacles, and build alignment and community around you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Talking through a Dream

It has been a wonderful two days of having nothing to do, in fact I have gotten so much done it is hard to believe it has only been two days since my position was cut.

Today I had a meeting with a friend of a friend. My friend and I are both very passionate about helping others make the most out of life. She has been a wonderful connection that I made during my college 25th Anniversary.

The friend of this friend owns a small diner in St. Paul. One stop inside the diner and you can tell it will be an amazing experience. The walls are covered with positive sayings. The tables have positive comments and the people who eat and work there are the most positive I have ever met. It is a place you could really never get enough of.

So I went to talk to her, Lisa, about my situation and the first thing she said after I told her I had been laid off was "GREAT! Now you can do what you want to do in life!" Gracious! Not expecting that and then I remembered she is also a Life Coach and every challenge is an opportunity.

I told her about me and what I had a passion to do and she was so into it. Then she said "so who do you know in the industry?" I don't know anyone personally but said a couple names of guys I knew of in the industry and she said "so have you called them yet?" My head was spinning. Seriously, call Ron Shara or Babe Winkleman? Just like out of the blue "hey want to have coffee?"

Well as I was trying to think of what to say next she said she had learned many things but one of the most important was to reach down to others to help them up and up to others to help you up! Everyone starts somewhere! No one starts exactly where they are today, so if you don't reach up for help and reach down to help, you really are missing the boat!

So, now I reach up. Nervous, yes. Crazy in thought, yes. Motivated, Yes!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The art of staying positive in difficult times...

Well today is a very difficult day for me. As of 9:30 this morning I became unemployed. Lay Offs are never fun and I am not sure which side of the desk I would rather be on. Last time I was on the other side and now I was the one that was getting the news.

Now it has only been 3 hours and I don't have everything figured out and ready to move forward, but I have to think about staying positive and focused on my future. Of course that is what my head is heart maybe needs a few more days.

So, next steps are now to move forward and find my true passion and love and follow that. I don't know where it will take me, but I will update you all as I can.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So what's next?

Sorry to keep a few of you hanging on describing the "Plan" after my last post and thanks to all that wrote me a special email or message telling me how wonderful my plan is and how much they believe in me. I guess the old saying is true that you are always harder on yourself than anyone else could ever be!

So, here is my plan. Like I said early failure is an option and in failure comes great insight. For me the failing Coffee Matters Store has given me so much insight I am seriously more excited now in life then I have ever been!

I have found my passion and that is motivating others. My problem was that I wasn't sure of the venue in which to do this. I love speaking in front of others and love workshops and conferences. There is something about 100 people writing down what you are saying and laughing at your corny stories that makes me feel good.

My other loves are outdoors and fishing. I feel the most alive when I am outside. Not in a building or in an office or in a car, but outside.

So the question from all of this was and is: How does one motivate others while being outside? Well, there in lies my next vision! Have a show on TV that reaches large numbers of people where I fish or camp or do something outside while sharing motivational insights and stories!

They fishing and outdoor shows on TV now are all men with the exception of 2 women who own a deep sea fishing boat down in Texas. What I would like to do is take people out fishing and share my love of the outdoors while providing insightful and practical stories and ideas around living positive and purposeful lives!

Here are my 2011 Goals:
  • Create You Tube Videos of me giving practical fishing advise.
  • Take out as many people I can this spring and summer to fish and 'chat' on the boat or shore.
  • Write my two books from my dissertation and blog posts
  • Develop an approach that incorporates positive and purposeful living with outdoor activities. The activities are a way of being in a place to reflect on positive and purposeful living.
What do you think? Need more planning, but at least I won't have to look at big blue bins in the garage anymore!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Emotions of Failure

This week I was 'lucky' enough to get my taxes done. The only wonderful thing about this is that I have a dear and longtime friend who is my accountant AND I usually get something back. So it really is a nice thing. A night with a friend who knows me as well as anyone and a little money in my pocket by the end of February.

This year though I am faced with a bittersweet event. After 4 years of trying to make a go of Coffee Matters and GAB Matters, I have decided to close the small businesses. It was my first try at starting a business and I know it won't be my last, but this one was filled with the emotions of failure.

I have always believed that failure IS an option.When talking with others I look for the opportunities of learning and growing through failure. I actually promote that failing will teach you more than success any day! Well this may be true, but what I have not experienced is the emotions of failure; nor have I ever addressed them.

At first I wanted to try and justify my work - I tried, if only I had the marketing money, it was a thought before it's time, I don't have the energy needed, I am not interested in selling things...the list goes on and on. Now, some of these may actually be facts but I found myself trying to rationalize why I failed in my first business!

My brother asked me today why I hadn't posted since Monday, but since I have made the decision to close the company down, I have had an emotional brain cloud of failure over me. He made a few jokes about it and of course my accountant and a few friends said "it's the right thing to do" and even I know it is the right thing to do. But now what? What will I spend my energy on? What will I plan for? What will I do?

Not a hard question to answer, but I will write more tomorrow about my plan. The emotions of failure should not be taken lightly. They can make you feel so very negative and without purpose...time to look for the silver lining!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The 360 Degree Leader

I have never enjoyed reading. I didn't grow up with it like many kids do and as I have gotten older I have found that sitting and reading just has never been something I really enjoy. Well, that is unless the book has some helpful hints or ideas about how to improve myself as a person or a professional.

I started this blog to begin to write and after I finished my PhD I found a lot of topics to write about. I haven't had to do the kind of research and reading I did during my PhD and it wasn't until a few weeks ago when I felt like I needed to learn about leadership more that I began to read again.

I am reading a book by John C. Maxwell called The 360 degree Leader. It is about how to be a leader no matter what your status or rank is in life. Half way into the book I am realizing that my dreams and passions for moving up are not as accurate as I would have hoped. In fact I don't know how much higher I want to go on the professional ladder as I don't believe I have fulfilled my abilities at my current level.

It is interesting reading this book and seeing myself in a whole different light. Not as someone who has to bang her head against a wall when things don't seem to go right, but someone who can see below, above and around and have a very large impact.

I always thought that if I was the boss I would be so much happier as my vision and ideas would be the future. I thought that I would have more freedom to do what I wanted and when I wanted. Through reading this book I have realized that with responsibility there is less freedom and less time to do what you want. You have so much riding on your ideas and vision that you have to work twice as hard to make them a reality.

Leadership isn't about a title, it is about dedication to the vision that is set no matter what your rank is. I guess it all comes down to attitude and understanding that you can have a major impact to the world but being 'the middle man'. It's kind of nice to know that you have such ability and it doesn't come from a title.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Numbers Freak!

I am a numbers freak. It's true! I love numbers, math, calculations, ROI's, percentages...anything that has to do with numbers I get excited about. I don't know why really. Maybe because you can show so much of life through numbers. How many fish did you catch? How much weight have you lost? How many miles did you run? What time do you go to work? How much money did we spend? How big is my tax refund? The questions around numbers is amazing and you rarely get a clear picture of the magnitude of the outcome without numbers!

If I said (or someone else says)--I have caught some fish and lost a few pounds and ran for awhile, and work in the morning, and spent less than I made and will get a nice tax refund you really get no perspective to the magnitude of the effort! In fact you short change your efforts by being vague.

If you want to really move towards excitement and exciting others you need to use numbers! Seriously! How many of us would be okay with our accountant saying "You will get some back on taxes"! What is your next question? Right - How much is some? You want specifics!

I have always wondered about this blog and if I am making any sort of an impact on others. Yes I hear from time to time from a few readers, but I didn't understand the magnitude (or if there is one) of my effort! It left me questioning the value of my effort and if I should continue.

How many of us do this to ourselves? How many times do we underestimate or even forget to estimate the value of our effort through numbers! It doesn't matter what you do or who you are numbers can help motivate you! This is why I am such a numbers freak!

So, in honor of my effort with this blog I want to share with you some of the statistics of this blog. Maybe it will be a reminder to all of us that we need to see numbers sometimes to understand the impact. Here you go.

365 Days of Positive and Purposeful Living has:
  1. Been viewed 5,377 times in the past year! That is over 15 times a day someone is checking this blog out.
  2. Been viewed at least 20 times by people in the following 10 countries: USA (4,598), Canada (118), Russia (102), United Kingdom (56), Denmark (42), India (37), Netherlands (36), South Korea (25), Australia (24), and Italy (20)! Again at least 20 times and that does NOT include me posting from a few of these countries! I have had 102 views from Russia! Seriously, I do not know anyone in Russia so this is amazing to me! Overall, this blog has been opened and read in over 37 countries! This is seriously amazing to me!
  3. 72% of the people who have read a post use Microsoft Windows!
  4. 2% of all posts were read on an ipad last year and this month that is up to 7% . Great to know!
  5. Finally, the post that received the most traffic were: Taming your Gremlins (2/9/2010), Minor Adjustments! (1/25/2011), Personal Expectations (4/8/2010), What happened to all the Exhibits (8/31/2010), and The Great White Bear Tour - Journal (11/28/2010)
 So, now I know the numbers and now that I know them I think I have a better idea as to the future of this blog! Correct? Numbers will help me plan my future posts, ideas, systems, and comments.
Ah yes, it is good to be a numbers freak!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In honor of Groundhog Day

There are a lot of things we can predict and some things I we can't. A groundhog seeing it's shadow or not really is a tough prediction for me to understand, but I like the point of an early spring.

So, in honor of the Groundhog, here are my predictions!

I predict that:
...I will have a better tomorrow then today.
...I will be more effective if I pay attention to those around me.
...I will be happy if I understand what makes me happy.
...I will live with purpose if I live with passion.
...I can do all of this as long I have a positive attitude!

There, my predictions! You see I don't need a groundhog, a horoscope, or the stars to predict my future...I get to determine my next step, my next day, my next thought. So, I predict I will continue to find the good around me and in me and make the best of everything I have.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Red sky at night, sailors delight!

If you have been around sailors or boaters or fishing fanatics you have most likely heard them say "Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sun at morn, sailor take warn".

I say it a lot and most of the time it actually works out. Red sky at night usually means there is a high pressure building in and the weather will be fair the next day. Some days, of course, the red sky is brilliant red if their is a forest fire someplace west of here.

The red sky at morn is meaning a low pressure is coming in from the east and thus means storms are on their way...again given that they is no major pollution issue east of here.

Tonight there was a brilliant red sky as the sun was setting and yes there is a high pressure coming over us and tomorrow's forecast is for cold and sun. In the summer it usually means hot and dry. Red in the morn is muggy and hot in the summer (storm weather) and in the winter a red morn means you can expect some possible snow coming your way.

What does this have to do with positive and purposeful living? Well let me tell you! Side note: I giggle every time I write 'well let me tell you' as I seem to try to connect things a lot!

Okay so here you go. What if you could look out your personal life's window every night at sunset and know if you were going to have a brilliant sun and blue sky day coming your way? What would you do if every morning you woke up and if you saw a red morn you could prepare yourself for a not so great personal day? What if your life was related to the weather?

Now, I know most of you have lived through this past winters ups and down and looking at the weather forecast for this week it could great crazy out there this week. But what if? What if we could see ahead?

Well in short we can and we don't need the sunrise or set to see ahead. What we need is to pay attention to our attitude! How many times do you go to bed thinking positive and purposeful thoughts? How many times do you wake up in the morning and feel anger and frustration just by getting up?

Our personal sky is all about attitude! Yes, it is! Attitude leads us to either the red sky at night, let's all take delight or red sky at morn, others around us be warned!

The challenge is to have more red sky at night events. That is where your positive and purposeful living comes from! That is where you feel alive! That is the high pressure feeling like you can conquer your world!

Ah yes, red sky at night....make that YOUR delight!