Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Strength of Character - Courage

I am ready with my summary of chapter 1. The time since the first note on this book and now was longer than I planned but it is all in line with things that I am learning. I had expectations of more frequent mailings and I thought summarizing each chapter would be easier. Truth is I am thinking too much about what you think of my summary. So what I am learning is I need to follow my heart, and write from my heart, and what people take away from it will be what it is. I believe that it's all about timing. I am not here to move everyone to live a better life...just those who are ready to do so.

Now that I am respecting myself, not worrying about the outcome of my work and using a little bit of courage, I will continue to share my thoughts on the book The Strength of Character when the time feels right.

Courage - To walk by faith requires courage

Heroes have courage. People who do unbelievable things have courage. Does everyone have courage? Do we use courage in every day things?

To help me get my head around words that I have built up my own meaning of over decades, I have been looking the words up in a dictionary. I have gone back to basics and found a technique to help me be more successful. This simple action has given me the chance to forget what didn't work for me in the past, create a new attitude about the topic and redefine where I stand today. It has empowered me to move forward with a given area.

Definition of Courage

The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc without fear; bravery to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.

Life takes courage

Is it uncomfortable to be different?
Is it more comfortable to blend into the woodwork?

Some greatest fears -
• being ostracized/rejected by "the group"
• look foolish
• being talked about
• being misunderstood

Life takes courage. As noted in this book, four thoughts to help bolster your courage.

1. I am responsible.
2. I must not forget - we must not forget the Lord and what He has done for us
3. I am accountable - to God
4. I get my standard and security from God

What helps bolster your courage?

Being vs. Doing

What we want to do is not nearly as important as what we want to be.

Doing is usually concerned with a vocation or career - how we make a living.

Doing is tied with accomplishments and tangible things like salary and trophies.

Being is much deeper. It relates to character; who we are and how we make a life.

Being, intangibles, is much of which can't be measured by objective yardsticks and impressive awards.

Bite Size Pieces - Consistently

Gumption. Again, what is the definition?
• Initiative, aggressiveness, resourcefulness.
• Courage, spunk, guts.
• Common sense.
• Being disciplined one day at a time.

So how do we use courage, and it's redefinition and new light, in our lives?

Rather that focusing on the whole enchilada, take it in bite size chunks. Create a plan, no matter how small or large, into manageable pieces. Haven't you been asked how does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time, of course.

How do you ...
...write a book? Do so one page at a time. a marathon? Run those 26+ miles one step at a time.
...master a new language? Try one word at a time.

You get the point.

There are 365 days in the average year. Divide any project by 365 and none seem all that intimidating. It will take daily discipline, not annual discipline.

Think of how you would work best with creating reminders for yourself to execute daily this new way of being courageous. Is it yellow sticky notes? Is it a reminder on your computer? Is it someone to help hold you accountable?

Set yourself up for success on any project or new habit to make small steps towards your goal. Be reasonable (yet challenging yourself when necessary) in the size of the task. You can do it!

Quotes from this chapter

"Even if your day is shadowed by fear or uncertainty, God is with close as your heartbeat, as near as your next breath."

"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" ~1 Samuel 16:7


Today is unique! It has never occurred before and it will never be repeated.
At midnight, it will end quietly, suddenly, totally. Forever.
But the hours between now and then are opportunities with eternal possibilities.

What keeps you up at night?

Would you share with me what keeps you up at night? What are some of the things you really want?
You are a valuable part of my life journey and building my business! I appreciate your comments.

Janina - go here to read previous versions of newsletters and notes from other chapters from this book

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Letting go

Words from The Strength of Character by Charles R Swindoll

What lessons can you learn when you find yourself in a predicament?

Maybe the only solution to your predicament is a miracle.
What should your response be?
When we reach the end of our tether, we finally cry out, "God, help me!"
And God says, "I will. Let go."

Letting go works against human nature. But God wants us to do just that - to free fall into His everlasting arms and trust completely in Him.

It's all a part of His plan.

~Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Great perspective on stress


A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked 'How heavy is this glass of water?'
Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, 'The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.'

He continued, 'And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. '

'As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.'

'So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.'

So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now....

Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

The universe is sending me messages :-)

I love it when I have my eyes open and I get signals that I am doing the right thing! I was on the phone 2 weeks ago for one of my coaching classes and I was talking about taking my idea of a women's support group further. I had a "kick off" with a pot luck and we watched the first episode of Oprah's new life series. We learned about putting ourselves back on our to-do lists. That was a great time and I wanted to talk about how I could keep it going and do a good job to benefit both the attending women and myself.

This other coaching student referred me to Cheryl Richardson's web site. She is a life coach and has lots of experience - and has written a book - on forming groups and how to run them so they are successful. On her web site I noticed this book called The Art of Extreme Self Care. It sounded like such a great book that I bought it for myself.

As soon as I get this book and start reading it, a friend from work sends me a link to Cheryl's segment on Good Morning America! She did ran a group there (I don't know how long it was) but the video clip showed her interacting with some of the women and common issues we face in always saying YES and spreading ourselves too thin and not taking care of ourselves.

Amazing the trail that I have been on with talking about this support group, heading to Cheryl's web site, ordering her book and then having someone in my support group (who didn't know about this person/book otherwise) send me a video clip of her and her work! It's meant to be! I am so excited and sure now that this is something I should be doing :-)

Oh - and loving that I posted twice today from my corporate job! Capturing the emotion of the topic in the moment! I love it!

Great ideas at strange times

I am so excited! I usually get some great ideas just as I am falling asleep - after I have cleared (most) of the noise from my head. Last night was no exception. I have been wondering how to be able to post more frequently. I carry around a small notebook in my pocketbook but don't always think to jot down something in it and if I do write down a thought, I don't always look at it again for a while. So good idea - not able to execute on my desired timing.

My idea last night about how to blog more regularly came with the thought to try to log into my blog page from my corporate job. Shhhhhh. I don't think this is totally wrong because I won't abuse it, it won't be for hours on end, and it will be to benefit myself and those who follow my post. So win/win all around :-)

I am laughing because I didn't even write this idea to try out down. What I normally do when I have an idea in bed is to get up and write it down else I am fearful that I will forget it. But this idea was SO good that I didn't write it down and I didn't forget about it :-)

So this works great! I know I have more opportunity for ideas to write while I am at my corporate day job - it's just the environment plus the people are great.

Look for more frequent and varied postings from this day forward. I am so excited to have asked the question, been provided a solution, heard the solution and acted on it! So many wins! How will I celebrate??

Be grateful for the little things and make it a great day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time Well Spent

I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking lately. I have noticed I haven't posted since January. I am okay with that. I have been reading some other blogs and getting comfortable with how I am on my own track; my own time line; my own journey. I am learning to let go of what looks good (posting daily or on an exact schedule) and just be me and post when it feels right.

Some of the newsletters and blogs and books that I have been reading are filling my mind with great information about self development and taking action. Since I am a life coach, these are perfect topics for me to be learning about. We all learn something new all the time. It should be our goals to develop ourselves. I have been seeing a lot of signs from my angels and God that I am going in the right direction. It is a real comfort!

I'll be posting some things in the near future. It will be part of my exercise to accept myself as I am.