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Posts Tagged ‘choice’

Move Along- the Best Option

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

city scene“Move along, you don’t fit in.” If you heard this when you were eight years old, you would be crushed. They don’t want you in their game or to be part of their club. Childhood is not a time when you want to stand out. Your most important goal is to fit in.

You’re not eight years old anyone. Are you still trying to fit in?

Super Bowl mania took over the airways this past weekend. Football fan or not, you had to watch it if only for those commercials, right? How could you face your friends and coworkers if you didn’t even know the final score?

How many things do you do because you feel like you have to? It’s expected…if you want to fit in.

 What if every choice you made was based only on your own opinion?

If no one else cared or would even ask if you watched the Super Bowl, would you still watch it? Or would you choose to spend your time doing something you really enjoy?

There are consequences for not fitting in. You move along- to something better. You enjoy YOUR life!

“People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.”  Warren G. Bennis

Amazing Color

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

If you caught even a glimpse of the yearly parade down the red carpet to Oscarland, you were treated to some amazing color. Yet, you may have blinked and missed it amid the dresses as colorless as the faces of the woman wearing the designer frocks.

Couple in Formal Attire The pale brigade, the ivory, the gray, and not quite gold, were saved only by the contrast of their neutrals against the red of the carpet. If these too subtle ladies were looking for a statement dress, it was more like a yawn.

And for the truly undecided about their color voice- never, never, never wear black. Too severe. Too aloof. They just looked drab and oh so sad. Unless paired with dazzling silver. Now that added some class!

No, give me rich royal blue, sumptuous red, breathtaking plum, captivating coral, tremendous teal, saucy melon. The resurgence of lively hues gladdens my heart. These ladies are fearless as they announce their color confidence.

No need to wait for your red carpet debut. Every day you have the opportunity to speak in your own color voice.

Are you whispering too subtly to be noticed?

Do you return to the severity of black and are drowned out by the cacophony of sameness?

Or do you proudly announce yourself with vibrant color that you love?

The choice is yours- everyday.


"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
Steve Jobs

What’s New?

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Can you even make it through the day without hearing this common question as a form of greeting, "What's New?" Not even considering a possibly engaging answer, your automatic reply is, "Not much."

How boring!

Couple Dining Think about it. When was the last time you experienced something "new"? 

Creatures of habit we are. Going to the same restaurants, ordering the same favorite entree every time, pairing it with the default drink of your choice.  

"But I like it," I say as I defend my selection of the Spaghetti Norma, yet again. I'm sure you have similar menu justifications.

Do you remember the first time you tried that favorite dish? I do. Eggplant, ricotta, in a luscious, rich tomato sauce. Ahh, that was something new to my taste buds.

It had to be new and different because I had never visited that restaurant before. I had never been in that city before.

So logically, new must involve an unfamiliar experience. That's what makes new so rare, so untouchable. We must experience the unknown. How much more comfortable it is to know, and to have our expectations met.

New doesn't have to be scary or uncomfortable. It's all in the way we look at new. What if new is just another word for exciting? A new restaurant in town, how exciting!

New environments breed new experiences. Pretend you've just arrived in town. With the eyes of a visitor, what looks appealing to you? You have no choice but to experience something new.

Sorry, Norma, I have a new favorite. But it won't be a steady date. There are too many new and exciting options to try.

Besides, now I have a more interesting reply to that question- What's new?


"You can't make positive discoveries that make 
your life better if you never try anything new."

— Josh Kaufman

Color Me Confused

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Have you ever wondered why cars are made in silver, or blue, or red, or black? Why do you see the color pink on everything from fabrics to phones one year, and by next year, pink is totally gone?

Where do colors come from?

Where do colors go?

Who thinks up those descriptive color names?

Who decides the colors that populate our world?

Color trends change with the seasons. Just as nature’s color palette changes as the months go by, the colors that are introduced in the marketplace change just as quickly. The difference is that nature is predictable in her yearly array.

Colors selections, as they are mass marketed, come as a surprise to most of us. The choices we are presented with each season for our clothing, furnishings, electronics and cars mysteriously appear. We see them in the media, on store shelves, on the car lots, and we dutifully choose them. Some higher authority deemed that we wear, sit on, listen to and drive products in the new colors of the season.

In just a few days, the Color of the Year for 2013 will be announced by Pantone, the "keeper of the colors," if you will. Once the proclamation is made, you will see their color selection everywhere in the marketplace, there for you to choose.

As with every choice we make in our lives, choosing to become part of the masses as a follower of each new trend, yields us the lifestyle that defines the masses.

One of confusion due to lack of self-identity.

A life of conformity rather than creativity.

Do you pick what you’re told to because you can’t decide what’s best for you? An absence of a clear self-identity makes choices confusing, so it’s easier to go along with the trend. That way you’ll be accepted as just like everyone else.

What begins as the easy choice, after time, creates your image to the world.

The choices you make, however subtle they appear at the time, accumulate and create the person you become.

Do you want to be seen as the perfect follower, or as a person set apart from the crowd? 


"When you look like you stepped out of a catalog, that's never good. People shouldn't succumb to trend, they should interpret trend."
Rachel Zoe

Colors of the Mind Part Five

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

The mind is our tool to make sense of our world, yet it has the added talent of being a trickster. If you've been following our apple saga, let me take you into another mind game.

We used the mind's intellectual faculty of imagination to create the illusion of a shiny red apple  on the screen of your mind. You saw it. You smelled it. You heard the crack of the knife as you cut it. Finally you tasted its flavor- all in your mind.

You held that thought in your mind by the power of will for as long as you wanted. With perception, you decided if the "apple experience" pleased you or not.

The next faculty of the mind is your ability to reason, helping you to determine your preferences and to make a choice. Do you prefer the red, Delicious apple, or the green, Granny Smith apple? Reason helps you to weigh the options and to make the best selection.

Through reason, you are able to question if the way you’ve always done something is still serving your best interests today.

Were you raised with reminders of “don’t speak unless spoken to” and “don’t call attention to yourself”?

Those well meaning admonitions given to you when you were six years old sunk into your impressionable mind and now, decades later, you may be defaulting to those old mind impressions instead of stepping into the opportunities to be heard and to be seen.

As an adult, you are fully capable of using your intellectual faculty of reason to determine if long held beliefs about yourself and what's possible for you are true.

You now are able to use your powers of reason to know that by doing a disappearing act, you will not be seen as the person you are. Just as the shiny red apple exclaims its identity to all who see it, you are free to express your true self.

Reason transcends illusion.


"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. "
Galileo Galilei

Seeing Red?

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Marie and Nicole, friends since high school, are shopping for furniture. Marie has just bought her first house and her old sofa, that she's moved from apartment to apartment, needs to be replaced.

Her new home deserves something special. She enjoys Nicole’s company and trusts her opinions, so she invites her along on her search.

After visiting the third furniture store, Nicole questions Marie, “What is it that you’re looking for? We’ve sat on so many sofas, I feel like I have calluses on my bum.”

“I’ll know it when I see it,” Marie replies. “Let’s try the store on Main Street.”

After looking through the next store, walking from room to room, Marie shakes her head. “No, that’s not it.”

 “Well, I have one more over here.” They follow the salesman to another room further back into the store.

 “That’s it!” Marie startles the salesman and Nicole. “Oh, Marie, you can’t be serious.” Nicole is shocked by Marie’s selection.

“I’ve always wanted a red, leather sofa.” Marie is all smiles.

Nicole, ever the practical friend, reminds Marie of the folly of her choice. “That red will stick out like a sore thumb. It won’t match anything else in the room. You’ll get tired of that color fast, then what? Besides, it’s probably in the back of the store because no one else wants it.”

Marie’s smile begins to fade. She asked the salesman if Nicole is right.

 “Well, we definitely sell more black leather sofas. It’s a classic look,” he replies with an air of authority.

 Marie’s mind begins to question her initial excitement.

That’s true. Black leather is a modern classic.

It’s what’s shown in all the magazines.

What was I thinking?

A red sofa- it’s so not me.

The next day, Marie’s black leather sofa is delivered and placed on a prominent wall in her living room. Nicole and Marie sink into the cushiony seats as they share some wine and toast to the first purchase for her new home.

“It’s a good thing I was with you yesterday,” Nicole remarks, “or we would be sitting on an ugly red sofa.”

Marie strokes the soft, dark leather. “Yeah, how bad would that be?”

She hears a tiny voice inside her head. “Maybe, next time.”

Is Marie listening to the voices outside her head instead of the one inside? Is her genuine self, a different person than the self she shows the world?

Which one is real?

Which one do you listen to?

You create your reality by making choices. Your choices reveal your life.

Live well. Be you.

"Choose your love.  Love your choice. "
                  Thomas S. Monson


Baby You Can Drive My Car

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Jack is thinking about buying a new car. He is secure in his career and feels he deserves to upgrade from his decade old sedan. For months he has read all the trade publications, and has researched every make and model.

Everyday, on the way to work, Jack notices each vehicle on the road. On his mental list, he excludes this one or adds that one as he refines his possible choices.

 Finally, his search ends when he glimpses the perfect vehicle, the Lexus IS 350C. He snaps a picture of it with his cell phone as it speeds past. The exact look, the style, even the color he wants. Now, he’s ready to make his purchase.

 Saturday morning, Jack works out at the gym, and then visits the Lexus dealership. He scans the rows of vehicles searching for his ideal car. Where is it? He walks into the showroom, cell phone in hand, and confidently shows the photo image to Scott, the salesperson. “This is the car I want.”

 It’s sleek, it’s sexy, and shiny Obsidian Black.

 “Great choice”, Scott eagerly replies. “I have one right over here.”

 They walk over to the gleaming Lexus. The graceful, aerodynamic curves of the body, the sculptured five spoke wheel covers, the sumptuous leather interior, “It’s everything you want, Jack”.

 Jack’s eyes light up as he approaches his dream car. It’s even more beautiful than he remembers. “Yes, this is the car for me.” He reaches out to touch the sleek fender, and observes, “But, this one is silver”.

 “Tungsten Pearl is the color you want, Jack”, Scott insists. “Look, it’s in the brochure.” He pushes the elegant, glossy brochure into Jack’s hands. “This is the hot, new color.”

 Jack confirms the image on the brochure is exactly like the car in the showroom. The silvery hue in the photograph looks dynamic in daylight and dramatic in darkness. He begins to reason with himself.

Well, if this is the hot, new color.

It is featured in the brochure.

Scott’s the professional; he knows what he’s talking about.

            Black would be harder to keep looking shiny.

Jack nods and makes his decision, “Sold”.

He finishes the paperwork, and shakes hands with Scott. “Thanks for your help.” 

Scott presents Jack with his keys and some reassurance, “This car is really you, Jack. I know you’re going to love it”.

Jack eases into his new Lexus IS 350C. As he settles into the soft leather seat, the new car smell fills his nostrils. Jack leans back and closes his eyes.

He sees himself, sitting tall, tanned, smiling, convertible top down, the wind in his hair, cruising down the highway in his shiny, new, black Lexus.

Wait, what happened here?

Did the plus of owning the hot, new color car become a minus when compared to Jack’s image of himself?

What is more important, how the world sees Jack driving his new car, or how Jack sees Jack?

Success starts with how you see yourself.

The choices you make, however subtle they appear at the time, accumulate and create the person you become.

Do you always pick the “safe” color choice? Do you listen to the advice of others about what is best for you? Do you simply follow the crowd and go along with the current style?

Getting to know yourself and discovering what looks and feels best for you is infinitely more empowering and satisfying.

The Choice Is Up to You

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Have you chosen the life you're living?  "Of course," is your immediate response. Yet how often have you admitted, as I have, that  "Life is what happens when you're making other plans."

Sure we have all made important decisions that shaped our lives.

The source of our education.

Selecting a spouse.

Applying for a job.

Determining where we live.

Yet one decision often leads to the next. You went to a school, where you met your spouse, and your job took you to the place where you live.

What if you said no to any of those decisions, or shuffled the order of your choices, would the outcome be similar? One step leads to another.

What if you made every choice on purpose? Decided what your ideal life would look like and base your choices on that outcome? It's possible.

Scary to be in so much control of your life. Powerful. So start small to get used to it.

Where do you want to have lunch? Doesn't matter. Yes, it does. Make a purposeful choice that feels best to you.

Buying a new jacket? Pick the easy choice, basic black. Or select the radiant red because you felt happy when you tried it on.

Choices get easier when they take you toward a life you design for yourself.

You are responsible for your own happiness. It starts with deciding to be.


"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."
William Jennings Bryan

Problem with Commitment?

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Is it a guy thing? You may be inclined to think so. Many men have a problem with commitment… color that is. Not too bright, not too dark, beige is just right. It's the perfect “blend in” color. 

If you're a guy, or if you know one, what color is commonly found throughout most of your wardrobe? 

My husband is rarely seen in anything but khaki pants. He says he's being practical- they always look clean. I think it's a habit, an addiction… to sameness. He never has to think about what color to put on. Sound familiar?

In reality, beige may have less to do with gender and everything to do with color commitment. Don't think you're off the hook, gals, if you see mostly neutral colors in your closet. Why is it so easy to pick beige?

Beige, and all its other names, tan, caramel, ecru, khaki, is the easy, default color when you don't want to think about color.

As our color conscious shopper, Jennifer, justified to herself in my example from yesterday, this color will go with anything. Wear it with green or red or blue or black. It mixes easily with almost any hue.

Beige never goes out of style.

It's a safe choice.

When each season's new colors are introduced, there is always a variation of beige included. No need to get rid of last year's beiges, unlike trendy pinks, oranges or turquoises that may date your wardrobe or your living room. Beige works in every season.

With all the color beige has going for it, the practicality, the versatility, what could possibly be wrong with wearing beige?

Picture a sandy beach as it creates a foil against the translucent blue water. In a creek bed, next to the light brown pebbles are deep gray stones as well. The natural color of the sheep's wool is highlighted as they graze against deep green vegetation. 

As in nature, beige is enhanced when surrounded with color. Beige has an identity, a reason for being there when combined with other color. It's not just a safe choice.

Beige becomes a purposeful choice to provide a backdrop for other colors. 

If you dress in beige, and its variations, from head to toe, you may be safe, but you'll never to memorable. To blend in and disappear, be beige. 

 To set yourself apart, you need the contrast of color.

What Could Be Simpler?

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

What does a simpler life and making more discerning life choices have to do with color? Perspective. We're blessed with a myriad of color choices in every part of life, from toothbrushes to paint colors. 

Does that dizzying array of choices make your life simpler? Ever long for the days of a single color option- a black phone, solid white sheets, red lipstick? 

How do you choose color? 

Do you pick the popular hue? If you see it on the fashion runways and on the celebrity red carpet it's a sure bet that hot color will be yours for the choosing on clothing racks, furniture, even on cars in the near future.

Opting for the latest trend, just like signing on for yet another life experience, may be taking you away from your true self. Color has personal meaning for each of us and has an effect on how you feel about yourself.

When you wear a color that speaks to you, or you're surrounded by your best colors in your home or work environment, your spirits are lifted, you look and feel your best.

Your color creates a glow from the inside out.

Check your closet for a reoccurring color. (Disregard your black clothing. That's another topic.) You will naturally be drawn to a color that feels good to you.

What color gets you compliments when you wear it? What color chair do you choose to sit in when entering a room? Listen to your color intuition.

Color trends are commonly followed by those unwilling to be themselves. See the proof by noticing people in the media or on the streets. Who do you think found “their color” and who is the victim of a trend? 

Isn't life all about self discovery and finding what satisfies you? 

The more I learn and study about the effects of color, I am convinced the outer environment we create for ourselves mirrors the image of our inner selves.

Are you guarded or shy around others?

Are you always looking for approval? 

By your appearance, clothing, work and home environments, you declare to the world your level of self acceptance.

Success starts with how you see yourself. 

Live simply. Reflect your best self with color that says YOU.

Tell Me More

Mary Ellen Lapp reveals how the colors we wear, and the colors that surround us, even the color of the car we drive, impact out self image and affects how we are seen by the people around us.

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