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Posts Tagged ‘success’

Making It Matter

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Your eyes slowly open. From the sliver of daylight peeking through the curtains on your bedroom window it must be just about time to wake up. Do you stretch, breathe in a deep breath and put your feet on the floor? Or do you roll over, hunker under the covers and pretend you didn’t see the daylight?

Doesn’t matter.

The alarm will do its job sooner or later. Zzzzzzzz.

Driving to work, traffic is backed up…again. A car on your right is signaling to move over into your lane. Do you ease off the accelerator and motion your hand to invite them to get ahead of you? Or do you look the other way and speed up to the bumper of the car in front of you?

Doesn’t matter.

You need to get to work and fast- since you rolled over earlier to catch some more zzz’s.

Home again and what a relief. Now for some “me” time. Do you fix yourself some grilled chicken and veggies, put on some soft music and start reading a few pages of an inspiring book? Or do you order pizza delivered, plop down in your comfy chair to watch your favorite TV show that’s on tonight?

Doesn’t matter.

After a tiring day, you have to relax somehow.

Our daily habits seem inconsequential. But habits are what make us who we are. They are choices we make without thinking of the consequences.

What if you did think about it?

What if you made it matter and made a different choice next time?

You may just find a more enjoyable result.

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

Joe Vitale

No Resolutions this New Year

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

You’re off the hook. No New Years resolutions are required this year. Resolutions, no matter how well your intention, don’t work. They’re too big, don’t feel natural and sometimes daunting. There is a much more effective way to begin your new year, one that guarantees success.

surprised babyIt’s called a Habit. Now before you run through a litany of excuses, think of all the bad habits developed over your life time that have been impossible to kick.

Biting your nails.

Being late.

Embellishing the truth.

That just shows you that habits, once adopted do not just go away.

What about the good habits? At some point in your life a parent drilled into you the habit of brushing your teeth every day. Now you naturally perform that habit without thinking.

After being embarrassed by a college roommate when I hadn’t shaved my legs in a week, I decided to make shaving my legs every day a habit. That simple action became and still is part of my daily grooming ritual. It makes me feel better about myself.

So back to this New Year. There may be something in your mind. You know, if you did it every day, your life would improve. But how, in your busy day, do you fit in one more thing?

The secret to creating a new, positive habit is to assign it a time slot.

The easiest way to find time is to link the action to a habit you already have.

Say you want to read an inspirational or self help book this year. No time as you rush through your morning- or is there? Prop a book up in your bathroom and read a few lines as you brush your teeth. Totally painless because you’re standing there, thinking about something anyway. Your day will undoubtedly be more pleasant.

You may have thought of resolving this year to be a better conversationalist, or to meet new people. No time to join a club or church. Instead make a habit of speaking to everyone you see, in the elevator or passing on the street. Just a hello or small talk is enough to stretch your social boundaries. It will also make the recipient of your gesture feel better about themselves. No telling where this could lead.

What else would you like to do in the New Year? Be more grateful? Add that to your nighttime ritual, just before you turn out the lights. Jot down a note to someone you appreciate- just a line or two will do. That simple habit will release endorphin into your system and you will sleep peacefully. And imagine the smile on their face when they open the mail box.

Our habits create our life.  Only you create your habits.


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

Red on the Horizon

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

You've had three weeks to ease into this new year. Attracted by the palest pink of dawn, we've begun on a year long color journey at the top edge of the rainbow where color begins.

calm seaBut look at the horizon. The color is getting stronger. No longer pastel, no longer so new, January has set the tone. Are new habits in place? Are there boulders in the way?

Success requires commitment.

To an idea.

To a lifestyle.

To a color.

We each have color memories from childhood. The fond ones become the basis for our favorite colors. Unpleasant remembrances of color can form a lifelong feeling of detest for a certain hue.

A happy color memory for me is the amazement I felt as my aunt, an accomplished cake decorator, starting with pure white frosting, carefully added drops of deeply colored liquid that produced a magnificently colored result.

My favorite was the single drop of ruby red liquid that transformed the ordinary white to the most luscious shade of deep pink. She created bountiful roses, Cinderella's dress, and an Easter bunny's nose with this amazing color, festooned on cakes for every occasion.

No surprise ruby red and deep pink are two of my most revered colors.

Look at that horizon again. The hue of late January is almost there, deep pink. That's what keeps me going this month, the realization that this color journey is getting ever closer to a place of contentment.

What do you see on the horizon for yourself?


"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
 Audrey Hepburn

Let’s Live a Fun & Fulfilling Life

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Time is running out for this 2012, or is it? The calendar keeps track of time and seems to make finite the days that comprise the months and describe the passing of the year. Yet as we found when time continued after December 21, the organization of time is an invention of man and only has meaning to the human mind.

Fortune Cookie with  FortuneYet there is some comfort in finishing a year. It's the last time you write "12" for the date, unless you count those times you forget in early January.

If the year was not as you wanted, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You're done with it! Now's the time to begin again. Make a fresh start.

If this year was promising for you, you see the coming year as a time to expand your success. You are eager to begin your new plans. Nothing can stop you now!

As you begin your new calendar called 2013, instead of resolving to exercise more, eat less, or any number of "should do" declarations that will never see the end of January, why not decide to do what you would really enjoy?

There's no rule that says resolutions need be painful. Here's my plan for the coming year and I'm sharing it with you.

Let's live a fun and fulfilling life.

No pain, only gain.

Enjoy your life.

Be who you want to be.

Every minute, each day, as the weeks turn into months and we finish out another year, leave no room for regret. It's truly the only way to guarantee a Happy New Year!


"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."
Benjamin Franklin

How to Predict Your Success

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Do you want more in your life?  Here's a foolproof way to greatly improve your current life by adding more prosperity and joy to each day.

One of my favorite quotes by practical philosopher, Jim Rohn, is this.

"In order to have more, you need to become more. The guy says 'If I had a good job I would really pour it on, but I have this lousy job so I just goof off.' If that is your philosophy, you are destined to stay there."

Isn't it interesting that we look for the big break in order to be able to live our perfect life? That assumes there is limited happiness or contentment in our current way of life. Something will have to come along to change our circumstances. In the mean time, sit back and wait for your big break.

If that scenario is true for you, and you're waiting and hoping for something else to come along, you're missing one important component to change things for the better.

"In order to have more, you need to become more."

Whatever your current education or life experience, they have gotten you to where you are today. Just as any journey begins with the first step, in order to move beyond your little comfortable world, you must equip yourself for a new and different world waiting for you steps away. What supplies, what tools do you need for your journey?

If you have a job and you're paid a rate by the hour, how can you justify getting paid more for each hour you work? Yes, there's inflation and gas costs more, but the job you do, the effort you put in day after day is the same.

"In order to have more, you need to become more."

What if you asked for more training on the job to learn a new skill? That additional knowledge could result in higher pay. And what about the value you receive from stretching your mind to learn something new? You may even get an idea for a whole new line of work.


If you work for yourself, you probably already feel like you're doing the work of two people. I know that feeling. There's no way you have time to for anything more. Like a hamster on the treadmill, you dream of a "someday" when you can catch up on work, your family life and more.

"In order to have more, you need to become more."

If you're spinning your wheels and not getting ahead that a sure sign it's time to become more– become more of the the talented entrepreneur that started your business and less of the "do everything myself" maniac.

It's time to delegate to family, to children, to employees or contracted assistants in order to save yourself for the important decisions that must be made. You must become more, invest in yourself to take your business to the next level. A seminar, a planning retreat, or even a day off with no distractions inspires and recharges.

The world around us is changing at tremendous speed. A college degree earned today will be obsolete in a few short years. So standing still is not an option. It didn't work for the dinosaurs in their day either. Unlike them, you have more options.

How can you improve yourself?

What can you learn to do?

What problems can you solve for someone else?

Add to your value in the marketplace and you will be rewarded financially. The bonus lies in how you will feel about yourself. Become the person you admire. Prosperity and joy will follow.


"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. "
Jim Rohn

What Are You Creating?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Ask most people, "Are you creative?" and you'll probably get a puzzled look and a shrug. Artists are creative, and writers, and inventors. If you're not painting a picture, or writing a sonnet, or devising a mode of intergalactic travel, how creative are you?

Maybe it's the word, creative, that seems so intimidating. The idea of making something out of nothing, reminds us of the biblical connotation. Who are we to compete with a production like that?

But even artists, writers and inventors start with something. They begin with paint or clay, with words and their meanings, and with an infinite supply of what already is to create a new and different version.

Some of the most creative people I know do not wield paint brushes or pens. They are the problem solvers in the world. The tools they use are past experience and a way of seeing that is not obvious to most of us.

After spending most of the morning tinkering with the stereo amplifier that stopped working, my husband pronounced it "done." Not fixed, but its usable life was over. "That was a waste of time," he declared.

Not so. You learn something with everything you do, whether you classify it a success or not. He is a great problem solver because he's spent a lifetime experiencing what will and what won't work. His creativity lies in finding a solution or determining it's time to move on.

That's a skill everyone can master. As Einstein reminds us "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." The first step in fostering your creative mind is to step back and see the situation with different eyes.

Take a literal step away and do something totally unrelated. Take a walk, read a book, call a friend. You will come back with different eyes that may see something you missed before. Distance creates a new perspective.

If that doesn't work for you, question the assumptions you are making by being too close to the problem. Pretend you've just met someone and they are telling you about this same problem they are having. From the outside, looking in, what helpful suggestions would you offer to them?

Most of us can eagerly offer advice to other people because we are detached from the problem. Write down your ideas for them and then see how those suggestions would help you too.

Creativity thrives when the mind is free to wander. The subconscious mind, where all knowledge and our every experience is stored, has all the answers.

You are a creative being. What are you creating? A solution or a bigger problem?


"The human body has two ends on it: one to create with and one to sit on. Sometimes people get their ends reversed. When this happens they need a kick in the seat of the pants. "
Theodore Roosevelt

How to Spice It Up

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Ever wonder why fashion and its corresponding colors change so frequently? Just when you think you’ve updated your wardrobe with the latest hem length, pant profile or hue, the Fashion Week photos you see in the media look nothing like what’s in your closet.

But that’s a good thing!

It’s the job of media fashion experts to tout the new, the different, the “must have” for each approaching season. That’s what drives commerce in the fashion industry.

The good news for you is that once you have discovered the look, the colors and styles that reflect who you are, you are no longer at the whim of the fashion dictates.

It’s interesting to notice that shoulder pads are back. If your anatomy requires a build up of too narrow shoulders, rush out and embrace the trend. Otherwise, be happy with your natural shoulders and accent them with a cowl neck sweater.

The same is true of the latest colors. When a color you love, one that makes you feel great when you wear it, comes into vogue, add it to your wardrobe in several pieces to mix and match with the other colors you wear. Then, regardless of what colors populate the clothing racks next season, you will always be looking your best because you are wearing your best colors. Perennially fabulous always trumps temporarily fashionable!

It’s said that “variety is the spice of life.” There’s no easier way to introduce variety into your life than with unexpected color. What cinnamon and nutmeg are to your favorite apple pie, dashes of color add flavor and spice to your everyday environment. It’s true that as visually oriented humans, our psyche thrives on visual variety.

Where will you add colorful variety this season?

Not sure how to determine what colors are best for you? Read The Color of Success, Why Color Matters in your Life, your Love, your Lexus.


"Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety. "
Francis Bacon

What Frustrates You?

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

The world would be such a pleasant place if people were more like me. How many times a day do you find yourself thinking that? Good, it's not just my overtaxed brain.

What's the source of your frustration, recalcitrant children, woefully unaware drivers, or any number of unenlightened people that cross your path? All these frustrating circumstances have one thing in common.

We are trying to change what "is" into what we want it to be. And we want it to be–more like us.

Ever try to convince someone you are right and they are wrong? Another path to frustration. People only see through their own eyeballs. Their own upbringing and experiences color their judgements and decisions. There is no convincing them otherwise.

The saddest frustration I feel is when I see a better way, a genuine improvement I can bring into someone's life, and they refuse to open their mind and see it for themselves. What I hear as excuses coming from their mouth are really their long held beliefs about what is possible for them.

"You can't push string" was a favorite saying I heard growing up whenever I insisted on having it my way. Change only occurs when a firm decision is made in the mind. No persuasion or coercion affects a mind made up.

Accepting the world and the people around us, just as they are, prepares us to live a more tranquil life. You do not have to like it the way it is. Or agree with it. Or pretend to be part of it.

Just see it and decide to let it be.

Be the change you want to see, and others will want to emulate your success.


"My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant, and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual. "
Phyllis Diller

Seeing Yourself Clearly?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Geoffrey Bradfield, a celebrated Interior Designer of international acclaim, adopted as his motto a quote from Oscar Wilde.

 “There is an art to living-

that life itself is, in fact, the first, the greatest, of the arts.”

In describing interior environments of his design, Bradfield explains that his work creates “a backdrop for our lifestyles, to enhance and illustrate the way we choose to live”. The home interiors Bradfield successfully designs mirror his clients’ lifestyle. When the spaces are a true reflection of their inhabitants, the art to living, that greatest of the arts, occurs naturally, comfortably.

As the creator of the “backdrop of your lifestyle”, each day you choose the personal environment of your clothing, the vehicle you drive, your home surroundings, and your work environment. The artistic medium you work with to create your surroundings on the visual plain is color.

You need not be an artist in the sense of a painter or sculptor to create. A subtle creative process starts the moment you open your eyes and you realize your “Youness”.  

As you rub the sleep out of your eyes and leave the reverie of your dream, are you smiling as you greet your day? Or, as you catch a glimpse of yourself in the bathroom mirror, do you close your eyes to the person you see?

How you see yourself is the biggest determining factor in how you are perceived to others. Are you portraying the true reflection of who you are, or does your mirror reflect the image of an imposter?

Being aware that you control your personal environment is the first step in making the changes to guarantee your success. 

Maxwell Maltz, in his book “Psycho-Cybernetics”, writes “all your actions, feelings, behavior, even your abilities, are always consistent with self image.” He goes on to explain, “By understanding your self image and by learning to modify it and manage it to suit your purposes, you gain incredible confidence and power.”

In other words, your level of success in life stops at the level of comfort you have with yourself. Why cap your success because uncertainties about your self image?

If you’re looking to boost the success you feel, first be comfortable with yourself.

Being comfortable with yourself is not the same as the feeling you have wearing your old blue jeans and oversized sweatshirt. Comfort with your self image is deeper than clothing level, below skin level. It starts at mind level.  

Start with being clear about who you are.

You are different than anyone else.

Begin with self acceptance.

Celebrate your uniqueness.

Self-confidence means you have belief in yourself.


The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image”.                                                             Brian Tracy

What Does Kindness Look Like?

Friday, August 31st, 2012

If you read my post from Wednesday, Clearly the Better Choice, I mentioned that witnessing someone else performing an act of kindness for another person can create a positive feeling in the person watching.

Why is that so? Kindness touches the emotions in a peculiar way. It reinforces the human bond with our fellow earthlings and underscores the inherent goodness present in each of us.

When we watch kindness expressed, our own goodness is intensified causing a surge of mood enhancing serotonin to the brain. Just like watching a feel good movie, when tears well in your eyes, you are expressing appreciation for the positive portrayals of the actors. The tears come in combination with a smile.

This week, an act of kindness by my husband, touched me and all the people involved. While at a shopping mall, he choose to find a comfortable chair and people watch instead of walking through the stores. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

In the center court of the mall, tables were set up and volunteers began carrying boxes to the staging area. Along the side corridors, long lines of children and adults began to assemble.

As the boxes were opened, he saw they contained backpacks imprinted with words like knowledge, success and kindness. A local radio station was sponsoring a backpack giveaway for needy school children and the volunteers had a big job ahead of then unpacking and distributing the bags full of school supplies to the waiting crowd.

Without a thought, Keith sprang to his feet and offered to move more boxes out of the storage room so the others could unpack them onto the tables.

Noticing his color was not the same as the rest of the group, the person in charge asked him with an expression of surprise, "Are you a volunteer?"

"I am now," was his reply. He and the other volunteers smiled broadly, and the cooperative effort was quickly completed.

Sure Keith felt good lending a hand. And the group distributing the backpacks was enjoying the high of compassion as each child got to choose their own red or green or black backpack. The school children felt proud to carry bags emblazoned with positive values.

And I felt those tears welling up as I smiled too- must be the effect of the serotonin.

Kindness, pass it along.


"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.
Princess Diana

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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Feel Great in Color!