NOW is all there ever is.

People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.  ~ Eckhart Tolle

So, a friend of my sister’s has learned this week that he has the same type of pancreatic tumor that Steve Jobs did, and it’s terminal.

Wouldn’t it be better to actually know that you have only a couple of years to live? I imagined being in his situation and immediately began to think of things I would definitely do – bucket-list type things – and other things I would definitely stop doing! Or at least do less of!

Does it take a death sentence to make us change thinking and behavior?

NOW is all there ever is.

NOW is rapidly becoming my primary ‘one word’ for this new year.

Oh sure, I did my goals list. I chose my 3 words. I wrote the ‘story’ behind my goals. I did the drill. Push. (Myself). Connect. (with others). Grow. (myself, and my business).

But to succeed, I will need to focus on those words and goals within the framework of my one word. Now.

I will push myself now. Today. It is the end of my workday now and I have done just that. Pushed through a difficult project today.

I will connect every day with some people. I have done so today, both personal and business contacts. Many of them.

I will grow. Every day. Today has presented two new problems for which I need to find system solutions.

Once again here is my favorite quote from Chris Brogan, the originator of the ‘3 Word Exercise’

Everything you will do in this year will come from what you do every day. Your year is made up of days.”

What do you think?

***

Five Minute Friday: HOLD

“Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'” 

~ Ann Landers 

Hold your head high.

Hold on!

Some days it feels like I’m holding on for dear life; other days it feels like fear is holding on to me. But I make the conscious choice to decide that the troubles will not capture or defeat me.

I’m not going to write about those troubles or give them any publicity!

Instead I’m going to hold them hostage and force them to listen to my blessings:

I am blessed to be a child of the Almighty God.

I am blessed to be able to love and be loved.

I am blessed to have daily bread.

I am blessed to be able to hold on, regardless of the troubles, because I believe that God has it all under control even when I know that I do not.

I choose to hold onto faith rather than fear.

How about you? What are you holding onto?

***

Kate Motaung is the amazing host of the Five-Minute Friday community.

Join us here for the #FMFparty where we write without editing for 5 minutes.

Five Minute Friday: Change

The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.
The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them
changes both the maker and the destinations.

~ John Schaar

 

I tend to collect quotes on the subject of change. One of my favorite books is Change Agent by Os Hillman. I studied Organizational Development. I love change. OK, I really don’t like to experience change that I did not choose, but I am good at walking through the change process, always with hope that the new destination, or new process, or new anything will be an improvement over the old.

 

The greener grass theory? Maybe in some ways. Eternal optimist? Probably. After relocating so many times in my life, I learned early on that I would find both joy and loss in change. A second chance. A new landscape, be it house, or school or job.

 

Early on I was surprised when the same problems or the same problem people showed up in that new world. Because the destination may have changed, but I had not.

 

The future is definitely something we have the ability to create and when we forge through and make a new path, the process changes us.

 #

 

Kate Motaung is the amazing host of the Five-Minute Friday community.

Join us here for the #FMFparty

 

Sometimes inspiration helps.

A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, or because everything she does is golden. A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.

~ Junot Diaz

This is for all the late-bloomers in the world. Writing is not like dancing or modeling; it’s not something where if you missed it by age 19 – you’re finished. It’s never too late. Your writing will only get better as you get older and wiser. If you write something beautiful and important, and the right person somehow discovers it, they will clear room for you on the bookshelves of the world – at any age. At least try.

~Elizabeth Gilbert

It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.

~ Confucius

 And with that, back to it. I #amwriting.

Positivity.

Who are you hanging around?

Jim Rohn said that “we become the combined average of the five people we hang around the most”.

So how do you delete the toxic people from your life and surround yourself with positive people? I have no magic answers, but in my case, I had to sever communication. Written and verbal – all communication. First though, I had to let go of any notion that I could help them change. Most frustrating is when they keep asking for advice but ignoring everything you offer.

It can be particularly difficult if they are related to you, and it may be impossible to complete remove them from your life, so mitigate their negativity with other positive people. Make it a 4 positive to 1 negative ratio at least.

If we become a combined average, be sure you surround yourself with as many positive, uplifting and growing people that you can find. That includes the ‘people’ that you allow into your mind – all input counts.

Will you share the ways you increase positivity in your life?

Change.

Nuggets of wisdom on the subject of change …

The change process need not be negative. Indeed, when it is, it is rarely or ever successful.
~ Tom Peters
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.
~ Viktor E. Frankl
If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.
~ Gail Sheehy
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Some days I am tempted to move the furniture around in the house to effect change. Those are the days that I must listen to Viktor Frankl instead and understand that my challenge to grow and push myself must come from change in me.

So I ask myself, what do I need to change today?
Usually my first answer is my attitude.

You?

The Year Made Up of Days.

Again this morning I read my scribbling on the 3×5 notecard on my desk that I have read every day this year so far:
Everything you will do in this year will come from what you do every day. Your year is made up of days.
~ Chris Brogan.

And then I remind myself that the focused activity must be on the right things to reach the goal, not just busyness spread out over multiple 25 minute Pomodoros that have no real purpose.

I know I have written about that quote at least once already and I’ll likely write on this same subject frequently. You see, I have spent all of my work life with deadlines and quotas and KPI’s to reach, with contract expiration dates and weekly team meetings and one-on-ones with a manager.

Now in this new writing season I am the team and the manager, and I have no contract expirations in view. My current projects do not involve pricing contracts based on accurate aircraft configuration and getting renewal quotes out early enough for the client to renew on time. And I am not selling training classes that might cancel if I can’t find enough customers by Tuesday at 3 pm.

Instead, these writing projects involve words and concepts, truth and bold transparency with deadlines that I have set for myself.

Do you use a time management technique like a 25 minute Pomodoro or how do you keep yourself focused on the day’s goal?

Please share.

Daring.

Everything you will do in this year will come from what you do every day. Your year is made up of days. ~ Chris Brogan

After years of keeping secrets, big or little, it is so difficult for me to put it out there. They were not necessarily ‘bad’ secrets. Simply privacy within a preacher’s family. Or confidentiality required for client projects. Or keeping quiet about the public company lest you would accidentally spill some insider secret.

I’ve had years of practice in keeping quiet. Not so many yet in being daring.

Brene Brown in Daring Greatly writes about the courage to be vulnerable and how it will transform us. Daring is about walking into the unknown, out of the comfort zone and into a risk, without knowing what will happen.

Natalie Grant and Charlotte Gambill are holding Dare To Be events “designed to speak directly to the part of you that tends to shy away from stepping out into the unknown”. Somehow it makes me feel a little better knowing it’s not just me.

As this new year unfolds, every day it becomes a little bit easier to be bold and transparent.

Day 5 on the Bridge of Discipline.

Most of what we do on a daily basis won’t matter in five minutes, much less five years. We do a lot that really doesn’t matter.
~ Pastor Rick Warren

Everything you will do in this year will come from what you do every day. Your year is made up of days…
~ Chris Brogan

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
~ Jim Rohn

New Year’s goals, resolutions, 1 word, 3 words… they’re all great. We can achieve because we’ve written it down.

Planning is important, but without implementation, well, it becomes an annual exercise in futility that can harm more than it helps.

So these bits of wisdom are written on 3×5 index cards sitting on my desk and I’ll read them frequently until the thoughts rise up every morning by themselves.

And since I have 2 more books on my list to complete writing this year, I’m re-reading Anne Lamott’s outstanding book, Bird by Bird, reminding me that writing is accomplished one word at a time.

What are you going to do every day to stay on the bridge of discipline?