10 Habits We May Regret In 10 Years Habits 1-5

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my favorite beach towel, love the reminder here

A few years ago, I read a list of 10 habits we may regret in 10 years. I don’t know about you, but this season of my life is about living without regrets, Just taking in each day as it comes, and living it the best way that I possibly can. I think I am having a change of heart. I am learning that it is all about the simple things. I realize that we all must journey through this life our own way, but I hope that you might consider changing some of these things if they are true in your life. Especially if you are young. As the Nike commercial states boldly:

JUST DO IT!

This article was in a blog called Behind The Hustle, and this wisdom has returned to my mind again and again. I gave a copy to Leah and her twenty-something friends at her Bachelorette Party in March 2014. I shared it again just this past week with a special group of friends who I do an annual Bible Study with and have for nearly 20 years. This wisdom is for all ages, men and women, and the sooner we can learn about this and begin to make necessary changes, the better we will be for it!

I hope you will consider sharing this sound advice with the ones you cherish in this life.

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It is the simple things

AUGUST 10, 2013 copied from Behind The Hustle Blog.
“One decision can develop into a habit, and the habits you form create your reality. Here are the first five choices/habits in this list of ten. They all carry significant weight. Learn to be conscious of the decisions you make so you can do your best to live like a champion:”
1. Wearing a mask to impress others.
If the face you always show the world is a mask, someday there will be nothing beneath it. Because when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are. So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you. You don’t have to be perfect to impress and inspire people. Let them be impressed and inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.

2. Letting someone else create your dreams for you.
The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find. A big part of this is your decision to stay true to your own goals and dreams. Do you have people who disagree with you? Good. It means you’re standing your ground and walking your own path. Sometimes you’ll do things considered crazy by others, but when you catch yourself excitedly losing track of time, that’s when you’ll know you’re doing the right thing. Read The 4-Hour Workweek.

3. Keeping negative company.
Don’t let someone who has a bad attitude give it to you. Don’t let them get to you. They can’t pull the trigger if you don’t hand them the gun. When you remember that keeping the company of negative people is a choice, instead of an obligation, you free yourself to keep the company of compassion instead of anger, generosity instead of greed, and patience instead of anxiety.

4. Being selfish and egotistical.
A life filled with loving deeds and good character is the best tombstone. Those who you inspired and shared your love with will remember how you made them feel long after your time has expired.

Go to the effort. Invest the time. Write the letter. Make the apology. Take the trip. Purchase the gift. Do it. The seized opportunity renders joy. The neglected brings regret. Max Lucado

 So carve your name on hearts, not stone. What you have done for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for others and the world remains.

5. Avoiding change and growth.
If you want to know your past look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future look into your present actions. You must let go of the old to make way for the new; the old way is gone, never to come back.

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are 'It might have been'. Kurt Vonnegut

 If you acknowledge this now and take steps to address it, you will position yourself for lasting success. See the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

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I will continue this list in my next post. Great food for thought here, for sure.

My Heart Will Go On

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On January 14, 2016, Rene Angelil, husband of Celine Dion, lost his battle with throat cancer.

I will perform My Heart Will Go On for the rest of my life and it will always remain a very emotional experience for me.” Celine Dion 

 Angelil was 73. Did you know? Before he was married to Celine Dion in 1994, he mortgaged his home to help her gain stardom? Celine, a Canadian was the youngest of 14 in her French-speaking home. Once Angelil learned about her amazing voice, when she was only age 12, the rest was as they say, is history. Later, after working together for many years, they fell in love, married and have three boys together, Rene-Charles, age 14 and twins, Nelson and Eddy, age five. The memorial service was held at the  Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Communion was served to the grieving family and the congregation.

Parting with someone who has brought such light and happiness into a life has to be one of the most difficult things about living. And yet, we all know that death IS part of life, and after parting, our hearts must, with bravery, go on. It seems I know many who are going through this very same experience themselves today. And Celine’s family had even more sorrow when two days following her husband’s service, her 59-year-old brother, Daniel lost his fight with cancer, too.

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This page was published in the 2/8/16 issue of PEOPLE magazine.

Click here to read an earlier post about how we can best help those who are going through this season of loss.

Fifteen years are not a long time for a son to get to know his father…but you’ve left me now with enough good memories of you to share with my younger brothers. As I grow older, without you being around, I’ll make sure to pass on what I’ve learned from you.” Rene-Charles Angelil, age 14 during his father’s eulogy on January 22, 2016

Fame cannot protect them from the season of grief they find themselves in. They have to walk through it, like all others who have suffered this great loss. Friends, family and faith can certainly help to ease the grief journey. I am sure Celine Dion and her boys will be greatly loved and supported as their hearts go on.

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We CAN Embrace It Let's Start Today

Is December 2015 different for you from holiday seasons now past? Does your path feel unfamiliar compared to this time last year?  If so, can you and I intentionally embrace the changes that are happening right in our midst? IMG_6313

As my next door neighbor, Michelle and I were chatting this morning, we talked about that very thing…aging parents with illnesses that may prevent them from traveling, children that are now married with homes of their own.

Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.” Pearl S. Buck 

Illnesses and surgeries that come into play during the holidays make for changes, too.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.” Charles M. Schulz~Charlie Brown’s Little Book of Wisdom 

I am not referring to your first Christmas after a precious loved one has gone ahead of you…

…that kind of change is in a league of its own, and that is not what this is about, and if you know someone in these life circumstances, read this recent post about bereavement.

If things are not as they usually are…can we choose to embrace it, enjoying the moments, building new traditions, instead of allowing ourselves to get down?

For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

That is exactly what my friend, Michelle told me they were doing as they noticed some changes in what they usually expect during the weeks leading into Christmas. Their family is making an intentional choice to embrace these changes. They are seizing the changes in this season as an opportunity to spend more time with their family of four with a festive New Year’s getaway. Good for them!

Later in the day, I traveled to Atlanta to visit my friend, Mary who is making a recovery from knee surgery. As I turned onto Piedmont off of North Avenue, just before making a right onto Ponce de Leon, I noticed some blue lights in front of a church, to my left. As most would be, I was curiously looking in that direction to see what was happening. Right away, it was clear that the policewoman was just doing her job, by shooing away a homeless man who had been sleeping on the front porch of the church. While she didn’t arrest him, she simply watched him walking away slowly…what his next destination would be was anyone’s guess. I know there will always be poor among us, even still, my heart was saddened by this scene on Piedmont.

As I continued the drive to Mary’s, a glance to my right brought me a smile as I passed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts with the “HOT” sign on. You see, Mary remained in our much-loved hometown of Decatur, along with her husband, raising their two boys in the same schools where our five-decade long friendship had its start. Krispy Kreme was a place we visited often! Coming to Mary’s home is such a treat.

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” Helen Keller

It is truly like traveling down Memory Lane every time. Knowing each other since first grade at Fernbank Elementary, our visits are always so special.

Yes, life might be a bit different this Christmas…but as we consider the reality of life for this homeless gentleman in the above story,  I think it will do us all a ton of good if we recognize the good in our 2015 Season and make an intentional choice to EMBRACE IT!

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May your holidays be bright!

Fire The Bad Boss Inside Now

Tea by the lakeHave you been thinking about making a change? Has something been returning to your mind again and again, and now you know the time is right to do something about it? For years, people have believed that if you practice making a change for 21 consecutive days the chances are good that you will succeed. Recently, though, studies have shown that the truth is that not only is it a lot more complicated than that, it would probably take more like 66 days of consistent change before one might see a difference.

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This “thing” might be small or it might be big. Your dental hygienist may be encouraging you to floss more consistently. It might be that you’ve been noticing yourself being more negative around others than you used to be. It might be you’ve been catching yourself being impatient and short too often with your children—taking normal, human anxiety out on them.

The people who are hardest to please are often the most self-centered and are only happy when you do what is good for them—and that usually is not good for the whole. Dr. Henry Cloud

You could be considering your food intake or exercise plan and how you need to make some adjustments for your health’s sake. Maybe you’re a little worried that you drink too much on occasion and you want to make some changes there. Perhaps you are discovering that you are a people pleaser and you are weary of that role. Whatever it is, I have come to realize that it takes patience and courage to make changes.

But if you are ready, I will share a few things I have learned lately.

I just finished reading a book entitled Never Go Back: 10 things you’ll never do again By, Dr. Henry Cloud. In this book, Dr. Cloud highlights ten things that he has come to believe successful people live by. As I read through this book in the past couple of weeks, I considered these ten things and I agree with Dr. Cloud on all accounts.

If we can understand the very real consequences that come when we choose to do things in an unproductive way, make a choice to “turn away” from those choices, we could find ourselves in a new place where we never go back to doing it the old way. I believe this can spell FREEDOM from our self-made prison, which is, by the way, unique to each individual.

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Is this easy? I would say, “No”. Is it worth the effort? “Absolutely.”

Change is a process.

Dr. Cloud ends this book by sharing twelve powerful principles to make change happen. One that stood out for me is: Fire the Bad Boss Inside. His main emphasis was this: “When you and I begin to be aware of the negative thinking and the old patterns playing in our heads and then counter them with new voices, we will change.” Dr. Cloud reminds us that if the negative voices are there, they came from a real voice—a teacher, a parent, a neighbor, or someone else in your path, likely when you were at an impressionable stage.

We have to make an intentional decision,

a conscious choice,

to fire the bad boss inside.

Let’s start today!