Wk 3 Book Reviews

If you’ve been with me any length of time, you know I have BIG plans for this blog and lots of awesome content outlined to share. I have so many systems in place that if it were possible, this blog could write itself.  One thing that makes systems so great to me is how they hold you accountable to yourself for action.  I have in place a system to develop personally and to document that growth professionally.  On this blog, the third week of every month, I have planned to share what I am reading for personal development.  This routine action with the blog helps keep me accountable to reading for personal development and practice. Well, in theory anyway.

shedule bawThat being said, I haven’t been reading as scheduled.  Yes, I do have time scheduled on my daily plan to read for personal development.  For maximum benefit, I scheduled 30 minutes near the end of the day so I can wind down with it. I thought this would be perfect.  I changed my bedtime to earlier also thinking I would need extra time to fall asleep because I used to fall asleep later.  Of course, my body needs the eight hours and has taken full advantage.  In fact, when I don’t read at the scheduled time, I don’t read at all because I am asleep.

So… personal development time is completely M.I.A. and that’s bad.

One challenge I have is that I am not a single person. I have a family and there are always things that come up and change the schedule at the drop of a pin.  If I haven’t shared with you all yet, let me tell you now, Google calendar is my go-to for managing my time. I love that I can make multiple calendars, color-coded and exportable for the multiple schedules that I have to manage. I am learning that there really is so much flexibility required to live and modeling that for the children is important because to have to pivot an action is not to stop taking action.  Sometimes things don’t go the way the schedule says but that does not mean there is no longer room on the schedule.  It also doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world or any one person’s fault. I think I spent many years frozen when I didn’t complete things as scheduled not sure where to go because I was off “schedule” but now I understand that delays and reschedules happen, it all just keeps the books full.  A full life can be very satisfying in the right perspective.  I think I may have mentioned that the YouTube channel has been a major motivator.  I have been very accountable to myself by vlogging and as such, I have begun to discover my discipline in working. I have also been able to discover where I need to tighten my ship.  I enjoy the creative process and my meticulous planning while making sure that what I plan revolves around my existing life, NOT some future one where everything is perfect. That has been the icing on the cake of my current success. That is why I am excited to recommit to my personal development time.

I have several books I am in between at the moment.  How to Win Friends & Influence People, Who Do You Think You Are, and this past weekend I picked up two new titles from a yard sale: Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I am looking forward to digging into these books and writing some short summaries for you guys each month.  I am also excited about that because I will be reading books in entirety again.  Funny how much less I read now than I thought I would as a teen. I also love knowing my kids will see me reading even more and perhaps THEY will pick up a traditional book a little more often.  Oh yes! Imagine that!

So here we are: Let’s agree that next month when I update this blog about my personal development readings – I will share with you how much I’ve gotten from this new look ” The Power of Habit:  Let’s see if there were some practical tips that I could immediately use to break old unproductive habits and create new ones that bring me quickly to my hearts goals.

THE LIST OF BOOKS

  1. Power of Positive Thinking
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  3. Who Do You Think You Are?
  4. The Power of Habit

See you next month!

 

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Life falls apart as it comes together

Do you ever feel like just as soon as you get focused, serious and on purpose, life happens in the worst way and it’s like you’re back at ground zero in chaos? You finally get a promotion or pay increase and an unexpected tax bill arrives or medical procedure or even the dang car breaks down. It just feels like the universe is constantly challenging your sanity, patience, and love. Or is it just me?

I feel super jazzed to be finally consistently vlogging, then I realize I am not blogging. I finally plan my life in a manageable way that is not overwhelming and seems harmonious with my family and faith and there’s not one but TWO hurricanes that shut down the state and of course my awesome, harmonious schedule. I am finally getting consistent with working out at the gym and my subscription to my workout trainer program expires because my auto renewal failed. All these things I do to earn money and I have zero customers and zero commission. I just can’t find the break to catch it. But still, I press on.

I have decided all of this is exactly as the Word says: character building, faith building and to draw my focus off myself and back to the Lord from where all my help comes. It is very challenging to take the everyday stresses of life: marriage, parenting, and politics and say I will not be distressed about tomorrow because Jesus will take care of it. I mean it is easy to say it, it is challenging to really live out. The truth is that when I am able to believe the verses 25-34 of Matthew chapter 6, I find such strength and encouragement for my situation. Honestly, it’s pretty much how I make it moment to moment with a positive attitude.

Matt6_25-34

Attitude is important on an airplane, it is the orientation (basically where the nose and wings are) of the aircraft relative to the horizon or flight path; if the nose is down, the aircraft is going down. Well if that isn’t exactly how it is I don’t know what is. A poor attitude brings not only the person down but also everyone around. My biggest challenge these days is my attitude. I feel easily triggered and frequently emotional. How can I help someone if I am an emotional roller coaster? I can’t. That’s why the management of attitude is important. I want to help people.  It’s all perspective. I can see the glass half full of water or equally full of water and air. My attitude will determine my altitude.

Routines are helpful. Boring at first and troublesome even to establish because they take me away from the spontaneous chaos I am so used to. They humble me into accountability to myself and my goals and they develop in me a discipline to the best actions before the fun ones. Oh but how things become fun once the routine has begun and the benefits are being exposed. My best example of this, is of course, the gym. When I first began going to the gym I went sporadically, late at night and had no plan other than cardio for 30 to 60 minutes. Needless to say, I didn’t really enjoy going. I felt intimidated by healthier physiques and insecure in my lack of knowledge about weights. But still, I pressed on.

Since those early years, I’ve grown. I have once again begun attending the gym more consistently and during daylight hours now. I bring a notebook with the days’ exercises written down and a pen to record the reps, weights, sets completed. I read the machines for instruction without shame and I will even ask one of the gyms trainers questions if I see they’re available between clients. I am a regular gym rat now! The benefit doesn’t stop there.   My body physique is changing! I am so in love with the results but I’ve also found thinking during my workout to be helpful in producing good feelings. I have literally walked out of the gym after workout sore but dancing because I just felt… HAPPY!

There is only one way I found that allows a positive perspective even during the most troubling times. Focusing on the Lord. Are usually look inward to see what I may be doing that separates me from Jesus and they focus on his word to help me get strength to overcome Philippians 4:8 I have found consistently, that reading the Bible daily, praying-mostly giving thanks for what I have and asking to love people more instead of getting caught up in negativity and listening to gospel music helps. Or use devotional books to give me some guidance in my Bible reading. I have found that having different devotionals to read has helped me to realize when the Holy Spirit is giving me discernment about something. I have playlists that are at least an hour long on Spotify and iTunes. (you can check them out)  This usually helps me when driving since I have been working on road rage behavior.  I try to pray at least in the morning, with my kids and always after spending time in the Word. These little opportunities to be in the Lord’s presence helps tremendously more than I realize but as I reflect I can see the difference and I am thankful.

While I cannot control the day or the outcome of everything, I am learning that success hides in daily activity and a positive perspective. Negative thoughts, mean-spirited people and just all-around crappy days happen, my goal is to take it as it comes, quickly get back to Jesus about it, whatever “it” is, and to trust that “it” will work for my good and His glory. It may sound corny if you don’t know Jesus but I can assure you, you will experience a peace that surpasses understanding if you:

  • are open to character development
  • keep steadfast FOCUS on Jesus
  • accept that obedience to routine is humbling
  • exercise to help release feel-good hormones
  • pray and read your Bible expecting divine peace
  • meditate on what is honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise
  • give yourself time
  • be persistent and
  • be consistent

This is the best plan I have ever had, experienced and found victory with.

WINNING

It’s amazing what a win feels like when it when it was a personal battle of faith that you pressed on through. It’s like no other and it can make you greedy for another. Perhaps that’s why the word encourages us with Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Until next time friends,  keep pressing on!