Archive for ‘personal development’

May 10, 2012

mission accomplished

The arbitrary, self-imposed goal of blogging daily (minus weekends & vacations) for one year has been reached!

  • 255 posts
  • 6,385 views all-time
  • 765 tags…good grief.
  • 26 followers – awww shucks, y’all are sweet

Now…shall the blog a day continue…?  hmmm…   Inspiration drives motivation, therefore:

inspiration = a blog post

Comments welcome.

“Only in testing do people discover the nature and depth of their character.  People can say anything they want about their values, but when the pressure is on, they discover what their values really are.”  ~ John Maxwell

April 19, 2012

check points

Yesterday, a friend (hi, Deb!) shared an awesome parenting tip regarding activity decision-making.  The reference was to sports, but the concept can be applied across the board for many age groups.

Ask the following three questions:

  1. Is he/she learning?
  2. Is he/she improving?
  3. Is he/she having fun?

Short, sweet, substantial.  Love it!  Do you have any quick parenting tips to share?

“God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.”  ~ P.D. James

March 29, 2012

real lessons

What a GREAT book!  Use What You’ve Got & Other Business Lessons I Learned from My Mom, by Barbara Corcoran (with Bruce Littlefield)

Use What You've Got

Marrying lessons she learned from her mom during childhood to the world of business, Barbara Corcoran gives a wealth of transferable concepts & skills.  The stories entertain, the teachings inspire, & the lessons reveal true life applications for parents, families, teachers, & business leaders.  Ms. Corcoran shares struggles, failures, processes & successes of her life while highlighting the journey as the joy.

Favorite points & quotes:

  • systems make a well-run house & office
  • color code, be fair, give appreciation, make a “good idea” box
  • identify what motivates people
  • raises are soon forgotten–try unexpected bonuses
  • play together
  • “good performances are a result of great preparation
  • on bad days, reframe perspective

“And that was my mother’s genius.  She kept her house going by putting her finger on the special gift she saw in each of her children, & making each & every one of us believe that gift was uniquely ours.  Whether it was true or not, we all believed it.”  ~ Barbara Corcoran

March 15, 2012

debt diet

Would you rather be overweight by 10 to 50 pounds & have zero debt?  Or be at your ideal weight & have $10,000 in debt?

Questions above were posed & reported in a recent Yahoo! health article titled, Surprising Facts About DietingNearly half of the 2,000 people surveyed said they’d rather be 50 pounds overweight!  78% said they’d rather be 10 pounds overweight than have 10K in debt.  Interesting…

Regardless of the survey, money motivates, controls & holds power.  Consider these resources to help put money in its place:

  1. More Than Enough, Financial Peace & The Total Money Makeover all by Dave Ramsey
  2. Thou Shall Prosper 10 Commandments for Making Money by Rabbi Daniel Lapin
  3. The Price of Privilege – How Parental Pressure & Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids by Madeline Levine
  4. Debt Free U by Zac Bissonnette

“Dogs have no money. Isn’t that amazing? They’re broke their entire lives. But they get through. You know why dogs have no money? .. No Pockets.”  ~ Jerry Seinfeld

March 8, 2012

risk vs. reward

As we learn more about the human brain & its development, we can apply more effective parenting & teaching strategies to help kids mature.  Inspiration & information for today’s blog comes from:  National Geographic’s October 2011 article Beautiful Brains by David Dobbs.  Another fabulous, entertaining article full of relevant & eloquently written discoveries.

Starting with points we know & have now been proven via MRI science & studies.  Adolescence can be:

  • emotional, trying
  • a risk taking era
  • a time when social interactions greatly influence motivation & behavior
  • full of inconsistent behavior

From age 12 thru 25, “….brains undergo a massive reorganization…”  “…as we move through adolescence, the brain undergoes extensive remodeling, resembling a network & wiring upgrade.”  The brain “upgrade” directly impacts performance, behaviors, etc..  Plus, positive or negative (stress, fatigue) variables add another layer to behaviors & decisions.  Other points to keep in mind:

  • teens tend to have a high regard for reward gleaned from taking a risk even though they may realize the consequences on a cognitive level (ie. they’re not stupid)
  • risk taking with success contributes to being able to adapt
  • the brain matures from back to front

Basic Parts of Brain

Switching gears…consider the following important fact:

“The United States spends about a billion dollars a year on programs to counsel adolescents on violence, gangs, suicide, sex, substance abuse, & other potential pitfalls. Few of them work.”

HUH.  Are you surprised?  What has the greatest impact on kids?  PARENTING!

  • share the brain development process with kids
  • guide children, do not helicopter parent
  • connect with kids & encourage independence
  • have patience!!
  • let kids fail..it is the best way to learn & the perfect lab to exercise  adaptation skills
  • remember that building social relationships is key to their success now & in the future

“Heredity is what sets the parents of a teenager wondering about each other.”  ~Laurence J. Peter

February 28, 2012

marvelous metabolism

A bodily process we need to survive…& the better it works, the better we feel & operate.  A few key functions:

  • converts the food we eat into energy for thinking, moving, growing
  • a complicated collection of chemical reactions taking place in cells all throughout the body, all the time
  • two-fold process – building up energy stores & breaking down energy stores to use as fuel

Many aspects of our bodies & lives effect metabolism:  endocrine system, genes, health problems or disease, health state, calorie intake & source

What can we do to encourage a healthier metabolism?  Read the article:  20 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

Top 5 (in my opinion):

  1. keep hydrated with water
  2. destress yourself (cortisol is evil!)
  3. get consistent good nights of sleep
  4. exercise, including weight-bearing
  5. enjoy a real food balanced diet & eat when hungry

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.”  ~ Winston Churchill

February 21, 2012

knew you

How are those New Year resolutions coming along?  Although the general idea is good, the lofty, dreamy, laundry list is, typically, a set-up for failure.  However, overall consistent goal setting & self-improvement are certainly positive & worthwhile.

The article “The Secrets of Self-Improvement” (pg 38-43) from Scientific American Mind (March/April 2012) gives excellent tips & thoughts on reaching goals (verbatim bullet points below)…a bit of proven “I knew that” common sense.

  • maintain realistic expectations
  • find what motivates you
  • take baby steps
  • formulate action plans

Additional thoughts for success via the article:

  • “overcoming external challenges has less to do with willpower than with specific coping skills…” (ie. predict what may trip you up & have a plan ready)
  • making a new behavior automatic = lasting behavior change
  • try a number of tactics to find what works best

Parents, consider another point – use behavior techniques to prepare kids for decision-making off the cuff.  Practicing automatic responses, based on knowledge, values & morals, in preset scenarios will give kids tools to stay on their goal track.

“Too many people overvalue what they’re not & undervalue what they are.”  ~ Malcolm Forbes

February 17, 2012

same different

A book about friends, relationships, death, haves & have-nots, despair, poverty, prejudices, riches, & history…

Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

…but the message rising above all is…faith, hearing God’s voice, speaking God’s truths, & sharing God’s love.  A riveting & beautiful true story.

“I found out everybody’s different–the same kind of different as me. We’re all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us.”  ~ Denver Moore, Same Kind of Different as Me 

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