Monthly Archives: November 2017

If You Want To Change Your Life, Change Who You Listen To

 

 

Jim Rohn says you are an average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Not only is this true in with real life friends, it’s also true of who we choose to listen to.

If we’re trying to change our lives, we need to be intentional about the people we spend time with and those who influence us.

Who are we listening to?  Who are we allowing to influence us?  Are they pulling us up or bringing us down?

I have been impacted by some online influencers.  Their words have changed my life.

Izabella Wentz has influenced me. Her advice has probably led to some of the more dramatic changes in my life, at least physically, but that helps emotionally, too.  She write’s about thyroid disease and how to deal with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Sarah Young influences with her devotionals, Jesus Calling and Jesus Always.

Michael Hyatt and Darren Rowse have really opened up my mind to what’s possible with blogging.

Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy gave me hope that there were great books out there that I would love.  I still have trouble finding them.  But, now I have hope.

Kayla Aimee is someone I’ve recently learned about. Through her course, I’ve learned a lot more about affiliate marketing.

I appreciate Ann Voskamp.  She’s swimming against the current of many Christian writers and I respect the way she lives out her faith.

Jeff Brown always seems to be introducing me to authors I’ve never heard of.  Some of them have a lot of good things to say.  His Read to Lead podcast has had some real winners.

Amy Lynn Andrews is someone who’s writing has been helpful and someone I admire as a person.  She writes about blogging and online business.

Jeff Goins has been very influential in my life.   His book, Real Artists Don’t Starve is a game-changer. I’ve learned a lot from his blog, his podcast and Tribe Conference 2017.  He is a thought leader.

Tsh Oxenrider, Crystal Paine and Ruth Soukup have impacted me.  All of them are pioneer bloggers with very different paths to success in the blogosphere.

I also just started listening to Hans Finzel. Pete and I loved his book, Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make and he has a lot of life and leadership wisdom.

Victoria at Snail Pace Transformations has given me hope about moving forward slowly.  It’s hard when you don’t see much visible progress.  I’m inspired by her stories to keep moving forward, inch by inch.

Ray Edwards is someone I respect.  His forte is copywriting, but he ventures into some other areas as well.  

Pat Flynn is a superstar in the online space, but I appreciate his transparency and humility.

The bottom line is there’s a lot of good guys out there.  Many are generous and insightful.  There’s so much available for little or no money.

Check them out!

 

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Five Minute Friday: Familiar

Slower paced days are good times to be thankful.  I’m thankful for any pauses in life that we fill with gratitude.  It’s certainly a good time of year to be thankful for family.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the FMF community.

This week’s word is: familiar.

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Familiar feels safe and comfortable.

It’s the unknown that feels scary.

Even if the familiar is as comfortable and predictable as worn slippers, it can also be boring.

The truth is, we don’t have to fear the unknown. Frankly, it might be as terrible as we dread it will be.

But, our anchor is secure. Our hope is in the One who knows what we don’t.

We do know the end of the story, even if we don’t know the paths along the way.

We try so hard to make life predictable, but we can’t.

The reality is, we don’t know. We can’t control. We can’t plan for every contingency.

But, we can trust. We can consciously leave the familiar and step out into the unknown.

The bridge will appear beneath our feet.

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Five Minute Friday: Excuse

 

The weather has gotten colder and basketball season is gearing up.

I’ve enjoyed having some evenings at home this week.  It’s harder to go out when it’s cold.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the FMF community.

This week’s word: excuse.

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Have you ever stopped to think about why you make an excuse for something?

Sometimes our behavior is irrational. We’re trying to avoid pain, maybe. We’re trying to protect ourselves.

Sometimes that behavior is governed by a core belief we don’t even know we have. Sometimes we cling to irrational beliefs.

Looking them square in the face and deconstructing them helps.
Getting another person’s perspective helps. (As long as they don’t share your irrational beliefs.)

Prayer helps.

It’s so very hard to tell ourselves the truth.

So many times it isn’t pretty.

The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, after all.

It even deceives ourselves. Especially ourselves.

So, making excuses might just be clue.

A clue to the real motives behind behavior. A peek at the irrational beliefs that are really driving us.

It might hurt to look closer, but, ultimately, the path of truth is better.

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What I’m Reading, November 2017

On the home front, looking at the carnage of two rotten trees in our front yard makes me philosophical about loss.

I think it’s good to remember, to try to make sense of loss, to let yourself feel the sadness.

I also think it’s helpful to focus on what’s left, not necessarily on what’s gone.

Linking up on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase goes to support this site.)

On to the books–

 Buy now from Amazon

The Secret of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers by Matt Bird

I am fascinated by story.  I believe with every fiber that story is one of the most powerful teaching tools, and probably the most underutilized.

I found Matt Bird’s observations to be insightful and helpful.  His field of expertise is TV and film, but I think a lot of the principles he’s discovered are universally applicable.

Here’s a few gems:

“You must write for an audience, not just yourself.”

“Audiences don’t really care about stories;  they care about characters.”

“Your story is not about your hero’s life; it’s about your hero’s problem.”

Good stuff.

 

 Buy now from Amazon

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

Five stars for being a wholesome, well-written YA.

It’s interesting to stop and think about what it’s like to be blind from birth. How impossible it is to picture anything. What it means for your social interactions.

Add the fact that you’re sixteen years old and transferring from a blind school to a public school.

This is an engaging, feel good story. Satisfying.

 Buy now from Amazon

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Viktor was a prisoner in a concentration camp in Germany. But, he was also a psychartrist. So, he analyzed the fellow prisoners, the ones who had given up hope and died and the ones who had the will to live.

He concluded that everyone needs to find their own reason for being on the planet: their life’s work. He had a book he was working on before he was imprisoned and he was also married.

Focusing his thoughts on finishing his book and seeing his wife again sustained him during the horrific experience of the concentration camp.

  Buy now from Amazon

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

The main premise of this book is that traditional PR, marketing and advertising with it’s big budgets and campaigns are no longer necessary for success.

Ryan Holiday should know. That was his field.
But today the playing field is leveled with desktop publishing, everyone as a photographer and social media taking your message viral.

I believe in some ways it’s easier than ever to get your message out. In other ways, you have more competition because everyone has access to what used to be only available to a few.

The challenge now is to stand out and be noticed in an avalanche of everyone promoting their message.

What are you reading this month?

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Five Minute Friday: Silence

It’s Friday!

I’m already feeling the increased pace of the holiday season and  I’m strategizing on how to cope.  Just when you think you have things figured out, there’s another monkey wrench.

Linking up again with Kate Motaung and the FMF community.

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Silence is rare and precious.

Maybe that’s why it’s called golden.

Our world is busy and noisy. It’s hard to be still and breathe deeply. It’s hard to think. It’s hard to remember to stop and be grateful.

We have to intentionally build pauses in the rhythm of our days and weeks and years where we chase silence.

I know there are those who have too much silence. They long for more voices, more sounds of feet, more jostling and playing.

I’m not there yet. I still don’t get enough silence for my soul.

But, I’m thankful for this phase of life. Too busy. Too noisy. But full. Full of relationship, meaningful work, a few pauses and occasional silence.

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Frozen Grief: Why it Matters to Global Nomads

I was not aware of the concept of frozen grief until I stumbled across an article by Marilyn Gardner of Communicating Across Boundaries. All of a sudden pieces of the puzzle started falling into place.

Yes, this is what is happening.

The Frozen Sadness of Ambiguous Loss explains how the grief process is arrested when we don’t even realize we need to grieve.

Ambiguous loss is a psychological term meant to apply to those losing loved ones to Alzheimer’s or those with an absent father who might reappear at any time.

Marilyn makes the point, and I wholeheartedly agree, that this is what Third Culture Kids deal with.  The very fact that the losses are not recognized and acknowledged causes the grief process to be frozen.

The ambiguous loss is an important piece to the puzzle.

It’s hard to put a finger on what is lost when a TCK (or any global nomad) moves from one life to another.

I think loss of identity is one of the key factors.

Maybe being a white face surrounded by dark ones.  Maybe the status that comes with having more or knowing more than the people in your circles.  Maybe the respect that comes with a certain level of achievement. Maybe the loss of a position or job that defines us.

Of course, there’s the loss of good friendships and the positive memories. That’s something that needs to be grieved. How do you memorialize that? How do you thank people for what they’ve done for you?

That doesn’t take into account the food. And the rituals and the traditions which were meaningful but are not supported by a new culture.

It’s all very ambiguous.

Just having a name for it validates me. Lets me know I’m not alone. Isn’t that what community is all about? Knowing that we’re not alone?

I remember the first time I read about phone phobia in The Introvert Advantage.  It was so exciting to discover that other introverts felt the same way I did about phone calls.  I wasn’t defective.  I was part of a group.  My tendency had a name.  Other people were like me.

I wasn’t alone.

The frozen grief of ambiguous loss isn’t a cheery subject.  Maybe even a little disheartening.  But, a successful cure is more likely after a good diagnosis.

The fact that it has a name is encouraging.

It means I am not alone.

And it means you are not alone.

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Five Minute Friday: Need

It’s Friday!  It’s been a week.  All the extremes of emotion.  Stress. Gratitude.

It’s nice to have some constants every week to be anchored to.  Corporate worship on Sundays is one.  Five minute Fridays is another.

Linking up again with Kate Motaung and the FMF writers.

This week’s prompt is: Need

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What does need feel like?

Thirst and hunger.  A craving desire that consumes.  A focus on the lack rather than the fulfilled.

Humans are no stranger to need.

Every person on the planet can think of a time when the unsatisfied cravings of the body, mind or heart consumed him.

The bigger question is, what do we do when we feel it?

Where do we turn?  How do we try to quench that burning craving?

There is so much that doesn’t satisfy.

So many ways to try to fill that gaping hole that don’t work.

But, so great the relief and peace when the need is satisfied.

When we are filled with what we long for at our very core.  So wonderful.  So blessed.

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The Biggest Danger in Having a Great Morning Routine

I do 7 things every morning that make a huge difference in my life.

I take selenium. I drink hot lemon juice sweetened with stevia.* I sort the mail for 2 minutes.

I write 500 words, I work on my blog for 15 minutes, I have devotions and I facebook my husband.

These habits have made a HUGE difference in my life, health and happiness. It’s been a long road of tweaking the habits and there’s more I can add, but these are the ones that help me now.

Because my morning routines are so helpful, they set the stage for the greatest danger.

I realized it when a line from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling** devotional flattened me:

Don’t make an idol of routine.

Here’s my problem. These routines are so helpful. They make such a difference in my life. I don’t want to mess them up or skip a day.

But, life happens.

There are demands on my time, energy and focus. Even at 7 am. Even at 5:30 or earlier.

So, how do I react?

It’s so tempting to get frustrated, to throw my whole day out of whack because my routines got interrupted.

I’ve gotten pretty good at plans B through G, but sometimes, I can’t pull that off, either.

And I have to let go and remember:

Don’t make an idol of routine.

 

 

 

*The selenium and lemon juice helps me deal with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

**More about Jesus Calling here.

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