Happy Birthday, America – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 94

A Special Day

Today is Independence Day.  America’s birthday.  This day in particular is very special for me.  On this day 17 years ago, my Mom and I were sworn in as American citizens along with hundreds of others at Hofstra University.  I grew up in the States, since I left Jamaica when I was 3.  I’ll never forget the day.  The weather was beautiful and there was the right amount of breeze.  Being surrounded by so many people who were there because they wanted the same opportunity as others.  Having that recognition made it all valid.  Proof that we belonged and had a right to be called American citizens.  It’s an amazing feeling.

Now, I am living in Canada.  Today, the boys played “O, Canada.”  They wanted to make sure I start learning the national anthem.  Right after playing the anthem, my oldest asked, “What song did you sing when you were in America?”  That one question spoke volumes to me.  I played the “Star Spangled Banner” for the boys and to this day, each time I hear that song, I get choked up.  Fully understanding the validity of the song and what today means to me, I can’t help but get emotional.

So, as the day is winding to a close, I hope all my American friends had a great 4th of July celebration surrounded by family, friends and love.  A friend of mine sent a great note today and a particular section sticks out the most – “We think freedom not as the right to do as we please but as the hope to do what is right.” It is my hope that we always remember those who fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. Enjoy your weekend, be safe and all the best to you and your families.

How Others See You – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 64

You, Through the Eyes of Others

How do you see yourself?  How do others see you?  More often than not, the two answers can be quite different.  I started thinking about this recently because of a conversation I had with a friend of mine.  During our conversation, she told me that I am inspiring to others and a strong woman.  She was referring to the fact that I hold down the fort while hubby’s away and she wanted to let me know her thoughts.  I was humbled by her words, and then it got me to thinking about how we see ourselves compared to how others see us.

In my eyes, I don’t see myself as a strong woman.  I’m doing what I need to do.  We both knew what we were getting into when he decided to work out West and that a lot of the burden of raising our boys would fall on my shoulders.  Some days are better than others and there are days when I want to pull my hair out (today being one of them.)  I’m doing what I’m supposed to do because I wanted to be a Mom.  I also wanted to be a Mom who was home to raise her boys as well as runa business from home.  It’s not easy, it’s a lot of work, it’s very emotional, but I will do whatever it takes to provide the best for my family.

I once had another Mom say to me that I seem to have it all figured out and under control.  While I was flattered by her words, I in no way have it all figured out or under control.  I make mistakes every day, I say the wrong things sometimes, the boys rebel from time to time (once again, today rings loud and clear.)  But, I won’t broadcast my problems for the world to see.  People can be funny in some ways.  There are some who thrive on other people’s struggles and are secretly glad when they have problems.  I learned that from Brian Tracy’s “Eat That Frog” where he states to leave your problems at home because you have some who don’t want to hear about them and others who are glad it’s happening you.

On the flip side, or adding to this last thought, there are those who may see you as a threat or someone they want to be, but are too afraid to go after their dreams.  In turn, they will insult, degrade, find fault in everything you do because they haven’t done it themselves.  We all know or have been aroudn these types of people who ALWAYS find fault in others or make it about them; they’re just toxic.  They bring you down, suck the life out of you.  In these cases, as the saying goes, “don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head.”  Get rid of those people because they will do nothing for you and your mentality.  When you continue to hang around these negative people, you start thinking these thoughts as well, and you don’t want that to happen.

There should be a healthy balance in how you see yourself and how others see you.  Feed off the positive vibes you get from others.  The majority of the world see you this way.  This is a work in progress for me.  Like I said, I feel everyone should be this way.

On My Own…Again and Moving Forward – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 61

Holding Down the Fort

This afternoon, I drove hubby to the airport to head back to Alberta.  It’s something that never gets easy or what we get used to.  It was great having him home, even though I was gone for part of his stay.  Thankfully, it wasn’t an emotional send-off.  The boys were home and they said their goodbye’s there.  For me, it’s not that I don’t get emotional, but I just don’t show it.  This is our life, and for now, this is what we have to do to move forward.  We don’t like it, but, we are making it work because we HAVE to.

This go around, my resolve is different.  The promise is clear, and I know what needs to be done.  It’s hard taking care of the boys on my own, while maintaining a household, spedning quality time with the boys, running a business, and not lose my mind in the process.  I’m actually looking forward to the next few months and seeing how much I will grow as an individual.  As I stated, the promise is clear to me, now more than ever.  This is temporary; a sacrifice that we must endure in order to reach and exceed my goals.

I am welcoming the challenge; embracing the change ahead and will continue to move forward with that no matter what mindset.  No matter what is thrown my way, I will overcome it.  No matter who isn’t supportive, I will perservere.  No matter what happens, I will not stop.  I will keep going.  Why?  Because the promise is clear that when the dust clears, my family and I will be one unit and we will be in a position where we will be stable.  It’s going to be a tough road ahead, and I am ready.

I hope you’re ready for me!!!  Otherwise, step aside!!!

The Grass is Always Greener When it’s Watered – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 28

Water Your Own Damn Grass

The title for today’s blog comes from one of my business partners who’s very successful in our company.  She was featured on one of our training CDs and was asked to share her thoughts on her journey to success.  I love hearing her train because she keeps it real – heck all the trainers keep it real, but with her in particular, this piece of her training always sticks with me.

“The grass is always greener when it’s watered.”  This is a paraphrase from Neil Barringham’s quote, but, it’s very true.  You can’t escape hard work.  Heck, you can’t escape WORK for that matter.  So many people look at successful people and think one of two (or three) things:

a)  Man, they’re so lucky… or
b)  Man, I could NEVER do what they do… or
c)  Yeah, they got it real easy ’cause they were one of the firsts…

I started thinking of more “excuses” but decided to stop there.

The point is this…it doesn’t matter WHAT it is in life, be it work, parenting, fitness, financial freedom, whatever.  What may look “easy” for other people is the result of HARD WORK.  You have to be willing to do the work.  It sometimes irks me when I hear people say things like, “Oh, they have it so easy because they’re with so and so…” or, “Man, I wish I had a so and so to work with…” or the 3 quotes I listed above.  It’s endless all the “Yeah but’s” that come out of people’s mouths when they say they WANT one thing, but aren’t willing to do the WORK required to achieve that thing.

When it comes to success, there are no shortcuts.  Heck, there really aren’t any secrets, either.  It comes down to doing the work.  You’ve got to be willing to put in the time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, hardships, struggles, etc.  You’ve got to be willing to sacrifice something NOW so that LATER you can live the life you’ve always wanted.

Do the work; water the grass; and once it’s green, tend to it.  Take out the weeds, turn

the soil, take care of your grass.  Follow up with your customers, set the appointments, make the approaches, continue the dialogue.  Start the fitness program, follow the meal plan, calendar your workouts.  No matter what it is, it takes time, effort and HARD work.  No one has it easy.  No one got lucky.  All the successful people, the TRUE success stories, did the work that was necessary to achieve their goals.  And once they reached that goal, they didn’t stop.  They continued moving forward.

No one ever said it would be easy; but it most certainly is worth it.

Don’t you think?  

Or would you rather be like the majority who sits back whining and complaining?  Or, better still, peeking over the fence at your neighbor’s grass instead of tending to your own?

Financial expert, Dave Ramsey, says it best, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”  Do the work, don’t worry about what other people say or think. Water your grass and get the job done.

Work works!!!

Inspiration – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 23

Inspiration is Everywhere

What inspires you?  What keeps you going?  Do you seek a higher power or are there people in your immediate circle of influence who you inspire you?

I’m inspired by many different things, people and everything in between.  I love quotes – they keep me going. Many motivational speakers, authors and historic figures give me the added push I need.  Some include Brian Tracy, John Maxwell, Mark Victor Hansen, Jim Rohn, just to name a few.  Most important, my family, especially my children, inspire me to always strive for my best, even on those days when I don’t feel inspirational.

Fairly recently, I’ve been on the receiving end of inspiration, and I’m speechless.  Never did I think I influence others.  Seriously, it may sound ridiculous, crazy, naive…but, in all honesty, for a long time, I didn’t see myself as someone who inspires others.  I just see myself as a woman doing her best every day and creating an amazing life for my family.  I’m very modest, humble, and someone who does NOT like the spotlight.  I’m a behind-the-scenes type of gal…willing to let others shine.  So, I’m always amazed when I get notes from others or hear that I have made a difference in someone’s life.  

It’s the truth.

For me, I look at myself as someone who’s plotting along, doing what I need to do to succeed.  I think the best way for me to explain is I don’t think I’m anyone special. I have a belief that we all possess a common sense trait that we should use.  I believe we all have the ability to succeed at whatever we desire, if we are willing to put in the work.  

Work Works

I’m no stranger to hard work. I do my best to put my best foot forward at all times.  I’m a work in progress; willing to learn.  I love learning…learning from others who can help me be a better person.  Others who are willing to show me the way, without doing it for me.  I am willing to put in the time, the effort, the sacrifice, the ridicule.  I don’t or rather, I won’t take the easy way out.  I want to know that everything I’ve accomplished was because I put my all into it.  Done by my hard work.

I love to work with and be around others who aren’t strangers to hard work.  Those who are willing to get into the trenches with me, get a little dirty, and come out clean on the other end.  Those who are willing to delay the instant gratification for the long-term gratification.  I love to surround myself with positive, people.  The people who inspire ME to be a better person.

Make a Difference

It really doesn’t take much to inspire others.  Eye contact is so key.  Say hello to someone; hold the door open; let someone go ahead of you; pay for someone’s coffee…the possibilities are endless.  Yes, pay it forward.  Make a difference; inspire.