Living today…

One must always maintain one’s connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it.
Gaston Bachelard

Good morning! In order to find true contentment and lasting joy we have to live in the present. If we become overly reflective of the past or overly concerned about the future, then we begin living in our minds versus the physical world. We must be present to what is actually happening this minute and our role in the here and now. Thoughts of yesterday or tomorrow pull us away from creating today.

Of course, this is easier said than done. The human mind is very good at worrying and anticipating obstacles. Statistically ninety-nine-percent of what we worry about never happens. Time spent worrying is wasted time we will never recover. Likewise, we are over-critical of past mistakes. Once an event has passed and more information is available, of course we can find something we should, could, or would have done differently. But we did not have additional information in the past. We cannot go back. We cannot do anything for yesterday’s mistakes, errors in judgment, hurts, or injustices. Why hold onto this pain? What will it give us? If the food in our refrigerator was to rot, do we keep it as a reminder to not be wasteful in the future? What good do either of these practices do besides sap our energy from living “in the now?”

When we are attentive today, we can work to apply new knowledge and leave less regrets to reflect upon moving forward. When we attentive today we create our future.

This quote inspires my realization of a healthy connection to both past and future, but beyond this connection, we must pull away from letting either past or future control daily life. We can learn from the past, but let’s now dwell in it. Let’s not focus and give the past energy to repeat itself in our present. Instead, let’s learn its lessons and apply them today. We can be “researchers” in our own lives, noting what has influenced us, made us happy, what we regret, and apply this research to maximize today.

Likewise, let us look forward to the future with passion, excitement, and expectation, knowing that by living “in the now” we can create the tomorrow we desire.

Your Turn:
Notice today how many times you spend reflecting in the past or worrying about the future. Consciously draw your attention back to “now;” the only place where we can create true change.

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Solving problems…

“It’s not that I’m so smart , it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Albert Einstein

Good morning! I love that Einstein, one of the greatest minds offered this wisdom-filled quote. When I read it I immediately wondered if perhaps the definition of “smart” is: staying with a problem until the answer is found. Maybe many people who “look smart” don’t necessarily grasp things more quickly, but have persistence and perseverance.

Although I am far from Einstein, I could relate to this quote. Many people have asked how I have overcome certain obstacles or created certain processes. It certainly wasn’t a stroke of genius, brilliance or a light bulb flash above my head. I simply stayed with the problem longer. I believe every problem must have a solution. A personal commitment to discovering the solution is what makes the difference.

As we learn to problem solve, our problem-solving skills develop and become stronger. The only thought-pattern required to implementing positive problem-solving skills in your own life is a curious mind and the belief that each problem must have a solution.

Your Turn:

Work on increasing your problem-solving skills. Instead of shrinking away from a challenge or problem, realize that each challenge or problem does have a solution – become a detective with the aim of uncovering it. Some solutions can be discovered in a day, some may take months – but the solutions are there. Try writing down a problem you are facing. Then ask yourself questions to begin exploring solutions. Some questions you might try include: How did this problem come into being? Who do I know that might be able to give me ideas or strategies for solving this problem? What would the answer/solution look like? What steps are needed to get that answer or solution? What role did I play in the creation of this problem and if I reversed my actions/thought patterns, would that impact a solution? What are 5 crazy solutions I can dream up? (Brainstorming quick lists –no matter how outrageous– helps us become creative in our approach and solution focused).

Your Affirmation:
For every challenge or problem, I know there is a solution. I also know that I can find it.

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Climbing past worry…

”Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” Charles Schultz

Good morning! This quote by Snoopy Creator, Charles Schultz brings home two important points: (1) How quickly a day goes by and (2) How unhelpful it is to spend time worrying.

Worrying doesn’t feel good, it makes people anxious and stress-filled. So why do people worry? Worrying, like many negative emotion is a defense mechanism. We worry to protect ourselves from “what might happen.” We worry in order to avoid taking “the next step.” However, like many defense mechanisms, “worry” doesn’t protect us, instead it creates a wall that blocks off possibility. Worry invites us to be immobile, to stay still, and to wait “for a better time.”

Life isn’t lived behind a wall. Life is lived out in the wide-open when we take chances and chase down dreams. When we use worry as a wall in our world, we not only block out our fear of “what might happen,” but we also block out the good.

Studies have shown ninety-eight percent of what we worry about never happens. If we spend our time worrying we lose valuable time that could be spend on what we do want to happen in our lives.

Your Turn:
Where have you been using worry to hide from life? Take a step toward knocking down the wall of worry by choosing one area not to worry about. Direct your thoughts toward possibilities instead of limits. Break down the wall that worry builds to see how wonderful opportunity is on the other side.

Your Affirmation:
I climb over worry and into joy.

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What makes a strong woman?

“After being bombarded with images and ideas of what a woman should be, a strong woman is one who can look at herself in the mirror and say, “I prefer this.’” Doctoral student Erin Clair, as quoted in What Makes a Strong Woman? 101 Insights from Some Remarkable Women by Helene Lerner

Tammy, one of my readers, sent in this quote with a very powerful note. Tammy wrote:

I have been working on your programs and reading your Good Morning messages. Word cannot express my gratitude for the positive changes they are making in my life. I feel as if I am on the quest to remembering who I wanted to be when I grew up and who I want to be daily. At 36 I would have thought I would have a clue but, as with many women in our culture, life as mother and wife took over and consumed all that I had hoped to be. Thanks for the prompts that are assisting me along this journey. I truly appreciate it.

This was a powerful quote for me as I struggle daily to love the person I am right now instead of waiting to love myself when I morph into the incredible woman that lurks beneath the layers of life. As the mother of daughters it was also a powerful insight to a gift I hope to give them – that deep sense of self worth and self acceptance.

Tammy’s kind note summarizes a challenge many women can relate with. While devoting time to mothering children and the daily demands of life, women may lose sight of mothering their own dreams, desires and self-growth.

Through my work, I strive to help women meet the many commitments of life today without neglecting “self.” Learning to balance caring for others while still caring for our-selves will, in time, lead us to the place where like the quote, we can say: “I prefer this.”

Your Turn:
Take a moment to look in the mirror and affirm where you are today and the positive steps you have taken in your life. This weekend carve out a half-hour to focus on “you” and self-care.

Your Affirmation:
I am proud of who I am and who I am becoming.

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Making things happen…

There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen,
those who watch things happen
and those who wonder what happened.
We all have a choice.
You can decide which type of person you want to be.
I have always chosen to be in the first group. Mary Kay Ash

Good morning! I have always loved the wisdom of entrepreneur and visionary Mary Kay Ash. Today I thought I would give you a little quiz in conjunction with her quote. Mary Kay lists 3 types of people.

• Those who make things happen
• Those who watch things happen
• Those who wonder what happened

Which of these three groups do you think is the happiest? Which do you think is the most unhappy, often feeling they are a “victim” of life? Which group do you think goes through life without experiencing much joy or sadness?

Now, try this one. Which of these groups do you think is the most successful? Which do you think is most resentful? Which do you think never realizes their potential because they never explore it?

While I am sure you guessed right, here are the answers:

• Those who make things happen – happiest and most successful
• Those who watch things happen – most unhappy and resentful
• Those who wonder what happened – doesn’t experience much joy or sadness or realize potential

Those who watch things happen or wonder what happened haven’t taken the wheel to steer their life. Instead, their days are left to be blown around by external winds. There is a quote about how if you don’t take the wheel of life, don’t complain about where you end up!

Those in group one, like Mary Kay Ash, are subject to the same external winds, but they make things happen in spite of them. Those in group one have a vision bigger than any obstacle and that vision will always get them through the storm.

Your Turn:
Which group do you fall into? Think about your last month and what category the majority of your actions (or non-actions) fell into. If you aren’t in group A, why not join? Great things are happening there!

Your Affirmation:
I make things happen.

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Standing Tall

Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye, and say, “I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.” Ann Landers

Good morning! When Ann Landers was asked to give advice about successful living, she shared the above quote. I hadn’t heard this quote until this past week, when I read it in a book I had received for Christmas. Interestingly, that same day, Judy sent the quote through to me. I figured that was a sign to put it at the top of the list for Good Mornings!

When I read Ann’s words, I was filled with a feeling of “Yes!! That is what it takes to live our best life. We don’t shy from trouble, we stare it down.” As a business owner and an Entrepreneur, I have lived this quote over and over. There is nothing more rewarding than the day you realize that within you have everything you need and are perfectly capable of overcoming whatever life throws your way. When we get to the place where we can welcome all of life–the good, the bad and the ugly–with confidence, we know a peace beyond measure.

Your Turn:

Realize that we cannot run from trouble, it is an inevitable part of life. However we can learn to rise above it. Welcome all of life’s experiences–the good, the bad and the ugly. Challenge yourself to look these experiences in the eye and use them as a catalyst to become the “very best” you can be.

Your Affirmation:

I am bigger than any troubles.

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Free Workshop and Workbook

A New Year, A New You!

When: Monday, January 26 through February 1, 2009
Where: 7 Day Challenge Group on Facebook
For full details visit:
Who: Anyone! Tell your friends!
What: A completely free week-long interactive workshop with bestselling author Brook Noel

Join bestselling author Brook Noel for a free week-long interactive workshop to help you manage time, hone in on your goals, live by your priorities, reclaim energy, and create contentment.

rook Noel shares how simple change can be with six proven and practical strategies to help women manage time effectively, get organized, decrease stress, live by their priorities, and get 2009 off to a balanced and exciting start.

Attendees will receive a free downloadable workbook that Brook will guide participants through during the week long workshop. Each day, Monday through Saturday, participants can login and view the day’s video or audio challenge. These targeted segments average five minutes in length and end with an Action Step to apply. An optional support forum is available for participants to post progress. Participants can also post questions to Brook which she will answer on Sunday, the final day of the workshop, via teleconference.

Brook shares how her personal journey for a better life became a journey shared by over 100,000 women in two years and how the Change Your Life Challenge can help you.

Brook shares how the simple practice of a Three-Step Action List can revolutionize your life and help you accomplish over 1,000 actions to enrich your life this year.

One of the biggest myths of managing time, tasks, thoughts, reminders, and daily life is the belief that because our lives are complicated our systems must be complicated. In this segment Brook will teach you how to create and use a Catch-All Notebook to streamline time and life management.

Studies have shown that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It affects our energy level, metabolism, focus ability, and health. Undoubtedly the first fuel of the day for the body is very important. Equally important is the first emotional fuel for the mind. Brook shares how to get your day off to a great start with a Good Morning routine.

Prevent the pile-up of to-dos and overcome procrastination with a planned Power Hour. In this segment Brook will help you complete the Power Hour Worksheet to process items on your todo list effectively and efficiently.

Learn how to use Brook’s Snapshot Tool to continue making positive changes, while also evaluating and planning the priorities that will guide you in 2009.

At any time during the week submit your question about the daily challenges, or questions on money management, time management, organization, household management, and menu planning. Then listen in to hear Brook answer the questions of the week.

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Life’s terms of service

“If you haven’t the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you.”-T.S. Eliot Good morning!  During a twenty-six city tour I was returning from a television appearance in Minneapolis and chatting with … Continue reading