3 Things That Kill Potential

3 Things That Kill Potential

Have you ever heard of Christmas in July? What about New Year’s in May? I’m guessing you’ve heard of the first, but not the latter. I may or may not have just invented that one. Working on a college campus, this time of year is all about promise, potential, and embracing the possibilities for the future – making it feel a bit like the excitement at New Year’s. The refrains of Pomp and Circumstance bring tears to eyes as spirits leap and the promise of bright futures are considered. But, you don’t have to be a new graduate to look ahead with optimism and anticipation. As long as you have breath in your lungs, there’s a purpose in your spirit! Why not be inspired by the excitement in the air? On your journey to a brighter future, watch out for these three things that can kill your potential: A limited definition of success – Be willing to adapt your definition of success based on your chapter in life. Sometimes success is obvious. It’s winning a championship or getting your dream job or promotion. Other times, success is far more subtle. When life is challenging, we need to be free to modify our definition. To a new mom, success could be showering and getting dressed before noon. To someone overwhelmed by their finances success might be opening all of their mail and making a plan on how they will pay their bills. Limiting your definition of success robs you of recognizing key victories that motivate you and propel you to life’s big wins. The wrong playlist – What are you...
3 Traps that will Keep You Stuck

3 Traps that will Keep You Stuck

There’s something about the arrival of sunny days and warmer weather that brings hope – especially in the northeast where we had a foot of snow just ten days ago. The birds are chirping, the sky is blue, and people are smiling. This week’s drastic change in weather, had me feeling a bit like I was coming out of a winter hibernation. During the dark cold days of winter, it’s easy to snuggle into a routine that might be less than productive, a routine that says I’ll stay good and cozy right here until spring comes. As I started pulling out my lighter clothes and doing a bit of spring cleaning, I realized I needed to clean out the cobwebs of my motivation in some areas of my life. There are a few easy traps to fall into that will confuse our thoughts, rob our progress, and steel happiness that was intended for today. 3 Thoughts that will keep you stuck: When / then – When / then thinking says happier days are just down the road or around the corner. When spring comes, when you get a promotion, when you find your dream house, when you pay off your student loans… then life will be easier, you’ll be happier, you’ll save for retirement, you’ll be less stressed. Then, you’ll enjoy life. When / then thinking is a trap because life is a journey. If we get stuck waiting for a condition to be met before we allow ourselves to experience all that life has, or do the things we really should do, we’re robbing today of it’s potential....
Ready, Set, Go… 5 Tips for Navigating Away from “Stuck”

Ready, Set, Go… 5 Tips for Navigating Away from “Stuck”

“Satellites Not Found” my GPS rudely informed me as I drove towards the exit of the parking garage. I could feel anxiety swelling in me, almost like a wave of worry ready to consume me as I pulled through the ticket booth. I’m definitely not one to explore unfamiliar city territory alone without the benefit of my GPS. And, that afternoon I wasn’t up for an adventure, I just wanted to get home. My mind raced. How was I going to find my way? Just then “turn left” broke my thoughts. My GPS came through! Now I could confidently continue on my journey. I knew without it, I’d certainly have gotten lost! Today when I was reminded of that day, I was struck that while I remained parked in the garage, I was unsuccessful in gaining direction. I needed to move first. I needed to set myself in motion in the general direction I knew I needed to go – towards the exit, and then, only then when I was moving could I find the specifics of how to continue to my desired destination. As crazy as it sounds, I needed that memory to realize I was getting stuck. Sometime in the past weeks or months I had pulled into a bit of a spiritual and emotional parking garage. Maybe it was all of the political negativity of late, or being incredibly busy at work, or simply no shortage of life challenges…but somewhere between the streets of overwhelmed and uncertainty, I curled up on the comfy couch of life and began feeling a bit lost. Unfortunately, none of us...

5 Ways Life is Like a New Recipe

This morning I caught myself idea shopping on Pinterest. I’ll be honest, some weeks I’m totally lacking ideas when it comes time to make our family’s menu and grocery list. I get stuck in a rut with the same once-good, now-a-bit-too-often-sad recipes. Have you been there too? As I printed off my fresh ideas this morning, I was struck by how much life is just like a new recipe. Simple can be better – I’m a fan of the 5 ingredients or less recipes or the recipes made with ingredients I can pronounce and are all in my pantry. When life gets hectic, sometimes we need to focus on the basics, on the simple things. We need to adjust how we look at the things we already have before adding new things to the mix. Good can take you out of your comfort zone – I didn’t grow up eating cilantro, black beans, sweat potatoes or using spices like cumin. But, because I tried new recipes, some that took me way out of my culinary comfort zone, I found new things that I liked. Life can be the same. It may take you stretching out of your comfort zone to find something new you truly enjoy. Yours might be nothing like the next persons – Sure it may have been easy for the person who posted those adorable panda cupcakes to make them so charming. Yours may look more like a Pinterest-fail post. In life, you may find yourself seeing how things have turned out for your friends or coworkers and wonder why their lives look so neat and...

Danger! What you need before it’s too late!

I only looked away for a second. What could go wrong?. Standing at the stove in my quaint little kitchen I was in the familiar, the safely of my home. I’d stood in this exact spot so many times before that on any other day, it would have gone unremembered. But I didn’t  notice the dish towel on the counter, the one that must have caught on my arm when I turned pulling it across the hot stove. Woosh… a flash of heat, a wall of flames seemingly out of nowhere. From comfortable to crisis in the blink of an eye. Had you been standing near me you would have screamed Stop! Fire! Most definitely, you’d have come to my rescue without even thinking. Your response would have been as instantaneous as the fire. When problems in life flare up so suddenly, they grab our attention. They propel us to immediate action. We wouldn’t think of delaying even for a moment. Yet I want to share with you a danger that is equally gripping. So dangerous it threatens 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men. Just like fire, it destroys, it scars, and it kills. But unlike the fictitious fire I shared at the beginning of this blog, it’s a very real danger. Very real. It’s a danger that simmers. It masks itself as caring, generosity, and love but behind closed doors it destroys. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You may not be in an abusive relationship but 75% of all Americans know someone who is or has been. Please take a few moments and read...