Internal motivation

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.

― Vince Lombardi

I remember more than 2 decades ago this 15 year old girl who wanted out of rural southern Indiana. She had big dreams, even grander ambition.  And she made them all come true.  Left a small farming community, didn’t know how to drive, never held a job except as the neighborhood babysitter.  Flash forward 2014. She now has many wonderful and not so wonderful experiences under her belt.  World traveler, educated, and now married.

What motivates you?

What gets you up each and every morning to start the same routine over and over?

Is there something about your life in which you’re particularly proud of? What is it? What did you do to get there?

Nothing in life is easy.

NOTHING

 

It is up to us and no one else to make us happy.  It is up to us to become productive members of society. Give back in some way.

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.  Mark Twain

Who are you?

Have you ever felt like your life has been one huge counterproductive mistake? That the decisions which you thought were the right ones turned out to be completely the opposite?

Why is it our younger selves (who think we’re so invincible) try to tackle head on issues which we know nothing about? Our parents, elders, and “more experienced” individuals tend to evoke a rebellious attitude?
I saw this in myself, and I currently see it in today’s generation.
Doesn’t matter if it’s your son or daughter straining against your loving parental advice or the kid next door rolling their eyes at your well meaning good intentions.  Today’s youth (no matter the generation) seems to always be in the wrong. 

Could it be as parents we coddled our children far longer than what’s deemed socially acceptable? Has the technological boom generated an entire generation of socially awkward and selfish little bastards? Could it be the growing number of single-parent households (either due to divorce or out of wedlock marriages?
I am considered part of Generation X and even during the tender years of my youth I was lucky enough to experience life as it’s meant to be instead of it all being crammed into social media or gaming.
I think spending too much time behind the computer screen and create socially stunted adults.  Kids become lazy or complacent in their anonymity and choose the “easier way out.”
Far more American children are becoming obese.  According to the website Teenhelp, over 12% of our children are overweight.
As parents it is our responsibility to encourage our children to delve out of their comfortable couch comfort zone and mingle with the “real” world.  I think we parents too become lazy ourselves, caught up in our own adult problems, leaving our kids behind to fend for themselves.  My generation was that of the latch key kid. I was lucky in that I had my mom to come home to every day while dad worked. Not all kids are so fortunate.
Just remember, these kids of today will be the ones changing our socioeconomic world….and that in and of itself should be food for thought.

I only have eyes for you

“Maybe that’s what it all comes down to. Love, not as a surge of passion, but as a choice to commit to something, someone, no matter what obstacles or temptations stand in the way. And maybe making that choice, again and again, day in and day out, year after year, says more about love than never having a choice to make at all.”
Emily Giffin, Love the One You’re With

When two people commit to one another, a life long journey of hopes, dreams, goals, and yes love…..stands before them.

Being married or in a long-term committed relationship takes guts. It takes guts knowing you are exposing yourself, your heart to someone else and trusting that this individual will live up to your expectations and that your love will not be bruised and battered.

Of course that’s everyone’s fairytale ending but we all know that in real relationships disappointments, hardships and doubts abound.

With that being said, when we conscientiously choose to create a lifelong bond with someone else we are committing to more than just that person. We become part of a union. Couples are entwine in both emotional and physical fidelity.  And when you love someone…truly love them….this aspect of the relationship is quite easy to accomplish.

We then learn to work with and perhaps even accept some of the flaws that come with loving another individual…so long as these flaws do not overwhelm or shadow the relationship in its entirety.

“People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

Having eyes for only your partner and your partner only means to continuously maintain a lifelong love affair. Keeping that element of romance through the years….trying not to take the other for granted and remembering that even though you are coupling as one…to keep intact your personal integrity and your identity so that you are able to give the best of yourself and establish a healthy commitment for years to come:

“My love affair with (him) had a wonderful element of romance to it, which I will always cherish. But it was not an infatuation, and here’s how I can tell: because I did not demand that he become my Great Emancipator or my Source of All Life, nor did I immediately vanish into that man’s chest cavity like a twisted, unrecognizable, parasitical homunculus. During our long period of courtship, I remained intact within my own personality, and I allowed myself to meet (him) for who he was.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

The bigger picture

“If we are not allowed to deal with small problems, we will be destroyed by slightly larger ones. When we come to understand this, we live our lives not avoiding problems, but welcoming them them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we can be victorious in the future.”
Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Gift

I think a lot of marital difficulties comes from immaturity and a lack of self-confidence–also a big part of our relationship issues is not being able to see the picture.

 

As Americans, most of us want everything N.O.W.  If we have to wait even 5 minutes for something it’s a chore. (No one can tell me different.)

Can you just imagine how this relates to relationships?

When things are difficult, or are heading that way, whether it be your finances, employment status, or even waiting for personal issues to resolve themselves….negativity sets in.  We become overwhelmed and fail to see the journey in it’s entirety and instead focus only on the problems (and not in a good way).

Nothing in this life is easy. Falling in love, having children, maintaining your health and family/friend relationships to taking care of your spousal needs….there will always be issues along the way.

When we fail to see the bigger picture, such as spending your life with someone you love, becoming a parent, having a great quality of life….we become lost in the details instead of realizing the blessings which will come our way.

I am at fault for not realizing the positive outcomes which come about from such things.

I also realize life isn’t easy and it certainly hasn’t been for me. But I do have one thing on my side and that is I am tenacious. I will not give up. I will fight tooth and nail for what I believe in. And, yes of course, common sense will undoubtedly kick in…and if something isn’t meant to be I let go.

“When things get too complicated, it sometimes makes sense to stop and wonder: Have I asked the right question?”
Enrico Bombieri

For someone like myself, I always try to give 110%.

Yes, there are times I want to give up. I think, why do I fight this hard for something so difficult?

Then I come to the realization: despite all the hardships…..in the end it’s all worth it.

I for one don’t wish to journey through life alone. Having a partner to ease some of the troubles that will inevitably come our way, is a great motivator. One, that I am willing to fight for, work hard for, and to make him and everyone else realize that I am a woman of means, of intellect and strength who is able to carry her own weight, who is able to see the bigger picture and push forward through hardships and crisis. Love isn’t easy. It’s trial by error and it’s accepting the fact that yes, sometimes we can’t fix things. As long as I believe in myself, in my marriage ultimately knowing I can conquer anything that comes my way.

Frustrations and other mumbo jumbo

“At the least, bear patiently, if thou canst not joyfully. And although thou be very unwilling to hear it, and feel indignation, yet check thyself, and suffer no unadvised word to come forth from thy lips, whereby the little ones may be offended. Soon the storm which hath been raised shall be stilled, and inward grief shall be sweetened by returning grace.”
― Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Testaments to our characters is certainly illustrated when things don’t go our way. We can only control our reactions to our environment, to other people. As much as we try, we simply cannot control the actions of others…not really. And, if you think you can you really need to question yourself as to what kind of person you are—–if controlling others is your main life’s goal.

Marriage is not just a union between two people but it is also an emotional union. How we view life, perceived indifference, creates the foundation from which the marriage will grow. You can stifle each other with lack of communication, mistrust, and disrespect…or you can actually watch it flourish as both of you work together towards common goals.

If you cannot be happy about whatever is going on in your relationship (again, as long as there is nothing disrespectful going on) don’t “rain on your partner’s parade” instead find something to rejoice.  And as the old adage goes, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  If there are children, always remember, little ears are listening and we do emulate our parents in some part, though we would most likely try to deny it.

And arguments will most certainly occur.  No marriage is perfect and to strive for such ill-conceived perfection will only create unrealistic expectations.

GLOSSOPHOBIA

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Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking or of speaking in general.[1] The word glossophobia comes from the Greek γλῶσσα glōssa, meaning tongue, and φόβος phobos, fear or dread. Many people only have this fear, while others may also have social phobia or social anxiety disorder. (source)

NEVER been a fan of this.  I can remember in 1st grade when I began competing in spelling bees (and doing quite well I might add) and the stage fright I would experience each and every time. Then it went on with our elementary Christmas plays, on to giving classes over soldier’s common task skills for the Army. Just not my thing.

Perhaps it has hampered my success considering I am more of a “behind the scenes” type of person. I would make the perfect researcher/scholar in that I love delving into facts….presenting them is another story. However, I also understand that in order to achieve certain goals in mind, I need to step out of my comfort zone and grab this bull by the horns.

There are many wonderful organizations out there for those of us who suffer this type of social anxiety. Here is a listing of just a few:

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International is perhaps the most well-known public speaking organization in the world. TI boasts nearly 300,000 members in 116 countries around the globe. Their meetings, which occur at least monthly in every chapter, are not led by a teacher or trainer. Instead, members make presentations and evaluate one another on their speaking skills. Members are often asked to give short impromptu speeches. Exercises like this prepare speakers to field questions from audiences and potential clients. TI is a respected speaking organization and can provide great networking opportunities. TI does not base memberships on prior speaking qualification. Rather, TI is open to anyone who wishes to improve their public speaking skills and is willing to spend the time and effort to do so. It is an ideal organization for individuals new to public speaking. TI is also an excellent organization for business and community leaders who do not wish to speak professionally but must speak in the capacity of their jobs.

 

Rotary International & Rotary Clubs

The Rotary Club is widely known as a philanthropic organization which brings together business people and community leaders. Members of the Club, known as Rotarians, usually hold weekly meetings. The meetings are social events and also provide a time to plan and implement the Club’s service goals. The Rotary Club also helps members hone their public speaking skills. Rotarians enjoy representing their Club in their communities and so practice short speeches to explain their goals, projects, and service ethic. Generally, a Rotary Club meeting features a speech by a member. The speeches often relate to events and issues in the community, service the member has performed in the community or abroad, or business issues. Rotarians engage in open dialogue after speeches, which helps speakers further hone their audience relation skills. Rotary Clubs are also a great place to network.

The National Speakers Association

Unlike Toastmasters International and the Rotary Club, The National Speakers Association is exclusively for individuals who make a fee for speaking publicly or individuals who aspire to speak publicly as a profession. In addition to offering support and advice to public speakers, the NSA also offers entrepreneurial coaching. Learning how to effectively manage the business side of a speaking career is very important. The Academy for Professional Speaking is a special NSA program which helps speakers with serious skill make the leap to speaking for pay. The Academy combines distance learning with face-to-face classes over the course of a year. Every Academy culminates in a one-day institute that also serves as the opening for the NSA’s yearly conference.

The American Motivational Speakers Bureau

Also known as the American Speakers Bureau, this organization is similar to the NSA in that it offers benefits and services for tested professional speakers. The AMSB maintains an extensive listing of motivational speakers and their areas of specialty. Many of the speakers they represent are celebrities with strong backgrounds in public speaking. They provide consultation services to clients seeking speakers, meaning that they match professional speakers with a variety of paid speaking opportunities. In order to become listed with the AMSB, you will have to send in an extensive application that includes a sample of your speech program, references, professional live recordings of your speeches, and other pertinent information. Though becoming listed as an AMSB speaker can be time consuming, it is certainly worthwhile in terms of engagement opportunities.

Joining Speaking Organizations to Increase Skill & Entrepreneurship

Both experienced public speakers and those who are just beginning to hone their skills benefit from joining speaking organizations. These organizations help all speakers improve their presentations and gain the business acumen and confidence to succeed in the world of public speaking. These groups also help speakers understand what they need to do in order to gain an audience. No matter what your speaking level, practicing your presentations will always help you improve and can help you identify new topics and areas of interest you may be able to speak about.

(source)

American Marriages

http-www.dandelionandgreyblog.com201106beautiful-black-whites-from-ashleyhtmlThe notion of the “romantic” marriage is really a novel American concept. According to Stephanie Koontz, Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage. in our not so distant past, we Americans  primarily married out of convenience, seeking positive traits in a partner such as fairness, kindliness, and good temper.

Of course today individuals come together out of love and not so much for romantic coupling and the divorce rate is still at around 50%. Why is that? Is it because we place far too many expectations on our partner? Sometimes unrealistic? Then there is the changing gender rolls. The economic downturn of our economy has seen more men unemployed as compared to women. Women are fast becoming the primary bread winner.  According to the NY Times, this trend is bound to continue:

Four in 10 American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census and polling data released Wednesday. This share, the highest on record, has quadrupled since 1960.

The shift reflects evolving family dynamics.

For one, it has become more acceptable and expected for married women to join the work force. It is also more common for single women to raise children on their own. Most of the mothers who are chief breadwinners for their families — nearly two-thirds — are single parents.

The recession may have played a role in pushing women into primary earning roles, as men are disproportionately employed in industries like construction and manufacturing that bore the brunt of the layoffs during the downturn. Women, though, have benefited from a smaller share of the job gains during the recovery; the public sector, which employs a large number of women, is still laying off workers.

(source)

Today’s couples are also faced with not just gender changing roles and financial hardships, but are also dealing with technological advances which have played havoc on some marriages. It’s that much easier to slip into an anonymous role behind a computer screen and become a voyeur exploring “uncharted seas.” Partners are reconnecting with old flames (i.e. via Facebook) or delving into the seedy side of porn and unwanted personal ads.

Making a “got at it” in today’s world means working that much harder to stay together.  The key is remembering that we are part of a team.  Keep the lines of communication open and respect your spouse’s feelings. Never go to bed angry. That doesn’t solve anything.

NEVER!

 

To learn more about building a happy marriage please click here

My inner-world is my oyster

“Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay—in small doses.”
Jonathan Rauch

 

I have frequently been mistaken for being a snob or at worst…painfully shy.  I admit that I prefer my company over the company of others. It’s simply my basic wiring.  I do love socializing but only in spurts.  Afterwards I do need to recharge.

 

I find comfort among my thoughts and dreams.  I revel in my “alone-time.” Both of my jobs, being a civil servant working in a team environment, and a soldier in the U.S. Army Reserves mean constant interaction.  At the end of the day someone like myself needs time alone in order to recollect, reorganize. And yes, it IS as restorative as a good nights sleep!

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If you think you may be an introvert or that someone else might be, you can click here on this website for 23 signs of introversion