Turn what you have into enough, without loosing your drive.

Today we’ll expand a little more on last week’s blog. You may still be asking the following: “So when is it ever really enough? I mean, come on, I’m just a really driven person right? And that’s why I keep striving for more.”

Yes, I get it. I am an extremely driven person, too, so I understand what it’s like to struggle to strike a balance between ambition and fulfillment.

 

I think we can all agree that society doesn’t really help us to curb our hunger for more. Everywhere we look ads and people are telling us and selling us on the idea of better, faster, and shinier. No wonder we get starstruck and caught up in the race to achieve more. The catch is that no matter how rich, popular, beautiful, or successful you are, there will always be a next level beyond where you are now.

 

Yes, sorry to burst your bubble. I know you’re probably saying to yourself: “Great! How very depressing! What’s the point of even trying then?”

 

Well, there’s one little word that will help you to turn what you have into enough. It will motivate you to strive for your dreams and achieve even more than you could ever imagine. That little word is:

 

“GRATITUDE”

 

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And this word leads us to today’s TWEET-IT right now: “Gratitude turns what we have into enough”

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So how do you keep it real and be grateful?
 
1) Look back at what you have accomplished.
2) Write down three great things that happened in your day. (Do this one daily.)
3) When you start to feel the sensation of needing more, be kind to yourself and be patient. Know that you’ll get there eventually, but what you have right now is really not that bad.

 

When I get caught up in wanting more and feeling unsatisfied, my Mom always says, “Stop looking at those who have more than you have, and look at those who have less.” She is so right. When you do this, you realize how lucky you are and how much you have to be thankful for.

 

I also find when you look back on what you have accomplished rather than fixate on the goals ahead, you realize how awesome what you have already is. It also makes you excited for what is still to come, because if what you have now is already fantastic, imagine how fabulous what you want to achieve is going to be.

 
Was this email helpful? Do you know someone who would benefit form reading this message? Please be sure to spread the word and send this message to someone you know can do with a little TLC. May you have a fulfilled week!
 
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When is it ever Enough?

When is it ever enough?
(first of a two-part series)
 
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Since I was very little, I can remember always wanting more. The first time I experienced it was when I was in kindergarten, and I won my first track sprint. From there on, I wanted to win every time. Later I started doing ballet and aced my first exam, and every time afterward I wanted to achieve those same amazing grades.
 
This went on until I started working on Wall Street. Then the success was measured in money and there, too, I wanted to accomplish more and more. Somehow no matter what I achieved, it was just never enough.
 
Until one day the question suddenly popped up: When is it – and will it ever be – enough? We basically spend our entire lives reaching and striving for the next big thing. This journey can be both exhausting and extremely stressful at the same time. Think about it: You spend way more time striving and working toward goals than the time spent achieving them. Once a goal has been reached, the high you get from the achievement wears off pretty quickly. It’s not long before you’re already fixated on the next big shiny thing.
 
I am not saying you shouldn’t have any drive or lofty goals. They give us a sense of purpose, something to look forward to and something to keep us motivated.
 
The key is to explore the “why” behind your goal.
 
In today’s Action Steps, find out if your goals are serving you for the right reasons:
 
1) What is your goal?
2) Why are you setting this goal for yourself?
3) Does the reason give you internal satisfaction or external status? In other words, is it something you want for YOU and YOUR dreams, or are you striving to reach this goal to please others and garner outside recognition?
 
When you pick goals that will provide internal satisfaction and growth, you’re more likely to feel fulfilled. Goals set for external recognition almost always lead to disappointment and the feeling of “it’s not enough, I want more.” And guess what: The most successful people of our time are those who set goals that are in line with their internal dreams and passions.
 
Watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “WHY” for more on this.
 

 
Want even more? (Pardon the pun.) Sign up for my weekly newsletter and stay tuned for next week’s blog entry on how to turn what you have into enough.

 

 

How to make your partner perfect.

It all starts off nice and romantic and your significant other can do no wrong. The person is simply perfect. Fast forward a couple of years and all of a sudden you may be experiencing some serious problems with your partner’s behavior. Out of nowhere, you feel like there are a million little things you want to change.

 

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STOP. Turn that finger right back at yourself. More often than not, when I’ve gone to this “I’m annoyed with my partner, so let’s pick him apart” stage, I almost always have had some insecurities of my own to address. I would be unhappy with my own behavior or how I handled a situation, or be frustrated with myself for not achieving goals I had set. That’s when it’s so easy to focus on your partner’s quirks.

 

Becoming aware of this projection of my own frustrations onto my partner has helped me be less harsh and more loving toward him – especially when I am not performing at my best and actually need to lean on him.

 

As my good friend Benjamin Degenhardt, and fellow Pilates instructor says: “When you’re moving from your authentic self and a place of good intention while allowing others to be themselves, things flow in perfect harmony.”

 

My grandpa used to say, “Live and let others live.” I’d like to combine Benjamin and my granddad’s sayings to make one of my own: “Be yourself and let others be themselves.”

 

ActionstepsIn today’s Action Steps, there are a few ways to help you do that by focusing on the positive.

 

1) What qualities about your partner do you enjoy and love?
2) What do you adore about your relationship?
3) What is going on in your own life that’s making you so critical right now?
4) Is the behavior that’s annoying you new?
5) Can you talk to your partner and tell him or her what’s going on with you?

 
 
Remember: Communication is always key to building a strong and lasting relationship. Your partner should be your best friend whom you can share anything with, even the stuff that’s tough to admit.

 

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This chance is worth taking:

It could be asking for a raise at your job. Or being very honest about something in your relationship or having to tell a friend something that might be disappointing. Perhaps you need to say something and stand up for what you believe in. One thing is certain: At some point, we all have to have that dreaded conversation with someone.
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And more often than not we either put it off or never work up the nerve to do it. In my personal experience, this only leads to things getting worse. It has led to many sleepless nights, frustration, and anger. In the worst cases, relationships can be destroyed.
When I have pushed myself to have those conversations and got it all off my chest, I felt so much better and lighter. Getting to that point, though, was tough. The conversations were still uncomfortable, but almost every single time the payoff was so worth it.
In today’s Action Steps, let’s focus on a few tips to help you prep for the “dreaded conversation”:
 
Actionsteps1) Be crystal clear on what, exactly, you want or need to say. Write it all down, get it out on paper.
2) Imagine yourself having the conversation. What will you say? How can you express yourself without offending the other person? How do you expect that person to respond? This little visual will help you feel more prepared and help you stay on point during the actual conversation.
3) Give yourself a deadline. Scheduling this like a meeting will help you stick to it.
4) Stick to your guns and listen. When having the discussion, make sure you stay focused. Don’t let the other person’s response distract or lead you off course. Make sure you listen deeply to them.
Although you can never be sure what the outcome of the talk will be, one thing is clear: You have to be honest with yourself, stay true to your values, and just take the chance. You might even be pleasantly surprised!

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The dating game no one told you about.

If you’ve ever had to get out there and make new friends, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

When you’re young and still in school or college, making friends is a breeze. It almost happens without any effort at all. You see these friends every day or you live with them in a dorm. Not much work is needed.

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Then you leave school and life takes you to a new city and maybe your friends do the same. Sometimes, sad as it can be, you just simply outgrow friends. Inevitably, at some point you’ll have to get out there and make new ones.

That’s when the “dating game” begins. You’ll meet someone who seems like a cool friend to have. You get their number and all of a sudden you feel anxious with weird questions haunting you: “Is it too soon to text them to go for coffee? Will it be strange to ask them to go to this event with me? How much of myself can I reveal to them so early on?” Sounds familiar, right?

Making new friends can be overwhelming and often leads to feeling isolated, sad, and depressed. Having a support system and friends you can talk to is more important than you realize.

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In his book “The Happiness Advantage”, Shawn Achor states that “Studies have found that people with strong relationships are less likely to perceive situations as stressful in the first place.” (p243)

Having good friends who support you makes you a happier and more relaxed person. So how can you make the process a little easier?

Actionsteps1) Don’t be shy! Join a club, cooking class, or charity organization. Make it something you’re interested in. This will help you meet lots of people with similar interests. These places also oftentimes have social events where you can mingle. Friendships will form with ease and it will feel less forced.

2) Make it a priority to build friendships. Commit to one night or one coffee date with a new friend every week.

3) Say “YES”. When you get invited somewhere make sure you go. Even if you don’t foresee the people who invited to ever be your best friends, you never know who else might come a long. Seize every opportunity to meet new people.

All relationships take a little effort, but if you have the right friends (and partners), it will mostly feel like a lot of fun and no work at all.

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