How do I get there from here?

Getting there

The past few months I’ve been a bit more silent when it comes to my blog. I’ve been a bit more introspective in my writing. Today instead of getting caught up with the daily ebb and flow of life, I decided to put the remote down, and open my laptop. Like many of you I doubt myself a lot, have I done the right things? Have I taken the right steps to accomplish my future? While I do write about positive things, I too struggle with many of those same topics, and this past few months have’t been any different.

How is fear controlling me?

I listen to quite a few TEDtalks and similar programs, my newest obsession is Invisibilia on NPR. On a recent episode Fearless they explore various ways in which fear influences us. They talked about the way our brains and our physiology reacts to fear, and how our brains can’t distinguish between real or perceived fear. What does any of this mean? A simple way to put it is that if your fear is perceived, you don’t feel any differently about it. That leads me to ask the question, “Is fear stopping me from achieving the kind of future I’d like?” What messages am I telling myself, is my attitude a bigger contributor to my success or failure? A part of me definitely believes that  with a better attitude I’ll be happier. Many people believe that with happiness comes gratefulness, but I learnt in another TEDtalk; it’s more gratefulness that leads to a happier life. So now my mission is to be more grateful for everyday experiences, like the ability to get out and walk around in this beautiful place I live in. In the conclusion of the Invisibilia episode on Fear, one of the hosts Lulu Miller gives her formula on overcoming fear, and I’m willing to share that with you. Fear = Thinking + Time, if you take away either thinking or time you don’t have fear.

Haunted by Past Relationships!

My last relationship was over 2 years ago, so fell free to think “hey this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, I should discredit EVERYTHING he says.” Before you completely write me off, I ask that you at least consider some of the points I’m making about my own journey, and ask if there’s any similarities with yours? Yes I know 2 years is a long time, and at the expense of sounding like some people in my life, yes I understand that’s a LONG time to be single; lol that’s a discussion for another post. I find that I’ve been thinking a lot about my last relationship, and whether it was the right decision to end it. But that’s the fallacy isn’t it, at the time it’s not like I said ‘hey I can make a stupid decision, or I can carefully consider things, I’m going to go with the stupid decision.’ Things we’ve done in our past, for the most part we’ve carefully considered them. Knowing what we know now, we can see that things could have played out quite differently. While I do still deal with the consequences of my decisions, I can’t think of it in terms of what I know now. I think it’s interesting that sometimes when we think of the past we seem to remember mostly either the bad or the good. My latest thought is that while I’m remembering the good aspects of that relationship, for other reasons it didn’t work out. That doesn’t mean that I can’t look for those qualities from someone new. Isn’t that the point of life, to learn from our past mistakes, and to not repeat our bad behaviors. Instead of focusing on the past, I could devote my energy to the present, and being intentional about the future I want.

How has my Faith helped or hindered me?

Being Christian isn’t easy, there’s many aspect that some might consider “fun” that I don’t indulge in. Without specifics, I’ve chosen to embrace a certain life, because when it comes down to it, it’s part of my nature, my upbringing. I had a conversation with my mom a few months back about some of the aspects that are central to my life, and I realized now why I’m the way I am. I was raised christian so many of those values have been en-grained into me. When I was younger I had a lot of misconceptions about what I could and couldn’t do as a christian. Without getting into any specific debates, I’d say that there were certain thing that never appealed to me. While it was fun to indulge myself for a time, that indulgence didn’t make me any happier about myself. In many cases I turned to destructive ways both mentally and physically, that weren’t any more fulfilling in the end. Especially here in my blog, I don’t specifically talk about my Christian Faith. I’m finding it hard to spread a message of Peace, Love, and Acceptance. Especially when others who share my faith, especially the most vocal ones are especially hateful to others. They preach a message of hate, ignorance, and otherness. I find it interesting that Jesus our greatest example as a Christian, when asked what’s the greatest commandment said:

… A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:39 NLT

To us the term neighbor is simple, but to the people of that time, a neighbor wasn’t just the person in close proximity. A neighbor also meant people who don’t share your religion, ethnicity, or even a mortal enemy. For me that means that even though you may not share my faith, showing you love isn’t conditional, showing you love doesn’t mean that you have to share my beliefs. My central question still remains “how do I spread a message of love and understanding” when others are saying that if we don’t share the same faith, I should hate you?

My life today is different from my dreams!

Why is it that what most of us imagined our lives being, isn’t the way it is today! Remember when you were a kid and wanted to be a Doctor, a Nurse, Lawyer, Celebrity? Why is it that many of our lives are vastly different? I was talking to a friend a last week, and she shared the same sentiment. The truth though is that while some of us aren’t the things we aspired to be, we’re happy with who we’ve become. I would say that the past few years have been more about appreciating who I’ve become, and to stop obsessing about what I’ve not accomplished. Life has a way of throwing you those curve balls doesn’t it? My view today has changed, on most days I believe that “I’m exactly where I need to be” I believe that each of our lives plays out in a way that helps to orient us towards our most beneficial self. Of course we also have choices, each day we make a choice to go one direction over another. Living my life believing that I’m where I’m needed frees me up to see opportunities that my presence can help fulfill. Not in a selfish grandiose way, but I believe that there are things each of us are uniquely qualified to handle. A changing view of life means that I also no longer hold on to the idea of a Perfect Relationship. I imagined that there’s a person out there that you won’t have to face certain issues with. Imagine a continuum if you will, where there’s a certain threshold that you don’t go below, but the truth is the person isn’t a determining factor whether certain relationships will have to deal with certain issues. In some ways conflict is a necessary part of all relationships, no relationship is devoid of conflict. As Gary Thomas recently put it in a recent article “Singles: Your feelings don’t matter half as much as this” he said:

Your future partner’s ability to handle conflict will have far more impact on your satisfaction in marriage that your current level of feelings.

Realizing that there is not really a Perfect Relationship, and that it matters more how much work you put in, my views continue to evolve. I believe that this fits with other aspects of life too. Sometimes challenges or conflict highlights our deficiencies. When faced with those deficiencies do we run or give up, or do we stick around and try to overcome them. For me I believe the latter is what leads to a successful relationship, it’s not that you’re not going to have conflict, or tumultuous times. It’s learning to work through them, it’s being committed to working with the other person. This should be one of the most important tenants of any relationship..

Oh no I think I came down with S.O.S!!!

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It has occurred to me that I may be suffering from S.O.S (shiny object syndrome). I was reading a post from a fellow writer yesterday (yes miasilvvs I’m talking about your post “The Chase”). In her post she talks about loosing interest in a new relationship after some time has passed, she calls it “The Chase” As I was pondering life, as I always seem to do often. It dawned on me that I might be experiencing a case of Shiny Object Syndrome.

O pining about the Future!
For the past few months I’ve been giving serious thought to what I’d like by future to be, aside from my next relationship, I’m specifically thinking about my career. I’m getting older, and I’d like to have stability in my job. For me part of what has been difficult is that I also need to feel intrinsically motivated with what I do. Otherwise I’ll end up sabotaging what I do, mostly subconsciously, not intentionally. Looking at what I’ve accomplished, I feel as though I can do better, or that I should be at a different place, much further along. I know that many people will say I’m crazy, and that I should feel proud. I was talking about this with a friend a few days ago, and while I don’t think I’m where I should be, that’s what also gives me the motivation to move forward.

Newness is always soo exciting!!
There’s a kind of excitement that comes from doing something new, the discovery is invigorating, but like all things in life, there’s usually a plateau for the newness. I started a new job a few months ago, while I didn’t see it as being a career, I still enjoyed it. I still did my best, and I learnt something new each day. Now that I’ve been there a few months, I’m starting to learn about the “cons” of working there. It’s no longer shiny and new.

What does the future hold for me?
As I was contemplating my future with that job today, it dawned on me that the past several years have been like that. It’s not that I’ve not held a job for more than a few months, I was in the Military for 10 years. Although it’s only part-time, I’ve had a primary job for the past 6 years, and work a 2nd job to supplement my income. Perhaps I should be doing something that will allow me to move, or change jobs every few months. That way I can stay in the newness stage, hmm something to think about next!

No one said figuring out what to do would be this hard, while the future looks uncertain. I’m confident that I will find the Career that’s right for me for where I am in my my life. After-all I’ve gotten thus far, and I haven’t imploded yet. What about you, is anyone else feeling like they get tired of things quickly. Are you also longing for the excitement of going on a new adventure?

Doing what you Love requires WORK, lots of Hard Work!!

Happy Tuesday, with a new day brings new possibilities to do life differently. My last post Coming into my Masculinity Full Circle was a bit more intimate, in that I was willing to share things about myself that were more personal. It was completely unexpected that I would get as much love and acknowledgement that I got. I generally am a private person, so giving details about my journey to virtual strangers wasn’t easy, but in doing so I believe I got one step closer to my goal. I started writing so that I could look back and see where I came from, and my transformation on the way. One of my newest followers from my latest post begintobelieve was also one of the many things that inspired me this week, with the post “How to stay Connected to your Purpose…”

This past Saturday I had a bad day at work, a series of experiences had me questioning whether it was time for something new! I however quickly got over it, because for most of the week I was being primed by various things I saw. The constant message that I got was that work, will be hard, and at times unbearable. For most of us that’s what work is, it’s something we do because it will give us the resources to do other things that are more important to us. Besides a bad day at work is by no means a rare occurrence, so why was I so easily ready to “throw in the towel?” Although I left on Saturday feeling frustrated, the following day I went in with an attitude of grace, kindness, and an overall good mood.

I had a Bad Day, so what!!

I think part of the reason I was able to bounce back is because of a few things I saw during the week. I don’t have the Job I want now, but it doesn’t mean I can’t continue to work towards what I want. One of the lessons my new job has thought me is that I get great satisfaction from working with my hands, and fixing things. While the interaction with other people might not be pleasant, I will still have overall satisfaction from what I do. It’s also interesting that the same week I decide to “Go all In” meaning that I would continue to find ways to get what I want out of my job, my boss approached me with an opportunity for more responsibility in my first job. To make it more appealing, the new responsibilities involved me working with my hands, and using my mechanical ability to find problems and implement solutions. Having a bad day was a way for me to face a fear that has been hidden for sometime now. I just became another year older with my Birthday a month ago, and I keep feeling that I’ve failed because I don’t have the career I think I should have. The reality though is that most of us don’t have the career we desire, and we learn to make do with what’s in front of us, and make the best of it. By giving my all in my current jobs, I’m putting myself in a position for recognition for other responsibilities. After-all the new responsibilities I got was my boss’s idea, although it’s something I was thinking about, he initiated the conversation.

Do what you Love, and you’ll never WORK a day in your life!!

I’ve heard that saying over and over again, but are we setting ourselves up for failure by thinking that way? Do what you loveIn a way it’s the “I’ll get that great job and then…” syndrome. Getting a great job is a great goal, but that job WILL come with challenges. I feel that thinking if I do something I love I’ll never work isn’t giving the real picture. While some hobbies are fun, it doesn’t mean that you will yield something that’s financially sustainable. Doing something you love does come with work, you face new challenges, uncertainty, and failure at every turn. So while you’ll be happy, does it mean you’ll be happy 100% of the time. My Pastor Steve touched on this recently also, sure he loves teaching, but there are times he would rather do a mundane task such as “pumping gas” It touches on the larger point that we expect 100% satisfaction form what we do. In my Research on “Workplace Motivation” for my Business Psychology degree, I found the same evidence. I interviewed multiple participants, and none of them were 100% happy with their jobs. What they were though was largely satisfied with what they do, and the person who rated themselves as highly satisfied, gave a self rating of 9 out of 10. Although they were highly satisfied, there was still plenty of room for growth. They were working in a once in a lifetime opportunity, and was something that they weren’t looking for. When I hear stories of people who made a profession out of something they’re passionate about, I’m cautious in my rush to emulate them. Sometimes you have to ask is that person is the exception or the rule. Put another way not everyone will find meaningful work, and and what they do may not be financially sustainable. The majority of us will have to make do with what we have.

Find ways to incorporate your passion into what you do NOW!

“Get creative!  From time to time come up with ideas on how to incorporate what you love into your work while staying in line with doing what you have to do.” – begintobelieve

While it might not be possible for all of us to find something we love, and make it a career. The opportunity still exists to find waysHard Work to incorporate our passion into our current work. I think it was interesting that when I accepted that idea, God/The Universe delivered on that promise. As I mentioned earlier I was offered an opportunity for more responsibilities at one of my current jobs, and the new responsibility was aligned with what bring me satisfaction at work. Sometimes work isn’t always going to bring us everything we’re looking for. There’s no rule that says you can’t do something you’re passionate about outside of work. A friend has been telling me for months now to volunteer at my church, she thinks I would be great in a Counseling/Teaching role, and for a long time I’ve been ignoring her. I think I was looking for a “One Stop Shop” kind of opportunity. Perhaps my journey is to devote myself to various areas, and each bringing me a different satisfaction, and together they’ll give me the kind of satisfaction I’m looking for; it may take some juggling.

What’s your Priority!

Where do you rate work? My Pastor Steve made a great point this weekend “We’re not supposed to be completely satisfied with WORK” Or put another way, there are other things in our lives that should be more important than work. His priorities looked something like this 1. God 2. Family 3. Others 4. Work 5. Church. I thought it was both interesting and refreshing that “The Church” came where it was on the list, while church is important, it’s not meant to be everything in your life, not even more than family and fostering other relationships. When I say Church, I’m talking about the physical building, not your devotion to God. While work does give you money, which gives you resources, and those resources to build a better life. I see many people putting work before their relationships, and for me that’s a deal breaker. Sometimes I know I’m guilty of putting work ahead of many things, “I can’t take this weekend off, or I can’t go to that event, I have to work” One of the things I learnt in my Research about Workplace Motivation is that it’s about a balance, those who were happiest didn’t think that work was everything. So while work is important, it can’t be my only source of happiness. What about family, friends, nature or other aspects of life? It’s also true that I’m not currently in the particular field that I think will bring me satisfaction, but I can’t let that be my only source for happiness, I have to find ways to diversify my happiness portfolio.

Thank you for reading, as I continue on my journey, I hope that we can influence each others. I find that others can be a great source of inspiration, of course looking within is also key. We spend most of our time at work, I hope we can learn to find ways to make it more satisfying. After all it’s called a Work/Life balance for a reason, we’re supposed to have a mix between work and life.

Coming into my Masculinity Full Circle

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I was speaking to a friend last night after she read my last post, while she thought it was a great post; and that it revealed another layer to me. She did point out that I always seem to stay away from sex, and she was right, I was intentional in that. I soon realized though that she was right, it’s a vital part of who I am, and to not talk about that aspect, wouldn’t give a full picture of who I am. So I’ve decided to break my silence. I decided to start writing because I wanted to have a record of my transformation, and my hope is that I may help others on their journey also, so leaving out this part won’t be a full picture of my journey.

***This post deviates from my usual safe topics, and I’m about to embark on one that’s seen as a bit taboo, but if you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll no I’m never afraid to say what I mean. This topic might be a bit more graphic for some, So this is your opportunity to stop reading. I do encourage you to keep reading though, as always I will give a full picture of what I’m talking about, and by reading all the way to the end, you won’t get any misunderstands about my view.***

So where do I start!

I’m sure that my now most of you should know that I’m Christian, and I believe strongly in my faith. While I’ve been Christian for most of my life, there was a point in my life where I strayed away from my faith. I’ve since returned, and I continue to grow everyday. Late last year I heard a teaching at my church on The Power of Love, and it has changed my view on Sex, and my conduct as a Christian. Since that message I’ve decided to Abstain from sex until I’m married. As a Christian it’s taught that sex outside of Marriage is a Sin. While Christians are generally conservative, it’s my belief that God intended for sex to be something that is ammazing, exciting, and will leave you writhing with pleasure.

“…Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me. I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine. Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me… I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees…”

No that is not a quote from the newest steamy novel, it’s form the Bible, specifically Song of Solomon 8. I know this is just one chapter, but there are several other cases of this type of language.

So how should I behave!

“Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people” – Ephesians 5:3 (NLT)

Here we learn that many sexual behavior is condemned outside of a covenant relationship. It’s also interesting to note that the Greek word pornea is used here, which is the word for pornography. Impurity, meaning washed clean; also referring to being in a self-serving mind set. Lastly greed referring to not getting your own needs met. When we combine the three, we see that Sex is part of the covenant relationship, and taking any action that is self satisfying (including masturbation), or somehow getting your needs met, would constitute as sin. Now I know you’re thinking that with all those rules, it doesn’t leave me much room. Well you’re right, but if you follow the path, it’s also very rewarding in the end. I was practicing this but without much of a method, or a guide on how to conduct myself, I was a bit lost. I read a post from another writer Bryan Reeves, and I believe that through his work on the subject of Male Sexual Energy, I’ve found a kind of Guiding Principles to help me in my walk of abstinence.

Doing nothing is a Option!

Since very young, men are taught to respond to a female’s presence by acknowledging her with an action. Then as a teen we’reMan looking at woman thought that if we see a beautiful girl, “we’re to go get her number” or “go talk to her.” In instances where a few males are gathered together, at the mere hint of a female, it seems they become a pack of apes, hollering and hooting at her. For the male that doesn’t replicate this behavior, he is seen as weird, and the most hated question “why wont’ you go talk to her? do you not like girls?”  Bryan suggests that instead of responding in the way we’ve learnt all our life, what if we acknowledge that we’re aroused, and then do nothing! Additionally there seems to be the idea that on the opposite side of sexual arousal is a relationship. The “I think she’s hot, so I must start a relationship with her” syndrome. As I’m sure you all know physical attraction is only a very small element of a successful relationship. How many people have met someone very attractive, and things fizzled very quickly after. By not acting on every sexual urge, we give the other parts of our brain to process and think. A man is a visual creature, and a woman’s body is curvaceous, and with every rise and fall or her skin, it brings a very strong arousal in a man. In many cases though, you don’t just go around having sex with every attractive person you see, so how has doing nothing not caught on yet?

Delayed Gratification brings greater pleasure later!

By not giving into every single sexual feeling, I can learn to harness it in one direction. Women imagine if your guy comes home, you’re sitting on the couch reading a book/watching TV (in hopes of not being chauvinistic or stereotypical, this seemed a better example). He’s been thinking about you all day, and he can harness all that sexual energy into not just being sensual, but also be ravishing. Then you have one of those toe curling episodes, where you feel satiated rather than the usual “Ok get away from me now feeling.” As Bryan suggests, instead of focusing purely on a woman’s physical body, you learn to respect, and understand her mind and body as one. By channeling all your energy into one relationship, it gives greater focus. By understanding that you will have periods where you’ll be sexually aroused, and sometimes by others who’s not your spouse, you learn that you don’t have to act on it. By understanding that this is how you were made, there is also no guilt, but when you do decide to act, it’s in a focused direction.

So what does this have to do with Anything!

By practicing abstinence, not only am I fulfilling my Biblical directives, but I’m also keeping my sexual energy for a committed relationship. Understanding that I will be sexually aroused, but that I don’t have to act, helps me to harness my energy. Harnessing my energy helps me to focus all of that energy on one person, in explosive passion and service. I’m only at the beginning of my journey, so it’s too soon to really tell what the benefits will be. From my experience so far, I’ve felt an awakening in me though. By not objectifying women, I’ve began to see them more that physical objects, that I have to acknowledge in some kind of prehistoric display. As I continue to learn, I anticipate that I will get to the next stage, mind and body.

**Thank you for reading, I hope it wasn’t too bad. I wanted to give a clearer picture of my journey and what I’m hoping to accomplish. As with my last post, I hope that this can help spark conversations between men and women. There is a greater love and level of satisfaction for everyone out there. Imagine a world where we learn to harness and perfect our sexual energy. Seem to me there could be more peace!!**

 

 

Time to get my MOJO back!!!

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It seems funny, but in an attempt to get motivated, I asked a friend if she can yell at me like a Drill Sergeant; I think she took me seriously too. I don’t talk about my Undergraduate Degree much, but I have a B.S. in Business Psychology. One of the things I’m most proud of with that degree, is that I got a chance to complete an Academic Paper. I interviewed participants, conducted my own original research, and stoped just short of the getting published part. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that my topic was on Motivation, specifically Workplace Motivation. I’ve written in previous posts that I feel like my life is in slow motion right now, I feel stuck and I’m not sure how to get out. I know that I’m moving in the right direction, but I feel like I’m getting passed my a snail right now. In my effort to get out and get some sunshine on this first day of spring, I thought about my research paper, since it’s on motivation, perhaps there’s something in there I can use.

In my research leading up to my paper, the first question I looked to answer is what is motivation. In their research Eccles and Wigfield (Motivational Beliefs, Values, and Goals, 2002), described motivation this way: “The Latin root of the word “motivation” means “to move”; hence, in this basic sense the study of motivation is the study of action”. In other words, motivation is what drives us to action. So one of the first things I thought of was that in order to not feel stuck, I will have to be moving, to act, to not sit on the sidelines. In another article Sinha and Sinha (Personal Growth and Training and Development, 2009) thought that the best way to become motivated, is by proper training. They believed that learning and practicing effective strategies was a good way to find and maintain motivation. So motivation is not something static, it takes practice, and it requires continued effort to maintain. The first topics ALL pointed to one outcome, in order to be motivated, it will require ACTION.

So action and practice is the outward manifestation of motivation, but what’s the source. In their research Cameron and Pierce (Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation: Resolving the Controversy, 2002) believed that motivation originates from within. They believe that the most effective tool for motivation is it’s intrinsic value, meaning that the real effort comes from within you. Whether its a coincidence or not, it seems that no study on motivation doesn’t find a correlation with Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs Theory. Nair (Organizational Behaviour, 2010) conducted a study involving large corporations, and found that there were several indicators to high motivation, and they were comprised of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory which are: psychological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization. Nair’s research concluded that as we accomplish the lower needs on Maslow’s pyramid, we gain higher levels of satisfaction. For me I feel as though I’m still working on my safety and social needs; I’m still looking for job and financial security. Therefore until I’m able to accomplish those needs, I will continue to feel as though I’ve more to accomplish. For me I find that I’ve always had a pull to find meaning in my life, and to be able to feels as though I’ve somehow contributed to humanity, or at least those close to me. Seems that I’m seeking to accomplish my esteem and self-actualization needs. One thing this last researcher has shown me is that at the bottom of the pyramid, it takes a lot more of those needs to feel satisfied, than it does with the ones at the top. Thinking back to my time in the Marines, I’ve always felt as though I was doing something that made humanity, or at the lest my country better. Now that I’m out of the Military, I find myself wondering “what now? how do I maintain that feeling?”

Knowing where you want your life to go is a good first step, but how do you get there. Setting goals for themselves was one of theMotivation key factors for motivation described by my participants. A good way to set goals would be by using S.M.A.R.T (S-pecific, M-easurable, A-ttainable, R-ealistic, T-ime sensitive) goals. Sorry I don’t have a specific reference for that one, learnt it in one of my Communication classes. For example making $1 million in the next year when you only make $12/hr is not a good goal. In contrast saving $1200 in the next year, by putting away $100 each month, because you have $500 left over each month is a great goal to set. Additionally my research found that having a strong support system also was very instrumental to accomplishing goals. It’s key to surround yourself with people who will encourage rather than criticize you, and help you when you fall down. A strong support system lead to higher levels of satisfaction with my participants. It’s important to emphasize that a strong support system means people who are capable of helping you, it’s pointless and frustrating to have people around you that you lean on who can’t help you.

Ok so what does all this research mean? First of all, motivation is action oriented, to be motivated you must be moving towards something. It requires good proven strategies. There are some lower level needs that you must accomplish first, you need to have certain safety and physiological needs met before you feel satisfied about social or esteem needs. In order to get to the end, you should have specific goals set. Although I have my work cut out for me, I’m confident that I’ll make it. The next chapter of my life isn’t going to be easy, but I have some good strategies to follow. Now comes the hard part, getting off my butt and actually doing something, you know the ACTION  part. I’ve learnt a valuable lesson this year, and that is you will always have people around you who are capable of helping you, you simply need to ask for help. I can’t do this all on my own, it will require dedication, specific goals, and accountability.

What about you, what helps you when you feel in a rut? What strategies have you found to be effective? I’d like to hear about them.

P.S. Oh by the way if you’re thinking that my references weren’t formatted correctly, you can’t dock me points for that, I wanted to show that I didn’t pull info from space!!!