My brother-in-law recently gave me a book to read,

The Divine Mentor

by Wayne Cordiero.  I think it was becoming obvious that I had become lazy about God’s place in my life.  I let the book sit there on my ottoman, waiting to be read, for almost 2 months.  Finally, I opened it and began reading.  Ever have those moments when you absolutely know that God is speaking directly to you?  It was one of those.  If ever a book could have come at the exact right time with the exact right message for my heart, this was it.

So I’ve now embarked on a year-long Bible reading plan and am journaling at least one scripture a day.  I haven’t done this in years.  But I tell you what — no lie — it makes a difference.  I am definitely more at peace and feel more refreshed, even though nothing has changed except I’m shutting off the TV for an hour and reading God’s word.

So here’s my success idea for today — open up the Bible and start reading.  And then pick out a scripture that you read and write it in a journal and write your thoughts about it.  Think of what it means, how it applies to you in your life.  I was having trouble the first few days deciding which scripture to write down.  But once I picked one, WOW!, I found I could apply just about any of them to my life.  And a lot of the time, it’s not even obvious where my thought process is going to go until after I re-read what I wrote.  It’s uncanny, it really is.  I don’t believe you can live an authentic life without God.

As a tie in with my new commitment to reading God’s word, I was cleaning my office and I came across the following Prayer Before Work, which used to hang above my desk in my law office.  It’s anonymous, so whoever wrote it — THANK YOU.  But I used to read it regularly when I was frustrated with clients or overwhelmed and it was always helpful.  But somehow, it got away from me.  I deeply regret that now.  I share it with you, hoping maybe it can useful to you in your search for your authentic self, too.

PRAYER BEFORE WORK

My Heavenly Father, as I enter this workplace, I bring your presence with me.  I speak Your Peace, Your Grace, Your Mercy, and Your Perfect order into this office.

I acknowledge Your Power over all that will be spoken, thought, decided, and done within these walls.  Lord, Thank You for the gifts you have blessed me with.  I commit to using them responsibly in Your honor.

Give me a fresh supply of strength to do my job.  Anoint my projects, ideas, and energy; so that even my smallest accomplishment may bring You glory.

Lord, when I am confused, guide me.  When I am weary, energize me.  When I am burned out, infuse me with the light of the Holy Spirit.

May the work I do and the way I do it bring faith, joy, and a smile to all that I come in contact with today.  And oh Lord, when I leave this place, give me traveling mercy.

Bless my family and home to be in order as I left it today.

Lord, I Thank You for everything You’ve done, everything You’re doing, and everything You’re going to do.  In the Name of Jesus I pray with much love and thanksgiving,

Amen.

Isn’t that heart-warming.  I just wish I had relied on it more during my legal career.  I might not have gotten so burned out and discouraged if I had been faithful to God’s word then.

But this is a new day.  I have new goals in my life.  My ideal life must center on God. I believe he is blessing me in ways I never imagined and true success can only come with his help.  He is giving me strength and wisdom.  I don’t know where this journey is taking me, but I’m willing to go as far as it takes me.

May God bless you and grant you true success.

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Continuing on my journey toward living a life true to my authentic self, I spent time the other afternoon doing the following exercise:

I cut up a bunch of strips of paper.  On a handful of strips, I wrote down as many things as I could think of, both good and bad, that are part of my current reality.   Things like: too much debt; not enough income; close family; overweight; dog; nice neighborhood; great friends; nice office; respect of my peers; messy house; ratty furniture; no follow-through on God’s word, Sunday morning lip-service only; too many things on to-do list; excitement of learning about internet marketing; too little savings for retirement, etc.  You get the idea. I ended up with a pile of 65 strips of paper that my current self is dealing with or feeling.

On another pile of paper strips, I wrote down all the things I want in my life, but aren’t part of my current reality.  This pile included things like: be more committed and focused to daily devotions and spending time with God; healthier weight; more travel; healthy, nurturing marriage; new furniture; updated bathrooms; better organization at home; enough money to pay all bills on time every time; live debt-free; secure my future in retirement; live by the ocean, etc.

I then went through the first pile, and separated them into Good Things I Want to Keep in My Life and Bad Things I Want Gone.  I think the Good Things pile are things where my authentic self has the greatest impact.  I made a list of all of the Good Things I want to keep and now have them posted on my refrigerator.  Anytime I’m feeling discouraged, I go and read the list.  It shows I have a lot to be thankful for.  And every time I read it, I get that good feeling inside — that feeling that says I’m where I’m supposed to be and I can do anything.  It’s my authentic self talking. I’ve been adding to the list almost daily.

But then I compared the pile of Bad Things I Want Gone to my second pile of things I Want But Don’t Have.  Anytime I found a match, I stapled them together.  So overweight and healthier weight got stapled together; too much debt and live debt-free got stapled together, and so on.  These are the things I want to focus on changing.  These are the priorities, the goals, my inner self has set and I need to take Massive Action to shake things up.

Are you familiar with the concept of Massive Action?  Massive action means that you immerse yourself, commit every fiber of your being, to making something happen.  It means you don’t just do one thing, you do everything you can think of to move toward your objective.  For me, if I truly want to lose weight, I have to have a multi-prong approach. Not only do I need to eat healthier, but I also need to drink 8 glasses of water  a day, exercise at least 30 minutes every other day, walk or bike to work when the weather is good, read about healthy eating, talk to others about losing weight, etc.  So I’ve pulled out the old exercise videotapes from their dust-covered box (I have 3 versions of TaeBo and enough Kathy Smith tapes to get me in shape without forking out the funds for a gym membership — IF I WILL JUST FOLLOW THROUGH!) and have started doing one every morning.  They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, and I’m only on day 7, so we’ll see.  Keep your fingers crossed!

I am a firm believer in the old Henry Ford saying, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”  I believe the mind is a powerful weapon for both good and bad.  I am becoming better at recognizing negative thoughts when they come my way.  Sometimes, I’m surprised at things I feel negatively about, other times, it’s the same old thoughts I’ve struggled with for years.  I believe my ideal life will emerge once I master the negative thoughts that keep coming at me.  I believe it’s true for everyday women everywhere.  Think and believe and you will achieve.

I highly recommend you do an inventory of your life and find out what your inner, authentic self identifies as priorities for change.  Then take massive action.  You will change your life for the better.

Please share your success ideas with me and my followers.  I want to know how you find your passion and what you are doing to nurture your authentic self.

A good friend recently invited me to a seminar about Finding Your Authentic Self.  I had no idea exactly what I was getting into, but I didn’t have other plans that evening, so I went.  The speaker was Stephanie Jaeger, who survived a horrific childhood and has managed to grow and thrive beyond her abuse.  She is now a life coach, hypnotist, and minister who runs a non-profit organization in New Mexico called The Sheltered Heart Foundation, Inc. Her session was about how to separate the truth from the lies in our subconscious. Her premise is that things that happen in childhood, both good and bad, have a profound affect on the adult we become.  We cannot achieve true success in life until we overcome our past.

One of the activities we did stunned me.  We were asked to picture our ideal life.  I struggled to come up with a clear picture.  I know I want to generate online income, and I have set many goals, but actually visualizing it all coming together was very hard for me.

The next activity was so simple, yet it became profound. We paired off.  We were instructed to think back to our childhood and come up with an accomplishment, a time when we were proud of ourselves.  We then stood up and told our partner about that accomplishment, with as much enthusiasm as we could muster.  Oddly, I had a hard time coming up with something to say.  I have never considered my childhood to be bad, I certainly wasn’t abused or anything, but I do not have tons and tons of shining moments, either.   Then, we were asked to come up with a time that we failed or someone hurt us.   Wow! the memories just flooded back.  Slights from “friends” I hadn’t thought about in years, comparisons to other kids, injustices I have apparently been holding onto for years.  I couldn’t pick just one failure, I had a slew of them.  She asked us to stand up and tell our partner about a failure with the same enthusiasm as we talked about our success.

It’s hard to do.

Even harder was the next part.  She wanted us to take ownership and acknowledge the failures, recognize them as in the past, and let them go, never to be brought up again.  Yeah, right.

But for the successes, we need to identify them and embrace them and relive the emotions of them over and over.  Her point was that our true, authentic self lives in the shiny moments.  We need to be able to tap into that enthusiasm no matter what life throws our way.  It was one of the great motivation tips she shared throughout the evening.

I’ve been trying to get in touch with my authentic self ever since.  I know I want to work for myself and generate online income.

I found a book on the subject,Getting Real: Ten Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life, by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.  It’s good and reinforcing what I need to do to live an authentic life.

If you feel you are not reaching your full potential, that your past is holding you back, consider getting in touch with your authentic self.  Your ideal life awaits.

 I was perusing through display tables at a local networking group meeting a couple weeks ago and I saw a table with a display of books and a large poster which simply said, “Find Your Passion, Money Will Follow.”   The woman at the table introduced herself as a “passion coach” and asked me what my passion in life was.

I was stumped.

I am interested in tons of things, but truly having a Passion for something — I couldn’t think of a single thing.  The more she pressed, the more trouble I was having.  She was trying to prompt me with questions to get to an answer, but they weren’t helping.  Other than my family and God, there’s really nothing else in the world that I couldn’t do without.  Or that I would try to move heaven and earth to achieve.  I am in a good place in life, but I feel restless just the same.

She finally looked at me and said, “You need this book.”   So I bought it.

It’s The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Destiny” by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood. 

I won’t say that it has changed my life, but it has opened my eyes to how I can live my life differently.  I think I am now more aware of what makes me happy, and what stresses me out.  It definitely has helped me be clear about the reasons I am now trying to generate online income with My Online Income System.  I have tried to create a vision of “my ideal life” and it’s much, much different from the life I am living today.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still satisfied with where life has taken me thus far, but now I’m wondering if there can’t be just so much more.

The book basically walks you through a process whereby you create a list of 10 or more things you would want in if your life was “ideal.”  Once you’ve created your list, you compare each one to the next, asking yourself “If I could only have one, I’d choose …” until you are down to only 4 or 5 things.  These show where your priorities lie and what your heart really desires.  You then have a glimpse of what life would look like if you were living according to your passion.

My ideal life turned out to be much different than I would have guessed.  I want to educate others, especially successful, everyday women.  I desire freedom of time over almost everything else.  I really thought I was going to envision a life full of riches, but as it turns out, money is not my passion.  Almost every time I put  things like “have lots of money” or “be wealthy” on my list, when it came time to compare it to something else, it didn’t make the cut.  Helping others, inspiring others, helping others become successful, those are the things that my heart wants to pursue.  

So I don’t know if the saying that got me to stop at that table and consider the book, “Find Your Passion, Money Will Follow” will come true for me or not.  But at least I can take comfort in knowing that money alone wouldn’t make me any happier, either.

But if you are looking for something introspective and filled with motivation tips, I’d recommend The Passion Test.  I think everyone should attempt to find your passion in life.  It really helped me with goal-setting when I was trying to decide how to generate online income.  Plus, it’s a pretty easy read.   At times, I thought the personal story-telling and name-dropping got to be a bit much, but the overall substance was good.   I personally found it to be well worth the money.

If you read it, or have read it, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Once upon a time, I went to a Success Seminar and listened to Bart Barthman (I think that was his name) go through a goal-setting process.  He was inspiring and motivational, and I went home and typed out my notes.  I have tried to follow this goal-setting process ever since.

Amazingly, it works.  And as I start this process of learning how to generate online income, I have set my goals.  This isn’t really discussed in My Online Income System, but it’s a part of the process I think is essential to creating success in my life and any online venture.

So without further ado, here’s a 10-step process everyday women can use to set effective goals:

1)  Make sure it is YOUR desire.   Do not set out to please someone else.  It is not a goal unless you are doing it for yourself.

2)  Don’t call it a resolution or a goal – call it a Promise to Yourself.  Studies have shown that people tend to keep promises. 

3)  Clearly identify your Promise – make it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-Specific)

4)  Identify your Personal Motivators (both positive AND negative).   This just means make a list of rewards or punishments that you will give yourself if you ever need motivation to keep going.  A positive motivator may be a week-long vacation; a negative motivator may be having to admit that your younger brother is more successful than you.  Whatever you can bring to mind to keep you focused.

5)  Create a Promise Plan and PUT IT IN WRITING.  Your Promise Plan should state:

                   – What is your objective?

                   – When will you achieve it?

                   – Where will the achievement be met?

                   – Why are you doing it? (Often the most important statement)

                   – Whose help do you need to accomplish it?

                   – How many steps will it take to get there?

 6)   Review your Plan and Promise EVERY DAY.  Use visual reminders, index cards, posters, photos, Pocket Promise – whatever works for YOU.

 7)   Tell yourself you WILL succeed.  Self-talk, self-affirmation WORKS.  Henry Ford was right: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”  The size of the success is determined by the size of the belief.  I personally quote Stuart Smalley on a frequent basis:  I am good enough, I am smart enough, and gosh-darn it, people like me.

 8)  Tell others of your Promise – but stay away from nay-sayers.  If they are not supportive, do not look to them for support.

 9)  Envision the result – see the conclusion.  Employ “reverse worry” – any time you feel worried, turn it around and think of all you have to be grateful for.

 10)  Get started TODAY.

Applying these steps and becoming goal-oriented is how you start to become successful.  Do not sell yourself short.  Set big, bold, hard-to-reach goals so even if you do not achieve them all, you will have a taste of success.

This is a new venture for me, but one I’m excited to start.  Over the course of this blog, I plan to explore different money-making ideas, various strategies and resources for motivation and inspiration, and just basically have a place where women like me can gather and discuss and share what’s going on with our search for more fulfillment and less stress in our lives. 

One of the websites I am currently having a lot of fun with is Squidoo.com.  Check out my first lens, entitled, “I Love My Online Income System.”  My Online Income System is an educational program created by Kimberley Hoffman, a woman who had a dream and went for it.  Way to go, Kim!  Now, I’m asking for other women to join me as I  follow the path she has blazed to find our own way to riches.  With the help of another woman who privately responded to a comment of frustration Kimberley had left on a forum, she went from waitress to online entrepreneur.  Women of the world — UNITE.  If we help each other, we can do great things.

Thought for the day:  When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.  This is one of my favorite Success Recipes.

Easy Success Lemonade Recipe:  

  • Juice from 6 to 8 medium lemons (or about 3/4 cup lemon juice)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

    
  • In a large saucepan, combine water and sugar. Heat until the sugar just melts (don’t let it boil). Remove from heat and pour in lemon juice. Mix well and chill in refrigerator before serving.   Put a couple lemon slices in for garnish.   

Yummy.

Go out and enjoy your day.

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