Don’t be a Princess

dreamstime_xs_57704287, resizedI really dislike all the princess “stuff” that surrounds us.  Maybe it is just me and the way I interpret things.  To me, a “princess” is someone without power, someone who is dependent upon others, someone who waits around to be rescued.  Ugh!

I think what we should work toward is to be a queen (or empress, monarch, tsarina, whatever term you like) and rule our life.

We have power over our life, we have control over our life, so long as we accept that we are responsible for ourselves and our life.  No one can take our power away from us, but we can give it away.  And too often we do.

Which do you want to be?  A princess or a queen?  How do you live your life, as a princess or a queen?  And what do you promote with your daughters, granddaughters, nieces and other girls in your life?

“Why” vs. “What”

“Why” vs. “What” (Video Link)

studentI think that why we do things is almost always more important than what we do.

For example, if someone says something to us at work that we do not agree with, we can say something or we can say nothing. Either can be good or bad. The difference is why. If we say something because we want to clarify the issue, that is a good reason. If we say something to embarrass or humiliate the person, that is poor reason. If we do not say anything because it is not that important, that is fine. If we do not say anything because we want to avoid conflict at all costs, that can be a poor reason and may cause other problems later.

Before we do something, it can be very beneficial to ask ourselves, “Why would I do this?” An important follow-up question is, “And why else?” Asking this several times can help us determine the complete answer.

After that it is easy. Are those good answers? If yes, then continue. If not, then think again about what to do and why.

The Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen (Video Link)dreamstime_xs_40324783, resized

My paternal grandmother’s favorite story was “The Little Red Hen.” I am not sure if it was because she liked the message or that she liked chickens.  (Chickens on a farm were important then.)

For those of you who have not heard the story of the little red hen, or have forgotten it, the basic story line follows. The little red hen found some wheat grains. She wanted to grow and harvest the wheat so she could make bread. At each step in the process (planting, weeding, and harvesting the wheat, grinding it into flour, and making bread) she asked each of the other farm animals if they would help. Each one, at each step, said, “No.” When each one said they would not help, she replied with, “Then I’ll do it myself.” Finally, after months of work, the little red hen had her bread and was sitting down to enjoy the results of her efforts. Each of the farm animals came up and wanted some of her bread. She told each one, “No, I’ll eat it myself.”

There are many people in the world who are like the little red hen. They know what they want and they work hard to make it happen. If they do not get support from others, they do it anyway.

Unfortunately, there are also many people who are like the other farm animals. They want the results, but they do not want to work for them.

This can occur in very obvious ways. For example, there are people who want money, but do not want a job. They want someone else to give them money without giving anything in return.

This can also occur in less obvious ways. For example, there are people who have a job and want to make more money. But they do not want to gain the additional knowledge, skills, or experience necessary to be promoted. They want to receive more without giving more.

Another example is group projects. I hated group projects in college. Usually everyone in the group wanted an “A.” Usually it was me and maybe one other person that was willing to work hard enough to actually earn an “A.”  The same thing happens in work situations.

Think about your professional and personal relationships. In each relationship are you a “little red hen” or are you one of the “farm animals?” Which do you want to be?

Highway, Road, or Trail?

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Highway, Road, or Trail? (Video Link)

In your life, what is right for you? Do you want to travel through your life on a super-highway, going far and fast? Do you want to travel through your life at a moderate level, on a state or county road? Or do you want to travel through your life on a trail, going slowly and enjoying all the sights and sounds?

There is no one right answer to this. Whatever is the right answer for you is the right answer.

Not that long ago, I found myself in a situation where there were many people trying to force me onto the super-highway. (At least it felt that way to me.) I tried to emulate them and fit on the super-highway. I changed my business plan to be more “successful” by their definition. The more I tried, the more frustrated I felt. I finally realized that was not for me.

I realized that I am more of a state and county road person. I like balance in my professional and personal life. I do not like going so far and fast that I do not have time to enjoy all the little things. The super-highway is not the way I want to travel through life.

Traveling along a trail is not for me, either. That method takes too long to accomplish things, and I like to achieve my goals and move on to new goals.

What is the right method of travel through life for you? It is your life and your choice.
As long as you take responsibility for the consequences of your actions, you can choose any route you want. Do not let others push you onto a route that is not right for you.

Equal Partnerships

dreamstime_xs_32614115Equal Partnerships (Video)

Throughout these blogs we have talked about you.  Your rights.  Your responsibilities.  Your choices.  Your life.

It is necessary to remember, though, that everything we have discussed applies to everyone.  This means, that if you are in a committed relationship, your partner is just as important as you are.  The life he wants is just as important as the life you want.  Not more important, but as important.

I think a committed relationship should be an equal partnership.  Each person should work equally hard, take on equal responsibility, and give as much support as he or she expects to receive.  It is necessary for both people to work together to determine how their life together will meet their individual desires and goals.  It may take some negotiating.

The opposite of an equal partnership is a double standard.  That is where it is all about one person and about what that one person wants.  If you are in a double standard relationship, and it is all about him, can you change things?  If not, is it worth staying in that relationship?  If you are in a double standard relationship, and it is all about you, remember that he has the same rights as you do and can leave you.  You might want to make changes before that happens.

An equal partnership is a beautiful relationship.  I recommend that you always remember that your partner, and what he wants, is as important as you, and what you want.

Reflect on the Old Year

hMany people make New Year’s resolutions.  Many of those who make resolutions do not achieve them.

I think one reason is that many of us do not reflect on the old year.  What did we do?  Why did we do it?  Did our decisions and actions achieve the results we wanted?  If not, what could we have done differently?

If you truly want to achieve your goals for 2015, I suggest you first think very strongly and clearly about 2014.  Use that knowledge to develop goals and plans for 2015.

May you achieve everything you want in 2015!

Greatest Risk

hGreatest Risk (Video)

I think the greatest risk we can take in our lives is not taking responsibility for ourselves, for our lives.

Unfortunately, I know too many people who do not want to take responsibility for themselves, for their choices, for their actions.  They expect other people to bail them out of trouble, to take care of them, to provide for them, to just give them what they want.

I know others who do not really expect other people to take responsibility, but they seem to think that if they sit around and wish for what they want, it will magically happen.

The only sure way to get what we want out of life is to take responsibility for making it happen.  Other people might give us what we want.  Or they might not.  The only way to make sure we do get what we want is to make it happen ourselves.  And that means hard work and dedication.

Are you taking full responsibility for your life?

Here is a simple test.  When something goes wrong, do you take responsibility for it or do you try to blame someone else?  When you try to blame someone else, you are trying to pass on your responsibility.  When you analyze what went wrong and what you could have done differently, you are taking responsibility.

Whatever you want out of life, it is your responsibility to make it happen.

No One Right Way

No One Right Way (Video)

hI have spent much of my life searching for the one right way to do things.  What I have found is that usually there is no one right way.  There are usually many right ways.

To determine the best way, first determine what outcomes you want.

Second, analyze the parameters of the situation.

Third, determine what methods you could use to accomplish the results you want.

From there, determine which way is the best one given all the information you have.

Keep your mind open to the different ways that you can address a situation.  There may be many right ones.

Time Wasters

dreamstimefree_24395Time Wasters (Video)

We all have time wasters.  We all have things that we like to do that does not give us anything in return.  We cannot succeed if we spend time on these items instead of working.

By time wasters, I do not mean hobbies.  We all need to do things to relax, to take our minds off of work, to connect with other people, to grow ourselves in ways other than professionally.  These things help make our life richer.

By time wasters I mean those things that we do that do not contribute to our lives in any way.  For example, my time waster is spider solitaire.  I do not even know why I like it.  I do not like video games and do not like games in general.  But for some reason I like spider solitaire.

So is it a big deal?  A game only takes 5-10 minutes.  The problem is that those 5-10 minutes can really add up during the course of the day.  That is time spent that cannot be spent on anything else, work or hobby.

What time wasters are stealing time away from your professional or personal pursuits?  You cannot succeed by playing spider solitaire!