Friday, December 30, 2011

Photo Friday: Peter Lik's Tree of Life

Do you know Peter Lik?  He's this amazing adventurer that kind of reminds me of a cross between Crocodile Dundee, McGyver and the Marlboro Man.

He's best known for his incredible panoramic landscape photography.  He currently has 13 galleries, has sold over $200 million of his work and now has his own TV show, "From the Edge."

If you are lucky enough to have a Peter Lik Gallery in your area, I highly recommend checking it out.  His images are so saturated and alive, they're look like they're illuminated from within.  They radiate.  I'm serious.

I must warn you, if you go, and especially if the sales associates let you see his work in the viewing rooms where they adjust the lighting, you will want to purchase one.

Here's the piece I'm crazy in love with.  It's called "Tree of Life."
It costs a mere $250,000.
Tree of Life by Peter Lik
Sigh.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finish Strong!

As this week and this year are winding to a close, here's a great Simple Truths video, reminding us all to Finish Strong!



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TED Talk Tuesday: Living Beyond Limits

There's no other way to say it, Amy Purdy is a Bad-Ass.
Capital B.
Capital A.

Despite losing both her legs to meningitis, she became a world-class pro-snowboarder.  Her ten-minute talk is an inspiration on how to deal with setbacks and how to live beyond our limits.

Amy says our borders and our obstacles can only do two things:  1. stop us in our tracks, or 2. force us to get creative.  She goes on to say that borders are where the actual ends, but also where our imagination and our story begins.


"If my life were a book and I were the author, how would I want the story to go?"

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How do you want your story to go?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Motivation Monday: Don't Wait

Hope you all had an amazing Christmas surrounded by those you love!

Today's Motivation Monday is a simple thought.  In order to live the life you deserve, you have to do more than just sit back and wait.  Sometimes you have to break out of your comfortable habits and make it happen
Photo courtesy of http://noeeeee.tumblr.com/

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Happy Monday!  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Photo Friday: Splashing

The 2011 National Geographic Photo Contest winners were just announced.

Shikhei Goh's amazing image, "Splashing" won both the nature category and the grand prize.

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Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Layaway Angels and 25 Ways to Pay it Forward

In a holiday season filled with mace-weilding Black Friday crazed shoppers, there has been a refreshing and inspiring trend sweeping the nation.

In a random acts of generosity, people have been anonymously paying off strangers' layaway bills at Kmart and other departments stores.  It started when a 30-something woman walked into a Kmart in Michigan and told the cashier she wanted to pay the bills of "a few unsuspecting customers."

Her generosity has sparked a trend.  Kmart officials say that over 1000 "layaway angels" have paid off strangers' bills in their stores this year in states throughout the country, Michigan, Las Vegas, Colorado, and even here in Hawaii.  One donor in California paid off the layaway bills of 260 families, totaling almost $16,000.


This wave of Christmas generosity is inspiring.  However, you don't have to spend $16,000 to make a difference.  You don't have to spend anything, actually.  There are so many ways to give to others, and often the smallest token of generosity can have a ripple effect.  So I came up with this list of:

25 Low-Cost or No-Cost Ways to Pay it Forward

1.            Put quarters in almost-expired parking meters.
2.            Leave an extra generous tip for a waiter/waitress/cab driver/valet.
3.            While going through the drive through lane at a fast food restaurant, pay for the next person's order (I got this idea from a good friend and amazingly altruistic person, Tom Persico).  Similarly, you could do this at a movie theater, parking garage or toll booth.
4.            Buy or make a meal and give it to a homeless person (or give him or her your to-go bag).
5.            Pick up the phone and call someone you haven't spoken to in a long time. 
6.            Give a stranger a genuine compliment.
7.            Smile.
8.            Stop and help a tourist with directions.
9.            Hold the door open for someone.
10.       The next time you are returning home form a foreign country, leave the rest of your foreign currency to someone from that country.
11.       Praise someone for something they do well.  In person or in hand-written note.  Even better, also tell their boss or spouse what a great job they do.
12.       Buy a bunch of umbrellas and hand them out to strangers on a rainy day (this is a perfect idea in Hilo.  I can't tell you the number of times I get stuck in the rain there because I forgot my umbrella).
13.       If you travel often and like me, hoard hotel soap and shampoo, clean out your closet and donate all those bottles of shampoo and conditioner to a homeless shelter.
14.       Volunteer your time at a battered women's shelter or another worthy cause.
15.       Give up your seat to someone on a bus or a train.
16.       Shovel your neighbor's sidewalk and driveway when you shovel yours.  Growing up, we had the kindest neighbor, Mr. Andrews that always shoveled ours.
17.       Offer to take someone to the airport.
18.       Invite someone who isn't going home for the holidays to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  My husband actually invited me to his parent's home for Christmas the very first night we met and I accepted.  It was this act of generosity and courage that endeared me to him from the start.
19.       Donate blood.
20.       Mow someone's lawn or rake someone's leaves.
21.       Bring in a neighbor's trash can after garbage pick up.  We have the sweetest neighbor, Mrs. Sora, who does this for us every week.
22.       Let someone cut ahead of you in line.
23.       Tell a soldier you appreciate their service.
24.       Visit an elderly person.
25.       Donate money or your time to a good cause (or person).


How can you pay it forward today?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TED Talk Tuesday: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

Louie Schwartzberg has been shooting time-lapse photography 24/7 for the past 30 years.
His unfolding and evolving images are breathtaking.

His message is equally as inspiring.
In this TED Talk, he draws the connections between nature, beauty and gratitude.
"Beauty and seduction is nature's tools for survival, because we protect what we fall in love with.  It opens our hearts and makes us realize we are a part of nature and we are not separate from it.  When we see ourselves in nature, it also connects us to every one of us because it is clear that it is all connected and one."
 The second part of his video introduces his new project, Happiness Revealed.  It is a moving short film on gratitude and happiness, told through the point of view of a child and an elderly man.
"You think this is just another day in your life, it's not just another day.  It's the one day that is given to you today.  It's given to you.  It's a gift.  It's the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness." 

What are you grateful for today?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo Friday: Frozen Forest

Here's today's photo of the day:

Beech Forest, Germany
Photograph by Martin Hertel, Your Shot
Beech forest in wintertime. Fichtelgebirge, Bavaria, Germany.

I moved away from the cold to a place where winter consists of 70 degree weather and non-stop rainbows, but this photo reminds me just how beautiful cold can be.

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Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rainbow Season!

It is no secret how much I love rainbows.  Lately, it's has been like a rainbow bonanza!  I've seriously seen at least 4-5 rainbows every single day this week!

Here are a handful of the rainbows I've seen.




Oh, how I love living in Hawaii!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quote of the Day: Let go!

Continuing with yesterday's theme, here's today's inspirational quote of the day.


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Trust me, there something amazing waiting for you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TED Talk Tuesday: SARK and How I Almost Became a Lawyer

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, I just found out that SARK, one of my favorite artists/muses/inspirations/women in the whole world just did a TED Talk!  And I am Snoopy-dance happy to share it (and her) with you.

For those of you who haven't been introduced to SARK yet, SARK stands for Susan Arial Rainbow Kennedy.  She is a best-selling author who has published a whopping 16 books, she is the CEO and founder of Planet Sark, this amazing website that supports empowered living, and most importantly, a huge role model that encourages living creatively and authentically.
SARK's website is www.planetsark.com - you MUST check it out!
I can't even remember who first introduced me to SARK.  All I know is that she was a HUGE influence on my life.  I got her book, Inspiration Sandwich right around the time I was leaving Michigan to move to Hawaii.  Have you ever read one of those books that speaks so perfectly to you at the exact time you needed to hear what it has to say? That's what her book was to me.
SARK makes awesome posters like this.  How can you not love her?
You see, a year before that, my entire life was "set."  I had graduated college and was getting ready to head off to a prestigious law school.  I was well on my way to becoming that high-powered corporate attorney in New York City that I knew I was going to be since the fifth grade.  Things were working out as planned, and life was good.

Except, underneath all that puffed-up bravado, there was my little nagging voice that whispered that law school wasn't what I really wanted to do.  I pushed aside that voice, drowning it out with thoughts of how powerful I was going to be, how important, how rich.  I  pushed the fear aside with images of my corner office overlooking Manhattan skyscrapers.

But then my little voice turned into a roar.

The day I was supposed to mail in my non-refundable deposit to law school, I decided to walk to the post office and drop it off.  Half-way there, I started hyperventilating.  I broke out into a cold sweat, and started feeling like I was going to pass out.  I thought I was going to die.  I must have looked insane as I crumpled down on the lawn of someone's house and stared at the clouds through a big tree.

I now realize that was a panic attack, but at the time, I totally thought I was having a stroke.  Regardless of the label, that incident was my body telling, screaming at me, what my mind was not willing to hear.  I did NOT want to go to law school.

The next year was a really dark one for me.  I had to tell my parents I wasn't going to law school, and worse, I didn't have a clue of what I  wanted to do.  I had to shed all those labels that I hid behind for so long.  I was lost, and I felt like a total failure.

And then I found SARK.  Her writing was like a colorful, bright light that illuminated my bleak gray outlook.  She wrote about living juicy and being true to your authentic self, and her writing helped me not only accept, but celebrate my choice to be true to myself, no matter how scary it was.  Months later, I made the decision to move to Hawaii, which was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  And my life just started to fall into place.  My authentic life, this time.

Needless to say, I adore SARK.  Here is her recent TED Talk.  I totally hope you enjoy it!

Here are more awesome SARK posters:



Monday, December 12, 2011

Motivation Monday: Life = Risk

Happy Monday!  Today's Motivation Monday is a short video (1:17) about some of the most successful people in their fields, and the failures they've experienced along the way.

How often do we hit a roadblock and just give up?  I've definitely done that.  Worse, as a former perfectionist-junkie, I tend to avoid failure at all costs.  I used to think that perfection was what made me succeed, but the truth is my fear of failure made me so afraid to of trying things I didn't know I'm would be immediately successful at, that I missed out on so much.

One of the hardest lessons I'm trying to learn is that  failure can actually be a good thing.  Winston Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."



"If you've never failed, you've never lived."


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Happy Monday!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Photo of the Day: Be Unique

In a sea of mediocrity and sameness, sometimes it's good to be unique.


Today's photo of the day was shot by Alex Tattersall, and was a winner of the 2009 National Geographic International Photo Contest.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shara's Journey

Yesterday's quote of the day on courage inspired me to share the story about one person and her courageous journey.

Shara Enay had a pretty close to a perfect life here in Hawaii.  She had a blossoming career in news as a writer for Hawaii Business.  She had a weekly segment on the KHON morning news.  She kicked my butt every week in kickboxing and weightlifting class at Honolulu Club.  And she just got engaged.

And then she went on a trip and everything changed.

Shara's company offers this incredible program that sends some of their employees throughout the world  to volunteer and experience different cultures (How cool is that? I think if more companies offered programs like that, the world would be a better place).  She spent two weeks in Ethiopia with the non-government organization, Global Health Network International and had a "life-changing" experience.

Here's the story of her first adventure in Ethiopia (in two parts):


So what is Shara doing now?

This, to me, is the incredible part of the story.  Three months after returning home from Ethiopia, Shara resigned from her job, packed up her safe, comfortable life in Hawaii and moved to Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.  She's volunteering with an orphanage for children with HIV or who have lost parents to HIV.

I am blown away by Shara's courage on so many levels.  I think it's easy to say we want to do something, go someplace, change something.  Shara actually did it.  Twice.
I am also inspired by how she listened to her heart and to her calling.  How often do we quiet that little voice because what it's whispering "isn't practical" or "isn't safe" or "isn't something anyone would understand"?  Shara honored her spirit.  That is true courage.

Shara, you are my hero!


Please check out her blog and follow her courageous journey in Ethiopia.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TED Talk Tuesday: Creativity, Fulfillment and Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "chick-sent-me-high-ee") is the founder and co-director of the Quality of Life Research Center, a non-profit research institute that studies positive psychology.  He wrote the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.  


 In his TED talk, Csikszentmihalyi describes the flow state, or the effortless, spontaneous feeling that you get when you enter into an ecstatic space.


How Does it Feel to be in Flow?  

Csikszentmihalyi says there are seven conditions that exist when we are in flow:
  1. Completely involved, focused, concentrating - with this either due to innate curiosity or as the result of training
  2. Sense of ecstasy - of being outside everyday reality
  3. Great inner clarity - knowing what needs to be done and how well it is going
  4. Knowing the activity is doable - that the skills are adequate, and neither anxious or bored
  5. Sense of serenity - no worries about self, feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of ego - afterwards feeling of transcending ego in ways not thought possible
  6. Timeliness - thoroughly focused on present, don't notice time passing
  7. Intrinsic motivation - whatever produces "flow" becomes its own reward


When Are We in Flow?

Csikszentmihalyi says flow happens when we your challenges are higher than average, and your skills are higher than average.

One of the most important components to flow is that it happens when we are doing what we really like to do.

When was the last time you were in flow?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Motivation Monday: Protect Your Dreams


Today's Motivation Monday is about your dreams, more specifically, how you need to protect them.  

It is a sad fact of life that there will always be haters.  People see you going after a goal and tell you that you can't do it.  People that doubt you and tell you to "be realistic" or to "grow up."  It is an even more unfortunate thing that a lot of the time, those that doubt us the most can often be those that are the closest to us.

What can we do?  Create a Hater-Free World?  
I wish...  
While you can't control the thoughts of those around you, one of the most important things you can do is to protect your dreams.

I love this scene in the movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness"

If you have a dream, whether it’s: 
     "I’m going to run a marathon." or
          "I’m going to start my own company." or
               "I’m going to sing on Broadway
Whatever it is, do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. 
Including yourself.  
Ever!

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Happy Motivation Monday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Free - Take One!

Saw this sign in an office in Hilo:


The world needs more signs like this!

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Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

365 Day Project

I just stumbled on this awesome site today.  Julian Bialowas is a graphic designer from Canada.  He just completed a project where he posted one of his photos everyday for a year.  His pictures are stunning, but the really cool part was that he overlaid them with inspiring quotes and phrases.  His images make me want to go on another adventure.

Here are some of my favorites:








Check out the rest of his images here.  Which ones do you like?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TED Talk Tuesday: Jason Tom, Hawai's Human Beatbox

The past few weeks, I've been highlighting TED Talks that focus on inspiration and potential. This week, I'm sticking to the theme, but deviating the delivery method slightly to show you one of my favorite performances from TEDxHonolulu that happened earlier this month (see my previous post for a recap).

Meet Jason Tom, Hawaii's Human Beatbox.  He is not only a ridiculously talented beatboxer, get this - he started a beatbox school, that teaches vocal percussion AND does outreach with youth and the community.  Seriously rad.

Check out his performance here:
Couple things- I was at this performance (you can see the silhouette of my head and legs once in a while on screen- front row on the right) and I have to say that while the video is pretty amazing, if you ever get the chance to catch him live, it is SO MUCH BETTER!

Second, the reason his performance keeps with the theme of potential and inspiration is that I don't think I can think of a better example of stretching the limits of potential than what Jason can do with his voice.  The sounds that he creates from his body are seriously incredible.  Beyond that, what he has done with his talent is truly inspiring. His performance at TEDxHonolulu was one of the ones that inspired me to start this blog.

If you want to see more of Jason, check out his blog or his YouTube Channel.  Trust me, you'll be glad you did!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Motivation Monday: What We All Want in Life is a Shot

Happy Monday, everyone!  Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy time with your friends and family.


For this Motivation Monday, here's one of my favorite clips of all time.  It's the story of Jason McElway, Autistic Senior at Grace Athena High School in Rochester, NY.  His coach put him in the last game of the year, and what happens in those four minutes is pure magic and ridiculously inspiring.

"What we all want in life is a shot."

Friday, November 25, 2011

10 Gifts You Don't Have to Buy

I want to start by saying that I am a shopper.  I definitely spend my fair share of time at the mall and shopping online.  I have also gotten up at the crack of dawn to go Black Friday shopping.  So this post is not a judgment on shoppers in any way.  But all day today, I have been shocked and saddened watching the footage of all the Black Friday madness that has happened.

Here are a couple examples of the 2011 Black Friday insanity:

In LA, a woman maced other shoppers including children to give herself an advantage to get an XBox 360 on sale.

In Arizona, a grandfather was knocked out and rendered unconscious by the police who thought he was shoplifting.  He reportedly put a video game in his belt to free his hands to protect his grandson from the crowds.
These incidents make me believe that we have seriously gone too far.

Black Friday is the kickoff to the Christmas season, the season for giving. Sadly, this has digressed into the season of buying.  And not just buying, but competitive, violent buying.  I think we've lost the whole idea of what this season is about.

All of this has made me re-think Christmas giving.  It's not that we need to get rid of Christmas shopping altogether, I think we just need alternatives to feeling so obligated to buy so much for everyone.  So I came up with this list of:

10 Gifts You Can Give That You Don't Have to Buy
(or you don't have to spend that much on)

10.  Get together and do something fun.  When I think back and try to remember Christmas gifts through the years, I often draw a blank.  But what I do remember and cherish the most is the memories of time spent together with my family and friends.  You can get together for dinner, go to a play, do a crazy outing together, or just even get together at home with a bottle of wine.

9.  Sponsor a family in need.  This is the second year we've sponsored families through a program called The Lokahi Giving Project that helps struggling families in Hawaii.  There are hundreds of programs throughout the country that can help connect you with similar families.

8.  Make presents for others.  You don't have to have creative skills or any specific talent.  Just make something- make a beautiful card for someone, write a meaningful poem, create crafts, sew a shopping bag.  Trust me, whatever you can do will be cherished.

7.  Do a gift swap.  Each person brings something that means something to them and do a swap!  It doesn't cost anything, there's always a great story behind each item brought, and you can feel satisfied that the item will go to a good home.

6.  Volunteer at a homeless shelter together.  Or some other charitable organization.  Especially during the holidays, there are so many people in need.  It is good for the soul to give to those who need it the most.

5.  Give coupons of service.  Coupons for free babysitting for a busy, overworked mom or dad; a car wash and a tank of gas for a cash-strapped young adult; or an afternoon of help with someone's computer-  all can be so much more appreciated than anything you could buy.

4.  Bake goods to give people.  Seriously, who doesn't love brownies or cookies?  And I swear, I can taste when something is made with love.

3.  Make gifts-in-a-jar.  Another low-cost idea for gifts is to create baking mixes, soup mixes or bath salts in mason jars.  Here's a great site that shows you how to create them.

2.  Make scrapbooks/photo books.  When I do that thing where I think of the things I would grab if my house was on fire, I always think of my photos.  What a better gift to give than a photo book or scrapbook of old photos?  Photo book software has gotten super user-friendly and photo books are now super easy to make.  I love iPhoto's photo books, and I've also had great results with My Publisher and Blurb.  You can also go old-school and make the kind with real photos too!

1.  Spend TIME with those people you love.  This is the #1 thing you can do this Christmas for those you love.  It really doesn't matter what you do, just spend time together making memories.  If you're far away, pick up the phone or Skype them.  Time and attention are really what people truly want.
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Finally, Leo Baubata writes the blog, Zen Habits.  He recently wrote a post titled, "The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents," which is an incredibly good read that I highly recommend.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I made the turkey this year!

Haha, if you know me and my cooking skills, you'll know that is a completely laughable statement.
I did, however, make a Cantaloupe Turkey!  Thanks to inspiration from Disney Family Fun, we made this AWESOME turkey of fruit:
One of these days, I'll work up to the real thing.  Baby steps!

I love Thanksgiving.  It's like a break in our hectic lives where we can just stop for a moment and appreciate the things in our lives that we so often take for granted.

Here are some of the things I'm thankful for (in no particular order):

My family and friends.
My sister is visiting us for this Thanksgiving.  Yay!
Having a body that allows me to jump, take crazy adventures, and take me wherever my heart desires.

Having an amazing husband that is truly my best friend.  Despite the fact that we drive each other bonkers some time, I can't imagine going through this awesome adventure of life with anyone but him.
Plus, he makes an awesome Fat Elvis!
Living on a magical island that has an overabundance of gorgeous rainbows.
Photo by Kengo Ueno
To have a job that highlights my strengths, where I work with with people that are not only truly talented and great people, but are also lots of FUN! 
This are my coworkers.  Seriously.  Aren't they rad?
Live in a country where I am truly free.  Where the right to voice my opinion is not only protected, but encouraged.

My awesome dogs.
Moxie and Rocco
TED Talks.  And being able to go to one LIVE this year!.

Technology.  
I am constantly how much it has increased our possibilities & enhanced our lives.

Finally, I am so grateful for all of you who are reading this blog.  I've wanted to start writing again, and this blog has been such a great way to get back into it.  Thank you all for checking it out and for all the great feedback.  A special thanks to Donnie for the inspiration.

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Last thing, I stumbled on this great website, Epic Thanks that is "a world-changing photoblog of global gratitude."  They ask you to post a image of something you're grateful for.  Scrolling though it is both humbling and inspiring.  I'm posting on there, and I encourage you to do too.


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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TED Talk Tuesday- The Surprising Science of Motivation

In this Tuesday's TED talk, Daniel Pink, author of best selling book, Drive, challenges the traditional idea that we are motivated by external rewards.
He clarifies that extrinsic rewards actually work quite well for simple tasks where there is a clear set of rules and a single set of solutions. However, science has proven that for more complex, conceptual problem-solving, larger rewards actually lead to poorer performance.

So what does motivate us for non-mechanical tasks?  
Daniel simply and elegantly boils it down to three things:

  1. Autonomy- the urge to direct our own lives.
  2. Mastery- the desire to get better and better at something that matters.
  3. Purpose- the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
As a salesperson who has chased bonuses, commissions and reward trips for over a decade, this was a pretty tough idea for me to believe.  But as I thought about it, I realized it was never the money or rewards that really drove me (although they were definitely a nice perk), it was always something else.  Something internal.

You see, my parents kicked me out of my house when I was 16 years old.  I needed to find a way to pay for college, and I quickly realized that making $6/hour as a cashier at Target would never cut it.  So when I found a sales opportunity selling Cutco knives, of all things, I jumped all over it.  Now the whole Cutco experience is probably an entire future blog post in and of itself, but what it gave me was the chance to start controlling my destiny. Unlimited sales income meant the harder and smarter I worked, the more I could make.  

But it wasn't about the money.  It was what the money meant to me at that time.  It meant I could pay for college myself.  It meant I could move out of friends' houses and into my own place. It meant I could prove to my parents and more importantly to myself, that I could make it.

That internal motivation still drives me today.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Motivation Monday- Never Give Up

Today's Motivation Monday is the story of world-class sprinter, Derek Redmond, and his 400 meter race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Derek had prepared for this moment his entire life.  He was favored to win the event.  He took an early lead in the race, and then the unexpected happened.  What he did in the face of disappointment was courageous and truly inspiring.
Here's what I love about this video: first, Derek's unyielding commitment to finish what he had set out to do in the face of ultimate disappointment.

How many times do we suffer setbacks or failures and just quit?  I think of all the times something far more minor has not gone my way - not getting the promotion I really wanted, having my ideas shot down, or having my heart broken, and how instead of finishing the race, I just walked off the field.  I can't even imagine the devastation he must have felt in that moment when he realized his dreams were dashed, but he had the courage to finish.

It's not about what happens, but how we deal with it. 

I truly believe it was the single decision to finish the race that paved the way for him to look back on this moment and see the positive (not to mention pave the way for his successful public speaking career), compared with a world of regret and despair that might have happened if he didn't.

Second, his dad running onto the field to help his son was immensely powerful.  He was literally a shoulder for his son to lean on.  We all sometimes need that person that will break through security to help us, even if we aren't asking for help.  I am a fiercely independent person and I generally fight to do everything on my own.  I am learning that it is not only important to cultivate and nurture relationships with people in my life that will be there for me in tough times, but also to be that shoulder to lean on.

How do you deal when things don't go your way?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ferris Wheel Friday

Photo of the Day
Something about this photo just makes me so happy.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Secret to Surviving Conference Calls (and Other Forms of Corporate Torture)

This morning was a doozy!

First of all, I woke up before 5 a.m.
I need to point out that I am not a morning person.
I am the opposite of a morning person.
The only way 4 a.m. and I get along is if I'm seeing it at the end of a fun night.
Not the beginning of a new day.
I got up this early because I had to fly to Hilo for work, which I do every week.
However, I had to get on an even earlier flight than normal because I had a mandatory conference call.
And, because I live in Hawaii, these calls are ridonkulously early for me.

So, here I am, in Hilo.  Bleary eyed.  Super early in the morning.  
Sitting in my rental car.  In the rental car parking lot.
On conference call #3 out of 4 this week.
NOT a happy camper.  NOT even really awake.  All in all, pretty miserable.
(Did I mention I hadn't had coffee yet?)

About an hour into the call, it dawned on me.
I can be on this call... ANYWHERE!  I don't have to sit in this crappy parking lot.
So I drove, to the most beautiful place I knew in Hilo.
And I got out of my car, parked my butt on the rock wall, and listened to my conference call while gazing at this:
And suddenly, it was all good.

It was only then that I noticed what a gorgeous day it was.
The sun was shining in Hilo, where it's usually overcast and rainy.
The waterfall was stunning.  Like take-your-breath stunning.
The sunlight hit it in a way that there were multiple rainbows shooting off the mist.
It was magical.

I started to walk around and noticed brilliant flowers like these:
which are everywhere in Hawaii, but today I really noticed them.
And in that moment, while my conference call continued, I realized something.
If you're miserable, change your situation.
Now, I know when I hear stuff like that, I imagine BIG changes.  Like quitting your job and traveling around the world for 4 years kinda-big.  But what I realized today is that changing your situation doesn't have to always be that dramatic.  Just a simple thing like changing your scenery, or seeking something beautiful, can make a impactful change on your perception.

I'm positive some of you are saying, "Easy for you to say, you live in Hawaii and have beautiful things like waterfalls and tropical flowers all around you."  And I completely admit, Hawaii is insanely gorgeous.  But even with magical things all around you, if you're not open to them, you can go through your entire day, your entire life even, without experiencing them.  There is beauty everywhere.  You just have to look for it.  If all else fails, you can alway go to that happy place in your head.

By the way, where was this gorgeous place?
Rainbow Falls.  If you're ever in Hilo, I highly recommend it.  
Especially if you're stuck on a conference call.