Goal achiever or just a setter: Practical strategies for success.

Goal achiever or just a setter: Practical strategies for success.

I love reading articles on LinkedIn. Sounds like a sickness but I find it relaxing. I came across an article that sparked my interest, but I didn’t have time to read it so I saved it. Such a handy feature.

The article will “squash all of those limiting perspectives and provide concrete strategies you can use to achieve your goals. There are no fixed-limits.” That statement alone peaked my interest and then I got to the core principles. I’m not going to cover all 21 principles but focus on some that stand out to me. For the full article click here. I highly recommend reading it because what is significant for me might not be the same for you.

The first strategy falls under core principles – Set Absurdly Ambitious Goals.

Under this first principle there is a slew of motivational thoughts about goal setting and going after what you want. One thing that struck me and has been striking me for some time now is that for some my competitive nature isn’t wanted, and I’ve been told to my face it’s disliked. I realized that yes, I’m competitive, but the problem is that I’m ambitious. I do 10x what is needed to achieve my goal! 

I was at a women’s symposium and one of the speakers talked about how important it is to be your own spokesperson. Talk up the good things you’re doing. Even the male executive in my group said I need to speak up more often. He said it to all of us. We don’t self-promote enough! Funny thing I’ve been knocked for self-promotion. So onward and upward. 

The second strategy I want to highlight is Learn and Work in Counter-Intuitive Environments.

What does that mean exactly? Think outside your normal box. That means letting go of worry and stress. Be in the moment so ideas can foster, synergy can occur, and be innovative. Do the unexpected because you think differently! Just in case you don’t read the article I really liked this quote so I’m sharing it.

“Choose one thing and become a master of it. Choose a second thing and become a master of that. When you become a master of two worlds (say, engineering and business), you can bring them together in a way that will a) introduce hot ideas to each other, so they can have idea sex and make idea babies that no one has seen before and b) create a competitive advantage because you can move between worlds, speak both languages, connect the tribes, mash the elements to spark fresh creative insight until you wake up with the epiphany that changes your life.”

We have the ability to master whatever we choose, but is up to ourselves to make the choice and Jump! Be creative, be ambitious, speak up, and be curious!

The third item I want to focus on Ignore What Almost Everyone Else is Doing.

Awe the competitive spirit in me gave a shout out on this one! I have to make excuses for being competitive like it’s a bad thing. To quote the article “In the book, Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, Tim Grover explains that the world’s elite don’t compete with other people. Rather, they make others compete with them. They set the tone and make others react to their environment.” I haven’t read that book but it is now on my list. 

I want to be unstoppable. The only thing that holds me back is myself. Let curiosity win the day and fear take a backseat. Life is full of learning opportunities that I want to explore and experiences/adventure that awaits me in the future. If I allow others to set the bar I’ll never rise any higher than it. I decide where the bar is set. The same goes for my son. If I set the bar at easy or mediocrity then that’s what he’ll achieve. Set the bar high! Go for GOLD – Surround Yourself With People With Higher Expectation than You Have, which is the fourth strategy that falls under mentorship.

The fifth strategy is Give Credit Where Credit is Due.

Despite how independent I feel that I am, I know that credit for any success starts with God and the path he leads me down. Many times the path takes some crazy twists but ultimately my thanks goes to God and what he’s doing in my life. Credit also goes to the people on your team, mentors, sponsors, or leadership. I’m not an island unto myself and taking credit for others work isn’t my style. Appreciation should be a part of everything you do and especially for where credit is due!

Number six – Think Laterally

I think this describes my whole career life. “Rather than climbing up ladders the traditional ways, they think of alternative routes. They skip unnecessary steps by pivoting and shifting.” I started the traditional route of climbing and found it wasn’t really working for me in the male laden industry I was working. Hence finding alternative routes plus a few beaten paths that lead back to the main road. I’ve worked more on pivoting and shifting with some stagnating in there as well. Isn’t that how it seems to work sometimes. The important thing is to not limit yourself. I’m on my third career and I have personal business. No limiting. Shift and pivot so you can find a way. It’s documented that men don’t feel that have to meet all the requirements to apply for a job. Women have the opposite thought process. We tend to believe we have to stick every item. Men are confident they can do It whether they know it or not. Be confident and limitless. I have the same ability to learn and grow as the guy. 

Be whatever you want to be. Achieve whatever you want to achieve. Have the confidence to be ambitious, creative, competitive and don’t let someone else’s idea of what you “should” be set the tone for what you are. I’m fearless and I’m going to be limitless because I decide.

-G.

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Off to Colorado I go

Off to Colorado I go

Work travel with a side trip to visit with one of my besties! 

Got to Denver for a meeting and had some time to burn before checking into the hotel so I took off for my favorite restaurant The Berkshire. If you love bacon this is the place for you. When I landed it was spitting snow and raining so I had the grilled cheese with BACON and tomato-parmesan-basil soup. Absolute deliciousness!!!

If you ever have time to tour Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, Colorado I highly recommend it. I had the opportunity to be a taste tester for green teas they are trialing, and I was compensated with a box of Peppermint tea. A great trade off for sure!

Sassy

Once my meeting was over I hit the road to meet up with my friend Cindy and I was finally able to meet her fiance. He’s a sweetie and he’s lucky to get her…just sayin’. (Obviously, I’m writing this after the wedding, so if you are just now reading and missed the trip to Colorado for that event you can catch up here. Rollin’ down the highway Part 1 and Part 2 of the Colorado Trip)

We had a blast with her being my tour guide. I actually started my day birding along the Arkansas River. Cindy knew I would love it and sent me on my merry way with a set of binoculars. I added to my life list, was able to contribute some finds, and in southern tradition I met people that know people from my home town. So much so that our families are buried in the same cemetery. Really folks I just have a knack for finding these encounters. Give me a plane full of people and I bet there’s an Aggie on it. Instant rapport and recognition of shared experiences. That actually happened on my trip to Pittsburgh two weeks ago. The guy sat next to me on the first leg. I never talk but I chatted with him. Alright back to CO.

I’d always wanted to visit the Royal Gorge, which is just outside Canon City. We road the gondola. Cindy rode it but didn’t want to look down. I would’ve hung over the side I was so excited to be hanging in air.

A true test of friendship!

It’s funny how I live in Arkansas and the Arkansas River flows through our great state, but it doesn’t look near this pretty. It’s muddy and nasty by the time it gets to Little Rock. The first time I ever waterskied was on the Arkansas River in southern Arkansas. I was staying with my aunt and unlce during the summer. I remember it being dirty and that I about drowned learning to ski. Experiences that last a lifetime. I’ve spent other days hanging out on the river with my cousin and friends of hers. Despite the brown color of the water we had a good time. Just had to keep sunscreen on her ghostly figure. Think vampire and you’ve got the right color. ❤ her!

The Arkansas River…I want to raft that one day!

Look ma no hands!
Aster’s peaking out
Looking upriver – I want to ride the train too!
Quartz is used everywhere – beautiful
A lovely pine

It was a hot was day in comparison to the spitting snow and rain I had when I landed in Denver a couple of days before. I was melting and grateful for any respite that included shade.

Royal Gorge Bridge

The bridge has lots of movement because of the type of construction and there is a boat load of wind whipping through there. Cindy walked down the center and provided interesting tidbits about the bridge and surrounding area.  In the most recent past there was a fire that burned up the gorge area. Devastating to look at the land and see the carnage fire can bring to nature.

Love this photo because it makes me think of art for some reason! 

This is only a portion of my trip. I’m going to have to break this one down. Next part will be about the mountains and a castle. Really you don’t want to miss it. Oh and a cat named Bandit! A real charmer.

Enjoy-G.

Happiness shared

Happiness shared

Happiness only real when shared ~ Christopher McCandless

I watched the movie ‘Into the Wild’ the other night and this quote struck me. I travel a lot, I live alone, I spend a lot of time alone so did this make all the experiences I’ve had unhappy or lacking happiness. Sometimes I want someone there to share the experience, to enjoy the moment and to revel in the freedom but there are plenty of times I know I’m content with myself. 

So I’m thinking about some of my shared experiences. Like the day I bought my boat my sister was with me and we shared in the excitement. She went on the test drive up and down the lake. It was a beautiful summer day that was exceptional because my dad took us to pick up my boat – it was a family experience and we all shared in the happiness. We’ve had many more days like that on the lake either running about or just relaxing on the back of the boat listening to music and sharing our thoughts and lives. 

Another great example of happiness shared was the day I got word of my new job. My sister was visiting and all the kids made congratulations signs, we had a celebratory meal, and I knew I was going to be able to not only survive but thrive. As a single parent providing for your child the basics is priority number one, but when you can personally advance yourself professionally to meet their wants it’s like icing on the cake. It was a spectacular day shared by my family and friends. A true blessing that continues even today. 

The first time Seth flew on a plane in his own seat and described to the kid in front of us how the wings, flaps, etc work. He was a first grader. One of his tv options was the history channel. Obviously a good choice for an inquisitive mind. The ride to Boston and back was entertaining with him. Love that kid and wouldn’t miss a single shared minute!

There are more than those three memories, but I reflected on those times where it was just me and I felt happiness. As a kid climbing up in a big tree and looking as far as I could see, feeling the wind as it blew through the canopy and the limbs would sway, the smell of the pecan leaves as I would pull myself up, and then the fear and challenge of leaping to the ground when it was time to go into the house. That feeling of success that I overcame my fear AND not breaking anything vital! It was the same as when you leap out of the seat of the swing at the highest point. No fear just exhilaration in the moment. Might’ve been the beginning of some of my adrenaline junky ways. Sometimes I might have a sister join me but there were plenty of times I liked the peace of alone time. 

Or sitting on the hill looking out over the land smelling the lilac bushes and petting my dog. Probably more contentment and dreaming of the future. The beauty of the Ozarks was a major part of my youth. When I moved back as an adult I don’t have the same kind of view but I took up bird watching. It’s the whole nature thing. Very soothing. I can sit on the back deck with my binoculars and gaze up in the trees looking at species I hadn’t previously identified. I have some real happiness in discovering a new bird that was not checked off my list. There’s no one with the same interest and it gets made fun of so the quiet joy that comes from adding to my life list is reserved for myself most of the time.

The movie is about Christopher and his alone time in the wilderness. He finally realized that he would only have true happiness by sharing the experience. In the movie it was one of the last thoughts captured before he was incapacitated it is believed. No one will ever know for sure but I know for myself that I need both. Alone and shared. I’m an introvert at heart and I push myself to move beyond the comfortable. Comfortable is easy I don’t always want easy. A good challenge or puzzle makes like interesting. 

I asked my son what he thought about this quote from Christopher. He said ‘happiness is better shared’. He has a point. Laughter is better when shared. A good case of the giggles by yourself isn’t as fun. 

Conversation and laughter make life more vibrant. Recently I got to spend two separate days running around with friends enjoying life and just being. I appreciate the fact that I have people in my life that get me and all my weirdness. Love ya peeps!

Photo is about time shared. We drank flights of moonshine and whiskey at Copper Run Distillery (click on pic for link). If you’re ever in the Branson, MO area it’s a great stop. We spent hours hanging out on a bar stool. Time well spent!

It’s the weekend so enjoy it by yourself, with others or a combination of the two!

Peace-G.

Anyone for pie?!

Anyone for pie?!

Don’t you just want to bake someone a pie and then drop the mic on them like Minnie did in ‘The Help’. 

It sounds nice in the moment but most of us won’t follow through with it. It’s like having a conversation in your head with nasty replies you want to say except that’s not what comes out – it’s all polite. Bless their heart! Ugh…not really.

Nothing really sparked this blog other than me trolling through Facebook and I see this gem posted by someone else. Loved it and then I thought “how often would I like to make that special chocolate pie”. The collection process is a deal breaker. Gag

Oh well politeness wins out along with southern manners. I have to really think about a time I might’ve been that ornery. Still not coming to me. Of course my mom and siblings might pull out a laundry list if I’m not careful.

If you’ve never seen the movie here’s the clip about the pie. Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/EaWfoNPDz74

Not that I expect anyone to share their deep dark deeds BUT if you have a good story to share please leave a comment. I love getting to hear about others adventures in life.

Skipping the “special” chocolate pie and I’ll have a healthy snack…oh the joys of being an adult.

-G.

Long distance parenting 

Long distance parenting 

Being a parent long distant is agonizing lots of times. I try to have regular communication without appearing to be a helicopter parent which is challenging from a state away. Plus he’s a teenager and you want to give them some space, room to make decisions, and try to find the balance between it all.

Ugh! Today is a trial. He’s got stuff but doesn’t want to talk about. I have stuff and don’t want to burden him. We’re a pair for sure. How to turn a depressing day into a laugh – make fun, crack jokes, do something crazy – and I’m doing all that by text because that’s the way we communicate the most. Easiest way to have a conversation without being interrupted a million times by others. Sad but true. 

Life isn’t easy and it seems to come bottled in the form of a struggle for me most of the time. What I wouldn’t give for a smooth path on occasion except then I remember there is probably a reason I’m dealing with this trial in my life. Bless the Lord o’ my soul….that verse keeps drifting through my mind. We both need some blessing hence the reason it’s floating around up in that crazy head of mine.

Things that just tear me up about being a long distant parent are those times when I would like to cook his favorite food or go to Sonic to get a Route 44. Like today after I left the dentist our normal routine is to hit up Sonic but no kid, so I opted to not make the trip. I made a version of his favorite food last night which made me miss him. Probably why I feel all melancholy and then to find out he had a bad day too. Well crud.

My trusty companion, Ginger, is more than happy to share in his favorite food except that little rat terrier is on a diet! She scavenges through any bag left unattended, trash or scraps thrown out by the neighbors. Devil dog. Not the same as cooking for my kid and trying to cheer him up after a bad day.

Life kicks us down. Maybe stomps us a few times which is fine I’ll just pick myself up. Ok maybe drag. And then I get on with what needs to happen. When it’s your child you want to coddle, protect, listen…hard to do from here. 

I was looking through pictures and saw the one of him walking the tightrope and thought isn’t that how life is lots of time. We pray we make it from one safe area to another without falling but it’s a tricky walk. Lots of times we fall. I know the day he went indoor climbing he fell off that rope lots of times. I’ll always be there for him but there’s a lessons for each of us as we walk our own ropes through life. Praying we both stay steady for awhile! It’s a new version of Jesus take the wheel.


-G.

Will:Grit:Perseverance=Us 

Will:Grit:Perseverance=Us 

I’ve heard the saying “fake till you make it” or the new version by Amy Cuddy “fake it till you become it.” My thinking runs more to “I may not know it now, but I’ll figure it out.” Sometimes that’s just me messing around till I get it right, could be asking someone for help and guidance, or I’m not above saying I don’t know but I’ll find out. Faking it doesn’t even cross my mind. Why fake it when I have the will and the confidence in myself to be able to just do it. 

Growing up the oldest of three sisters, out in the country, with parents that worked long hours breeds resilience and perseverance. Anyway it did in us girls. My sister’s are different from me in there own way, but we have a solid core that is called WILL. Don’t tell us we can’t because for sure we’ll thumb our noses as we do it or give you the finger. Keeping it real here!

Oh the younger years!

Making responsible decisions were an expectation not a fluke. When we made poor choices our parents called us out on it. It’s the same with my son. I love him but I’m also raising him to make sound decisions and to be accountable. I can be harsh or in another light it might be called tough love. High expectations are the norm. If you set the bar low then they will achieve low. When he needs a hand up I’m more than willing to support him, but he is putting as much or more effort than I am. I’m not slacking and neither should he. Of course there is time for fun and I feel he does a good job of being a teenager too. He kills me every single time we play some game on the Xbox. He thinks it’s hilarious and an opportunity for me to improve my game. Obviously I have none. Definitely a win for the kid.

I think my sister is the same with her kids. They are fun and lively, and they are being raised in a household that holds achievement and education to a high standard. My brother-in-law is a testament to that with all his degrees. They all have their own interests and they pursue it. It’s awesome to see!

My middle sister is the entrepreneur with her own photography business. Starting a business is never easy but she has taken advantage of every learning opportunity to advance herself and her business. She was so patient with the process of launching. I certainly wasn’t and it’s not my business! She thought through everything from branding to a website. Super proud of her and what she’s doing. 

It takes some real grit to start a business or to raise kids to be responsible adults. We have taken those experiences of our youth and we have put our own stamp on our lives and the lives of our children. I know my son is already working on his own stamp, figuring things out, and making decisions that will lead him down a path of his own making. It’s exciting to watch and at the same time, as a parent, I want to give advice from my own experiences. Cause you know we’ve all had those rough roads that we want our kids to avoid at all costs. It’s a continuous prayer that I follow Gods plan for my life and wherever it might lead and that my son does the same. 

I’ve been traveling again and I was telling my fellow road dog that there are many times I’m saying God I see all the signs – I know what path I should be going down – yeah that is a path/sign. Wasn’t that you?! I’m sure that was you saying here’s your sign. I’m just trying to do what you’re indicating. Um ok maybe that was me looking for a sign and called it God. Hmm that’s a real possibility. Now I need to pray for discernment, not for what I want to be seeing cause you know you’re going to see it EVERYWHERE! 

Now I’m back to having the perseverance to see through all the crap life is throwing at me to know what’s true and real. That’s where the grit comes in. Road dog says I’m overflowing in grit. Totally got that covered. God filled that cup up real good. As we are sitting at the Pittsburgh airport I bought a book that has a grit assessment. Yeah I couldn’t resist that purchase. I was an easy mark for that book store.

That title is probably what inspired this blog. Of course it took a left from where I started…like normal. I’m trying to get in the groove of writing more and I saw a quote yesterday that made me go hmmm.

Stephen King says “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Love Stephen King and all his scary horror books. The Stand is one of my favorites but IT scared me the most! Only book in all my years of reading that I read ONLY during the daylight hours. So with this tangent: Read if you want to write, have the will and the grit to persevere through the easy and the hard times, and don’t look for the easy signs cause they might be wrong – pray hard.

-G.

Part 2 of the Colorado Trip

Come Saturday morning we were up and gathering our belongings to hit the road once again. We had a short visit then on the road to Colorado Springs. We decided to go a different route heading home. The drive down from Westcliffe was spectacular! The rock formations and shear cliffs were a reason to stop and capture the beauty around us. Evergreens galore….the scent just makes you think Christmas.

It was just over an hour later and what felt like a steady decent downward that we arrived in Colorado Springs. My sister and I headed straight for the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. PSA: it cost $10/adult to enter. We enjoy checking out archeological sites, especially ones we remember hearing about when we were kids in school. We wandered in and out of the cliff dwellings. Took lots of pictures. I had to shed my light jacket because the temperature difference was a solid 20-30 degrees from Westcliffe to Colorado Springs. I was starting to sweat and I wasn’t doing any hot yoga in those yoga pants.

She’s Cray Cray

❤ my sister!
Pike’s Peak in the distance

We didn’t take time for the Seven Falls but I’ll try to see that another trip. It’s supposed to be amazing. Instead the GPS was kind enough to route us through a heavy construction zones to a side entrance for the Garden of the Gods. We stopped right away to grab some lunch out of the cooler and take some selfies. We got back on the road and wound our way around stopping along the way for more pics of the rock formations. We finally made it to what is the front entrance and followed the signs to the visitors center. 

Camels kissing

At the visitors center on the viewing deck on the second floor is the best view of the Garden of the Gods. You get a greater perspective and it helps having the information pointers handy. We browsed the gift shop and then hit the road. We didn’t get far when we saw a gas station with a car wash. Time well spent cleaning the dust of my ride!

Our trip back was mostly uneventful considering we traveled the entire state of Kansas. We saw lots of crop land, turbines and the wind blows constantly. Cruise was set and we rolled on towards home. Once we got to Missouri and in the wee hours we stopped for coffee aka espresso. Cause we were making it to the house come hell or high water! At 2:45am we rolled into the drive. We were dead tired but we had covered five states, attended a wedding, saw the sights, made new friends, and had a grand adventure together.

What’s your next adventure? 

Enjoy-G.