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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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.

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.

Sweet summertime

Sweet summertime

I was sitting in church this morning when a memory of summer came flashing to the forefront of my mind. Running barefoot through the warm, green grass under the bright sunshine. 

When I see posts about driving on the backroads I giggle cause I lived on a backroad. We kept the front windows closed or barely cracked because we didn’t want all the dust coming in from people driving by and most seemed to think they were on a nascar track. I grew up living in the country with hayfields all around and neighbors that were down the road not next door. No air conditioning but boxed fans in the window. The sweet scents of the mimosa tree that grew next to the house and the old fashioned pink roses that overwhelmed the mailbox. We really did have sun tea or cold well water on those long hot summer days.

I can remember when we got air conditioning it was HEAVEN! Pretty sure I can’t live without it now except for when I head out to Albuquerque in October. This last year I left the windows open on the little airbnb place I stayed…it was fantastic!

In the summer we were outside everyday either riding our bikes, mopeds (we had them before they were cool), motorcycle, or two legs depending on where we were going. For us distance was a relative thing. A few miles or 10 miles was nothing depending on what mode of transportation. 

We would head to the creek so we could wade in to cool off and have some fun. Not quite the scene from ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’. If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here. We watched for snakes but the water was so cold I never really worried too much – they were probably all along the banks waiting for us to get out of the water. I remember chewing on the mint that grew in the creek and its sweet spearmint flavor. Now I’d get whiplash from trying to keep a lookout for creepy crawly things.

As we got older our transportation changed to an old Chevy truck and by old I mean 1963. There was no power steering, it still took regular gas, and the gear shift would come out of the floor. Even better it had a canoe rack on it that rattled non-stop. There were plenty of fun times in that old truck. Our first trip onto the blacktop heading to softball practice the gear shift came out. Can’t lose your calm in the face of adversity. I had my sister grab the wheel and try to keep it straight on a curvy road while I got in the floor board and put the shifter back in. Good times! You would think that would be it for the day, but no. Once the gear shift was in, we got about a quarter of a mile up the road to discover a cow had gotten out and was standing in the road. I didn’t want to hurt her so I slowed way down. Well this was too slow because she stuck her head in the passenger side window. I then had two sisters up in my grill as I’m screaming at them to get the cow out. My leadership and parenting skills obviously were off to a rough start because I was bossy as hell since I was the oldest. I think I’ve made some improvement over the years.

As summer is approaching here in the Ozarks I’m just reminded of my youth. You know you lived in the country when directions included at the end of the pavement turn left onto the dirt road. Now the pavement doesn’t end and the dirt road is completely different from when I was a kid. My grandparents live at the end of the pavement that doesn’t end now, so I’ve been able to see the changes over the years when I would visit.

I always hated it when the road graders came through because it was guaranteed, when I went around the curve on my bike a rock would catch on the tire and I’d go flying. I did that once right into a fence and it hurt like the devil. Thank goodness that wasn’t a barbed wire fence but I’ve crawled through many of them. 

Not the old home place but close! Credit to kingcats-fence.com

I just don’t remember watching tv like I do now. I was always outside. We had a street light of all things right across from the house, which was in the middle of nowhere. The bats loved us because the light attracted bugs for them to snack on. I could watch them for hours and if I wasn’t doing that I was practicing for softball by throwing rocks at the pole. I’m astounded I never had one come back and nail me in the head. I had a good aim that’s for sure.

Lots of good memories from my time in the country. It’s funny how now I really enjoy the comforts of town living. Probably because I can come home everyday at lunch and take a little breather from work. In the spring and summer I work on my tan by sitting on the back deck. Ginger, my rat terrier, is happy to have some yard time. Her life sentence of living with this human is hard…real hard. Eye roll with me.

Today was a great day to be out enjoying the warmth and before too long summer will be here. For me that means bringing out the boat and heading for the lake rather than going to the creek. Times have definitely changed not necessarily for the better just different. We all mature and the boat is the mature version of me wading in the creek. 

Enjoy some sunshine and before too long it will be summertime! 

-G.

Food = Love

Food = Love

An appropriate topic with Valentine’s Day looming this week. All about some LOVE! ❤ I’ve spent several days watching Food Network while I’ve been sick and confined to the house. I enjoy watching all the cooking because I like to cook. As I was watching a particular episode of Chopped, I was reminded why I love cooking so much. For me it’s a way to show my family and friends how important they are to me by feeding them.

Food = Love 

Creating a meal is my way of nurturing and feeling like I’m meeting a need at the same time. I’m sure there is some psychology behind why, but really I don’t need to know why because I’ll just continue to cook because I can.

Cooking is a skill that I’ve developed over the years. I can remember some beginning meals that make me cringe. I’m pretty sure there were some things that should’ve gone straight to the trashcan. Can’t even tell you how many years it took me to figure out gravy from scratch and not the package variety. It was my Achilles for years. I mean really I’m a southern woman,  holy crap, I should be able to make gravy. I was beyond proud when it all finally came together. I made breakfast for just about every meal for a solid month!

Over the years I’ve tackled all kinds of styles and flavors of food. If I ate something in a restaurant that I loved but knew I’d never be able to get that where I lived, I’d figure out how to make it myself. Helps that have a pretty decent palate. Despite having this ability my son is a picky eater. Lord help me. Slowly but surely he’s coming along. I love it when he tries something new and he loves it. When he’s home I fix his favorites. Chicken and dumplings are top of his list followed by homemade fish fingers. At Christmas I made chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate ganache topping for the first time. He loves chocolate cheesecake so I made it. I’m sure I’ll make it again and again. A mother’s love knows no bounds when it comes to school projects. My son and I took on some Greek recipes for an English class. We made Tiropitakia. If you like feta you’ll like these. And gyros – he loves those. Plus it makes me feel good when he tells me I’m spoiling him by cooking his favorites and spending time teaching him how to cook some of them as well.

I’ve learned to cook a lot of things in the name of love. Italian…the amount of pasta I’ve made is ridiculous! I can whip out a homemade Alfredo sauce like nobodies business. Tex-Mex….well that was mostly for myself and so was the Indian. I learned to grill for my little carnivore baby. Oh the burned meat I served was outrageous, but now I’m skilled with a gas grill, charcoal or even over an open fire. I’m the official grill master for Father’s Day. I get teased by my grandfather but he still eats my food. It’s an opportunity for me to do the work and for the men to kick back and enjoy. Except it never fails that dad’s gas grill runs out of propane. No lie. Two years in a row this has happened to me.

If you don’t have a crockpot you need one. It’s so awesome to walk into my home at the end of the work day and smell the yummiest scents emanating from that crockpot. Pulled pork is divine but I can do an amazing barbacoa just as easily. Talk about feeding the soul and some folks good food! Makes my mouth water thinking about it and really I haven’t felt like eating anything except soup for DAYS!

I learned to home can food for the love of family tradition. It’s something that transcends the generations and connects me to the women and the men that gardened and canned the fruits of their labor. Really a labor of love because the food was stored up for a whole family or families. I love eating fresh food and staying away from overly processed, so I do a mixture of canning and freezing. I’m grateful to have family that provides me with home grown veggies and a fantastic farmers market to shop for all the rest. Before too long it will be time to order strawberries and blueberries…yummy deliciousness!

I’ve taken on gluten free and vegan as well. All for the love of friends and family. Can’t say I’ve always been successful at everything I’ve tried but I think it’s the effort that counts. I definitely put a lot of love and caring into the food I prepare. There have been a few less than deserving individuals that I’ve poured time and energy into cooking for in the past. There were the blueberry white chocolate scones – that was a mistake. The man not the scones. Oh Lord how about the pie…let’s skip that part not worth the time.

Really it’s a bit disturbing now that I think about how important cooking is for me. Good thing I don’t freak when a dish isn’t loved. It’s more about the satisfaction of fixing the meal and the care that goes into tasty goodness. If I think back to Gary Chapman’s book ‘The 5 Love Languages’ it would probably fall under service or maybe quality time. I do enjoy gabbing while I’m in the kitchen or standing over a grill.

Valentine’s Day is one time a year, but showing the people you love how much you care can be done everyday in many ways. For me, one way is through cooking. I know there are more dishes to try, more cuisine to share, and lots of fun and love to spread around.

-G.

*Photos are from Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR.

Let’s go for a ride

Let’s go for a ride

Last week, I was in Florida working and extended my trip through the weekend to spend time with my friends. Taking a mini-vacation! Like super mini. We had things planned out pretty much, but a ride on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle to the beach totally turned my head. 

It has been so long since I’ve ridden I can’t even recall the year. I just know it was with my dad. When I was a little bitty thing my parents put me on a bike in a diaper and a dew rag…favorite picture ever! The picture is gone thanks to a house fire when I was 15, but the memory lives on. That last time riding with my dad I remember I was finally tall enough and strong enough to hold his bike up. Well I still had to lean heavily to one side. Those short legs of mine and that Yamaha didn’t go together. He had more than one so he took one sister and I took the other! I was excited because I’d finally earned the right to ride by myself on one of his bikes. Dad would normally take two of us or one at a time. Off we went for a ride down the back roads enjoying our time together. As a kid of divorced parents sometimes it was tough, so I loved those times with him. I miss the opportunity to spend time with him but cancer is a real bastard. 

I didn’t realize until we were tooling down the road how much I would be reminded of those times and would miss him in that moment. It about brought tears to my eyes and I didn’t want to ruin a happy time with sadness. I sucked it up and knew that it was going to be another awesome experience to go along with the times I spent riding with my dad. There was a huge grin that could NOT be wiped off my face…my joy was apparent cause my dimples were showing! 

I’m on the controlling side so it says a lot when I have trust in the driver because I never worried or got anxious. There are people I’ve ridden with that I never wanted to get behind again, or I wanted to take over! He wasn’t one of those – because I got on that bike any time there was an opportunity. Cold as hell that last time out but totally worth it. Too bad for him I spent most of my time sight seeing, so I didn’t say a whole lot. I know my head was on a swivel. I had never been to the Tampa area and I was taking it all in. Lots of farm country – more than I expected. Well I did give notice to be prepared for my cold hands cause I tucked them anywhere I could. Lol No shame my fingers were freezing!

The tiki bar was fun and the music was interesting. Karaoke would’ve been way more entertaining. The views of Tampa Bay were exceptional. There was a cruise ship coming out of Port so the sun was an amazing backdrop. Food was good…my shrimp tacos were delicious. On another day we saw the manatees. I had never seen them in person or mangroves so that was fun. Check out the video of the manatees swimming around by the coal plant. They like the warm water this time of year…it’s about 20 degrees warmer. 

The horticulturalist in me was excited to see and touch the mangroves. I did not remove any since that’s against the law fyi. I’m a bird watching enthusiast – my nerdiness knows no bounds. Really. Did a little bird watching, saw a sea turtle and some huge redfish. Ummm just hand me a rod and reel cause redfish are good eating! I’ll just need someone to bait it and remove the fish. Yes I have high expectations when it comes to fishing, but I will catch a ton if they’re biting! After some wildlife adventures we were off to the Hot Tomato. Holy cow the BLT has 10 pieces of bacon on it. Excellent little hole in the wall. Highly recommend that place. Sorry I ate the sandwich and never thought about taking a pic. Just trust me on this one.

Cruise ship in the distance

Mangrove roots
Brown Pelican

So the weekend didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was what I needed and didn’t even know it. It was relaxing and I enjoyed the people I was with and the places we went. Obviously I need to do this more often – find that work/life balance. Don’t get me wrong I would’ve had a great time with the original plan this was a fabulous alternative. Go for a ride on a Harley with a fantastic person or just tool down the road on your own!

HAVE FUN! Enjoy life’s little moments!

-G.

Sparks start fires

Sparks start fires

True statement – I don’t think I have the power to tell anyone what to do, but if I can spark a thought, a change in attitude or even make you wonder I’m doing the job I set out to do with this blog. Ok maybe that wasn’t my orginial purpose but I like the idea. 

I know I can’t get everyone on board with Star Wars…Lord love ya! I do want to spread some positivity. Am I positive all the time…ummm no. I have my moments of being in the pit of negativity, but it’s all about how we pull ourselves out and move on. I did say I would try to keep it real. I’ve held to that even when it’s a bit on the personal side, and feels very much like I’m exposing parts of myself I’d rather keep hidden. This is a journey, an experience, a voyage possibly to a new frontier…well maybe not space but in a direction inspiration takes me. 

I’ve been inundated with Star Wars memes this evening and they’ve obviously gone to my head. Along with the Stars Trek movie I watched. As for travel I’m about to hit the road some more. In some cases to places I’ve been and other times it will all be new. With the new year I plan to incorporate both blogs into this one. Just easier to keep up with. Plus I’m sure a little travel, food and adventure will interest a few. 

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes…my roll as a parent and mother gives me plenty, work has its own set, and then there’s my personal decision to make new choices or take the road less traveled because I can. As I start this new year I hope to continue in those choices. I realized as I started writing the travel blog that I had to do more than just travel. I needed a plan or idea of what I would like to see or do in the places I visited or else nothing would be seen or experienced. Yes it’s tiring and requires some serious motivation when you’re working and putting in the hours but it’s worth it. Go with some places or ideas in mind, ask locals for suggestions, be willing to get in the car and drive till you see something interesting or take a walk. 

This year includes some bucket list states for my son and I. A pirate adventure….for real I’m going to Gasparilla. Got a wedding in Colorado in the mountains to attend…omg you know there will be pictures galore. Plus so much more!

So fire up your inspiration and find your inner spark and light it up! Let’s start 2017 off with a flourish and finish with a bang!

Continuing to keep it as real as possible.

-G.