Certify Me!

Saturday, 30 April 2011, 22:46 | Category : Life
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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been… curious. Not just run of the mill ‘why is the sky blue?’ type of curious, but “Why is the sky blue? Does everybody know that? Who figured that out? Can I get a piece of paper that says that I know that?” I want a lifetime of education, and Iwant the plaques on the wall and framed diplomas and certificates to go with it.

So far, I have:

  • 8th Grade Graduation Certificate
  • High School Diploma
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Yoga Alliance 200 Hour Certification

I’m considering:

  • MBA
  • ACE Personal Trainer Certifcation
  • HubSpot Internet Marketing Professional
  • Google Adwords Certified Professional
  • Direct Marketing Certification
  • Copywriting Certification Program
  • Certified Property Manager
  • Life Coach Certification

I could add to the list every day. I’m not sure if it’s the drive to always have a billion ways to support myself, or the curiosity I mentioned earlier. If I had unlimited time (and, lets face it, unlimited money), I would collect information like some people collect toenails and oversized jars of tomatoes while preparing for the apocalypse.

By the way, this is what I would expect my apocalypse shelter to look like:

Most of the certificates and diplomas on the “consideration” list are not there because I think they’ll enhance my life, but because I want the evidence that I have acquired the knowledge that the certificates are tied to.

Keeping with the numbers…

Sunday, 24 April 2011, 14:41 | Category : Life, Uncategorized
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This morning, I found “78 Ways to Cut Fat Calories from Your Diet” from Women’s Health. In keeping with yesterday’s post about 50 things you must stop doing today, here are my favorites:

  • Scramble together 4 egg whites instead of 2 whole eggs.
  • Slurp minestrone soup instead of cream of anything.
  • Go bunless—shed your hamburger roll.
  • Ordering a cocktail? Make it on the rocks instead of frozen. Slushy fruit drinks tend to be made with bottled mixers that contain added sugar and syrups.
  • Move your stash of Hershey’s Kisses at least 6 feet away from your desk—you’ll dip in half as often.
  • Stop eating when you hit the crust. The edges and bottoms of baked goods are especially caloric because they absorb the butter used to grease the pan.
  • Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for a serving of sour cream. (I really can’t tell the difference!)

Read the whole list of 78 Ways to Cut Fat Calories from Your Diet.

What are you favorite ways to save a few calories?

50 Things to Stop Doing Today

Sunday, 24 April 2011, 2:02 | Category : Life
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Like most web readers, I love lists. There’s a special soft spot in my heart for lists of things I should stop doing, instead of lists of things that I should start doing. That’s why I wanted to share the list “50 Things to You Need to Give Up Today” from Marc and Angel Hack Life. Here are my favorite things to give up:

4. Give up complaining. – Do something about it.

6. Give up waiting. – What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.

11. Give up thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

20. Give up letting your thoughts and feelings bottle up inside. – People are not mind readers.  They will never know how you feel unless you tell them.

26. Give up being anti-athletic. – Get your body moving!  Simply take a long, relaxing walk or commit 30 minutes to an at-home exercise program like the p90X workout. (This is especially true since I just finished reading Born to Run).

36. Give up persistent multi-tasking. – Do one thing at a time and do it right.

50. Give up putting your own needs on the back burner. – Yes, help others, but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

Read the full list of 50 Things to You Need to Give Up Today.

Sometimes the worst thing, isn’t.

Sunday, 13 March 2011, 1:37 | Category : Life
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I can think of a dozen things that I’m terrified will happen to me. I’ll lose my job, my house, my loved ones. I’ll crash my car, i’ll get cancer.

I’m lucky, because none of those things have happened to me (at least not yet).

When faced with a decision, I’ve always wondered “What’s the worst that can happen?”

As a teen, when trying to decide if I could call a boy, I’d run through the absolute worst that could happen scenario. “If I call him, he’s going to think I’m an obsessed freakazoid. He’ll tell all of his friends, who will tell all of their friends, and then the whole school will think I’m an obsessed freakazoid. Then, when they all think that I’m a freak, and I’ll never get a date again, and I won’t go to prom. I won’t ever learn how to talk to boys, and I’ll never get married and I’ll become an old maid!”

Thinking like that makes it pretty clear that the worst isn’t really very likely to happen. And even if he did tell everyone that I was an obsessed freakazoid, the chances that I’d never ever find anyone were pretty slim. So, what the heck? If I know that’s not going to happen, any other consequences seem pretty minor.

So, in the last month, there’s been some distance between someone I used to be very close to and I. I used to think that the world would come crashing down if we didn’t talk on a daily basis. It hasn’t. It’s still awkward when we do talk, because I’m not sure what I should talk about. Should I try to catch up on everything that’s happened since the last time we really talked? Or should I focus on the moment? Let her guide the conversation?

I’ve got no answers. But I’m learning to remember that the worst thing doesn’t happen. And even if what you thought would be the worst thing happens, it’s probably not as bad as you imagined it would be.

 

The Right-Brain Challenge

Monday, 21 February 2011, 13:23 | Category : Projects
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I’ve got a few visions of how I’d like to be (and how I’d like to be seen). I’ve wanted to have a nice, thick, leather bound book that I carry with me – full of notes, post-its, and little mementos of ideas that I’ve collected. I want to use colored pens and have pretty handwriting. (I know, I know, who cares about handwriting when we live in such a computerized world? Well – I do.) Despite having the desire to be this way, I’m not. If I start to use a new notebook, I’m careful to write everything on the lines, and to only use one pen. Each idea gets it’s own page. If there is a post-it note, it’s positioned carefully on the page, or just off the edge to serve as a bookmark.

Even in my dress, I wanted to be a little eccentric (wearing multiple rings or bracelets), or at least fashionable. Instead, I find myself wearing boring, traditional wear – jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt. On a “wild” day, I might wear a fitted jacket over the tee.

When I looked through the book The Right-Brain Business Plan, I finally realized why I was never really being the person I thought I wanted to be. Everything that they recommended was the way I wanted to think about a business plan! The stuff that they said was “boring” and “hard” for a right-brainer to do was exactly what I naturally gravitated toward. I need to use my right brain more.

Under careful consideration, you would expect me to use my right brain quite a bit. After all, I’m in marketing – a “creative” profession. But in online marketing, there’s a lot of left brain work. It’s as much about the analytical metrics as it is about creative offerings. The most creative I am is in writing headlines and marketing copy – and even that’s becoming mundane.

I’m challenging myself to do something more creative every day for the next 21 days (since it takes 21 days to make a habit). Here are a few suggestions that I’ve found online:

  • Draw, doodle, paint – do more art. It doesn’t have to be “good”  art, but pick up a writing instrument and do something other than write a complete sentence on a ruler straight line.
  • Dance – which, will of course, include listening to more music. (I wonder if Zumba classes count as dancing?)
  • Write a short story or poem.

I may never be a right-brainer, but I’m hoping to find a better balance.

How Do You Decide?

Friday, 18 February 2011, 0:06 | Category : Life
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Ok, readers (or reader?)… I have a question for you. How did you decide what your calling or passion was? That thing that you eat, sleep, dream about? If you didn’t have to make a living, what would you do? (After you got tired of hanging out on the couch, watching TLC and vacationing around the world…)

One of my coworkers makes art. He knows when it’s time to go home, and he goes home and paints for hours. If he’s not painting, he’s writing (another form of art). Another coworker makes money – he runs a business on the side, and is fascinated by the business world. Some raise a family; others live a life of leisure, going dancing and drinking the nights away.

I’ve got a whole list of things I want to do. I want to be a great writer. I want to be a great copywriter, and marketer. I want to have a successful marketing business. I want to be physically fit, and well read. I want more than I have hours for, if I want to be well rested to. So… I ask you, dear readers (because I’d like to think that you’re out there), how did you choose your passion? Or did you? Maybe it chose you?

Calm Shaken

Monday, 10 January 2011, 23:21 | Category : Life, working
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One of my words for 2011 was “calm.” I wanted to approach things in my life with a greater sense of peace, and reduce my frustration in unimportant daily matters. I certainly find plenty of times to practice calm, especially with the snow we’ve finally gotten. I watch as other drivers are impatient, speeding up just to slide their way past me (and thankfully not into me) to some unknown destination. Perhaps they’re in a hurry to see about an injured loved one. Maybe they just have hot soup they want to get home before it cools. Either way, I try to practice calm when I’d ordinarily shake my fist and give them verbose lectures about the danger they pose to themselves and others.

I’m having a hard time practicing calm today. I worked from home, and was getting frustrated by the distractions that I used to deal with easily. I’m going through a transition at work, and was frustrated by questions from my new coworkers.  The biggest issue was a project that I was very engaged in being “taken away” from me. I’d spent several hours setting up tracking mechanisms and researching the best way to achieve a goal, just to have a coworker say “I’d rather do that myself.”

Instead of looking at this as an opportunity to focus my attention elsewhere, I took it as a personal affront.

How dare she show such disrespect for the efforts I already had put in? Didn’t she recognize that it would have actually helped her if I had finished the project?

On and on my ranting went, despite all my reminders to be calm.

It’s beyond your control.
It’s an opportunity – you can spend your time on something more fun/rewarding/engaging.
S/he will wish he never said that. (Even when calm, I’m sometimes snarky.)

So, here I am, 3 hours later, still silently fuming. I think at this point, I’ve moved beyond being annoyed at the event, and am now just annoyed that I let my calm be shaken for so long by something so unimportant.

So, here’s the quote I hope to remember the next time this arises:

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.  – The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Happiness Project

Friday, 26 November 2010, 19:19 | Category : Life
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I finished reading The Happiness Project today. I won’t make the blanket statements that everyone should read it, or that it will change your life – all I can say is that I’m glad that I read it, and that I’m hoping to use it’s lessons to change my life. Unlike Eat Pray Love (which I also really enjoyed), The Happiness Project helps you to find ways to increase your happiness levels in your everyday life – not traveling around the world.

I’m hoping to spend the month of December getting ready to kick off my own happiness project for 2011. You don’t have to be unhappy to want to be happier – you just need to recognize that there is more room for joy. :)

If you’re interested in learning more about The Happiness Project, the author (Gretchin Rubin) has a terrific website.

Moving On

Saturday, 23 October 2010, 12:41 | Category : Life
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It’s been an odd, sad year. I’ve lost two friends from high school; one to cancer, the other to suicide. While I hadn’t seen either of them in several years, their loss still sticks with me each day.

Each of these dynamic, funny, smart, and talented young men have left behind families of their own. They had dreams they never fulfilled – cars they never raced, songs they never sang.

I guess it’s about time to start my bucket list, and start marking things off the list. When I reach my expiration date, I don’t want to leave behind a long list of things I wish I’d done. And maybe, I’ll add a few extra things to the list for Jake and Dustin.

30 Under 30

Sunday, 25 July 2010, 21:20 | Category : Uncategorized
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Instead of working this afternoon (which I should have done) , I spent a little quality time with the Inc 30-under30 article. At first, I felt disheartened. Afterall, I’m within 6 months of my 30th birthday, and many of these “kids” have already accomplished at 26 (or for some, at 18) goals that are hardly on my radar screen.

Of course, being the enlightened adult that I obviously am, my goal is not to take these as an example of what I haven’t done. Instead, my goal is to take this as a challenge – to grow, to identify what is going to take me to the next level, and to stop being afraid of the new, exciting things that life could present.

Read Inc’s 30 Under 30