Tag Archive | focus

Who’s in your community?

Are you as amazed as I am about the people crossing your path each day? I’m not talking about the people who rain on your parade, but those whose actions make you feel like you’re the next best thing to sliced bread.

These are the people who build you up, encourage you and jump on your bandwagon to give you support. There are a lot of them out there, and yet we tend to recall those who mistreat us instead of those who treat us well.  Why is that? Perhaps if we focused our thoughts more on the warm and caring responses we receive, we’d have more good days than those on the opposite end of the continuum.

Most people live active and busy lives, yet a broad smile and hearty wave go a long way to let you know they notice you’re alive and care enough to greet you. Please note that the wave is hearty and not merely a raising of the hand. Fingers or wrist must move enthusiastically in order to qualify.

Oh, and there’s the store clerk who admires your purse and turns the time you spend in the grocery line into a real conversation – not one about the weather or the color of a starlet’s hair, but matters of importance even in that short time frame. And you can’t forget the huggers. These delightful people are so glad to see you they cannot wait to put their arms around you to say, “Hello.” Even if hugging is not your thing, you can appreciate their effort to let you know you are important to them.

I like “real” people, too. They’re the ones who are themselves regardless of the time or place. They know who they are and don’t put on airs. You can’t help but feel comfortable around them.

The one’s I like best are the listeners. They look you in the eye as they ask you questions – not to be nosey but to help you sort out a problem, figure out a solution or encourage you in your endeavors. They’re hearing what you say without being distracted by the formulation of their own responses or comments. They are not so engrossed in their own problems that they remember you and your situation from a day, month or year before and they ask you about how something turned out or how it’s going.

The world is filled with everyday people who demonstrate kindness, consideration and a helping hand. Perhaps if I focus more on their efforts, I’ll become like them.

Watching the Olympics

What do non-sports enthusiasts gain from watching the Olympics?

Ok, I must confess I only like to watch sports when it gets up close and personal. Maybe it’s because growing up, I did not have an athletic bone or muscle in my body. When teams were being chosen in gym, I was always last or next to last to be chosen. Somewhere, though, my kids picked up some talent – either a latent gene or one from their father. That said, when they played I was their best cheerleader. A few years ago when the Phillies were vying for the pennant and the World Series, I gave them my unwavering support, and now when the USA takes on the rest of the world, I’m right there.

My kids would look at the techniques and strategies, I look at the scoreboard or the position in the race, but that’s not what won these athletes their position in the roster. It wasn’t their innate talent or ability. That was there, but the victories came from hard work – preparation and determination.

Listening to Carmelita Jeter, the silver medal winner in the 100 meter run, talk about the grueling paces her trainer and coach required made her cry and me cringe. I’d have never made it, but Carmelita did. Her coach’s efforts produced resilience in her and earned her the silver.

Resilience is one of those characteristics that will do you well away from athletic events. Wherever life takes you, learning to persevere and focus on the task at hand produces a quality that will carry you through the current challenge and beyond. Maybe I should pay more attention before the next Olympics rolls around. There’s a lot more to learn than the score.

What’s so great about the Comfort Zone?

Have you ever spoken with a person who was miserable in his job? He hated to get up in the morning and face the onslaught of meetings, messages and minutia. He lived for the weekend reprieve, yet if you tried to pin him down on what he’d rather do, he had no answer. He’d bought into the old adage that the bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. Although the proverb warns against greed, it can also imply being satisfied with the status quo. In other words, it’s easier to exist in what you know and are comfortable with rather than try to improve yourself and grow to experience more. You know where he lived? Right in the eye of the Comfort Zone.

I’m not going to pick on that individual because if truth be told, we’ve all lived there at one time or another, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out why. What’s so great about enduring and tolerating unpleasant situations, behaviors and habits when they do nothing for us? Do they help us develop new skills, meet new people, see new places? Will we experience greater focus, commitment or self-discipline and better health? Are we truly better off? We need to ask ourselves these and some other important questions especially when we find ourselves in difficult or stressful situations. Our friend may not be able to quit his day job just yet, but he can begin to make changes to reinvent himself so that he can fulfill his dreams, goals and purpose.

Like him, I have areas of my life that I want to see changed. While one of TV’s total makeovers would be nice, it is not reality because lasting change requires commitment, action and time. I believe it also requires God’s power, and I am enlisting His wisdom and strength to do it because, frankly, I see nothing great in the Comfort Zone.

Can you learn from an 8-year old?

Have you ever seen a large-ticket item you feel you’d like to have, maybe even needed, but have no idea where to start to make it happen?

Some people seem to be born with focus. They know what they want and go after it, usually with success. Those on the opposite side of the continuum seem to float their way through life aiming at little and becoming confused by the less than desirable results. Although you can pay a lot of money to find and read a host of books, get training or attend seminars on setting and achieving your goals, you might also like a more simplistic approach.

Instead of trying to remember what each letter of a SMART goal stands for, you can follow journalism’s 5 Ws and an H – What, Why, Where, Who, When and How. With these questions you can define

  • what you want
  • why you should have it and what challenges will need to be addressed along the way
  • who needs to be involved
  • where to find resources
  • when it should take place
  • how to make it happen

You can adapt the questions to your specific purpose.

Without any help from adults or older siblings, my 8-year old grandson came up with his business plan to obtain a trampoline and prepared it in the form of a proposal to his parents. You might like his method. The last I heard, he’s still working on the second phase. I think you’ll chuckle at his wisdom.

ETHAN’S TRAMPOLINE

Why we need a trampoline is because:  It will help with heaLth. How it will help is it will give us leg muscles and we will play outside.

Where will we get the money? How we will get the money is it will be a birthday present from Dallas, and Michael, Sabrina, and Grandma, and Grandpa, and you guys (his parents).

Where will we put it? The options of where we could put it if we got it is:  In the back yard or on one of the sides of our house.

Safety: Make sure it has a net and has unlimited weight.

Other: We can move the basketball hoop towards the trampoline. We can save money because we won’t have to go to the workout gym.