JOURNALING

Journal Prompts for After a Concert

Do you need journal prompts after attending a concert? Here are a few prompts to get you started.

Journal Prompts for After a Concert

  1. What concert did you attend?
  2. What is it about this artist that induces you to spend time at one of their concerts?
  3. Recall the first time you ever heard a composition or song from this artist.
  4. Who attended the concert with you?
  5. Why did you attend this particular venue (as opposed to buying tickets for this artist at a different venue)?
  6. Affix the concert ticket (or a copy of it) to the journal page and write about the process of buying it.
  7. Affix any other ephemera (or a picture of it) to the journal page. E.g. A concert program, a piece of confetti shot out of a cannon. Write about its purpose at the concert. What excites or interests you about it?
  8. What did you wear? Why?
  9. Describe the process of traveling to the venue. Was it fun? Why? Why not?
  10. What are your two favorite compositions or songs from this artist? Why?
  11. How many more of this artist’s concerts would you like to attend?
  12. Has this artist inspired you in some way? Describe how.
  13. What do you think this artist’s career will be like in ten years?
  14. Where did you go after the concert? Who was there with you?
  15. Will you ever be able to return to life as usual? (Sure you will. Just give yourself a couple of weeks. :))

 

All the best,

Deborah

Writing

Faulkner’s Advice to Writers

Stumbled across this press conference featuring William Faulkner from May 20, 1957. You may listen to it or read the transcript at The University of Virginia.

Questions put to the author of As I Lay Dying include inquiries about advice to young writers. Though the question is about young writers,  Faulkner’s answer is to any writer, regardless of age.

Enjoy!

Unidentified participant: Mr. Faulkner, you may have touched on this previously, but could you give some advice to young writers? What advice would you give to young writers?

William Faulkner: At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that—that the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, train himself, in infinite patience, which is to—to try and to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance. That is, to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is, to be—to curiosity—to—to wonder, to mull, and to—to—to muse why it is that man does what he does. And if you have that, then I don’t think the talent makes much difference, whether you’ve got that or not.

Unidentified participant: How would you suggest that he get this insight? Through experience?

William Faulkner: Yes, and then the greatest part of experience is in the books, to read. To read and to read and to read and to read. To watch people, to have—to never judge people. To watch people, what they do, with—with—without intolerance. Simply to—to learn why it is they did what they did.

Faulkner’s advice to writers, summed up:

  1. Understand that talent matters little, it’s the practice that is important.
  2. Train yourself, practice writing.
  3. Practice infinite patience.
  4. Ruthlessly edit.
  5. The most important thing is developing insight and curiosity.
  6. Develop insight and curiosity through reading and observing people.

It’s great to know. What do you think?

Peace,

Deborah

Motivation · PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT · Productivity

Not a Morning Person? This might help.

When you are told during childhood that you are a night owl, not a morning person – that you are more energized at night then during the day- for the longest time you stick to that identity like a gnat on an overripe peach. It also means that you have difficulty waking up for school without being grumpy.

Doomed. I thought I was doomed to dislike mornings forever. Then, as a teen, I stumbled upon a solution. I set the alarm to sound -not the default buzz- but one of my favorite albums- The Best of Tchaikovsky. When you hear the cannons of the “1812 Overture,” you do not remain asleep. It was fun.

Later in life,  I found the same problem occurred, only this time I did not want to go to work. I would go anyway, of course, and do an excellent job. However,  I realized the issue all this time had not been mornings, but with forcing myself to live a life that I did not want. With this newer situation, as in my teens, mornings became easier when I would do this one thing – front load my favorite things to do.

I know we are supposed to reward ourselves only after a job well done, if at all. I know we are supposed to reserve dessert for last. (That’s what we are told.)

Well, to get myself up and excited to be alive, I would eat mental dessert first. I would wake up and conduct my morning rituals, work on only the things that were important to me. This might mean getting up super early, but when you are getting up to work on your own projects, life is great; it’s not such a problem.

You are awakening to do things that you like. Then, through the course of a day,  you make your way to the job. Then, you go home and, again participate in what you like. The job you may or may not like is sandwiched between a life that fits you.

Then, you gradually make plans to reduce that middle part – the part that doesn’t fit your life.

Today, the title of night owl does not seem to fit any more, nor do I wish to replace it with another label. It is more accurate to say this: I do as I please when awake.  I am far less interested in the circadian rhythm label.

How about you? How have you weathered the mornings if you do not like them?

Peace Be With you,

Deborah

 

JOURNALING · Writing

Journal Prompts for Aunts and Uncles

You are an aunt or uncle and you have read the tips for being the best aunt or uncle ever. Tip number six is to savor the moments. One way to savor the moments is through journal writing.

The following writing prompts are not only to help you capture the moments, but also to help you think through the relationship that you would like to have with your nieces or nephews, whether they are minors or adults.

Let’s get started.

Journal Prompts for Aunts or Uncles

  1. How many nieces and/or nephews do you have?
  2. How would you like them to remember you?
  3. What traditions would you like to begin or maintain in the lives of your nieces /nephews?
  4. What does being the best Aunt or Uncle mean to you? What does it look like?
  5. How can you set aside time to know your nieces /nephews and their goals in life?
  6. How can you help them achieve their goals?
  7. What is your relationship like with their parents (or the people who are raising them)?
  8. How can you improve or maintain your relationship with the parental figures so that you may continue to have access to the little ones?
  9. If your nieces /nephews are adults, what do they need from you now that you did not or could not provide in their childhood (For instance, a routine or act might not have been appropriate for the age or mental development of the child)? How can you incorporate whatever the newer elements are into your relationship?
  10. If your nieces /nephews are adults, what should you now omit from your relationship that was appropriate when they were children, but does not help them to progress today?
  11. If your nieces /nephews are adults, what traditions will you continue from their childhood?
  12. “I feel loved when my Aunt/ Uncle does______.” How would your nieces /nephews complete that sentence?
  13. What are your Aunts /Uncles like?
  14. What have your Aunts /Uncles taught you that you will add to the relationship you have with your nieces /nephews?
  15. How can you encourage your nieces/nephews to write in journals?
  16. Create journals about your nieces/nephews which
    • Record thoughts you want them to remember
    • Capture words or concepts that they have uttered to you
    • Include pictures of them, pictures of them with you
    • Include notes from them
    • Tell them about your childhood relationship with your sibling(s)
    • You present as a gift to them at some point (You can leave the journals to them in your will, even.)

Peace be with you,

Deborah

BLOGGING · Confessions · Unchain Your Brain · Vlogging

How does technology change our relationship to each other?

I’m just thinking about how communication technology changes behavior and how we relate to each other.

We have talked about why vlogging is popular; we have discussed why your blog is necessary. They both boil down to communication – you are connecting with other human beings, mostly people that you do not personally know or perhaps have never met face-to-face.

Yet you feel as if you can know, like and trust this virtual stranger.

How will we relate to each other in the future as vlogging, blogging, paying bills online, seeing recent pictures of your grandchildren on Facebook,  (and some say Virtual Reality) become more standard?

I recall many road trips as a child wherein some hotels would advertise “wireless internet” to the thousands of passing cars along the highway. This was a draw for potential guests since not every hotel had it then (some still don’t). However, now the internet is a utility, the internet is just as much expected to be at a hotel as is running water or a bed.

What will these cultural shifts do to us or for us?

The format of communication seems to change the way we view the other person. Let me explain what I mean.

When movies were king, seeing Clark Gable on a 30 foot screen was just the most fascinating thing ever. According to film star Robert Wagner in his autobio, Pieces of My Heart, you never expected to see these luminaries of the silver screen in real life.

Fast forward and television is taking attention away from film. People do not have to put on their shoes and go out the door to see famous people; everything is right there on a box in the living room. Wagner says that, because of this format, TV stars were considered more homey and relate-able, people who seem as if they could be your neighbors. (Mr.  Rogers, anyone?)

I wonder, then, what mobile devices have done to our view of other people. If you can have your entertainment or communication in the palm of your hand, do you feel as if you own the show?

Because the communication is now a two-way street, lots of feedback coming from readers or viewers of the content, do they feel as if they know the person? Do they feel better reflected or represented?

It might be too early to tell.

I’m just thinking through some stuff. You can’t have this seismic shift in communication – this heavy internet use- and not change culture, and not effect our relationship to each other.

What do you think?

 

Sincerely,

Deborah

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

How to Spot Opportunities

At Psychology Today, Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. teaches us How to Get Better at Spotting Opportunities.

To spot opportunities, you must be promotion-focused. Says Dr. Halvorson,

“You are promotion-focused when you think about what you might gain if you are successful — how you might end up better off.”

Those who search for the benefits of a situation are more likely to understand the opportunities or advantages in front of them.

Alternatively, says Dr. Halvorson,

“if you approach your venture focused on not losing everything you’ve worked so hard for, on avoiding danger and keeping things running smoothly, you have a prevention focus. Prevention focus is good for many things—careful planning, accuracy, reliability, and thoroughness, just to name a few. But it doesn’t lead to creativity, open-mindedness, and the confidence to take chances the way promotion focus does.”

How does one develop this habit of being promotion-focused?

  • List the benefits of a situation, goal or task.
  • Picture your ideal self.
  • Reflect on past successes.

See more information from Dr. Halvorson by clicking here.

All the Best,

Deborah

JOURNALING · REVIEWS · Writing

The Q & A a Day 5-Year Journal and The One Line a Day 5-Year Journal [A Double Review]

Yours truly started writing in both the Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal and the One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book back in October of 2015. I committed to writing in them for just over a year before putting them to rest. They did not work for the way I journal, but they might work for you.

Both of the 5-Year Journals use the same principle – they are each a “condensed, comparative record for five years, for recording events most worthy of remembrance,” according to One Line a Day.

Each page has Month and Day printed on it; it also has five sections on it. Each section is comprised of a space for a year date and a handful of blank lines.

Additionally, Q& A a Day gives you 365 one sentence questions to answer, such as ” If you were a literary character, who would you be?”

One Line a Day comes with a ribbon page marker. Q& A does not.

Both The One Line a Day Journal and Q&A Journal might be for you…

  • … if you prefer a small, hand-sized journal that can fit in your purse (But not your clutch. I have tried it.)
  • …if you have little time but want to jot something down in a journal
  • …if you do not need much space for writing all your thoughts
  • …if a larger blank page is intimidating
  • …if you would like to have notes from 5 years of your life on one page (That’s the most awesome feature.)

Additionally, the Q&A a Day Journal might work for you…

  • …if you need a random prompt every day
  • …if you are just getting started and you don’t know what to write about yet

Additionally, The One Line a Day 5-Year Journal might work for you…

  • …if you want to note a few ideas for a specific topic (e.g. This journal might be great for guests to leave a note about their stay in your rental space; it might also be a great health progress journal – just enough space for a few stats; it might be your gratitude journal.)
  • …if you want to give it as a present to a child. (The other journal, the Q& A Journal, assumes that teens or adults are using the journal. The questions reflect this audience.)
  • …if you prefer a ribbon bookmark already in the book.

Neither journal might be for you…

  • …if you prefer leather journals. They are made of some kind of heavy cardboard.  (You can have them rebound in leather.)
  • …if you feel like you’re about to explode from all the things you didn’t write because there is not enough space to contain your genius!
  • …if you prefer wide journals.
  • …if you prefer to journal with a fountain pen. (My fountain pen bleeds through both.)

I love the idea of seeing 5 consecutive years of the same day on 1 page. Seeing your progress (or lack of it) is fascinating. The concept is great. I just need more space to write; I like to write anywhere from  2 pages (average) to about 10 pages a day.

Because I was also writing extensively in my main journal, the 5-year journals became a brief summary of something I had already written. The redundancy really burdened me. I began skipping days in the 5-year journals, then writing in them retroactively. It was a mess.

If a 5-Year Journal was my only journal, of the two, I would go for the One Line A Day version. There are no prompts to ignore, so it’s a miniature version of my main journal.

I also feel a little sick to my stomach that I recorded pretty much the same activities on the same days of the year – I had not altered my life one bit. My lack of progress was staggering. And the year had gone by so fast! I might return to this journal one day, just for that kick in the pants.

Peace Be With You,

Deborah

P.S. You may purchase  the Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal or the One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book by clicking on the titles.

P.P.S. Have you used one of these journals? What did you think?

Introverts

Introvert at the Theater [Stage or Movie]

You might enjoy a play or a movie, but how do you navigate the special circumstances which come with being an introvert crowded next to strangers in one spot, in the dark, for a couple of hours?

The most challenging moments might come before and after, when the house lights are up and everyone is engaged in small talk or finding a seat. Hopefully, during the play or movie you are so enraptured in the acting that you relax a bit about your surroundings.

Here are a few ideas for enjoying the theater a little bit more as an introvert.

  1. Create a social buffer by bringing a couple of friends or relatives that you like. Sit between them. Depending on your personality, you might feel less drained around people that you already know than you do around strangers.
  2. If no one is going with you, choose an aisle seat. Yes, you will need to do the aisle seat polka- stand up and sit down to allow others to pass through to the middle seats. However, there is one less person on one side of you to chatter.
  3. Remember why you are attending and choose only the plays or movies that you think you will especially enjoy. A grumpy theater patron was seated next to me once. No one, introverted or otherwise, would have found him pleasant, but I  felt particularly unnerved. I contemplated leaving. Was it worth the time to sit through this play and his rudeness? Since I had wanted to see this play for years and had traveled far to see it, I decided that it was worth it. Had it been a movie theater, or other place without assigned seating,  I would have found another seat or left. It was the value of the play that kept me there.
  4. Patronize specialty theaters that tend to be smaller and have fewer distractions. I visited the Alamo Cinema in Texas.  They are a movie theater which has assigned seating and offers dinner. They have a policy which excludes children, except on one day of the week. I love the little ones; they do not bother me. However, for some people, including introverts and highly-sensitive people, a young child doing what children do during a movie is discomforting.
  5. Wait for the DVD or digital download. Nothing replaces live theater or a 30 foot screen. However, sometimes you just cannot be bothered with seeing a new release at the cinema or going to the theater. Wait until the film becomes available for home entertainment. Even some theater productions (dramas, operas, etc.) get a second life on film. Visit Digital Theatre for British theater on film. A few years ago, a company called Broadway Near You  brought Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones to the cinema in their performance of Driving Miss Daisy at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne. This production was filmed and is now on DVD; this seems to be the wave of the future. [Side note:  Stage performances will have a great boost in sales when virtual reality becomes commonplace. Immersive tech will help people to feel as if they are there without needing to physically travel to a specific theater. ]
  6. Appreciate the fact that -whether you are at the cinema or at a stage play- the house lights will turn down soon and shroud the crowd in darkness, giving your senses a break from ingesting input about those surrounding you.

What are your theater tips for introverts?

Sincerely,

Deborah

JOURNALING · Writing

Journal Prompts – a Journal That You Will Leave to Your Children (Heirloom Journals)

Not all journals are for yourself exclusively. Some would rather leave their writings to their children as heirlooms. Here are  a few writing prompts to get you started.

Journal Prompts for a Journal That You Will Leave to Your Children (Heirloom Journals)

  1. Tell your children how much you love them.
  2. List and explain life concepts that you find imperative to know.
  3. What is your name? What is the name of the other parent?
  4. How did you meet the other parent? Describe this relationship.
  5. What are your children’s names? Why did you name them this?
  6. Describe something that is unique about each of your children.
  7. Describe a special moment that you have enjoyed with each of your children.
  8. When were you born?
  9. When were your children born?
  10. Where were you born?
  11. Where were your children born?
  12. Where did you live during childhood? Did you enjoy it? Why? Why not?
  13. Where did you raise/are you raising your children? (Author’s note: The early years are especially crucial to record, since the children might not recall the details.)
  14. Who raised you? What is your relationship like with your parents or parental figures?
  15. Describe your childhood.
  16. Describe what you hope your children will take from their childhood.
  17. Do you have siblings? List your siblings. Explain what your relationship was like with them in childhood and what the relationship is like now.
  18. Describe what you’ve learned from your relationship with your siblings.
  19. Did you have pets as a child? How was that experience for you?
  20. What were your favorite toys?
  21. What from your childhood have you incorporated into your parenting?
  22. What from your childhood have you not permitted in your parenting?
  23. What traditions would you prefer that you children maintain?
  24. How would you prefer that your children remember you?
  25. Share quotes from your favorite people – e.g. relatives, authors, speakers, neighbors, etc.
  26. List and explain books, songs, or other media that you want your children to remember.
  27. What are your food preferences?
  28. What are your dietary restrictions?
  29. Are any of your food choices related to significant family traditions? Explain them.
  30. Quote your children, anything that stands out to you. (Author’s note: It has been my experience that older children ask, “What was I like at the age of X? “ “Did I have a catchphrase back then?”)
  31. Affix notes from your children into the journal and explain the circumstances under which you gained possession of them.
  32. Who is someone important to you that your children never met? (e.g. Their deceased great grandfather) Describe that person.
  33. Explain why journaling is important and why you have given this journal to your children.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

What is your scent?

A couple of years ago, I attended a weekend women’s conference. I was there to enjoy the company of friends, not really expecting much more than a restful mini vacation.

While there, a speaker -whose name I wish I could remember- asked a question that has stayed with me for a while.

What is your scent?

When you enter or leave a room, is the place better for your contribution or worse? Are you a rose or a skunk?

This comparison drew a few chuckles. However, in this simple question is something profound – the idea that your presence can change the atmosphere of the room.

Of course, we cannot control the minds of people who would like to find fault with us. However, we can be aware of what we are doing, and try to create a sweet-smelling savor in a place, like a rose, or perhaps like a honeysuckle, which is far more pleasant to the senses.

That interaction you and I have with a random stranger at the supermarket, for instance, is not as insignificant as we think. It’s part of a larger fabric of human encounters that creates a culture.

It can be a culture of kindness, a culture of indifference, a culture of unpleasantness and resentment; the choices are endless. It all starts with individual moments that you and I have with each other.

You are important. What you do is important, partly because it creates a precedent for the next person and the next generation.

What is your scent?  How will you and I create a honeysuckle moment today?

 

Peace be with you,

Deborah

JOURNALING · Writing

Date Headers for Your Journals

When organizing a handwritten journal or day’s log, many people enjoy writing the day’s date at the top. To help your eyes see the start of your day’s entry with the greatest of ease, many journal writers embellish the date or create a unique header.

If you search online for “date headers,” you’ll find many ideas in the Bullet Journal community.

Here’s an article from Hannah Emily Lane on “Headers and Inspiration.”

Here’s another from Tiny Ray of Sunshine – “Add Stylistic Headers.”

I have created a few headers below that you can try.  You artsy folk can do it even better.

it's deborah - date header examples - with site logo
Here I’ve dashed off a few headers that, hopefully, with spark something in your own imagination.

 

 

Let me drop a word here. Please remember why you are journaling. Do not spend all your time trying to choose the “right” color or the “perfect” header or you’ll not actually write anything. Make progress, not perfection.  Yes, I mean you, Kimberly. Onward.

Peace be with you,

Deborah

Introverts · Overcoming Obstacles · PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

An Introvert with Roommates (6 Tips)

Yours truly has had roommates, dorm mates, apartment mates, house mates, duplex mates… you name it. It was torture. Hello, I am an introvert.

I’m not blaming my roommates; they were all fine. It’s me. It’s the way I am built – I need more solitude than most people.

I cannot tell you how best to live as an introvert with people in your home, because, frankly, I was terrible at it. But I did learn a few things that made me less miserable in a crowd.

Tip#1 Find the benefits

Write it down, embroider it on a pillow, slap it on your face if that’s what it takes to remember benefits of having people in your house.

You can endure almost anything well if you think it’s for your good. This doesn’t mean you should remain there with those people; it just a tactic to endure with less stress.

Tip#2 Carve out a space for yourself

You can have a special place in your home. (Your room, perhaps. Or an extra long time in the bathroom). A place that’s just your own – your own mini home within a home. This is where you are free to do as you please. Savor that.

Now, let’s say there is no place like this in your home. Can you find such a place outside of your home, like a park, or a stand of trees, or a coffee shop, or a corn field? Can you stay there for as long as you need to, then  eventually go to your room to sleep?

Sometimes writing in a journal -even in a crowd- can be that mental home within a home, a space that is just your own (like a turtle toting its shell).

Tip#3 Stretch your socializing muscles and get out there with your roommates more

Come out to the common area and say  “Hi” to your roommates for a few minutes. Catch up on the day. (I know you don’t like chit chat, but non-introverts often do. It suggests you care.) Then dip back out into your introvert space. If you are having fun, stay longer.

You’re establishing good will and stretching yourself a bit. This is also practice for when you have your own space and there is no longer the roommate to be a social buffer, to answer the door for repair personnel and what not.

Tip#4 Anticipate -in writing- the day that you will have your own space.

I laid out plans that I called THE GREAT ESCAPE. It has three phases – “Out of,” “Through” and “Into.” It’s not enough to want to escape FROM. You can escape and go anywhere, perhaps even to a worse situation. You must also plan and anticipate running TO something that you want. In that way your planning isn’t all negative.

I slowly chipped away at the items listed under each phase. It felt good to accomplish a little bit of independence. This small progress helped to sustain me. When a chance to grab a space to myself cropped up, I leaped at it since I already knew that is was close to what I wanted. Which brings me to the next point.

Tip#5 Sometimes the escape route isn’t the most ideal, but can be a stepping stone

Knowing what you want is great. But don’t dismiss what could be the stepping stone to your next phase just because it’s not THE dream space.

This is why it is crucial to understand your escape plan in detail so you’ll know a portion of it when you see it.

Tip#6 Prepare for fear when you do finally have your own space

Sometimes when you get what you want you start to become  a little afraid. You are, after all, changing your identity from one with roommates to one without. Everything is on you.

We’ve already discussed how to Prepare for Fear, on this website. Basically, you remind yourself that this fear means you are getting closer to your dream. Also, use this fear to remind yourself of other success in your life. You succeeded then, you can handle this new season of  life as well.

Once you have your own space to yourself, it is wonderful. You can still socialize with people during the work hours and social hours, but once you come home… Ah! Sanctuary!

Sincerely,

Deborah, Introvert

P.S. I have just found this article. Check out the Introvert’s Guide to Dealing with Roommates over at Dear, Introvert for more ideas.

P.P.S. You might also try The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World”  by Marti Laney, Psy.D. There isn’t a section specifically for roommates, but try Part 2, Section 6 which is about Socializing and think in terms of housemates. That might help.

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JOURNALING · Writing

Journal Prompts for After Watching a Movie

Journal Prompts for After Watching a Movie

  1. What movie did you screen?
  2. Summarize the plot.
  3. What would you change about the plot?
  4. Why did you watch that movie?
  5. Where were you?
  6. Who was with you?
  7. Were there snacks involved? Which?
  8. Do you have a favorite actor in this film? Who?
  9. What would you change about the casting?
  10. If this is an old film, how would you re-cast it with actors working today?
  11. If this is a new film, how would you re-cast it with actors from the past?
  12. If it is a film from the early 20th century, compare it with the radio version of the film.
  13. Is this film up to the usual standards of this actor/ director/ writer/ studio/franchise? Why?
  14. How was the soundtrack? How was the score?
  15. Did you like the film? Why? Why not?
  16. Does this movie remind you of a different one?
  17. Is this a reboot, remake, sequel, pre-quel? How does it compare to the original?
  18. If this film is part of a series, rank each one.
  19. If this film is part of a series, what do you think is misunderstood about the series or its fans? What do you think is great about the series or its fans? What do you think could be better about this series?
  20. If you watched it in the theater, do you plan to purchase a copy later? Why? Why not?
  21. Discuss the poster art/ cover art for this film.
  22. Discuss the advertising for this film. Did it intrigue you?
  23. Is there memorabilia accompanying this film? Do you plan to purchase any? Why?

 

All the best,

Deborah

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Dale Carnegie on Why you Should Be Yourself

In Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, one of the seven ways to peace and happiness is to be yourself.

Several times Carnegie tried to imitate others and failed.

“…I set out to write what I hoped would be the best book on public speaking for businessmen that had ever been written…. I was going to borrow the ideas of a lot of other writers and put them all in one book – a book that would have everything. So I got scores of books on public speaking and spent a year incorporating their ideas into my manuscript. But it finally dawned on me once again that I was playing the fool. This hodgepodge of other men ‘s ideas that I had written was so synthetic, so dull, that no businessman would ever plod through it. So I tossed a year’s work into the wastebasket, and started all over again. This time I said to myself: ‘You’ve got to be Dale Carnegie, with all his faults and limitations. You can’t possibly be anybody else.’ So I quit trying to be a combination of other men, and… wrote a textbook on public speaking out of my own experiences….”

That book became a best seller.

When he tosses a year’s work into the wastebasket… that must have hurt.

Starting over is one of the toughest decisions to make, especially if it is not the first time reinventing yourself, or your business, or your project. You’ve put in a lot of time and effort, and other resources into something.

Sometimes you must count those mistakes as sunk costs so that you can move towards what you should be doing.

Let’s be clear: those previous experiences are not a complete waste (or at least, they don’t have to be). It has usually been my experience that there are some elements of  your past mistakes which prove to be transferable, that prove to be useful today or in the future.

One of the things which has prevented me from being myself career-wise, is that my true self did not seem welcome anywhere. So you mimic the “successful” people and squeeze yourself into in pre-established molds. I was only fooling myself. (I’ll tell you my life story at another time.)

Whatever your goals, whatever my goals, let’s you and I take a page from Carnegie and be ourselves. We have to start there.

 

Peace be with you,

Deborah

Business Mentors · Family

A Custom-Tailored Life Restructures the Family Tree?

One December, I spent Christmas with family. I thought nothing of business and I stopping journal writing long enough to be in the moment, for once. I’m glad that I was, because I was attuned to an undergrad relative who clearly wanted to ask career questions.

I asked him, “Tossing aside the idea of what you are ‘supposed’ to do, what would you like your life to look like?” His answer had nothing to do with the major he was pursuing and had nothing to do with what would impress the folks. He smiled as if he had said something naughty.

His ideas were like a little seed; I gave him some tips on what to do to grow that seed once he returns to school after the holidays. His ideas were nebulous; I gave him ideas to clarify and structure his goals so that he can pursue his interests while also making money. He took notes.

Suddenly, I felt as if I were restructuring my family tree and, frankly, to give my ideas such importance is frightening. (You and I have discussed fear in goal setting before and how to deal with it. See “Prepare for Fear.”)

This conversation was a jolt for me. I realized that to succeed in creating a custom-tailored life is not just for me, it is also for others in my social sphere to understand their possibilities.

What a weighty responsibility.

Sincerely,

Deborah

JOURNALING

Journal Prompts for After a Play or Musical

Have you attended a play or stage musical recently? Here are a few journal prompts to get you started writing about your experience.

Journal Prompts for After a Play or Musical

  1. Which Play/Musical did you attend?
  2. Where was the venue?
  3. What is interesting about the venue?
  4. Why did you attend this play?
  5. Who attended with you?
  6. When did you first hear of this production?
  7. Do you know people in the play (or behind the scenes) by name? List them and discuss why they interest you.
  8. Describe the plot.
  9. Does the plot (or do the characters) remind you of a different play?
  10. Does the plot (or do the characters) remind you of a different form of art or different discipline in life? E.g. The two lead characters in The Taming of the Shrew remind me of two boxers going in for the kill.
  11. Which actor caught your attention the most? Why?
  12. Which character surprised you the most?
  13. Which character is your favorite? Why?
  14. How were you dressed?
  15. Attach a photo of the evening (such as a selfie taken in the lobby or a picture of the program) and discuss it.
  16. Where did you go after the play? Why?
  17. What play/musical do you plan to attend next? Why?

All the best,

Deborah

Introverts

Introvert at a Multi-Day Conference (15 Tips)

Conferences can be informative and enriching for you personally and professionally. However, they can be a bit draining for an introvert – one who, among other things, tends to find energy in solitude.

Here’s how yours truly – an introvert- has navigated some of the multi-day conferences.

  1. Go to the conference with a list of goals. You might wish to list something for every day of the event. e.g. Day 1- Exchange contact information with one person who meets X quality. Day 2- Eat alone, etc.
  2. Anyone -extrovert or introvert-  will be exhausted with 4 days of sitting down for lectures at 10 or 12 hours each day. That’s a lot of sitting. Be sure to exercise before going down to the lecture hall.
  3. If the conference is big enough to have concurrent lectures, it’s easier to skip out without being noticed. Do it, if you need to do so. You are not being rude; you are taking care of your health.
  4. If you go to a big business conference, be prepared to sign a waiver wherein you give permission to be photographed. Your image might appear in their promotional materials. This is becoming increasingly standard. Just a heads up.
  5. Bring raisins to boost your energy for the marathon conferences. Raisins are small and portable and there is no noise to disturb anyone.
  6. If possible, stay at the hotel where the conference is taking place – there is less hassle to go back to your room and order room service.
  7. It is ok to skip a lecture (unless your employer sent you there to take notes, in which case, tough it out, then reward yourself later. Also consider a new job.).
  8. If this is a trip you are taking with other people, consider going to different lectures and connect with them later with your notes. This gives you time to leave and return to a lecture without needing to explain anything.
  9. One time, at a small conference, the host made it clear NOT to go back to your hotel room and order room service during lunch. Instead, she wanted everyone to go to lunch with a different person on each day of the conference. I did it, thinking I would miss out on something. That was a mistake. The people with whom I ate lunch were nice, but I never saw or heard from them again. Meanwhile, I was drained from being around a lot of people all day without a break. Don’t allow the fear of missing out to rule the day. You know your body better than anyone else. Listen to it.
  10. For bigger conferences with cameras everywhere, the spotlights are mostly focused on the stage, except during Q & A when they are turned on the audience. One time I had had enough of the spotlight in my eyes, stood up and went to the back wall. Just FYI.
  11. That hot item that you MUST HAVE to buy in the concession hall/ book emporium is on the lecturer’s website or on Amazon. You don’t need to bum rush the concession hall if you’re tired, no matter what they tell you.
  12. The concession room/ book emporium/exhibit hall -which you visit during a break in the lectures- will place any food at the back wall. Just to buy a sandwich, you will need to run a gauntlet of booths filled with people who are trying to sell you their latest book or program. Decide whether you have the energy needed to do this. Remember why you are in there. Finding the booth number of your favorite businesses or groups ahead of time helps you to make a beeline for them; then you can run right out again, if needed.
  13. At the end of each day (perhaps even after each lecture, if there is enough time), return to your notes to cement the ideas you want in your brain. This is also a way to decompress on your own.
  14. Before going to the conference, check to see which lecturers have a website and which ones do not (most people do have one now-a-days). If two concurrent sessions seem interesting, go for the one who has no website, and catch up with the other one online later. (That’s how I found a mentor, by the way. The lecturer with no website had nothing to say; the lecturer that I missed, and whose content I checked out later, became my mentor.)
  15. Make sure you have an online presence, as well. Business cards are going the way of the dinosaur. People check out your stuff in an instant  – your website, your Twitter account, etc. People will want to catch up with you later. It’s a great way not to have to talk too much if they know they can dive into your content later.

These are a few of the ways that I have navigated multi-day conferences as an introvert.

What are your tips?

 

All the best,

Deborah

 

P.S. Find more about introversion by clicking the Introverts category or tag.

Motivation · Writing

What Kind of Writer are You? (and other questions from SARK)

Author Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (AKA SARK) is someone whose books about writing and personal development are new to me. I’m currently reading her book, Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper: Gifting the World with Your Words and Stories, and Creating the Time and Energy to Actually Do It.

The book is meant to be inspiration for the writer. In it there are interviews of writers with a series of questions. I will answer these questions so that you’ll get a better sense of who runs this website. Also, let me know how you would answer these questions.

What kind of writer are you? What do you love writing?

Non-fiction is the genre. Personal development, online changes, introversion, Scannerism, journaling are all the topic of choice for internet writing.

Journaling is where the seeds for this website’s articles are planted.

I delve into poetry occasionally, but not on this website.

Before writing or creating, what are some of your favorite rituals?

This writer is the type who will use a pre-writing ritual as a means to procrastinate and not actually write anything; it’s best that I not have any more decision points before writing. I just dive right in.

When an idea occurs, I jot it down immediately and, if I have time, expand on it; that’s usually in my journal. Later, I mine the idea to discover how it could be useful for the reader.

I love writing because:

I write in different ways.

Writing for myself – which is how I use journaling – has become something more than just what I love, it has become more of a necessity every year. Journal writing is a means to express all your thoughts, if you wish (“express” in the essential meaning of that term- to press out). It is rare these days not to jot down something in the journal on a daily basis, in the same way that it would be rare not to sweat in the summer heat. It must come out.

Writing for community is how I started writing online. I started a random blog in 2006, which I niched down into a classic movie blog and joined a classic movie association. I love connecting with like-minded individuals.

I also like to inspire people where I can, and remind them how their voice is necessary.

Writing for business purposes is a different beast. Or is it?

Worrying about SEO, making attractive images, wondering whether you should also start a concurrent Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest/Snapchat/Facebook account, whether you should blog on Medium.com or keep that info for your own blog -and that’s just putting out content so that people know that you exist- can be a pain. You haven’t even begun to talk about the goods or services that you offer.

As a certain businessman (whose name rhymes with Vary Gaynerchuk) has said,  these days your business should be a media company that is an expert in X. Meaning, if you sell garlic sausages, you should also be seen as the expert in adjacent things as well – how to cook the sausages, the best food pairings with sausage, etc.

It’s enough to tear out your hair!

Or at least I thought it was until recently when I realized that my original way to communicate online – writing for community- is my thing, is where I’m comfortable. Now I am learning to enjoy writing for business.

Do you ever dislike or feel frustrated by your writing? If so, what kinds of things help you?

Journal writing is only frustrating when I’m not in the position to do it – e.g. when someone is talking to you and you would rather write in your journal, but that’s rude. I patiently wait until I can make a respectful exit, then I go write something.

Writing for other people is frustrating when I don’t know if what I’m doing is useful, or whether it comes across as silly, frivolous or sales-y.

To get feedback, then, is crucial. Opening the comments section has helped. Having an account on Twitter -where people seem more likely to respond- has helped. Straight out asking in Facebook groups, “What is useful to you” also helps.

Do your night or day dreams contribute to your work? How?

Most of the time, I do not recall my nocturnal imaginings.

Day dreams are all about side projects. So, no, they do not seem to contribute to my work, except to indulge my Scanner nature.

Who is a writer?

Anyone who writes is a writer.

What words of support and encouragement can you share with other writers?

I love the word “share” these days, as that was the catalyst to revamp this website and business. If I’m sharing what I know rather than pontificating from on high, I am more likely to contribute. I feel better in that space- the space of sharing. (Your mileage may vary.)

/digression

Fellow writers,

It has usually been my experience that understanding why you write is bedrock for the best writing you will do. The “why” then guides you to timing, platform, content, whether or not to write for others or for yourself, etc.

Then you tweak and fiddle with all of these elements for years until you find something that works for you and your audience. If writing is not fun, then perhaps a different mode of communication is better for you – audio, video, or through one of the other senses. Try it.

What are your answers to SARK’s questions?

All the best,

Deborah

Overcoming Obstacles · Productivity

On Making Progress

The goal here is usually to write three times per week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday – for about a year, then scale back to once per week. I missed Wednesday due to pure fear. I have ideas, lists of things to talk about,  an editorial calendar, but nothing sparked my interest.

A problem with an editorial calendar is that when you make the calendar, you are interested in writing about that topic. When the day comes to write it, you are no longer interested. Does that ever happen to you?

Is the inner Scanner/Hummingbird/Multi-Potentialite sabotaging me again with her waning interest in a project? That’s a frightening thought.

Then worry sets in about reaching the goals, whether my system of organization is the right one, whether the articles are perfect enough. It’s a mess.

Nina Amir’s article on perfectionism spurred me on today. Mrs. Amir says to concentrate on making progress more than on making perfection. The author gives us a four-step program for that.  Head on over to her website to read the article titled “Make Progress, Not Perfection.”

Learning to wade through the mediocre or troubling parts of your project is always tough.  Sometimes you forget that your blog is necessary. To get through this, I find inspiration in the thoughts of other people who understand the struggle – whether a blog (like that of Mrs. Amir), or a book, or a close friend; they spur me on,  despite the problems.

Who or what spurs YOU on?

 

Sincerely,

Deborah

JOURNALING

Journaling Q & A Part 1

Today I answer 3 frequently asked questions about journaling.

Question 1

I’m worried about someone reading my journals after I die. My family will think I’m weird if they read what I write. What can I do?

Answer 1

You are not alone. Many people ask that same thing. Here are a few options you might try.

  1. Include your journals in your last will and testament as soon as possible. This week or today. Your executor will distribute or destroy your journals as you will. Tell your executor where you keep your original will and where you keep your journals.
  2. Put a disclaimer in or on all of your journals or on the container or shelf that houses your treasure. The disclaimer can say that these words are written by an imperfect person. Something like, “Read these journals at your own risk.”
  3. Put your journals in a time capsule that is not to be opened until 50 years after your death. In that way, most of the people that you’re worried will read your journals might not be around to read them.
  4. You may cut out the parts that you think are the most weird or incendiary. Of course, you never know what anyone will find offensive.
  5. If you do not plan to re-read your journals, you might consider destroying them yourself now. Of course, that is a personal decision that I cannot make for you, but it’s certainly an option. Be aware that you might end up longing for the content that was lost.
  6. You can always donate your journals to The Great Dairy Project  – a diary preservation society. They understand discretion and wait until your diary is no longer contemporary in order to bring its value to the public.
  7. You can also find a way not to let it worry you. Visit a counselor or therapist who might be able to help you alleviate this anxiety.

 Question 2

Many people suggest using a leather journal. I’ve bought a leather journal, but l do not feel worthy to use it. Now I feel guilty for wasting money. Can you help me force myself to just start anyway?

Answer 2

A journal of any kind is a tool that you use to suit your purpose. It is there to serve you.

Clearly, the leather journal is not serving your purpose – that is, to help you write. It is now clutter in your house. Get rid of it, return it, resell it, give it away.

Then, use a journal with which you do feel comfortable. If you need to do so, use whatever you usually write on – graph paper, notebook paper,  printer paper, stationary- until you develop the habit of writing. I have seen journals on stenographer pads. These are all much less expensive than a leather journal. The point is to start writing. Your tools should not inhibit you.

Perhaps your first entry can be about why you feel unworthy of a more expensive writing supply.

Question 3

My father read my journal when I was 17. I felt betrayed. I have never written in one since. I am now 37 and I would like to reclaim the journal-writing habit. What would you suggest?

Answer 3

When you read a question like this your heart goes out to the person. This is, unfortunately, a common problem in many households. Your trust and privacy have been violated; you are associating that with journaling. It makes sense that you would hesitate starting the habit of writing again.

To develop a habit of writing, I would suggest the CUE, ROUTINE, REWARD method. You will spend less time hesitating and debating whether to write and you’ll spend more time actually writing.

Establish a CUE, a signal, such as an alarm on your phone,  that reminds you to write. Then engage in the ROUTINE, write in the journal. If you need to, just write the date and only one sentence, such as “It was been 20 years since I’ve written in a journal.” Close the journal, put it away.

Then REWARD yourself. It can be an intrinsic reward, such as savoring the accomplishment. It can be an extrinsic reward, such as finally getting around to reading some books on your shelf. Whatever you enjoy.

Eventually, merely engaging with the cue or signal induces you to crave the routine and the reward. Writing will become associated with pleasure. It will become a habit.

All the best,

Deborah

For more journal writing tips, click here.

BLOGGING · Vlogging

Why is Vlogging Popular?

Entrepreneur Roberto Blake asks his guest “Why is Vlogging So Popular?” in this video: “How to Become a YouTube Vlogger: featuring Sara Dietschy!” You may click the link for their answers to the question. Here is my answer.

Why is vlogging so popular?

First, let’s define what we mean by vlogging.

When I first heard the term in 2005 or 2006,  a vlog simply meant any kind of video on your weblog, as opposed to offering only text or a single image on your blog. The content of the video was irrelevant to the definition of vlogging.

Today, the term vlogging –at least, as it is used on Youtube, the second largest search engine in the world- means a specific kind of video wherein the person takes the camera (and thus the audience) throughout the day. If he goes to a coffee shop, he films it. If he goes to a wedding, he films it. Then he ends the video at the end of the day. There are variations, but ultimately, a vlog now means a video diary of your day, especially when outside of the house.

Now, why is vlogging popular?

Vlogging is popular for at least two reasons:

  1. Vlogging extends and strengthens the KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST factor.

When you know a person from the internet and she gives you a taste of her life beyond just the one room in which she usually films [It is typical of Youtubers to film in one room.], you feel as if you are getting a better sense of her.

The vlogger might show you the rest of the house, the surrounding region, the friends and family in her life. You accumulate more incidental details which constitute the person that you watch regularly. It’s like the details of a character in a novel – you know the person a little better and what’s important to her. You then trust her further.

  1. Vlogging is vicarious travel

When the vlogger films his region, or the cafes he likes to visit, he is creating a travelogue. What might be mundane for him is an informative adventure for others.

The Disney vlogger who has an exclusive pass to access a ride before it opens created a useful video. He filmed the ride in the front seat from a 1st person perspective. A mother thanked him in the comments section since the video helped her frightened child to study  the twists and turns of the ride like a luge driver before arriving at Disney. Having that access calmed him.

Here is an example from my own experience. One of the first videos of Casey Neistat that I watched was of his trip to Marfa, TX for a wedding. I did not know that Neistat is famous, but I did know Marfa – the basecamp for location shooting of the film Giant with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson.  Neistat stays in the Rock Hudson Suite, which I did not know existed before watching his vacation video. He has added to my classic film knowledge and inspired me to travel there.

Why do you think vlogging is popular today?

Sincerely,

Deborah

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

How to Be the Best Aunt or Uncle That You Can Be (In 6 Tips)

Are you a new aunt or uncle?  Congratulations! You are in for a real treat. This relationship can be a treasure for you and the little one.

Yours truly has been an aunt for over a decade now, which means I know a lot of things that do not work and a few things that do. Let me share a few of those things that might benefit your relationship with your niece or nephew.

1. Be Excited!

Being an uncle or aunt is exciting. You are almost like mom or dad (But with the advantage of returning the kids to their parents when you’re finished babysitting ). You are a different version of grandma or grandpa. You are that perfect blend of authority figure, modernity and screwy fun to them. Celebrate it!

2. Get Your Bluff in Early; a Tantrum is Not Cute and Leads to Future Problems

I’m not saying that if you bribe the kid with an extra ice cream cone to compel her to stop screaming that she’ll one day murder the gardener in the basement.  However, she will learn from that kind of training that she will receive whatever she wants if she just yells loud enough and embarrasses you. What a terror to unleash on the world.

Do not do anything the parents will have to undo. You are there to help raise a responsible adult; you’re not there show how awesome you are (even though you are pretty cool).

3. Teach Them What You Know

Family traditions, your occupation, your hobbies, virtues – whatever you do, let your nieces and nephews in on your life. Tell them stories of when their parents were young.

Tell them the concepts that you believe to be imperative to know. You are giving them another perspective on life. You are imbuing them with the knowledge that has taken you years to glean so that they will not need to reinvent the wheel.

Teach them what you know


4. Always Respect the Parents

Right now the whole family is elated that the little bundle has arrived.

However, there might come a time in the future when you might not agree with everything the parents are doing, you might not raise your own children in that way. However, unless you have legal custody, the nephew or niece is not yours.

Barring some kind of extreme circumstance, like criminal behavior in the home, what you can do instead of contradicting the parent is influence the authority figures by creating a good relationship, a respectful relationship. Bite your tongue if you have to do so. Eventually, you will be able to make gentle observations and occasional suggestions, when appropriate.

Remember that to have access to the child, you must establish trust with the parent.

Now, let’s say your brother (your niece’s dad) likes to complain about his wife. Do not join in. Skirt around the disrespect as much as you can; that’s not your place. As you establish trust, suggest ways that the couple might mend their differences.

When you disrespect a child’s parent, you are bashing his or her hero. Not only is that a character flaw in you, the child is less likely to respect and listen to you.

Remember that an aunt or uncle is there to supplement parenting, not overhaul it.

5. Be There to Listen and Humbly Share Advice with Nephew or Niece

Develop a relationship with the ankle biters when they are younger; it’s easier for them to trust you when they are older. That ease will lead them to talk to you and consider your opinion when mulling over a problem.

In other words, be accessible. Learn their goals and objectives. What is important to them? How can you help them achieve what they want in life? At times, all they need is a listening ear. Be there.

6. Savor the Moments

Be in the moment. Take photos. Write in your journal about what little Timmy/little Kwame/ little SeokJin did today. Record little catchphrases and habits that they use as young children and remind them of same when they are a little older. Everybody likes to hear about themselves. It also shows that you care enough to pay attention.

My uncle would say to me on occasion, “Enjoy this time now, kid. Pretty soon you’ll be an adult with bills.” Frankly, as great as childhood was, I wouldn’t turn back the clock for anything. Still, I know what he meant – savor your moments, they are fleeting. Perhaps he was savoring a moment with his niece when he said it.

Now go forth and prosper as the best aunt or uncle that you can be!

Sincerely,

Deborah

Goal Setting · Motivation · Overcoming Obstacles · PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Why You Procrastinate (& What to Do About It)

You have a goal to reach but you often procrastinate. Why?

Let’s look at the three aspects of achievement,  go through the process of elimination and determine where the problem of procrastination might exis so that you can get started again.

There are three aspects to reaching a goal:

1) Where you are

2) Where you want to be

3) The method to get there

Anything within these three spheres can be trip you up, prevent you from reaching the goal , encourage you to procrastinate.

Think of your goal as the far side of a lake. You are standing on this side of the lake. The lake itself is part of the journey to your goal.

Some people seem to jet ski right over to their destination quite easily. But you have barely dipped your toe into the lake, you have procrastinated.

So let’s look at where your biggest issue might be in the process of achievement.

WHERE YOU WANT TO BE/ YOUR GOAL/ THE FAR SIDE OF THE LAKE

One aspect of goal-setting and ridding yourself of procrastination is making sure that the goal is something you want. That might sound too simple, but -honestly- we’ve all been trained to believe that we should want this, we should pursue that. But do we really want those things?

Have you checked in with yourself to determine whether the goal is yours and not simply something others have told you that you should want? At times, we procrastinate because we do not want to achieve that goal and are in denial.

At other times, the problem is that what we wanted before isn’t exactly what we want now, but we haven’t noticed the change in desire.

Circumstances change. You change. The goal changes. Your attention, what’s valuable to you, changes. You should adjust as the variables shift.

Example – Let’s say you’re a bachelor who wants to climb the corporate ladder, so you work late on weekends and it’s no big deal. Suddenly you are engaged to be married.  Is working on Saturday still interesting to you or would you rather use that time to become better acquainted with your future spouse?

If circumstances have changed, account for what it means and how it affects your perspective of your goals.

Write down not only the goal but the purpose for it. Review the purpose regularly to determine whether it still fits.

WHERE YOU ARE/ THIS SIDE OF THE LAKE

You have determined that the goal you are pursuing is the right one for you. Great! Then, your procrastination might be induced by a second aspect of achievement – your current environment.

Your physical space and surrounding area might be uninspiring. (Alter it to be a place where you want to live. Or perhaps it’s time to move.)

How you arrange your physical space or items can help or hinder you in your goal,  they can induce procrastination.

Example – You have the goal of jogging more often. Arrange your life to make that more likely to happen. You might choose the CUE-ROUTINE-REWARD Method for this. You create a CUE  or signal which reminds you to work on your goal. That signal might be to see your jogging shoes next to the bed or next to the door. Then you engage in the desired ROUTINE – jogging. Then you REWARD yourself with something that you enjoy very much – perhaps finally finishing that novel you have not made time to read. Whatever works for you.  Eventually your mind and body anticipate the Reward just by interacting with the Cue. Voila! You have a habit and environment that helps you achieve your goal.

However, environment means not only the physical space.

That which you ingest mentally can be discouraging. ( Be careful of what music, movies, books and concepts you absorb. They could create self-defeating attitudes.)

That which you ingest physically can be energy-draining. (Eat the most health-giving food that you can afford.)

Those with whom you spend time can be knee-jerk negative people in general or those who find nothing beneficial in your goals. (Spend time with others who are more encouraging. You must counter-act the negativity with truth, of course, but also with the will and the team to help you see it through.)

Everything around you or in you is your environment.

You can use the CUE-ROUTINE-REWARD method on each aspect of your environment to help you create the habits you need to conquer procrastination.

THE METHOD TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL/ THE BOAT ON THE LAKE

You’ve decided that the goal you have set is the one you really want to reach. You have found ways to create an environment that will help launch you towards your goal.

But procrastination still has you by the throat.

Now let us consider the third aspect of achievement – the method to reach your goal. The method might trip you up.

Example – If you wish to rid your diet of all sugar, you might decide to toss out all sugar and anything else sweet from your house right now.  In two weeks, you’re still craving sweets and you sneak out to a store late at night to buy a forbidden Snickers bar.

The “no sweets” method doesn’t seem to work for you, at least not at this stage. But you don’t give up.

You try a different method.

You decide that you will keep something sweet in your life, as long as it’s not sugar or chemical sweetener substitutes.  You begin using exclusively Stevia Reboudiana – a naturally sweet plant with fewer calories than sugar. You hire a nutritionist to be your accountability partner.

You must continually tweak the variables that do not work for you with different methods.

Procrastination doesn’t necessarily mean you are a broken human; it simply means that the procrastinative behavior brings you something that you want. Do you want more time with your family, so you go home early, and that’s why you haven’t put in the time to turn in your TPS reports at work? Do you want not to smash your fingers again while hammering a nail and that’s why you’ve procrastinated on nailing those frames to the wall? Do you want to avoid a person at the party and that’s why you haven’t bothered to dress yet when it’s time to leave? Determine what procrastination gives to you and find another method to gain it.

——

Ridding yourself of procrastination and achieving your goal is like crossing a lake. How is the launching pad? Do you really want to get to the other side?  What about your method to travel across the lake? Would you rather take a jet ski?  A dingy? A paddle boat? Would you rather swim and test your mettle? Would you rather stay on this side of the lake –a familiar side- and make the best of it?

Understand that any one of these variables could be your stumbling block. Consider each of the three aspects of achievement, determine where the issues lie to get started again.

Above all, have patience with yourself and do not give up.

Sincerely,

Deborah

Further resources for stopping the habit of procrastination

JOURNALING · PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Journal Prompts for Writing about Childhood

Hi! It’s Deborah.

I’m part of a journal writing group on Facebook. One of the members mentioned that he has used old family photos as journal prompts. You start writing whatever the photo brings to mind and get a glimpse into your own mind, or record an old memory. What a great idea!  Especially if you add a copy of the photo on the journal page.

Do you need journal prompts for writing about your childhood? Here are few to get you started:

  1. What is your earliest memory? [The other year, I read What Your Childhood Memories Say about You . . . and What You Can Do about It” by Dr. Kevin Leman. In it, the author posits that since the brain always remembers what happens to you, the memory that you subconsciously select as your earliest one reveals your true perspective on life.]
  2. What is one thing that you enjoyed doing as a child?
  3. Did you have pets as a child? Which was your favorite? Why?
  4. Choose a piece of childhood memorabilia. What stories does it bring to mind? How did it come into your possession?
  5. Where did you attend school? Did you enjoy it? Why? Why not?
  6. What did imagine you would do as an adult? Did you do it? Why? Why not?
  7. What foods did you enjoy as a child? Which ones did you dislike? Do you still enjoy/dislike them? Why?
  8. Write about your parents. What are their names? What are their occupations? How would you describe your childhood relationship to them? How does that compare with your adult relationship with them?
  9. Were your parents great with handling money? Why? Why not? Did you learn anything from the way they handled finances in your childhood?
  10. List 2 people other than your parents who stand prominent in your childhood memory. Who were they? What relation were they to you? Did you enjoy that relationship? Why? Why not?
  11. What were the family traditions? Have you changed any of them in your adult life? Would you like to change the traditions? Why?
  12. If you’re the letter writing type, write a letter to someone from your childhood in your journal. (You do not need to send it. This is simply a device to help you explore your past.)
  13. How is your spouse’s childhood similar to yours? Or does it differ? How have you dealt with this?
  14. What childhood would you like to provide for your children (or future children)?

That might hold you for a fortnight (or longer if you’d rather not write in your journal every day).

Peace be with you,

Deborah

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

It’s Deborah. [Content Revamp]

04-29-2017

Let’s get real.

One of the biggest blocks I’ve had to business success is believing that I am not an expert in anything. We are all expert in something, even if it’s merely being two steps ahead of someone in the blogging world or knowing the best restaurants in town. Still, my offers seemed to ring hollow to me. Could I really help you brainstorm your career? Yes. But what would be the rate of success? I don’t know.

My website and business have endured many different iterations:

  • Pivot Point Consulting – Helping you brainstorm your non-traditional career
  • Inspiration Haven – A lifestyle blog with vacation pictures
  • The Observer – Curating online business tips and making business-related observations
  • The Custom-Tailored Life – Helping you design a life that fits

I have never felt that I am an expert in any of it. However, I am an expert in being me. Thus, instead of promising you that I can help you achieve your goals, this website will become more show-and-tell oriented. I will share the things that I’m learning so that we learn together, rather than my pontificating from on high.

Today, I become more vulnerable and revamp this site into a journey, a journey into personal development, thoughts on introversion, musings on the scanner/multi-potentialite nature, coming to terms with being a highly sensitive person, and journaling (lots of journaling). We also might take occasional stabs at teaching blogging; since I’ve blogged for 10 years, I  know a lot of things that do not work and a few things that do. I’ll share the few things that I know on the subject.

The name will be “It’s Deborah.” [5-20-17 Update: The name is “Deborah Observes.”] I hope you will join me.

Sincerely,

Deborah