Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just Do It!

One valuable lesson I have learned in my lifetime is that when given an opportunity or an open door to improve your life, take it! This counts for ideas, projects, goals, and dreams. If you have an impression act on it. If you have a thought, share it. If you have a dream, live it. If you have a goal, achieve it. Don't pass up opportunities as if they again will be soon knocking at your door. You could pass on a chance of a lifetime. You never know long or short your life will be. I have found that stepping on my fears to take a risk has done more good than bad. Overall when hesitation arises and fear stands in your way remember these three words..."Just do it!"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Balancing Life

There is so much in life that we try carry on our plates. Just like a salad bar with all "the works" we take what looks most appealing whether good or bad for us and pile it high on our plate. Eventually we realize our eyes were more hungry than our stomachs and we are left with food we are too full to consume.

I have found that narrowing your selection down and then taking small sample tastes of each item is important when trying to figure out which food item is actually worth going back for, then go back for a real serving size. In life it's fine to try new things here and there. Moderation is the key! If you take on too many things, you'll quickly find that there's simply not enough room for what's on your plate. Cut out the things in life that are not healthy for you or "important". Make sure you set your priorities straight. If what you value most in life is not lining up with how you spend your time then you'll feel overwhelmed, unhappy and unmotivated. Make time for family, friends and spirituality and you'll soon find that satisfaction comes from finding balance!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Perfect Person

There's no such thing as a perfect person। Sorry to disappoint anyone. This applies to the "Perfect Spouse", "Perfect Friend", "Perfect Role Model", "Perfect Parent" and all the other roles we place the Perfect label on. There is always room for self improvement! Those looking to improve themselves and their relationships on a daily basis will find more enrichment in life than those who assume there is no room for improvement. A parent, spouse, or friend who asks himself, "What am I struggling with today and how can I fix it?" is actually closer to perfection than the one who sees no areas of improvement at all. We will never reach perfection in this life but as long as we are aware of that and it doesn't stop us from trying anyways, we will be more content with our trials and failures.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Never Lose Your Talents!

At the age of eight I developed an interest for writing. It was my third grade teacher who discovered that I had an ability to write and because of her I became excited about it. I remember the poem that I wrote which caught her eye was a poem about Rip Van Winkle the man that slept for 100 years. I remember rhyming about the silly details of his experience such as “worms crawling in his nose and mushrooms sprouting between his toes”. She was so amused by it she sent me around the school to read it to the other classes. I remember after that, my grandma, my parents and any adult that heard my poem laughed so hard I thought they’d kill over. Never before had I evoked such a reaction from anyone. I really enjoyed it.

Most adults were impressed at my quick ability to rhyme and the creativity involved in my rhymes. I was asked to write poems for our class and school activities quite often. Anytime the school needed a cheer the teachers came to me. I was eventually voted president of the 6th grade creative Pursuits Club. I helped take my competing group to the state level and we took first place! I began to enter writing contests and was amazed when I won any awards at all. My best friend’s grandma asked to use one of my winning poems in a lesson she was teaching in church. I was honored.

Though I was really enjoying myself I remember thinking that my talent wasn’t anything special because it seemed so easy and came so natural. I assumed anyone could write and rhyme. To me the people with real talents were the musicians, artists and dancers. I had a friend who was very limber and could do the splits and perform back handsprings all over the playground like it was nothing. I envied her talents and abilities and wished I could do the same.

Eventually I was able to channel my talent in a way that sure came in handy. Upon entering junior high I really needed an outlet for all the stress, changes and fear that I was experiencing. I found that writing about my feelings was a way to let them out and help me deal with my challenges. Though I seldom shared them with anyone other than my best friend I found that the more I wrote and the more I shared the better my abilities became and the more I enjoyed it.

Then during my junior year in high school I anxiously enrolled in a creative writing class at school. I thought for sure that this would be an easy A and how wrong I was. For the first time I had encountered a teacher who did not see any talent in my writing. I experienced C’s and B-‘s paper after paper. He continued to make suggestions and told me that if I changed my papers to meet his suggestions I could resubmit my writing for a better grade. I was deeply angered as I felt that my poems were becoming his poems. I’d rather settle for a bad grade than to represent work that was not mine. Needless to say that class took all of the fun and enjoyment out of writing and I came to the conclusion that I was no longer a good writer. I had lost my talent.

At that point in my life I realized that writing was not going to get me anywhere in life and I decided to bury my talent. Occasionally for weddings and upon requests I would write. I even wrote lyrics to a fun hip hop song in college and used it to get laughs out of my roommates. However as I buckled down in my studies, became married and got lost in my full time job I no longer found the time for writing and saw it as a waste of time as there were always more important things to do.

It wasn’t until about 4 years later that I stumbled across the hip hop lyrics I had written in college and laughed as I read them. I thought to myself how fun it would be to write music to go with it and have it recorded on a track. Though no one took me seriously, I contacted several recording studios until I found a producer that would work with me for a reasonable price. I was no expert in music composition and so it was difficult to express my ideas. Eventually for sake of time and money I let the producer take over.

Within a month the track was finished and ready for play. I shared it with all my friends and family and the look on their faces were priceless. “You wrote this?” “That’s your voice?” They encouraged me to do more with it. I sent it off to various competitions and I ended up winning Suggested Artist in a VH1 songwriting competition. http://www.songoftheyear.com/winners/runnerups/072005r.htm

I had so much fun that I began writing more lyrics and entering them in contests. It was then I began writing an autobiography about my life and the story of how I met my husband. I did so for my children and so that the details of this interesting story would not be forgotten or lost. When I completed that my co-workers, friends and family were amazed. Though the book was never published I felt a sense of accomplishment.

A couple years later I was asked to put together a class called “How to Date Your Spouse” for all of the women in my church. I was told that I was selected because of my creative abilities and ideas. I was excited and began the task of researching information and ideas. After I taught the class I had several women come and thank me and express their interest in the subject. Though the class was over I continued researching the subject and collecting my ideas. Eventually I had enough material to put it into a book. So that’s what I did.

I decided to keep this book quiet from my friends and family so that if it never was published they would never know. After being turned down 25 times from various local and national publishers I was ready to give up. I was running out of options and thought that maybe my book was just not meant to be. Maybe I was supposed to be doing something else with my time and talents. After running into a dead end I began to work on other ideas and started up a small business.

Not more than a month after doing so I was contacted by a publisher interested in my book. I couldn’t believe it. I thought those days were over. How wrong I was. It’s amazing what a confidence booster can do. Since signing my publishing contract I realized how important my writing abilities are and how much good I can do in the world with my talent. Since this experience I have started writing other books and embarking on new projects.

Let this be a lesson to anyone reading that we should never take our talents for granted. We have been given them for a reason and it is our responsibility to find out why. It may take a few years before we see the big picture but if we give up on them and let other people tell us we have no talent then we lose our talents and miss out on some great life experiences.

Good luck with your talents and embrace them daily!