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Someday I want to …

Someday I want to …

Recognizing an opportunity is the end of the sentence that starts with, “Someday I want to …”

In other words, it’s your bucket list. It is not just a dream. In order to make those ambitions reality, you have to set a goal and start taking action.

I talk to a lot of people who are inspired by my travels and want to do exciting things like moving overseas, but once the rubber hits the road and they find out it is not as easy as it sounds, they abandon their plans. Achieving a dream requires work, some more than others. And taking a risk is challenging.

Notice I wrote “challenging”—not “impossible.” Many people get scared when confronted with the ladder they must climb in order to reach their goal. They look up and the top is so far away, it seems insurmountable. The obstacle isn’t actually the work of reaching the goal; it’s the fact that the goal is eclipsed by the climb.

We get off course from our goal when it becomes obscured by the path we must travel to reach the end. That’s why recognizing an opportunity and setting a goal is such an integral part of your toolbox.

It’s the banner you’ll hold high as you charge into battle; it’s the prize at the end of a tough match.

Lose sight of the opportunity, and you can lose altogether.  Someday never happens…

The statistics alone on goal setting are compelling. But tell me, in your life, why do you need goals? Why do they really matter?

Let’s talk numbers.

The Houston Chronicle published a study not long ago on the number of Americans with goals—specifically hand- written goals. The numbers are shocking.

80 percent of Americans do not have goals.

16 percent have goals, but they are not written down.

Less than 4 percent have written goals.

Less than 1 percent review their goals regularly.

The 1 percent group also earns NINE TIMES more money over the course of their lifetimes than those who don’t write down their goals and review them regularly.

When it comes to goal-setting, I can’t think of a better inducement. But it is not enough simply to have a goal. If you’re going to set a goal, make sure it is a SMART goal.

A SMART goal is:

S—Specific

M—Measurable

A—Attainable

R—Relevant

T—Time-bound

To read more about SMART goals, please see Chapter 5 of my book. The chapter is entitled “Recognize an opportunity and set a goal”. I can’t think of a better time to begin setting (and ACHIEVING) goals than the beginning of a new year. Join me. Let’s do it!  Make that “someday” TODAY!

(Above is an excerpt from my book, “Riskformation” – How Smart Risk Taking Will Transform Your Life. Hardcopy, paperback and Kindle versions can be found on Amazon. Audible is available as of today, 12/28/16. iTunes and Amazon audiobooks will be for sale at the beginning of 2017).

~Anne

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Let’s be optimistic in the new year!

I choose to be optimistic this year.  Will you?

The building in this photo has been called a symbol of hope. Why is that?

It is called the Oculus – or World Trade Center Transportation Hub which opened earlier this year. It sits next to the 9-11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, designer of the station, said the Oculus resembles a bird being released from a child’s hand. Others have said it reminds them of a dove taking flight.

I visited the Oculus last Sunday, December 11, 2016. It had been 15 years and 3 months. That’s 183 months or 5,565 days since September 11, 2001. Most Americans remember every vivid detail of that fateful day. I am one of them. I was flying for United Airlines at the time. It was a profoundly significant day for me, the company for which I worked, and the world.
I have heard over and over in the last 30 days how 2016 was a horrible year. People want to move on to 2017.

I wonder if it would help put 2016 in perspective by looking back at 2001. It helps me when I am feeling overwhelmed or frustrated to look outside of myself. To consider others who have circumstances worse than mine.

Faith ~ Hope ~ Light ~ Optimism

What I remember in the days and months following the 9-11 attacks was the surge of patriotism, faith in God and the expressions of “love your neighbor” by Americans. I wonder if we could go back to those days in our minds and jump-start our 2017 with a much-needed change of perspective. I truly believe that a change of attitude will help change the way we experience our day to day lives.

The concierge at my hotel in New York last weekend was named Richie. The hotel sits across the street from “Ground Zero”. Richie is a life-long New Yorker. He lives in Queens. The attacks on 9-11 deeply affected Richie.

When I asked Richie how to get to the museum, he suggested that I avoid walking alongside the construction zone. Instead, to take the path through the mall across the street (it would also be warmer than walking outside in 30-degree weather with a damp, biting wind). I would end up in the new Oculus building, where I could go upstairs and exit to the museum. This way would give me a different view/perspective.

He said the Oculus was “optimistic”. He repeated it several times. Optimistic. The new architecture was optimistic for our future.

The view when I walked into the main hall of the Oculus was just that. It gave me a sense of positivity, hope and life. Of people moving forward despite their wounds, their sadness. It was a symbol of goodness. Rather than being a sad or negative place, the light coming through the beams represented life to me. Richie was right.

Why not be optimistic?

It’s a choice… and the alternative isn’t great. Being pessimistic. The bird NOT being released from the child’s hand… not releasing our lives to someone or something else. Not “letting go and letting God”.

I loved Richie’s choice of that one word. The new building will greet anyone who comes with a heavy heart to pay tribute to those who died on 9-11 with optimism.

Let’s be optimistic going forward into the new year. Like Richie. He takes the metro every day to the World Trade Center stop. I can’t imagine how tough that must be for him. He answers questions every day about the 9-11 Memorial and Museum at his concierge desk. Yet he chooses to walk a different path, not the path by the construction zone or the devastation, but the optimistic path. I hope we all can follow his lead. Because in the end, “You always find what you are looking for.”

~Anne

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Apply a hug

Why does it do so much good to hug someone?  I heard this wonderful advice yesterday from a friend. When things are stressful, when someone is hurting, when YOU are hurting, apply a hug.

Instructions:
Find someone to hug.

  • Apply a hug.
  • Hold in position with arms firmly around the hurting person.
  • Apply pressure to the wound (typically the heart).
  • Repeat as necessary.

Amazingly, this simple concept can melt hearts, heal wounds and bring people together.

Oh, and here’s one reminder.

No WORDS necessary!
COST: Free!

I have felt many times in my life that the anger or the frustration I GET from people is because they are hurting. The anger or frustration that I GIVE to others sometimes is because… yep, you guessed it, I am hurting.

There are a lot of hurting people in our world. There are a lot of broken people in our world.

It can be tough to see hurt people. It can be easy to hear them. I’m sure you have.

  • In the grocery store.
  • On an airplane.
  • Over the telephone.
  • In your kitchen.

People who are hurting usually cry out in one way or another for help, or for someone to console them.

Sometimes it is hard to love them when they cry out in a nasty way. I used to think, “Why can’t everyone just be nice?” Well, sometimes when people hurt too much it is hard to be nice. It is easier to be mean, to be sarcastic, to say horrible things, or to play the “victim”.

Unfortunately, the tough part about spotting hurting people who need a hug is that the emotions or reactions I mentioned above keep us from leaning in. Rather, we decide to stay away.

I had an example of this behavior earlier this evening. I was talking to my dad. He has been so incredibly lonely since we lost my mom 2 ½ years ago. He is now 83 years old and unfortunately, his body is reminding him that he is 83 years old. It must be brutal. I had gone to a place of judgement with my dad…. until tonight.

It hit me that he just needs a hug. He needs someone to say, “I’m so sorry that x, y or z is going on with you.” “I love you and I will send up some extra prayers for you tonight…” (since his newest physical ailment prevents him from sleeping). The poor guy. He just needs a hug. He needs some love from someone who cares.

It is hard (but possible) to give a hug over the phone. I tried it tonight. Guess what? It worked. The tough guy broke into tears. His heart melted. Mine did too.

There is something so therapeutic about hugging someone. I can’t explain it, but it worked for my husband and me just yesterday, and for my father and me today (1,900 miles apart).

Try it. When in need, when feeling blue, when feeling angry…

  • Find someone to hug.
  • Apply a hug.
  • Hold in position with arms firmly around the hurting person.
  • Apply pressure to the wound (typically the heart).
  • Repeat as necessary.

It could change your life… or at least your day!

~Anne

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The strangest thing I was grateful for this Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I LOVE Thanksgiving. Why? Because it gives us a chance to consider what we are grateful for. On Thursday, I was grateful for a lot, certainly for:

  • Faith – why my faith? Because it is how I keep my boat on an even keel. When I don’t remember to F.R.O.G. (fully rely on God), I tend to get out of sync.
  • Food – not just the quantity of delicious side dishes, turkey AND ham we had this week, but the fact that we have an abundance of food available to us in this country every day. The fact that I have never felt what it was like to go to bed hungry (other than the time I was sent to bed without dinner for refusing to eat the liver and onions Mom made).
  • Friends – and my best friend, my man-friend (aka, husband) who is my partner down this path called life. Also, my dear girlfriends, my “tribe” as I have learned to call them. The ladies who support me through all my ups and downs and side to sides. I don’t know what I’d do without friends…
  • Family – near and far, blood relatives and “steps”. I love my family, even though we don’t always agree.
  • Freedom – because we know it isn’t free, and thankful for all those in uniform who serve our country to give me the ability to say and speak what I choose.
  • Fur Babies!!! – for our two sweet Maltipoos, who are the best friends a girl could have. They comfort me when I am sad, play when I’m happy, and they sleep – a LOT. I don’t know what I would do without my fur babies.
  • Finally, Facebook…

SCREECH! NOT! Not on my gratitude list for Thanksgiving… So here is the twist. This is the strangest thing I was grateful for this Thanksgiving…

Yesterday when I woke up, the day after Thanksgiving, I was still thinking about it. I had crawled into bed on Thursday night and realized that I hadn’t looked at Facebook all day. Do you know what? It felt AMAZING! I hadn’t even planned to have a Facebook holiday, but it happened.

Thursday, I was asked if I had seen a certain post on Facebook from earlier that morning. “I haven’t been on Facebook all day”, I heard myself utter. (I had been too busy working from the time we woke up, cooking, getting out serving platters, festive napkins, setting the table, getting the yeast rolls out of the freezer to start rising, etc.) After I made the simple comment that I hadn’t been on Facebook all day, the thought of knowing what all my 12,345 friends were doing for THEIR Thanksgiving-day kind-of fell out of my mind. Until later in the day. We were watching the Dallas Cowboys football game (GO Cowboys!) on TV. I was in a bit of a food coma. My husband and his daughter were playing a game of pool. His son and daughter-in-law were sitting on the sofa. Phones were out, Amazon shopping was happening, and I sat and watched the game. Every play. My phone was downstairs. I didn’t even check my text messages until mid-afternoon. I called my father and talked to my siblings, then texted some of my “inner circle” of friends.

It wasn’t a planned break from Facebook. Yet it was such a relief! But why?

When I crawled into bed, I reflected on my day, on OUR day together… Family, together eating food, with our fur babies and our faith and gratitude for each other and for our immense blessings. We watched our grandson take some of his first steps! What I wasn’t doing was comparing myself to others. I didn’t look at my flight attendant friends’ posts from Paris and Maui and wish I was there. I didn’t look at friends’ posts who have the “perfect families” (whatever that means) and wish I had what they did. No, I just laid there and said my prayers of gave thanks for a wonderful day together in the shadow of the Tetons. In the cold, with some snow on the ground… It had been the day that I was meant to have, and I lived and experienced every moment of it. I had a change of attitude by taking my Facebook break. I was grateful for the moments we had shared. PERIOD. I am good enough. The experiences I had were mine and they were good enough. They were perfect.

Yesterday (Friday) as I drove to work, I was thinking about the sense of relief I was STILL feeling from my Facebook holiday. As it stands, I have yet to scroll through everyone’s posts about Thanksgiving, and it’s OK.

Now, surely we all like our Facebook time (or do we?), and from what I hear these days, you must be on Facebook and social media and post regularly for your business. But I tell you what, the feeling of “enough”, of not comparing myself to someone else sure felt good.

Maybe I’ll take a Facebook holiday more often. Have you tried it? I would love to hear about your experience with a technology day off or a social media or Facebook holiday. It’s just something to think about as we head into the holiday season. Because, as strange as it is, NOT being on Facebook was the thing for which I was MOST grateful this year. Why compare? Isn’t what you have enough?! I say, “YES, it is!”

~Anne