Writing Your Way to a Better Life!

If there was just one chapter in my book that anyone could apply right now that I feel would have the most profound effect to better my readers’ lives, it would be Principle 3 – Ink It!  Many people have big ideas and dreams, but hey just can’t seem to get the ball rolling.  Many can tell me what they want, but they don’t have it written down, or they don’t have the steps and details needed to make it happen.

Thought – an electrical pulse ricocheting around in the brain. The average person has 3,000 thoughts per day.  With so many sparks flying around, it is literally impossible to organize your ideas and put them in their proper order without prioritizing them or developing a plan. Consequently, the likelihood of becoming successful without written goals and plans is about as good as figuring out the next winning lotto numbers. 

When you write something down, regardless if it is you’re to do list or goals, something almost magical happens.  First, you showed enough interest in what you were thinking or dreaming about to write it down.  Then you actually took the first step; you took action by picking up that pen and writing words; you committed your thoughts to paper.  Without even realizing it, you took a big leap toward achieving your goals.  This is the amazing process by which thoughts become reality.  At the very instant you wrote your goal, your idea transformed into action to take place in the near future.

There are so many examples of people who, through goal-setting, have achieved all great accomplishments.  There is one story that I find so compelling that I thought I would share it with you.  It’s about a high school dropout whose family was so poor that they once lived out of a Volkswagen campervan.  At nineteen, he packed what few belongings he had and moved on, in pursuit of his dreams.  This young man wrote a $10,000,000 dollar postdated check to himself and kept it in his wallet.  It became tattered from him pulling it out and looking at it every day; sometimes hours on end.  Fifteen years later, and after banking tens of millions of dollars along the way, world famous comedian and actor Jim Carrey, deposited a $20,000,000 check for his performance in The Cable Guy.  He was the first actor to reach the twenty-million dollar watermark.

Goals, and a plan on how to achieve them, are like a birth certificate to your new lease on life.  When you write them down, they become something tangible something real that you can feel in your heart.  It’s a fresh new beginning that touches your senses.  You can imagine it, read it, touch it and see the paper it’s written on.  But most of all – with a plan, you can live it.

People are afraid to dream big and aim high.  Most people feel like there is a barrier preventing them from living their dreams, making them content with the life they know.  Fear is the strongest of all emotions.  If you find yourself in this situation, I want you to write this down right next to your goals and plans:  Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Not having goals and a plan to achieve them is like dialing a random phone number; you get whoever answers and not much else.

In researching my book “Success Against The Odds”, I came across a very interesting statistic.  The Harvard MBA Program interviewed students from the 1979 class and asked if they had a clear set of written goals and plans on how to achieve them.  Only 3% said yes. 13% said they had goals, though not in writing.  A whopping 84% had no specific goals at all.  Now here is the amazing part:  The 3% who had clear written goals were earning, on an average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together.

There is so much more in life that can be achieved if you just write down your goals and plans on how to achieve them.  You can live the relationship you’ve dreamed of, your children can do better in school, you can lose weight, quit smoking, live healthier and take the vacation you always wanted – all this and more – if you just write your plan down and follow it.  The pen is a very powerful instrument!

Never Quit – Never Fail

Things don’t always work out the way you want them to.  Struggles and unforeseen circumstances sometimes stand in the way of your lifelong goals and acheivements.  You have the choice to give up, or fight to the finish.  How you finish your race is up to you.    This video shows that no matter what happens, you will always be a winner as long as you keep going.

Watch Video:  Never Quit – Never Fail

Some Things are Too Important to Walk Away From

Going the extra mile is sometimes the only choice you have.  When you feel that you no longer have the will to fight, watch this video to remind you that some things really are too important to walk away from.

http://youtu.be/s0Vt6W5VIzc

Bed Bugs and College Dorms

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College dorms can be an ideal place for bed bugs. Students coming from all over the place greatly increase the chances of bringing these hitchhikers with them. When getting settled in, be aware and observant of your surroundings. Investigate all areas you plan to lay down on, sit or stand still in, for any extended period of time. This is important; since bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide your body produces.

What to Look for

  • Bed bugs: Adult bed bugs have flat, reddish-brown colored oval bodies about the size of an apple seed.
  • Blood spots that can be left after feeding
  •  Dark fecal stains: After feedings, the bugs will leave fecal spots of digested blood along seams and fabrics.

Inspect Rooms:

  • Use a flashlight to look for bugs or blood spots in corners, cracks and crevices
  • Behind the headboard (lift off brackets on the wall)
  • Along the seams, crevices and piping around the mattress
  • Under the mattress pad and under the sheets
  • Along the edges and underneath the box spring
  • Around joints in bedside tables (including drawers) and pictures above the bed

How to Protect your Belongings

  • Find out if the dormitory can supply a new      mattress. There’s nothing like removing the plastic from a mattress to      give you piece of mind.
  • Use a mattress protector to prevent bed bugs from      finding a comfy home
  • Put any suspect items in sealed plastic bags until you can heat treat them or have them professionally treated with Sulfuryl Flouride.
  • Put everything you can into the dryer at 120 degrees for 40 minutes
  • Freeze what can’t take the heat for 2 weeks

When back at home, follow the tips below to help minimize the chance of bed bugs hitchhiking home.

  • Keep all items outside and thoroughly inspect prior to bringing into the home
  • Don’t wear shoes inside the home. Leave shoes outside, place shoes and clothes in sealed plastic bins or bags and/or heat treat them in the dryer.
  • Keep a designated place where you can keep coats, purses, etc. and do not place belongings on couches, beds, etc.

For free information contact Bed Bugs and Beyond® at 888-410-1333 or www.bedbugsandbeyond.com

Failure Can Lead to Success

Failure really can lead to success.   Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, knows this all too well.  I recently listened to a story broadcasted on the NPR network.  During this segment, Jeff explained how he originally set out to be a cartoonist.  He was rejected time and time again as his artwork was considered too childish.

As stated in NPR’s interview with Jeff Kinney, “I just could not draw like a professional cartoonist,” he says. “I was like, ‘I draw like a middle-schooler, right?’ And eventually this idea came to me … maybe if I act like I’m doing it on purpose, everybody will think that I was doing it on purpose, and they won’t be able to reject me … that’s where the idea of Diary of a Wimpy Kid came from.”

Just think what would have happened if Jeff would have simply accepted rejection and walked away?  His book series has become a HUGE success.  He has published 6 books, and a seventh is on the way. The books have been translated into 40 languages and there are 75 million copies in print worldwide.

Jeff did what so many of us have failed to do…he took difficulties and a could be failure and found a way to make it a success.  He would not take” no” for an answer.  Instead, he found a way to use criticism of his work and mold a masterpiece.  Sometimes things don’t end up as we intend.  However, if we strive to find the positive in our obstacles, success can be attained.

Do You Have a Problem or a Possibility??

Ask yourself this question – Are you in a problem or possibility mode right now?  If you begin to talk about the possibilities in your life, you will see a big change in the way you look at things, and the outcome will differ greatly.  The quality of our life is as good as the quality of questions we ask ourselves.

Think of your moods and emotions like a water faucet.  When we are focused on our problems, the water pours out.  The more we dwell on our problems, the more stress, fatigue and anxiety we feel.  It’s like turning on the “problem faucet” full blast.

When we shift our focus to thinking about the possibilities in our lives, we turn on the “possibility faucet”.  This is a trickle of water that can create excitement, optimism and new ideas.

The questions becomes, which faucet have you turned on – the “problem faucet” or the “possibility faucet”?  Is your faucet running full blast or it is trickling?

When we can stay focused on possibility – it becomes reality.  That is when true magic begins to occur in our lives!

Have a Magical Day!!

A Positive Attitude Goes a Long Way

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Every wonder how some people seem to come out ahead, no matter what obstacles stand in their way?   Or maybe these people don’t see the things in front of them as obstacles.

As Henry Ford once said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” 

Staying positive and believing in yourself and others around you, sparks confidence, poise and assertion.  The power of positive thinking is what makes those obstacles disappear. 

A person’s perspective can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of their success or failure.  A person who constantly finds fault in matters, rather than finding a way to fix things may find success harder to achieve.   “Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain”  –  Henry Ford

Find a way to act “as if”:

“As if”:

  • I will be optimistic
  • I will be confident
  • I will make the right decisions
  • I will succeed

If you believe it, you will achieve it. 

You are in charge of your future – and your perspective on life.  Make the best of it and stay positive!

Are You Ready?

Your summer seems like it has just begun and it’s already time to start thinking about returning to college in the fall.  Are you ready?

What to bring with you:

  • Computer – Laptops work best in dorm rooms due to lack of space.  If you are worried about theft, a laptop lock can be a great investment.   Thumb drives could be very useful also.
  • Recording device – for those of you who don’t take good notes, this will become your biggest asset.
  • Alarm Clock – A necessity for getting to class on time.
  • Small fridge, small microwave, and small TV – make sure to coordinate this with your roommate.  Your dorm room will not be big enough for two.
  • Bedding – check your schools website before purchasing your sheets to verify the size sheets you will need. Most college residence halls have extra-long twin beds, and your standard twin ben sheets will not work.  Don’t forget your pillow and blanket.  They are not supplied in most dorm rooms.
  • Crates – A fantastic storage unit for college students.  They can transport your things while you travel, can be arranged in your dorm to fit anywhere, and they are cheap.
  • Clothing:  Keep in mind, your space is limited.  Try to remember that you will be spending most of your time in the classroom.  Therefore, concentrate on building your wardrobe with casual clothing you can wear to class.  Don’t forget to pack “going out” clothes for those occasions that you will be hitting the town.  And, don’t forget your undergarments and socks.
  • Clothes hangers, a pop up laundry bin or laundry bag, and detergent.  Don’t forget quarters to do your laundry with.  A couple rolls of quarters should get you started.
  • Command Organizers – a perfect and stylish way to organize your belongings without damaging the walls.
  • A Shower Organizer – More than likely you will be sharing a communal shower area.  You will need a way to transport your shower supplies.  The organizers with holes in the bottom work best.
  • Shower shoes and a robe
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothbrush holder, mouthwash, hair brush, soap, soap dish, comb, hair dryer, washcloths, towels, deodorant, perfume, nail clippers, nail file, lotion, Q-tips.
  • School Supplies – paper, notebooks, folders, pens, pencils, backpack, index cards, binders, markers, highlighters, sticky notes, push pins, etc.  You could wait until you get there, but these items will save you money if you purchase them in advance when they are on sale, versus buying them at the bookstore.
  • First Aid Supplies – pain relievers, Band-Aids,  Neosporin
  • Ear plugs for those evenings you need comfortable solitude.  This may the only way to achieve this.
  • Dishes and utensils – Just in case you want to take advantage of that mini fridge and microwave in your room.   A couple of plates, bowls, glasses and silverware will come in very handy.  The dollar store is a great place to pick up inexpensive dishes you can use and wash.  Plastic would be your best bet.  Don’t forget paper towels.  You will need them.
  • Power strip with surge protection and extension cords.  You have electronics in your room, but will you have enough plugs to make them all run?

Happy shopping!

How Do You Spell Summer?

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S.      Stay Balanced – College can be an overwhelming time in your life.  Keep yourself focused on your goal, but also make time for the things in your life that make you happy.  Summer break is a time to give you just that – A break.  Give yourself time to unwind and relax, and rejuvenate yourself for the academic year ahead of you.  

U.    Understand you have a short amount of time to spend with family and friends back home before returning to college.  Make the best of your time.

M.    Make Choices – This will be the time others give you advice about your future and what direction you should be heading in.  Take time to think about your likes and dislikes and determine your path.  Make choices that you can adhere to and set your goals.

M.    Manage Your Finances – College is a time where struggles with finances are notorious.  While summer vacation is a time to take a break, it is not a time to break your bank.  Keep focused on what is important….getting through college successfully, with as little debt as possible.

E.     Explore your Options – While many know “what they want to be when they grow up” – a Doctor, Lawyer, etc., others have no idea what their major will be.  No matter where you are with your decision, you should take advantage of all your school has to offer.  Venture off the beaten path and expand your horizons.  Take classes in a subject you know nothing about.  Make the best of your college career.

R.    Remember  – the classroom is not the only place to learn – Take time during the summer to explore different facets in life.  Spend time in your local museum, learn to play an instrument. Try out a new sport.   

 Life has endless possibilities. 

Homeless and Penniless to Harvard

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I recently read an article about an amazing young lady who has defied all odds, took her life struggles and used them to fuel her desire to turn her life around to earn herself a full ride scholarship to one of the most prestigious colleges in our country.

Dawn Loggins, of Lawndale, North Carolina is an exemplary example of someone who refused to give up, no matter how many obstacles were placed in her way.

This young lady overcame an extremely difficult childhood.  Homeless at an early age, and abandoned by her parents, she refused to let this get her down.  She worked hard to excel academically. She was blessed with counselors, teachers, and a community that believed in her.   Living most of her life with no electricity, running water, and later – no home, this young lady is a true success story.  Her refusal to give up hope, when all else seemed to be working against her displays her determination and drive that would be an asset to our youth today.

Dawn had the drive and insight to continue to focus on her future.  A straight A student –  and armed with determination, she applied, and was accepted to, a number of distinguished schools such as University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, Davidson College and Warren Wilson College.   Dawn was also accepted to Harvard – her reach for the stars school – and will be attending the Ivy League school on a full ride scholarship.

These types of students give me hope for a brighter future.  Dawn has proven, that no matter what is in your past, your future is yours to mold.