Lose Yourself

Lose Yourself

Is it my or when you see the phrase lose yourself do you start singing Eminem’s driving anthem.  The song is just as current today as when it was released 15 years ago.  I wrote last night about trademark, which goes hand in hand with our identity.  In Eminem’s song he talks about losing yourself in a music and giving it all you got.  In life, we must give it all we got – we owe ourselves that-, but we can’t lose ourselves in the craziness.

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Life’s circumstances can make it hard to stay true to ourselves, but we have to persevere through the challenges.  If you’re like me, life has thrown you more than a couple of curve balls. In fact, if your 2017 has been like mine, I’m sure your wondering why the hell the curve balls won’t stop!?!?!  Am I right?  I think we’ve all been gifted more lemons this year than available vodka resulting in an unfavorable lemon to lemon drop ratio.  It’s a sad state of affairs when that happens and it needs to change. 2018 do you hear me?

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As we march towards 2018, 2017 has shaken many of us to our core – myself included.  Grief, stress and disappointment are not the most fun combination in the world.  Yes, I know captain obvious here…  Grief, as I’ve found, can surprise you and completely envelop you if you let it.  It creeps up when you least expect it amplifying other negative emotions.

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Consequently, I was writing my blog last night when it dawned on me.  I’ve drifted away from who I am as a person.  I had to started to give in to the bulls%#t allowing others to define how I feel about myself and the world.  Fuck that shit (sorry mom!)  It was a liberating experiencing last night and left me feeling empowered.  Truly, sometimes knowing is half the balance.  When I realized that I had started to let the trials of life and people in it impact my trademark and my identity, I knew exactly how it fix it.  You gotta love those Eureka moments!

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Undoubtedly, writing is cathartic for the soul.  While this blog started as a means of coping with grief after losing Debbie in March, I’ve learned a lot more about myself than I had ever anticipated.  Meanwhile, here we are seven months later and I sill cannot bring myself to write about the experience of losing her.  Unquestionably, it is a gradual journey and someday I’ll be able to share those experiences here.  Nonetheless, here is what I do know.  Life is too short to wallow in the weeds letting life or others impact our positive outlook.  At the end of the day, we own our mindset as much as we own our identity.  Don’t let anyone take that away from you ever no matter how tired you may be.   Only you can protect your identity (and prevent forest fires.)

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be brave

Be Brave

Be Brave, be bold, be unapologetically you!   It’s quite the call to action isn’t it?  But what exactly does it mean?  To me, being brave doesn’t mean mustering up the courage to bungee jump or sky dive. I mean, I guess in another context, it absolutely does mean bravery.  Rather, I’m talking about the bravery it takes to get out of bed after life’s darkest night’s.  When life has thrown everything it has got in your face, but you still get up, put your make up on, rock your heels and smile, that my friend is bravery.  Yeah, it isn’t jumping out of a plane or anything like that, but sometimes not giving up is brave.

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Speaking of brave, last Wednesday I wrote about my first Xtend Barre experience.  What I may not have shared is that by early Friday, my abs were so sore I could not roll out of bed.  In addition to basic movements, I couldn’t cough, sneeze or laugh without significant pain.  I was that sore!

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I’m obviously glutton for punishment or stupid because I went back for more Barre torture tonight.  There was no bosu ball madness in class tonight, which my abs are quite happy about.  Adam is a phenomenal teacher.  I thoroughly enjoy the class, but am certain that by Friday morning I’ll be unable to walk.

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Whether it is returning to a fitness class that kicked your butt or holding your head high after disappointment, be brave.  Harness your inner shield maiden or warrior , take risks and own your future.  “Audentes fortuna iuvat”  remeber Virgil’s wise words “Fortune favors the brave.”

 

Be Exceptional

Be exceptional, don’t settle for average, don’t settle for mediocrity, don’t freaking settle!  Do you hear me?  Instead choose to be your best.  Everyday we have a choice.  We can choose to be average or worse mediocre, but we can also choose to be exceptional.  This doesn’t mean that we are perfect or striving for perfection.  It only means that we do everything with our best effort.

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For example, when we work out.  Do you give your best the entire time?  Or do you slough off a bit?  If we’re not giving our workout our best effort,  we won’t see the results we covet.  Our results are proportionate to our effort and sadly our diet (damn you age and womanhood.)  For example if we only give 50% effort at a Zumba class,  instead of burning 500 calories, we’ll only burn 250 calories.

Tonight I tried my first Xtend Barre class up at Burn Fitness.  Cheese and rice, I will feel it tomorrow.  Adam, our amazing teacher, likes to call his class barre boot camp.  He wasn’t lying.  Hey, at least he was up front and honest.  He’s a great teacher with tons of energy, so class went quickly.b8d1df9391abe1705203067426eec94f--barre-memes-funny-barre-fitness.jpg

Class may have went quickly, but it was tough!  In truth, I felt a little bit like fish out of water as I was the sole novice in the room.  Adam, as good fitness instructor will do, made the class appropriate to everyone’s level including mine.  Even though I was new to barre, and admittedly not that good, I gave it my best effort.  Consequently, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to move tomorrow, but no pain, no gain.  Right?

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Being exceptional isn’t just for the fitness studio though, it’s for all aspects of our lives.  If we find that what we’re doing is no longer inspiring us to be exceptional, then it is time to move on.  Life is far too short to settle for mediocrity.  It is imperative that we find something that makes our heart and soul sing.  In addition, it is easier to be exceptional when we find something or someone that we are passionate about.

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Tomorrow morning the choice will be all of ours. Join me in embracing the madness one cup of coffee (see meme below)  at a time and being exceptional.    If you’re not where you’d hope to have been by now, that’s okay.  Now is the perfect time to start working towards your dreams.   Now is the time that you stop settling and grab the bull by the horns.   Its time to go get it!

p.s. I’d like to give a special shout out to my Finland for tagging me in the meme below on Facebook.  It very accurately depicts my relationship with coffee!                                     22365410_1448928341822504_7005541926207002228_n.jpg6361016783982351261051636329_574e2900dc33501062016054456

 

Mr. Kite

Mr. Kite

“For the benefit of Mr. Kite
There will be a show tonight on trampoline”
– John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Admittedly, I’m enamored with the boys from Liverpool.  I couldn’t resist the Mr. Kite reference especially given the amazing Churchill quote I’m using tonight.  Last night I wrote about how my previous experiences with an awful boss informed how I lead my teams.  Tonight, I want to expand upon last night’s post.

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First, the Thunder Thief  is by far the most damaging and insidious type of horrible boss one can come across.  Equally important is the consideration that the thunder thief’s actions are not always deliberate.  As a leader, we must ensure we empower our people to tackle projects, accomplish goals with our support, but with autonomy.  It is equally important that the accomplishments of our direct reports are shared with our leaders.

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 There is nothing more demotivating than realizing that all of your hard work has been attributed to somebody else.  For women in the workplace, this is exponentially complex. According to HBR, women must promote their accomplishments in order to be recognized.  Ironically, self-promotion is consider unladylike and women who negotiate on their own our penalized.  Sheryl Sandberg also wrote about this phenomena in her best-selling book Lean In.

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One of the buzz words your see thrown out  way too often lately  in politics or the workplace is optics.  Here’s the thing about optics, they’re far more important than we realize.  Optics are all about how people perceive and action or event.  At the end of the day, perception is reality.  For example, let’s say you strive to have a diverse team, but your senior leadership team is only male or only white.  Consequently, you have create the perception that there is no commitment to diversity.

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Finally, do not forget that things come out in the wash.   Maybe today wasn’t your day, but ultimately the creme will rise to the top.  As Churchill so eloquently said, “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”  The road to success will not always be free of bumps or free of jerks, but perseverance, hard work, honesty and quality of work will ultimately prevail.