Sunday, January 1, 2023

What's Ahead? It's Possible!

Coming out of the gates strong for 2023? Determined to be all you can be this year? You can and you will! 

There's no shortage of possibilities for you. Each day is filled with ideas and imagination. Get a clear view. Hold on to your vision. See yourself victorious. Some steps may feel harder than others while you're in your stride, but keep it moving!

Set your goals, but know that there is often more than one plan of pursuit to get where you want to go. Keep an open mind. It very well could be on a different pathway than you previously thought.

Don't give up when the going is tough. It will get tough. It's all a part of the process. Tough times don't necessarily mean that it is time to quit. It means you toughen up and look for the ways and means to maneuver over the obstacles. There will always be hills, valleys and mountains to climb. Stay focused.

Life is full of promise, possibility and potential. Never does it run low. Never does it run out. Never is there any lack of it. Today set your mind and heart on what you want and what you want to do. It's waiting for you! ~ S.R.F.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Like It or Not


The Christmas season is upon us! Everywhere we look, we are reminded that Santa is on the way. Whether you like it or not, believe it or not, ol'Santa is coming to town. Yep, he is on his way! I need to ask: Are you ready? Are you someone who embraces every bit of the joyous holiday aura and atmosphere? Or, are you impatiently counting the days, hours and minutes until it's over? Yay or Nay?

So, is it that you don't believe in Santa, Jesus, Christmas trees and lights, and all the other stuff? You say that the immensity of the holiday hoopla is just a little too much for you? Just not feeling it? Well, here's a not-so-recent news flash: Santa is coming anyway. In other international breaking news, we'll celebrate the birth of Jesus anyway. Maybe you've heard, He's the reason for the season, the Headliner. And yes, trees, lights and decorations will be everywhere anyway. It's happening. Christmas is happening anyway.

There's a reason we go around saying "Happy Holidays" and "Merry Christmas." Well, because it feels good to be happy and merry. If you happen to be a naysayer, how about making a decision to have fun this year? Join in. It's a choice. Of course, you could be crabby and complain, but where's the joy in doing that? I see you. I do. C'mon  and enjoy yourself. Don't be all grinchy. Find your "happy" and muster up some merriment. It's all around you. Grab some. It's one of the best times of the year.  ~ S.R.F.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

There's An Answer

Life certainly has more challenges than any of us have prepared for. A myriad of predicaments and problems seem to come more frequently than we have the ready answers for them. And sometimes, seemingly no answers at all for the tougher things. We can find ourselves perplexed, seeking solutions. However, the most important thing to remember is that typically there are solutions, oftentimes there is even more than one.


Here are a few things to consider when issues hit us:

1. Analyze what is going on. Is this a big problem or a small thing? Is it even a "thing" or I am making it a thing? Your perspective is important. You've heard it said "we can make mountains out of molehills"? Keep that in mind. That small thing may require less energy and thinking than you are giving to it. 

2. A bigger issue may require time and strategy, critical thinking and emotional energy. Determine what kind of battle it is. Check for and find resources if you need help. Ask qualified advisors. Pray for guidance. Be careful about making quick attacks on problems that need special or significant consideration to resolve. Haste truly does make waste in many cases, so take it slow and steady if you can. You will get to your solution with more confidence and peace of mind, and likely to the best resolve, too.

3. If you're blowing up the problem bigger than it really is, stop yourself. Take some deep breaths and pull yourself together and handle it to the best of your knowledge, ability and common sense. If you discover that it really was no problem at all, other than the narrative you created, let it go. Let it be. Sometimes we can be guilty of giving a situation smoke and steam just because we don't move on. Don't be that person.

Life requires strategy in so much of our daily life. If we live in that principle, we can maneuver through many of our concerns with greater understanding and ease. ~ S.R.F



Monday, October 3, 2022

Turn Your Crappy Day Into a Happy Day

Some days can start off absolutely crappy. You didn't see it coming, or maybe you did. Either way, it's crappy. Hate it when that happens? Yes, we all do. So what's the thing to do to turn things around?

I have always said that I can't afford to be in a bad mood all day, neither do I want to. So, that's the first thing to think about: what is the cost of going through the entire morning, day, night, week, etc., in a crappy, terrible, horrible mood? It's hard on our mental and emotional state, and it robs us of time we could be doing happier things.

Also, try not to complain. That's like adding fuel to a fire that is already burning out of control. You say something to yourself about how crappy you feel. You say something crappy to somebody else about how you feel. You yell at somebody. You crawl under the covers. You cry, maybe scream. Well, that's maybe worth a few minutes of your time, and hopefully you don't cause any damage to anyone, but get it out if you must, then be absolute about getting on with your day in a better mood. 

Keep in mind, complaining about crappy stuff all day just stole lots of time and interactions that may have been happy and fun. Unfortunately, you can't know because you complained about the crap instead, and you're unable to recoup those hours. You do have the option to NOT do that.

Connect with some better energy. I always look for something funny to read or watch if crappy tries to slap me in the face with some nonsense. It works. Sometimes I find myself laughing so hard, out loud at a meme or a video, or a comedy on TV. It's a deliberate effort to dispel any crappy thoughts and it brings a mountain load of joy. 

Maybe you have a very upbeat, positive friend. Call them and tell them you could use an uplifting word from them. Listen to some great music, the kind you can dance to. And yes, get up and dance. Hug your cat or dog. Go to the park and play like a kid. Find something that has some happy, uplifting energy and connect to it. You will feel better within minutes.

Get out into the fresh air and sunshine. It doesn't matter if it's cold outside. It's the air you need. It's the sun beaming on your face. If it's rainy, listen to the rhythm of the rain. It can be mesmerizing. It just depends on how you see it. Is it a storm, or an orchestra? You decide if it's crappy or not.

Focus on ways to get happy, not on ways for everything and everbody around to "make" you happy. There will be days where you feel defeated, depleted, exhausted and just plain crappy. I get it, but I encourage you to flip the script. Be determined to not allow yourself to be overwhelmed and overcome with those thoughts, regardless of what is happening inside your head or in your atmosphere. Defeat it. Create your happy instead. ~ S.R.F.

Want more FOXOLOGY? Click to listen:

Saturday, September 10, 2022

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

Life certainly has its abundance of challenges, uncertainties, shifts and change, and unsettling situations. It seems to be a constant and ongoing process of working our way through things for most of us. Very often, we find ourselves in such complicated predicaments that we don't have a clue how to get through them.

I'm not the guru of problem-solving, but I have learned a few major things from the difficulties I've faced, both big and small. Getting over the lumps, humps and bumps ain't always easy. I've learned that you have to put your "game face" on and your stormy-weather coat and boots if you intend to survive some of the things life throws your way. It can be a real fight getting to the other side of those difficulties, but I have found that you can. Here are some things to consider:

1. Keep fighting. As hard as it can feel, keep fighting. You will get weary and tired during the course of some of your problem-solving journeys, but don't stop until you get done what you need to get done. It will feel twice as hard if and when you have to go back and pick up the pieces where they dropped off. Keep fighting and keep figting and keep fighting. It's the only way to assure yourself of a resolution.

2. Keep managing. Stay on top of things as best you can. It's very often critical that you don't lose sight of the things and people who can be instrumental in the process. Sometimes, we are overwhelmed with the problem and feel stuck or paralyzed by it. Recognize at those points that you must keep managing what you can, even if it's only a little bit by bit.

3. Keep believing. Frustration in the midst of problems can diminish and destroy our faith. If we see no end, we want to give up. If we tell ourselves there is no solution or way, we quit. If we feel the odds are against us, we throw in the towel. 

Even when a solution is not clear or evident, even when we have no idea what to do, we have to remember that faith will always take us to an answer. The answer is not always the one that we hoped for, prayed for or imagined, but there is an answer that can prove to be satisfactory and comforting, an answer that provides completion and resolve. And that answer, is exactly the right answer, the one we need most.

With all being said so far, keep going. Keep maneuvering. Keep pressing forward. You will make it through every challenge somehow, and some way, if you do. ~ S.R.F.

Want more FOXOLOGY? Click to listen:

Friday, August 12, 2022

Professionalism: More Than Just a Handshake and a Smile


Do you ever give any thought to the power of professionalism, or what it even means? We know what we mean when we say "He or she is so professional" or "they handled everything so professionally". Or, if we encounter a disgruntled person, we often say "they weren't very professional". So, with that being said, we know it's a "thing".

Professionalism is a discipline. It's a set of skills and actions that we use in life and business to help us have more positive, productive and successful interactions with others. It's more than just a handshake and a smile. It's our ability to give the best of ourselves to encounters with our best foot forward, and with interest in the best outcomes in those situations.

What exactly does professionalism do for us? It has distinct advantages. Here are a few important things to recognize about professionlism.:

1. Professionalism adds polish to how you do things. True professionalism usually carries with it honesty and authenticity. No facades. No hidden agendas. No nonsense. No games. Professionalism is showing up with a sense of confidence and direction about what is to be achieved for whatever is the purpose, either personally or in business.

2. Professionalism can make you more "attractive" as a person, and in business. How you carry yourself, how well you speak to others, how well you deal with people, can make it easier for others to be drawn into your circle of influence and into your good intentions. 

You show real respect to others, genuinely. People can be easily turned off by insincere behavior and efforts, and interactions that are snobbish or aggressive. Professionalism is developing the skill of understanding how to interact well in whatever situation you are in with anyone.

3. Professionalism can give you access, leverage and advantages. Along with that great smile and handshake, showing up as a "polished" individual has its merits. Oftentimes, you can be immediately liked when you present your best image and personality. How you carry yourself, how you look and how you talk can open doors. If your image and the impact you make is favorable, people are also typically impressed by that, and tend to have a greater trust and confidence in what you have to offer as an individual. 

Is all of this easy? Maybe not in the beginning, but you have numerous opportunities daily to practice with friends, family, co-workers, on the phone, and in business encounters and interactions of all kinds. My advice: do not miss even one opportunity to use professionalism and what you can and learn from it. Professionalism is a great skill set, the kind that you can use over and over and over with outstanding results, most every time. ~ S.R.F.

Want more FOXOLOGY? Click to listen:

Friday, July 15, 2022

Do You Have a SUPERPOWER?


Do you have a superpower? Probably. Do you know what it is? Maybe not. Let's look at that concept for a moment or two.

What exactly is a "superpower"? I believe the short answer is that thing, or those things that we are really good at. It's those abilities and strengths that we excel at. It's those personal and professional capabilities and capacities that we are born with that make us natural or exceptional achievers.

All of us know the names of many great people who fall into the categories just mentioned, but have we taken the time to recognize our own greatness? You don't necessarily have to have great fame and fortune to be considered to have a superpower. However, kudos to those who are using their gifts and tools at that level.

Many of us are using our greatness in other ways. Maybe you are a great thinker. You're an "idea" person or a real go-getter. Maybe you are a genius in your world of work and profession. Maybe you are a great Mom, a great wife, a great husband, a great friend, a great servant of some sort. I love the quote that says "do small things in a great way." That's operating in superpower.

Maybe kindness is your superpower. Maybe being a good listener is. Maybe there is something about you that you do so naturally that you think is no big deal, but everyone around knows that you are the mover and shaker. You may even feel small or your contributions may seem small in the whole scheme of things. They are not. They count. They matter. You matter.

Find out what your superpower is, and recognize this ability and contribution it makes to the world and those around you. You say, "but, it's really not a superpower. All I do is 'such and such'." Your "such and such" may be the very action, attitude or ability that supercharges someone's day, or maybe even their life. 

You've got something. It's your superpower. Don't downplay it. Acknowledge it. Plug into it. Be it, and watch what happens. ~ S.R.F.

 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

FEELING GRUMPY?


Feeling grumpier than usual? Well, a lot of people are, and it's not hard to understand why. So much has been happening in our lives, and it's making life grumpier, plain and simple.

Can we help ourselves become a little happlier and easier to be around? Of course, we can! Here a few ways we can start:

Choose peace and quiet as often as possible. During those moments, release the tension and unrest you feel. Let it go. This practice, even if done only a couple of minutes at a time can renew your mind and attitude and lift your spirit.

Choose to not respond to the negative stuff. Rebuttals, cussing, screaming and coarse reactions will keep you on the edge constantly. There's only one way to stop those actions, and that is to just stop. Let go of that behaviour and you'll be gaining a lot more joy in the process.

Stop being mad at the world and everyone around you. You will never be able to do anything about most stuff, so let that anger go, too. Take responsibility for your grumpiness. All is not bad in the world. Focus on the good. Focus on your own serenity. Focus on what feels good to you. 

It's no fun being a grump, and chances are you have learned that already. Find some peace. Try to think and act more positively. Stop believing the world is out to get you, and choose to be happy. And, foremost, make a decision to say goodbye to the grumpy you right now, today. ~ S.R.F.

Want more FOXOLOGY? Take a listen!


Saturday, May 14, 2022

NEW ROADS


On any given day, life can feel so messed up. It can feel crazy. It can feel miserable. It can feel so hard to understand. It can feel so difficult to maneuver. It can feel so challenging to navigate. It can be so hard to deal with. It can feel utterly frustrating. It can be so this, that and the other!

I have lived a long time and I know this! I have been there and done that. My hand is raised. I've got the T-shirt. I've got receipts. But, enough of that kind of talk! 

Guess what? Now that I've taken you down that rough road, let's take a detour. There is a NEW WAY we can take. Let's look at the map of our lives and see if we can chart out some new directions. Sound good? Well, we must! Those rough and rocky times in our lives are sometimes really hard to manage, but we have to remember that there can and will always be smoother highways ahead if we dare to chart them for ourselves.

We have to make an effort to hold on tight to the wheel and see what new roads we can take. We will need to decide on some new destinations. We will need to design some new travel plans for the journeys ahead. The more we focus on the possibilities, we'll lose sight of those prior problematic predicaments and pursuits that got us off track.

We must exit every road that is taking us nowhere and get ourselves going in the direction toward the things in life that put us on smoother trails. It may not be the easiest drive forward, but as long as we know that we're moving closer to our goals, our peace, our balance and our success, we gotta keep it moving straight ahead! You going? ~ S.R.F.

Want more FOXOLOGY? LISTEN NOW:

Saturday, April 9, 2022

TOUGH TIMES


When times are tough, it can feel difficult trying to meet the challenges. We get overwhelmed. We get weary. We can even feel like giving up. Even when the odds say we can't make it, there are a few key things to remember when we're in a hard place:

1. You'll make it through it, just don't you dare give up. Even if you're only making little steps toward a better place, keep going. Eventually, the light comes and the road gets smoother. 

2.  Stay strong. Wipe your brow. Catch your breath. No, life is not always easy, but you will make headway if you keep going toe-to-toe with those challenges, obstacles, issues and problems. Keep pressing forward.

3.  Even some of the toughest things we face in life are often temporary. You deserve the victory that's on the other side of this thing you're going through. Hang in there. You can do it.

When all is said and done, we find that we've gained courage, wisdom and boldness. We've learned that we can push ourselves through those things we thought we could not overcome. We discovered that we can get control again of everything that seemed out of control. We found the inner strength and the wherewithal that was necessary to stand up to the hard times. We can, and we did. ~ S.R.F.

Want more FOXOLOGY? Take a listen!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

FINDING YOUR "I CAN"

Have you been wanting to do something, but it's been sitting on the back burner for a long time? Have you allowed your dreams to diminish? Did you put aside the things you really want in life because the journey was too long and tiring? Did you lose the energy and enthusiasm you once had that fueled your confidence? So many of us have been there, having lost the wherewithal to believe in ourselves and that goal we had once set. 

Time can change many things, but it doesn't have to steal the "I can" that had us moving full speed toward our hopes and dreams. There is still time and opportunity to grab hold of that vision and launch yourself into goal-setting mode again. You can still do it. Find your "I can" and believe in it, and believe in yourself again. 

It's very possible that challenges and obstacles will appear again, but this time you will understand that it is all a part of the process of getting where you want to go. Each time something shows up as something in your way, you will remind yourself "I can" do this regardless of these hurdles. 

This time there will be no stopping you. This time you will be focused and determined. This time your "I can" attitude will be unshakeable. This time you are going to make it happen, because you know you can. ~ S.R.F.


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

ANOTHER WAY?

It's a fact that life is full of unexpected twists and turns. For instance, our plans may be set in one direction, and suddenly something happens that changes our day, our course, or maybe even our life.

How do we face the unexpected? Here are a few key things to remember:

1. Life is happening to all of us with no guarantee of having perfect days. As negative as that may sound, it's not meant to sound that way. Instead, we must realize that each day things will occur that were not a part of the plan, and we must face them with awareness, intelligence and emotional disciplines. 

If we don't understand that the "unusual" is the "usual" we will live with a defeated mindset regarding daily upsets and setbacks, chaos and drama. That stuff is going to happen. We don't have to like it, but we have to deal with it in ways that don't change our momentum, our drive to keep navigating through the day, through the plans, and through life.

2.  Decide that you will ride the tide. Surely, there are those people and predicaments that seem like they will pull us under, leaving us in a sea of discouragement and despair. However, if we make the determination that we will keep our heads held high and our thinking also on a higher plane, we can cruise through many situtations with our emotional well-being kept in tact. 

We must train ourselves to "rise above" the fray, the noise, the distractions, the detours, and those sinking feelings that creep up on us, and ride through all that stuff with the knowledge that the tide is taking us to safe shores.

3.  When things seem to be pulling us in directions that are uncomfortable and unfavorable, we have to make up our minds in the moment to choose another way to go. If possible, and if it doesn't cause further disruption, choosing to bow out altogether with grace and composure really does work. Bowing out of circumstances, situations, relationships, or whatever, may be the best answer in many cases. In other circumstances, recognizing or creating a different and more positive direction is a choice as well. We often forget about the myriad of options and possibilities. They appear when we begin to look for them. 

We have to remember that there is usually a choice we can make, rather than being stuck dealing with our own discontent because we did not make the critical move to do something else. It's on us to look for another way, and to remember that those ways are there before us. We can go out. We can go through. We can go another way, and choose to keep our sanity, happiness and peace. ~ S.R.F.

Want more FOXOLOGY? Take a listen: