Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Are You Optimistic?

Colorful, Optimist, Motivation, Creative, Optimistic
There's an upside. It's optimism!
Optimism is sometimes frowned upon because it seems sort of whimsical to some people. What I mean is, optimism is looked at as a "fake" way of dealing with life, an "unrealistic" approach to things. Well, I differ from that train of thought, and I'll tell you why.

The most workable definition of optimism is "being hopeful and confident about the future."

First of all, optimism is not pretending to be happy about everything or pretending that everything in life is okay when it isn't. Instead, it's an everyday, realistic approach to things with an attitude of confidence toward the outcome or results. It doesn't mean that you always get a good result. It means that you keep your attitude and actions working in a positive and productive manner however things are going.

Secondly, optimism means re-learning how we assess stuff. We easily buy into negative narratives and find ourselves speaking it and acting on that belief, whether it's true or not. Negativity is much easier to internalize because we don't take the time to investigate the truth of it or the non-value of it. When we learn to spin our thinking toward positive truths, we can start to look at life with more hope and confidence, even when things aren't going well.

Lastly, optimism represents a point of view. When life has knocked us down and out, our perspective is going to be critical. If our point of view from that place is unhealthy, we may never get back up. However, if we change our point of view to getting UP, getting THROUGH, getting OVER, getting OUT, and moving FORWARD, we've changed the game plan. That kind of optimism opens doors, windows and pathways for the future.

Are you optimistic? Remember, it's a mindset. Optimism will always make headway for better things. Try it. ~ S.R.F.

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Represent Yourself Like a Boss

You are your CEO in life. Take charge!
There's a certain "something" often associated with winners. Do you have it? Do you want it? Here's a few key tips for showing up in life like a boss:

1. Boss attitude. Real "bosses" are often keeping their best face forward. Keep a smile on your face. Practice interacting positively with others. Have an authentic level of professionalism while at the same time being personable.

2. Boss actions: Be assertive and intentional about who you are and what you do. It doesn't mean you should be "pushy." It means that you show up in your own personal power and belief in yourself. You know what it is you want and you plan to get it.

3. Boss appearance: Show up like you know where you're going. If you have plans for sucess and prosperity, look like it. Your image doesn't have to shout designer labels, but you may want to look like you understand the power of how you put yourself together. It really does matter.

Whether your goals are personal or professional, how we show up can make an impacting difference in our lives, socially and in business. Be confident. Be bold. Be a boss. After all, at the end of each day, you are the CEO of your life. Show up strong!  ~ S.R.F.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

EXPECT IT AND WAIT FOR IT

Wait. It's coming.
It's 2020! I won't dare say all of the usual stuff we say as I speak my encouragement to you for what lies ahead for the next 365 days. You know, the"out with the old, in with the new" "New Year, New You" razz-matazz. We know the ropes already. We will either hang ourselves with our lack of dedication to our resolutions or we'll grab hold of those ropes in a game of tug-of-war to win. Here's what I say about getting there:

Keep your faith strong and focused. The other day on a flight to Chicago, we experienced a moderate amount of turbulence. I never like it, but whatcha gonna do? As I pondered about it, I thought about how the plane keeps moving forward, strong, powerful and focused, piercing through the winds with it's own designed fierceness to maneuver it. And, I thought: That's exactly what we should do. Achieving goals and success doesn't usually come so easy. The winds of fate and faulty situations are constantly coming at us. We have to stay fierce and focused, knowing where we're headed, just like those planes. We must stay on course.

We must carry expectancy in our minds and hearts, even when things feel crazy and confusing, and when you're not sure at that moment exactly what to do. After my return flight back to Houston, I retrieved my car from the parking lot and headed home, first stopping at the grocery store to pick up a few things I needed. I had a lot of stuff to remove from my trunk when I got home after shopping, a small carryon, my purse, my laptop and groceries.

When I got inside and started taking things out of the grocery bags, I didn't find the loaf of bread I just had bought. I grabbed my keys and headed back to my car, but I discovered I must have not picked up the bag with the loaf of bread in it. It wasn't in the trunk, so I headed back inside. It was my favorite bread, so I planned to go back to the store first thing the next morning. I would now have to wait to enjoy the delicious sandwich I had planned to make for myself that night.

Well, to my alarm and surprise, I realized that I had picked up the wrong set of keys. I have two sets, both have keys to my car and to my apartment, but only one set has the fob to the lobby of my apartment building. I was like "okay, this is going to be interesting. It's 11:00PM. Am I even going to see anyone going through the lobby and be able to get their attention?" I didn't panic, but I wasn't sure how and when I would be able to get back inside. Maybe someone will come out to walk their dog? Maybe someone will be leaving or coming and I can get in? I am not sure what to do now or how this was going to go. I just knew I was stuck outside needing to get in.

I went back to may car and sat there thinking. I can't leave because I need my fob to get back through the gate. So now what? I finally decided to park near the entry door with my emergency lights flashing. I thought maybe someone would see and come and check to see if there was an actual emergency. No, that didn't happen immediately. I sat there almost two hours. Just after 1:00am, I saw a lady peek outside with a look of curiosity and then duck back in quickly. I jumped out of my car as fast as I could, hoping she was still nearby the doorway because I could no longer see her. I knocked on the glass door and thank God she did hear it and came and opened the door for me. I don't even have to tell you how grateful I felt afterwards, having sat in my car that late at night. I had resolved to sleep right there at the door if I had to, but I'm sure glad I didn't have to.

Here's the thing: I pay much attention to life and quirky things that happen. While I sat inside my car, I prayed for a while, of course for someone to show up to help me get into the building, but I also prayed to know if there was some kind of "message" in all that was happening. I clearly heard the word "expectation" come to me. I thought, yes, for sure. God was showing me what it's like for us when we are waiting for something to happen, and when we are not sure what, when, how, where or who will bring us the answer, we just know it's coming somehow.

I knew that eventually I would be able to get inside my building, I just didn't not know how or when, but I knew it would happen. I never panicked. I didn't stress. I didn't complain. I didn't tell myself that I should have paid attention to which set of keys I was grabbing. I said absolutely nothing negative, nothing.

And, this, my dear readers, is the best way we can live and thrive in our periods of expectations for many things. We have to just know that certain things are gonna come, particularly when we know that our only choice is waiting for them to come. We can't always know how a thing is going to work out, we just have to know that somehow it will. Yes, that's how it goes. It takes patience for sure.

I pray your year is filled with grand and positive things! If you have to wait for some of it, I pray that you can do it with poise and patience, knowing that it's definitely coming. ~ S.R.F.

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