A Story of Strength We Can All Learn From

miss ann compression sleeve

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you,

pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recently, I met a young lady who left me feeling inspired, and I’m so blessed she agreed to let me share her story. I’d like to introduce you to Ann. She has a condition called lymphedema (chronic swelling) to her left arm. She developed this condition after a mastectomy and lymph node excision due to breast cancer.

As soon as I saw her, I knew she was special. Her compression garment was what got my attention. If you look closely, you can see it appears that she has multiple tattoos on her arm, when in reality she’s wearing a garment to help keep the swelling (which can sometimes be significant) controlled. Having to wear a compression sleeve can be difficult, but Ann embraced it. If she had to wear it, she might as well wear it in style!

Her attitude about the compression sleeve was awesome, but it was when I heard the rest of her story that left me feeling incredibly inspired. She shared that her family has a strong history of cancer, and she had lost her grandfather to colon cancer and her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 49.

Because of her family history, she was adamant about getting screened and taking measures for prevention. Ann was first diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent a colon resection. Ten years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a left mastectomy and chemotherapy. Eventually she had a right mastectomy as well.

What a journey she’s been on, but you would never guess she’d been through so much in talking with her. She is an excellent example of the power of not letting your circumstances define you. She shared three things that helped her along the way, and I’d like to pass them along:

1. Appreciate the Blessing of Each and Every Day

She learned to live her life day by day, and to appreciate the gift of that day. Being told you have cancer is a quick reminder of how precious life is. If we really want to live our lives, we should strive to have this mentality each and every day.

Celebrate the gift of each day, and make it count.

2. Don’t Focus on the Negative; Keeping a Positive Attitude Gives You Strength 

Dwelling on what you can’t control or change can suck the life and energy right out of you. She chose to focus on what she could control, which was her mindset. She found so much strength in maintaining a positive attitude.

There is a lot to be said about that; I believe wholeheartedly that your attitude and willpower are essential to healing both physically and spiritually. Sometimes that means you have to dig deep, but it’s in there. Re-enforce your mindset with what you spend your time doing. Surround yourself with and fill your time with what brings you joy and laughter.

3. Develop a Strong Support System:

Ann shared how much her husband did for her as she recovered, and without him she would’ve had a much harder time. Life can throw some pretty big curveballs at us, and sometimes they can knock us down. Allow yourself to lean on others to help you back up. Get involved with a congregation, people who’ve dealt with similar circumstances, and let your family and friends care for you.

Sometimes we need all the love and support we can get, and don’t let pride get in the way of what you need. Let others love you. That love is vital in helping us to keep fighting and overcome.

Thank you again to Ann for sharing your story and insights with all of us. It’s amazing how much strength people gain in learning of others who’ve overcome.

Has someone else’s story given you strength to overcome?

 

 

Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

Have you ever heard or read a story of someone that spoke to your core and inspired you to be a better person? I recently finished one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, and I had to share.


Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm is the story of a man who lived with incredible purpose. Adam Brown died a hero on March 17, 2010 while serving his country, but his story is so much more than that fateful day. Who he was and how he lived his life is what makes him so special.

He was from Hot Springs, Arkansas, and even in his early childhood, it was clear to see his character. In school, he was loved by everyone, but never let that go to his head. He was the one who stood up for the kids that were bullied, made choices with integrity, and was a role model for his peers. He also had a wild side and would never back down from a dare.

When he graduated high school, he fell in with the wrong crowd and became addicted to crack cocaine. His struggles with his addiction are heart wrenching and eventually land him in prison with multiple felony charges. In his darkest hours he dedicates himself to God, realizing quickly that his life was much bigger than himself.

In what he viewed as his last chance to overcome his demons, he joined the Navy with the goal of becoming a SEAL. Despite all odds, not only did he become a SEAL, but he managed to become a member of the most elite, and a part of the now famous SEAL Team SIX. The story of how he overcame his addiction, the challenges of his training, the unfortunate circumstances he faced in his life, his palpable love of country, his sense of family, and his amazing faith is in a word…amazing.

This man led a life with purpose, knowing he was here on this Earth to serve others. There was no limit to what he gave. He was the ultimate team player with his fellow SEALS, and taught Sunday school with his wife. He was actively engaged with his own children, and went out of his way to show kindness to anyone he could. On one deployment he delivered over 500 pairs of shoes to the children of Afghanistan.

After reading his story, I felt such a sadness for his death, but more importantly, I was incredibly inspired. His journey touched my heart and made me want to be a better person.

Reading Adam Brown’s story was an excellent example of something I’ve believed to be true for quite some time. Our experiences, our stories, are so important to share. By sharing them, we serve. Before his death, he made it very clear that he wanted his raw story of his dark times with his drug addiction shared with everyone. He wanted his failures and weaknesses to help others.

So, today, I have two challenges for you. First, go read this incredible book. Second, take a look at your own life, and see where your failures, mistakes, successes, and victories can help others. Find a way to use your story to serve.

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A Must Read Inspirational Book

Have you ever heard or read a story of someone that spoke to your core and inspired you to be a better person? I recently finished one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, and I had to share.


Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm is the story of a man who lived with incredible purpose. Adam Brown died a hero on March 17, 2010 while serving his country, but his story is so much more than that fateful day. Who he was and how he lived his life is what makes him so special.

He was from Hot Springs, Arkansas, and even in his early childhood, it was clear to see his character. In school, he was loved by everyone, but never let that go to his head. He was the one who stood up for the kids that were bullied, made choices with integrity, and was a role model for his peers. He also had a wild side and would never back down from a dare.

When he graduated high school, he fell in with the wrong crowd and became addicted to crack cocaine. His struggles with his addiction are heart wrenching and eventually land him in prison with multiple felony charges. In his darkest hours he dedicates himself to God, realizing quickly that his life was much bigger than himself.

In what he viewed as his last chance to overcome his demons, he joined the Navy with the goal of becoming a SEAL. Despite all odds, not only did he become a SEAL, but he managed to become a member of the most elite, and a part of the now famous SEAL Team SIX. The story of how he overcame his addiction, the challenges of his training, the unfortunate circumstances he faced in his life, his palpable love of country, his sense of family, and his amazing faith is in a word…amazing.

This man led a life with purpose, knowing he was here on this Earth to serve others. There was no limit to what he gave. He was the ultimate team player with his fellow SEALS, and taught Sunday school with his wife. He was actively engaged with his own children, and went out of his way to show kindness to anyone he could. On one deployment he delivered over 500 pairs of shoes to the children of Afghanistan.

After reading his story, I felt such a sadness for his death, but more importantly, I was incredibly inspired. His journey touched my heart and made me want to be a better person.

Reading Adam Brown’s story was an excellent example of something I’ve believed to be true for quite some time. Our experiences, our stories, are so important to share. By sharing them, we serve. Before his death, he made it very clear that he wanted his raw story of his dark times with his drug addiction shared with everyone. He wanted his failures and weaknesses to help others.

So, today, I have two challenges for you. First, go read this incredible book. Second, take a look at your own life, and see where your failures, mistakes, successes, and victories can help others. Find a way to use your story to serve.

Has someone else’s story ever inspired you to be a better person?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

Laughter: The Best Kept Secret in Overcoming Difficulty

halloween 2012A couple of Halloweens ago I came up with the bright idea of dressing up like a shark attack. There was a costume contest with at trophy at stake, so I was going all in with my participation. I dressed up in Panama City Spring Break attire for added effect. I even went so far as to acquire a strand of purple weave.

What I didn’t anticipate is how difficult the day would be. I was not scheduled to see any patients that day, but ended up needing to see some to help out with how busy clinic was. Each and every one of them gave me a confused look as I sat down on my stool to try and speak to them about their health. One lady even asked, “What are you supposed to be, a whale?” Several of them had real health problems that required a serious conversation. I’m sure they struggled with taking anything I said seriously.

I managed to make it through clinic in one piece, but the worst was yet to come. I had an employee come up to me and her supervisor saying she needed to talk with us. Of course we quickly agreed and made our way to my office; me, a shark attack, and her supervisor dressed as a very strange skeleton with a top hat. The employee was turning in her resignation and sat and cried as she explained how hard it was for her to move on, but she felt she had to.

I will never forget how awkward it felt to have such a serious conversation with her and the patients I saw that day looking as ridiculous as I did.

I’m glad I had that experience though, because it was an excellent example of the value of laughter. Life is filled with difficulties and struggles. We’re not always going to come out on top, and that’s ok. Learning to laugh at some of your blunders is such a powerful way to be able to move on from them.

Laughter is the best kept secret when it comes to overcoming difficulty.

  • It can change your emotional state

One of my all time favorite movie scenes is in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias when they are in the cemetery after Julia Robert’s character, Shelby, passes away. Her mother, played by Sally Field is beside herself with grief and anger. The scene is intense, and you can’t help but cry with her as she goes through such a horrible loss. She screams, “I’m so angry I just want to hit something! I want to hit it hard!”

Her friends are right there at her side and one of them quickly responds saying, “Here! Hit this!” and grabs the character played by Shirley McClain and pushes her towards her. They all break out into laughter. Then Dolly Parton’s character says my favorite line: “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

I couldn’t agree more. Laughter helps you push through the most painful times. Laughing can

  • Health benefits

There are many papers written from research that does indicate laughter has health benefits. According to an article titled: The Therapeutic Value of Laughter in Medicine  , it helps to improve circulation, reduce high cortisol levels, increase pain tolerance, and promote muscle relaxation.

It was also shown to help with overall well-being and coping. Studies showed it also had benefit in treating patients with depression.

  • It helps to cope with stress

No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and bad decisions. We can’t take them too seriously. They don’t define us. A mistake, a misfire, a bad decision is a bump in the road. It doesn’t mean you failed at life. All too often those mistakes can lead to high stress levels.

We all know a stress is a part of life, but if we’re not careful we can let it become overwhelming and harmful. Laughter helps to diffuse a stressful situation and regain perspective.

Laughter brings so much more value to our lives. So the next time you find yourself beating yourself up, remember the value of a good laugh. Strive to fill your days with as much laughter as you can.

What is the funniest thing you’ve ever done?

 

 

 

Immerse Yourself In Your Happy

How much “Happy” fills your day?

dylan cupcake A few days ago we got some cupcakes, a rare treat in our house, and promised the kids they could have one if they ate all their lunch. It always amazes me how quickly a 4 year old and 2 year old will eat their food when they know something sweet is involved. They quickly scarfed down their meal and eagerly awaited Mom to deliver on my promise.

I watched my son Dylan totally immerse himself in his treat. He ate the heck out of that cupcake, and wore the aftermath like a champ. Frosting from head to toe; he was covered in it by the time he was done. He giggled as he rubbed the mess all over his belly and face.

I think kids have it figured out; they go all in with things that make them happy. I think we adults can certainly learn a thing or two from them when it comes to happiness.

So, I’ll ask the question again, how much “Happy” fills your day? Do you make the time for the things that bring you joy? It’s easy to get wrapped up in the daily grind with deadlines, responsibilities, and stress.

Sure, some of that is part of life, but don’t lose sight of the important stuff. Make the time to laugh and do what you enjoy. Make sure you’re giving yourself every opportunity. Look at how you are spending your time when it comes to:

  • Your Job
  • Your Family
  • Your Friends
  • Your Down Time

Be intentional with that time. I truly believe joy keeps us strong and gives us fuel to move through difficulties. We need to be like Dylan and just immerse ourselves in it.

Life is too precious to not be spending it doing things you love. Be protective of your joy and appreciate the value it brings to your day. Even more fulfilling, is to share that joy with others. Find ways to make others smile and you’ll be amazed at the way it makes you feel.

What brings you the most joy in your life?

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Learn the Value of Patience When It Comes to Goals

Whatever happened to embracing the idea of “The best comes to those that wait?” That certainly doesn’t ring true in our society this day in age. Nowadays, we seem to live with the expectations that our efforts need to produce instant results.

While that expectation can be very feasible and beneficial, sometimes it’s just not realistic. How many times have we all found ourselves impatient with our goals? We want the end result right now, and often feel a sense of defeat when it doesn’t materialize as soon as we want  it to.

imageWe know better, yet still manage  to fall into the trap of impatience. Time to introduce you to my pug Dreyfus. Dreyfus is  the empitomy of instant gratification. This dog knows not of patience, especially when it comes to  something he wants. Usually, that “something” is  food.

Pugs have a tendency to overeat, so much so, that we have to limit their food intake. Over the years Mr. Dreyfus has adapted and learned to rummage through things to find his snacks.

Recently my sister was in town visiting.  The morning she left she had her suitcase laying on the floor with a big bar of dark chocolate in it I had given her.

Dreyfus snuck into her room, managed to open the suitcase and without hesitation he emerced himself in the chocolate, eating almost an entire 1/4 of the bar.

We discovered  his indulgence as we were leaving to take my sister to the airport. When we returned that afternoon Dreyfus began to reep the benefits of his instant gratification. He began to vomit uncontrollably, and well, needless to say, an overnight stay at the local animal hospital and $523 vet bill later, Dreyfus recovered from his bad decision.

Yes, I know he’s a dog with no common sense, but his story still serves us well as a learning point. What we feel we need “Right NOW” isn’t always in our best interests, and sometimes it can actually do more harm than good.

When you find yourself impatient with how your goals are progressing here are a few things to ask yourself:

1. Am I being intentional with my time?

If you find yourself frustrated with the pace of your progress, look at how you are spending your time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, yet some people seem to be much more productive than others. When you take a step back and really evaluate your time, it’s pretty interesting to see how you’re actually spending it.

If you’re being intentional with your time and working torwards your goals, then be reassured you are on the right track. If you find you’re wasting time by filling your day with meaningless activities like watching TV for hours,then make some changes to allow yourself the time and attention your goals deserve.

2. Are my goals realistic?

This can be  a difficult question to answer, but necessary. Having big goals is awesome, but sometimes the  enormity of them can be overwhelming. If you expect to build Rome in a day, you’ll undoubtedly end up disappointed.

Instead, take your goal of “building Rome” and break it down into smaller, more attainable goals, then all of a sudden it’s much more realistic. Be conscious of your limitations and what you feasibly can do and set your goals accordingly.

3. Is there forward progress?

I’ve been known to feel  frustrated and beat myself up for not having things perfect and done yesterday due to my impatience. When I catch myself doing this, I’ve developed the habit of taking a step back and asking this question.

When I can truly answer it, I find the perspective I need to get back on track. I may realize how much I really have done that I hadn’t been giving myself credit for.

There’s a delicate synergy of momentum and patience when it comes to accomplishing something great. Appreciate the importance of this balance and maintain focus on your desired outcome, and you’ll reach your goals.

Can you think of a time when being patient paid off?

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Embrace 4 Healthy Habits to Celebrate Life’s Moments

We turn not older with years, but newer every day. ~Emily Dickinson

This past weekend was my birthday. I can remember being told as a kid how quickly time goes by when you get older, but didn’t realize how true those words were until now. It seems the days pass as quickly as they come. In my younger years, I looked forward to my birthdays solely for the gifts I hoped to receive.

Now, I find life’s precious moments are so much more valuable than anything that may be wrapped up in a box with a bow. This birthday was a wonderful reminder of this. I woke up to my beautiful family and spent an amazing day treasuring the time we have together. As we sat on my back patio and enjoyed the morning together over coffee, my sister caught this moment with me and my son Dylan.

mommy and dylan 5 july 2014

Without question, one of the greatest birthday gifts I received.  Throughout the rest of the day, I found myself lost in moments like this one, and feeling overwhelmed with thanks for the many blessings I have in my life.

What I’ve come to realize in my years, is that we should celebrate life’s moments, these blessings, each and every day.  Sometimes, when life gets too loud, it’s easy to take them for granted.

Learn to Celebrate Life’s Moments by Incorporating 4 Healthy Habits into your Days

  • Be Conscious

That means taking the time to be aware of them. I’ve found the best way for me to do this is by waking up early and devoting a few minutes of my day to gratitude. I give thanks for moments in my:

      • Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Health
      • Relationship
      • Family
      • Career
      • Finances.

It’s actually pretty amazing to realize all the things we have to be thankful for in each of these areas. Taking the time to be grateful allows you to reflect and appreciate things you could easily overlook.

  • Learn Intentionally

Being aware of life’s lessons in our days is invaluable.  In order to recognize opportunities to learn and grow, you have to be intentional about it.

Look for life’s lessons in your mistakes, failures, successes, and victories. When you appreciate the chance to grow from them, it makes those moments so much more significant. Appreciate the value in these things and you can celebrate how much better you are because of them.

  • Love Fully

Yep, love the heck out of people in your life. Love the people you meet each day through acts of kindness and tolerance. Love your family with your time and understanding. Love your significant other with no expectations. Love your children with your actions as much as your words.

A life filled with love is one filled with moments that give us the strength to move past difficulties.

  • Live Completely

Without regret. Know you will make mistakes. Own them. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Embrace who you are and live a life that is true to you. The 2007 movie, The Bucket List starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson delivered this message beautifully. The characters were both terminally ill, and made a list of things they wanted to do before they died.

The film illustrated how precious life is and the importance of making it’s moments count. We should strive to fill our lives with moments that make us feel complete. Don’t wait until the opportunities are gone, take advantage of your time and make it count.

Each and every day of our lives is a gift. Celebrate this gift with how you live your life. Today will soon be yesterday. Right now will soon become a memory.  Make the most of life’s moments.

What is one of your favorite moments in your life?

 

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A Reminder of What We Celebrate on the 4th of July

Sometimes, a little perspective can go a long way. This 4th of July, I felt it only fitting to honor our country and those that fight for it. For today’s blog, I’m doing something a little different. I wanted to share an excerpt from my book 166 Days My Journey Through the Darkness, which outlines my deployment to Afghanistan in 2008. I was attached to a team of US Army Green Berets, and forward deployed to one of the most violent firebases in Afghanistan.

Photo taken by Sgt. Casey Kendall, USA

Photo taken by Sgt. Casey Kendall, USA

This was written on Independence Day after just losing a friend to war…


Day 66

Independence Day

4 July 2008

          I have to say without a doubt that this 4th of July has been the most significant one in my life. For the past twenty-seven years I enjoyed the family barbeques, fireworks and friends in the comfort and relative safety of the borders of the United States. I had no concept of the true meaning of this holiday. I had never made a sacrifice for my country and never known anyone who had given their life for it. Of course, like any red-blooded American, I celebrated it with pride, but the sacrifice behind what made the day possible was always something I read about in books, not anything that was personal. Now, I had lost a friend to this horrible war, been on a firebase that had been attacked by enemy fire, seen the poverty and the toll that hundreds of years of war had taken on the country of Afghanistan and its people, and I was looking at this holiday through a new set of eyes …eyes of understanding and true appreciation.

          I looked out at the mountainous horizons of Afghanistan, saddened to know now firsthand that there are people in this world who have no idea what it means to have freedom or experience its benefits as we Americans have. Even more saddening was the realization that Americans, including myself, had such a horrible habit of taking what we had in our nation for granted; having no concept of what it is like to live without the luxuries we have come to expect as a right, not something we have earned. I openly admit to being just as guilty of this. It sickened me that I, like so many Americans, had no idea what was happening in the country of Afghanistan prior to my deployment. It saddened me that the American youth was growing up in a generation of tablets, cell phones, and fancy cars completely missing the bigger picture of what was happening in the world outside of our “American Bubble”.

          Interestingly, I spent the majority of this day in bed, sick with diarrhea. In the evening we had a barbeque to acknowledge our country and what we were all there for and I managed to drag myself out of bed to attend. I sat outside on a bench, and in between my trips to the bathroom, I looked at the guys that surrounded me and I had an overwhelming sense of pride to be sharing this day with them. I looked at them all and smiled, listening to them laugh and give each other a hard time. I glanced up at the roof of the OpCen at our beautiful American flag flying with honor and pride even though she was flying at half-mast to honor an American soldier who, just days before, had made the ultimate sacrifice like many before him and many after him would continue to make.

I decided to go up to the roof to be alone with my thoughts. As I sat there, as the sun was setting over Afghanistan, I couldn’t take my eyes off the flag flying at half-mast for my friend. I sat alone, letting the tears of grief stream down my face; grateful to have known a brave soldier like Travis who proudly served knowing of the dangers he faced… and loving every minute of it.


 

Today,  I’m reminded of the amazing sacrifices that our men and women in the service continue to make each and every day. I have several personal friends deployed right now, and others who will be going soon. Some have suffered the wounds of battle, wounds they will carry the rest of their lives. Some continue to deploy time and time again to fight for their country, leaving behind their family and loved ones. Some won’t come home…

I’m humbled and sincerely grateful to the brave men and women that wear the uniform.  I challenge you this 4th of July to take a moment and give thanks to our military and the freedom they continue to defend.

What does our freedom mean to you?

4 Secrets to Overcome Being Annoyed with Others

Do you ever find yourself annoyed with the nuances of people in your life?

I think we are about due for another Jenn confession. I have a closet full of shirts that are hanging inside-0ut. Yep….I know it’s odd, and of course, there’s a story behind it. jenn closet

When it comes to being at home, I don’t have much sense of organization. My husband Greg is the polar opposite. He’s very methodical in everything he does, and keeps all of his things nice and neat.  I’ve actually been banned from doing the laundry in our house. I guess I’ve created one too many pink shirts and doll-sized clothes for Greg’s comfort. So, he’s been dubbed our “laundry guy.”

When he first took over the duty several years ago, he used to pull his hair out every time he got to my clothes. With our large household, he washes several loads a week to keep us going.

I notoriously put my shirts in the hamper inside-out, which he then has to fix when he folds and hangs the clean clothes.  He found he was spending even more time with the laundry by turning my shirts right-side out. So, like anyone would, he asked me to please be mindful of how I put the shirts in the hamper.

A simple request. At first I tried, but true to form, I fell right back into my old habits. Greg got wise to me, and instead of fixing my shirts, he began to hang them on hangers inside-out to prove his point.

So, I’d hang the inside-out shirts up and move on with my day. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me. And so, to this day…my closet is filled with them. I have to say though, in reading this, I’m even annoyed with myself! While his strategic move didn’t have the effect he intended, he no longer has to correct my annoying habit.

Anyway, the point of me sharing this story is to illustrate how there are things that make us all unique. My sense of priorities is much different than Greg’s. While I don’t put much weight into having my shirts right-side out, I can’t stand it when Greg leaves his receipts laying all over the place.

We all have our little things about us that can be annoying to others. It’s easy to learn to accept them when you care about someone, but how do you handle them with someone you work with, or someone you just met? Here’s some help.

4 Secrets to Overcome Being Annoyed with Others

1. Prioritize Your Annoyances

There is so much negativity in the world today. I think it’s important to really be mindful of what you let get under your skin. When you find yourself annoyed with someone, ask yourself:  “How much is this really impacting me?” Is it something you can see and let go?

I think Greg handled my shirts beautifully. He asked me to change my habit, and when I didn’t, he let it go. After all, it’s not his problem, it’s mine. We laugh about it now.  He knows that my crazy shirts aren’t going to impact his own nice neat closet whatsoever, so why spend time being frustrated about it?

2. Focus on the Positive

I find this to be very effective. I will find myself getting annoyed with someone, and instead of letting it eat away at me, I focus on the positive. It can be easier said than done, but you’d be amazed at how much it helps. When you’re on a team with someone, focus on what they bring to the table. How can they benefit the project at hand? What have they done that was great? How can you utilize their talents?

We all have pros and cons, it’s much more beneficial to be familiar with and focused on someone’s pros than their cons.

3. Be Honest, But Gracious

Sometimes, there is no way around it, something needs to be said. And sometimes, that’s all that needs to be done. We can all get so  enthralled in our own world, we have no idea what we do is bothering someone else. Once it’s brought to our attention, most of the time we can adjust.

The key to getting someone to adjust a behavior you point out to them, is to be gracious. If you are rude, disrespectful, or inconsiderate with how you approach them, you’re not going to be much of a motivator for change.

4. Be Humble

As I said before, we all have our flaws. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t benefit from our time together. Remember we can all learn and grow from each other. When you find yourself frustrated with someone, remind yourself of a time when you were that frustration to someone else.

Being human is a wonderful thing. It means we get to constantly strive to become better. Being humble is such a virtue. Remember you were not always the expert you are now. We all have a road to travel.

Can you think of someone in your life who has helped you grow through an annoying habit?

 

 

 

Discover a Huge Motivator for Physical Fitness

Team RWB bridge run 06.25.14If you told me a month ago that I would be doing a four mile run over an 85 foot high bridge in 90 degree weather in Panama City, Florida, I would’ve promptly laughed and reminded you of who you were dealing with!  Are you kidding? Noooo thank you! Good thing we didn’t have that conversation, because  last night I would’ve eaten my own words.  Yep, I did just that!

Trust me when I say it was not on my own accord. I did it because I was a part of a group with a noble cause.  I’m so proud to say I’m a member of Team RWB, an organization who’s mission is “To enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”

Being a part of something that I am so personally attached to and passionate about served as an incredible motivator for me. I did something I normally wouldn’t do on my own because of it.

Finding something that inspires you, that’s bigger than you is a huge motivator. I think this is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to staying engaged with fitness, or any goal for that matter. Let’s break it down and look at the benefits.

  • Accountability

When you become part of a group with similar interests, all of a sudden you have others to hold you accountable for your fitness commitments. When you agree to meet somewhere at a certain time, you’ve created an obligation to someone else which makes it harder to back out of.

Being a part of something means it’s not just about you. That accountability is powerful.

  • Comradery  

I think it’s fair to say for most people who’ve served, the comradery with our fellow service members is often what we miss the most when we move on from the military. Even if you haven’t served, feeling connected to others is often we enjoy the most about where we work or where we spend our time.

When you join a group whose goals are the same as your own, you begin to experience a special bond that brings you together. That bond makes physical activity that much more fun because you are doing it with your team.

  • Pride

When you’re a part of something you believe in, you develop a sense of pride. Last night when we ran, we had a flag in the front and the rear of our group. I can’t even begin to count how many cars honked, people waved, and saluted as we passed.

When I watched the Team RWB video, I couldn’t wait to sign up! I was so motivated to become a part of something so important for our veterans. Now, every time I put on my RWB shirt, I’m proud to show I’m a member.

  • Accomplishment

When I completed the bridge run last night, sure I was proud of my personal accomplishment, but I felt I accomplished something even more. I helped raise funds for an organization focused on serving. That was an even bigger achievement. Our team did it together.

Let’s be honest, staying motivated with physical activity can be a challenge. I’ve been there many times myself. Find a group or organization to be a part of and I guarantee you’ll be amazed at what you can do. Even if it’s no more than a group of friends and colleagues with a shared goal, be a part of something bigger than you.

Is there a group you can connect with that shares your same goals?