Do you have an I.M.V. Board?

I.M.V. = Inspirational.Motivational.Visual. Board which most refer to simply as a “Vision Board.”

Others call it a “Dream Board”….”Fitness Board”….”Travel Board”…whatever topic a person wants to focus on creating and manifesting into reality and making it achievable – the board is a visual tool to display everything related to that focus.

The internet has tons of ideas through social media like pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and yes, it can even be a lucrative business on the side by providing these type of workshops for people. It is something I looked into recently but with my writing projects going on, I figure I will simply look at creating an I.M.V. board for my own personal goals/dreams.

Right now, I have motivational screen-savers of various travel destinations all around the world. I have motivational quotes on different colored post-it notes attached to my computer monitor where I do my weekly blogging and side business as a virtual consultant.

The great thing about imagination is that it has an endless supply of ideas and creativity that can be inspired through a conversation with a friend, inspired by reading a great book, visiting a brand new place or even taking up a new hobby.

I think these I.M.V. boards can be done at any age and actually, the older we get the more we need them. For some reason, as we grow from childhood to adulthood, many of us become more cynical, skeptical, jaded and even negative-minded through bad experiences or have many disappointments along the way that wear us down and maybe even break our spirits.

But as visual creatures, there is always a solution to remedy that if one is willing to start over. That is one of the great things about life: it is never too late to start over. It is just a matter of making a decision to change.

So how does one start to create an I.M.V. Board? While it is important to have the right supplies, sometimes those very things can be found within the home such as photographs from previous travels, postcards from visiting souvenir shops, leftover stickers, sewing materials and embellishments from days of scrapbooking (if one is into that sort of thing).

Yes, there are “kits” you can order thru Amazon or drop by a favorite local hobby/craft store (for us its Hobby Lobby, Pier 1, Joanne’s or even Michael’s). Those kits could be platforms to start off with and then one simply can create and add one’s own additions like ribbons, organic materials or words cut from a magazine to add to the I.M.V. depending on the theme of the board.  So let’s break down what each letter represents in the I.M.V. Board.

Inspirational [in-spuh-rey-shuh-nl]

Whatever imparts inspiration can be displayed onto the I.M.V. Board to reflect that which causes one to aspire to greatness, to perhaps service to humanity in some form be it through a business, a non-profit charity, an environmental cause or social work. Aspiring to greatness could also be working towards a motivational speaker, aspiring writer or transformational coach to help others. I cannot help but think of older folks – even my age group that could be reminded of what they have the potential to achieve or fulfill if they are just willing to expand their hearts and minds to the idea.

Inspirational could be seeking spiritual fulfillment. It could be achieving the best quality lifestyle in health and wellness after years of mistreating the body thru abuses in food, alcohol or drugs. It comes from aspiring from within after a major (could be traumatic) incident occurs that can only be a sign for one to stop and realize changes must be made.

 

Motivational [mōdəˈvāSH(ə)n(ə)l]

If you ever tried to train a dog, you would know that you always need some kind of treat to reward the dog for doing a certain task or obey a certain command. The treat motivates the dog to behave a certain way and the dog will keep doing that knowing it will be rewarded accordingly.

By the time we hit our 50s, we usually have gone through quite a few experiences in life to know what to expect and what not to expect. Depending on where we are at in our life, it can either be depressing or hopeful. At our age, we’ve either reached the ceiling limit of our career or even demoted to a lower position due to organizational changes.

While many older folk have contemplated or even returned to school to get some kind of certification or associate’s degree or even a more higher-level college degree, there are those of us who have found that route to be painstakingly frustrating.

It’s important to have an I.M.V. Board to see what we want out of life and if there are some things we want to accomplish, we do not necessarily need to find a higher-paying job to do it. That is why goal-setting is essential. The motivation to change careers could be an opportunity that may require a college degree. It is with my current job situation, but I am choosing to create side business ventures of my own and pursue my writing because my future is to become a best-selling author, not stay in government work as an administrative clerk.

 For some (myself included) as we age, the motivation to improve one’s health will definitely require more exercise, eating healthier and planning menus ahead of time to bring lunch to work versus buying something from the vendor’s machine or a convenient store around the block. For me, going thru physical therapy to help restore functionality to an impaired shoulder also motivated me to exercise the entire body so I could lose weight and feel better.  Part of my regimen included eating healthier and educating myself more about what foods work best for me at my age and what to keep at a minimum.

 Recently, I decided to ask a friend to become my health coach since she is going into that avenue because I think it will help me stay on track with accountability as well. Never had a health coach before but now is as good a time as any to try something different.

So whether you are 51 like me, being inspired and motivated can certainly attribute to having a I.M.V. Board as a tool to keep that focus but inspiration and motivation are just part of what keeps a person on track. One must have a VISION to complete that Board and bring about desirable outcomes.

Visual

ˈvizh-wəl\

The I.M.V. is to inspire, motivate and lastly, help visualize through a board of items, words and phrases that are meaningful to the person creating it. As mentioned before, I have noticed the older we get the less we dream or even have a vision for our lives. Somehow routine, ordinary, every day living keeps many of us distracted from digging deeper within and daring to dream a bigger, more abundant life – WHY do we hesitate to do this? WHY are we afraid or reluctant?

Sometimes hard knocks in life can keep us down temporarily until we realize the only way back up is to get up. The only way to face each day is to wake up and take action. I.M.V. Boards are just the tools that will help us take action and move towards everything that results in the achievements we want or the fulfillments we desire. Whether it’s dating again after 50, finding a new hobby or passion that brings new friendships and acquaintances your way or learning a new skill like affiliate marketing to start a lucrative side business that could expand to remarkable online opportunities in many ways – any one of these could be a dream for someone over 50, 60 maybe even 70. Age is not a factor when dreams come into play. The only  limitations we have are within the boundaries we set up in our minds.

Take the time to create an I.M.V. Board – as I will surely start one even if I’m 51…even if it’s not the beginning of the year. These type of boards can be made anytime, with any kind of materials depending on what the theme of the board is, so don’t waste anymore time wishing. Start doing something about those dreams hidden way back on the shelves and cupboards within the mind’s imagination. Dare to soar.  Dare to accomplish.  Dare to achieve.  Dare to fulfill. Dare to dream.

All it takes is a decision to change and the courage to move forward with it.

To My Mom with Love

“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” – Abraham Lincoln

When I was growing up and experienced illness or stress (which was a lot), I would cherish the times my Mom would come into my room and check on me. Sometimes she had soup with her, sometimes some fruit and crackers, sometimes a glass of homemade lemonade or a bowl of strawberry ice cream. Also she spent time talking to me or she would give me my all-time favorite relaxation activity: the tickie.

The tickie is something my Mom did to me from a before I could remember as a way to soothe and calm me down. I had bronchitis a lot when I was much younger and asthma. Basically, it was my Mom using her hands to gently “tickle” my arms back and forth. It was soooo soothing to me. It was better than a massage (but nowadays, a foot massage or hand massage from my husband is very welcoming as well when I’m tired or stressed out).

Even when I go back and visit my folks in Hawaii, sometimes my Mom and I would be sitting on the couch and I’d extend my forearm towards her. We wouldn’t have to say anything but she smiled and would tickie my arm while we chatted about anything that came to mind.

It’s funny how a parent can influence a child to mimic gestures of love and affection on others. We had dogs in a previous life and each one loved when I’d gently massage their back side or their chest or under-belly. They knew how to relax! So it was when I used to baby-sit occasionally and the baby didn’t want to nap. I would just sit and give a tickie. At first, it was playful but the longer I sat and gave the tickie, the eyelids would start to droop and soon enough, the baby would drift off to sleep.

So it was the same for me when my Mom would tickie me. Ironically, as I got older, she taught me how to tickie her and we would take turns giving tickies, listening to Chopin or I would read to her about my latest adventure in Greek mythology, Agatha Christie mystery or my own made-up stories.

Initially, I used to be hurt while I was reading to her and giving her a tickie and next thing I knew she’d fallen asleep! I would wake her up as she dozed and she’d smile and murmur, “Keep going, Sweetie. I’m listening. Don’t forget to tickie me.” I would later complain she often fell asleep numerous times so she wouldn’t get to hear me reading about my stories and she’d say, “Baby doll, I do hear them. And I remember them in my dreams.”

“But why can’t you stay awake?” I’d grumpily ask her. “I stay awake when you tickie me!” and she’d laugh and say, “You fall asleep just like me, Babe. Tickies are meant to relax and soothe. It was a way I could calm you down, get you to stop coughing when you were sick or make you feel better when you had an ow-wee or if one of your playmates didn’t want to play with you anymore and hurt your feelings. Tickies make you feel better.”

Mothers just instinctively know what makes us feel better. At least, my Mom did. She did it so well that to this day, I would still ask her to tickie me on my yearly visits at least once or twice. It just brings back such a wonderful memory of being close to her, being with her, talking to her and just having her presence with me.

I live in Oregon and my folks live in Hawaii. We communicate most of the time by phone. We tried Skype, she does have e-mail but doesn’t check it often. My folks don’t believe in text. They are old school and proud of it. They will keep up with the times only to the extent they have to and at least have cell phones. Of course, it doesn’t mean they leave them on or check them or answer them. But they have them.

My Mom was a firm believer in face-to-face communication and my Dad also prefers this method. My Mom often told me that the best way to get to know someone is to spend time with them in person, not just by phone, not just by letter or e-mail or Skype or other “technological” method.

“A conversation between two people is best conducted facing each other. Eye contact. Nodding in acknowledgment. Even disagreements can be resolved face-to-face. It is so much better in person.”

And i have to agree. That’s why tickies cannot be done online. Tickies are not virtual. Tickies happen with physical contact. Closeness. Intimacy. Bonding.

Tickies happen with love. My Mom demonstrated that to me from a very young age and I have never forgotten that memory. Mothers instill many memories in us that influence us for better or worse. Their love spans the globe even from a distance, at least mine does. Her little care packages, her little funny notes and sayings. All done with care and thought. Her timing may not always be there but I know it’s always the thought that counts.

I used to say I was the “forgotten child” because my older brother was the pride and joy on her side of the family. He was the first-born grandson, shared the same birthday as her father and was named after his great-grandfather and grandfather plus has a Hawaiian middle name.

Me? Well, my Mom didn’t know she was pregnant with me until almost 6 months. She was busy working, playing volleyball at church camp, taking care of my active, older brother and had to be told by her doctor the reason for her recent tiredness and skipping periods was because she was expecting me in a few months. HELLO? WOMAN?! Smart as you are, can you not see the signs from your body?

Years ago, I used to resent it. I used to feel ignored and thought, ‘Meh, I’m a girl. My Asian culture thrives on boys. Family name and all that bullshit.” So I just accepted it. And one day a few years ago while visiting my folks, my Mom actually passed me in the parking garage not even recognizing me (I had lost quite a bit of weight, had new hairstyle, so well…sometimes these things happen).

I stopped and turned around and said “Mom! It’s me!”

She turned around and then her eyes got big. “Oh, Sharon! (she doesn’t use my nickname) gosh, Babe! I didn’t even know it was you. You’ve changed–you’re smaller…you look great. Oh, hug your Momma!” and I did, rather fiercely. She is a little shorter than me now. Has salt and pepper hair. Prefers to wear flat shoes or slippers and voluminous, flowery dresses (in Hawaii, we call them mu’umu’u). Also, she ALWAYS with a couple plastic bags and a rolling cart. ALWAYS.

She also did it when I visited her classroom one day and asked if I was lost.

I told her, “No, I”m just your forgotten child.”

Now, I meant it in jest (sort of) but I had to admit, why was my Mom not recognizing me? I didn’t drastically lose weight. I might’ve cut my hair but I was still the same person. Same voice. What was different?

She later told me one late evening when I had come over to sample some of my Dad’s home-cooked meals.

“You’ve changed, Sash (another nickname). You seem to exude more confidence, more…maturity….and you grow lovelier every time I see you. I’m so proud of you, Baby doll!” (another nickname, but never ‘Shalei’).

So really, my Mom never “forgot” me, she said I just hardly ever gave her a reason to worry. Only when I got really sick (chronic leukemia diagnosis). But I bounced back from that eventually with lots of prayers, a health organic diet and TONS of positive thoughts I gorged on to my own body. Anything is possible. So is recovering from what could have been a fatal disease.

She knew I had a good head on my shoulders. I could be relied upon. I was responsible. I stayed out of trouble and never skirted with the law. I didn’t have bad associates. I made my share of blunders and mistakes, but nothing that I couldn’t learn from and improve upon.

My Mom brought me up right. She taught me many important lessons about being persistent. Taking action instead of just dreaming about something. Standing up for something I believed in regardless if I was in the minority. Being popular is overrated. Never too old to dream and want more. Always be open to learning and be willing to change restricted thinking. Embrace fear and feed faith. Love more to receive more.

So on the eve of the traditional Mother’s Day celebration, I wanted to thank my Mom for all she has done to help mold me into becoming the woman I am today.

And especially, for all the tickies she gave me because the best thing about that was I got to spend time with her.

I love you, Mom. Have a wonderful Happy Mother’s Day.

The Health Responsibility Jar – UPDATE!

As promised, I am here to blog an update to an article under my “Health & Wellness” category. I am SO excited and thrilled that the Health Accountability Jar I created a month ago remains EMPTY. Yes, dear readers, it is EMPTY! No money has accumulated in there from Day 1. I have been reaching my 10,000 steps or more daily and it has been a blast feeling better, being more active, more mobile and feeling younger than my soon-to-be 52 years on this planet.

Now, can I jump as high as this young lady in the picture? Well, if I were built like a gymnast, perhaps. But I’m built more like a “healthier” version of a hobbit at 5’2″ – and I’m proud of my body image regardless! I still am making decisions each day to be accountable to my health because I am still hitting my daily goal of 10,000 steps daily or more and it’s a big deal to me because I wasn’t always making healthy decisions. This resulted in lack of stamina, being stressed out, acquiring high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, muscle aches and becoming an emotional eater throughout the years.

Now this did not happen overnight. It took YEARS. As I have gotten older, I decided to make changes to my health and read books, watched experts on TV shows, talked to my doctors, got advice from those who improved their lives who lost weight whether it was through bariatric surgery or thru a special diet regimen. There are so many solutions and I have tried many weight-loss plans, tried switching up my menu planning. I tried keto, vegan, vegetarian, combination, no-carb, low-carb, low-fat and even all dairy.  Temporary results with no lasting effects.

So I had to go further than just the surface. I knew I had a problem but understanding why I stuffed my face was more than because I loved food too much. I still love food, but I didn’t respect it enough to realize it is simply fuel for my body.  I alsowas not good at sharing my feelings because I internalized my emotions alot – especially anger, frustration, boredom and loneliness.

It wasn’t enough to acknowledge those emotions. I had to figure out the WHY and then follow through on the HOW to resolve this unhealthy pattern in my lifestyle.  Reading books by Tony Robbins and watching YT videos by Lisa Robbins and Dan Lok taught me a lot about my inner self, uncovering ugly truths about myself that I tried to deny through poor eating habits and inept nutrition.  Even living a sedentary lifestyle with very little activity expect pressing the remote button was not going to resolve my love-hate relationship with food and myself.

If some of you have read my previous articles here, you may have read about subjects I wrote regarding removing tolerations, what titles describe you (or what is your identity), and also about having a vision for your life. All of these topics have come my way closer and more frequently the older I got. When I turned 50 a couple years ago, it dawned on me that I slowed down rather then accelerated. Comfort was more a priority and many times, complacency became my BFF.  The spark or passion that ignited my dreams of becoming a best-selling writer decades ago had been stifled for years under piles of unfinished short stories, rejection letters I never tossed out and rewrites of outdated fictional drafts. My decision to pursue that passion was replaced with focusing on just surviving, making a living, paying the bills, trying to keep romance alive in an affectionate but lukewarm relationship and just merely existing was how I was beginning to feel at 50.

It also dawned on me that this was supposed to be the best time of my life – 50 was supposed to be fab, fearless, fruitful (not necessarily child-bearing) and fantastic.  I was past worrying about the kind of job I’d get, past the anxiety whether people liked me or not.  I was beyond dealing with silly office dramas and if I liked being alone at lunch, I was ok with that because I always had my bestie foods with me.  When I began to question what the hell was wrong with me, I figured out it was because I forgot how to seek fulfillment.  I just kept using the excuse, “Oh, just go with the flow. No need to work hard. No need to make the effort. You deserve to go easy now. You’re 50.”

Part of my nature though, is that I get bored easily. While I may enjoy the ease and comfort of relaxation, there was still a tendency for me to pay attention if something was interesting on TV or through a conversation or even on YouTube. My boredom never lasted because I hate it when my mind is merely surfing with random thoughts and going in no direction. It became very apparent during my 2-month medical leave while my rotator cuff needed healing by keeping the shoulder immobile in a sling.

Little did I know that in the area where my orthopedic surgeon worked, tissue, cellular growth, muscle and bone needed to re-connect thru sutures and tiny little screws. It needed healing because eventually it would face its worst nightmare: physical therapy. Of course, after going thru the pain and challenges of all those exercises, at six months post-op, I am thrilled that my shoulder is way better than where it was back in November.  I even attribute physical therapy to success: it takes time. Any goal worthwhile takes time. Be it strengthening and flexing the shoulder again or losing weight or paying off debt.  Any goal worthwhile takes time and walking 10,000 steps a day is achievable but takes time.

It takes little steps each day to reach a goal. It was the same way with my health accountability jar. Walking was something I enjoyed but I wasn’t sure if I could achieve 10,000 steps daily. I could do it maybe 2-3x/week…but DAILY? However, I held myself accountable by telling others when I blogged about it last month here at my website. I also sent pics of my pedometer steps at the end of each day to my Instagram account so my friends could see that I needed their help to hold me accountable. One night I was so tired, I didn’t post my steps until the next day and my co-worker asked me about it. She said she was used to seeing my Instagram post and when she didn’t see it, wondered what happened.  I immediately went to posting it.

It is kind of scary to be held accountable, but it also made me feel good that I could accomplish something like that and STILL continue to do those same steps day in and day out. Another big supporter was my husband. He wasn’t one to nag or preach to me about my health but he has always been concerned and was happy to see that I was taking actions to get active again and start making better decisions towards my health.

Learning about this tool in the 28 Days to Results program by motivational speaker & best-selling author, Lisa Nichols, was a huge contributor to my taking action. The program helped me break goals down in areas which I could take ONE action step towards it. Goals are achievable if they are realistic, doable and small enough you can take action consistently.

Walking 10,000 steps daily was achieved because my full-time job required me to move and walk to take care of tasks. My daily steps were achieved because I chose to park farther away from my office so I could walk to and from the location daily. My daily steps were achieved because I have a supporting co-worker who walks with me on our 15-minute breaks and it helps her feel better as well. My daily steps were achieved because I have a loving husband who cares about me and walks with me in the evenings in and around our neighborhood.

I made a decision to be accountable to my health. My goal to that accountability was to walk 10,000 steps every day. I still walk those steps plus more each day. My health accountability jar remains empty, but my heart is full with gratitude. I have learned over this last month that true wealth is better health and it is so true the older I get!

 

How do you honor yourself?

One of the most memorable and learning experiences I ever had is happening this weekend. I invested in getting more training for myself online through a great organization called Motivating the Masses. I am big on learning because it is something to fuel my mind, energize my spirit and remind myself to live a purpose-driven life.

Being part of the membership community of any association whether it’s professional or social can bring meaning and fulfillment outside of your every day life. Forming those social media connections and brand-new friendships in person can be rewarding as well as a type of networking that you can tap into at a later date.

When I was much younger, I didn’t put myself first alot. I grew up where family and culture and community is big. Service to others was always emphasized at church, at work even amongst friends. If someone was hurting or needing advice, I was there. Whether it was 10 am or 10 pm, my friends knew how to reach out to me and I made time for them. Again and again.

What I didn’t realize was that time for myself was getting less and less. I felt that being needed by others would fulfill me. Being popular and the “Dear Abby” of my friendship circle would help others change for the better. It would make me the person I was always supposed to be,right?

Not necessarily.

In the last thirty-some years, I realized that people come and go in your life. There are “fair-weather” friends who are there when times are good (and they are more than happy to spend my money and take up my time) and there are friends who are there for a particular season, which could be the amount of time you stay in a certain job or profession. There are friendships you formed in highschool that are still lasting or just there for the time you were in highschool. There are also the ones who are there for you thru thick and thin, no matter the decades that pass by.

Regardless, who is always with you? well…YOU!

Now you could argue with me and say, ‘Well, Shalei, God is always with you….or your family is always with you.” But I mean, in the darkest hours….when no one else is around….when you’re the last person in the office to lock up….when you are the last person up at night to put away the clean dishes and load the dirty ones. When you come home to an empty house because your partner is gone…..your children are grown and living elsewhere…..or you simply live alone because your cherished pet is in animal heaven.  When you are still, and quiet and behind closed doors and there is a sense of disquiet stirring in your restless spirit.

Do you honor yourself?

Many times when we think of honoring someone, it is usually something formal or solemn. We honor our veterans. We honor lifetime achievement awards to recipients such as celebrities, famous authors or a political leader or even volunteers to a charity. We honor a beloved friend or family member in celebration of the life they had.  But more importantly:

Do you honor yourself?

It is not being full of yourself. It is not being egotistical. It is not self-absorbed. Honoring yourself is appreciating yourself for all you do when no one else notices. So my question again is:

Do you honor yourself?

If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, why not? There is no shame to be acknowledged. There is no shame to be validated. It is important to know that what you do matters. But you have to be the first one to recognize that in yourself. Whether your are over 20, 30, 40 or 50 and older – you are worthy to honor yourself but you need to believe it.

It is easier to encourage someone else of their worth, isn’t it time to renew that self worth back to you? No matter your age, background, experience, skill-set – remember to celebrate your own wins because sometimes, you can get lost in the shuffle of life. You may be overlooked at work even though you work behind the scenes or are sent out to pick up refreshments for a long in-house training or staff goal-setting session.

Sometimes even at a family reunion, everyone else is sitting at another table laughing and enjoying each other’s company, and you find yourself with your own food plate, sitting alone on the couch watching sports….or some other vague television show you don’t even watch. Why are you there?  How is it that you’re forgotten?

Remind yourself that you do matter. Your life counts though you may not give it a second thought. Self-care isn’t just for your appearance or health. Self-care also needs to be tended inside you.  Do you consider yourself worthy enough to love yourself just a little bit more? Of course you should!

So I ask again:  Do you honor yourself? If yes, I applaud you to stand proud that you are true to yourself.

If no, then I encourage you to find out why and keeping asking why until you find your answer.

To love, honor and cherish is not just for married couples.

Give yourself permission to love you right where you are at.

Give yourself permission to honor yourself in the moment, in the present.

Give yourself permission to cherish yourself because you a pearl of great price.

Do you honor yourself?

 

What “Titles” Describe You?

Writer. Partner. Motivational Provocateur. HEY!…did you catch that last one? yes, I actually have started calling myself that because I am striving to become one in my path to success and fulfillment.

It is a mouthful, but recently I watched a video on Instagram by financial guru Dan Lok. Dan has an Instagram content director who oversees the content and topics that are put forth for Dan Lok followers and anyone else interested in checking it out. This “SME” person shared some insight. One of the things he mentioned was how important it was to create a bio about yourself that is accurate and real (or as ‘real’ as one can be on social media).

My instgram account is marked ‘private’ so I can pick and choose who I want to follow and who I allow to follow me. My account is not all that important to anyone but me. It’s about my journey to self-improvement and better health as my shoulder (Bertha, remember her?) recovers and gets back in shape from shoulder surgery several months ago.

My bio has yet to post those “titles” I described at the beginning of this article, but I certainly believe those are my roles that I am and aspire to become. It is interesting to view when I see requests from strangers who want to follow me. Some titles are “mother of 2″….”CEO of my best self”….”Slutty & Successful”….and “Born to succeed, breed and conquer.” And no, none of them interested me enough to accept their requests.

I also noticed not all these “titles” match the photo listed on the Instagram account. Most show a picture of an individual smiling, maybe carrying a pet or with a trio of friends; another with a flritatious smile and revealing bosom, all tan and pretty, and another with just part of a very half-naked, sculpted physique only Donatello or Bernini would admire. Title and image create a visual impact to the viewer which will either gain a positive or negative reaction.

Yes, titles matter. They describe something about a person. CEO and Chariman. President and Owner. Her Majesty the Queen. 7-time Olympic Gold Athlete. They usually generate admiration and even inspiration for those of us who can only dream. Michael Phelps comes to mind when I think of Olympic Gold champion. I watched every segment he competed in.

This guy won 28 Olympic gold medals and is considered the most decorated Olympian of all time and a ‘success’. Why? Because he didn’t let limitations hold him back. At the age of 7, he was introduced to water and was “scared” of putting his head underneat the surface. So he learned to float on his back and inevtiably mastered the backstroke. One of many techniques he tackled to stretch and challenge his abilities to become the best.

He thought. He decided. He took action. He went for the title he believed he could earn. He paid a high price and that did not stop him because he set out to achieve what needed to be done to win the title of Olympic Gold Medalist. He achieved it and went after more. How’d he do it? 5 Things: Embrace Drills, Get in gear, Hit the weights, Rest & Recover and Train your brain.

“The superior man always thinks of virtue; the common man always thinks of comfort.” ~ Confucius~

How many of us have struggled with losing weight and staying healthy so we don’t go back and gain it all back? I am certain many of us have had the yo-yo effect of diets and exercising and even trying the latest trends to lose weight fast. With subtle advertising and subliminal gimmicks on infomercial programs that we watched many late nights while eating kettle popcorn or a bag of cheetos – many of us fall into that trap of wanting to lose the weight without sacrificing the comfort.

We so badly want to shed those pounds with a pill or supplement or “meals and snacks” but not have to exercise, sweat, and push our bodies to improve metabolism, burn calories, tone and strengthen.

We don’t like pain. If it takes too much effort, we whine about it. If it takes too much dedication or commitment, we procrastinate a little while longer.

We prefer comfort over inconvenience. It is human nature to seek comfort, ease and things that feel good. We don’t like to think about hard work, self-discipline and mastery over over-eating. It’s too difficult.

Today, we life our lives in a lot of convenience just at the click of a mouse. We can conduct billion dollar deals over the internet in record time. We shop online and things arrive at our door in matter of days or weeks. We have it way too easy.

And we wonder why we struggle with renewing our minds. Why we find ourselves fighting our inner strongholds because we cannot demolish the negative thoughts quickly enough. They’ve been there years and becamehabits.

“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state…Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” ~James Allen~

James Allen is a famous British Philosopher who wroteAs A Man Thinketh which became his best well-known work when it was published in 1903. He had no idea just how well-loved that book would become for the rest of the world decades later as generations of people sought after becoming better, learned, articulate, generous individuals. He believe that our thought life eventually manifested into our reality.

We think what we become and as a result, what we project we attract. Whether this is good or bad depends on the situation and the outcome or results we want or don’t want. So if we don’t like the results our outcome we need to find a better solution.

Sometimes we need to change the title. If we’re carrying an invisible title that says “Poor self-image. Low self-confidence. No ambition. Complacent and easy-going” – maybe it’s time to kick things up a notch. Or kick it where it hurts!

The next time you see yourself in the mirror, ask you yourself, “What’s my current title? Is it accurate? Does it represent who I am?”

Writer. Partner. Motivational Provocateur. It’s what I am and what I will continue to become.

 

Waste Not, Want Not: Removing Tolerations

One of the best ways to declutter thoughts in a disarray is to have a physical environment visually clean, tidy and attractive. It serves a better purpose.  The mind can be renewed with fresh thoughts and ideas and an overall sense of well-being.

But many times as we get older, we tend to tolerate more things or situations for the sake of “letting things be” without really giving much thought to the consequences.  We allow ourselves to get caught up in the family drama, we try to play a role in the family to make sure everyone is happy even though we’re miserable.  We will say “yes” when we really want to say “no”. And we make excuses for others whose behavior is, frankly, inexcusable.

We all have been there at one time or another.  We all had others depend on us because they refused or chose not to depend on themselves.  Sometimes we tolerated things and people to be liked, to be popular, to be relied upon.  The downside on this is that we tolerate it until we accept it as part of our every day routine though it doesn’t bring us any closer to fulfillment or satisfaction. In fact, it often turns to internal resentment and even animosity towards others.

This all starts with tolerations. It’s not a bad thing, but if left unchecked can result into a bigger problem, mess or undesirable situation that may require massive overhaul resolution.

Perfect example is when I was recovering from shoulder surgery last November, I could not do anything – just had to keep the shoulder immobile as much as possible for several weeks. The only time I could move it was during physical therapy and when I needed to clean up or change clothes. Everything around me was just left as it was – cleaning was done by The Hubs but when he had time to do it which was usually on weekends.

I hated the mess. I hated being fully dependent on him. I had to get used to feeling less in control and tell myself the cleaning up can take place later next Spring.

Well, four months later – Spring arrived and I was still making excuses to leave things messy. I sometimes argued with The Hubs that once my sholulder can actually lift light weight items, I would start cleaning up and organizing. Eventually, when my physical therapists began adding weights to my exercises, my muscles strengthened along with the mobility and range of motion.

Now heading into 6 months out of post-op surgery, I no longer was allowing these “messy” tolerations lying about the house; I needed to take action, take stock into how to improve the look of the place and remove unsightly items that were either to be tossed away, donated, sold or boxed away.

Sometimes in our lives, we keep things around that slightly irritate us or when we look at us make us give out heavy sighs or roll our eyes and say, “Oh gosh…yeah, I forgot about that! Ugh. Just leave it. I’ll deal with it later.” And we push it up against a wall, or put it away in a drawer so we don’t need to look at it. Sound familiar?

Why do we keep these “tolerations” around? It could be the toleration is a relationship. A long-time friendship college days, highschool or chidlhood. It could be putting up with snide remarks from a cantankerous relative who doesn’t know those remarks are nasty jabs to self-image because that person is insecure as well. No one says anything. It’s just tolerated.

In my young 51 years, I have learned there are things and people I will tolerate and there are things and people I will not tolerate. At times, the things or people are out of my control but I can certainly control how I response or react and can certainly take action based on my response or reaction.

It is important to take the time to figure out if what we’re allowing is a reasonable discomfort to provoke us to take eventual action or if it is something easier to not deal with because if we do, it will result in negative feedback or hurt feelings. Sometimes feeling pain is a necessary step to heal. Just like with my recovering shoulder – physical therapy was necessary so my shoulder could get back into working motion again. Did I enjoy it? Hell no, not all the time. But as the shoulder got stronger, more flexible and put forth work into the home exercises in between visits, then it got easier, better and now enjoyable.

I enjoy learning new exercises to improve my range of motion for my shoulder.  Physical activity is so important! I also enjoy learning new technology and concepts to create additional income online. Mental stimulation to acquire more knowledge or skill-set is key to keep from feeling old and decrepit.  I embrace new and better ways of thinking to eliminate old, negative habits and replace them with better, consistent steps.

One thing I no longer tolerate of myself is making excuses not to get physical exercise daily. Physical therapy is only two times a week at 40-minute sessions. That is not enough to get this well-rounded, lovable woman into better shape. Also, as we age, it does get more difficult to keep a healthy waistline, stamina and healthy immune system.

Exercise is one of the best ways to keep from getting sick.

One of the recent online courses I came across was at a site called Motivating the Masses. The founder is a motivational coach and author, Lisa Nichols. Her story from broke-to-abundance on a Dan Lok podcast so impressed me, I had to search her website online. She had talked about an annual writing and speaking workshop she does each year in San Diego. Well, I found the website and I immediately learned about the 28 days to Results program. I also signed up to attend the conference as a virtual attendee.

The 28-day to Results program that helps a person achieve small, doable goals which in turn provides consistent, positive and healthy habits in 9 different environments impacting one’s life. There is a lesson each day via e-mail and an action task to implement what was learned.

In one of the early lessons, I learned about responsibility and my homework was to select an environment I was going to implement an achievable goal each day to improve that environment. I also needed a tool to help implement that action task so I could start being consistent with that responsibility goal. So I created a Health Responsibility jar.

Good health has always been a battle with me since childhood. Being born and raised in Hawaii, I was exposed to a lot of damn, good food. My father was a former executive hotel chef, my Mom enjoyed cooking and baking and we always had delicious food around the house. Of course I was going to grow into a huggable, lovable “well-rounded” individual.

What became a fondness for food turned into obsession as I got older. However, allowing myself to “tolerate” eating an over-abundance of foods both healthy and unhealthy was not a good balance in moderation. With lacking exercise and leading a semi-sedentary life, my eating “tolerations” followed me into my teen years and adulthood. This resulted in obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Sadly, this is a self-destructive cycle that continues in my family to this day.

But I have been fortunate to meet others who have been in my situation and turned themselves around; I have had many positive experiences by engaging with organizations like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem. They are all great plans and I have lost weight utilizing them at one time or another.

Yet, I gained it all back eventually. Why? Because the habit of “tolerations” as applied to food remained. It never went away, never got fully addressed and I had was not consistent in accountability. Habits take time to be replaced with better ones and as long as I was keeping it around, allowing it to remain and fester in my life, there could be no progress to create a different outcome.

That has changed since a week ago; learning about the concept of the Health Responsibility Jar as a tool to guide me to create a daily activity goal: 10,000 steps daily, no matter what. Even if I have to get the steps in up until I shower and go to bed, I choose to not compromise, make excuse or procrastinate til another day. If I don’t hit the daily steps, I put a $1 in the jar.

As I progress each day, I see the results of my steps because I post it to my Instagram account and share it with a few friends online that encourage me and hold me accountable. It is not easy, especially with this the capricious rainy weather in Oregon. I still walked my route to town during a downpour yesterday – and I arrived home soaking wet with only half my route walked but I was already near the 9,000 steps so I just kept doing cleaning tasks I needed to take care of because I kept putting it off (you see how motivation works once you start seeing results?).

It’s been 7 days, and my overall energy level is up. I’m excited, motivated and choose to stay on this path because learning what I tolerate and don’t tolerate is an ever-changing process. Do I still have days I don’t want to walk to town? Sure, I do but then I remember words by Tony Robbins: “Change is inevitable. You can’t stop it. What matters is what progress are you making when change happens?”

Don’t allow tolerations to keep you from making progress. Instead, bring one to completion and move on. I know I have and will continue to remove them one by one.

 

The Health Responsibility Jar

When your health is optimal, life is VERY good!

For most of us, being able to jump in the air like the young lady in the picture makes us cringe a bit inwardly, doesn’t it?

She looks way too happy, too flexible and frankly, my recovering rotator cuff (I named it ‘Bertha’) is making weird twinges of achiness in my right shoulder. Pure, old-fashioned jealousy.

That familiar phrase, Your health is your wealth pretty much sums up what we all know but not many of us follow through on it. Why is that?

There are a lot of reasons: We’re too busy. We’re too tired. We’re too lazy. We’re too ill. We’re too overwhelmed with other responsibilities.

I recently learned from a highly successful online entrepreneur that an excuse is equivalent to being a well-planned lie. When I heard that I thought, “Wow, this guy’s pretty blunt.” But then i began looking at my own life and how since childhood, I have always struggled with the ongoing siege of childhood obesity. It lead to yo-yoing between the latest diet fads, then back to regular diet and exercise, then not eating healthy at all and then sometimes eating better with some physical activity.

Still, the weight fluctuated. Sometimes I lost and sometimes I gained. It got worse when I had surgery and took 2 months off work to recover. I gained ALOT of weight. And mind you, I had lost close to 50 pounds about 4 years ago when my fiance and I (now husband) traveled back to Hawaii to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

 

What the heck was wrong with me?

I had other chronic conditions on top of my weight struggles: diabetes and high-blood pressure. I also had aches and pains, less mobility and flexibility. Yeah, I was a basic hot mess.

But I knew how important it was to stop hiding behind the excuses if I wanted results. But first thing had to learn was PATIENCE with myself. I was recovering from shoulder surgery. I was told even before I went in the procedure the post-op would be a long, at times painful road to recovery.

I had to PREPARE myself mentally. Nothing like actually going thru something to test your mental preparation. It was all true: after the nerve-block anesthesia wore off, Bertha hated me and reminded every day with her pain. I had to ice that shoulder 24-7. I had to sleep in a recliner. I couldn’t bathe until after 72 hours but I was in such pain, I remained smelly and stinky for the first week before I could even get into the tub.

I had to use a shower chair. I had to rely on my husband to be my care-giver to clean me up and dress me all the while moving that right arm hurt like hell and I hated it every minute of it. Even though my husband was patient, loving and gentle and supportive. I hated relying on him. I hated not depending on myself. I hated being limited.

I wanted better results YESTERDAY. However, just like dealing with my weight issues, results take time but they don’t happen if there’s no plan. I had no strategy to bring about those results except I knew physical therapy would be involved. I had to figure out a plan I was willing to commit to and work that plan consistently for however long it took.

This guy makes it look easy but these are some of the exercises I am now doing being over 5 months out from surgery. But I use resistant bands. I also use weights of not more than 3# to strengthen my shoulder muscles. I also do a lot of stretches, push-ups against the walls and these cat-cow stretches to maximize improving the strength in my back muscles.

Overall, I am doing much better. I am about 75% overall recovery but I have ONE major challenge left: getting my shoulder rotation so i can reach behind my back. That is my obstacle right now. I can barely reach the backside of my hip.

But I am determined because I’m not alone in this: I have the support of my physical therapists; I am committed to do my home physical therapy exercises they teach me when I’m not at the clinic and I’ll be damned if Bertha is going to get the better of me because physically, I still have limits on that shoulder.

My decisions, not the conditions, will determine my destiny. In this case, my decisions will determine how my health is optimized.

One thing I have recently added was to acknowledge that the way I look and feel today physically were the results of many decisions I made a year ago, two years ago, a decade ago. If I wanted to change that, I needed to change how I made my decisions. I needed to create small, bite-able action steps that would support those decisions to bring about a different outcome.

Enter the Health Responsibility Jar.

It actually was created from a homework assignment on a 28-day online course developed by motivational coach Lisa Nichols. One of the areas I wanted to improve on, obviously, was my health.

So the Health Responsibility Jar came out of a need for me to make a change in what I am doing so I can get exercise daily and be accountable for it. Since my shoulder has been improving, my strength has been coming back and I have been able to walk at least 5,000 steps or more using my pedometer as a guide.

What I learned was that I didn’t always hit the 5,000 steps and during really hectic days at work, I could easily reach 10,000 steps or more which is about 5 miles. I also noticed that I could hit 10,000 steps or more at least 3-4 times a week. Not bad, right?

So why not try to aim for it DAILY? Crazy thought, but hey, I don’t think average thoughts. In fact, sometimes I didn’t like the way my thoughts would take me to some far-fetched goal that is probably doable but in my undisciplined mind, I put it out of the way so I could avoid reaching for greatness. It was too hard.

But my desire to overcome my life-long battle with weight struggles overrode the side of me that didn’t want to put forth the effort. Just like how I am determined to not let Bertha be a mediocre, half-lame shoulder.

So yesterday, I took an unused, pretty, blue ceramic jar and dubbed it my Health Responsibility Jar. The goal is to walk 10,000 steps minimum each day. If I do not hit that goal, I put a $1 to the jar. My husband thinks its a good idea but will I stick to it? He knows my track record is famous for starting and quitting projects or goals when it gets too tough.

So accountability comes into play. Do I have what it takes to see this thru the next 28 days?

I will let you know when I blog about it here on May 4th!

Returning Home: Exploring Hana, Maui

I had been away from my childhood town of Hana, Maui for nearly 26 years.  That was the last time I visited back in June 1993 with two of my close friends from church, Eva and Keolani and a close friend of Keolani’s named Evie.  Eva and I were in our mid-20s and starting our careers – for her, it was nursing. For me, I was just starting out as an executive assistant for an up and coming financial advisor.  My second friend, Keolani, was just finishing junior high and entering her last year in high school. She and Evie grew up going to school together, so it was probably good there were four of us in case me and Eva wanted to hang out somewhere that was for 18 and older.

Traveling to the neighboring island of Maui created excitement for all because we hadn’t traveled together like this before, nor stayed away from home longer than an overnight stay, let alone another island.  But I had worked for a publishing company that had a travel section so I was quite familiar how to do research on where to stay for travelers on a budget.  I told my friends that staying in Kahului was very convenient to access everything: the airport, shopping malls, dining, supermarkets and even nearby tourist attractions in Wailuku.  Visits to Upcountry Maui in towns like Haiku, Paia and Makawao were relatively short rides of 20 minutes or so.

The big “road trip” was driving the Hana road and visiting the town as well as other historical landmarks outside the town and great beach sites. So I was not only the designated driver but I was also the travel agent and personal concierge for the other three who said they would leave everything in my capable hands since I was the one that was raised there and knew where to go – but that had been nearly 15 years prior.  I was curious how much it changed.  Ironically, Hana had not changed much in 1993 from 1977.  It certainly appeared the same years later when I visited it again.

Fast-track to 2016 and as newlyweds, my husband and I included a visit to Maui during our two-week vacation in Hawaii in the month of November.  Like my friends, he lay everything in my hands to plan out an itinerary for us to explore as much of the entire island in the six days we were there.  So once again, I used my travel skills and researched the internet to figure out what activities would spark interest.  What was really nice was that we didn’t need to worry about lodgings. As a honeymoon gift, my Dad had booked our stay at Maui Seaside in Kahului for the entire time we were on Maui.  We just rented a car and would holo-holo (cruise) about the island.

Hana is a rural, coastal town of about 1300 in population since it happens to be one of the most isolated communities on the island.  But driving into it, I could see there was a newly painted welcome sign that hadn’t been there before when I was a kid.  The roads were the same: one way in, and one way out but it split to a lower and upper Hana road but both lead right back to the main center of town.

Prior to entering Hana, we stopped off at a place not too well-known to the public unless you do some research. Surprisingly, my husband found this natural sanctuary online called Kahanu Gardens a tropical Botanical Garden site that featured a temple site called Pi’ilanihale Heaiu.  It was not only listed as a National Historical Landmark, but it was also the largest ancient man-made structure in all of Polynesia.  An aerial view of the entire park is depicted in the picture above.  I think I was showing my age because I honestly could not recall this place growing up nearby.

Closer to the center of town was the famous Hotel Hana Maui now known as Travaasa Hotel Hana.  To stay there meant a year’s salary to the average consumer.  But if you can afford $400-$500 a night or more depending if it was a standard room or a seaside cottage, you were treated and pampered like the only person in the world.  The renovations were very nice and it was obvious there were major physical changes to the outside property as well.

The town remained relatively the same and even driving by my former childhood home showed some really nice updates to structure and the yard. One of the noticeable changes was the famous Hasegawa General store.  It is reputed to be Hawaii’s oldest general store establishing itself in 1910.  The place had relocated to the former Hana theatre (my first movie I saw there was “Jaws” and that summer I didn’t swim in the ocean) due to a fire that destroyed the previous location.  It re-established itself a few years later to be one of the most popular local landmarks for residents and visitors alike.

The old Hasegawa General Store shown here is where I remember bike-riding to for local style snacks like Maui potato chips and sweet treats like manju, a Japanese steamed bun filled with sweet, red bean filling.  It also had a gas station whereas the new Hasegawa General Store does not.  But the new store has more room though it is filled to the rim with all kinds of products, trinkets, giftables and edible eats.

The new entrance looks like the side entrance to a warehouse, but it had not lost its character or appeal to the first-time visitor or someone who has been living in Hana for years.  Its unique “catch-all” personality will delight those passing through and we spent a good time there re-stocking on beverages, obtaining lunch snacks like spam musubi and teriyaki chicken skewers, futomaki sushi, nuts, cheese and crackers, fresh fruits like guava and apple bananas, trail mix and some candies.

Taking the time to browse through a small town like Hana made me appreciate the place I currently reside in called Dayton located in the beautiful Willamette Valley.  Its population is about twice the size of Hana, but it is still small, quiet and relatively small compared to other towns scattered about the vast state of Oregon.  Hana is coastal while Dayton is in the valley.  One of the things I do miss about living in Hawaii was being so accessible to visit a nearby beach or just take a view of the ocean.  To do that in Oregon, I need to drive at least 2-3 hours depending on the direction I’m heading: Astoria, Seaside, Lincoln City, Coos Bay or even Gold Beach.

Hana Bay is where I first learned to swim and I took my friends there to show them the pier where I was told to jump off the bridge into the water. I was eight years old.  I didn’t know any better and I caught hell from my mom.  Ok, actually my older brother caught hell from my parents.  We just didn’t see the possible consequences – but that’s what it’s like to go head-on into an adventure or an experience.  When we actually stopped at the bay area and walked out to the pier (parts of it were under construction at the time), it looked old, crumbling and unsafe.  Obviously, it was being repaired so we could not walk out onto it all the way to the edge, but viewing it reminded me of more carefree days where I swam and splashed in its waters many, many years ago.

The Seven Sacred Pools in Kipahulu was the place to visit on our agenda.  It would take us another 11 miles outside of town but when we arrived, the views, sounds, and salty air gave us a sense of relaxation and appreciation of real Hawaii with natural beauty still untouched and unchanging from when I first saw it as a child back in 1978.  Even the old bridge remained the same, though the edges were worn and starting to deteriorate.

It was quite a hike to get down to the pools and I felt pretty worn out with all the driving, so I stayed up at the visitor’s center but the place was packed. Fortunately, we found parking and there were a few empty benches outside the center which I happily remained while my husband made his way down to the pools with his camera.  There were many ways to climb up on the rocks to visit the upper pools or go all the way down to the ocean where it ends up, but it is not for the faint-hearted or those with medical conditions.

After spending at least an hour there taking photos, relaxing and trying to figure out where to go next, I told him we would backtrack down to Hamoa Beach.  There is a great website called Hamoabeach.org that shares all about this fantastic, popular spot shared by the Travaasa Hotel though it is a public beach and everyone is welcome to check it out.  There is no lifeguard, so it is wise to make sure you can swim and don’t go too far out because there are strong currents that can easily take inexperienced swimmers to dangerous spots and cause fatalities.

Although there were many other places we visited during our week stay on Maui, going back to my childhood home in Hana created a wave of memories for me that I had not thought about for a very long time.  What was amazing to me is that it had only changed slightly in the last 42 years. Yes, that is how long ago it was when my family  and I first arrived in Hana.  It is definitely a place I will want to return someday soon and definitely a place I will never forget.

Hana is truly one of the last Hawaiian places on earth where time really stands still.

Online Dating After 50: Is It Worth It?

Online dating can be pretty scary the older you get and after age 50 is no exception. I want to share with you some of my experiences I went through in the online dating world and how you can discover it is not as daunting as it may seem.

Tip 1: Online Dating Sites Vary

I was raised in a household to believe in the concept of family, hard work and being kind to your fellow man. When it came to dating, that social scene was usually tied in with either going on a blind date from someone who knew the family, a friend of a friend of a friend or online dating sites. As a late bloomer, I didn’t start online dating until well into my 30s. I was curious about how that all worked out and came across a few early sites like LAVALIFE, e-HARMONY and MATCH. While they all had the common thread of providing potential matches based on profile preferences, each site has various options.

Online dating sites will feature a specific feature to target different audiences. When I first started creating a profile, I found that it can be exhausting trying to make your profile attractive and it was very tempting to create a totally different persona than what I was but that was wrong. It was also misleading.

So I viewed other profiles and finally decided it was just best to be honest, sincere and stick to what I liked in hobbies, a little bit about myself as far as background and even a bit about my career. One of the great things about online dating sites is you could also select what age range you are looking for, gender, and even criteria like location (local, regional, overseas).

You also need to be aware that these sites have rules and don’t allow certain kind of photographs that may depict sexually explicit themes, violence or visual content that are not appropriate or in alignment to the site’s privacy policy and guidelines. So be sensible. Select a photo of yourself or an image that you can identify with so that others can view what you’re all about. You can have a fun, catchy title such as MusicLoverofthe80s or something as corny but romantic like JulietSeeksRomeo. But stay light-hearted and don’t take online dating so seriously. The important thing is to have fun, connect with some great like-minded individuals and also learn more about yourself from how others perceive you.

Tip 2: Read profiles carefully!

Keep in mind that creating a list of traits or attributes on the kind of person you may find of interest actually helps you determine which profiles are closer in alignment to your values, likes, hobbies, dislikes, etc. But you can’t just have expectations of the other person. You also need to be honest about who you are and not start creating a fantasy depiction.

It’s important to take a honest, self-assessment of your own profile. The last thing you want to do is exaggerate about your age, for example. Women and men alike are sensitive about their age but I found it more common among women, even those younger than me. Do not be ashamed of your age, especially if you are older. Part of the delight of learning about oneself is to be at ease with your own identity and be confident in the life experiences you have attained throughout the years.

It took me a few decades to become comfortable with who I was, what I looked like, what I could change about myself and what I couldn’t. I had to also learn to be assertive and stand firm on what I valued and what i wouldn’t compromise on no matter how tempting it was to slack off and take the easy road.

Your self-worth and integrity is important and it is important other people see that as well, especially at online dating sites. Your credability and reputation is important. Respecting yourself will clue people in based on what you write in your profile – so be honest! You don’t have to write your life story – you share that over time with those that you want to meet and feel comfortable with, but don’t lie in your profile. Be clear, concise and considerate. Sooner or later, there will be individuals who will seek you out because your profile will reflect what they are seeking in a person.

At the same time, profiles you find of interest should be scrutinized and reviewed carefully! If the profile sounds too good to be true, and maybe the picture of the person doesn’t look their real age, keep that in mind. Also be aware that you will get silly, sleazy and stupid (yes, stupid) replies at times, often people trying to figure out if your worth scamming. I hate these internet vultures. It takes the fun out of the experience for people who genuinely try to seek friends and it happened a lot to me.

Be vigilant and be smart. Do not respond to those who ask for money, or send obvious photo-shop images of exotic looking beauties or hunks wanting you because they think you are the perfect object of desire. Avoid the bullshit, basically – and hit that DELETE button or see if you can BLOCK them. D&B became my favorite buttons while navlgating thru those sites and they can be yours as well, so use them wisely to filter out the fake profiles.

Tip 3: Understand the Law of Attraction

Simply put: you attract what you focus on. One of my favorite book series was “Chicken Soup For The Soul” by Jack Canfield. He also had put out other books about maximizing one’s potential, motivation for success and many others that more or less use that law of attraction.

If you want to attract success, you focus on things that reflect success. You take action to work on a plan for success. You talk to others who have reached the success you want. Everyone’s definition of success is different but it is the same application when wanting a successful dating relationship.

We all want to be loved, found attractive, admired and respected. Online dating sites are just tools to help you achieve your goal in finding the right person, or seeking a fun dating partner or establishing a new friendship. Whatever the motivation is, you want to focus on having an image, a character and a lifestyle that mirrors what you seek in a mate, partner, spouse and best friend.

Having healthy hygiene habits will definitely help. Being well-groomed, sporting a positive attitude, being open to try different things and having a plan for success in every aspect of one’s life will definitely turn heads your way. This falls in alignment with being self-confident, not being afraid to ask for help or be mentored, not compromising your values and self-worth and being around like-minded people who are success-oriented and share similar life philosophies.

Is online dating worth venturing into? Millions of people have done it as well as myself. Many have had successful and meaningful marriages or long-term relationships established.  I had several dating experiences with various men from various backgrounds.Most were engaging, some more fun than others and others…well, let’s just say after one date, I already knew they were not what I was looking for; and of course, I eventually met the man who I would end up marrying for nearly 10 years. Although the marriage ended, that didn’t sway me from dumping romance altogether. I still believe in happily-ever-after!

Life is meant to be enjoyed – whether you are single or attached. The point is this: give yourself time to develop connections that truly count and will add meaning to your life. Online dating is just one experience and it can certainly add value to your life that can be shared with others seeking the same thing: to love and be loved.

 

Career changes after 50

It’s no secret that finding a good-paying job after the age of 50 is like playing roulette. Your chances of finding a relatively higher or lower fixed source of income is a 50-50 (no pun intended) chance whether you choose a red or black marker (in this case, opportunity). Nine times out of ten, the job pay is actually lower the older you get, especially after 50.

Why is it difficult as one gets older, more mature (for the most part) and more experienced (usually)? Simple. Changes in the job market evolve constantly. The demand to be more service-oriented through technology is the obvious outcome. Companies are looking to streamline the process by utilizing automated services so candidates can post online their job history, resume and references. While this is a much more effective way of handling things, not everyone has good computer skills. Yes, not every generation embraces technological changes and this can pose a problem for us older folks.

If you are more ‘savvy’ with computer skills, more knowledgeable with software or have the technical mind-set to navigate through social media and add value or enhance a client’s business needs, you have a far greater advantage then your competitor vying for the same job opportunity. Keeping up with changes that could impact your career or job is so important, especially for the Generation X crowd and older generations.

Fret not. Career changes do not necessarily equate to seeking after another job. While having a job provides a fixed income, it helps with cost-of-living expenses and provides budgetary guidelines (living within one’s means or living outside one’s means), there are other ways to help you navigate if you are experiencing career changes or not sure if your job will still be there for another ten or twenty years from now.

A part-time job or developing a part-time home-based business can also provide opportunities for other streams of income – passive income for starters, like market affiliation. This type of passive income is when you post ads from various sites like Amazon, BestWigOutlet, Sephora or Wal-Mart on your website, blog or other social media platform.

If a reader sees the ad and clicks on it from your platform and buys something from that site, the company will give you a commission fee. This fee can grow into multiple fees if you post multiple ads and has the potential to pay you a nice side paycheck in your spare time and you don’t have to leave your house or go work somewhere for someone else. Doesn’t that sound pretty enticing?

By now, most of you reading this blog may already be well familiar with this type of passive income. I’m fairly new to the concept and I would encourage you to research it thoroughly along with several other sites offering the same concept. It is also important to look at all other types of passive income ideas. You can get a whole bucket list of those viewing YouTube videos, for example, from those already successfully established as having a market affiliation business or some other online business venture that can be done on a part-time basis and in the comfort of your own home

This doesn’t mean you simply snap your fingers and money starts electronically being transferred to your account from an invisible benefactor. No, you still have to put work into it. Anything worthwhile takes effort. Let me repeat myself: you still have to put work into it. It’s not different from learning a craft, honing a skill or actually gaining hands-on experience.

The first key to adapt to career changes (job or side business venture) is taking the right kind of trainings. Whether you sign up to become a member of a marketing affliation site like www.wealthyaffiliate.com or take decide to take a transcription course online from www.pennfoster.edu or purchase an online course on Excel expertise from www.Udemy.com, training is key if you want to have an edge of your fellow competitor or impress a potential client to contract your services.

A second key is BELIEF. That’s right: believing in yourself. Quite difficult if you struggle with low self-esteem or having a negative, skeptical and critical outlook on yourself and others. Why? Because being a success doesn’t mean you do it all by yourself. Yes, you put the effort it in, but you also learn from those who have gone before you and done the same kind of work for a longer period. There is a wealth of knowledge to be captured by surrounding yourself with success-minded, passionate, determined and service-oriented individuals willing to teach, mentor and add value to your life and skill-set IF you believe that you are worth it.



A third key is to be willing to adapt without losing your focus. Remember your purpose, passion, your motivation for wanting something better for you and your family. If your are content with just being a 9-to-5 person and that provides enough, then make it work and improve upon it by never stop learning. But if you’re aware that someday that position may evolve, be eliminated or changed into the kind of work you no longer are interested in, start looking for other opportunities be flexible but stay focused. It is always highly recommended to stick with your current job while looking for additional ways to supplement that fixed income versus impulsively quitting your job. Build up your skills, invest time in the right training and find a mentor or ask for your help through networking on social media – don’t be afraid to ask questions and directions so you can build upon that success.


So no matter what changes you encounter after 50, embrace them as opportunities for a more positive lifestyle. Meh, so it involves a bit of hard work, persistence, determination and focus – that is no different from when you are working for someone else. Isn’t it time you put those same qualities into working for yourself?