Friday, August 27, 2010

No. Nope. Nah . . . .

Thank you Mr./Ms. Unknown for this quote. We should remember this one! I can't think of a better reason to turn down a request when you feel that you just can't take on another commitment. I recently came across this article written by the staff at Mayo Clinic. Another favorite reason for saying no.....honoring your existing obligations and ensuring that you'll be able to devote quality time to them. That alone is reason enough. Take a look...

Stress relief: 

When and how to say no

Sure it's easier to say yes, but at what price to your peace of mind? Here's why saying no may be a healthier option for stress relief.

Is your plate piled high with deadlines and obligations that you're trying to squeeze in between meetings? Are you trying to cram too many activities into too little time? If so, stress relief can be as straightforward as just saying no.

Why say no?

The number of worthy requests isn't likely to lessen, and you can't add more available time to your day. Are you doomed then to be overcommitted? The answer is no, not if you're willing to say no. It may not be the easy way, but it is a path to stress relief.
Consider these reasons for saying no:
  • Saying no isn't necessarily selfish. When you say no to a new commitment, you're honoring your existing obligations and ensuring that you'll be able to devote quality time to them.
  • Saying no can allow you to try new things. Just because you've always helped plan the company softball tournament doesn't mean that you have to keep doing it forever. Saying no will give you time to pursue other interests.
  • Always saying yes isn't healthy. When you're overcommitted and under too much stress, you're more likely to feel run-down and possibly get sick.

When to say no:

Sometimes it's tough to determine which activities deserve your time and attention. Use these strategies to evaluate obligations — and opportunities — that come your way.
  • Focus on what matters most. Examine your current obligations and overall priorities before making any new commitments. Ask yourself if the new commitment is important to you. If it's something you feel strongly about, by all means do it. If not, take a pass.
  • Weigh the yes-to-stress ratio. Is the new activity you're considering a short- or long-term commitment? For example, making a batch of cookies for the school bake sale will take far less time than heading up the school fundraising committee. Don't say yes if it will mean months of added stress. Instead, look for other ways to pitch in.
  • Take guilt out of the equation. Don't agree to a request you would rather decline because of feelings of guilt or obligation. Doing so will likely lead to additional stress and resentment.
  • Sleep on it. Are you tempted by a friend's invitation to volunteer at your old alma mater or join a weekly golf league? Before you respond, take a day to think about the request and how it fits in with your current commitments.

How to say no:

No. Nope. Nah. See how simple it is to say one little word, allowing you to take a pass on tasks that don't make the cut? Of course, there will be times when it's just not that easy. Here are some things to keep in mind when you need to say no:
  • Say no. The word "no" has power. Don't be afraid to use it. Be careful about using wimpy substitute phrases, such as "I'm not sure" or "I don't think I can." These can be interpreted to mean that you might say yes later.
  • Be brief. State your reason for refusing the request, but don't go on about it. Avoid elaborate justifications or explanations.
  • Be honest. Don't fabricate reasons to get out of an obligation. The truth is always the best way to turn down a friend, family member or co-worker.
  • Be respectful. Many good causes land at your door and it can be tough to turn them down. Complimenting the group's effort while saying that you can't commit at this time shows that you respect what they're trying to accomplish.
  • Be ready to repeat. You may find it necessary to refuse a request several times before the other person accepts your response. When that happens, just hit the replay button. Calmly repeat your no, with or without your original rationale, as needed.
Saying no won't be easy if you're used to saying yes all the time. But learning to say no is an important part of simplifying your life and managing your stress. And with practice, you may find saying no gets easier.

Happy Friday!
Have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Celebrate the human spirit . . . .

Here's to those who press on regardless. The pioneers. The leaders. The survivors. The big-thinkers. The innovators. The action-takers. The peacemakers. The adventurers. The movers. The shakers. They're the embodiment of the human spirit. Their bold vision, leaps of faith, steely determination and passionate causes have molded and created our world.

The human spirit may not be something we can see, but its power and beauty are all around us. It is courage overcoming fear, it is right besting wrong, and it is faith rising above doubt. It is indomitable, illuminating, invigorating and imaginative......and it is at the core of all the great accomplishments in the history of humanity.

Every day the human spirit influences and reshapes our world. It makes new discoveries, gives hope and redefines what's possible. It inspires us to do and be more. Look around and celebrate it!

From the book The Human Spirit
by Kobi Yamada

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The meaning of life 
is to find your gift,

the purpose of life
is to give it away.

-Joy J. Golliver

Top photo by zuppaartista via etsy
Bottom photo via Google Images

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A little out of whack . . . .

As much as I talk about how important it is to have balance in your life, I too am guilty of getting out of whack. It happens to all of us! I begin to let things pile up in my office, and I literally can't think. When I'm disorganized, I can't focus. I let the summer get the best of me, (no complaints!), and I'm finding that I've left too many things  unattended. I have so many things I want to share....wonderful thoughts, bits of information, encouragement, and just good stuff, but in order for me to do that, I have to de-clutter my own cocoon!  What I really need right now is a  streamlined environment to be creative, to find new inspiration, and to have clarity. When I look at the photo below, I can begin to feel the cobwebs being cleared from my head, and this is exactly the kind of organization I need to give me back the sense of balance that I'm looking for. I'm heading happily in to the rest of the week knowing clarity lies ahead!

"Clarity of mind means clarity of passion; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently 
and sees distinctly what he loves."
-Blaise Pascal

Top photo via Google Images
Bottom photo via Apartment Therapy

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Living a life that is true to who you are is fully accessible to you. It always has been. Don't say you are the exception. There are no exceptions. You may tell yourself that life is 'good enough', but what if you knew it could get a whole lot better? You are burning daylight if you're letting your life slip by when you know full well that things just aren't right. You must be willing to challenge virtually every single aspect of your life, including the reality that you may be wanting and pursuing things that simply aren't right for you. If you are consistently and repeatedly attributing events in your life to wrong causes, then there can be no doubt that you are living a fictional life. The choices you have made, and will make in your life are 100% your responsibility. Regardless of what you have come to believe, you are in control. You are the manager of your own life! You must seize every genuine characteristic that is you and allow it to take center stage in your life. If your emotions are marked by cynicism, apathy, hopelessness, and lack of optimism, it is because you have abandoned your self and what matters to you. If you want to change this, the first thing you must do is acknowledge it. Acknowledge it, then begin to move toward a new reality for yourself. Move towards cleaning up all the unfinished emotional business that is contaminating your current life and your current view of who you are. You are the most important person in your life!, and failure to fully connect with and live out your best qualities means that your sons or daughters, your husband or wife, your family and friends settle for some second-best, counterfeit you. A fictional you. Get back in the driver's seat, and reclaim your core traits, qualities, gifts, talents, needs, and desires. However deeply your individuality may be buried - no matter how lost or non-unique you feel - you are in there! 

Compiled from a Self Matters calendar

Photo by Nils Odier 
Agent Bauer

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If we sat down to think about the precious little things in life--those that make our lives more vibrant, connected and inspired--we would find genuine, heartfelt moments that shape our lives and make us who we are. Little things like a job well done, someone being there for you, an honest compliment, taking time to play, and being a good person. The little things really are the cornerstone of a full life.

We can't take the little things for granted. They have built companies, friendships and just about everything of value. No act of generosity, kindness or service is ever wasted, no matter how small. Everything matters. Everything we do helps or hurts, adds up or takes away. We need to count on each other for the little things that make life so big. In the end, it is not the days or the years that we remember, but the moments.

From the book the little things
by Kobi Yamada

Photo by James Christie Photography

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happiness's greatest secret . . . .

It's not the realization of your dreams that will bring you happiness; most people adjust their dreams as they go, raising the bar higher and higher, and so it should be. We're naturally insatiable creatures; reaching one goal, we immediately fix our sights on the next. These pursuits are adventures. They keep us growing and they keep us alive, which means that by perpetually changing our goals and dreams, the only constant in our lives is the journey we're on - a journey without end and one that is partly based upon attaining "things" we do not yet have. So the trick is learning to find happiness even while you do not yet have all you want, because you never will! Do you see? If we postpone our happiness until our present dreams come true, it becomes a habit without end. Our achieved dreams constantly being replaced by new dreams. To enjoy life means to enjoy the journey even though the journey itself implies that we are incomplete. This is happiness's greatest secret; master it now and you can coast into "the rest of your life."

From the book Infinite Possibilities
by Mike Dooley

One League

Friday, August 13, 2010

GUTS . . . .

Happy Friday!
Wishing you a lovely weekend!

via One League Artists

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So stop waiting until you finish school,
until you go back to school,
until you lose ten pounds,
until you gain ten pounds,
until you have kids,
until your kids leave the house,
until you start work,
until you retire,
until you get married,
until you get divorced,
until Friday night,
until Sunday morning,
until you get a new car or home,
until your car or home is paid off,
until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter,
until you are off welfare,
until the first or fifteenth,
until your song comes on,
until you've had a drink,
until you've sobered up,
until you die,
until you are born again
to decide that there is no better time than right now 
to be happy.

-Author Unknown

Graphic via etsy - The Love Shop

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

What's your challenge this week? . . . .

Good Monday morning to you! I've said this before....every Monday we get another chance to begin again.  Another chance to complete a task that we may have been putting off. Is there something that you've been procrastinating about?  Don't postpone it anymore! Wouldn't it be great if Friday arrived and you were able to put that task behind you?  It's only 5 days away!  Do you have the discipline it takes? It is often way too easy to do nothing, to let it sit, or to say it can wait. Gather up every ounce of your strength and use your willpower muscle or lose it! When Friday arrives, and you've completed the challenge, reward yourself! Decide today what that reward will be and focus.  Come back on Friday, and let me hear from you about  your accomplishment! You can do it!

The more you exercise your will power, the stronger you'll get.

"It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it."
-Vince Lombardi

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pure pleasures of birthdays . . . .

It's my birthday weekend and I'm ready to celebrate! I love posting the"Pure Pleasures" of life, so today I'm sharing some of the things I adore about birthdays. 
What do you enjoy about birthdays?



Celebrating with friends.

Party hats.



Happy Friday!
Have a lovely weekend!

Photo credits:
#1, 3 & 5 via Getty Images
#2 Miwaza Jemimah via flickr
#4 Sara Seeton via flickr

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Top graphic from the book Live Good
by Kobi Yamada

Photo via  Anthropologie

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What will matter . . . .

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, 
hours or days.
All things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten
will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power 
will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned 
or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations
and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans 
and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important 
will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from
or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not your success
but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned
but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity,
compassion, courage, or sacrifice
that enriched, empowered or encouraged others
to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence
but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories,
but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered,
by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance, but of choice.


Photo via Google Images

Monday, August 2, 2010

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams . . .

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams . . .
Follow your heart


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