Monday, February 16, 2015

Ten Reasons Why You Don't See Progress

You know, there is this cool picture circling around the internet (not the one above, I see it popping on my Instagram feed now and then) with the saying "Progress not perfection" scribbled on it. In it's all simplicity, it has an impact when you first see it. I had plenty of moments thinking of the truth it holds. On this one particularly cloudy day, a while back, I was thinking "ok, ok, I get it. It's about the steps you take to grow, to know more, etc not necessarily to be perfect. But what about if I haven't seen any progress in the last month? Or the last year?". I had those thoughts on my mind when someone in my group of friends touched on the subject. At that point, I knew I wanted to write down a list of things that have held me back from progressing. After some research and introspection, I came up with the list below. I don't say it's the ultimate list.

1. You're far ahead compared with those around you. While some you cannot change (family, coworkers, etc), I suggest that you surround yourself with people that will teach you new skills. Or that will push you to try new challenges.

2. You're afraid to go out of your comfort zone. That is understandable. I bet no one likes to do it. But, usually, the magic happens out of your comfort zone. Take heart!

3. You're afraid to fail. So, what's the worst that can happen?.. Try again! Fail better. Try again, until you succeed. Every new day is a new chance to start over.

4. You're a procrastinator. 'Nuff said!

5. You don't plan. In modern world, if you don't have it on your schedule, it won't happen. Everyone knows that.

6. You don't want it bad enough. We get bombarded with tons of information, decisions making moments every day. Chances are, if you don't want it bad enough, you don't pursue it.

7. You don't realize how hard you need to work for it. Our social media feeds are filled with cute #iwokeuplikethis photos (which everyone knows they are not true). However, our subconscious can be tricked into believing you don't need to work to get something. Reality is, you need to work hard to succeed.

8. You are easily distracted. Again, we live in a society of right now, right here, right my way. It's easy to slip into the wrong perception that having to work for something is unimaginable. But ask all the grand people of all times and see what they say about progress, success and a life well lived. Here's a personal favorite: "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." (Nelson Mandela)

9. You're stuck on planning. You know what you want, you want it bad, you're willing to work hard for it, but you like to have everything mapped out before starting. Enjoy the journey. Things may will change along the road. It will be fine, you'll see. One step at a time. Remember, progress, not perfection.

10. You're not consistent. Zig Ziglar said "people often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.". Taking one step and expecting the final outcome is quite irrelevant. Consistency is the key to persevere.

Some of the points listed were, at some point, reasons why I didn't progress. Some are current battles. What does hold you back nowadays?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Love Week!

I know, it's more likely a day, not a week! But my plans were this last week to be a Love Week. You know, that kind of week when you surprise your hubby every day with something, and you share your love, and everything is red and pink and butterflies in your stomach. Well, things didn't go like that. Didn't get a chance to decorate the house (I had a couple of very cute ideas) or prepare my gifts/surprises for Eddie, and to top it off - I was tired and grumpy the whole week! Take that, Love Week! However this whole week Eddie truly, deeply loved me in the midst of my mess. He was patient with me, he forgave my outbursts, he didn't hold any of those moments against me. (Yes, I am bragging about him now.) Even more, he waited me with dinner on the night I get really late home. I'm sitting in my living room now, in the dark (only one candle lit in the whole house), surrounded by calming silence, reflecting on the past few days. How childish my behavior in contrast with Eddie's! But he still loves me. I understand now that my attitude this week could have easily been changed with a moment of meditation. To honestly search my heart and pray for an attitude change.
Unfortunately, this kind of situations don't happen only in family life. I get so hooked up on job, errands, my hobbies and my wants that I put my needs on the back burner. My spiritual needs, that is. To pray more. To study more. To understand more. To listen more. Intentionally. Yet, God still loves me. He pays attention to me. Not only He knows exactly what I need, but He gives it to me. Every. Single. Time. The God that created the entire Universe. Do you know how big the Universe is? Infinite. True. But do you grasp this concept? It's huge. More immense than huge. You and I cannot contain it! And if you don't believe me, look for yourself. Go stargazing. Or even easier: do a search on Hubble Telescope. Still not impressed? Watch this video. When you'll be back (hopefully) to finish reading, you'll understand my amazement. I stand in awe that the Creator of all these wonders loves me so much that He gave His only Son to die for me. A small human. A wanna-be writer. An impatient wife. A faulty friend. There are stars out there that sing for His glory day and night, without stopping. And I constantly leave other chores or worries to steal my time from praising Him. From talking to Him.

This Valentine's Day, I've learned to intentionally make time for my Creator. To pray intentionally. To study intentionally. To listen intentionally.

To be more. Intentionally.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Oh, hello ... (again)

I will be honest with you, it's hard to jump right back into writing after taking a lenghty break. I don't know what to say first - should I just jump right back where I left? Should I (re)introduce myself? Should I explain why the long break? I guess the easier thing to do is to take the "this is my blog, I do what I want" attitude and roll with it. But things life is more complicated. Once I decide to write on a public space, I have a responsibility to my readers. It doesn't matter there are three or three thousand readers. The fact that they constantly return and take their precious time to read my ramblings is enough. 

So, here I am again. Typing (more deleting, to be honest) my thoughts away on a cloudy afternoon, craving some warm weather and sipping my tea. I have tons of ideas, but when the time comes to write them down, my mind goes blank. It's a struggle. I wanted to get better at blogging, so I started reading a lot about blogs. The more I've been researching, the more confused I was. And disheartened. I don't have a domain. I don't have a niche. I didn't find "my voice" yet. I don't have amazing graphics. I don't have good photos for my posts, either. I don't have enough knowledge of SEO. And the list goes on. But the thought that maybe, just maybe one person will find what I write helpful makes me keep going. I've had this nagging in my heart since 9th grade to write down my thoughts, my wondering moments because maybe, one day someone will read them and be encouraged. That's when I started journaling. That's why I started to blog. And the same thought has been nagging me since last summer - to keep writing. 

What will you find here? Well, I don't know exactly. I know for sure that you'll find pieces of my heart. I will share with you my thoughts, ideas, funny moments and lessons. 

I will embrace this journey. Would you join me?