Balancing Act

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Another bittersweet ending and one of the most difficult balancing acts I’ve had to endure in my life will officially conclude in less than a week.  For the past two years (plus) I have been balancing being a mother, wife, daughter, friend, career woman, and graduate student…. Not to mention sanity, trying to keep my sanity during this time has been a feat in itself. I have had to function during the day with only 2-3 hours of sleep, multiple days in a row.  To be a supportive wife, dedicated mother, diligent student, accomplished career woman, and available daughter and friend, are not easy roles to fulfill, and were difficult to manage at times.  The past two years have been laden with guilt, for the times I could not be strictly dedicated to my family, especially my young child; overflowing with pressure and stress;  yet full of accomplishments and successes.  It has been a great balancing act, one of the most difficult ones yet, and I’m sure not the last.  The key to it all was that it was my choice, and I knew I wanted to do it, all of it, and worked hard to accomplish it all, and achieve my goals.  

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, especially my husband, who took on added duties in support of me following my dreams; the unwavering support of my parents, the encouragement of my friends and colleagues; and the small voice that whispered I love you mommy, with her small arms tightly wrapped around my neck;  it’s for her, her future.  

I am grateful to them and thank you for taking time out of your, undoubtedly packed, day to read my blog posts.  All our time is precious, and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of yours. 

Cheers, to two of the longest years of my life!

“We never know how high we are

Till we are called to rise;

And then, if we are true to plan,

Our statures touch the skies.”

— Emily Dickinson

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Assistance

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With all this talk about YOUR goal, and YOUR path, it’s easy to get tunnel vision, and forget or ignore what you can do for others, who may also be trying to change their paths, make different choices, and achieve their goals.  We need to remember to assist each other, and help each other out.  If you can help a co-worker or classmate, or friend with a project or task, by all means, DO IT! You are not only helping them accomplish their goal, but you are also helping yourself.  Your contribution does not go unnoticed, and it is thoughtfully accepted, and greatly appreciated; and next time, you will have a supporter and contributor for your projects for the future.  Although, if, on the off chance, your contribution is not appreciated and you no gratitude is noticed, then next time perhaps don’t assist, unless you have plenty of time to do so. 

Now, I want to take the time to talk about a phenomenon,  that has happened to me personally.  It is about assistance and helping (or NOT, as this case is) others in the work place, from/to a specific type of person/s… Women in high-level positions, assisting other women.  I am a woman, an educated woman, not young (but not too old either), and I have felt the opposite of assistance in my past experiences.  I was not only, not assisted in my career, but deterred, and my requests for additional projects and responsibilities ignored, this all from another woman, in a high-level position, who had the ability to assist me in my goals, but chose to take a different course.  I believe I know her reasons, and I can continue to speculate them, but in the end, all that matters, is that I, and other women, should NOT continue this unfortunate practice of holding our comrades down.  We must collaborate with them, all of them, the hims, and the HERS.  We all have goals we want to achieve and receiving help along the way, always makes the ride more enjoyable, and feel that much shorter. 

So go forth, stay your course, and if you can help others along the way, by all means do so (especially you ladies!), it won’t go unnoticed. 

“The more women help one another, the more we help ourselves. Acting like a coalition truly does produce results. Any coalition of support must also include men, many of whom care about gender inequality as much as women do.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

 

 

 

Visualize IT

ImageOkay, so I know you’ve heard this before, but I really agree with this tip… Visualize it, and then Write it down! You need to visualize your goals, and your success.  Not only so you are prepared for them when they happen, but so you can revel in the joy and success, before it ever happens! You want to visualize your goals, so it can help you understand how to guide your path to the ultimate goal.  Also, not to stray too much, but it also helps with adding positive energy to your goals, visions, actions, and thoughts.  A little positive energy never hurt anyone, so be happy, think positively about yourself, and how you will accomplish your goals, it will do wonders.

Also, write your goals down, and perhaps, even write a bit of a rough “due date” that you would like to achieve the goal by (or near). Writing these goals down helps hold you accountable to yourself.   And, it will give you a reminder of why you are working so hard.  Many times, when we get down in the dumps, or get sleep deprived and tired, we forget why we are doing this to ourselves.  Okay, we don’t forget, but all the negatives and tired thoughts push out the reason why we’re doing it, so pull out your Goal Pad, and remind yourself why you’re doing all of this.  Writing goals down, also gives you a reference point for your goals, and perhaps even how they have changed. So remember, visualize, think positive, and write it down… they’ll help you when the going gets rough, you’ll get going on your goal.

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Acknowledgement ~ Reward Yourself

ImageWow, all this talk about how you must remain consistent, and keep your eye on the prize, and to be assured all the decisions you make are for your goal, and your success… can be stressful, and doing them all can be EXHAUSTING! I don’t want to ignore the reality that always being on top of your game, and making the right decisions, is difficult, it takes courage, discipline, being bold, and making the decisions that are bittersweet

So I want to tell you, good job! Way to go! Absolutely wonderful that you have the will, the knowledge, and the courage to make the decisions, and the ability to follow those decisions through fruition.    It’s always nice to receive acknowledgement for our achievements, and many times, we don’t receive as much as we would like.  Our accomplishments always merit some acknowledgement, whether it be on a small, large (or national!?) stage.  Our hard work deserves an “atta boy”, and those can come right from us!

 So acknowledge your accomplishment with a reward.  It doesn’t have to be big, but just something small.  Perhaps an ice cream, or a half an hour of leisure reading (not homework, or for work reading, but a book or magazine of something that interests you), something for you, a little bit of acknowledgment and motivation to keep you going, towards that goal, and not let you run out of steam. 

And hey, we all like to be acknowledged and rewarded (and spoiled) every now and then!  J 

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Discipline

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It takes discipline, NO, not punishment discipline, but self-motivation and control, to remain consistent and achieve your goals.  We have to have self-discipline to push ourselves to make the decision and the choice to study harder, be more diligent with our work, in order to succeed.  There have been many, and I mean MANY, times that I have wanted to go to bed, and not finish my paper, or put of my homework until the last hour, or slack on content, but no! I don’t, I can’t, I won’t! All the hard work I have put in, to just let it all go for a couple more hours of sleep, or to watch a reality show!? No way, my reality is right here, and it’s waiting for me to shape it into what I want it to be. 

Like I said yesterday, we must keep our actions consistent, and to do that, we must remain disciplined in our craft.  We must have discipline, determination, dedication, and defiance (another Quad D baby!) to achieve our goals.  We must be determined to reach our goal, dedicated to the path to do so, and defiance against mediocrity and the norm.  Go above and beyond expectations, exceed expectations every day, we must set ourselves apart from the crowd.  Don’t blend in, stand out, stand apart, and trail blaze your path to your goal. 

Of course, I don’t want you to “burn out”, so if you are feeling fatigued, by all means, take a day off, catch up on some R&R, and get back at it the next day.  You must be on your game to be MVP.

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.”  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Keep it Steady

ImageAs you continue on your path to your goal, remember to stay your course. Don’t lose sight of your destination. The changes you’ve made, or are preparing yourself to make; as well as the actions you take each day, are all for your goal.  Don’t lose sight of that! At times it may be difficult to see, or remember what your destination is, what it should be, but it’s these times that you must certainly remain focused towards your goal.  Remember the results you want to achieve, and keep those in mind, when the winds of adversity blow your way.

Not only do you need to remain steady on your path towards your goal, but you must remain consistent with your actions, your work, and the results you produce. Keep your work up to par, that is, up to the same standard that you have set in the past, and must continue to do.  I do not mean to say to not push yourself to another level, but I want to emphasize that you must not slip backwards, into a state of compliance and indifference. You must remain consistently productive and achieve results that are above expectations.  Exceed expected results, perhaps finish a project early, before deadline, or under budget, somehow exceed an expectation.  By exceeding others expectations, you will soon begin to exceed your own, and push your results to higher levels of achievement.  Most importantly, do NOT slip into unengaged indifference, step up, onto the steady rise to the top.  Keep your course, and keep it steady.

 “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

and the Good Ones

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Last time I talked about the Hard Lessons in life; the one’s that we ask ourselves “why me!?”, “why is [this horrible thing] happening to me!?” Then later (usually much later), we realize, that it was the lesson we learned from them, that’s why… to learn something from them, and react differently, or prevent it from happening again down the road. 

Lest not forget the good experiences, and the positive lessons we’ve learned from them.  So let’s look into the light, salute the sun, and focus on the positive.  The happy, joyful moments we share with others are also lessons.  The positive relationships we’ve had and shared with others, sharing experiences and learning with those we love; family, siblings and parents, the friendships, loves, mentors, bosses, professors, teachers, coaches, and many others that I’m sure I’ve forgotten to list here (definitely have not forgotten them).   These positive influences in our lives have also helped us on the path we’ve chosen.  They’ve helped guide us in the right direction, and help us make the right choices.  The choices we make, and especially the goals we set for ourselves are in great part due to the guidance and encouragement of these magnificent people in our life. 

They have given advice, or trained us, or taught us (you!) how to play sport, or listened and encouraged us to do well, to achieve our goals.  These positive influences are more powerful than the others.  They motivate us, continue to encourage us, to follow our dreams, and achieve our goals.  Remember the sun, and listen to those positive voices, they are your silent army, routing you on, and cheering for your success.   

Who is a positive influence in your life? What is a lesson they taught you?