Happy Birthday, Florence Nightingale!

As a nurse, Florence Nightingale is a very important part of the history of my profession.

Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing was born on May 12, 1820. Her most famous contributions came during the Crimean War; by improving sanitation, hygiene and nutrition, she played a major role in reducing the death rate of wounded soldiers from 50% to 2%. She became known as “The Lady with the Lamp” for making her nightly rounds tending to the wounded.

Here’s an interesting video I found on youtube – “Who was Florence Nightingale?”

And then I found this rare recording of the voice of Florence Nightingale.

I am amazed and astounded by the strength of this woman. Lives saved. History changed. Medicine and nursing forever improved.

Happy Birthday, Florence! Your legacy lives on…your lamp is still shining brightly!

-J

First quarter of 2014 is in the books…

How did you do with your first quarter goals? As we begin the 2nd quarter of 2014, it is important to do a review of your accomplishmentsImage (or lack thereof) in the 1st quarter of the year; are you progressing towards your annual goals?

Historically, I set annual goals at the beginning of the year and like a lot of people I often fell short, even forgetting what my original goals were. Both personal and professional. It becomes too easy to just “wing it”…and at the end of the year you/I am often wondering…where did the time go??

Working at Keller Williams, years ago, I learned the value of setting annual goals broken down into monthly goals and further broken down into weekly goals. . This system, called the 4-1-1 (4 weeks, 1 month, 1 year) is one of the best systems I’ve used for keeping my focus on the big picture – my annual goals.

This year, I’ve added in a quarterly review; businesses (and a lot of schools) operate on quarters and this timeframe just makes sense to me. While this is still short term, it is a bigger chunk of time than the monthly review and gives me a slightly bigger picture of where I am on the road to my ultimate destination – my annual goals. I find it also holds me accountable so I don’t lose track of time and procrastinate thinking “I’ve got 9 months left to accomplish that”. The older I get the quicker time seems to fly by; I’m realizing the value of using this goal review period as a management tool of my time. Let me rephrase that…as a management tool of my LIFE!

You’ve heard it before: Plan – Do – Review – Adjust….repeat…

This would be a REVIEW session:

Don’t forget to WRITE IT ALL DOWN!

  1. Review. Look back at the past 3 months. What did you accomplish? Did you progress toward your goals? What did you do to work towards your goals? What worked and what didn’t?
  2. Evaluate. How can you change things to improve progress? Do you need to bring yourself back on track? Are you happy with your progress and just need to stay the course?
  3. Re-prioritize or verify your priorities.  Make your main focus the MAIN focus for the next 3 months. It’s ok to defer appropriate items to later in the year. Just make sure they are part of your next quarterly review.

Going through this process will help you REFOCUS! Remember – just like your mother used to tell you – you can do anything you want and DECIDE to do! It will require action to make it happen. A goal without action is just a plan. You will never reach your goals without action.

This part is especially true for me: Get out of your own way. Take the actions that are necessary so your dreams can come true! Live with the spirit of YOLO!

YOLO!

-Jan

The same wind blows on us all…

Listening to a Jim Rohn book as I walked today I was struck by the following thought…

All of us are in like a little sailboat. It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines your destination, it’s the set of the sail.  The same wind blows on us all.

The wind of disaster…

the wind of opportunity…

the wind of change…

when the wind is favorable…

when it’s unfavorable…

the economic wind…

the social wind…

the political wind…

The same wind blows on everybody.

The difference in (where you arrive) is not the blowing of the wind, but

The set of the sail…

Something to think about…how are YOUR sails set? Do you adjust them periodically to keep on track?

YOLO!

Jan

Donkey in the Well

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping-stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!

—anonymous

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

  • Free your heart from hatred
  • Free your mind from worries
  • Live simply
  • Give more
  • Expect less
Shaking some dirt off my feet today and stepping up and forward…
YOLO!
Jan

Baby steps…consistent baby steps…

Yesterday I hosted my first ever “sponsor” table at a NEW networking event in Nashville.

The brain child of Barry Owen, founder and owner of Pareto Realty, LLC, the first annual Nashville Real Estate Consortium was born yesterday, May 5, 2011.

The theme of the event was “Leveraging Realtor & Local Business Relationships to Fortify Nashville, Tennessee’s Economy.” My business is travel…though I have been actively working with Realtors since 2002 as a Realtor myself and as an executive staff member for one of the largest and most productive offices in Nashville. So…I know a lot of Realtors.

My travel business has been languishing on the “back burner” as I decide who I am and what I want to do with the rest of my life. If you’ve been reading my blog…you know what I’m talking about…if not…the gist of it is…life happens, things change and it’s time for me to define a new path.

Travel is where I landed. I simple love to travel. It’s in my blood (I’m an Army brat – full fledged.) I love to meet new people and explore cultures around the world.

So…when the opportunity arose to participate in this new event, I jumped at it! I designed a slide-show of recent travel pictures and souveniers, including: Key West, Coastal Virginia, OBX NC, Park City, Utah, Logan Canyon, Utah, Panama City Beach, FL, Maui, HI, Italy and the Bahamas! There’s nothing like social proof, right!?

My goal was to use this opportunity to reconnect with “old” friends, make some new friends, expose people to my new business venture and have an open mind to learning in the process.

That goal was not only met – it was EXCEEDED! About 100 people attended, there were 35 topics to choose from to attend…and yes, sponsors were invited to attend the sessions…I attended 4 sessions and have identified several golden nuggets of new information that I’m applying to my business immediately. I connected with numerous people, some I’ve known for years, some I’ve interacted with on facebook for years and only just yesterday met in person and some that are brand new connections.

This was a wonderful way, ie. baby step, for me to get back out there in front of people, now as we all know…the fortune is in the follow up!!

Thank you Barry & Debbie Owen of Pareto Realty for this opportunity. Great job. Count me in for next year.

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YOLO!

Jan

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson – Book Review

The Slight Edge is not just another self-development book with new ways of doing things. Rather, The Slight Edge is about teaching you to learn to use and master the information you already know.

Simple things, small steps, ie. baby steps, can make profound changes in your life. Your consistent actions will affect you in either a positive or a negative manner. It’s vital to focus on moving in a positive direction to achieve the results you want.

I was particularly struck by the story of the water hyacinth. The water hyacinth is one of the most productive plants on earth; it’s preferred method of colonizing a new area is to grow by doubling itself. It’s a fantastic story about the effects of compounding. We are all making choices every day. We don’t see the results today or even tomorrow. Eventually we will. Will the result be what we want?

 “On the first day, you won’t even notice it. On day 15, it will cover perhaps a single square foot of the pond’s surface. On the 20th day (2/3 of the way to the end of the month), you may notice a dense little patch of floating foliage. On day 29, one-half of the pond’s surface will be open water. On the 30th day, the entire pond will be covered by a blanket of water hyacinth. You will not see any water at all.”

In a very well written, easy to ready book, the author leads you through the process of identifying and learning what the Slight Edge is and how you are already applying it in your life. The second part of the book encourages you to look at what you want to achieve in the areas of your life such as: your health, your finances, your personal relationships, your family, and how to apply the Slight Edge philosophy to help achieve the life you want to live.

This book is appropriate for anyone, in any business, who wants to improve their life. It’s motivational and instructional. I believe it’s a book you’ll want to keep and read several times.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“The right choices and the wrong choices you make at the moment will have little or no noticeable impact on how your day goes for you. Nor tomorrow, nor the next day. No applause, no cheers, no screams, no life of death results played out in Technicolor. But it is precisely those very same, undramatic, seemingly insignificant actions that, when compounded over time, will dramatically affect how your life turns out.”

“It’s easy to do. And it’s easy not to do. And if you don’t do it, it won’t kill you or destroy your chances for success today. But that simple error in judgment, compounded over time, will kill your chances for success. It will take you down and out of your life forever. And that choice is always yours.”

“You have to go one direction or the other; you can’t stand still. Everything is constantly changing. There are only two possibilities. Either you let go of where you are and get to where you could be, or you hang onto where you are and give up where you could be. You are either going in the direction of your dreams or giving up your dreams. Stretching for what you could be, or settling for what you are. There is simply no in-between. Doing nothing means going down. It’s your choice.”

“Gigantic funerals are held and great crowds, sometimes entire nations, mourn for those people who spent their lives not worrying about what others thought.”

 “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do; they put the Slight Edge to work for them, rather than against them, every day. They refuse to let themselves be swayed by their feelings, moods or attitudes; they rule their lives by their philosophies, and do what it takes to get the job done, whether they feel like it or not.”

 Bottom line…this is a must read. Success and failure are both predictable. Get the book, or audio book and learn the simple philosophy of the Slight Edge. If you allow it to…it will change your life.

Get the book here

Connect with the author, Jeff Olson:

facebook.com/yourslightedge

twitter.com/yourslightedge

I’d love to hear your stories of how you are applying the Slight Edge philosophy in YOUR life! Come back and let me know!!

YOLO,

Jan

We only get to play this game once…

Are you doing what you love? I love the way Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk) puts it:

We only get to play this game one time. We’ve got one life!

Takes me back to the reason I named this blog the Spirit of YOLO! Because You Only Live Once.

For some more motivation and words of wisdom watch this TED talk with Gary…

YOLO!

Jan

It’s President’s Day…Who’s Really in Charge?

This article was in my mailbox today as part of the Jim Rohn newsletter I’m subscribed to. I find the message very timely. I hope it makes you think and energized YOU as it did me!

Who Is Really in Charge? by Jim Rohn

(Editor’s note: Today in the United States, we celebrate President’s Day, in recognition of the February birthdates of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The article which follows is excerpted from an essay Jim Rohn wrote after a U.S. Presidential election.)

Every four years we Americans participate in this grand experiment called America and we elect a president to lead us. That of course spurs lots of different opinions and positions and people can become emotionally involved with the outcome.

One thing that I always find fascinating in all elections, but especially the presidential elections, are the many promises that candidates make to the electorate. They promise to make the economy better and to make health care more affordable for the masses. They promise to make the taxes better and to create jobs.

As I think about this, I want to challenge you to consider that while presidents may have a general effect on your circumstances, they do not have a specific effect on your circumstances. Let me explain: While they may play a role in what direction the stock market goes, they do not have an effect on how an individual stock goes, or on whether or not you can make money in the stock market. So, while we certainly should vote and participate in the process, we must understand that no single person—other than you—will have an effect on what your individual life outcome is.

Let me give you some more examples:

A president may promise a better economy, but you determine your economy. They may affect whether the dollar gains strength or loses it, but you determine what your financial position is going to be. The fact is that even in the worst economies, including recessions and depressions, there are those who will continue to thrive and even become extremely wealthy. In the Great Depression, there were countless people who, because of their individual efforts, became millionaires. So, no matter what the economy is nationally, you can become wealthy in the next four years. You don’t have to wait for anyone.

A president may promise to create jobs, but the only person who is going to create YOUR job is you! You determine whether or not you have a job. The president doesn’t, the economy doesn’t, and the industry doesn’t. No matter how bad things get, there are always those who have good-paying jobs. You choose what kind of person you will be, and how valuable you will make yourself to the marketplace, and thus, what kind of job you will have. So, no matter what the job situation is nationally, you can have any job you want in the next four years. You don’t have to wait for anyone.

A president may promise to do something about taxes, but no matter what the tax rate is, you can still build your personal wealth. Much of my wealth came to me when we still had extremely exorbitant tax rates. I have often said that if you want to be a millionaire and the tax rate is 50%, then just make two million. You determine how much you will have left after taxes, not the government. If you don’t like what you have left, make more. Now, am I saying we shouldn’t work to lower tax rates? No, but I am saying that we can be in control of our own lives regardless of the tax rate. So, no matter what the tax rate is, you can earn more money in the next four years. You don’t have to wait for anyone.

A president may promise to make your health care available to you, but you can make health care available to yourself! It isn’t that people can’t afford it. It is that you can’t afford it. What is the answer to that? The empowering answer is to do what it takes to put yourself in a financial and career situation wherein it doesn’t matter what the cost is, because you can afford it. Again, I am not saying that we shouldn’t work to make health care affordable for people, but when you leave it in the hands of someone else, then you make yourself dependent upon them, rather than becoming independent.

The fact is that you control your life. You control your destiny. You chart your course. Those we elect are not the givers of our financial lives. I sometimes think that many people think that if we can just get the “right” person elected, then their lives will suddenly take a turn for the better. Not true. You determine the outcome of your life.

Fortunes will be made in the next four years, no matter what. Some people will join the ranks of millionaires. That is amazing. The only question you have to ask is whether or not you will be one of them. People with high skills will always be in demand for high-paying jobs. People who have a superb product or service to offer will always be in demand.

Did you vote? That’s great—we should as our civic duty. But the most important thing is not whether your candidate won or lost, but what kind of decision you will make about your own life, your own career, and your own financial situation, no matter who is in office.

Do that, and the world is yours for the taking.

_______________________________________

To receive these inspirational emails in your own inbox – visit http://jimrohn.com and subscribe.

YOLO!

Jan

Distractions? Where’s your margin?

I stumbled across this video by John Assaraf someone shared on facebook…he reinforces some of the issues we are learning about with regards to “margin”.

What are YOU allowing to become a distraction? I’m clearing some of mine away this afternoon!

YOLO,

Jan

Spiritual Renewal Day: Scheduling Margin

Last week I blogged about “Margin” – you can read it here. Our Pastor, Dale Robble, with Highland Park Church is doing a series inspired by the book Margin, Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson, MD.

Margin is defined as: the amount available beyond what is necessary. The difference between what you have and what you need. This could be time, money, relationships, food, meetings…you get the point.

So how do you schedule margin? How do we schedule WISELY?

We need to learn to say “NO” to many GOOD things, so we can say “YES” to the BEST things!

Read that again…absorb it. Yes! Sometimes we need to say NO to something GOOD so we can say YES to something BETTER!

“Busy”ness does NOT equal productivity. Boy…this is a lesson that’s been reinforced many times over to me. I am learning to focus my own “busy”ness with the goal of increasing my productivity by diligently using a consistent to-do list. When my children were young and very busy with extracurricular activities, in addition to driving the Mom-taxi, I was also a working mother, my husband was growing our retail business…I thought I was a great multi-tasker. In fact, I was phenomenal!

I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~Bill Cosby

What I have since learned is that multi-tasking is a myth. It’s literally impossible to give your full and undivided attention to more than one task at a time. Sure, I was doing a lot. I was accomplishing much. But was I doing ANY of it to the best of my abilities? I bet NOT!

I remember in the ’70’s when personal computers were being developed and envisioned with awe by many…we were told that our lives would become so much simpler. We’d be able to accomplish MORE in LESS time.

In fact, today, I’ll argue that the reverse is our current reality. The bar of expected productivity has been raised. And raised HIGH. We now have multiple computers in our homes, we have cell phones, most people have smart phones, our jobs often expect us to be accessible 24/7 . We are yoked constantly to the electronic gadgets which were supposed to bring us REST!

I have learned through experience that I cannot be all things to all people. And if I try, I will certainly fail. Instead of being a source of support, light, energy and love…I become a drain. And that is not fun for anyone involved. Me included.

So back to Dale’s lesson…too many people are being robbed from a life of meaning NOT because they are UNCOMMITTED, but because they are OVERCOMMITTED.

Some thoughts:

  • Just because you COULD do something…does not mean you SHOULD do something.
  • “No” – IS a complete sentence…I love this!! You don’t have to say it rudely…just smile and say “No”.
  • You HAVE time for what you CHOOSE to have time for!

Finally…there are two things that are phenomenally important to your success and your relationship with God…and we are nothing without our relationship with God.

  1. We must have intimate TIME with God.
  2. We must have intentional times of REST.

Again…I amazed at how the universe (God for me) is speaking to us all the time. We have but to listen. In all of the self-development work I’ve been doing with mentors such as Anthony Robbins, Dave & Yvette Ulloa, Rich German…I’ve been learning the importance of spending time in prayer and meditation. This time of bible study, intercessory prayer, mental and physical quiet…allows me to listen and rest. It’s very centering.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear; and the burden I give you is light”.   ~Matthew 11:28-30

God wants us to live a life of peace and rest. Even God worked 6 days and rested on the 7th. Jesus took time for Himself when he was on this earth. He spent time in prayer. He got away from the crowds. He found rest.

Dale challenged us to spend 10 minutes a day in quiet communion with God. I have been spending time in prayer and meditation on an inconsistent basis. I will be adding this to my to-do list. I WILL be scheduling this time. I CHOOSE to find the time.

I choose to yoke myself to my God instead of all my electronic gadgets.

I encourage you to do the same. Let me know how it goes for you…

And remember,

YOLO!

Jan