Ladders and Leaning

Many of us have heard of ‘Wednesday Wisdom’- it’s a popular hashtag.

And it always makes me smile, because one of the things that I find myself desiring the most is wisdom. Someone once commented to me in my early thirties, ”Well, my girl, wisdom comes with age”. I found myself denying the ‘laws of womanhood’, and becoming excited about getting older! 😛
Do I like my laugh lines (wrinkles 😛 )? Not particularly, no.
Do I like that some days I get up and everything hurts, and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t seem to want to work properly? 😛 Gosh, no!
Do I like that my childhood punishment of having to take a nap is something I now find myself thinking of and desperately desiring to do? NOPE!
But if all those things mean that I am growing a little wiser with each passing day? Well then, YES PLEASE!

I KNOW I can’t go wrong with seeking wisdom in all things. Living a life where every minute of every day is spent being sensible and focusing on wise thinking, and being experienced and knowledgeable enough to always practice good judgement? Well then every day would be utterly incredible in the most wonderful ways! And if we could all be like that, not only would we be the very definition of perfection, but this world would be too.
At the same time, I am also fully aware that being this way every minute of every day is probably unachievable.
But if I focus on at least TRYING to be, then surely I’ll get it right more often than not?
Well, that is what I hope anyway 😉

Positive encouragement and inspiration are, for me, wisdom nuggets to be added to my memory bank. There are little things along the way that I manage to store, and so when faced with a particular situation, I am able to recall them, and put them into practice in order to make a ‘wise choice’.
I am also a big believer in sharing positive encouragement and inspiration – nugget worthy reminders – because maybe something plants itself in your mind, and perhaps is able to ‘come to your rescue’ when you find yourself having to make a difficult choice, or help somebody else.

So here is a nugget I picked up on this morning. It will probably mean something different to you than what it means to me, because we’re all different, and our circumstances and choices that we are perhaps faced with are unique. But I thought I would share it anyway, because it left me with a lot to think about.
I saw the following quote :
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” – Thomas Merton

As we all know, the definition of success is a rather personal one, because it comes down to what you think it is. Hence the impact of this quote will have a different meaning to all of us.
But this quote stirred something within me, and so I spent a little time ‘investigating’ it.
And in my ‘investigation’ I found an article that I suppose could be classified as a ‘business point of view’ but there were things in there that spoke to me in a personal way too.
SO… in the spirit of Wednesday Wisdom and imparting nuggets for others to store 😉 …..
I will end with a quote from the article – and if you click on it, it will take you to the full article if you wish to read it.
Here’s to being wise 😉

Sometimes, we get where we always wanted to go & then realize that what we needed was there at the bottom of the ladder the whole time – and we didn’t bring them along. That may be family, that may be friends, faith, health, whatever speaks to you.”

Disney

I’m sure you’ve guessed by the title…. this post is about Disney…. or more specifically, today is apparently

WALT DISNEY DAY!

So in celebration, here are some memes….
(Yes, I am still a sucker for a good Disney movie 😛 😉 )

Photo Credit : media.bookbub.com

Photo credit : mamasgeeky.com

And some lessons I have learned 😛

Cinderella taught me that we should always get mice and birds to make our clothing…. (hellogiggles.com) and that a new pair of shoes can change your life 😛

My favourite scene from the Lion King is so applicable, always…
”The past can hurt… but we can either run from it, or learn from it!”

Snow White not only reminds me to not take food from strangers… but that apples are not necessarily good for me either. 😛
(Interestingly enough, I used to work for three doctors. There is the saying that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’… well, I ate plenty of apples and they still came to work! 😛 )

Monsters, Inc keeps reminding me that exercise is an important way to start your day… and equally as important is to make sure my paperwork is always up to date 😛

And then I checked out this page which was telling me the things I should NOT learn from Disney. Some of them really made me giggle, so here are my favourites 😛 (Warning : the page contains some that are NOT so great… and some bad language… so you might not want to go there if you are sensitive to that type of stuff 😉 )

Ratatouille – if I want gourmet meals in my kitchen, I must find some friendly rats 😛

101 Dalmations – it’s okay to have 101 dogs in my yard 😛 😉

Aladdin – you will have a very bruised knee if you attempt cracking a melon on it… this is NOT a real easy thing to achieve 😛

I’ll end with some great life lessons :

Toy Story – Set your goals high (”Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” ~ W.Clement Stone)

The Princess and the Frog – Hard work is the key to success! (Even when you want to be successful at the things that truly matter – growth and heart change are very hard work!)

Tangled – Step outside your comfort zone. (You just never know which opportunities may appear!)

Up – It’s never too late!

Ratatouille – You are your own limit! ( “You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” — Gusteau)

HAPPY WALT DISNEY DAY, EVERYONE!

Touching on Success

success

As with many things in life, success has different meanings in different situations.
By it’s definition, it is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

And although I know that I know this, sometimes I still forget some of the aspects related to the word ‘success’.

I was reading Ed Mylett’s book, and he was talking about when he first started out – the early days of his entrepreneurship. When he wasn’t a successful entrepreneur.

He speaks of how they had nothing. Bills hadn’t been paid, utilities had been shut off. He and his wife had to sneak down to the apartment complex’s swimming pool before others woke up to use the showers there, and then he’d don his business suit and ‘pretend’ to be a successful entrepreneur. He mentions that the showers were open ones, and so he would hold a towel for his wife to try and ‘protect her privacy’.

What struck me, as I read those words, was this :

Yes, he wasn’t yet a successful entrepreneur, BUT in my eyes (based on the story he told) he was pretty successful as a husband.

I don’t read Success magazine, but I liked what I found in Wikipedia…

~~According to the company, the magazine “focuses on people who take full responsibility for their own development and income,” and provides personal and professional development.~~ 

Because here’s the thing : we are fully responsible for our own personal and professional development, and the success thereof. While circumstances may play a part in delaying our ‘success’, I think that a lot of the time the fact that we just continue to persevere is successful in itself!

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a friend who was being poached by another company – according to her she was really happy in her current placement, but the other company was offering her a much better salary package. She asked me what she should do. I told her to speak to her boss, and see if he could perhaps counteroffer. Naturally, she was worried that the other company would still be offering her more – and what then? My reply was ‘to determine what it was she was chasing – if she’s happy where she is, and that is what she wants from life, then she should stay. If her aim was to make more money, then she should change jobs’.
I don’t know that this was the best advice (since then, her current company came in with a better offer and she is staying where she is) but I do know this :

Success is largely about perspective, and it’s personal. What it means to me may not necessarily be what it means to you. 
I found this article about 9 famous people who spoke of what success is – to them. There were some interesting things in there, so I thought I’d share it in case you wanted to do some further reading 😉

aim

Photo credit : quotefancy.com

I love the quote above. It’s something I often refer to, and is a reminder for me to ‘think big’.

But I find that I have to regularly argue with myself. (An article for reference because I am not crazy 😛 )

And I know I am not alone when I say that I am ‘my own worst enemy’ and that the main thing ‘standing in my way is ME’!

I have to argue with myself because I have not yet conquered all those limiting beliefs, and one of the biggest ones that I struggle with is the one that tells me I will never be successful.

do think it is all about perspective though – and it’s personal. Because what I want to be successful at? I think I am slowly but surely achieving. I doubt it’s going to make me famous though 😛

My definition of success is just that – it’s mine. It’s looking at my aims and purposes (goals) and celebrating when I achieve them.

I like to dance… so I think I am going to go with an optimistic view on this :

optimist-someone-who-figures-that-taking-a-step-backward-after-29160354

Photo credit : me.me

For now I will just keep doing my best, work on believing in myself, continue learning and growing so that I can be a better version of me, and keep checking my list of what I want to achieve.

And I will celebrate each small success (my perception of it) along the way!

Feel free to reward yourself now, since you have successfully completed reading this blog post 😉

 

Be extraordinary!

plow

(And no, it isn’t spelled wrong 😉 In the UK it’s ‘plough’, in the US it’s ‘plow’. I’ll go with the US spelling today 😉 )

Before a farmer plants his crop, he plows the field to prepare the soil. This turns over the top layer of soil and brings fresh nutrients to the surface. Sometimes he adds fertiliser and plant food, to ensure growth and healthiness for his crop.
Then he plants the seeds, waits for growth and reaps his harvest.

I know that you know. But I’m just going to remind you anyway 😉

We all have plans, dreams and hopes. But we’re never going to see them to fruition if we don’t prepare and then take action. Thinking about them is good. Thinking about the ways we can prepare is good. Researching those ways is good.

But nothing is going to happen until we actually apply them, and get plowing! 

It’s not always easy, I know. But there are no rainbows without the rain. You have to start somewhere and at least try!

And remember :

failure

 

In the words of Jimmy Johnson :

”The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra!”

Measuring Success

There was once a boy who worked diligently at school, and even though he got a pass that would allow him entrance to university, there were no funds available for further study. Instead of being discouraged, he came up with another plan. In his mind, university was not an option, but being successful was.

He took a menial job, two in fact, and began to save his money. At the end of a year, he purchased an old car, did the necessary repairs, and began operating as a taxi driver. He built up his reputation by always being available and ensuring he kept his taxi to the standard it needed to be.

Five years later, he owned his own taxi company, which included seven vehicles, and provided employment for seven individuals as drivers.

 

                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Where I live, yesterday marked the start of a new school year for our children.

It marked the start of my son’s final year at school, and 24 hours later, I am still questioning where the time has gone.

My nerves were shattered as I waited impatiently for the end of the school day when my children would return home to me, and chewed my nails nervously as I wondered what the outcome of their respective days had been.

(I have to mention here that my little girl, who has already reached Grade 5 – how did that happen? – is an intelligent ‘A’ student and bubbly child with a wonderfully kind heart. Unfortunately, she is also rather sensitive and takes a lot of things to that kind heart. It doesn’t help that last year she was the victim of some mild bullying, and the main culprit is in her class this year. Thankfully, she came home bubbling over with immense joy after her first day. It is early days still, but I am going to choose to believe that she’ll be okay for the rest of the year!)

My son is also rather intelligent – I have been blessed! He used to be an ‘A’ student, but as he has got older he has become a little less studious and is now only just a ‘B’ student. I find his lack of motivation rather disheartening, because truth be told, we won’t be able to afford further education without a little help, and he won’t qualify unless he pulls up his socks some and knuckles down.

There has never been talk of not going to university – which pleases me in a way, because he most certainly has the brains for it.

He came home yesterday afternoon, and for the first time in a very long time, he spoke for forty minutes, only stopping long enough to take breaths in between. He regaled stories like the one above, all told to them by their new class teacher.

The story above was to inspire and motivate those who are facing the possibility of completing this final year, and yet not being able to afford further study, or qualify for assistance for further study. It was a message to them to not give up and to not feel that they could never be successful, just because they don’t have a university degree.

I was amused by his next motivational piece to the ‘children’, about always being the best you can be, and doing the best you can do. He gave them a short lecture on this, and ended with,

“So, if you decide you just have to be a drug dealer, be the best drug dealer – that way, you’ll always have customers.”

I can’t say that that little quip impressed me entirely – I don’t want my son to be a drug dealer. But I see what the intentions were with that example. The kids all laughed, and the example stuck in their minds, and so did the lesson. Kudos to that teacher!

I’d like to go back to the ‘successful’ part though. When my son finally stopped long enough to allow me to be an active participant in the conversation, and after I had laughed appropriately and stated that I agreed that he’d had a great first day and his teacher was brilliant, I asked him,
“Just as a matter of interest, what do you think makes you successful in life?”

He stared at me in horror and replied, “Well, that’s obvious mom. You have to have money and ‘be somebody’. The whole fame and fortune thing. That’s what everyone says. That’s just the way it is.”

I was a little sad when the realization hit me that my son has based his opinion on success by what ‘everyone’ says – by what the media has defined as successful. Success, to him, pretty much means money. So of course, I had to add in a short lecture of my own – I am his mother, after all. He didn’t take it as well as the class teachers lectures though, ha! At the end of it though, he did mutter,

“I never thought of it that way, really.”

And I can’t really expect him to have completely, because he is still transitioning from a ‘teenager’ to an ‘adult’, and I guess he’s still forming his opinions in their entirety, as opposed to just by what ‘everyone says’.(Where I’m from, children are a lot less mature; but I am not shirking my responsibility as his only parent – which, might I add, is rather tough – and know that I should have possibly done a better job in this area.)

My take on it? To define what it is to be successful, you need to first define what you think success is – and not by what the media depicts it as.

Success, to me, is definitely about accomplishment – some purpose or goal I have set for myself that I have managed to achieve. It can be small things, it can be large – but each success, whether big or small, is important.

It’s about experiencing one obstacle after another, and yet still pushing on and not losing the ability to be enthusiastic about life in general.

It’s about getting to the point where you know that every failure is just a stepping stone, and using it!

It’s about experiencing happiness, and laughter, and love, and peace.

I am successful, in small ways. The ways that count, to me.

But if we’re talking money?

poor

I don’t say I’m right – but it’s my opinion.

If you’d like, feel free to tell me what you think success is – how you perhaps measure being successful….

*EDIT* While standing washing dishes now, I thought of at least five other things that define success for me, and make me experience small measures of feeling successful! Wow! It’s mind blowing! 🙂