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Stretch Yourself Anew

Yesterday, we discussed how to live without being perfect. We told you to practice the
33 “75% solution”] so you have more time to enjoy life. Today we’ll discuss how to stretch yourself anew.

Let’s face it – we’re all busy. As we age, our careers get more demanding. We have more family responsibilities. Real life gets in the way of stretching ourselves in new ways. We want to give you four questions to ask yourself to rediscover joy in your life.

Question 1: What’s something you used to love to do?
There are things you used to do that got pushed aside – not intentionally, but accidentally. Something had to give. We have a friend who loved music when he was younger. Recently, he bought a guitar and started playing again. He loved it! Now he’s in a band and has an amazing collection of valuable guitars!

Question 2: What class, outside your major, did you really enjoy?
Or another way to think about it – was there a class you always wanted to take? Another friend’s job involves a lot of analysis. In college, he took a creative writing class as an elective. Now he’s taking another writing class at his local community college. He loves it! He says it’s a complete escape.

Question 3: What do you have sitting around the house?
You may have to dig deep, but there are probably remnants of old hobbies somewhere in your house. Why not break out the tools of your craft? Mary-Lynn says she has rediscovered paint-by-number. She’s learned to keep her brushes clean and in plain sight. That’s her reminder to enjoy this favorite activity from the past.

Question 4: What did you used to read?
Take a trip to your local library or bookstore. Browse the magazine section. What strikes you? George used to subscribe to a couple of fishing magazines. Now, he’s rediscovered fishing with a new twist – it’s a great time to relax and reflect, even if he doesn’t catch anything!

Stretching yourself by recalling those things that used to bring you joy rounds you out. You’ll find it helps your career and your family life. You’re more interesting. You’ll have new energy. You may even find a clue that will take your career and your life in an exciting new direction.

Our quote today is by the great writer and poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes.

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea,
never regains its original dimensions.”

Take an old idea and make it new again. Stretch yourself and expand your mind. Tomorrow, we’ll discuss building self-confidence. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Practice Not Being Perfect

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Before we start on today’s topic, we want to remind you to 11 visualize your dream life, ]by answering the question, “If neither time nor money were an issue, how would you spend your time and money?” We’ll be coming back to this topic in a few weeks, so keep dreaming bigg! 

The holiday season is in full swing. Black Friday has come and gone. Millions are celebrating Cyber Monday today by shopping online. We received an e-mail from one of our listeners recently that we thought we would share with you.

Julie says that, in the last few years, she’s gotten so stressed out trying to find the perfect present for everyone on her list. She gets frustrated and oh-so-tired. She wants some suggestions on finding the joy in the holidays again.

You may be able to feel Julie’s pain. Life seems particularly busy this time of year. However, Julie’s problem goes beyond Christmas and presents. There are lessons to be learned for the whole year. Here what we suggested to Julie:

  • Be a hero, not a super hero.
  • Lower your expectations. You only have 24 hours in the day. You can only do so much. Stop trying to be super-human. Live your life on human terms. We give you permission to be human. We even give you permission to buy gift certificates!  

  • Ask why it’s so important.
  • What’s the underlying need you’re seeking to fulfill? Is it the approval of others? You’re worried that your friends and your kids won't think you’re the best. Get past the superficial. Focus on your goal – showing your loved ones that you care about them. Stop worrying about impressing them.  

  • Be happy with 75%.
  • We heard a story recently about a college professor who taught a CPA review course. On the first day of the new semester, the professor explained to his new crop of students that they needed to get a score of 75 or above on each of the four sections of the CPA test. Then he introduced them to his model student. His scores on the CPA exam were:
    Section 1: 75
    Section 2: 75
    Section 3: 75
    Section 4: 75

    He passed every section with the minimum score! But he passed. The professor explained to his class that this student had spent exactly the right amount of time preparing for the exam.

    Any less would have led to failure.
    Any more would have been wasted.

    He has the same CPA designation as the person who got 100 in all four sections. But he had more time to spend on other important things in his life.

    So spend 25% less time trying to get it perfect. Use that time to enjoy your life. By being less demanding of yourself, you’ll find your life is much more rewarding.  

Our quote today is by Arthur N. Known.

“No one is perfect … that’s why pencils have erasers.”

Striving for excellence puts lead in your pencil. Striving for perfection takes it out.
Tomorrow, we’ll challenge you to stretch yourself. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!