Stop Procrastinating!

on Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Let’s dive right into some of the most common procrastination excuses I hear – and well, also excuses that I make myself!

“I Don’t Really Need To Do It Right Now …

The grand daddy of all procrastination excuses.  So seductive, because there is a little truth to it.  We don’t have to do it, although we may suffer a bit down the road.   That’s just a risk we take…right?

When we make this excuse, what we’re really saying is - “I don’t want to do this, and I’m secretly hoping that it’ll either go away, or I’ll eventually feel motivated to actually do it.” Many of us use this excuse knowing full well we’re procrastinating – waiting for that excitement and adrenaline rush that’ll push us through that all-nighter, and “successfully” finish on time.  Other common phrasings include “There’s plenty of time” and “I can always do it tomorrow.”

“I’ll Start After …”

Sound familiar? I know I’ve been there. Some of my favorite examples of this excuse include “I’ll start…” -

  • … right after I do the dishes
  • … right after I clean my desk
  • … right after I make one last phone call

This is procrastination, plain and simple – we don’t want to do the difficult tasks that we really should be doing, and we put things off by making excuses and doing “just on more thing.” Surprise, surprise – for me, that “one more thing” often ends up being one of my little procrastination hangnails. © Candace House 2011, All Rights reserved.

Having a Heart of Gratitude

on Thursday, March 11, 2010

Even with the harsh economic news - jobless rates up and the stock market down - we can still find a lot to be grateful about, especially during the holidays. Families and friends traditionally draw together for support in times of crisis and this year is no different. The gift of appreciation - a heartfelt thank you - can be a daily present this holiday season for those you love. And the cost won't cut into your tight budget at all.

Why, then, is it so difficult to say thanks? We are often focused on ourselves - Galileo may have proved that the earth revolved around the sun but most of us secretly believe that the world itself revolves around us. It is sometimes hard to pull out of that orbit and become more aware of the contributions of others. And we all tend to take good things for granted. Humans instinctively pay more attention to threats to their safety than they do to situations of security and pleasure. We are less likely to notice supportive behaviors, so positive acts are often ignored.

Other times we think that, by recognizing family members for their generosity, they are less likely to notice what they could appreciate about us. Actually, expressing gratitude leads to positive effects for both the sender and the receiver. But any change in behavior is difficult - and establishing life-long habits takes conscious repetitions. It may be hard to make the commitment to building this new skill, but it is well worth the effort.

Expressing gratitude not only makes others feel better, it also benefits you and your mood. When you focus on what you are grateful for you gain a wide range of benefits. These include sounder sleep, enhanced self-esteem, increased levels of contentment and improved connections with the world around you. Not a bad outcome - especially for a Sandwiched Boomer caught in the midst of parents growing older and children growing up. According to Willie Nelson, "When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."

The Purpose of Having a Dream

on Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Never give up on yourself or your dreams...

Langston Hughes said “ Never give up on your dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that can’t fly.”

Many people never achieve great dreams. They either give up or fall short of making their dreams a reality. Some reasons cited for this failure is because of short sightedness, small vision, settling or getting off track.

Bold dreams change you as they change the world around you. I desire to help and inspire to you to realize your dreams for I am a firm believer that dreams CAN come true! I want you to dare to dream what seems an impossible dream and let me share with you how to make it come true.

Check out my new book titled Dream Makers versus Day Dreamers. Release date July 30, 2009. In the meantime take a look at what others have done with the dreams birthed inside of them.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7. His parents thought he was "sub-normal," and one of his teachers described him as "mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams."

He was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

He did eventually learn to speak and read. Even to do a little math.

Winston Churchill failed sixth grade. He was subsequently defeated in every election for public office until he became Prime Minister at the age of 62. He later wrote, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up.''

As a young man, Abraham Lincoln went to war a captain and returned a private. Afterwards, he was a failure as a businessman. As a lawyer in Springfield, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. He turned to politics and was defeated in his first try for the legislature, again defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for congress, defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, defeated in the senatorial election of 1854, defeated in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and defeated in the senatorial election of 1858. He later became the 16th President of the United States of America.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.

Henry Ford could not read nor write, failed and went broke five times in business before he succeeded.

As an inventor, Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn't fail a thousand times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." Thomas Edison's teachers said he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive."

R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York City caught on.

Louis Pasteur was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate studies and ranked 15th out of 22 students in chemistry.

Van Gogh sold only one painting during his life. And this, to the sister of one of his friends, for 400 francs (approximately $50). This didn't stop him from completing over 800 paintings.

F. W. Woolworth was not allowed to wait on customers when he worked in a dry goods store because, his boss said, "he didn't have enough sense."

When Bell telephone was struggling to get started, its owners offered all their rights to Western Union for $100,000. The offer was disdainfully rejected with the pronouncement, "What use could this company make of an electrical toy." And how many people have a telephone today?

Sigmund Freud was booed from the podium when he first presented his ideas to the scientific community of Europe. He returned to his office and kept on writing.

Rocket scientist Robert Goddard found his ideas bitterly rejected by his scientific peers on the grounds that rocket propulsion would not work in the rarefied atmosphere of outer space.

An expert said of Vince Lombardi: "He possesses minimal football knowledge and lacks motivation." Lombardi would later write, "It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up."

After Carl Lewis won the gold medal for the long jump in the 1996 Olympic games, he was asked to what he attributed his longevity, having competed for almost 20 years. He said, "Remembering that you have both wins and losses along the way. I don't take either one too seriously."

Babe Ruth is famous for his past home run record, but for decades he also held the record for strikeouts. He hit 714 home runs and struck out 1,330 times in his career (about which he said, "Every strike out brings me closer to the next home run.").

Hank Aaron went 0 for 5 his first time at bat with the Milwaukee Braves.

Stan Smith was rejected as a ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because he was "too awkward and clumsy." He went on to clumsily win Wimbledon and the US Open...and eight Davis Cups.

Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, and Jimmy Johnson accounted for 11 of the 19 Super Bowl victories from 1974 to 1993. They also share the distinction of having the worst records of first-season head coaches in NFL history - they didn't win a single game.

Johnny Unitas's first pass in the NFL was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Joe Montana's first pass was also intercepted. And while we're on quarterbacks, during his first season Troy Aikman threw twice as many interceptions (18) as touchdowns (9) . . . oh, and he didn't win a single game. You think there's a lesson here?

Charles Schultz had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Oh, and Walt Disney wouldn't hire him.

After Fred Astaire's first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM, dated 1933, read, "Can't act. Can't sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little." He kept that memo over the fire place in his Beverly Hills home.

Astaire once observed that "when you're experimenting, you have to try so many things before you choose what you want, that you may go days getting nothing but exhaustion." And here is the reward for perseverance: "The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."

After his first audition, Sidney Poitier was told by the casting director, "Why don't you stop wasting people's time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?" It was at that moment, recalls Poitier, that he decided to devote his life to acting.

When Lucille Ball began studying to be actress in 1927, she was told by the head instructor of the John Murray Anderson Drama School, "Try any other profession."

The first time Jerry Seinfeld walked on-stage at a comedy club as a professional comic, he looked out at the audience, froze, and forgot the English language. He stumbled through "a minute-and a half" of material and was jeered offstage. He returned the following night and closed his set to wild applause.

After Harrison Ford's first performance as a hotel bellhop in the film Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round, the studio vice-president called him in to his office. "Sit down kid," the studio head said, "I want to tell you a story. The first time Tony Curtis was ever in a movie he delivered a bag of groceries. We took one look at him and knew he was a movie star." Ford replied, "I thought you were spossed to think that he was a grocery delivery boy." The vice president dismissed Ford with "You ain't got it kid , you ain't got it ... now get out of here."

Woody Allen: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. Eighty percent of success is showing up."

Michael Caine's headmaster told him, "You will be a laborer all your life.

Charlie Chaplin was initially rejected by Hollywood studio chiefs because his pantomime was considered "nonsense."

Decca Records turned down a recording contract with The Beatles with the evaluation, "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out." After Decca rejected the Beatles, Columbia records followed suit.

In 1954, Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after one performance. He told Presley, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck."

Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him "hopeless as a composer." And, of course, you know that he wrote five of his greatest symphonies while completely deaf.

Leo Tolstoy flunked out of college. He was described as both "unable and unwilling to learn." No doubt a slow developer.

Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, was encouraged to find work as a servant by her family.

Emily Dickinson had only seven poems published in her lifetime.

18 publishers turned down Richard Bach's story about a "soaring eagle." Macmillan finally published Jonathan Livingston Seagull in 1970. By 1975 it had sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. alone.

Jack London received six hundred rejection slips before he sold his first story.

21 publishers rejected Richard Hooker's humorous war novel, M*A*S*H. He had worked on it for seven years.

27 publishers rejected Dr. Seuss's first book, "To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street."

© Candace House 2009, All Rights reserved.

Note To God

on Monday, May 18, 2009

Today I saw this incredible video by a young 17 year old girl on Oprah. The song she sang was "Note To GOd." I wanted to share this incredible talent with you as well as the inspiring lyrics.

Note To God lyrics

If I wrote a note to God
I would speak what’s in my soul
I'd ask for all the hate to be swept away,
For love to overflow
If I wrote a note to God
I'd pour my heart out on each page
I'd ask for war to end
For peace to mend this world
I'd say, I'd say, I'd say

Give us the strength to make it through
Help us find love cause love is over due
And it looks like we haven't got a clue
Need some help from you
Grant us the faith to carry on
Give us hope when it seems all hope is gone
Cause it seems like so much is going wrong
On this road we're on

If I wrote a note to God
I would say what on my mind
I'd ask for wisdom to let compassion rule this world
Until these times
If I wrote a note to God
I'd say please help us find our way
End all the bitterness, put some tenderness in our hearts
And I'd say, I'd say, I'd say

Give us the strength to make it through
Help us find love cause love is over due
And it looks like we haven't got a clue
Need some help from you
Grant us the faith to carry on
Give us hope when it seems all hope is gone
Cause it seems like so much is going wrong
On this road we're on

No, no no no
We can't do this on our own

Give us the strength to make it through
Help us find love cause love is over due
And it looks like we haven't got a clue
Need some help from you
Grant us the faith to carry on
Give us hope when it seems all hope is gone
Cause it seems like so much is going wrong
On this road we're on

If I wrote a note to God

© Candace House 2007, All Rights reserved.

Improving Your Personal Life

on Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When you build courage, you start to improve your personal life. Building courage will help you take risks to a brighter future that you ordinarily would not take. When you build courage, you put fear behind you. courage is the process of admitting that you have fears, yet you are willing to find a way to defeat those fears and not allow these fears to take control of you. It is ok to experience your fears at appropriate times. For instance, if a bus is heading in your path, swerving you have a right to fear. There is nothing wrong with healthy fear. The problem is you have to put healthy fear in its place and unhealthy fear out of your life.

Once you build courage, you will learn to self-direct you in life. You will learn to accept punishment and rewards gracefully. A courageous person will often feel motivated to accept blame and responsibility while reviewing their actions and using what they learn to move forward. Courageous people will step to the front, rather than stepping back when opportunities come their way. On the other hand, a courageous person will step back and take a view at his or her mistakes gracefully.

Sometimes the courageous person is spontaneous. It is never good to plan each day, because no one knows what the next day will bring in. Think about it. How many times have you planned something all to see it shatter in your face the next day. For instance, I plan to go to the ballgame tomorrow. Come tomorrow a blizzard, hurricane, tornado, wind storm, or rainstorm could change your mind. You planned, but did you plan for the weather. Did you make a backup plan in case your first plan failed. As you can see, planning is not always in your favor, which is why courageous people are sometimes spontaneous.

A person willing to improve their life will relax. This person will relax even when plans fail. For instance, if it stormed the next day the person will find something else to occupy his or her time and feel just as happy about joining this adventure.

To become successful and improve your life you will need to learn how to trust you. When you trust you, you can trust others as well. Unfortunately, we live in a world where trust is hard to find, yet when you trust you, you can’t blame others when things go wrong.

Improving your life includes using your creative and critical mind. When you can create new ideas, you are off to the road to success. You have many options in this world, it takes you to pull up resources to find those options.

Sometimes in life, we feel uncomfortable. In fact, this is common. Are you willing to accept your discomforts? Perhaps at an interview you feel misplaced. Are you willing to accept this discomfort and find a way to deliver a good speech to impress the interviewer. Alternatively, are you willing to allow negative energies cost you the job.

Do you accept?
Do you accept the things you cannot change? Do you accept the things you have control over? Do you accept other people regardless of how these people act? Do you accept you for who you are? Do you accept the changes that life brings your way?

Acceptance is your key to happiness. When you can learn to accept the good with the bad, you can learn how to live happier and improve your personal life. If you cannot accept however, well, reread this article again.

© Candace House 2007, All Rights reserved.