Persistence or Talent

The summer before my sixth grade year, I got to meet with the band teacher to try out instruments.  I was so excited, and imagined how great it would be.  I thought the horn or the trombone might be a good fit for me, but I got there, and was discouraged from the horn because so many other students had chosen that instrument.  We tried the trombone, and he showed me the spit valve.  I was super grossed out.  We tried the flute, and I naturally got a beautiful sound to come out.  The teacher praised me for my natural gifts, and encouraged me to go with the flute.

Flattery is hard to evade I suppose.  I chose the flute.

I was very pleased, as I went to group practices, that I was better at it than all of my peers.  In fact, I was better than most of my peers through eighth grade.

Here is where the problem came in.  I never practiced.  I wasn’t persistent about it.  I wasn’t especially passionate about it.  I just liked being successful at something.  Around ninth grade, an interesting phenomenon happened.  I was assigned to be a second flute player, and there were many better musicians around me.  They actually practiced.  They created good habits as they continued through school.  They loved what they were doing.

This is me and a couple friends on a high school band/choir trip.

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I learned a valuable lesson.  Hard work, persistence, passion, and good habits always win out over natural abilities.  It doesn’t matter how talented you are, or what kind of natural gifts you have, if you never do anything about it.

It’s something that I learned pretty early on in life, but I still have to continually remind myself.  It’s one of those things that I know logically, but don’t always put the concept into action as well as I should.

I want it to be something my children understand as well, so I look for opportunities to praise them for their work, or on their persistence when something is difficult for them.

I never did become a master floutist, but I did learn a valuable lesson, so I am grateful.  As I work through my business, most of the skills required are abilities that I have not been naturally gifted with.  It’s hard for me, but as I am persistent, I become better at it.  I have gotten really good at skills that I never thought I would be able to do.  I often surprise myself at what I can accomplish.  My personal development has skyrocketed since becoming an independent business owner.  It is a wonderful feeling to be good at something after a lot of work to get there. Talent is lovely to have, but it is not as important as it is made out to be.

So I’d like to hear from you!

What kind of lessons did you learn at a young age that have helped you throughout your life?  What kind of skills have you gained through hard work, rather than natural abilities?

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If you would like to learn more about our business or how to market your own business online, you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

Perfection leads to Procrastination

Preschool is a high energy activity.  At 36 weeks pregnant, I do not have high energy.  In fact, I was having regular contractions until about 2:30 in the morning.  I thought, “Is this it?  It seems a little early.”

It wasn’t it.  I’m still pregnant, but the potential anticipation kept me awake.  When I woke up, I had to get ready for the preschoolers to come over.

Here is where my title comes in.

Let things go.

Life doesn’t have to be crafty or beautiful all the time.  Four-year-olds don’t notice or care that the kitchen and bathroom are gross.  I do not need to have focused engagement for every second of preschool.  Their snack doesn’t have to be some creative thing that has to do with the lesson.  It’s OK to get out the bag of pretzels.

We learned about Picasso in Preschool today.  These plates were the most involved thing we did today.

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Life isn’t perfect, and you don’t have to be either.

When you learn to let the idea of perfection go, and just get started on things, you’ll be surprised at what you can get through, and how much you can get done.  I have had to keep reminding myself of this more and more as I get further along in my pregnancy.  I don’t have as much energy.  I don’t feel as strong or as capable as usual.  Prioritizing the most important things, and letting the other things go, is how you avoid procrastination.

As a college student, I would have said that I was a “professional procrastinator,” as if I were proud of such a title.  The thing is, it makes life so much more stressful and complicated to have something constantly hanging over you, that you have to get done.  I always wanted my projects to be perfect and beautiful, and better than everyone else’s work.  This often resulted in me stressing about it, and often, not even turning it in.  Can you tell I was a really great student? Haha. We all have our times of growing up. 🙂

Don’t procrastinate.  If all you are thinking about is how impressive your end result will be, you are asking for procrastination and stress.  When you need to get a lot done, don’t try to focus in on the whole project.  Just focus on your first step.  Don’t get distracted from that first step.  When it is finished, move on to the next step.

Do yourself a favor, and let yourself be imperfect.  We are striving to be better.  No one is asking for perfection, so don’t demand it of yourself.  I hope you are all having a beautifully, imperfect day.  Don’t get too down on yourself. 🙂

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If you would like to learn more about our business or how to market your own business online, you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

When You Just Want to Nap…

This week I’ve been trying hard for consistency.

It’s hard.

The hardest part is doing something productive when I just want to take a nap.

I’m 35 1/2 weeks pregnant.  If this baby comes at the same time that my previous baby did, I will have a baby in 2 1/2 weeks. Yikes!

I don’t want to give myself excuses though.

Monday, I naturally felt energized and productive.  I got so many things done, and felt on top of the world.  It’s impossible for everyday to feel like that though.  It’s not a great triumph to do something because I feel like it.  I want to be able to get past “I don’t feel like it,” and I felt like yesterday was a great success with that.

On Tuesday, I was exhausted.  I needed to clean.  I needed to get some business stuff done.  I needed to take care of my kids.  I wanted to nap.

The thing that has helped me the most during those days are little things.  I don’t put pressure on myself to get the whole world in order.  I started with little things.  I started a load of laundry.  I posted a picture quote I had created a previous day to Instagram.  I wrote a post to my business group.  I worked my way up to talking to business prospects.  It was a lot harder to do than it was on Monday, when I wanted to do all those things; when I had energy.

I didn’t get as much on Tuesday, but I am so proud of what I did accomplish, because it was so much harder to do.  I am working to be consistent in my good habits.  Good habits are what bring me closer to my goals.  That is where I want to be.

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If you would like to learn more about our business or how to market your own business online, you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

 

A Balance Between Gratitude and Goals

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This morning we had to go into the city so I could meet with my midwife, but after my appointment, we picked up Evan and went out for lunch.  It has been a beautiful spring day, so we bought some sandwiches at the food court across the street, and sat by a fountain to eat our lunch together.  Gardeners and other grounds workers were busy getting things ready for spring.  My kids kept trying to pick the pansies that had just been planted, and splashing in the water of the fountain.  I was just glad they didn’t fall in!  They were exhausted when we got home, and we are having our quiet time now.  🙂 Whew! It was a beautiful morning though.

Yesterday I talked about the things that I want, that I don’t have.  This morning was ideal though.  As I search for more, and make goals for myself, It’s also important to be grateful for the things that I do have.  It’s important to take notice of perfect moments.  I am grateful that my husband works near such a beautiful place, and that he has the flexibility to wander the city with us for lunch.  I’m thankful that we could afford to buy sandwiches and cookies.  I am most thankful for my family.  I feel blessed to have a steady, loving family.  It is the thing I prize most in my life, and I realize that not everyone has that opportunity.

It’s important to find a balance between reaching for dreams, and remembering what we already have.  Don’t get so caught up in your dreams that you forget.  No matter our circumstance, there is always something to be grateful for.  Find that thing, and hold on to it. 🙂

I’d like to hear from you. What are you most grateful for?

 

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If you would like to learn more about our business you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

Night Owl Problems…

I’d like to recognize a problem.  Usually I write on the blog when I have time during the day, which is usually nap time.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  Working during the kids’ quiet time should be common sense.  Here’s the problem:

Twelve-thirty (after lunch) rolls around, and I want a nap.  Especially being 34 weeks pregnant, I need my nap.  My brain feels dull, and tired.  I never feel inspired, or excited to write, and that’s a problem.

My brain is the most awake from 10PM to 12AM.  I have been a night owl my whole life.  Night comes, and I feel alive.  All of my sisters, roommates, and husband can attest to the fact that I get (really) talkative at night.  My mind comes alive with ideas in philosophy, religion, questions, and memory lanes.  Everyone who has ever shared a room with me has learned to fall asleep while I am talking. (rude. haha) Evan can usually keep up with things like, “Is the door locked,”  but the nature of God, parenting philosophies, or business ideas tend to go over his head while he’s mostly asleep.  Weird huh?  You’d think he’d be able to keep up. 😉

So here and now, I have decided to write at night.  Why the heck not?  I’ve been fighting natural tendencies, and I’m hoping that by embracing it, my writing can be better… and maybe I won’t keep my husband up all night with crazy ideas.  I can tell them to you lovely readers instead. 🙂

I was also thinking about changing the direction of my blog a bit.  I want to involve my daily life and family more.  Since looking at the stats on this blog, I’ve noticed that the topics that I am passionate about get more views.  What a surprise, to learn that the blog gets more enjoyable to read when I am more passionate about what I write!  Yeah… I guess that shouldn’t have been a surprise. Haha.  Anyway, I hope you current readers aren’t super confused at this shift in the blog.  We’ll see how it goes.  It’s an experiment!  You will have to tell me how it is going as I go along. I would love the feedback.

Tomorrow I might write about my research on hashtags for business purposes, or playing outside (which neighborhood slide is best!! Actually it’s not a contest.  The one by the elementary school is a suicide slide), or maybe my progress in the mounds of laundry I’ve been washing and not folding…  Maybe I’ll write about them all.  Who knows. 🙂  I hope you can join me in this great experiment!

I think I might need a different blog name…

 

 

As always,

If you would like to learn more about our business you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

How to Get Over “I Don’t Feel Like It”

I’ve had this problem often in my life.  This post, in particular feels a bit ironic to write, because today I didn’t feel like it.  I did not really feel like doing much of anything today.  I made several other excuses.  I’m hugely pregnant.  I hurt my ankle (again) and can’t really walk.  My children were kind of crazy today.  I’m tired.  Here’s the thing:  I have already committed to myself that I will write on the blog Monday through Friday.  When you’ve committed to something, excuses don’t matter.  You either do it, or you don’t.  Also writing does not involve ankles!  I can still be productive, dang it! 

So that was my pep talk to myself.  Maybe it helped you, maybe you’re laughing at my ridiculousness.  Either way, I already decided what I wanted to talk about today, and it is how to get over that feeling of not wanting to do something.  This is why we are all such good procrastinators, but I heard an interesting quote recently:

“Amateurs wait until they feel inspired to do creative work. Professionals do it on a strict schedule.”

Procrastination is the difference between an amateur and a professional.  Professionals generally are those who have succeeded in their fields, and that is what we are all striving for: success.

If you wait to feel inspired, or you wait to have enough energy or courage, your productivity won’t be consistent, and you won’t get where you need to go.  This is all easier said than done though.  Here are two suggestions to help get you through those times where you just don’t feel like it.

1. Schedule a time to work.  Regardless of whether you are feeling good or bad, just start.  Don’t do anything else during that time.  That is exclusive work time.  The more you do, the more momentum you will have on your side.  Momentum makes everything seem easier.

2. Give yourself permission for imperfection.  Writer’s first drafts are famously flawed.  Olympic athletes still show up to practice when they are tired.  Will those writers write a masterpiece that day?  Maybe not.  Will that swimmer get his best time that day?  Probably not, but they will accomplish things miles ahead of those who didn’t do anything on those days.  You don’t have to be awesome every day.  It’s OK to have less than perfect work sometimes.

As you are consistent, you will see results over time.  Inconsistency is your enemy.  So choose a time, and just start.  Whatever your goal is, just do a little bit every day.  You can do it!

 

 

If you would like to learn more about our business you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.

Dreams and Goals

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This is my awesome four-year-old.  He’s still pretty little, so his dreams are changing constantly, but he recently he told me he wanted to be an astronaut, and he also wanted to be a doctor.  As adults, we tend to smile knowingly at little kid’s dreams.  I wanted to be a famous singer as a kid, and that wouldn’t necessarily be something I aspire to today.  Kid’s dreams are often seen as unrealistic, or simplistic.  Not every little boy will grow up to be a fire fighter.  We can learn from children in a way though.  They don’t hold themselves back.  They don’t make their dreams smaller to fit their lifestyle or current budget.

The question is, how do you make that big dream a reality?  Kids don’t think about that part.  Adults do, and that is why we tend to put limits on our dreams, because we don’t know how to achieve them.

Imagine your dream, then change it to a goal.  The only difference between a dream and a goal is a detailed plan.  Make your plan.  Divide it up into years, months, days, and maybe even hours.  What do you need to do on a daily basis to reach that goal?  What do you need to do now?

The most important part of this goal is to not compare yourself with others.  That is a bad path to go down.  It will hurt more than it will help.  Compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.  If you are further on the path to reaching that goal than you were yesterday, you are succeeding.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about our business you can email me at candidnetworkmarketing@gmail.com or find us on our Facebook group.