I begin with a question today, how many of us want to simplify our lives? I recently read a blog post by Ryan Sonnenburg with advice on how to simplify your life…it was a great list and it made me think. We are all so busy, with jobs, school, children, spouses, elderly parents, pets, friends….How do you keep life simple? Here are my top 13:
LET IT GO
TELL THE TRUTH
LIVE WITH LESS
APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE
LEAVE WORK AT WORK
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
DON’T LOOK BACK
NO IS AN OPTION
Life lessons from me to you. Life is short, and my philosophy is to be happy and live life to the fullest. Can you have it all? Yes, emphatically YES. At the end of the day, do you need to have it all to be happy? What I’ve learned….you don’t need to have it all (wealth, privilege, luxury cars, luxury homes, big bank accounts, VP title, spouse, 2.3 kids or the white picket fence) to be happy or to have an extraordinary life. Life is what we make it. Simplify your life.
Today, I realized that Memorial Day is over, summer has officially begun, and we’re almost six months into 2012 already. So, it’s time for me to write again. Time is passing quickly, and I have started a new journey. The journey towards an extraordinary life. My life has always been full, but never extraordinary. I started to ask the question why? Why should I settle for an ordinary life? From here, I will begin with the question, are you living an extraordinary life? What exactly does that mean? More importantly, how do you get to extraordinary?
An extraordinary life is different for everyone. For some, it may be material. Owning your own business. Making a million dollars or more. Having that dream home. Owning luxury vehicles. For some, it may be less tangible. Growing a garden. Having a successful marriage. Raising amazing and productive children. Securing your dream job. Traveling the world. Ultimately, an extraordinary life is life on your terms. It starts with finding your passion and purpose in life, what you truly want, and what YOU were made for. It means never settling for less than what you can be in life. When you are living an extraordinary life, you will find a greater sense of meaning, not only in what you do, but who you are. So you would ask, how do I get to an extraordinary life? According to peak performance coach Tony Robbins, you need two things: the science of achievement (the ability to take anything you envision and make it real) and the art of fulfillment (this allows you to enjoy every moment).
For me personally, at this moment an extraordinary life means being connected with my Creator, giving 110% effort at everything I do, going the extra mile, sharing, creating, traveling and giving in ways that are meaningful to me and to those I care about. Contributing and giving completely and generously. Embracing love fully – love of myself, the love for God, love for life, and love for others. Lastly, gratitude and appreciation for everything that life has to offer. That definition of extraordinary will likely change as my life changes, as the seasons change.
An extraordinary life cannot happen without achievement and fulfillment. Achievement requires you to have a much higher standard. Demand more from yourself. You must want to be excellent. When your standard is excellence, you get all the rewards and all the impact that come with it. Fulfillment is much more than just feeling good. The only way to be fulfilled is to constantly grow and contribute in a meaningful way to other people and to the world. And, in order to grow, you have to be willing to let go. Growing means letting go of your fears, who you are, setting standards, and challenging yourself to do more and be more. We are all here to support and grow and contribute to one another. An extraordinary life happens when we make sure we maximize our capabilities and gifts as human beings. Living an extraordinary life simply means living on your own terms, at the best and highest level.
In closing, I encourage you to live with a mindset of abundance. Understand that wealth is much more than what’s in our wallets. How we feel is more important than what we have. Living an extraordinary life is a journey, not a destination. It starts with YOU. Never settle. Live life on your terms – doing what you want, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want. I welcome your feedback.
I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by, we were just beginning May and now Memorial Day is already upon us. Time is flying, and for me, it is so important to life in the present and make every moment count. Some would argue that this is all motivational BS, but I will tell you that it is not. There is tremendous power in positive thinking. We are taught that what we feed (mind, body, and spirit) will grow. If you want positive results, then that is what you have to stimulate your mind with. Today’s topic is continuing on the theme we last discussed, traveling/living with purpose. On May 20th, Oprah Winfrey gave the commencement address for Spelman College’s 2012 graduation. Here are a few nuggets to ponder:
1) Know who you are and where you’re going.
2) Find a way to SERVE.
3) Always do the right thing! Doing the right thing will alway bring the right things to you.
SERVICE + SIGNIFICANCE = SUCCESS
In closing, I am on a path to finding what success means for me. It is different for each of us. Oprah reminds us, “when you are excellent you become unforgettable.” So today, I push forward towards excellence as my personal brand in everything that I do.
For the past two weeks, I have put my all into developing the travelpreneur blog. Today, I will spend some time pondering the question, are you traveling with purpose? Traveling, not just in the literal sense, but moving through life with purpose. This week I attended a leadership conference and left so motivated and inspired to elevate myself, my personal brand, my thinking, and my purpose. There were so many nuggets that I have to share, but the first which struck me most is “Average is Over.” Average is over. Translation, in today’s global economy, we are faced with more challenges, competition, economic crises and uncertainty than ever before. You, meaning all of us, must always bring your “best game” all of the time. It is now more important to do your very best. Why? Because average is no longer acceptable. Extraordinary and phenomenal is now the norm. So I begin with a few treasures from the conference, I hope they will help you as much as they helped me:
1) You have to know your purpose
2) What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
3) You don’t make excuses, find a way to get it done!
4) People who achieve WORK. They do the WORK. They create the WORK. Find the WORK. Make “it” WORK.
5) It is what you do with what you have, that makes you what you are.
6) Leaders are people who care about others and never forget those who care about them.
7) Each of us have something to contribute.
8) Make no apologies for who you are and what you believe!
9) Be open to change!
10) Your personal brand (YOU) is always evolving. (nothing should be stagnant, you have to grow and evolve)
11) Your 9 to 5 job or profession is what you do, but not who you are.
12) Don’t waste any time living out someone else’s vision for what you should be doing!
13) You have to be authentically YOU!
14) If you are truly living in purpose, it is impossible for you to fail!
So, I will ask the question. Are you traveling with purpose? Do you know what you were put on this Earth to do? If not, take the time to find out. Once you know your life purpose, you can travel without failing. On a personal note, I was deeply moved and inspired by the messages of this conference as well as Oprah’s Life Class series on Gratitude. For a very long time, I thought my career defined who I was, but after leaving corporate America I learned quickly that was so not the case. Marketing is what I do, but not who I am. At the end of the day, I am so much more. I am a travelpreneur, blogger, photographer, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, mother of Sammie and lover of dogs, cupcakes, champagne, jazz and flowers. I am still learning my life purpose, I am still working on being authentically me every day, but I will get there. I would love to hear your thoughts.
It’s Monday….the start of another week in paradise….It’s been a really busy weekend filled with friends, food, and a tour of the new International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Today, I will start with a short interview, sharing my background, why I love travel, and why I created the Travelpreneur blog.
More about me….
First off, I am a marketing guru by profession. Travel, photography, and gardening are my passions. I love to travel to unusual destinations and photograph the sights, sounds, and people that I encounter along the way. I also love dogs, cupcakes, chocolate and champagne. I am most inspired when I’m snapping pictures, exploring a new place, or giving back. I recently participated in Oprah’s Gratitude Lifeclass, and it literally changed my life. What I learned….gratitude and appreciation change your world, opening the door to abundance.
Lesson 1: Every breath we take is a gift!
Lesson 2: The reality is…what we have is this moment, with the people you love and the air you breathe.
Lesson 3: Whatever you feed will grow.
Lesson 4: Life happens not TO me, but FOR me.
From this moment forward, I choose to live my life to the fullest every day, being true to who I am, and GIVING! Every day is the best day of my life!
What made me fall in love with travel?
First and foremost, travel opens my mind and nourishes my spirit. Travel allows me to see beyond where I currently am, and what the possibilities are. Infinite possibilities to experience different sights, people, cultures, food, seasons, nature, and languages. Travel also presents the opportunity to have fun, de-stress and rest the body.
In all of my travels, which one place stands out?
A small slice of paradise in the Caribbean called Anguilla changed my life. This tiny island is beautiful, luxurious, exclusive (and expensive), and relaxed. The beaches are unlike anything I’ve experienced before or since. Crystal clear turquoise water, the softest powdery sand, and breathtaking sunsets that make you never want to leave. Top notch resorts and private villas draw celebrities, the likes of Michael Jordan, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Derek Jeter, Sandra Bullock, and Brad Pitt have vacationed in Anguilla. Words alone cannot possibly do the island justice, it is a place where you can find peace, tranquility, and privacy. I travel to Anguilla often, have made friends, and call it my second home. More to come on Anguilla.
How did I get into blogging and why?
I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and see places that others just dream about. Travel and photography are my passions, they inspire me. I found myself wanting to share my travels and photos to inspire others to see new places. I started by sharing my photography collection on Facebook and Twitter, and then graduated to blogging in 2011. I switched from blogger to a self-hosted WordPress blog, and started promoting my site with social media for the very first time this month. Blogging is still a work in progress for me, and I am now starting to meet up with other bloggers to grow, learn, and improve.
What is my best Travel tip?
Bring a good attitude and an open mind for every trip. Every new place you visit is unique and special in its own way. Be open….experience and learn more about the local food, music, artwork, entertainment, and customs.