Tag Archives: never giving up

When Getting Back Up Makes a World of Difference

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Beloved best-selling fiction and more recently, non-fiction author, Debbie Macomber, has written a book that is sure to put the bloom back in readers’ hearts and lives. Her new title, One Perfect Word: One Word Can Make All the Difference, demonstrates how selecting a single word at the beginning of each year (or season) can alter a life forever.

One of Macomber’s previous word choices is “passion” and she shares how reaching for that which she is most passionate about has caused her to blossom and grow as a person and as a writer. As she delved into the depths of passion’s many definitions, Macomber found fresh direction and renewed strength to go after her dreams.

In every way, this writer began to thrive and flourish. In her text, Macomber shares with readers how they too, can find their passion by asking a few introspective questions (answering them) and then acting upon them — with passion.

1. What invokes your feeling of “sehnsucht” or inconsolable longing?
2. What one desire have you never put in words?
3. Make a quick list of twenty (without editing yourself) things you’d love to do if you had the time, money, and support you needed.
4. Now, pick five that resonate most and ask yourself, “What’s stopping me?”
5. Next, choose one or two of these dreams and write a solution for the roadblock.
6. Look for the solutions instead of focusing on the problems, then act on making your passion a possibility.

I’m getting started on my list right now. :)

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Throwing in the Towel: Quitting — It’s Always Too Soon

I’m well aware that U of M isn’t playing in tomorrow’s Super Bowl because they’re a college team (and my son would be telling me about it if they were.) But that’s about all I know about Super Bowl Sunday (other than it’s a good excuse to make some great food.)

I guess I know one other fact about football…the teams that make it to the finals never give up. They don’t throw in the towel (at any time, for any reason.) Quitting isn’t in their vocabulary.

It shouldn’t be in ours either. I remember last spring one day in particular when I wanted to throw in the towel and not follow through on an opportunity (that ironically, I had asked for, looked forward to, and was excited about…)

I was getting the chance to observe a total hip replacement surgery and had happily marked it into my calendar not realizing I had committed to speak at a women’s group the night before. A few days before the surgical observation day, I received an email confirming my talk with the professional group. My heart sunk for several reasons.

Although I love getting the rare opportunity to enter an OR and watch an entire procedure, I’m not comfortable there. I’m not a medically trained person, so I go into the unfamiliar recognizing I have to be at my mental best if I’m able to accurately capture what I’ll be watching. Secondly, it’s exhausting mentally and physically to pay close attention, take legible notes, and stand for several hours. Third, it’s always somewhat uncomfortable going into a situation where you don’t know the people around you.

So for me to best prepare, I need a quiet evening at home the night before to be well rested and ready to go. Thus, my immediate internal panic when I received the speaking engagement confirmation. I momentarily felt like cancelling one or the other…but that wouldn’t have been courteous or respectful of the people who opened the doors for me to do both.

I still vividly recall arguing with myself over my lack of good planning then threw up my hands and decided to make the best of it.

The speaking event went better than I could have anticipated. Was I tired? Yes. Mentally drained? Yes. Emotionally spent? Yes.

The morning of the OR observation came a few too many hours too soon. After a sleepless night, I arrived at the hospital and was taken back to change into scrubs (and if you want something to break, put me in close proximity to anything mechanical) when the machine that distributes the scrubs got jammed. I stood there thinking, “breaking hospital equipment is not the perfect way to start this…) The thought of quitting right then went through my already weary mind.

After a few unsuccessful attempts to unjam the machine (by a very capable surgical tech) several nurses kindly stepped up and went to their lockers in search of scrubs for me to borrow. I felt like crying, I was so grateful. In my mind’s tired eye, I could envision me standing there alone…with no one I knew to ask for help, no way to fix the machine, no options left. Quitting looked pretty good at that moment.

I tell this story because I believe we all come very close to quitting on things that matter to us. And it often only takes a small gesture of kindness to stop us from throwing in the towel and giving up.

Discouragement can be a powerful force to quit.
But kindness, no matter how it’s offered, is more powerful still.

Because those kind-hearted nurses moved fast and placed a set of scrubs into my hands faster than I had the chance to escape, I stayed.

And for the rest of my morning? It just got better and better.

I learned so much new information and I took away a fresh appreciation for how marvelously medical professionals work in concert with the human body to heal and strengthen it (while giving discouraged people a new lease on life.)

Quitting — it’s always too soon.

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Mental Toughness — Why Women Need It

When I was a kid, I used to spend hours (literally) playing all sorts of string games. The great thing about this childhood pastime was that you could do it alone (or with a friend).

It was one of those rare games that was adaptable to playing in a variety of settings (home or school or in the car).

Have string will travel. :)

Spotting this book photo, I considered how much fun a piece of string can bring when it is….

Knotted tightly.
Cut to a specific length.
Moved in exact, precise positions.
Becomes second nature to execute.

A lot like nurturing a mind that’s characterized by “mental toughness.”

I first heard this phrase used in conjunction with smart, effective caregiving about five years ago when Dr. Foetisch listed the must-dos of taking care of others (from his professional and personal perspective).

I liked the phrase then, I like it even more now.

Though some might balk at women making concerted effort to develop “mental toughness,” I can hardly think of another more valuable commodity.

As times get harder, women don’t have a choice about whether or not they’ll be facing down increasingly more difficult challenges. None. At. All.

Mental toughness is just what the doctor ordered because in today’s world women need to hone that skill of reframing setbacks, losses, disappointments, and heartache by facing them head-on, considering how to move through (rather than avoiding) each one; and finally, intentionally looking for something of value in every circumstance (giving liberal thanks along the way).

What does it look like when women embrace mental toughness?

You never give up.
You are resilient
.
You embrace the possibilities, not the problems.
You recognize that everyone is facing a difficult battle (or many).
You keep trying to make a difference one person, task, choice at a time.
You understand that life is a marathon journey of making consistent good decisions every day (all through the day).
You look for the lessons and learn from your mistakes, but aren’t paralyzed by them.
You refuse to be bound by the hurt others have inflicted on you (unintentionally or intentionally).

In short, women who are mentally tough decide to string together all of life’s experiences (the good and bad alike) and draw from each to live life with focused intentionality.

Knotted up or smoothed out, frayed or finely finished, working toward a second nature response to life’s “tangles” is what being mentally tough is all about (and honing this perspective has blessings and benefits of undetermined length).

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