Book Review: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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Living a Creative Life is not for the Faint of Heart

Living a creative life is not easy, whether you are a photographer, journalist, fashion designer, whatever it is that relies on your innovativeness to survive (I don’t know if this is really a word, and I’m too lazy to go and look). I’m a nail technician, it is my passion, I enjoy doing it, and it makes me happy when my client leaves my chair satisfied with their nails. Contrary to belief, this is not my hobby, this is my career. The majority of people do not see it this way, but I proudly say that I am a nail technician, and I love my job.

Recently, I’ve been pursuing blogging, photography and graphic design, and I’m really loving it. I’m a very impatient person, so when I don’t see results right away, I can get discouraged for a time, but I don’t stay down for long, I usually get over myself and get back at it again. I am definitely a beginner and have no idea what I’m doing, but it’s still both exciting and frightening.

Since I started my blogging journey, I have spent 10-20 hours or more a week on Pinterest doing research and getting information and resources. I have learned so much, but it also leaves me so exhausted! I still have to work and take care of my child in the midst of all this.

On top of everything, I started to pick up reading again after years of not touching a book. In middle and high school, I spent a lot of times reading for pleasure, but when I went to college, I spent so much time studying for my classes I didn’t have time to pleasure read. So now that I’ve graduated, I have the liberty to read whatever I please. It’s awesome!

I was browsing on Pinterest for some of the top books that bloggers should read, and I came across this amazing book called Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Now I’m not going to say, that I loved every aspect of this book, there was a lot I didn’t agree with, but this book was still an AMAZING read. She has such a strong writing voice and disposition on the subject of creative living. I was compelled to write a review on this book. So if you would like to purchase, click the image below.

 

I love how she structured this book. Instead of chapters, there were parts, and within the parts, there were different headings!

What’s Stopping You?

This section talks about courage. Obviously right? She goes over questions that most creative entrepreneurs may ask themselves during their journey, like:

You’re afraid you have no talent.

You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored.

You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it.

You’re afraid somebody else already did it better.

You’re afraid everybody else already did it better.

You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark.

You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously.

You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life.

You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing.

You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money.

You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline.

You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration.

You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree.

You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.)

You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist.

You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal.

You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud.

You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons.

You’re afraid your best work is behind you.

You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with.

You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back.

You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start.

You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously, nothing can ever go well again.

You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying?

You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder.

You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder (p.13-15)”

I believe we run through all the questions about 4 to 5 times a day if we don’t surround ourselves with positivity.

Scaredy Cat

She then goes on to say, “I’ve been a frightened person my entire life. I was born terrified “(p.16). She sounds a lot like me, it’s kind of scary! I’ve always feared a lot of things, some of these things, people don’t even think to fear. Luckily for her, her mother forced her out of her awkward shyness! “Scared of the ocean? Get in that ocean! Afraid of the snow? Time to go shovel snow! Can’t answer the telephone? You are now officially in charge of answering the telephone!” (p.18). I love this, because my mom encourages me to do the same thing now. In a very nice polite way, she tells me to get off my butt and get going! Stop waiting for pseudo perfect conditions that don’t even exist.

Gilbert says, “I finally realized that my fear was boring…. because it was the same thing every day” (p.19). You are going to get tired of being scared all the time. “Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome (p.23). I don’t like uncertainty at all, I mean who does? My new endeavor of blogging is causing me a lot of uncertainty, and at times I’m not even enjoying it because I’m looking to make money (and lots of it), right away. This is not the way to start your blogging journey.

Instead I should be looking at it as a creative outlet. I also have not been writing posts as often as I initially wanted because I’m always scared as to how people will react to my posts. FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, I hate you FEAR, you are pure evil! In her book, Gilbert writes an amazing letter to fear, and I think anyone who struggles with fear should read this letter daily.

“Dearest Fear:
Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life and that you take your job very seriously. Apparently, your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting, and may I just say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize that you are part of this family so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still – your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps, you’re not allowed to suggest detours. You’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive” (p.25-26). I was like WOW! And she did it so tastefully, she politely told Fear that he/she was insignificant and wasn’t allowed to ruin the creative process. You should write your own letter to fear and print it out and hang it on your wall. Read it daily and let Fear know who’s boss (and post your letter in the comments if you dare). “It isn’t always comfortable or easy but it’s always worth it, because if you can’t learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to go anywhere interesting” (p.26).

I thought the way she worded this letter was amazing. When I find my own living space, I’m definitely mounting this letter in my bedroom!

How Can I Beat the Competition?

With all the other blogs out there, how can I compete? How can I be better? Maybe you don’t have to worry about how you can be better. Different strokes for different folks as I always say. Your blog has something that the other millions of blogs don’t have- a piece of you! There’s a piece of you in your blog that’s essential to someone’s journey. So, don’t worry about the other millions of blogs out there, there’s enough readers for everyone. “You can support other people in their creative efforts, acknowledging the truth that there’s plenty of room for everyone. (p.41).

In this section of the book she talks about inspiration as an entity that seeks you out, sometimes for a long period of time and sometimes for a short period of time. Although I don’t completely agree with this, I think it helps people come to terms with having what seems like a brilliant idea, and then losing it completely.

When the Race to the Top is Over

Another thing that she touches on was, what happens when you reach the top? Is that it for you? Do you stop creating because you fear anything else might be beneath your last work? I actually never thought of what I would do when I reach my goal, I’m always just looking towards the goal. I love her perspective on this, it’s absolutely beautiful, I had the biggest epiphany after reading this! “But such thinking assumes that there is a “top”- and that reaching the top (and staying there) is the only motive one has to create. Such thinking assumes that the mysteries of inspiration operate on the same scale that we do-on a limited human scale of success and failure, of winning and losing, of comparison and competition, of commerce and reputation, of units sold and influences wielded, such thinking assumes that you must be constantly victorious-not only against your peers, but also against an earlier version of your poor self. most dangerously of all, such thinking assumes that if you cannot win, then you must not continue to play” (p.70). Why do you create? I create because I owe it to the world to share my gift from God. I love creating, whether it is a post I write, nail art, cooking, taking pictures, I just love to make stuff. And why not? Who cares how people see your art!

This was such an eye opener for me, because everything I do stands on whether I will be successful or I will fail. Successes and failures are based on perception and they shouldn’t be the object of your focus. I’m starting to realize this now, worrying about success and failures are just catalysts for fear.

The Permit for the Permission to Create

“You do not need anyone’s permission to live a creative life” (p. 86). This is so true, she also states in this book, so long as you are living your own life and paying your own bills, you can do whatever you want to do. You don’t need permission to make a painting, or make a movie, or sing, or design clothing, you are at free liberty to create whatever you want, no matter how it will be perceived.

She goes on to talk about advanced schooling for your specialization and whether or not it is necessary. She talks about one of her friends who is a master painter who had no schooling in painting, he was self-taught. She used this example to talk about how the debt incurred from school can impede the creative process. “Which makes you question the necessity of the whole system (p.104). Going into massive debt in order to become a creator, then, can make a stress and a burden out of something that should only ever have been a joy and a release. And after having invested so much in their education, artists who don’t immediately find professional success (which is most artists) can feel like failures. Their sense of having failed can interfere with their creative self-confidence- and maybe even stop them from creating at all. Then they’re in the terrible position of having to deal not only with a sense of shame and failure, but also with steep monthly bills that will forever remind them of their shame and failure” (p.106). “‘Ascend no longer from the textbook!'” warned Walt Whitman, and I warn it too; there are many ways to learn that do not necessarily involve schoolrooms. And feel free to start sharing your perspective through creativity, even if you’re just a kid” (p.107). I am going to inspire my daughter to create without boundaries, limitations, or fear.

“So, take your insecurities and your fears and hold them by the ankles and shake yourself free of all your cumbersome ideas about what you require (and how much you need to pay) in order to become creatively legitimate. Because I’m telling you that you are already creatively legitimate, by nature of your mere existence here among us (p.108)”.

Eliminating Expectations

The first title in this section was called Taking Vows. She literally took vows to her creative lifestyle. Gilbert says, ” My vows were strangely specific and, I would still argue, pretty realistic. I didn’t make a promise that I would be a successful writer, because I sensed that success was not under my control. Nor did I promise that I would be a great writer, because I didn’t know if I could be great. Nor did I give myself any time limits for the work, like, ‘If I’m not published by thirty, I’ll give up on this dream and go find another line of work’. In fact, I didn’t put any conditions or restrictions on my path at all. My deadline was: never. Instead I simply vowed… that I would write, forever, regardless of the result” (p.140). I know a lot about having expectations for literally everything. Sometimes having expectations can be a prison with no windows for your mind. I struggle with this a lot, I always have an expectation for everything, and when things don’t go the way I expect, it is utterly devastating for me. But there’s hope, realizing that living aa creative life is a journey, your internal timeline is erased and you realize you have all the time in the world to create.

I love to write, even though I’m sure this post is chop full of grammatical errors and such, I don’t care, focus on the content, focus on what I’m saying to you. I started this blog because I wanted to make money. My first priority was to make money and have beautiful pictures and graphics and have this really awesome professional looking website in under 3 months (there goes those unrealistic expectations again, they are just so rude, you know?).

I am blessed that one of my passions pays all my bills. I have to remind myself that having a blog, making great content, having amazing pictures, is all a process. A process that will not happen under 3 months. I always feel like I’m on a time crunch, like I have to learn all the mysteries of life in a short period of time. Always feeling like I have to do things in half the time.

Trusting the Process

Finding your “why?” takes time. Gilbert says, “Generally speaking, the work did go badly, too. I really didn’t know what I was doing. I felt sometimes like I was trying to carve scrimshaw (Scrimshaw is the name given to scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory) while wearing oven mitts. Everything took forever. I had no chops, no game. It could take me a whole year to just finish one tiny short story. Most of the time, all I was doing was imitating my favorite authors, anyhow. I went through a Hemmingway stage (who doesn’t?), but I also went through a pretty serious Annie Proulx stage and a rather embarrassing Cormac McCarthy stage. But that’s what you have to do at the beginning, everybody imitates before they can innovate” (p.142). I am going through this period right now, and I know everybody who writes goes through this period in their writing career, or whatever trade it is that they have.

That’s why it’s important to trust the process, like my friend Alex always tells me. Gilbert goes on to say “…when one is learning how to write poetry-one should not expect it to be immediately good” (p.148). You have to press on even if your writing doesn’t match up with bloggers who have been writing for YEARSSSSSSSS! Trust me I understand your frustration. “If you want to be an artist of any sort, it seemed to me, then handling your frustrations a fundamental aspect of the work-perhaps the single most fundamental aspect of the work…. How you manage yourself between those bright moments, when things aren’t going so great, is a measure of how devoted you are to your vocation, and how equipped you are for the weird demands of creative living. Holding yourself through all the phases of creation is where the real work lies” (p.149). Are you ready to just DO IT? Just create things without boundaries, without mental limitations and just do it because you love it? Or will you give up because it’s not meeting your limiting expectations? Just create things because you love to create. You always hear about how Facebook was just a social experiment, none of them knew how big it was going to explode, and look at it now. And then again it might not, but who cares? Let go of your expectations.

I made a vow to myself that one day during my journey I’m going to get go of my expectations and just create, I’m going to create things and share it with the world, and whether they like it or not I’m going to keep creating. Gilberts says, “The essential ingredients (which happens to be the sections in this book) for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody; courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust- and those elements are universally accessible” (p.158).

Perfectionism

Now onto one of my favorite topics, perfectionism, she opened my eyes to what my perfectionism is doing to me, and not for me. “But in order to stay in the game, you must let go of your fantasy of perfection… Perfectionism stops people from completing their work, yes— but even worse, it often stops people from beginning their work… I think perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear. I think perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it’s just terrified. Because underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angel that says, again and again, ‘I am not good enough and I will never be good enough’ (p.167). And boy oh boy is Gilbert right. Before I started this blog, I sat on it for months thinking of everything that could go wrong instead of just doing it! And this transfers to many aspects of my life. Then when I finally got it up and running, I was doing good, and I was writing every day, and I wasn’t seeing the money coming in like I had planned.

I started to get discouraged and wonder “Why in the world am I doing this?”. Then I started to make excuses, “Well my graphics aren’t where they are supposed to be, they don’t look professional enough. Then I didn’t know what to write about, because I thought that all of my ideas were stupid and that no one would want to read it. I sat there and tortured myself with all this negativity. My mom, my bestie, my love, and my heart said I needed to just put it out there anyway. She loves gardening, and she watches a lot of the videos on YouTube. She says that most of the time the people who make videos about gardening don’t have a fancy YouTube intro, or outro, they just introduce themselves and start talking about what it is they have to share. She says I need to let go of trying to be perfect and keep moving. My motto is keep moving and success will come. And I wasn’t even being true to my own motto. I’m so glad that I listened to her and kept writing because I feel like this new journey I’m on is going to teach me some things.


Gilbert states, “Sometimes I have no idea where my passion has gone off to. I don’t always feel actively inspired, nor do I always feel certain about what to do next. But I don’t sit around waiting for passion to strike me. I keep working steadily, because I believe it is our privilege as humans to keep making things for as long as we live, and because I enjoy making things… So how do you find the inspiration to work when your passion has flagged?… I believe that curiosity is the secret. Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living. Curiosity is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end (p.237). I go through spurts of being uninspired aswell, but shes right, “just keep swimming”! The inspiration will come if you keep moving.

It’s Okay to Fail

“You will fail. it sucks and I hate to say it but it’s true. You will take creative risk, and often they will not pan out. (p.248). I struggle with this a lot when I set out to do something I expect it to be perfect the first time around. and I know I’m not the only one who thinks that way. but I can tell you how unhealthy it is. and I know I said it a million times, but it goes back to having these unrealistic expectations. you don’t know how it’s going to turnout, so don’t expect anything. one of the pastors I listen to Stanley always says that it’s never a problem only a possibility. failing is a lesson it’s a way to learn what you did wrong or maybe listen to teach you that you won’t always be on top. And that’s okay,but failing is not necessarily a bad thing, only if you look at it as a bad thing. I’ve learned some of the greatest lessons in my life from failures or perceived failures rather. I’m ready to keep creating, no matter what it takes.

“So how do you shake off failure and shame in order to keep living a creative life? First of all, forgive yourself. If you made something and it didn’t work out Let It Go, remember that you’re nothing but a beginner– even if you’ve been working on your car for 50 years. forget about the last project, and go searching with an open heart for the next one” (p. 251).

” ‘ Failure has a function. It acts you whether you really want to go on making things’. … the final— and sometimes most difficult- active creative trust is to put your work out there into the world once you have completed it” (p.257). Fierce trust, demands that you put forth the work anyhow, because you’re stressed knows that the outcome does not matter. the outcome cannot matter. Fierce trust asks you to stand strong within this truth. ‘You are worthy, dear one Kama regardless of the outcome. You will keep sharing your work, regardless of the outcome. You were born to create, regardless of the outcome. You will never lose trust in the creative process, even when you don’t understand the outcome’ (p.259). I need almost every single word in this book. It has definitely opened my eyes and chipped away a piece of my old mindset.

If you struggle with any of the things I talked about in this book review, you must buy this book. It is worth every penny, and it’s not too expensive either.  This book brought me one step closer to freedom. I am learning how to let go, I am building up my confidence and I’m starting to let go of control. I know it’s going to be a process, but I trust that little by little, I will come into myself.

Me and my daughter did a photoshoot for this book review. I was inspired by the title alone, BIG MAGIC. So we decided to sprinkle all of you with some fairy dust, to help all your creative dreams come true!

(Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a quality product for my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here).

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiring our kids to take hold of their future?

Are we inspiring our kids to take hold of their future?

Or do we send them down a mundane path where they go to elementary school, middle school, high school and then college?

I feel like this is how our lives were ingrained into our heads, and any other path but this one is wrong or unworthy. If you want your kids to have this amazing life where they are go-getters/leaders/successful individuals, we have to be leading by example!

I would rather my daughter have a craft and perfect it, than to have a masters degree in a career where she thinks she will have “job security”. If what she’s passionate about requires her to go to graduate school, then obviously I support it.

I’m going to teach my daughter how to have a business mindset, I want her to be her own boss. I don’t want her looking for approval from people for the things that she wants to do in life. That’s what I ended up doing, and I was miserable because of it.

How do we know what’s best for our kids? 

I know as parents, we want what’s “best” for our children (thinking what’s best for our kids, is what’s best for everyone’s kids). Not realizing we may be suffocating them in the process, or dimming their inner rock-star (I am guilty of this at times). Every kid is cut from the same cloth.

There are times I tend to raise her through my own shattered lens of what I think life should be like. I struggled with not believing in myself my whole life. I refuse to let my brokenness be an example of how my daughter should go through life. You have to change your mindset first, if you want to inspire your kids to do the same. Inspiring your kids to go after their dreams while you are working at a job that you hate is counterproductive.

How do you know what’s best for your child? You have to get to know them, find out what makes them happy, what fuels their desire to put forth good in this world.

What they want is constantly changing!

You also have to realize, what makes them happy one day, might not make them happy the next. Even as an adult, what makes me happy is constantly changing for me too. Before I started this blog, I wanted to do nail tutorials and everything about nails, but now I’ve changed. Although I’m still passionate about nails, i want to start dabbling in photography, acrylic painting, printables, journal binding, and so much more.

What I want to do is constantly changing, and I love it, it gives my existence so much more meaning. My daughter is the same exact way. She’s into one thing one day, and then the next she’s not. I get so frustrated when that happens, but now I’m trying to shift how I view things.

You have to allow them to be comfortable in their own skin. My daughter is into fashion, makeup, and anything girly. I started to let her dress herself. Sometimes she looks ridiculous, but other times, she puts herself together really well. Allowing them to make certain decisions on their own builds confidence. Building confidence in your kids from a young age is a great recipe for a leader in the future.

Are you worried that what your child wants to do with their future is not considered a proper job?

What is it that your kid wants to do? Did your kid tell you they want to work at Publix, because it looks like fun? Did you tell them, that it’s not a real job? I remember, my daughter told me she wanted to be a nail technician like me, and I immediately got upset with her. Because even though doing nails are my passion, I am aware that 99% of people don’t see it as a career (this statistic was provided by yours truly).

How can I expect my daughter to be happy with whatever career she chooses, if I hold my head down when I talk about mine? Let’s face it, the arts as a profession are not respected like it should be.

On another occasion, my daughter told me she wanted to open up a lemonade stand, and I told her no, out of pure laziness. And now that I look back, I’m like, “This child told me she wanted to have her own little business, and I shut her down”. A lot of times I’m exhausted, being a mom, working, dance class, church, my blog and everything else that’s important to me takes up a lot of my time. And I’m trying to get everything done, so I don’t feel like playing tea party with her stuffed animals or doing doll house, or any other weirdness that my daughter likes to make me do.

I’m starting to realize that if I keep not making time for her, one day she’s not going to make time for me, and that will be devastating. We have to start investing in our kids dreams, whether it be financially, emotionally, whatever we have to offer!

Are your kids too young to be great?

Do you believe in our kid’s abilities? My daughter wants to learn how to roller-skate, she wants to cook, and she also wants to help me clean. “Mommy let me cook you dinner!”. I tell her no its ok, I got it, why? Because I feel like she is too small to do these things, she’s 6, so I feel like she’s not capable. How amazing would she be even now if I encouraged her in whatever it is that she wanted to do! When I watch shows like Chopper Junior or Cupcake Wars Kids edition, I am amazed at these 10 and 11 year old kids cooking these masterpieces. I can barely pronounce some of the foods that they are preparing!

The kids of this generation are so much more technology savvy then even when I was a kid. the entire world is at their fingertips. And in my house, we serve the Lord, so with Him, the possibilities are endless!

Are we walking by example?

Are we inspiring our kids to take hold of their future by being a good example ourselves? I know that this is something I struggle with as well, and my child keeps me in check. When I tell her not to do something and she catches me doing it, she corrects me.  And I can’t even get mad, because when I tell her not to do something, she holds me to a certain standard. Kids definitely teach you how to not have double standards.

Our kids are our future and I want my legacy to be strong woman of God, independent, street smart and book smart. I want her to grow up and work in a career where she’s happy, not where she thinks it will make her “stable or secure”.

We have to teach our kids there is no such thing as job security, so they might as well pursue what they love doing. Teach them about multiple income streams so they aren’t dependent on just one.

I don’t want to be the type of mother who forces my daughter to go to college because it looks good to everyone else. Not to say that college is bad. if what she wants to do with her life requires college then great. But if it doesn’t, I’m not forcing her. You can be successful with your passion.

So how can we inspire our kids to take hold of their future?
♥ Just ask them! I asked my daughter to write down some things that she wanted to do/ accomplish throughout their life. If the list is small-that’s great! And if the list is big that’s even better! Get those dusty wheels in their minds to start turning!

♥Allow them to make a vision board, or just draw out what they want to do with themselves.

♥Daily affirmations. I have my daughter read off of this paper as often as I remember, and if you do this daily it can change their life. Change your thoughts, change your life.

♥Spend time with them. Boy o boy, a lot of the times, I’m so busy working, doing chores, working on my blog, and trying to keep up with everything, I don’t spend as much time as I can with her. I have been working on this, I try to include her in as much as I can so she doesn’t feel left out. As I’m talking to you right now, I’m planning a photoshoot that we can do together for the featured image for this very post. she is not shy in front of the camera and I love it. So, this will be great! I’m getting work done and spending time with her. We clean together sometimes, she helps me in the kitchen. Sometimes that’s all they need. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

♥Have them read, read, read, books, books, books. Get them acclimated to reading for enjoyment. Because if they plan on having their own business in the future, reading will not be a commodity, but a necessity.

♥Get them on somewhat of a schedule!  It doesn’t have to be a whole production, but write down 2 or 3 things a day you want them to accomplish. For example, I have a calendar for the subject I want her to work on that day.  It’s usually 1 or 2 things for about half an hour to 45 minutes.

Have them display everything that they wrote everyday so it’s a constant inspiration to them. Have them decorate it and make it their own. And allow them to change it whenever their direction changes.

I know your schedule is crazy, and you barely have time as it is, but they need us.  They need our knowledge and wisdom. Inspire your kids to be strong leaders!

 

 

 

Inspiration of the Day: Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Inspiration of the Day: Are you feeling overwhelmed?



This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.

Running a blog can be stressful if you’re not taking the necessary steps before you start publishing posts!

I took a step back from my blog, for about 2 weeks. When I looked back at all the work I had done, it wasn’t cohesive. It looked like different people were putting posts on my site. There were no specific fonts, no color scheme, and my logo wasn’t even exactly what I wanted!

I had to take and step back, read more posts, and watch more videos to make sure I was branding myself the right way. This has been extremely hectic for me. I would work in the morning until it was time to get my daughter at school, I would take her home, do my usual nighttime routine, and after she was in bed, I would finally have time to work on my site! Sheesh! At this time, I was already exhausted, and then I would search for hours and hours on Pinterest trying to get even more information. Let’s not forget the fact that I have MAJOR squirrel syndrome! (Yes, that’s a real thing). So, while I was researching branding pins, I was checking my email, watching YouTube videos, and doing everything but what I was supposed to be doing.

I had a lot going on before, and now it’s even more hectic adding this blog onto my plate! Sometimes I wonder what in blue blazes am I doing? But I guess I like the challenge? -shrugs-

My Life Saver

With all this going on, I had no clear view of what I wanted to do, on what day, or for how long. I was EXTREMELY unorganized. So, I decided to look on Pinterest, for tips on how to get organized, and I found this book/planner! It was highly rated by a lot of bloggers and received good reviews on amazon.com!

The thing I love about this planner is that it has a questionnaire at the beginning. It helps to guide you through your planning process for whatever your goal is (I chose blogging and physical products that I would like to sell in the near future). After you’ve filled that out, you can start setting your short and long term goals. Yippee!

Another cute thing about this planner is at the end of the week you can check off whether you’ve fulfilled your goal(s). It’s kinda like having a little accountability partner.

You have a yearly goal, then you have quarterly goals to get you to the yearly goals and then you have weekly goals to get you to your quarterly goals. For example: my first quarterly goal, was to get my blog launched by March (obviously, I’m super early). Then I set one of my weekly goals to be, write one post. And my daily goals were to write sections of my post, so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. So, you can basically plan your year in this book, it will keep you organized, and not overwhelmed.

I bought this book, in conjunction with my Erin Condren Life Planner.

My Life Planner is what I use for everyday planning: like bills, hair appointments, errands, and my daily goals. I love this thingy because it has inserts, it comes with planner stickers, folders, places to write your goals and more! Think of it as a scrapbook and an agenda wrapped up in one!

 

May I suggest something?

I understand some of you have careers, children, husbands, school, or whatever your situation may be, you DO have time for your passions! Sometimes we waste precious time doing things like watching TV, relaxing for extended amounts of time, talking on the phone, texting, using social media to stalk someone secretly. Whatever your hangup is, you must train yourself to maximize your time as best as possible.

If you read your planner every day and complete your goals little by little, there’s no way you won’t accomplish them.

Sunday is my day of rest. I go to church, then afterwards, my daughter and I go to the park. While she is playing, I sit down and plan my goals for the week. EVERYONE can spare 20-30 minutes of quiet time for planning and organizing.

A friend of mine suggested I get up earlier so I can maximize the day to the best of my abilities. And at first i was like “yeah ok, sounds great” but in my head i was like umm… that’s a negative! But one day I was stressing out because I felt like I didn’t have enough hours in the day, and I was always tired! So, I started getting up earlier. In the mornings, I would work on my blog, read a chapter out of my books for the month (I try to read 1 to 2 books a month based on my niches), and then get ready for work.

It may seem like common sense, but I feel like so many people are stagnant in life because they lack proper planning, among other things! I noticed a change in myself once I started planning. I am making small achievable goals and I am going to complete them all for this year. Bwahahahaha!

 

So, without further adieu, here is my inspirational question of the day. I hope you enjoyed!

Inspiration of the Day: When is the perfect time?





Pre-programming

In some aspects I feel like we were taught that in everything we do, we have to plan things out to the T, work out the minutia of the plan and make sure everything is perfectIn waiting for the perfect time, you miss out on opportunities to do something great, or heck, even learn something.

Let’s take my dance academy for example. When I first started at UV Latin Dance, I was PAINFULLY shy. When it came to learning the steps in class, I was a little more confident, because I was comfortable with my classmates. But when it came to social dancing, I was too scared to get on the dancefloor and make a mistake in front of everyone.

All I was doing was allowing fear to hold me back from learning something new because I wasn’t perfect yet. My classmates and instructors either pulled me on the dancefloor themselves, or after they were finished dancing with someone, they would ask that person to dance with me. This was pure evil if you ask me. I would be mortified , and I would feel so humiliated after making about… 567 mistakes (especially since I apologized after every mistake).

I should of seen it as an opportunity to learn something, whether I had enough dance moves or not. I thought waiting until I had learned enough dance moves would be the perfect time to start dancing.  But that was a lie I sold to myself because I was scared. NOW I’m getting a little bit better, I’m still apprehensive to making mistakes on the dancefloor, but when I do, I don’t apologize for it.  

Perfect Conditions

I found this awesome quote on Regina.com, and I thought it was perfect! I am the type of person who likes to wait for “perfect conditions” before I do something. I’m pretty sure I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities because of this. I almost missed out on starting this blog. Originally I thought I was going to do strictly a nail blog, with tutorials, and reviews. And to do this I needed certain props and products that I couldn’t afford at the time, so I was going to wait until I had everything , before I started it. I wasted about a month before my mom convinced me to just start where I am, and with what I have.

 

So I decided to start where I am, and I noticed my first couple posts have been inspirational posts( read my last post here), so my niche might be changing yet again, but we’ll see.

It’s ok to make mistakes…right?

As I’m getting older, I’m realizing that I HAVE to start making moves, doing things that I think I might not be ready for, making mistakes and being ok with it. When I read about entrepreneurs, they all made mistakes (HUGE mistakes sometimes).

I don’t think any them waited for the “perfect time”, and they weren’t afraid to go out there and live their dream. I know it’s not going to be cupcakes and fairy dust, but I would rather take a risk on doing what I’m passionate about, rather than living a life that wasn’t meant for me. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (psalms 139: 14). We were not created to live in poverty!

“Failure is a part of business. Very few entrepreneurs ever make it big without first experiencing some massive failures. Whether it be running a business into the ground, getting fired from a job or even going to jail, plenty of very successful entrepreneurs have seen huge failures before ever accomplishing their dreams” –Annie Pilon.

Here are some entrepreneurs who failed and made it big (I obtained this list here):

Business Gurus

  1. Henry Ford: While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
  2. R. H. Macy: Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.
  3. F. W. Woolworth: Some may not know this name today, but Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores in the U.S. Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.
  4. Soichiro Honda: The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.
  5. Akio Morita: You may not have heard of Morita but you’ve undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony. Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.
  6. Bill Gates: Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.
  7. Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.
  8. Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

Scientists and Thinkers

  1. Albert Einstein: Most of us take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.
  2. Charles Darwin: In his early years, Darwin gave up on having a medical career and was often chastised by his father for being lazy and too dreamy. Darwin himself wrote, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” Perhaps they judged too soon, as Darwin today is well-known for his scientific studies.
  3. Robert Goddard: Goddard today is hailed for his research and experimentation with liquid-fueled rockets, but during his lifetime his ideas were often rejected and mocked by his scientific peers who thought they were outrageous and impossible. Today rockets and space travel don’t seem far-fetched at all, due largely in part to the work of this scientist who worked against the feelings of the time.
  4. Isaac Newton: Newton was undoubtedly a genius when it came to math, but he had some failings early on. He never did particularly well in school and when put in charge of running the family farm, he failed miserably, so poorly in fact that an uncle took charge and sent him off to Cambridge where he finally blossomed into the scholar we know today.
  5. Socrates: Despite leaving no written records behind, Socrates is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the Classical era. Because of his new ideas, in his own time he was called “an immoral corrupter of youth” and was sentenced to death. Socrates didn’t let this stop him and kept right on, teaching up until he was forced to poison himself.
  6. Robert Sternberg: This big name in psychology received a “C” in his first college introductory psychology class with his teacher telling him that, “there was already a famous Sternberg in psychology and it was obvious there would not be another.” Ouch! Sternberg showed him, however, graduating from Stanford with exceptional distinction in psychology, summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa and eventually becoming the President of the American Psychological Association. This should inspire students at traditional and accredited online colleges to always strive to succeed, no matter what anyone says along the way.

Inventors

  1. Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.
  2. Orville and Wilbur Wright: These brothers battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

Public Figures

  1. Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.
  2. Abraham Lincoln: While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln’s life wasn’t so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed business and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.
  3. Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.”
  4. Harry S. Truman: This WWI vet, Senator, Vice President and eventual President eventually found success in his life, but not without a few missteps along the way. Truman started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing–seemingly a success at first–only go bankrupt a few years later.
  5. Dick Cheney: This recent Vice President and businessman made his way to the White House but managed to flunk out of Yale University, not once, but twice. Former President George W. Bush joked with Cheney about this fact, stating, “So now we know –if you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president.”

Hollywood Types

  1. Jerry Seinfeld: Just about everybody knows who Seinfeld is, but the first time the young comedian walked on stage at a comedy club, he looked out at the audience, froze and was eventually jeered and booed off of the stage. Seinfeld knew he could do it, so he went back the next night, completed his set to laughter and applause, and the rest is history.
  2. Fred Astaire: In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer and kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.
  3. Sidney Poitier: After his first audition, 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?” Poitier vowed to show him that he could make it, going on to win an Oscar and become one of the most well-regarded actors in the business.
  4. Jeanne Moreau: As a young actress just starting out, this French actress was told by a casting director that she was simply not pretty enough to make it in films. He couldn’t have been more wrong as Moreau when on to star in nearly 100 films and win numerous awards for her performances.
  5. Charlie Chaplin: It’s hard to imagine film without the iconic Charlie Chaplin, but his act was initially rejected by Hollywood studio chiefs because they felt it was a little too nonsensical to ever sell.
  6. Lucille Ball: During her career, Ball had thirteen Emmy nominations and four wins, also earning the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors. Before starring in I Love Lucy, Ball was widely regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star. Even her drama instructors didn’t feel she could make it, telling her to try another profession. She, of course, proved them all wrong.
  7. Harrison Ford: In his first film, Ford was told by the movie execs that he simply didn’t have what it takes to be a star. Today, with numerous hits under his belt, iconic portrayals of characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and a career that stretches decades, Ford can proudly show that he does, in fact, have what it takes.
  8. Marilyn Monroe: While Monroe’s star burned out early, she did have a period of great success in her life. Despite a rough upbringing and being told by modeling agents that she should instead consider being a secretary, Monroe became a pin-up, model and actress that still strikes a chord with people today.
  9. Oliver Stone: This Oscar-winning filmmaker began his first novel while at Yale, a project that eventually caused him to fail out of school. This would turn out to be a poor decision as the the text was rejected by publishers and was not published until 1998, at which time it was not well-received. After dropping out of school, Stone moved to Vietnam to teach English, later enlisting in the army and fighting in the war, a battle that earning two Purple Hearts and helped him find the inspiration for his later work that often center around war.

Writers and Artists

  1. Vincent Van Gogh: During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money. While Van Gogh was never a success during his life, he plugged on with painting, sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works. Today, they bring in hundreds of millions.
  2. Emily Dickinson: Recluse and poet Emily Dickinson is a commonly read and loved writer. Yet in her lifetime she was all but ignored, having fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.
  3. Theodor Seuss Giesel: Today nearly every child has read The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, yet 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
  4. Charles Schultz: Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip has had enduring fame, yet this cartoonist had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Even after high school, Schultz didn’t have it easy, applying and being rejected for a position working with Walt Disney.
  5. Steven Spielberg: While today Spielberg’s name is synonymous with big budget, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. He eventually attended school at another location, only to drop out to become a director before finishing. Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.
  6. Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.
  7. Zane Grey: Incredibly popular in the early 20th century, this adventure book writer began his career as a dentist, something he quickly began to hate. So, he began to write, only to see rejection after rejection for his works, being told eventually that he had no business being a writer and should given up. It took him years, but at 40, Zane finally got his first work published, leaving him with almost 90 books to his name and selling over 50 million copies worldwide.
  8. J. K. Rowling: Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.
  9. Monet: Today Monet’s work sells for millions of dollars and hangs in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Yet during his own time, it was mocked and rejected by the artistic elite, the Paris Salon. Monet kept at his impressionist style, which caught on and in many ways was a starting point for some major changes to art that ushered in the modern era.
  10. Jack London: This well-known American author wasn’t always such a success. While he would go on to publish popular novels like White Fang and The Call of the Wild, his first story received six hundred rejection slips before finally being accepted.
  11. Louisa May Alcott: Most people are familiar with Alcott’s most famous work, Little Women. Yet Alcott faced a bit of a battle to get her work out there and was was encouraged to find work as a servant by her family to make ends meet. It was her letters back home during her experience as a nurse in the Civil War that gave her the first big break she needed.

Musicians

  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mozart began composing at the age of five, writing over 600 pieces of music that today are lauded as some of the best ever created. Yet during his lifetime, Mozart didn’t have such an easy time, and was often restless, leading to his dismissal from a position as a court musician in Salzberg. He struggled to keep the support of the aristocracy and died with little to his name.
  2. Elvis Presley: As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Elvis has become a household name even years after his death. But back in 1954, Elvis was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
  3. Igor Stravinsky: In 1913 when Stravinsky debuted his now famous Rite of Spring, audiences rioted, running the composer out of town. Yet it was this very work that changed the way composers in the 19th century thought about music and cemented his place in musical history.
  4. The Beatles: Few people can deny the lasting power of this super group, still popular with listeners around the world today. Yet when they were just starting out, a recording company told them no. The were told “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,” two things the rest of the world couldn’t have disagreed with more.
  5. Ludwig van Beethoven: In his formative years, young Beethoven was incredibly awkward on the violin and was often so busy working on his own compositions that he neglected to practice. Despite his love of composing, his teachers felt he was hopeless at it and would never succeed with the violin or in composing. Beethoven kept plugging along, however, and composed some of the best-loved symphonies of all time–five of them while he was completely deaf.

Athletes

  1. Michael Jordan: Most people wouldn’t believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
  2. Stan Smith: This tennis player was rejected from even being a lowly ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because event organizers felt he was too clumsy and uncoordinated. Smith went on to prove them wrong, showcasing his not-so-clumsy skills by winning Wimbledon, U. S. Open and eight Davis Cups.
  3. Babe Ruth: You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
  4. Tom Landry: As the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Landry brought the team two Super Bowl victories, five NFC Championship victories and holds the records for the record for the most career wins. He also has the distinction of having one of the worst first seasons on record (winning no games) and winning five or fewer over the next four seasons.

Before they knew they were going to be amazing, I’m sure these perceived failures were devastating, but they kept moving forward anyway! I have vowed to stop waiting for the perfect time, and start living my life. I refuse to live a life where I’m not doing exactly what I love. It may be cliché, but its true. If you do what you love, you will always be successful! So without further adieu, here is my inspiration of the day (a thought provoking question)!

 

The answer is NEVER!!! Just go out and do it!

Inspiration of the Day: What are you feeding your fear?

Inspiration of the Day: What are you feeding your fear?

Welcome to the first inspirational post on my website! Let’s get right into it.




A Blast from the Past

I have been a Debbie Downer for as long as I can remember. I was the shy, quiet, people pleaser that pretended not to care what people thought of me. The fear of not being accepted by my peers was so daunting in my youth, I did what I could to make friends. I was always negative and judgmental, among other things. I never felt beautiful, worthy of love, and at times not worthy of people’s friendships. I mean, family members and friends would always tell me the opposite, but if YOU don’t believe it, they are wasting their breath.

I allowed Fear to put me in a  lifetime of depression and anxiety, well into to my adulthood. I used to blame other people and situations for how I felt about myself, or for how I treated others, but the reality was (according to Les Brown), I made an appointment to be there. And boy was he right!

Who is Fear and what does it eat?

The spirit of fear is a dark entity that plagues the lives of many. But it doesn’t stop there, Fear always comes with an entourage, called Self-Doubt and Worry. All three of these are leeches, and in order to survive, they need to  feed! Feed on what you say?

Fear and his friends have the ability to multiply and attach themselves to many people at a time. They seek out individuals with the biggest clouds of negative thoughts hanging over their heads. Thoughts like:

“I am not good enough”

“I am not smart enough”

“I cant do this”

“Shes prettier than me”

“What if I cant make it”

“I don’t have enough money”

Fear eats this all up and grows bigger, and bigger and bigger! Until your only thoughts are that of only negative connotations.

How to Get Rid of Fear

This is something I’m constantly working on myself. The way to get rid of Fear and his friends, is to speak positively, THAT’S IT!!! I know it sounds like common sense, but it isn’t so common. I see you rolling your eyes, and kissing your teeth, but explain to me why the majority of the people around you, are working in jobs they hate, studying for degrees they are not passionate about, or even living in poverty. My pastor always says, living in poverty isn’t always referring to something financial, it can be poverty of the mind, marriage, family relationships (me), and so on.

When you speak positively to yourself and to your situations every time a negative thought pops up into your head, it can change your life drastically. Personally, when my negative thoughts start to get rowdy, I pray and I speak His Word to my situations. I have to remind myself who He says that I am, instead of the lies I’ve told myself over the years.

Just know it starts in the mind, change your thoughts, change your life.

 

The Blame Game 

I think we get so caught up in blaming people, we forget to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. (Once again talking to myself at this point). It helps to remember, Every single thing we do in life is a choice.

 Fear used to be the driver of my vehicle called life, and I used to sit in the back seat. Now I’m in the passenger seat, and I’m working my way towards getting behind the wheel.

I refuse to feed my fear with negative thoughts, instead I choose to replace it with positive words. If I can change the negative talk in my head, I can change my life. Like I said before, I have not mastered it, but I CAN see a difference in myself today by practicing positive self-talk.

Anyways, without further adieu, here is my inspirational quote of the day.

Don’t allow Fear to put limits on your life.