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How I Found My Purpose in Life…

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Making a Postive Difference in Someone’s Life..

Years ago (heck, might even be close to a decade ago), I did a weekend seminar designed to help you find your purpose in life and then use that purpose to make your dreams come true.  Hokey, I know, but I’m a self-help nut-job.  🙂  After the first full day of classes, I spent the evening really reflecting.  Journaling, just letting whatever come out.  From there I reviewed what I had written when it just hit me…my purpose in life, what truly makes me happy. 

In the workshops, they told us that in order to truly get a honed-in succinct purpose, you had to get it down to 2 or 3 words.  That’s right!  We had to condense our purpose , what we are destined to do in this world, and get it down to 2-3 words.  In that evening’s personal pow-wow, I came up with mine…evoke emotion.  To elaborate slightly, I feel the best, the happiest, the most successful when I am making other people around me happy.  I like to be the cause of people’s happiness.  And it doesn’t have to be anything big or crazy.  Sometimes the littlest things can make someone happy.  Just as a straw can break a camel’s back, so too can straws bring happiness to people (heck, I’m happy everytime I have a straw in my Starbuck’s drink!).. 🙂

I think that’s why I can’t focus my efforts in work at just one genre.  Lots of things that I can do make people happy.  When I put makeup on someone or teach them how to make themselves beautiful, it makes them (and me) happy.  Some of my most favorite customers are the ones that when I finished their look, I couldn’t get the mirror out of their hands.  They were so happy with how they looked, that they actually started tearing up.  I love that!

In my social media and digital communications work, I try to find fun and humor in everything.  With the explosion of tech communication, we are constantly bombarded by news, horror stories, disasters, and drama.  Unfortunately, the drama sells, it goes viral, it’s what clogs up your newsfeed.  And it’s a major downer!   I can’t stand that I scroll and see a natural disaster somewhere, another scroll and I see a man-made disaster, another scroll and children are missing and/or abused, another scroll and there’s racial, sexual, financial hatred.  I can’t stand it.  So I made it my mission to try to change that.  I try to make my posts and articles uplifting, inspiring, and always a tiny bit (ok, some more than just a tiny bit) humorous. 

Sometimes I lose track of it all, but then something happens, someone says something and then I’m reminded of the power I have over other people.  A great friend of mine revealed that she can’t read my posts at work anymore.  I’m serious!  She said it’s because she laughs so crazy, so hysterically that she either spits out whatever she’s eating or drinking all over her charts (she’s a nurse) or she ends up having people run into the room to see if she’s ok.  And I love that!  She’s come to expect that from me and she knows that if she ever needs a pick-me-up, then I’m right there, at any hour of the day, on her smart phone.

I guess you could say that I’m a little bit of a therapist as well.  Taking people when they are having a rough time and making them feel a little bit better, give them a little more hope.  A good friend of mine just lost her job.  That can be devastating in this market especially when you add into the mix that she is a single mother and her car is not working right now.  Being able to help give someone hope and even make them laugh a little helps with the healing process, helps with the moving on.

Now, I’m not going to say that all of this goody, goody, cheerfulness is with me all the time.  I’m human, I have my down times too, just like everyone else.  And there’s times when I simply can’t be that “go-to” gal for my peeps because I’ll have crap going on in my life.  And while I love being there for everyone else’s problems, I do not feel comfortable sharing mine with others.  Weird, I know.  I’m just going to blame it on being an introvert.  Lol.  But I created a separate blog just for me, for my trials and tribulations.  You might say that it’s my therapist.  Twenty minutes typing away and then I’m back to my ole self again.  So, if you need a pick-me-up or a good laugh and I’m not answering, wait 20 minutes.  I just might be dealing with one of my crises.  🙂

Be True to Yourself…

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Hello, my name is Jeanette and I’m an organizing freak.  Yes, I admit it.  I can not function in chaos.  I’m a planner as well.  I have to know all my steps, my master to-do list, my map so-to-speak.  I have always been that way and I am finally comfortable enough and proud to say that I will always be that way.  We all operate and function in different ways.  Just as people learn via different methods, people can also thrive (or not thrive) in various environments.

For years, nay almost a decade, I thought that something was wrong with me, on why I couldn’t succeed in doing things, why others succeeded when I didn’t, why I consistently felt stressed out and not myself.  Part of it was those people that I thought were my mentors and while they were (and still are) amazing people which I learned a lot from, they consistently told me one thing over and over again which seriously hindered me…they told me “quit planning and just do”.  While that may work for most people, I am certainly not most people and it definitely did not work for me.  And it wasn’t until recently that I realized that.

I was bumbling along in my career.  Trying to succeed in this, trying to succeed in that, with zero luck.  I was attempting the “just do”, but I didn’t feel like myself and when you don’t feel like yourself, you definitely lack self-confidence.  And when you don’t have self-confidence, well…everyone can tell.  I didn’t feel strong or sure of myself.  I constantly second-guessed myself.  I consistently let fear of the unknown get the better of me.  And I think that the biggest thing for me is the fear of the unknown.  Heck, I get ridiculously uncomfortable driving in new places unless I’ve reviewed the route via Google Maps at least a half dozen times.  I need to know the route, the back up route and the back up route for the back up route.  The same is true of my life.

I make plans and then I play devil’s advocate to come up with a few back-up plans just in case.  I’m constantly joking around that if you create a back up plan, then you won’t need it, but if you don’t have a back-up plan, then that’s when you’ll need it.  Yeah, I joke about it, but I really truly believe it to the core.  It calms me, it soothes me.  Knowing I have a plan B and a plan C, allows me to relax about plan A, not worry so much about it, have more self-confidence about it and you know what?  I very rarely have to use plan B and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to use plan C.  It’s just so comforting to me knowing that they are there.

And that works for me.  It gets rid of a lot of the chaos (I’ll never get rid of all of it, nor would I want to as chaos does provide that air of excitement), but most importantly it leaves me with a calmer mind that allows me to succeed in my project du jour.

Now for those naysayers who are thinking to themselves (or even out loud), “Sure, you’re a great planner, but plan all you want, nothing happens until you do something”.  Here’s where I take my planning to the “doing” level.  Once I have a gameplan, I set it up into teeny tiny, succinct to-do lists.  I mean like ridiculously tiny and succinct (google such-and-such to brainstorm, pick top 3 ideas from google brainstorm session, create a gameplan for each top 3 ideas from google brainstorm session-yes, those have been actual to-do items for me).  Then I take those to-do items and add them into my calendar task list for the appropriate day that it should be done on.  If a to-do item doesn’t or can’t have a due date, then that means that I need to re-evaluate it in my overall gameplan and tweak it to where it can have a due date.  Everything in my gameplans ultimately have due dates.  That’s how I can take my planning self and turn it into a doing self.  If it’s a project that take two weeks to complete, then I break it down into teeny, tiny bites/tasks that can each be accomplished in one day and then I add all of those to my task list.

Sure, I end up having 40-50 tasks each day to do, but you know what?  Over half of those tasks take 5 minutes or less each.  And I’m telling you, you definitely feel like you are having a successful day when you are constantly checking off things as completed.  And lots of little baby steps can take you really far.

Creating those task lists by due date also help clear my mind in that I only worry about what is on my list for today.  I don’t worry about tomorrow or the next day or next week.  I don’t have to worry about forgetting something, because as soon as I think of “something that I have to make sure I don’t forget”, I add it to my calendar task list and then I’m free to forget about it until it conveniently pops up in my list on the day it’s due.  It’s refreshing and limits my daily stress.

Now, one extremely important thing that I have learned and 100% respect is that not everyone operates like I do.  Where I try to avoid chaos, there are others out there that thrive in it, that love it, that fuels them.  There are those people who just the thought of a to-do list freaks them out.  And it’s very important to know that that’s ok!  We all function differently in different ways and in different environments.  The key to success, especially when working in groups, is to understand that the way that you do things is not the way that others are going to want to do things.  It’s ok to allow each member of a team to do things their way as long as they get to the agreed upon final product.  Just as Google Maps has various ways to get somewhere, the same is true of projects.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to embrace who you are and how you work while respecting the way others work.  Tolerance like in all areas of life is important.  Be tolerant to others but also be tolerant to yourself.  That’s the one we typically forget.  Let others be themselves, but don’t forget to be yourself as well.

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