Excitement attracts hashtags

Media 3I hope you have all had a wonderful start to 2018. This coming year excites me more than others because I have challenged myself to complete certain tasks.  Understanding the new year won’t magically make things happen the way we want is a given but a new year does remind us that time is passing. In turn urgency is created not to waste opportunities especially as we get older. I certainly don’t want to miss any. #grabopportunities

Whatever our individual aims, we all share the same obstacles – ourselves and our thinking.  I touched on this very subject in a post last year when I discussed comparisons. At the risk of repetition comparisons are deadly.  Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy” and I would add it is a sad waste of energy.  If I am to look at what others are doing or achieving it has to be with learning in mind, not comparisons. I need to think about what is possible for me. #nomakingcomparisons

Last year I set myself a goal of 160 books to read in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. It was both, fun and research and helped cement what I enjoy when I read. For me it is always the connection the reader makes. Although there may be flaws, connection to the character and their ordeal makes time fly. By the way I made it to 246 books and though I think I may have overdone things just a tiny bit I can’t help a certain pride in being able to balance life with what I love. #lovereading

I‘ve set the same reading goal along with others, the maintenance of this blog being one and a priority. Writing books is a passion needing complete focus and time, lots of time. Blogging is writing practice with immediate gratification when people like or comment. I don’t get a lot but enough to keep me going and I am determined to wear you all down so eventually more will write to me.  Hey, I’m not proud, I’d settle for hello. Trust me; you will have me at hello.  #loveblogging #please comment

Completing the second novel of my serieWicked intentionss features highly on the list of things to do. Feedback is essential if Unexpected Passion is to be an improvement on my previous book Unexpected Obsession. Writing is about readers and as a reader I want to enjoy what I read. Just recently I read Wicked Intentions by J.T. Geissinger and couldn’t put it down. I loved the action and the plot but the main character was just so lovely it made me sigh in sad delight. Delight because he was so appealing, sadness because I finished the book but more because I recognised I need to work harder and need feedback to guide me.

Elle Kaplan may have been talking about employers and their employees in an article in Thrive Global but it wasn’t hard to apply this same concept to writers and readers.  “As a leader, it’s difficult to really know what your employees are thinking about, what’s troubling them or how to help them get out of a performance slump –unless you take the time listen to them.”    A writer’s work is a business. Like an employer/leader, a business or campaign will not succeed if the employees/followers are not happy because their voices are not acknowledged. We all need to be listened to.  A writer can only hear what is being said through reviews and comments. I can’t control this but I can stay positive. #reviewsneededplease

Mind you all the desire in the world won’t stop the procrastination (in a multitude of disguises) that lies in wait ready to undermine achievement including this post I have been working on all day. So many interruptions can occur and all of them have their very own brand of convincing arguments to claim our attention. For example it would be too easy to step away from the novels because I need feedback.  Elle says when “Tomorrow Syndrome starts to rear its ugly head, it’s easy to get caught up in its effects and delay projects till the last millisecond. Before you know it, procrastination can cause looming deadlines to snowball, and destroy productivity and motivation in the process.” #today

If my determination stays strong my second book will be followed by Unexpected Christmas Gathering just before Christmas 2018.  It has to be because of some very special plans for the next holiday season. I know, big ambitions, but setting the bar high is good for us.  The real problem lies in keeping a balance with everything else (you know – life).  I love writing but this year I would like to incorporate more into my life from seeing my grandchildren to travel, and maybe further study.  Tricky problems but as I said this New Year excites me so a means will be found.  #keepingexcited

As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher” and you will rise to the occasion. I’m counting on it. What have you got planned?

Let me know,

Alla prossima

Barb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra baggage allowance, please?

LexiWe all have different ideas on what success is. This is normal and natural so this post isn’t about definitions. It’s about what holds us back from success. I linked the quote below to the article that got me thinking and writing this post.  It resonated with me because I do use travel as a theme in my series and in fact Lexi, my loud and often ornery (bad-tempered) heroine in Unexpected Passion has something to say on baggage as you will see if and when this second book is finished. (I’m working hard)
In order to take flight and become ultra-successful, you need to assess your extra baggage.
We decide we need certain things to get to our destination and of course we acquire them. It’s sensible or is it? What if while we are busy acquiring new things we lose track of what we already have packed in the bag? So then we double up on the shirt, the pants and the shoes and space is taken up. We already had a blue shirt that was decent, why did we get a new one? Do we need to take both? Yes, the old one is comfortable so just in case. Just in case of what exactly? The truth is we get attached to what is familiar.  It makes us feel safe. Isn’t that why people hoard things?
But what use is having something we don’t use? We can’t need it if we are not using it, we can’t like it that much if we don’t bring it out. Let’s keep using the baggage analogy. A friend of mine would pack three times the amount of underwear based on the length of the trip. No, I haven’t just thrown in a random fact for comedy relief.  I promise you she really did that along with extra shoes, extra sleepwear, extra toothpaste and whatever else she deemed could not be found at the other end.
luggage-2258371__340
Imagine taking a trip and never using half of what you packed and now consider the ramifications.  We have to move those things out of the way to get to the things we like and actually want to wear or use. We could put them in a plastic bag to the side but they are still taking up space and what happens if we souvenir shop? We need to make room so do we throw things out, or buy a new suitcase. The former makes us feel silly and the latter costs money to purchase and then in baggage allowance.
Look how easy it becomes to lose sight of the purpose of our trip when we weigh ourselves down with the unnecessary. Right now you probably think I am making something out of nothing.  So what if you over pack? The world won’t fall apart, right? But, I for one would like to travel lighter so my baggage isn’t a hindrance and more to the point allows me to add to it if something catches my eye.  I am freer to judge what I need, what I like, where I go and what I see without my shoulders and back paying the price.
Substitute in-grained habits for extra baggage. Think of ultra-success in place of that desired trip. We make plans to travel and change our geography but we take old eyes instead of new ones to view the panorama and end up paying baggage allowance and missing the best part of the view. In Monopoly terms some of us do not realise we are the barrier to passing go. We are on the plane and collecting the $200 doesn’t seem so important. Do we need the ultra-success?
 Elle Kaplan talks about the following ingrained habits as preventing us from going that extra mile. I thought it might be interesting to share my reaction to each of the points.
Impulsive emotional decisions
I am Italian.
Reliance on praise
I need it.
Giving up
It’s easier.
Frivolous Consumerism
Instant gratification.
Multitasking
I control everything.
Dump the toxic waste
But they’re my friends, my family, and my possessions, aren’t they?
Self-doubt
Everyone has it.
It seems I have an excuse every time. I think we all do but I’m too old to lug a heavy suitcase around. I can be impulsive and emotional in the right context but it can’t be an excuse for error. Praise is so much better when we give it not receive it. It tastes better. Integrity is and speaks for itself and it certainly doesn’t belong in the giving up basket. Enjoying life is different to indulging it just as multi-tasking is fine when realistic.  And as for the toxic waste it comes in all sizes and packages, and sometimes even in the form of people we love. Dumping isn’t easy but toxicity is catching and it feeds our self-doubt and this in turn creates a negative environment to deliciously feed toxicity. What do you prefer?
Extra baggage (2)
I want to travel light so I can get to my destination faster and enjoy it.  Success in any field is about enjoying what you strive hard for.  Looks like I need to google packing wisely.
Ciao for now
Barb