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Why you should set your expectations low, low, low (and the easiest damn salad recipe)

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Does anyone talk on the phone anymore?

In the age of texting, Instagram, FB messaging, and skype, when was the last time you had a phone conversation?

There are times I certainly avoid it, for sure. Yet reminiscent to my junior high days, when I would pick up the phone the second I got home to talk to the same people I had seen all day, there are a select few I’m more than happy to talk to, old school style, for hours.

Just last night I talked for nearly two hours to a dear friend I’ve known for 25 years (what? seriously how old am I?), as she drove home from a work trip. We ran the gamut of updates, laughed, sighed, dreamed, and overanalyzed, as girls do. What was more a nod of releasing our expectations and control over external circumstances and people, we laughed over setting our goal of low expectations for 2018.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big dreamer, ambitious AF (overly so), but what I’ve come to realize is that to stay mentally in the game, I have to LET GO of external expectations, especially when it comes to people.

I can only control my thoughts, my actions, my responses, my dreams, my life.

I’ve heard it before, but have you?

All that you have at the moment,
you’ve attracted by the person you are

Does that bring a grateful smile to your face, or a punch to the gut?

I was recently reading Jim Rohn’s “Leading an Inspired Life.” Though simple and straightforward, the reminders of how discipline, whether the focused attention to or the lack of discipline, will sow the consequences of either action and growth or neglect and stagnation. It’s simple, but we easily choose comfort, fear, excuses, and carelessness over growing in our habit of discipline.

None of us have control over the external matters in our lives, but we can control what’s internal, especially the 3 pounds of flesh between our ears. Pick up a book and learn something new, take a class to up your game, bite your tongue if you have to stop yourself from speaking unhelpful words, whatever it is, redefine your success by taking whatever step needs to be taken.

Take heart and have discipline. Period.

Quite simply, begin by taking baby steps. And by all means, don’t lose the momentum by letting fear or laziness in. It’s far too slippery of a slope.

Rohn highlights Ben Franklin’s three principles of success:

  1. Number one: big achievements come one step at a time, one day at a time.
  2. Number two: you have the power to mold your life. You can make it whatever you want. You can shape it and reshape it.
  3. Number three: success is measured through pleasure. This is the key principle. You’ve got to be happy along the way. You’ve got to learn to give yourself a pat on the back. You need to tell yourself, “I’m proud of me today!” You’ve got to learn to enjoy the process.

If you haven’t read this book already, I highly recommend it. I may have highlighted every other paragraph. It’s just that good.

The same week I was reading Rohn’s book, Bedros Keuliian was interviewed on Shawn Stevenson’s Model Heath Show. This interview was hard core and I also highly recommend you listen to it for inspiration. He says it best, “if you want to be a high performer in life, in a relationship, in your diet, in your fitness, in your business, in anything, at work, you've got to be disciplined, structured, and do the highest value stuff first. Take care of yourself...to me discipline and structure equal freedom…I have more freedom because of structure and discipline than I ever had before.

Boom.

Create structure in your life and carve out the time for the most important items that align your life with your values and mission. For me, it’s waking up early to meditate, pray, and to exercise; to meal prep on the weekend to eat healthy all week; to read and listen to podcasts to continue to learn.

At the end of the day, when you align life with your values, you show up as the best version of yourself. You’ve taken care of yourself and feel good in your skin, you vibe higher, you spread more love and joy. In effect, you create more and radiate. You’re contagious.

So, set your expectations high for your dreams, but release the expectations you have for everyone else. Let them be themselves. Forgive, accept. Forgive and accept yourself.

Be generous with your kindness and love. Be you.

P.S. If you’re all about inspirational talks, I also recommend Simon T. Bailey’s talk on “This Is What’s Holding You Back From Brilliance”:


“It’s not who you are that holds you back from brilliant success,” Bailey says. “It’s who you think you’re not that holds you back. And sometimes we focus on who we think we’re not instead of who we are.”

"Find an environment where you are celebrated not just tolerated. That environment should invite you to be a vitamin not an aspirin."

Now that you'll be kicking some ass, you'll need a quick, healthy salad to keep you going. Better yet, if healthy eating is a goal of yours, start by little habits such as starting your day with room temperature lemon water, or swapping one of your meals to include double the veggies you typically eat, such as this salad, the world’s easiest damn taco salad, with ingredients from Trader Joe’s:
 

Easiest Damn Taco Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • Arugula or favorite green mix
  • 1 cup tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 4 mini sweet bell peppers, diced
  • Black olives
  • Chicken
  • 2 tbps Salsa Verde
  • lime wedge for an extra kick
  • 1 Sliced green onion, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix all of the ingredients with the salsa verde
  2. Squeeze with lime and garnish with green onion

 

peace and joy


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Freedom.

That was my theme for 2017.

I embraced freedom by letting go of a lot of shit that was holding me back. I took hold of the uncomfortable and put myself out there. I’ve been brave. I’ve been scared. I’ve been nervous. I’ve been disappointed when my expectations looked different than my reality.

I faced a lot of fears, stepped out of my comfort zones, and took an extra bite of courage to do things I never thought I'd do.

From business goals to flops. From relationship giddiness to sadness. I’m proud of myself for accepting the challenge to dream and grow; to let freedom provide the space and grace to show me the way.

Despite the ups and downs, and constant noise, there’s been a lot of knowledge that has seeped into these bones and grey matter. There’s been a lot of growth. And for that, I’m grateful.

The crazy thing about this journey of life, is that as much as we may want others to hold us accountable, offer encouragement, or even do some of the work, it all comes down to one thing:

IT’S ALL UP TO YOU!!

You, me, we are 100% responsible for not only the outcome, but the process. What kind of effort are we putting in? How are we showing up every day? Are you walking in integrity even if you lose?

You can respond like my 6-year old does after I tell her to do something, with, “I forgot!” But let’s be honest, the response, the procrastination, the dilly-dallying you (and I) do is really just fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing, fear of disappointment. When you set a goal, or there is risk involved in your decision, it’s only natural to have those emotions. But that’s where the magic happens. That’s when you learn about how powerful you are, your values and character, and how you have the choice to embrace the opportunity to fly or stay still.

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I’m no superwoman. It certainly wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. 

Despite the growth and excitement, there have been polar opposites. There have been hardships. Potential clients and business relationships went cold. I’ve let people down. I’ve let things remain unsaid. I’ve held back. I’ve let fear build a wall, keeping others out. Phone tag with "big guy" went silent. I’ve completely spaced on Christmas gifts and arrived to the party flustered and empty handed. Heck, I even forgot deodorant once, on the hottest day of the year. Yikes!

Don’t forget, we’re human. We have ample daily opportunities to remember this point. We’re not perfect and most definitely still a work in progress. Whether you're looking to lose weight, learn how to cook, travel more, pursue a new relationship, quit your job, tuck these little truths in the back of your mind as you live with intention:

  • Ask questions to understand.
  • Don’t assume.
  • Live in the now.
  • Let go of your past.
  • Pursue growth.
  • Don't lose sight of hope.
  • Keep the faith.
  • Read. Read. Read.
  • Forgive and offer grace.
  • Keep it simple.
  • It's starts with you.
  • Love.
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I’ve heard it time and time again, 2017 was the fastest year ever. In 365 days we may be saying the same thing about 2018. However, what resolutions and actionable baby steps are you dreaming up to make 2018 a different game than 2017? What is your picture of you thriving?

I'm working up a few goals based on my values, but my overall theme for 2018:

Peace and Joy

Whatever may come, I want to receive as a gift and be at peace with myself, the process, and the outcome. Hopefully I can also spread some joy along the way as well.

Shine bright friends, it's contagious!

Happy New Year!