|Note to First Time Readers:
Hi there! This email list is for my personal sharing of thoughts done at the end of everyday. As such, this email is typically typed late at night, and without it being proof read by another editor.
I ask, in advanced, that you forgive me for all the typos and grammar mistakes you shall find (there are many), and see instead the subtle messages behind each email. The stories are personal, and taken directly from each day - like a diary. And sometimes, you'll find extracted ideas from these emails converted into TSN blog posts. This place is like my playground.
Thank you again for being on this journey of learning and self-discovery with me. I am honored that you've takening the time to be here, to reflect, and to see, through my experiences, the beauty within yourself.
If you are new, you can read some past emails here:
Thought of The Day:
For New Year’s Eve this year, Jeremy and I were looking for something to do; a traditional party with an actual countdown, mingling with people we don’t know, decked out in dressy outfits, holding campaign, kissing at midnight, etc.
I felt so relieved when we were invited to such a party, “finally, we’re not going to be orphans this year.” I thought. However, the Universe had other plans for us, something sweeter, something better.
The plan was to put Ryan to bed, have dinner, and then go to the party. As we were having dinner, one conversation after another, we ended up on the topic of “What do you want in the New Year? What are your goals?”
What started as a simple ten minute conversation over dinner, grew into an hour –maybe two hours- long, delicious sharing of our hopes and dreams for the future. It was one of the most honest conversations we’ve had; it was beautiful and worth savoring every breathe.
One thing that became apparent was how scattered I was in what I wanted. Despite my best effort at simplifying my goals, and my understanding that the more we focus on, the less each goal can be realized. I had too many “wants”, and sometimes they conflicted with one another.
Using Jeremy’s supreme focus and sharpened managerial skills acquired from his job, he gently guided me in reorganizing my goals around to sort of a hierarchical structure.
For my business, I had two big goals that were the most important, that I will be focused on, and everything else related to my career had to fit under one of the two big goals. If they didn’t, I won’t be working on them, because they are distractions, taking energy away from what mattered most to me.
It makes sense. We only have a limited amount of time per day, and if we gave attention to one thing, that’s less attention given to another thing. Real results are produced as a product of focused attention. Scattered attention, attention to many things, can never produce real results.
I often violate this rule, especially last year, where I didn’t have any definite focus. I was floating around. Whatever that came along that sounded attractive, I would dive in and try it out. In the end, they are all distracters. And as a result, I didn’t produce much, my heart wasn’t in it, and my attention was being split into too many parts.
In the year 2010, I dabbled in wedding photography, internet marketing, consulting business, and the good mood blogging contest – all things which are nice to haves, but takes me away from what I wanted most: to create products that helps people, and to grow TSN.
In chapter 1 of Napoleon Hill’s 1925 classic “The Law of Success”, he talks about the vital importance of having a definite purpose – the thing you want to focus on. The thing you want most to become realized in reality.
Here’s a related quote from that chapter,
“Until a man selects a definite purpose in life, he dissipates his energies and spreads his thoughts over so many subjects and in so many different directions that they lead not to power, but to indecision and weakness.
With the aid of a small reading glass, you can teach yourself a great lesson on the value of organized effort. Through the use of such a glass, you can focus the sun’s rays on a definite spot so strongly that they will burn a hole through a plank. Remove the glass (which represents the definite purpose), and the same rays of sun may shine on that same plank for a million years without burning it.“
Thinking back to the times when I succeeded in creating a certain result: weather it was my first online business selling apparel, or graduating university, or starting my blog, or even winning the good mood gig contest, I was completely focused - unweavingly, sharp like a razor- on the end result.
“Ah, that’s the key I’ve been searching for, ‘focus’, and having a ‘definite purpose’”, I thought to myself.
I sat back, and watched as Jeremy excitedly helped organize my goals, and to simplify them down, so that I can actually focus on just one or two things, instead of fifty.
At an hour to midnight, Jeremy said, “you know, we can either go to the party and mingle with a bunch of people we don’t really know, or – while the topic is fresh - we can go grab our laptops, and organize our goals in a share doc, so we can keep each other accountable. And afterwards we can watch a movie and open a bottle of wine. What do you think?”
It was so delicious of an idea, that there was only one possible answer. Of course, I rather spend the night doing something personal and meaningful with my life partner.
Since, I had already gotten ready, with my hair done and makeup already applied. I pointed out to Jeremy my hair and makeup long enough for him to say “Oooh, ahhh, nice!” before running up stairs to change into warm comfy house clothes.
I then sat down at my desk, opened a Google doc, and started typing. A few minutes later, Jeremy came in with two glasses of freshly opened red wine, and his laptop. He sat at the reading chair – where I can see him in the dim shades of the reading lamp.
I had my goals organized in three major categories: professional, personal wellness and couple goals – as per Jeremy’s clever suggestion.
If you are curious, my two professional goals are: Create products, and Increase TSN site traffic. Everything I work on in my time allocated for work, will fit into one of these categories, and if not, I will not do it, unless I choose to.
For my personal wellness goals, I have several loose goals. Perhaps I will share them with you in detail later. But the number one goal is to live consciously to the best of my ability, by redirecting negative thoughts so that I am not stuck in a painful place caused by dwelling on the past, or a nervous place caused by worrying about the future.
For couple goals, I wrote down the first thing that came to mind, “alone dates once a month”. So silly, I am, I was thinking about the actions to do, instead of an end goal. Anyway.
When Jeremy added his goals to the shared Google doc, and it refreshed on my screen, I quickly scrolled to the bottom to his Couple Goals section. He typed for his couple goals, “End 2011 with a closer relationship than 2010”, and under that, he had “2 date nights per month.” and “listen instead of argue.”
I almost died when I read that, died in a land of happiness, a land of roses and rainbows. Jer is just so sweet. He’s always been so much more genuine about our relationship than I, and so much more thoughtful. I have a lot to learn from him.
I looked over at him beyond my open laptop screen -there he was under the warm lights of that reading lamp- with a kind of fondness that is hard to describe in words. Tears started to swell up in my eyes. Those simple words on the screen meant so much, and conveyed so much meaning to me.
I jumped up from my desk, and skipped like a bunny over to the reading chair in utter Joy, and landed promptly in his lap. I pushed his laptop aside, snuggled up real close, and said, “I love you babes. Thank you.”
In the end, we didn’t do countdowns, or have campaign (we don’t even like campaign). Instead, we had a gift of a night, beyond anything I could have planned – wonderful wine, delicious popcorn, priceless moments of connection, and saw a phenomenal documentary (called “The Cove”, which I highly, highly recommend. Get it on netflix streaming. Rent it, or download it. Find it, and watch it! Yes, it’s about dolphins, and it sounds sad, but it’s really beautifully written, moving, uplifting, heartwarming. )
Now that’s a beautiful start to a New Year. I am content.
What are your goals for the New Year? Perhaps, go through it and pick just one or two things to focus on. Give it your whole attention, and I am sure it will come to reality. Here, I am reminded of a saying, “Where attention goes, energy flows. It’s all a matter of deciding where to put our focus, and then dedicating our time towards massive action for its fruition.
The same formula can be applied towards parenting, or to improve the quality of a relationship. Focus, focus, focus is the key.
I’m off to bed. Have a beautiful Tuesday!
I’m fighting off a cold, and hope to get well soon. :)
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Hi, I'm Tina. Welcome to the happiness team mailing list. This mailing list contains extra content not available on thinksimplenow.com
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