Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Magnificent V.A.L.U.E.

Magnificent V.A.L.U.E.: Virtuous intent, Above reproach, Lead by example, Uphold your word, Ethical principles

#BloggiteBits-Magnificent Value
Magnificent V.A.L.U.E.

Value is important to everyone.  Not the value that money can provide, but the value that comes from validation by others.  Everyone feels they have value and most do.  In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I am going to help turn your value into the Magnificent V.A.L.U.E. it can truly be: Virtuous intent, Above reproach, Lead by example, Uphold your word, & Ethical principles.

Virtuous intent: We make decisions with an intent each day.  Have you ever thought about how your emotions dictate the result of the intent?  To bring your value into the magnificent level, you should always have a virtuous intent behind all that you do.  Be sure to treat people kindly and when you are going to do something, have a virtuous intent in your actions.  People will look at you with honor and respect.

Above reproach: When you have dealings with others, be sure to always have actions that will be above reproach.  Have magnificent value, you have to conduct yourself in such a way that you will always be above reproach when you are being scrutinized by others.  Living a life above reproach and with respect to all, you will be thought of by others as a person with magnificent values.

Lead by example: People are very good at giving lip service to those they interact with, however, when it is time to follow up the lip service with action, most people are nowhere to be found.  One way to be viewed as a person with magnificent values, lead by example.  Say what you mean and mean what you say and make sure your actions support your words.  Leading by example helps people know you are a person of worth.

Uphold your word: This one goes hand in hand with leading by example.  If you say something and give your word to another, be sure to follow through with your promises.  People in this day tend to be flippant about what they say or promise to others because they have the ‘me’ mentality that does not consider the feelings of others.  Upholding your word will make people realize you are a person with magnificent values.

Ethical principles: A person’s value is usually dictated by their ethical principles.  When you guide your decisions with sound ethical principles, others will take note.  Using your ethical principles to guide you in life will help you achieve magnificent value in other’s eyes.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Live F.U.L.L.Y.

Live F.U.L.L.Y.: Flourish in challenges, Unique outlook, Love unconditionally, Look for the humor, Youthful exuberance

#BloggiteBits-Live Fully
Live F.U.L.L.Y.

When you wake up in the morning, do you ever say, “Today I am going to live life fully to the best of my abilities!”?  Nah, I am sure you don’t, but what if you tried that one day?  In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I am going to challenge you to Live F.U.L.L.Y. each day of your life: Flourish in challenges, Unique outlook, Love unconditionally, Look for the humor, & Youthful exuberance.

Flourish in challenges: As crazy as this statement sounds, it is possible to flourish in challenges faced in your life.  Everyone has a choice when they are faced with something that is unfamiliar and challenging to them.  Those choices are to wither away and hide or face the fear and flourish.  Anytime you find yourself faced with a challenge, think of how you can turn the negative aspect of the challenge into something that is positive.  By finding the positive in a challenge, you allow yourself to look outside the proverbial box and flourish within that challenge.  Flourishing in a challenge could be something as simple as getting through it to the other side with minimal damage.  It can also mean getting through the challenge a stronger, more confident person than you were.  Either way, you still beat that challenge because it did not defeat you; you flourished because you defeated it.

Unique outlook: Most people who are living life fully have a unique outlook on it.  They are the ones that always seem to fight the status quo and find their own way.  To live life fully, you need to change your perception of what life should be and begin to make it what you want it to be.  Having a unique outlook in life just means to question everything.  Question why you are here, in this situation, at this precise moment in time.  By questioning the ‘norm’ you will begin to create your own unique outlook.  Once you have that unique outlook created, you will begin to truly live life fully.

Love unconditionally: We have all heard this phrase.  Loving unconditionally is hard for many people.  It is very rare to find someone willing to do something without any strings attached in this day and age.  The “me” mentality of people cause them to always look for some kind of leverage in all situations to make it beneficial to them.  In order to live fully in life, you need to stop thinking with the “me” mentality and trying to find what is in it for you.  Being able to love unconditionally frees a person because they are not waiting for the pay off, they are just living life fully.  Learning to love unconditionally takes practice and will challenge the most emotionally aware person out there.  If you do learn to love unconditionally, you will find yourself feeling freer than you have ever felt before and this freedom will begin to help you live life fully.

Look for the humor: People are waaaayyyy too serious.  Did you know that every situation has a humorous side to it?  No matter how bleak life may seem, look for the humor in it.  Laughter truly is the best medicine for the seriousness of life and when you look for the humor in life you begin to live fully in the moment.  Humor in serious situations does not take away from what is going on nor does it mean you do not realize the importance of the situation.  Looking for the humor is a good release for most people.  By breaking up the mood with something positive and humorous, no matter how fleeting, you will find that you are a bit more relaxed and able to cope better.

Youthful exuberance: This suggestion may seem off for the subject of living fully, but I feel having a youthful exuberance about life helps you live fully.  Think back on your childhood.  Were you carefree and excited about finding out what the day held for you when you first woke up?  Now, think about how you feel when you wake up as an adult.  Do you still feel that excitement about what lies ahead?  Probably not.  Having a youthful exuberance about life helps you look forward to whatever is in store for you each day.  Making yourself view life with a youthful exuberance each day will help you begin to live fully.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

“Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience. There is no such thing as a collective conscious.” ~Dr. Finch (in Harper Lee’s novel, Go Set A Watchman)

Go Set A Watchman by Harper LeeIt has been quite a while since I blogged about a book review.  Busy holiday schedules and family affairs have kept me from one of my favorite loves: reading.  In this book review, I will be reviewing our Books & Broads Book Club choice for January: Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman.

Harper Lee is best known from her novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, and some of the beloved characters in the novel are also in this novel as well.  Go Set A Watchman is about Scout, AKA Jean Louise, when she is coming of age and really seeing the world through her own eyes instead of the eye’s of her father, Atticus Finch.

I have always found Harper Lee an easy read and this book is no different.  When reading this book, I must warn you, Dear Bloggites, that there are some parts in the book where you have to have a thick skin in order to read through the bigotry sections.  Fortunately, there are not many parts that emphasize the segregation during the era of the book.  Most of the book is about how Jean Louise, AKA Scout, learns some harsh truths about life in her hometown after being gone for many years.

Harper Lee’s writing style provides a lot of historical information in this book and allows us to feel the turmoil that Jean Louise goes through as all that she ever believed in is now challenged and destroyed.  She begins to truly see her father as a man with flaws and not this god-like entity she had grown up believing.

The feelings throughout the book toggles between a strong, heady atmosphere to a light, playful atmosphere.  When Jean Louise is struggling with something, the author does a good job of creating that sense of heady feelings, however, when Jean Louise is interacting with some people, the author created the fun, playful feelings as you read along.

Go Set A Watchman lacks the depth of character strength as you read in “To Kill A Mockingbird”, but I think it is because this novel was technically the first novel Harper Lee ever wrote, even though the main character is older.

I give Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee 3 out of 5 Bookmarks, Dear Bloggites.  Happy Reading!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Keep F.O.C.U.S.

Keep F.O.C.U.S.: Forgive quickly, Occupy quality time, Circle yourself in positive energy, Use time wisely, Showcase abilities

#BloggiteBits-Keep Focus
Keep F.O.C.U.S.

How many of you have found yourself unable to concentrate on things?  Have you been distracted from tasks you were working on?  I know I have been guilty of the easy distractions of squirrels and shiny objects. 🙂 In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I am going to give you some pointers on how you can take those distractions and turn them into a way to Keep F.O.C.U.S. on the important things in life: Forgive quickly, Occupy quality time, Circle yourself in positive energy, Use time wisely, & Showcase abilities.

Forgive quickly: Forgiveness is one of those hard things to allow yourself when someone has wronged you in life.  However, if you do not allow yourself to forgive someone, it becomes a heavy weight in your life and mind.  If you do not forgive someone for wronging you, you are allowing them to live rent free in your mind.  When someone is living rent free in your mind, they tend to take up a lot of energy which causes you to lose focus in life.  One of the ways you can learn to keep focus on the important things in life is learn to forgive.  Forgiving does not mean you forget the wrong that was done to you, it just means you are not going to waste your time allowing them to live rent free in your mind.

Occupy quality time: Quality time; we all need and lack it in our lives.  To keep focus on the important things in life, you need to find a way to occupy quality time with yourself and others.  Quality time with yourself sounds funny, but it is how you regroup and refresh your mind for all that life has thrown at you as well as what life will throw at you.  Occupying quality time with others is just that, make sure each moment you spend with someone is of a quality value: complete focus, no distractions, listen to what they are saying, engage in their life, etc.  The best way to keep focused on the important things in life is to occupy quality time every chance you get.

Circle yourself in positive energy: YAY, Positive Energy! 😉 A great way to keep focus is to circle yourself in positive energy by surrounding yourself with people who will lift you up and challenge you to become the next level of you.  It is very important for people to feel validated on who they are and what they are doing.  Finding people who have the perfect balance of encouragement and constructive criticism is hard.  When you are out and about, be sure to gravitate to those friends who will be the ones who will circle you with positive energy.

Use time wisely: We have all heard the phrase “Time Management” at some point in our lives and it has its merits.  To help keep focus on the important things in life, you should manage your time wisely.  Be sure those you feel take priority in your life receive plenty of time from you.  Projects, work, kids, family, and spouses-they all will demand your time.  You need to use time wisely to be able to provide the needs of others as well as providing your own needs to keep you focused on the important things.

Showcase abilities: This tip sounds odd, however, how many of you remember that moment when you know you perfected something and it was witnessed by others?  It is okay to showcase your abilities you have.  Be proud of your achievements, you worked hard for them!  Keeping the focus on the important things is also about feeling proud of your abilities and validating yourself as someone worthy of validation.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Joyful M.I.N.D.

Joyful M.I.N.D.: Master positive thoughts, Inner peace with oneself, Nourish the brain, Delight in life

#BloggiteBits-Joyful Mind
Joyful M.I.N.D.

The mind is a terrible thing to waste, would you agree, Dear Bloggites?  Have you ever noticed that negative thoughts waste away your mind and in turn waste away your joy and happiness with life?  The things you allow to fester in your mind and thoughts tend to come out in all aspects of your life.  Negative thoughts and mindset cause a person to respond to people and things in a negative way.  The reverse is also true, positive thoughts and mindset cause a person to respond to people and things in a positive way.  In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I am going to give you some tips on how to have a Joyful M.I.N.D. which will change your mindset to the positive each day: Master positive thoughts, Inner peace with oneself, Nourish the brain, & Delight in life.

Master positive thoughts: In order to have a joyful mind, you need to master the art of positive thinking.  This is a hard thing to do for some because it is always easiest to focus on the negative, but if you intentionally force yourself to throw out those negative thoughts and immediately find something positive in a situation, you will begin to master the art of positive thinking.  If you train yourself to master positive thoughts you will find that your outlook will be much more hopeful and joyful.  Train your mind to find the positive in every situation and you will train yourself to be a positive person.

Inner peace with oneself: Believe it or not, most people are not comfortable in their own skin and mind.  There is so much busyness in the world that people have not learned to be comfortable with oneself in the quiet moments.  Find ways and techniques to learn to have inner peace with oneself and you will find that life does not seem so bleak.  Having inner peace helps settle your mind and when your mind is settled you are able to allow joy to enter in.  How wonderful to find joy just from finding a way to be comfortable in your own skin and mind.

Nourish the brain: Nourishing the brain is when you feed your thoughts only with positive, happy information.  I love scary movies and books (hello, Stephen King is my favorite author), however, the thoughts I allow to enter into my mind are only positive, life affirming ones.  You are worthy of self-affirmation and you should strive to nourish the brain with thoughts that bring joy into your mind.  Remember, just like a body that thrives on healthy, good foods, your mind also thrives on healthy, good thoughts.

Delight in life: I give you permission to say, “Realistic living be damned!” and instead say, “I will delight in my dreams and imagination through life!”  Delight in all that life throws at you, be it good or bad, you can always find that quirky, silver lining that will bring you joy.  People think that when they “grow up” they have to shed all their childhood wonderment they found in life.  I am telling you today, you do not have to lose that childhood wonderment that brought joy to your life.  Finding the delightful things in your everyday life will bring joy to your mind, body, and soul.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Imagine M.O.R.E.

Imagine M.O.R.E.: Meaningful encounters, Optimal communication, Reaction impaction, Extraordinary relationships

#BloggiteBits-Imagine More
Imagine M.O.R.E.

We all desire to be the person that can walk into a room and carry on a conversation with whomever you walk by.  Not just the standard fluff of weather talk, but an actual conversation that helps each person feel connect for a short time with the person they are talking with.  I believe everyone is capable of doing this with some simple things to keep in mind.  In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I want you to Imagine M.O.R.E. for yourself when it comes to conversations and the gift of gab:  Meaningful encounters, Optimal communication, Reaction impaction, & Extraordinary relationships.

Meaningful encounters: When you engage in meaningful encounters with others, you find more satisfaction from just a regular passing conversation and it will help you imagine more levels of communication than just the one you are used to.  Engaging others with conversations that are about a topic or topics near and dear to you or those takes that conversation to a higher plane on the communication grid.  When you come into contact with someone, ask a few simple questions to get an understanding of where the person is at and what they hold dear to them.  If they tell you a topic you know, GREAT; begin to engage in a great give and take conversation.  If they tell you about a topic you are unfamiliar with, GREAT; ask them questions.  Allow them to share their passion for that topic.  This will open them up to you and make them feel validated as a person with thoughts and you will feel more open just by seeing how their inner fire is ignited on a topic they are passionate about.

Optimal communication: Did you know that communication has different levels: boring, tolerable, okay, good, and optimal.  Yes, I made these levels up, but they help me imagine more on the communication grid.  These levels are real to me and all levels are obtainable when I am communicating with others.  Optimal communication is when the passion is ignited within you and the person you are talking with about a topic or topics.  Think about when you are talking to someone.  How would you rate the last conversation you had with someone?  Was it a conversation you were fully engaged in or was it so boring that you really do not even remember what you talked about?  When you find a common ground with someone on a topic or topics, you will become more interested in what the person is saying to you and when the topic is something you are passionate about, you become fully engaged in the conversation.  This is how optimal communication is achieved.  Find common ground topics to discuss each time you have an opportunity to carry on a conversation, it will bring your conversation to a higher plane.

Reaction impaction: I love this simple phrase: reaction impaction.  In order to imagine more on your communication grid, you need to become aware of the reaction impaction you and the person you are talking to have during the conversation.  A reaction impaction is what happens when you do not guard your facial expressions as well as your instinctive words of defense if you are in an uncomfortable conversation.  To bring your communication to a higher plane with others, start to become aware of how you are feeling and what you are thinking when listening to someone.  Your thoughts and feelings do show on your face even if you do not realize it and if the reaction impaction is positive then the person will become more engaged in the conversation with you, however, if the reaction impaction is neutral or negative, the person will become uncomfortable with the conversation and will quickly look to end it or find a different topic to discuss.  Negative reaction impactions leave bad tastes in a person’s mouth as well as may affect their outlook for the rest of the day.  Positive reaction impaction leaves a happy feeling and will also affect a person’s outlook for the rest of the day, but in a good way.

Extraordinary relationships: We all would love to experience an extraordinary relationship at least once in our life.  Having an extraordinary relationship with others is dependent upon you imagining more when you encounter them.  Extraordinary relationships take work and practice to obtain in your life.  If you are aware of how you are communicating with others and make it a point to leave the people feeling excited and fulfilled after a conversation with you, you will begin to cultivate extraordinary relationships one person at a time.  Cultivating relationships by always striving to take your communication to a higher plane will help you feel as if you are impacting the people you come into contact with on a daily basis.  Not only will you help others feel better and help improve their daily outlook, you will also see, by cultivating extraordinary relationships, that your daily outlook is also experiencing positive results.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Happy H.E.A.R.T.

Happy H.E.A.R.T.: Humble appreciation, Experience new things, Accept others, Reach goals, Transform your thinking

#BloggiteBits-Happy Heart
Happy H.E.A.R.T.

Are you happy where you are in life?  Does your heart feel full of love and appreciation?  Your heart mood determines your overall outlook, did you know that?  In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I am going to help you understand exactly what a heart mood is and help you find your Happy H.E.A.R.T. which will improve your overall outlook in life: Humble appreciation, Experience new things, Accept others, Reach goals, & Transform your thinking.

Humble appreciation: Your heart mood is the driving force behind your emotional state when dealing with others.  Having a humble appreciate for everything you have in your life is one step in having a happy heart each day.  Many people feel they are entitled to things without working for it and so their hearts lack any humble humility.  These entitled people are hard to get along with because they treat everyone as if they are beneath them.  Humbling oneself and learning to have an appreciation for all the things in your life, from the little to the big, you will find that your heart mood is more pliable and willing to have understanding for others.

Experience new things: As a lifelong learner, I am all for experiencing new things.  Your heart mood is more playful and insightful when you are engaging in new things to experience.  Everyone enjoys learning new things, especially if it is something they pick themselves.  Experiencing new things helps keep the heart happy and feeling playful and light.  We all feel successful when we learn a new activity.  Those who stay in a routine that never changes feel stagnant and bored.  The heart does not thrive in a stagnant environment.  Go out and challenge yourself by experiencing new things, you will find that your heart will feel better.

Accept others: Accepting others is a challenge for many.  We have become a skeptical, guarded society and that mental environment makes it hard to accept others.  When you begin to accept others, your heart mood will start changing in a more positive, happy way.  Releasing yourself to open up and accept others helps lift an unseen burden this world has programmed us with.  Break through the standard mentality and take a chance, your heart will be happier for it.

Reach goals: We have all experienced the feeling of accomplishment when we reach some long goal set for ourselves.  Reach for goals in life.  You will find that working toward a goal will help you find a purpose to get up and move in the morning.  A happy heart loves to feel the accomplishment of reaching a planned goal.  The goals do not always have to be big.  Reaching for smaller, more obtainable goals will continue to keep your heart mood overflowing with successful accomplishments.

Transform your thinking: Transforming your thinking means break away from the status quo thinking.  Stop the skeptical, guarded thinking and start looking at the world with the eyes of a babe, full of wonderment and joy.  When you transform your thinking your heart will feel much more open to opportunities which in turn make your heart feel happy.  Look to each new day as an opportunity to discover new and exciting things.  I promise your transformed thinking will open up a whole new world.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Give H.O.P.E.

Give H.O.P.E.: Have a loving heart, Offer encouragement, Praise successes, Empower a belief in others

#BloggiteBits-Give Hope
Give H.O.P.E.

Do you sometimes feel this world can beat down a person enough that they lose hope?  Do you find yourself wishing that sometimes, instead of all the negativity being spewed forth to people, someone would break through with some kind of encouraging information that gives you hope in the future?  Did you realize that you can do your part to help others find hope?  In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign, I want to encourage you to Give H.O.P.E. to others: Have a loving heart, Offer encouragement, Praise successes, & Empower a belief in others.

Have a loving heart: One of the things lacking in this world is a loving heart toward others.  People are so quick to harden their hearts toward that which they do not understand that they do not realize that they may be missing out on one of the greatest relationships that enter into their life.  A good way to help in the fight against the negativity in this world is to have a loving heart toward others.  When you come into contact with someone that, on the surface, seems like you have nothing in common with, instead of closing off your heart and turning away from that person, open up your loving heart and make an effort to get to know the person.    I guarantee you, Dear Bloggites, you will find at least one thing in common with that person and that one thing can grow into so much more for both of you.  When I am walking around and see someone struggling, I go to them and ask if there is anything I can do even if it is just providing an ear willing to listen to their plight.  By doing this simple act, I am giving them hope by showing a loving heart to them.  Giving hope to someone is as simple as having an open, loving heart and making an effort to learn who they are and what they are about.

Offer encouragement: This world is such a ‘me’ society that people do not stop to think of offering an encouraging word to someone else.  A second way you can give hope to someone is to offer simple words of encouragement.  When you are walking down the street or through a store and you see someone, say a simple, “Hello! I hope your day turns into the wonderful day you hoped it would be.”  Cheesy, maybe; but I do this on a regular basis and it is amazing to watch people just stop and stare at me as I continue to walk on.  I also notice they turn with a little smile on their face and go about their day.  THAT makes my day!  I believe I can change the world one person at a time and I know you can too!  Give hope to the next random person you see.  Put your own splash of energy and life into it and watch how that offer of encouragement turns into a small ripple effect that will flow out into the world.  Yeah, offering encouragement is a big way to give hope to someone.

Praise successes: Think back on a time when you did something that brought you praise from another, even if it was just a simple, “Atta Boy!” praise.  How did it make you feel?  Pretty good, right?  Now, think back on the last time you gave praise to someone.  Did you struggle with finding the last time you did it?  Most people will struggle to think back on the last praise they gave to someone.  Don’t feel bad, it is all part of the ‘me’ society we live in.  Remember how good you felt when you received praise and make an effort to praise someone’s successes so they can feel just as good as you did.  I take great pleasure in seeing other’s succeed.  I am usually the biggest cheerleader out there for people and their successes.  Seeing people feel pride in an accomplishment they worked hard for and watching their happiness overflow from the praise they received gives me great joy.  Make an effort to praise successes in others, no matter how big or small, your praise will go a long way in giving hope to people in this world.

Empower a belief in others: Empower others with a belief in themselves is hard to do in this negative world we live in.  People get so beat down with negativity that they have a hard time realizing they have a right to believe in themselves.  Showing others you believe in them will help empower them to believe in their abilities to succeed in life.  I always try to let people know I believe in them and the task they are trying to accomplish.  I feel by doing all the things above: have a loving heart, offer encouragement, and praise successes, it all helps a person empower a belief internally that will validate my belief in them.  Make an effort to empower others with belief, that belief helps give hope to a person that changes them internally which will show externally to the world around them.

~4-Ever, P