The Consequences of the Drama-Filled Lifestyle

Are you living life to your greatest potential? If so, you are living the life that you were created to enjoy. If not, you should be evaluating everything about your life, including you the person, your relationships, your environment, what you are doing to achieve your greatest potential, and those things you may be doing that are preventing you from living the kind of life you desire. Evaluation is necessary in order to prepare and position you to start pursuing and claiming the optimum human experience that every human being is entitled to enjoy. In order to pursue, claim, and enjoy anything in life, you must identify those road blocks that may be restrictive or prohibitive. In order to identify these road blocks, you must have vision. If you cannot clearly see the path to the enjoyable life that you desire, you will continue to stumble around aimlessly wanting to enjoy a certain lifestyle, but never achieving this particular goal. One of the most crippling impediments that prevent people from achieving their goal of enjoying a power-packed, purposeful, and fulfilling life is the chaotic/drama-filled lifestyle. The drama-filled lifestyle, over a period of time, will drain the very life out of those people who allow drama to rule their personal journeys. Yet, it is not unusual for people to confuse the excitement they seek in living a fulfilling and enjoyable life, with the drama that sucks the life out of them, as well as their relationships.

In case you think drama is exciting, you should be aware of some descriptions of the drama-filled relationship. Then consider how the following descriptors could be roadblocks that are keeping you from getting optimal enjoyment out of life:

• Addictive
• Exhaustive
• Victimizing
• Unstable
• Emotional chaos
• Co-dependency
• Erratic
• Irrational
• Deadly

Toxic relationships are “Sick Attachments” and one of the dominant ingredients in sick attachments is “drama”. In order to fully understand the devastation of the drama-filled relationship, a person should be knowledgeable about the truths and myths when it comes to drama, and how drama affects relationships. You may wonder why I’ve attached relationships to the optimum living experience, so let me explain. Since our relationships revolve around everything that goes on in our lives, it is important to understand the outcome when drama affects every part of our lives. While drama can be defined as excitement, it is critical to reject the notion that “drama” in the negative context should have a place anywhere in the abundant lifestyle.

When an individual embraces and accepts drama into his or her personal life, he or she can be certain that it will eventually spill over into other parts of his or her life. Drama left unchecked will not be contained. For example, when personal drama spills over into an individual’s professional life, and it becomes governed by chaos, focus is lost; mistakes are made (unnecessary and/or minor errors, as well as colossal oversights); excessive absenteeism becomes a problem preventing the timely completion of projects, if at all; excessive personal telephone calls are distracting to the workplace and become a problem; or the person whose lifestyle is dominated by drama may become erratic in his or her attempts to hide the drama. This person wants to be viewed by his or her employer in a certain way (e.g. held in high regard) and is embarrassed when those in authority become knowledgeable about their drama-filled lifestyles. Once personal drama starts to affect job performance, regardless of skill set or talent that may have been of value to the employer in the past, the current poor performance that is the result of the drama-filled lifestyle now has the employee viewed as incompetent. In most workplace cultures, compensation is based on performance. So once personal drama takes a toll on job performance, it directly affects income. When considering employees for advancement opportunities, employers want people who will represent them well.

They want to be assured that those who are promoted will handle pressure well; they will come to work on a regular basis and will not frequently call in for unscheduled days off; and that they (the employer) have entrusted valuable assignments to people who are focused, pay attention to detail, and will deliver peak performance. The drama that an individual brings into the workplace can lead to demotion and/or dismissal. There are countless stories of careers destroyed, homes lost, family and friends lost because of drama-filled relationships that wind up in divorce, a break-up of a relationship, or some other adverse life-changing experience.

The individual who attempts to seek solace in a place of worship, but again, leaves the drama-filled lifestyle unchecked, will find that the chaotic spirit spills over into attempts at spiritual relationships. The very nature of chaos is antithetical to the nature of spirituality, which is peaceful, harmonious, loving, and religious. Those people who allow drama to impact their attempts to connect with the Higher Power of their understanding usually suffer from continued discontentment or torment; the inner peace they so desperately seek continues to be elusive; and a connection with other people at their place of worship is impossible because others who value spirituality will not want to be connected with the toxicity of drama.

When drama rules your life, it prohibits you from having relationships with balanced people, people who refuse to embrace any type of negativity. Men and women who are not accustomed to drama, who were not brought up in drama-filled environments have no stomach or patience for it. You may be an attractive man or woman; you may be a man or woman who is financially well off; you may be the man or woman who offers excitement in some form. However, the individual who values peace, tranquility and balance in a relationship is capable of overlooking those things (e.g. physical attraction, finances, etc.) that the drama king or drama queen believes secures a substantive and lasting relationship.

We must learn to distinguish healthy loving relationships from toxic relationships or any element of a toxic relationship. The distinction makes all the difference in the world, and the distinction may wind up being the difference between life and death. Pay attention to even the smallest elements of a toxic relationship because as they accumulate, they eventually wind up becoming a mass of destruction and confusion that is capable of taking out the most stable-minded, able-bodied man or woman. Drama may have your adrenaline going for a period of time, but eventually it will eat away at you, your character, and your reputation. It will deny you of healthy loving relationships. Have you ever met or heard of someone who was proud of a legacy of drama? I doubt it because there is no honor in being a drama queen or drama king.

When you refuse to give into drama; when you refuse to let others draw you into their drama, you are exerting power. When you feel empowered, you feel good about who you are. When you are empowered, you are capable of controlling certain outcomes. When you are in control, you are at peace; your voice is the voice of calm and reason. On the other hand, in most cases, when the drama is over, someone is left to feel inferior, not loved, taken for granted, victimized, misused or abused in some way. When you take the time to exercise critical thinking rather than falling for the drama, you are taking control over your life and your environment. Those around you know when you are in control of your life; when you walk in power; what you will accept and what you will reject. In return, they respond to you with something called “Respect”. Now that you are drama-free, well-respected, empowered, and have the vision necessary, every part of your life is aligned to reach its greatest potential.

Pamela Reaves November 23, 2011

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Video Marketing for the Web

Introduction – A Digital World

In a world of digital entertainment, from digital TV channels to web hosted content, browsers now have an invaluable source of knowledge at their finger tips, on demand.

Businesses are now realizing that the best way to source new products and services is through digital media, as it’s an instantaneous source of research. In fact figures suggest that over 90% of us use the internet to research products or services before we commit to buy – a growing percentage of this is from mobile technologies.

Online marketing spend has just tipped the scales and overtaken print. Something experts expected to happen but not quite this early, with the rise of online tools to make marketing your company quick and easy, and what is more important, cost effectively.

With this increase in online advertising brings competition. Competition in terms of companies dreaming up new and inventive ways to engage an audience, and with digital media, almost anything is possible.

The Search Engines

With a sharp increase in Google and Microsoft’s Adcenter search engine advertising, the cost of advertising is steadily increasing also, with the most popular keywords costing way above £5 ‘per click’ to your site. This may not seem much, but if you are generating clicks and no enquiries, it is an expensive and time wasted exercise.

So what else is available through digital media? Well, Apple have just launched a great service in the US called ‘iAD’, which enables an advertiser to promote their products and services directly to mobile technology, namely your iPhone or iPad, using the new HTML5 code. This code allows the browser to receive advertising in a number of exciting formats, from video through to animation. But, it’s not available here yet and if we do not see some similar competition, prices to advertise will be very high.

The YouTube Black Hole

Which leads me onto video. Video is often seen as expensive, time consuming and hard to get right. Most people will associate it with TV budgets, which fictitiously end up at six figures! But this is not the case. Video for web is growing at an incredible speed. Take YouTube for instance. Stats show that between 150,000 and 200,000 videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. The UK being the 2nd highest at 6.9% of global uploads behind the US at 34.5%. It would take you over 400 years to view all the content on YouTube alone, but this proves a point, that video is the new boy in town. But (and there’s a huge ‘but’) this is not the case for businesses. Just because you upload a video to YouTube, doesn’t necessarily mean it will get viewed, and more importantly by the right audience. We regularly get clients who require us to produce a video for web, and when asking what they intend to do with it, they mention YouTube. Just think about those figures above regarding uploads per day and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that their video will get swallowed up with the other 150,000 or so others that were uploaded that day. In fact the most successful videos are associated with tags such as ‘sexy’, ‘funny’ and ‘music’. So is YouTube good for business, yes, but you need to have a great creative idea that’s going to capture an audience.

Going Viral

That moves me onto ‘viral’. Viral video has become a term used loosely for an online video. “We want a viral video” is something else we hear quite often. Now here’s the thing, something has to BECOME viral. If somebody passes your content from one person to another by way of a digital device, or talks about your content via the web, your content has become viral. But creating a successful viral campaign relies on a number of factors, and most of which hang around ‘hard work’ or ‘big budgets’. Most of you probably have a Facebook or Linked in account. You will have ‘friends’ or ‘contacts’, and like most people on Facebook, it seems to be a popularity contest to see who has the most ‘friends’. How many of you have received an invite from someone you knew back at school, but you never spoke to them then, so why should you now, and after 20 years? But here’s my point, your friends have 300 ‘friends’, they all have 300 ‘friends’ and so on. Soon you get into some pretty big numbers. Now, let’s say you get a video produced and you ask your 300 ‘friends’ to pass it on to their 300 ‘friends’ and you start to get something viral, and all it’s cost you is the production. This is great if you are selling most consumables, but what about ‘business to business’. Well, here it gets a little harder.

The Seed

There are companies out there that offer ‘viral seeding’. This basically means that they will guarantee that your video gets a certain amount of views. There are two types of seeding. Firstly, ‘Natural Seeding’, which is similar to what I described above using Facebook. The second is through Media Placement’. This you can do yourself or employ an agency or specialist in viral seeding. Let’s run through the options.

If you decide to do this yourself, you will need to identify the media your target audience is most likely to be using, negotiate media buying and driving all traffic through to the content thats to become viral. Furthermore, you can contract a ‘viral seeding company’. They will either offer you ‘Natural Seeding’, ‘Media Placement Seeding’ or both. Now here’s where you need to be careful. Contracting an agency to do any kind of marketing can have it’s risks. These are mainly based around an understanding of your offering and its target audience. Viral Seeding companies tend not to be industry specific and will therefore take on any job. This can be very costly and sometimes quite damaging to a brand. The third option is to contract a digital/advertising agency and make sure they have an understanding of you and your requirements. They will be able to offer you options one and two, but add to that a myriad of targeted media solutions that are quantifiable and results driven.

Get your customers talking to your prospects

Most companies now have a website, and most companies use the web to either sell their products and services or promote them. Video is a great way to engage an audience. What’s the single most powerful way of promoting your company? Through testimonials, people that have worked with you before and are happy to tell the world how great you are. Most companies source this form of marketing as soon as they get a happy client. They add to this a case study and publish them both on their site, along with other forms of collateral. Now I’m not saying that people don’t read these, but they need to be well written (unlike this article), short and to the point and most are not, meaning the person that reads them turns off after a short while. This is where video takes over. Video content is engaging. There’s an old saying that ‘people need to talk to people’, and its true. What you have written over 6 pages of A4, you can get across in less than a minute with minimal involvement from the browser. This can be hosted on your website and can have any number of call to actions. It is also very useful as a demonstration for your products. We talked about YouTube earlier, and this is full of demonstrations from how to turn on a vacuum cleaner to how to build a nuclear bunker.

Video and Online

Video is also used in online advertising. How many times have you visited a website to see a video MPU (Multi Positional Unit) running on the page. It grabs your attention almost immediately, and here’s where we start to see how this works for B2B.

Most businesses use the web to research information about their industry. Most of these will probably advertise in their print versions, with little knowledge of how many people have seen their advertisement, sure we have the ABC and PPA audits, but do the publishers know if John Smith has read his free circulated publication? No, but their vertical websites do and are perfect for video content. What’s better than running a video MPU on an industry specific website, where the browsers will be from a certain industry and in a work mind set whilst browsing. These sites even have ‘channels’, which are area’s broken up by subject, so for instance if you are selling accountancy software, you will find an ‘accountancy’ tab in most business sites, ensuring that your audience is most likely thinking about researching, upgrading or buying accountancy software. Now imagine if your video MPU, greeted them as they hit that page, a person talking to a person. Clever video marketing, is always about engagement. How do I engage my audience as quickly as possible and make them listen to what I have to say? What would make me watch and take notice? What would make me click on the video for more information? These are questions that a specialist marketing consultancy should talk through with you for any form of marketing, and this is the same with video for the web.

The PowerPoint Presentation – Yawn!

Video also replaces presentations. How many meetings have you been to, where you have either been presented to or had to present a 30 page PowerPoint presentation? Probably quite a few of you. How many of you switched off or noticed your client slowly die of boredom before your very eyes? This is where video is a great tool. It can run through any part of the offering, in stages, as a presentation, and can be interacted with by the sales person. It’s easy to view, it can be left with the client on a USB key, and hosted on your site. It can even be used at exhibitions and conferences.
Mix this format with some intelligent digital marketing and you have a marketing medium that not only delivers results, but is trackable, controllable and engaging.

Choosing a Video Production Company

With a sharp increase in video for web, comes a sharp increase in video production companies. Search the web?, type in ‘video for web’ in a search bar and see just how many companies there are available. Three years ago there were just a few of us, now every Tom, Dick and Harry who knows how to turn on a camera and use a cheap editing suite will convince you of their creativity and what’s more, just how little you need to spend. Now here’s the thing. You have spectrums. The expensive, the competitive and the super competitive. If you care about your brand, I would avoid a company that offers you a video for the price of a chocolate bar and a can of pop. I have been into companies and reshot work where they have fallen foul of the ‘too good to be true’ trap. At the other end of the scale you have the expensive video production companies. They will produce you something close to straight out of Hollywood, but will leave you very little budget to help market it, or you go straight down the middle and get TV and Film trained crews, directors and editors, who know all the tricks of the trade to get you a TV quality video for a snip of the price. The key here is to do your research and vet the company. All of which should have a showreel to display their work, but take a look at the individual pieces, as a cleverly put together showreel can mask a whole heap of bad work, by quick edits and foot tapping music. Listen to sound and framing. Look to see if the production made sense or whether the messaging has been blurred by the directors creative vision!

The Actors

To save on costs most companies, like yourselves will offer their staffs services for the video shoot rather than have the production company pay for talent. Normally there’s a budding actor or two flying around the office and normally he or she is the MD. “I’ll be fine” they say. “I’ve have presented to hundreds at seminars and conferences”. Let me tell you, that most melt once we turn on the light’s, camera’s and prompt them to ‘act’. Not only does this waste the crews time and the clients money, it also ends up looking bad. But, if you are to use staff, brief them well in advance. We have turned up to a shoot and the ‘actor’s have been told that same morning that they were starring in a video and had two hours to learn 40 lines of text! The client then wonders why the production looks a little false! For the sake of a few hundred pounds, we urge you to consider actors when shooting anything that involves people.

High Definition and Web Quality Video

Lastly I must point out a few things. Most people do not have the capability to view High Definition footage at work. So why pay more to have your production filmed in this format? Sure you are future proofing your video, but in most cases if you have a video produced for a product, service or even as a corporate message, these will soon become obsolete as your products and services develop. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if somebody does have the capability to view your content in HD, they will be more likely to respond because the only thing they will think about is ‘whats in it for them’ and your offering. HD is a great format for TV, but have you noticed that High Definition picks up even more information, and if that information is shot badly, it can exaggerate a mistake.

Now, whilst most people associate video with TV budgets, there are quite a few that think if a video is produced for web, it should be cheap. Well, let me tell you that its not. Shooting a video for web has the same process it would for a TV commercial, there are just different elements to consider, that can sometimes make the production harder to produce than TV. For example, let’s say you produce a video that carries drama or suspense, the footage is normally mixed with a soundscape. Let’s take a heartbeat for example. This will not be heard through a laptop or PC speaker, because of its low frequency, hence sapping the video of it’s affect straight away. Most work PC’s don’t even have sound, so most videos for web should be treated as a silent movie. Sure add the sound, but back it up with subtitles or at least make the storyline understandable to those that have no sound, so that you get maximum impact from your investment.

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The 7 Critical Mistakes Working Women Make

Recently Lisa, a coaching client said to me:”Iris, they lied to me. They said I could have it all. They said I could have my family, work outside the home and be able to take care of it all. They lied.”If you are like most women, you feel the pressure of ‘having it all’. As much as the ‘working woman’ is not a new phenomenon to us, this model has only been around for a couple of generations. ‘Women in the work force’ is a fairly current shift in society that became popular during the Second World War when there was a shortage of men. Women whose only option had been to take care of the family were elated at finally having the ability and opportunity to work outside the home and earn money. The problem that followed this shift was that they did not have a wife who could take over their duties at home. Working mothers now faced the expectation of handling both the demands of work and the demands of maintaining their home and nurturing their family. What was once handled by two people was now being handled by one.Whether you are working in your home office or off site, working for someone else or for yourself, you are bombarded daily with messages of how you should cope. If you look at the messages on the radio, television or the written medium, you are continually fed ideas that tell you:§ To be happy with having the ‘opportunity’ to work§ What you should enjoy§ What you should look like§ What you should ownNever have we as women been so inundated with messages that we should be able to deal with life’s demands like June Cleaver and look like America’s next top model. But television’s role models are often unrealistic and lead us to believe that we can have it all and if we don’t have it all then there is something wrong with us. I want to share with you the 7 critical mistakes working women make in their quest for having it all, thereby throwing their lives out of balance.1. Refusing to ask for and receive help!The first and probably the most significant element to having a life in balance is being able to ask for and receive help. Most women feel they have to do it alone. My clients often tell me that asking for help makes them feel vulnerable and weak – as though something is wrong with them for needing or wanting help. My answer to that is that the ability to ask for help is actually a sign of strength and courage. It takes a strong woman to ask for what she wants. I want you to look at some of the following areas of your life and see how much you take on by yourself:a) Family functions – do you do it all? Make all the food? Plan the whole thing?b) Home maintenance – do you do all the cooking? Grocery shopping? Cleaning? Driving the kids to their activities? Paying the bills? Organizing the carpet cleaner or the furnace maintenance company? Social engagements?c) Care of parents – do you do it all? Do you have siblings who expect you to handle it? Do you usually dismiss calling them to ask for help? Do you do more than you have to for your parents? Do you feel guilty if you don’t do everything for them?d) Business Commitments – do you ask for what you need or do you pretend you know it all and are fine handling it?2. Not being able to say ‘NO!’In my coaching practice, women report that one of the most difficult skills is being able to say ‘no’. It seems that saying ‘no’ is like speaking a foreign language. Most often when I talk with my clients about saying ‘no’, they say they are riddled with guilt if they don’t say ‘yes’. I have to admit that although saying ‘no’ is powerful, it does come with consequences. You get to decide whether you are willing to deal with the consequences. Most often, women fear that they won’t be liked if they say ‘no’. They fear that saying ‘no’ will also mean they are weak, so they end up taking it all on, feeling overwhelmed and resentful and wondering what is wrong with them that they can’t seem to manage. Just like the adage ‘pick your battles’, you need to ‘pick your priorities’. You are the only one who gets to consciously choose where you are going to invest your energy and where you won’t. There will be some areas where you are not willing to say ‘no’ yet, and that is ok. Pick an area that is easier for you to say ‘no’ to, such as:a. Parent duty at your child’s schoolb. Planning someone’s retirement party at workc. Being on a committee or a boardd. Planning the street garage salee. Planning the family Thanksgiving dinnerf. Organizing your friend’s 50th birthday partyIf we look at it honestly, we all want to be able to do something special and contribute to the people around us. It makes us feel good and valuable, but when you say ‘yes’ all the time, you end up feeling drained and resentful. I want you to know that by saying ‘no’, you get to save your energy, and ultimately your love, for the people and activities that are really important to you. Instead of being someone who is exhausted and resentful, you will be able to do for and give to these people in your life from a place of love and compassion because you have set some healthy limits in your life.3. Not valuing yourself enough to nurture you!The third critical mistake working mothers make is that they treat themselves as though they are second class citizens. Their place in the grand scheme of things is at the bottom of the ladder. If you have any energy left at the end of a day where you have done everything for everyone, then you will do something for yourself. Most of the time you are running yourself so ragged that the only energy you have left is enough to crawl into bed. When you continually do for others without doing for yourself you end up feeling drained. When you do something for a loved one when you feel drained, you end up doing it anyway but feel resentful.I borrowed this analogy from someone but can’t remember from who, so I can’t take credit for this. When you have $500 in a bank account and a loved one wants to borrow $100 for something really important you will have no problem lending them the money. If, however, they want to borrow $500 for something really important while you have the same $500 in the account, you might still lend them the money but feel a great deal of stress because it leaves you at $0 balance. Now, consider that a loved one comes to borrow $1000 from you for something very important. If you really love them, you might still lend it to them, but your stress level goes through the roof because you now have minus $500 in your bank account.I want you to consider yourself an emotional bank account. You need to make regular deposits into your bank account. These deposits can be the usual forms of self-care. They often don’t need a long time frame to implement into a schedule that is already overbooked.They can take the form of:i. a massage,ii. a manicure,iii. getting your hair done,iv. going for a coffee with a friend,v. having a warm cup of tea 30 minutes before anyone else gets up in the morning,vi. going for a walk,vii. a warm aromatherapy bath,viii. reading a good book,ix. feeling the sun shine on your face,x. smelling the earthy smell after the rain,xi. listening to the thunder and watching the lightning,xii. noticing the drops of rain on a plant after a storm,xiii. smiling at the sunset,xiv. cuddling into a loved one’s arms,xv. dancing to a favorite song,or anything else you can think of. You can schedule yourself for an activity that may take an hour or you can create a short ritual that takes less than a minute. The shorter the activity the easier it will be to find time for it and the more often you will be able to do it and deposit into your emotional bank account. When you make a deposit, you will be able to give to loved ones and feel great about it. When you don’t do things for yourself, you put yourself into deficit. Then you feel the stress when someone asks you for something and you give it to them anyways but feel guilty for feeling resentful.”Thinking about it another way, doing something for yourself is doing your family and loved ones a favor.” Iris Benrubi4. Not challenging the images, expectations and role models society gives you!As I mentioned in the introduction, we are bombarded with messages that tell us how we should live, and what we should do, look like and own in order to be happy. Consumers make a big mistake when they ‘buy’ the message (pun intended) the media sends our way. We believe that when we lose 10 pounds we’ll be happy, when we own a better car or bigger home we’ll be happy, when we get the boyfriend, get married or get rid of the spouse then we’ll be happy.
These messages are found both in the media and fairy tales, and they give us the role models that shape our beliefs and leave us trying to fulfill and emulate these often impossible standards that are set for us. Most of these role models will not give you a sense of fulfillment. They will keep you in an environment of temporarily being pleased and then looking for your next fix that will have you feeling pleased. This keeps you on a continuous quest to finding the ultimate that will have you feeling permanently fulfilled and blissful. I want you to first become aware of the paradigms that are being presented to you since childhood and then I want you to challenge them.a. Who says you have to be Cinderella waiting for your Prince Charming to save you from your wicked surroundings?b. Who says you have to wait to be rescued like Little Red Riding Hood?c. Who says you have to look like the young girls in the music videos?d. Who says getting botox, liposuction or any kind of plastic surgery will bring you happiness?One of the recent soap commercials shows how we are duped into believing the standards we see on television without challenging what we see. It starts with a close-up of a fairly good-looking woman sitting in a chair. Then the picture begins to be altered digitally and her neck and forehead are lengthened, her cheekbones are made more defined, her eyelids are lifted, her eyes are widened and enlarged, her cheeks are tapered and her hair is improved. Then she walks away. What we are left with is a digitally enhanced, ultimately impossible standard of what we should look like. We are left trying to achieve this, but we can’t.We have young girls in music videos who provide us with role models for our bodies. We have Xena the Warrior Princess performing impossible feats. We have Wonder Woman, who stops bullets with her metal cuffs. Now I know you and I don’t go out there and try to stop bullets with our bare hands; however, notice, notice, and keep noticing the images and the models that are portrayed out in the world and decide if this is what you want in your life. Challenge the messages you get from the media and decide if this will make you truly happy and if this standard is even attainable!5. Shoulding all over yourself!These images in the media, as well as our experiences growing up in our families, contribute to and define what we believe we ‘should’ be doing, saying and looking like. Someone once coined the phrase ‘stop shoulding on yourself’. It is these ‘shoulds’ that create pressure in our lives and have us feeling guilty about what we do and don’t do.I want you to challenge yourself every time you hear yourself saying ‘I should _________ (fill in the blank)’. I want you to ask yourself if you are really committed to this ‘should’ or is this some belief that you have taken on from your family, the media or your circle of friends? You can even reframe the thought from a ‘should’ to looking at the bigger picture of what you are committed to.Ø Should you make dinner tonight?Ø Should you keep your room or your home immaculate or is this something you can delegate or delay for another day when you are not so overwhelmed and exhausted?Ø Should you exercise or is this something you want to do because of your commitment to health?When you learn to challenge your ‘shoulds’, you will have the awareness you need to make a different choice. You can either replace them with another activity, choose to not do them or even replace the word ‘should’ with ‘choose to’. An example of this would be instead of saying “I should make dinner tonight for my family” you can change it to “I choose to make dinner tonight because I am committed to creating a warm nourishing experience for my family”. Notice the difference in stress level and burden each of those statements creates. Notice how different you feel when you tell yourself you should do something versus when you choose to do it. When you learn to do this naturally, you will experience great relief in the demands and stress life places on you as well as relief from the guilt that you carry with you.6. Not making conscious choices!Ever notice yourself driving from one destination to another without knowing how you got there? Ever get on the bus or subway and get so preoccupied with your thoughts and miss your stop? Sometimes life gets so busy that we don’t pay attention. We zone out of the present and get in our head with our thoughts and our to-do lists. Most of the time, when we are in our head, we are focusing on either the past or the future. This is an example of living life unconsciously. We are missing the whole ‘present’ experience. If you stop and take account of your life, you may notice many areas where you are not consciously making a choice, but rather have gotten into a habit of doing things in a certain way. It can be as simple as which foot you put into your shoe first, who gets served first at the dinner table, or whether you wash your face or brush your teeth first. These are all habits you have gotten into. Most of these habits are harmless and don’t impact you or the people around you very much. As you continue looking at habits you have gotten into, you may find some habits you have gotten into that may not be supporting you in the direction you are going.At a family function, Jenny saw her mom cut both ends of the roast before putting it into the oven. She asked her mom why she did that, and her mom said she didn’t know and that she should ask Grandma. She went to ask her grandmother why the roast gets both ends cut off but her grandmother didn’t know either. Jenny found her great-grandmother sitting in the living room and asked her why the roast had both ends cut off before cooking, to which she replied, “We used to have very small ovens in my days and in order to fit it in the oven, we had to cut off both ends”.The tradition of cutting off both ends of the roast was passed on from generation to generation without it being questioned. I want you to begin to question things. Is this how it should be? Is this what you are committed to? Do you want this in your life?Notice them and then you can choose to do something else! What can you do instead?7. Not having a Life Plan!Cheshire Cat comes to a fork in the road and Alice in Wonderland asks if she should take the left fork or the right. When Cheshire Cat asks “Where are you going”, Alice says “I don’t know”, to which Cheshire Cat responds “Then I guess it doesn’t matter”.Where are you going? What is your destination? If you don’t know your destination or don’t know what you are committed to in your life, you won’t be able to consciously create what you want. I personally am committed to having awesome and loving relationships and having fun every step of the way. I am committed to the quote:”Life is not about going to the grave with a well-preserved body but rather skidding in broadside, totally used up yelling ‘Wow What a Ride!’”‘and I create my life in alignment with what I am committed to. When I engage in an activity, I often check to see if it is in alignment with what I want. If you want to see what you are committed to, look at what you have in your life. You are where you are now as a result of the choices that you have made. If you want something different you have to create it and declare it.
So what are you committed to? Drop me an email and let me know what your life vision is!

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