5 Steps to your Built-in GPS for Life

What a glorious day for a road trip!
Thanks to GPS, travelling has never been easier and adventures have never been more successful because we know where we are headed and we are confident that an effective tool will not let us down in guidance and direction.
But what about in the unpredictable and incredible journey called “life”- what are we using to ensure we get to where we want to go?
What are we relying on for support when there are unforeseen roadblocks ahead or we take a wrong turn?
What prevents and protects us from tempting shortcuts, from missing a right turn because we are distracted and what ultimately keeps us on track?
We each have a natural GPS inside us made up of 5 fundamental elements:
1. Now – This is where I am now. My starting point of reference. We cannot change what we do not acknowledge and if we want to move forward – we need to be honest about where we are now and what changes, improvements, refinements and growth we’d like to make happen.
2. Vision – This is our “destination.” This is where we want our life to be and this is how we see our ideal future. It is the core and creation of a meaningful, purposeful life that is guided by a clear plan. If we don’t have one, we have to get one. Every activity and investment we make with our time, resources, talents and abilities is done with our vision in mind. It is what motivates and inspires us to do more and be more. Without purpose we become a “wandering generality.” When we have a vision, our behavior, thoughts and feelings are proactive and do not depend solely on circumstances. When we practice being the person of our dreams, we inevitably become that and inevitably successfully manage our life.
3. Passion – This is what we cannot live without. For our life to be great, and by great I mean full of vitality, energy, drive and fire, we need to do what we love. We need to fill our time and schedules with people, places and things that we absolutely love. Having an accessible list of “passion chargers” that refuel our batteries when we feel tired, depleted, negative and uninspired will ignite that source within that keeps us moving forward. Our passion is our fuel. Without it, we stay stuck. With it, we get to enjoy every minute and have fun on the move.
4. Values – Our values are the things that are most important to us. Because our values are dynamic, they may change depending on where we are going, why we are going there, where we are leaving from and who we are traveling with. Our values are the signs along the way that remind us that we are certainly going the right way. When we live each day with integrity and are true to ourselves,  aligned with what truly matters to us, we are reassured by our values that we are headed in the right direction.
5. Goals – These are the essential pit-stops we take along the way. To think of an entire journey can be massively overwhelming. If we break up the lengthy drive into shorter distances, we can enjoy each segment as we reach each mini-destination. A life without goals that are specific, measureable, attainable, related to our vision and timed will ultimately lead to disappointment. Goals that are SMART, will ensure that our journey is feasible and practical and will lead to satisfaction, productivity and successes.
Life works like nature. And the same way we can’t rush a flower to grow or a tide to wane, we can’t rush the accomplishable arrival of our vision destination. Timing is everything. Things happen that we don’t always plan or expect along the way.
With a responsible and faithful GPS within ourselves (Our vision, passions, values, and goals) we will not only arrive at our destination at the right time feeling sensational, but we will cherish the journey too, and most of the time, that in itself is one of the very best parts!
Travel safe!

A Mother’s Day Tribute

One of the many life theories I have studied over the past few years is by a man Bill Levacy when I was mastering my personal passion test. His wisdom encapsulates the essence of what is required to create anything you want in your life.
In short, with just 3 simple steps, we can create the experiences we desire:
Intention – Consciously setting our intention about what we choose to create in our life
Attention – Focusing and directing our time, talents, gifts, energies and resources to these that we wish to create in our life
No tension – Living and being open and present to the moment, releasing what is not in our control, by being concerned with getting clear about the what’s in our life as opposed to the how’s.
Having children is a perfect way to reaffirm this mantra.
Intention – We choose to be a certain kind of parent. we choose the values we wish to instill and share with our children. we choose the lifestyle we wish to offer them. We choose the role models we wish to be for them and we choose the stories we wish to tell them. Setting the intention of what: what do I want to give, teach, share, explore, learn, achieve, provide, inspire and develop for my children.
Attention – With every fiber of parental being, our time, talents, energies and resources – we devote to their health, growth, happiness and wellbeing. We give them what we feel is best for them to be able to thrive and self-actualize.
No tension – We then let go. We hope and pray that all our investments of mind, body and soul will pay off and that we will hopefully be blessed and privileged to raise competent, courageous, fulfilled, successful, independent, giving, caring, kind, sensitive, compassionate and offspring who are above all else  –  happy. Millions of parents from around the world want just this..
And as much as we play an essential role through our intentions and attentions in our parenting, it’s not entirely up to us. Yes, we can set our intentions as parents and yes, we can focus everything we could possibly be, do and have on our children and their best interests. We do our very best we can with what we have. And that is huge. And then we let them be.
This piece is to honor the millions of wonderful devoted mothers who boldly and lovingly make the momentous decision every minute of every day to “forever to have their heart go walking around outside their body”.

5 Ways to Attract Goodness

If we look for good, we will find good. If we look for bad, we will find bad. What we choose to focus our attention on grows stronger in our lives. Always.
Have you ever thought about how true this concept is when buying a car, starting a weight-loss program, or getting pregnant? Suddenly you happen to notice every car on the road, every new diet trend on the market, and every other pregnant woman or stroller walking down the street. That’s because what we choose to see, we will always find. Even without really actively seeking it – and so how much more so when do.
If we choose to focus our energies and resources on the things that are not working for us, our problems, our weaknesses, our mistakes – then that is certainly what we will find and what we will start to see more of in our lives. But when we choose to accentuate our strengths, abilities, possibilities and our successes, then these positives expand and we begin to have many more wins show up in our lives. Always.
So if we always find what we are looking for, then how can we direct our eyes to seek out good in this lifetime?
1. Make a Gratitude List. Write down everything you are grateful for in your life. Keep this list visible, updated and detailed.
2.  Create an accessible list of “chargers.” These include things, places, people that inspire, ignite, motivate and elevate you. Make sure to integrate these into your personal schedule in the same way you account for your professional timetable.
3. Record the events in your life that you are most proud of. Ask yourself what values are present in those situations. Use those values as key elements in your daily activities as a priority guide of what truly matters to your happiness, self-worth and fulfillment.
4.  During a challenge, ask yourself: what lesson could I potentially learn about myself and others from this experience that will grow me, change me for the better and strengthen me
5. Draw courage from your natural “superpower” of free-choice to actively choose to take meaning, positivity and good from everything that do.
Imagine all the beauty, miracles and wonders we could potentially miss out on if we don’t choose to find what is so often right in front of our very eyes.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Be of Service, Have Faith & Don’t Give Up!

A friend asked me the other day how is it possible that some people seem so in control, together, organized, inspired and above all else, happy?
Does life ever get to you? You somehow make living look so easy, what is your secret?
After much thought and processing, this was my reply to her powerful question.
I don’t think there is a mysterious secret to living a life of inspiration, gratitude, focus and happiness. I think that we have the magnificent ability and superpower to choose to live this way and we are lucky enough to reaffirm this decision every single day.
Yes, life throws us unexpected turns and twists all the time.
Yes, our plans somehow seem to make other plans of their own without our input and intervention. And yes, some of our outcomes aren’t always the most desirable and many hopeful expectations are left unmet.
Yes, life can get to us. If we let it.
Every morning, life gives us as much as it gets us.
And we are blessed with a second chance.
To be free to take responsibility for our actions and the consequences of all the incredible opportunities we are brave enough to take – before life gets to us. Being ahead simply means we prefer to receive everything life has to offer in the best way possible. Because we have so much to be thankful for and so much to be happy about.  And so much to look forward to. And we can all choose to see life this way.
Yes, life can so quickly get to us with the sadness, frustration, disappointment, fear, hatred, intolerance, vulnerabilities, disease, terror, hunger, poverty and extreme difficulties. But we can choose to take action and do something meaningful. We can choose to serve. We can choose to make a contribution. We can choose to be significant.
Is it easy? No way!
It takes hard work. It takes persistence and commitment to live a life that that’s filled faith that everything will always work itself out.
You get the life you have always dreamed of. You get the achievements you have always aimed for. You get the love you have always fantasized about, you get the career you have always driven towards and you get life the way you want it. You get life the way you ask for it. The key is this: Be of service, don’t give up, and have faith!

All We Have Is This Moment

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So many of us at some point in time appear stuck in romances that aren’t working, in jobs that feel meaningless, in bodies we occasionally despise, or in debt we feel helpless to resolve.
And we stay there. We don’t move. We don’t change. We stay still – but the clock still ticks.
Yes – much of our lives are spent waiting for the facts to change and for the right conditions to miraculously show up.
We don’t change because it is safe to stay where we are. We don’t change because we are scared to fail, and to succeed.
And we don’t change now because we think we will always have time, or find more time. And so we will only do so when we are forced to and no longer feel we have a choice.
Time is the one thing we cannot regenerate, even with advances in technology and science – we can’t stop the clock and go backwards.
And that’s why every second counts. And we can never get back a moment that was lost or an opportunity that was missed. Never.
All we have is now. And right now, in this moment, we can step up and play big.
We owe it to ourselves and the universe to create the moments we wish to experience. We owe it to ourselves and the universe to live the changes we want to see and make in our lives. Because this is our chance and if we waste this precious resource, we may not have another chance. We are alive now. Let’s take full advantage!
If we spend our life waiting for better, for more, for less, then all we will gain at the end of the day are hours lost and our current status quo.
Time is a funny thing. We spend so much of it living off the successes of our past accomplishments and memories or the hopes and dreams of what is yet to come in out futures.
And while we live then and there, we play so small here and now. Isn’t it ironic.
We have absolutely no control over how much of it we are blessed with, but we have absolute control over what we are going to do with it, while we have it.
Together, let’s decide to play big here and now.
  • To do what we love with everything we’ve got
  • To spend time with those we love and be present to every magical moment together
  • To honor our passions and talents and bring out our absolute best
  • To make a difference and leave a legacy by our service and contributions
  • To celebrate our life with gratitude, optimism and faith
  • To rejoice in our health and look after our bodies, minds and souls
Let’s make every second count.
Let’s use our time wisely – guard it, treasure it, live it well, with no regret.

5 Ways to Celebrate Life Everyday

Labor-Day-There is much excitement at home as we eagerly prepare for my son’s 6th birthday party. The invitations, the entertainment, the food, the presents and of course – the cake! Balloons, music, dancing and excitement fill the air and for one brief moment I think – wow, what if every day were like this?
Could we possibly be this excited every day?
Could we have something to look forward to everyday?
Could we spoil ourselves every day?
Could we possibly feel this loved and this special every day?
I know there is absolute reason to celebrate life everyday- in fact hundreds of reasons!
Here are just five:
1. Fill your home with flowers, love, and music . We don’t always need a specific reason or date to party. Life’s a party and the fact that we have so much to live for, appreciate and share is reason enough!
2. Spoil yourself. It doesn’t have to be something luxurious and expensive. But small treats and reinforcements for acknowledging how far you have come, how strong you are and how special you are is something we can do every day. Even allocating a few minutes of “me” time is a treasured treat for most of us.
3. Blessings and gratitude. We don’t need to let the people we love know it only once a year. We can make sure that the people who mean the most to us, always know they are valued, appreciated and needed. Not only when we thoughtfully create a birthday card filled with wishes, blessings and thanks – but every day, expressing how lucky we feel to have them in our world.
4. Dance. Moving your body is something we do every anyway so why not do it with style, passion and enthusiasm. The same way we feel free and full of energy on the dance floor, that’s how we can live every day. Play your favorite song and dance like no one’s watching you. Enjoy what you do and have fun!
5. Superpowers. On our birthday we feel special, purposeful, filled with hope and possibility – we are powerful. We forget that we have superpowers that are with us always and it is our choice whether we use them or not to do so much good in this world.
So let’s celebrate everything we are and everything we have with mind, body and soul!
We can’t regenerate time and we do not know how many birth dates we will get to mark off on our calendars. But we can absolutely celebrate our days right now, and not wait for that once a year because there’s no time like the present!

How do we discover greater purpose?

iStock_000002034604Small-e1400167280675I always loved school.
I was blessed with incredible friendships, a thirst for learning, excellent role-models and a well-rounded education.
And throughout my life I would constantly hear “Andi, you’re so much like your grandmother.”
One of my defining school moments was presenting a project about a person whom I deeply admired, a hero of sorts. I chose my grandmother – an inspirational woman of tremendous principle, whose life stood for care, empowerment, compassion and unwavering values. I recall her passion for beauty, simplicity and priority – her devotion to her marriage, motherhood and professionalism – the same things I strive for today. Her home always filled with flowers, love and literature. She opened my eyes wider to the world of real people, real issues, real pain, real joy. And she was a hero to so many, including myself.
Standing at my grandmother’s funeral, hearing my very sentiments echoed in the words “she truly left this world a better place to how she found it”, elements struck chords deep within – memories, hopes, gratitude for her legacy, and the unprecedented scope of people who came to pay respects.
It was very clear to every single one of us at that moment, that this was a life of dedicated service and contribution and this was a heroic human being who lived with tremendous purpose.
But how does one live fully?
How do we become more of who we are “meant to” become?
That I don’t have an exact answer to, however, there are five things I strongly believe in that I feel can help each and every one of us self-actualize:
1. I believe our talents and passions and our mission or calling in this lifetime are in fact one in the same and we must follow them.
2. I believe there are heroes all around us and there is much greatness we can learn and emulate from others.
3. I believe that if we choose to live with our personal heroes inside of us, not necessarily for what they do, but for who they are – we will live with greater purpose and meaning.
4. I believe that when we are functioning at our very best using everything we have, the world and our experiences in it will be all the more richer for it.
5. I believe we can all be someone’s hero.
What do you think?