Modus Operandi

How do you operate? How do you decide what’s for lunch? What time to wake up? Or what to say? How do you weigh your options? Do you think about how your decisions will affect your future?

If you keep repeating a wrong decision it starts to become your standard, your M.O.

So what will you choose?

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Day 2 of Self-Discipline is about considering how my choices affect the future me. Here are a few things I would like to try to work on

  1. Email or Texting someone back right away instead of waiting until I am comfortable to answer. I can always say, “I’m working on this, and I will get back to you.” At least they know I read the message.
  2. Not Drinking soda or energy drinks. In the moment this drink may be satisfying or seem as though it is boosting my energy but is it? Or is it psychological?  Could I drink some water, get more sleep or eat a healthier breakfast and avoid this whole situation??
  3. Not hitting snooze. This is an everyday struggle. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. I must remind myself that it is not an “alarm clock” I’m waking up to but an “opportunity clock.” The day awaits, I mustn’t waste it away. There is so much I could get done in the morning, but instead I give myself the minimum amount of time to get ready and get to work.
  4. Finishing what I start. I commit to a book, an online course, a fitness program, but then I let myself get distracted. I lose my spot. I’m thrown off course. I have to go back and reread. I lose my progress. This, in turn, wastes time. When I could be moving on to the next, I am stuck among the unfinished.

Don’t let “life get in the way” this is your life! It is what you make of it. Yes, there will be times of sadness, frustration, celebration and more. But this is no excuse to make decisions to set you back. Let your M.O. be something you can be proud of, exhibit habits others look up to you for having. We must stay strong in good times and bad.

Tell those around you what you need from them to keep you going in the direction of your ultimate self. When you’re starting to make changes in your life you are not the only one it affects. But in the end, everyone will benefit!

Live the hard way and make your choices wisely <3

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Inspiration Self-Discipline

Start Bucket Listing Today!

As a blogger you quickly become a list maker…if you weren’t already one. I’ve always been a collector, a compiler, a gatherer.

Today I’ve created a list of bucket lists. Yes, that’s right. A list of lists.

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Everyone has that never-ending to-do list of things they want to try, places they want to go, things they want to learn. And now I dare you to rally those ideas and thoughts. Corral the to-dos and to-don’ts. Lay it all on the table. And make your list(s).

It can be a….

  • Standard Life Bucket List (Include it all!)
  • University Pride Bucket List
  • Travel Bucket List
  • 30 things by 30 years old Bucket List
  • Season Specific Bucket List
  • This Month Bucket List
  • Sporting Event Bucket List
  • City Specific Bucket List
  • Country Specific Bucket List
  • Skills/Knowledge Bucket List
  • Must See in Concert Bucket List
  • Books to Read Bucket List
  • Movies to See Bucket List

The list of lists can go on and on!

Becoming ultimate is about doing. It’s about giving, learning, growing, and just plain living. Take hold of opportunities and run with them. Clench your fists and say yes to a challenge! I recommend the “Life Bucket List” to all. The “big list,” the “ultimate list.” This includes everything, but particularly your long term goals.

The rest of the lists include short term, very achievable goals. Perhaps one you can accomplish this week, or today! The short term items will act as stepping stones or benchmarks to your long term items. If you achieve everything on your “this month” list think of how much progress you’re making on the big list!

Of course, if you’re anything like me this list will keep growing as you experience new things. But you’ll only become that much more interesting.

Below are some possible list making tools and bucket list examples:

For the digital note taker, evernote.com – or any standard note app.

For the Journal Junkie, My Ultimate Bucket List Journal – a journal made specifically for Bucket Lists…there’s quite a few out there.

For the Creative Journal Junkie, http://bulletjournal.com/ – Explore the amazing world of bullet journaling to make your lists with organization and a little pizazz!

For the social goal setter, www.bucketlist.org/ – a website to create your list, get ideas from others and communicate with other bucket listers.

For the quiz taker and challenge starter, http://www.listchallenges.com/ –  tons of pre-made lists to inspire your own and see where you stand today.

To spark your interests, https://personalexcellence.co/blog/bucket-list/

More examples, https://daringtolivefully.com/bucket-list-ideas

For the millennial woman, http://bucketlistbombshells.com/ – An inspiration.

For everyone, my personal favorite bucket lister, http://bucketlistjourney.net/my-bucket-list/ – She’s amazing.

Make your list and try to check one thing off by the end of the week! It can be simple! But make it about something YOU want to do. We’re not talking about chores or errands! Do something for yourself.

Please share!! I will do the same.

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Inspiration Journaling Lists

Building Your Legacy Through Reminiscence

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“You have a four-fold life to live: a body, a brain, a heart and a soul . . . these are your living tools. To use and develop them is not a task. . . . It is a golden opportunity.”

~ William H. Danforth,  I Dare You!

Day to day, I try to focus on balancing a four-fold life by acknowledging the physical, mental, social and spiritual impacts and benefits of life experiences.  In many instances of Reminiscence Therapy research I am finding the benefits of the recollection of stories, life lessons, feelings, smells etc. in all four of these areas. Most of the articles recommend this therapy for patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s  but I think it is important for all ages and variations of mental health.

Today I found an organization, by luck of the search, called LifeBio. They provide a service to help family members get to know each other in a way they didn’t realize they could.

Now, I haven’t used this service or done much more research on the organization, but I think the idea is wonderful. I found the post below in the LifeBio blog:

http://www.lifebio.org/about-us/blog/storytelling-for-health-and-wellbeing/

Storytelling is powerful and it is natural.  Why should it be encouraged?  Because it is also good for people’s health and sense of wellbeing.

Here is how LifeBio sees reminiscence touching ALL dimensions of wellness, and why it cannot be ignored as a tool to use with seniors at home, in senior living, assisted living, nursing homes, or with those who have memory challenges.  Besides unlocking a fascinating story, it leads to an amazing opportunity for engagement.

  • Physical – Activate the hippocampus area of brain where memories are stored.  “Autobiography for older adults is like chocolate for the brain,” said Dr. Gene Cohen in a conversation with Beth Sanders, Founder of LifeBio.
  • Spiritual – Deeply touch people as they share beliefs, values, life lessons, etc.
  • Occupational – This gives people an important job to do.  Creating a LEGACY.
  • Emotional – Joys and challenges are recorded and shared.  LifeBio has been found to increase happiness and satisfaction with life.  “Get it off your chest.”
  • Environmental – Life stories build a strong sense of community.
  • Intellectual – Life stories help people learn about themselves and about other people.  Fascinating new knowledge and people learn to listen.
  • Social – People form new bonds with their neighbors and become friends through the power of story.

And there they are, the four-fold and more. The one I found of particular interest is the occupational dimension. “Creating a LEGACY.” 

This is what Downright Ultimate is all about. A legacy is an important part of reaching ultimacy.  We strive to do things that we will be remembered by while we are becoming ultimate.

So let’s do this! If we remember the books that made us think, the toys that made us giggle, the songs that made us dance, the jokes that made us laugh, then we can share these things with others in hopes they will go on to share them too.

Legacy is being created before your eyes. Reminiscence and storytelling give us the opportunity to relive the best moments to pass on the joy and the worst moments to pass on the wisdom.

Think about filmmaking.  We watch many of the movies and television shows that we do because we feel like we’ve connected to the story. Filmmakers do this on purpose. They take memories of their own and add a taste of humor, a lovable best friend, an unexpected twist and we’re hooked. It makes us think, feel and relate.

Okay, you’re right, we won’t all become the next Speilberg, but we should tell our stories. And more importantly, we must listen to other people’s stories. When Grandpa says, “Back in my day …” don’t look away, Grandpa is about to drop some wisdom.

It may seem small, but the sharing of that one lesson or song or joke or quote can make a huge difference.

So now, I encourage you all to recall a time or an object in your life. Look for a time of peace, happiness, humor, adventure, surprise; Or if it’s an object, look for a special memento, an old record, an old photo, a game you used to play, a song you like to sing. Now go tell someone about it. Tell ME about it! Or better yet, blog about it! Tell a story that reminds you that you are a living, breathing, feeling being. Connect with yourself and your family or friends or readers.

Reminisce and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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four-fold life Inspiration

A Memory: Lift Up Your Foot

Before I switched over to Downright Ultimate I wrote/recorded this post for my previous blog, Twenty-two Leaf Clover. I hope to provide audio for future posts as well! But I wanted to share this one because it reminds me of what I went through to get where I am and how I will continue to get through tough career choices and life decisions. Jen Sincero’s wisdom gets me every time!

“In order to kick ass, you must first lift up your foot. —Jen Sincero; author, coach, self-quoter”

For the past month and a half, I have been unemployed. Graduating college and trying to find a job is probably one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Finding a job, in general, is hard, but there is that added stress right after college. You spend four years preparing for your career in an established institution … You graduate … Then you decide to get an advanced degree, that’s two more years (for me)! Everyone says how proud they are of you and that you can do anything, but for some reason, you feel no sense of accomplishment. You apply, and apply, and apply and then you wait.

But then … You start receiving replies! All at once, several companies you’ve applied to decide to reach out to you within a couple days of each other. At last, Skype interviews commence, phone interviews begin. A couple of places bring you in for in-person interviews. And then … You wait some more.

It is borderline torturous.

You try to keep yourself busy but your stream of consciousness goes something like this …

Where else could I apply? What’s close… I don’t have a car. Could I ride my bike that far? Does that bike even work? Where could I get a bike for cheap? I guess I could borrow my brother’s car sometimes, or my mom’s. What could I do at home? There’s got to be a way to make money at home, something … I have bills coming, maybe I can call to lower my payment. Being an adult sucks. Ugh, I’m gonna watch Netflix.

One Hour Later

Okay, back to work. Indeed.com, here we go. What other skills can I search? Am I good enough though … I need to work on my portfolio … (opens WordPress) … I need to get better at this, and this, and this … (opens lynda.com) … Oh, let’s learn about this!

One Hour Later

Ugh, I’ve been sitting here too long. I should workout. Gosh, I wish I had money for a gym membership. Maybe I could work at a gym? Okay, one more application. Must … Earn … Money … Man I’m hungry. Damnit, I need money for that too.

This continues, day after day. Depression and anxiety start to take over. You start to think to yourself, “It’s over, I’ll live on the street … ” “I am not good enough” “No one wants to hire me” “I just will sleep forever, and watch Netflix … damn that costs money too”

Slams head on desk.

Then you realize something. It’s all a process. A journey with ups and downs, twists, and turns. This is the world we live in. All of these wonderful people in my life tell me I can do this, am I missing something? This is when I turned to my books …

During my job search process, I finally reached the “inspired” phase. Mostly because I started reading the book, You Are a Badassby Jen Sincero. There’s something about a stranger telling me, that I’m a badass, that made me want to read more… how does she know? This surely can’t apply to everyone.

I was wrong. The following passages changed my perspective…

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”

“You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you.”

“Nobody who ever accomplished anything big or new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone. They risked ridicule and failure and sometimes even death.”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.     —Lao Tzu; ancient Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism, could have been one guy or a mythical compilation of many, nobody really knows for sure” 

― Jen SinceroYou Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

This book has changed my life and I highly recommend it! (Especially the audiobook). This book got me to today, the day I am proud to announce that I have been offered a position at the University of Michigan as an AV Technician! Go blue!

We all go through changes and stressful times, where it feels like no one else understands…and honestly, they don’t. I don’t care what anyone says … Because you are the only you. You are the only one who knows how you feel. You are the only one who can make decisions towards the ultimate you. Just know, that you are loved. By the universe, the people and things and experiences that make you happy, and that make you come alive, you are loved. And in time, your badass self will take the next step towards your next adventure, you just have to lift up your foot.

<3

Adulting Career Inspiration

Literary Bucket List

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Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown¹

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Animal Farm by George Orwell*

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro

The Art of a Memoir by Mary Karr

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

The Body Book by Cameron Diaz

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (NEW)

Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Salinger*

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Children of Men P.D. James

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride*

Cut by Patricia McCormick*

Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther

Divergent by Veronica Roth¹

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury*

Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin

The Giver by Lois Lowry*

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks*

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens¹

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*

Hamlet by Shakespeare

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad*

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien¹

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster*

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I Dare You! by William H. Danforth**

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali*

In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer*

I’ll Let you Go by Bruce Wagner

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler*

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Like Switch by Marvin Karlins, Jack Schafer

Looking For Alaska by John Green

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold¹

Macbeth by Shakespeare

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey¹

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder*

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich*

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

The Odyssey by Homer

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey*

Ordinary People by Judith Guest*

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Pigman by Paul Zindel

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver*

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving¹

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Room by Emma Donoghue

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A Separate Piece by John Knowles

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Stone Garden by Molly Moynahan

The Stranger by Albert Camus*

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe*

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Too Far by Rich Shapero

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks¹

Wicked by Gregory Maguire¹

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero**

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What’s on your to-read list???

I’m always ready for recommendations!

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Inspiration Learning