Monthly Archives: December 2014

Week 13 – Persistence: Cause or Effect?

When I was a little girl, my dad would go out and ride his bike.  Like most little girls who wanted to spend time with their daddy, I would want to go bike riding, too.

My dad was older than me (obviously!), stronger than me, had more experience riding a bike than me, AND he had a ten-speed bike.

I, on the other hand, was young, inexperienced, and had a one-speed bike…MINE.  My bike would only go as fast as my little legs could peddle.

Together we rode up and down hills that left me red-faced and huffing and puffing trying to keep up.  Dad would always ask if I wanted to stop and rest, and I would always refuse.

I can do it!  I can keep up!

Dad always said I was quite a “stubborn little girl.”

As I grew older, he began referring to me as a “determined young lady.”

Whatever terminology he used…I always considered myself to be persistent.

Persistence is defined as:  firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Yep!  That’s me!

I refused to back down, admit defeat, or request special treatment.

I will persist until I succeed.
I will persist.  I will win.
~Og Mandino

I have read these words as directed in The Greatest Salesman in the World, and I’ve been thinking about how I have persisted in my life…and how I have quit…and what that has cost me.

And I’ve recently changed my thoughts about persistence, because in the MKMMA we learned that persistence is a HABIT.  Persistence is not the CAUSE of success, but rather the EFFECT that is created as a result of four tiny habits:

  1. A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.
  2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
  3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestion of relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
  4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.

Hmmm…

So…to develop the HABIT of persistence, I must first have a definite purpose, a definite plan, a positive mental attitude, and a friendly alliance.

Where I have succeeded in life, I have had a strong grasp on the four tiny habits.  Where I have quit, I have lacked one (or more!) of the four tiny habits.

We are only halfway through the MKMMA course, and I KNOW I am strengthening ALL of these habits…

…and the RESULT is the HABIT of persistence.

To create this new habit, I am reminded that I must start each day anew with my habits:

I forget the happenings of the day that is gone, whether they were good or bad, and greet the new sun with confidence that this is the best day of my life…
…If I persist long enough I win.

I’m still that little girl:  stubborn, determined, persistent.

I’m just creating new habits.

I persist.  I win.

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Week 12 – The Powerful Trio of Knowledge, Courage, & Faith

As a child I would drag books to my mother and ask her to read to me.  She would ultimately read each book to me so many times that I could “read” these book myself, because I knew what was said on each page.

That kicked off a lifelong obsession for learning.  I enjoyed school.  I enjoyed learning.  (Until I got to subjects like calculus…YUCK!)

To this day, I still enjoy learning new things, whether it’s learning a new skill, a new hobby, or something about myself.   Among the more unusual subject I’ve studied are salsa dancing, cooking, bartending, jewelry making, handwriting analysis, tarot card reading, reading body language, handgun safety & shooting, home organization…well, you get the picture.  It’s all over the board.

And that’s just the “fun” stuff.  Then there’s the skills and business development studies, as well as the personal development programs.

A big in-your-face lesson lesson for me this week is that I have been accumulating a vast array of KNOWLEDGE, yet over the past few years, I haven’t had the COURAGE to dare, much less the FAITH to do.

Knowledge-Courage-Faith

What’s wrong with that?

KNOWLEDGE DOES NOT APPLY ITSELF.

I have all the knowledge I need to succeed…if I would just apply it.

So why haven’t I had the courage to do it?

I never felt like an “expert” compared to the so-called “experts” out there…so I kept learning until my knowledge was “perfect.”

This habit of obtaining knowledge and seeking perfectionism has not served me well.  I have been on the sidelines while others have advanced.  So I am dismissing it.

So how do I summon the courage?
By taking a leap of faith.

Throughout the MKMMA course we’ve been told to “have faith in the process.”

That’s not always easy for me…especially when the process involves something that’s out of my comfort zone.

But I’ve kept the faith and trusted the process throughout the course, including this week’s task of creating two sets of “flash cards,” each with an affirmation or an achievement (big or small) on each card.

I kept a set of these “flash cards” with me at all times, and read through them several times a day.

And you know what?

It triggered something within me.

All the constant reminders of the successes I’ve had in the PAST have created a burning desire within me for successes in my PRESENT and my FUTURE.

And what does a burning desire plus the affirmation “Do It Now!” do?

It creates action.  Now.

I’ve done more this week — and more efficiently — than I have in a long time.

I’ve learned.  I’ve implemented.  I’ve made PROGRESS toward my goals.

Because I Have KNOWLEDGE of My Power,
The COURAGE to Dare,
And the FAITH to Do.
And that makes me UNSTOPPABLE!

Week 11 – I Don’t Give a Damn About My Reputation

You may be wondering about the title of this post…

Or you may be wondering about ME for making a post with this title…

That’s OK…

‘CAUSE I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT MY REPUTATION!

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you REALLY are, while your reputation is merely what others THINK you are.    ~ John Wooden

Since the last few years have been “character-building years” for me, this quote really struck a chord.  Now, combine that with my being a child of the 80s, and what do you get?

I’ve liked Joan Jett’s music since the “I Love Rock n Roll” album debuted in 1981.  I didn’t realize until this week that the band was rejected by 23 record labels.

Does the phrase “I will persist until I succeed” mean anything to you?  Oh, hell to the yeah!

But I digress…

squirrel

What truly impacted me this week was the importance of character.  I’ve always valued character, along with it’s twin sister integrity, and it’s a line I just don’t cross.  Furthermore, I don’t associate with those that cross the line.

Yet over the past few years I’ve struggled with maintaining my character and integrity and doing what is right…not because I didn’t want to…but because I did.

I was tempted (oh-so-many times) to loosen the reigns on my character after watching the “success” of another individual who believed in “winning at all costs,” regardless of the casualties left in their wake.

As a result,

My reputation suffered.  My confidence suffered.  My business suffered.

But my CHARACTER remained intact.  Neither my body nor my mind could take actions that went against my character, because that’s who I REALLY AM.  And I’m a better person for it.  I can look myself in the eye every evening and say – with confidence – I LOVE YOU, STACY RYAN!  (And mean it.)

I can rebuild a reputation.  I have the knowledge, the tools, and, thankfully, my confidence has returned from it’s sabbatical.

Character is everything.

So yeah,

I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT MY REPUTATION!  (Oh, no…not me!)

Week 10 – The Power of Combinations

I’ve been thinking a lot about combinations this week.  We live in a world chock-full of combinations.

Think about it…

You go to a restaurant, and what’s on the menu? Combo plates! In fact, you typically order your food by number:  “I’ll have the #7, please.”

Why is that?

McDonald’s may have kicked off the combo movement with the phrase “Would you like fries with that?”  

And it caught on.

Why?

Because it worked.  Offering combos and “value meals” increased McDonald’s revenues, and not by a little…it increased revenues exponentially.

McDonald’s is a savvy business powerhouse…they’re not going to continue doing anything that isn’t making them money.  So that means we’re on to something here…

…but that’s not where the story ends.

Overcoming Adversity

In my kickboxing classes, they teach us combinations of moves, such as jab-cross-hook-front kick, because any combination of moves is exponentially more powerful than the individual moves.

Do you enjoy music?  (I do!)  Take any piece of music, and it’s a combination of different instruments, playing different notes at different speeds.  Individually, each instrument might sound good…but put them all together, and add vocals (or not), and WOW!  The sum of the parts is exponentially better than the individual sounds.

The same can be said for colors, dancing, cooking, mixology (a personal favorite of mine!), … well, the list includes just about everything!

I write this as my fiancé and I are combining households.  As we unpack, we learn that there are things we have duplicates (or triplicates, or even quadruplets!) of, things we have that are unique and complementary, and things we both lack…often items we’ve never individually had a need a for.

As individuals, we complement one another nicely, and the two of us are, indeed, exponentially better than our already fabulous individual selves.  Together, we are the creative AND the analytical.  We are the free spirit and the grounding force.  We are the warrior and the peacemaker.  We see different perspectives of the same issue, and are able to add value to the other person.

The same goes for our personal development.

By combining the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic senses together in unique and powerful ways we are “putting our foot on the accelerator” to reach our goals.

And now, my goal is to create a “Menu of Combinations” designed to help me reach my goals in life.