Do You Live to Work?

Do you work to live or live to work? Maybe you are wondering what’s the difference.  Believe me, there is a huge difference.  No, this isn’t a plug for joining my direct sales company unless of course you are looking for some extra money or a career change…… Sorry I squirreled.  LOL.
This about this:   Happier people are more productive, thereby getting more work done in less time than others.
We all dream of working less, right?  A chance to maybe retire, focus more on your family and the other things which matter most.  I’m sure there are some who love their job – that’s awesome.  I mean work is wonderful when you are passionate about what you do.  But there is more to life than work.  Sadly, it took a diagnosis of MS and a relapse for me to realize it.  So what would it be like if you didn’t have as much?  What would you do with the extra time?  Who would you spend it with?  This could mean reducing your hours at your current job, stop taking work home nights, weekends and vacation or maybe eventually stop working all together to focus on your family.  Now, I know this is a luxury for many but here are 4 strategies from Valorie Burton which might help:

1. Restructure your day and break bad work habits.

Are you working too many empty hours? Could/should a 50-hour workweek really be a 40-hour week? Many workers work hard, but not smart. I definitely fell into this category when I was working.  If I only knew working less was a matter of breaking some bad work habits. Actually, for me, it was substituting one addiction for another.  If you are the first one in and the last one out every day (yup that was me most days), something might be wrong.  Try to create a personal deadline to force yourself out of the office.   Maybe schedule a 5:30 dinner date or class at the gym so you have to leave the office on time. This one was always tough for me, I was usually late for the appointment after work.  Maybe you need to find ways to eliminate distractions to use your time in the office more efficiently.  My biggest distraction was my need to fix, manage and control situations.

 

2. If you want to work fewer than 40 hours, know your company.

Does your company allow for it?  How will it effect your future goals in the company or in life?  There are still places where working less means no or slow promotions. Are okay with that?  Then there are those businesses who love to spend less money on employees who can give them more bang for their buck. In those companies, scaling back is not necessarily a career killer—as long as you make an impact. If you work fewer hours but give your all and make a contribution to the bottom line, you will always be seen as a valuable player. So part of the strategy for working less is being strategic and performing at your best, whether you’re working 40 hours a week or 20.

 

3. Can you afford to work fewer than 40 hours? If so, make a plan.

Are you prepared for this financially?   Usually the main reasons to work is to earn a living and pay bills.  The doors open wide when you live below your means. If you quit your job or scale back your hours, would you be able to make it? If not, make a plan to get to the point where you don’t have to work so much. Trim your expenses and save, save, save!  I was a paycheck to paycheck person.  I was definitely not ready to work less than 40 hours per week or leave a salaried job.  No plan, just dove in leaving a great job due to health issues “assuming” someone would want to hire me closer to home at less hours.  A story for another time.  LOL.

 

4. If you want to work fewer than 40 hours, ask yourself if it is time to switch careers.

This option would be a long-term solution—a higher-paying job down the road for fewer hours than you work now. Ask yourself, “What opportunity would allow me to earn more for my time?”  Lots of people transition into new lines of work – direct sales.  One good thing of a forced transition is the opportunity to reevaluate your options. A different career path could dramatically increase your income while demanding less of your time. You may need time to prepare or train, but it can be a smart, long-term solution.   This may be awesome for someone thinking of starting a family who doesn’t want to work long hours as a parent.  Think ahead and plan for a transition to working less.

 

I challenge you to dream big. It’s possible to work less in your future and maintain a happy life.  Ask yourself these basic questions:

  • What would it look like for you to work less?
  • Does this idea appeal to you? Why or why not?
  • If you’d like to make it happen, what is your vision for it?

Have a blessed day!

Happy No Brainer Day

its-a-no-brainer

No, I’m not kidding!  Today is actually “No Brainer Day”

Have you ever wanted a day dedicated to doing something simple, easy, obvious, and/or totally logical?  For me, I usually need make every morning start like this as a result of the MS.  But I also get to have days like this because I love what I do.  Working for myself, loving the work I do all make it so much easier to have this kind of day.  Don’t get me wrong, I  have days where I think, plan, and analyze but they are scheduled to keep life simple.  So, if you have a project which requires thinking, studying, or analysis of any kind, today would NOT be the day to do it.  LOL!

Having my own business, I love finding simple solutions for my customers using our amazing Thirty One products.  My office systems are simple and make things easy for me to stay on top of things.

Yes, it is one of those random holidays but here is the origin as posted on holiday insights

This day was created by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith, ‘America’s Premier Eventologist’ – per Insight Magazine – Washington, DC – August, 1995, and ‘The Premier Eventologist in the History of the World – per The Chicago Tribune – Chicago, Il – January 2001.

So today I will be a billboard for my business as I shop, run errands and drive around town. I will be creative as I work on some new angel designs.  Are there really a “no-brainer”? As long as I don’t stress about numbers, sales and the end of the month crunch – it will be simple and easy.  The systems I have in  place to make this purse gig totally logical.  Plain and simple – maybe every day should be a no-brainer day.  What do you think?

What you will be doing on “No Brainer Day”?  Share how you will be spending your day.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Help! My Job is Killing Me!


Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message.

I recently stopped at a local discount store to pick up a few things. When I went to check out, the cashier looked very familiar. He must have seen the question in my eyes because he smiled and said, “It’s good to see you, Mrs. Southerland.” When I heard his voice, I immediately recognized him as the manager of a local grocery store where I frequently shopped. Before I could say one word, he explained, “I lost my job at the grocery store. Evidently, I needed to change mission fields for a while.” Now that is what I call a heavenly perspective of an earthly job.

God uses our work as one of His tools to mold us into who He wants us to be. Stress comes when we view our job as our main life mission. It isn’t. It is the God-given opportunity to provide the tools we need to accomplish our life mission.

The apostle Paul writes, “Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love” (Acts 20:24, LB).

Paul worked as a tentmaker, a church planter, and an author. His purpose never changed, but his work certainly did. Many of us do not need a different job. We just need a different attitude and a new point of view about the job we have.

How do we make that happen?

Start by envisioning Jesus standing in the midst of your work place as your real boss. Then look for the life lessons God provides through your work.

God uses our work to teach us responsibility. Meeting deadlines, completing assigned tasks with excellence, showing respect for co-workers (even the abrasive ones) and working without supervision are all valuable life lessons learned on the job. When we try to cut corners, stress steps in and wreaks havoc in our attitude about work.

God uses people at work to teach us valuable lessons about relationships. Cooperation, fairness, flexibility, humility, and patience are relationship skills of a successful worker. Stress comes when we stray from the guidelines God gives us for godly relationships. Our workplace is not only one of our God-ordained mission fields, but it is also a classroom for learning to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgivable. You may very well be the only sermon your co-workers ever hear.

God uses our work to teach us how to serve. The way we serve God is by serving others. God wants us to grow spiritually at work by becoming a servant to those with whom we work. It is easy to serve the people who sit beside us in a worship service each Sunday, but a real servant serves on the job … every single day. God asks us to accept others unconditionally, encourage other continually, forgive others freely, and help others willingly.

Attitudes never sit still. They constantly move and change.

An attitude is a pattern of thinking and a filter through which we view life.

We can choose to be honest about our attitude at work, and we can choose to change our attitude about work, but most importantly, we can choose to pray for God’s attitude about our work. When we can’t change our attitude, the One who lives in us can. He can give us His attitude. Exchanging our attitude for His always eliminates stress.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

In Want or in Plenty: Real Ways to Create Contentment in Your Life

Thank you Kathi Lipp for today’s message…

On that sunny August day, I thought my life couldn’t get much worse.

Recently separated from my husband and with no support from him, I was teetering on the financial edge. My kids and I had just moved in with my parents, and I was desperately looking for a job to support my two middle schoolers.

I thought about our old life where the only thing I needed to get them ready for a new school year was a debit card and a couple trips to the mall. With school only a few weeks away, I didn’t know where I’d get the money to buy clothes and shoes or pay for annual physicals.

That was fifteen years ago.

Today, I do have enough, but the dread of not having what I need can still make me sick to my stomach.

We live in a tiny house, but one that is situated in the most expensive county in the US, with plenty of food, enough money to buy clothes we need and go out to dinner occasionally. Even take an occasional vacation.
This is the land of plenty. No doubt about it.

But what I’ve discovered? There are benefits and drawbacks to both.

When I was in want, we pulled together what we needed with the help of my parents, hand-me-downs from friends, Goodwill, and a small amount of surprise money that showed up in our mailbox. We didn’t have extra, but we had exactly what we needed.

Living in want is a scary place to be, whatever your want may be. But the other thing I discovered about living in want? It gives you plenty of room to see and experience God’s provision first hand, evidence of God’s care and provision for me and my kids.

Now, living in plenty? Whew! Finally, you can be relieved of the day-to-day worry about how you’re going to pay the rent, or the next car payment. But there is a drawback to living in plenty: You can forget to notice all the miracles around you.

We falsely believe we are making things happen—and that can even turn into thinking if only people were as ______________ (conscientious, hard-working, smart, etc.) as us, they would not be in want.

And suddenly we forget about the love, graciousness and strength only God can provide in both of these times.

So how do we stay content in a world that actively works to keep us discontent?

Limit your time around agents of discontent.

Where does your discontentment grow? For me, it’s looking at Pinterest or home decorating sites. I see all-white country chic homes and am transported into another world—until I have to come back to earth and see my stained carpets, saggy couches and 1970’s bathroom. Not only can I become dissatisfied, I can project that dissatisfaction onto my husband, who works hard to provide for me.

I’ve learned to limit myself when it comes to my house. Currently, we are replacing our carpets with flooring. Instead of spending months perusing different websites, I’m heading to Home Depot. No muss. No fuss.

Get radically, ridiculously grateful.

This is an exercise I do when I need to recalibrate my gratefulness. Notice how many things you have directly around you.

As I write this, within a foot of me are:

2 Bibles
A notebook and pen
A coffee cup with hot coffee in it
A banana peel from the banana I just ate
A tray a good friend gave me
A couch I’m sitting on
A quilt my mom made me
My dog cuddling with me
Just noticing the blessings in my immediate surroundings changes my perspective.

Here is what I know from reading God’s word: We need to set our hearts on God and not our circumstances. We must learn to live both in want and in plenty.

God will meet us, no matter our situation. Our ability to be content is not determined by our circumstances, but our connection to Him.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Getting Unstuck

unknown

Are you stuck?  Maybe in the same job, you don’t like?  Maybe financially unable to pay down debt, just maintaining the status quo?  Maybe it is trying to get off those few pounds of winter weight BEFORE the warmer weather finally arrives?

You can get unstuck in just THREE simple steps.  If you are like me, you are wondering why no one ever told you this before, right?  It almost seems like the “magic wand” to getting unstuck.  Andy Andrews is AMAZING.  If you haven’t read his books, get busy because you will be motivated in a way you have never been before.

When you hear success stories about other people, do they feel unrealistic?  The truth is there is a way for you to get unstuck and start living a life you want to live…

Here is Andy Andrew’s 3 step process:

1. Identify where you want to go.

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First, you need to know what your end goal is so you know where you’re going. Think about it…. if you could wave a magic wand and make your life look like anything you want, what would it look like?

  • Where would you live?
  • What would you be most excited about?
  • Who would you spend most of your time with?
  • How would you feel when you wake up in the morning?
  • What problems and fears would no longer weigh down your thoughts?

Remember NOTHING is impossible so answer them honestly. This is how you will identify your target.

2. Align your life with your key talents.

The path you choose in life needs to be aligned with your talents because they reveal what you were made to do.

If your dream is to be a professional singer but you the gift of voice or pitch, it won’t happen. Get the picture of how to pick your path based on your key talents.  Believe it or not, the right path will begin to open up and become clearer than ever when you are using your key talents.

Not sure what you are talented in?  Everyone has talents – most have multiple talents.  Here are two things which hold you back from identifying those talents:

1. It’s much harder to evaluate our own talents than the talents of others.

Overconfident people tend to inflate their talents which don’t match up with reality, while people who lack confidence tend to massively overlook or undersell their talents.  Discovering your talent will begin to increase your level of belief in yourself.

2. We tend to have a narrow definition of talent.

Maybe you don’t think you have “cool talents” like running fast or singing great. What I have found, is one of my talents is making people smile when they are struggling which can help to make a huge differences in their lives. My biggest fear is “how will earn an income from it?”, but the truth is when I stopped worrying about it and started making a difference, things slowly started to happen.  I am working on building on it and making it the foundation of my career.

3. Discover the skills you can develop to complement your talent.Think of your talent as your main asset.  Then add your skills to the mix and they will help to make your talent  stronger.  Skills can be learned and you can incorporate just about any skill into your life.  It is important to identify the right skills to complement your talent.

If you’re a great singer, you’ll probably want to hone your stage presence.  As for me, I am finding my writing is am important skill – this blog.  So I am working on my writing skills.  I am also working on ways to make a difference each day in someone’s life.

So ask yourself…

  • What skill would allow me to impact more lives with my talent?
  • Is someone with a similar talent using it to do great work? What skills do they seem to possess?
  • Who do I have to become to live a life in perfect alignment with my gifts?

Keep asking yourself these questions.  As you build your foundation, the answers will change.  Believe it or not, you will become more valuable than you could ever imagine.

A word of caution: It’s important to keep in mind that no pathway in life is straight—no matter where you’re going or where you want to go, you have to be flexible.

Consider the bumps along the way as an essential part of the process instead of setbacks.  Don’t let “Negative Nellie” zap your energy and steal your dream.

What ways are you developing your skills and using your talents? Tell me in the comments!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!