• “Success is not to be pursued;
    it is to be attracted by the person you become.”

    ~ Jim Rohn ~

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    This headline really got my attention this morning: Do You Have Inspiration Deficit Disorder?

    While I’m not a fan of negative labeling, I’ve learned that most people are more apt to first pay attention to the problems in their lives and then how to solve them and wait for inspiration to arrive. If that’s you, stop waiting. What often happens is that we get stuck in retelling the problem instead of taking inspired action and creating an inspiring result.

    For as long as I’ve been researching, speaking, consulting and coaching on how to stay inspired and enthusiastic through challenge and change, one of the most common “Yeah, but” responses I hear from people is that the idea of living an inspired life is a luxury to experience after you’ve slogged through the hard stuff rather than a necessity that will ease you through the hard times – and in some situations even prevent unnecessary hard times that we’ve self-created. What side of the fence is your mind leaning on? Continue reading »

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  • Think about all the different ways you’ve appreciated your mother over the years. What kind of gifts have you given her? Preprinted cards? Flowers? Candy? Jewelry? Clothing? I’m sure your mother enjoyed them, but have you ever wondered what she’d buy herself under the same circumstances?

    In a national retailers’ poll of mothers, 49 percent of mothers expected flowers; 13 percent said they wanted them. It’s presence, not presents, that count. How much time do spend with your mother? And how much of that time do you both enjoy? Continue reading »

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  •  

    “Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
    Choose your words, for they become actions.
    Understand your actions, for they become habits.
    Study your habits, for they will become your character.

    Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

    ~ Unknown ~

    Staying inspired and taking action isn’t just about having a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). It also requires good – and sometimes seemingly small and inconsequential-in-the-moment – daily habits.

    While I’ve been blessed with success in my life, I have to admit that breaking bad habits and creating new healthy ones for me is challenging more often than not. And as I’ve discovered from all the self-help and organizing books and systems on the market, it is for millions of other people too. How about you?

    I still have to remind myself to stop doing certain actions and start doing other actions that you’d think I’d have learned as a child. One of them is putting my belongings back where they belong immediately after I use them. Like my car keys. And my cell phone.

    This works…when I follow it.

    MAJOR TIP: And that’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? Making the decision to follow the steps we know we need to take to create and reinforce good habits and break unhealthy ones so that we do these things without even thinking about it and break through to reach the BHAG. Did you know new research shows that it takes less than a half second to make that new choice? A HALF SECOND!

    Pause for a half second before you’re about to repeat that bad habit you already know you don’t want to do, think about the BHAG result you want, and make a different choice! After a half second the urge dissipates and making a better choice is easier. Repeated daily, this single action pays dividends for the rest of your life!

    TIP: If I’m really paying attention to that IV (Inner Voice) Drip filled with smart thinking, I make that half second choice in the moment to follow that good habit. Difficult at times, and I’m not always successful, but the payoff is ALWAYS worthwhile, especially long term. As the great Jim Rohn said, “Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.”

    TIP: I was a smoker from the time I was 15 years old until age 32. I quit when I realized my animals ran away from the smoke and I finally noticed that non-smoking clients did that “whiff” test where their heads jerked and their faces frowned as I came within smell distance. Quitting wasn’t easy, but I did it and I use that success as a reminder when I am working on creating major habit changes like the way I use credit and where I spend my money and resisting fast food.

    TIP: There’s this saying that I hear in my head occasionally (as in not often enough) when I’m about to deter from following a good habit – “How you do anything is how you do everything.” It’s a good reminder for me that small good habits lead to big good habits, higher self-esteem, and better results in all aspects of my life.

    RESOURCE: To help you form better habits and change ones that aren’t working, I’d like to share a great resource with you. Definitely bookmark this site and be prepared to be inspired and take action after connecting with the brilliant Leo Babauta, the founder and creator of Zen Habits.

    Leo has a lot of different posts on how to form better habits. The one that really called to me for this message is something we don’t often think of – what to avoid, which is as important as what to move toward.

    13 Things to Avoid When Changing Habits

    What about you? What your best tip for making or breaking a habit? What habit do you want to create or change and need help with? Post a comment and let’s make some new habits together. *Remember, if you post a comment, you’ll not only help other readers, you’ll also be entered to win in the monthly drawing for a free hour of coaching on any topic of your choice with me.

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  • One of the blogs I write is “The Smile Diet,” which keeps the message of my book Living with Enthusiasm: How the 21-Day Smile Diet Can Change Your Live” current with what’s going on in the moment around the world.

    Read today’s Smile Diet Blog entry about a great site and resource “Smile and Move.” Watch the video and take your day to the top!

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  • There is no such thing as a boring Mother; only boring questions.

    Get better at asking more meaningful questions and you’ll find an entirely new person in your mother or anyone else you’ve labeled uninteresting.

    When you ask your Mom deeper questions, you show her that you value her as a person in her own right. If she’s not accustomed to you being interested in her, she may be surprised, so I’ve listed a few easier questions to start with.

    If she asks why you’re suddenly so interested, say something like, “I realize I’ve been so focused on my own life that I haven’t really taken the time to get to know you like I would a good friend. You’re important to me.” Bring the Kleenex and take the time to listen. You’ll be surprised at what you learn. (You can download the questions at the end of this post.)

    • What is one of your happiest memories?
    • What’s your favorite place in nature? Your favorite flower?
    • What’s one of the most meaningful gifts you’ve received?
    • What’s one of the most loving things someone has done for you?
    • What’s one of the most loving things you’ve ever done for someone?
    • What music, poetry, art, books, or movies have most inspired you and why?
    • What’s one of the best places you’ve ever traveled?
    • What’s one place you’d still like to visit and why?
    • What’s your favorite prayer?
    • If you had only 6 months left to live, what would you want to be sure to experience?
    • What are you most grateful for? Why? Count your blessings. Name 10.
    • What’s one of the nicest things you’ve ever done for yourself?
    • What’s the best compliment anyone has ever paid you?
    • What do you value most in yourself? What do you value most in me?
    • What contribution in your life are you most proud of?

    The Nicest Thing You Can Say To Your Mother:

    Mom, I love you because you…

    Of all the comments I received from mothers I interviewed, the one request that came up over and over again was how much Moms want to hear “I love you.” When you can add specific reasons, memories, and details to your “I love you,” it strengthens your message and helps anchor good feelings in both of you.

    If you really want to take Mother’s Day over the top, record your Mom’s answers and put them in a homemade printed book for you with pictures of the two of you. Give this book to her for her next birthday or just to perk up your next visit. Happy Mother’s Day.

    If you like these questions, there are hundreds more in My Mother, My Friend, which focus on the 10 most important things to talk about with your mother:

    • Health
    • Aging
    • Money
    • End of Life
    • Self-image and Beauty
    • Resolving Conflict
    • Family Secrets
    • Intimacy and Men
    • Spirituality
    • Appreciation

    Treat your Mother and Yourself to the Gift of Loving Memories.

    Mother’s Day Special Package (any day is a good day to thank your mother)
    * 2 soft-cover copies of My Mother, My Friend by Mary Marcdante (reg. $12/each)
    * 1 mp3 digital download of a 60 minute live presentation by Mary on My Mother, My Friend (reg. $15)
    * Plus a free bonus interview (mp3 download) with Mary on “Honoring Our Mothers.” (reg. $15)
    Reg. $54 – save $19!
    Only $35


    My Mother, My Friend audio mp3 digital download

    * 1 mp3 digital download of a 60 minute live presentation by Mary on “My Mother, My Friend”
    Reg. $15.00
    Only $9.95 (Enter coupon code md10)


    Download a printable copy of 15 Questions to Ask Your Mother on Mother’s Day.

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  • With Mother’s Day coming up on May 14, I just finished a podcast for a healthcare client on “Honoring Our Mothers.” The focus of the conversation is based on my book, My Mother, My Friend: The 10 Most Important Things to Talk About With Your Mother, and why it’s so important to honor your mother by talking to her about her health and yours.

    A woman in one of my stress management seminars summed it up best:

    “I never thought about my health until it was taken away. It wasn’t until I had a heart attack that I realized I had so much control over my own health. I started fighting like hell to live and found a new woman inside me – strong, brave, and determined to get well. When you lose your health, you lose everything. When you have your health you can do anything.”

    In interviews with over 400 mothers and daughters and talking to thousands of women in my stress management and positive communication seminars, as well as dealing with the crisis of my mother’s diagnosis and death from ovarian cancer and my dance with cervical cancer (I’m a grateful, healthy 12 year survivor – get your HPV Test), I discovered there are four reasons why it’s so important for you to have the health conversation with your Mom, especially if she’s over 65 or currently has health problems:

    1. Unnecessary suffering and untimely death of Mom because no one knew there was a problem. Often in my interviews, I heard from a mother, “I don’t want to be a burden to my children.” Better a burden than laying in a coma or dead for 2 days because adult children were out of touch or appeared too busy Mom didn’t want to bother them.
    2. Prevention vs. Crisis Triage. Having a health conversation can often prevent the crisis and the additional negative stress that impacts not just Mom but you, your health, your family, work, and finances.
    3. Caregiving. Most adult children are not prepared to be caregivers to their Mom (or Dad) in the case of sudden illness or accident, yet it happens more than you think. Discussing health concerns and options before you need to isn’t always easy, but it is always wise.
    4. Access. For your sake. Women whose mothers died before they talked about health no longer had access to their medical history, which influences screenings and lifestyle choices.

    To get you started, here are four critical health questions to ask your Mom:

    • What medications are you on and what are the dosages? Ask her to explain what the medications are for so that you both understand. If she can’t tell you, it’s time to help her be a better partner with her doctor and you. Someone besides her and her doctor need to know in the event of an emergency.
    • Who is your doctor and what is their phone number?
    • When was your last doctor’s appointment and when is your next one? (Annual checkup at a minimum. You too!)
    • May I go with you to your next appointment? Make the time. It could save both of your lives.

    If you’d like access to twenty more critical health questions, as well as over 200 other questions on other important topics, and how to make these conversations easy, painless, and informative, you can get a copy of My Mother, My Friend at:

    My Mother My Friend ebook

    My Mother, My Friend soft cover copy

    As my Mom Grace said, “Life is short, life is precious. Don’t wait. Do it now.”

    Mary

    PS. If you’d like a book label personally signed by me to you or to include as a gift, email me at mary (at) marymarcdante.com with your name and address and who to sign the book to and I’ll snail mail it to you.

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  • May your holidays be filled with laughter and love and remind you of
    your power to inspire your world and how much you inspire mine.
    Thank you. Love,
    Mary


    Click on the start button to hear a short 3 min. story about the power of love
    during the holidays excerpted from a recent live presentation.

    Laugh as much as you breathe, love as long as you live.
    ~ Anon ~

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