Gift of Encouragement
I have always loved the following quote:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
How do you encourage others to live their best life? How do you continue to fuel your own dreams? Can you do both at the same time?
Life feels stark to me when I’m not pursuing my dreams. It’s usually a slow slide. Life gets “busy”. I get caught up in the minutia of the mundane, but the necessary, and sometimes find a week or even a month has slipped by and I’ve failed to do anything in the pursuit of my own dreams. Something feels lacking as I simply cross things off my to-do lists. Can you relate?
A little over ten years ago, an acquaintance called me with an opportunity to join a network marketing company. Now … I can see some of you rolling your eyes, but I challenge you to keep an open mind. The call came a few weeks before my 40th birthday. It came at a time when I was hungry for … something … different. Suddenly, I was exposed to a group of excited, committed individuals, intent on building a business that offered both financial and time freedom. Self-development was a focal point. A whole new world opened up for me and I was all-in.
Calling people and offering them the same opportunity was a completely foreign and terrifying experience. My initial excitement fueled my focus for a couple of years. I attended conferences around the US. If you’ve never attended a gathering like this, where thousands of people bring their energy and enthusiasm, you’re missing out. Once, I earned the opportunity for a nearly front row seat when country superstar Tim McGraw was brought in to close out one of these events. What an amazing experience! I also earned a trip to an all-inclusive trip to a Caribbean resort, another brand new experience for us.
To be successful over the long-term in network marketing, you need to continuously build and maintain a strong team. While I found it easy to motivate myself to work hard to build my business, I struggled to understand why others lacked the same passion. Eventually, my passion waned. No one seemed to want to work as hard as I did. Maybe, if I would have kept working at it, I would have found others of a similar mindset, but I’m not convinced. I learned many valuable lessons and I don’t regret the experience, but it wasn’t the right path for me.
I still yearn for that “something” that will allow me to work hard, set goals, and build a lifestyle where I have more control over both my own time and my earning potential. I believe I have found that in writing.
The world is full of nay-sayers. Yes, it is incredibly difficult to make a decent income writing books and it can take a long time to find any measure of success. Is that reason enough not to try? Not in my “book”.
Writing opens up a new avenue for me to use to encourage others. I’m a self-proclaimed introvert. Making small talk with people I don’t know drains me. But give me a computer and time to gather my thoughts, and I enjoy encouraging others. Life is so very short. I want to encourage as many people as possible to pursue their own dreams, whatever those might be.
Take a step back out of the daily drama of your life. I challenge you to quit using the tired excuse that you’re too busy. Make the time to think about those things you will regret missing out on when you get to the end of your life. Have you always wanted to travel? Teach? Act?
Now, figure out a way to incorporate some of that into your daily life. Start small if you have to, but start. You will find exciting new avenues to pursue that add color to your days. You will meet people with similar interests. You may decide your initial dream isn’t really what you want after all, but you will likely find new dreams, if you decide to reach out beyond the busy and do that which gives you joy.
Dream big and take a step today to pursue that dream. Find a way to encourage someone else to pursue their dreams. It will brighten your day!
In your corner, Kim
p.s. Drop a quick note in the comments below and let us encourage you in finding your path!
Gift of the Senses
November can be a joyful riot of the senses, if we take a moment to appreciate all this month has to offer.
In the section of the United States where I live, the landscape looks bleak now. Mother Nature has washed the color away, leaving a neutral canvas, a pause before the inevitable brilliant white of winter followed by the fresh green of spring. The intricacies of naked tree branches stand in stark contrast to the sky. Killing frosts have zapped the vibrancy of flowers, their stems now limp and broken. Fields have been stripped of their crops. Scanning the horizon is restful to the eyes, until the jarring surprise of a brilliant spot of color breaks up the monotony. Bright orange pumpkins grace front steps. When skies are clear, coral pink sunrises and burgundy sunsets grace the start and end of the day.
Cooler weather and the approaching holidays gives life more texture. Soft, warm sweaters and cozy blankets chase the chill away. Frozen toes warm inside scratchy wool socks. My fingers sting from sharp pricks as I string Christmas lights on the bushes out front and then from the heat of a mug of tea I treat myself to when the outside decorating is done.
November has its own sounds. Football blares from the television, mixed with conversations and cheers. Friends and family catch up over the dinner table and games of cards. Logs crackle in the fireplace, bathing the room in a soft glow of light and heat. Quiet prevails outdoors, the calls of birds now absent.
Smells waft throughout the house. The unmistakable aroma of Thanksgiving turkey cooking in the oven coupled with the sweet smell of an apple-cinnamon candle burning on the counter whet appetites. A trip to the mail box is made special by the scent of burning leaves. My car trunk smells like a Christmas tree, a bag of pine scented potpourri purchased for Christmas decorating temporarily forgotten there.
As we gather as a family to celebrate Thanksgiving, amazing varieties of food become the focal point. Old favorites usually prevail over new recipes. We are creatures of habit. Which is better, the actual Thanksgiving meal or the leftovers? How should the stuffing be prepared? Most of us prefer the stuffing we each grew up eating - some prefer sage, some dislike it. Our meal wouldn’t be complete without the cranberry ice, a frozen, tart treat. It’s the perfect complement to our turkey dinner and a family tradition. There never seems to be enough lefse, lathered in butter and sugar. As kids, we kept track of who ate more black olives based on the pile of our olive pits. Now the olives are pitted, the contest fizzled. Dinner is capped off with creamy pumpkin or decadent chocolate pies. Yum.
Too often, November is a lost month. People skip from the beauty of an October fall straight to December celebrations. What a shame. November is a beautiful month.
May you focus on both thanks and giving this week. Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!