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Failures in life are described in surfing terms as wipeouts.  You catch your wave, you’re cruising along, feeling confident, and things seem to be going well. Then something happens. An issue comes up with a family member, something happens at work, or you made a decision that didn’t work out the way you had planned. Often times when this happens the word failure (wipeout) comes to mind. We all have failures of some sort or another throughout our lives. If we don’t learn from them, there is a good chance we’ll repeat them. It’s natural to beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. But instead of beating ourselves up, what if we looked at them as a new skill.  Successful people will tell you they’ve failed many times. The difference is they view failures as lessons they’ve learned which helped propel them forward.

Famous surfer, Laird Hamilton, puts it best this way, “Wiping out is an under appreciated skill.”
Wipeout

Have you ever been in a job or relationship where you’ve worked hard, hustled, tried to see things from different angels, and put enormous amounts of energy into it in an effort to move the needle only to see very little or nothing change? Most people have. I’ve certainly been in my share of those situations over the years. I love this quote by Warren Buffett, “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” 

After you’ve tried everything else, sometimes it’s best to just change boats.

Change Boat

Proverbs 25:19 says, “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble.” When we decide to make changes for the better in our lives, whether it’s getting fit, getting out of debt, or making career decisions, who we talk to matters.  The Bible says seek wise counsel.  If you just talk to your friends or family who don’t have the experience, insights, or vision for what you want to do and who you want to be, you’ll get frustrated. Some of them will even tell you you’re crazy or you’ll never be able to do it.  Find people who you see are doing the things you want to do and reach out to them. Ask them to lunch, coffee, or go on a hike.  Most times they’ll be flattered and willing to help.  Read, read, read.  Read books about people who have overcome obstacles and are successful in spite of their upbringing, failures, and struggles. The stories will sink into your mind and motivate you.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is exactly what the Bible tells us not to do – rely on people who have proven to us they cannot be relied on. There are so many smart, compassionate people in this world who are working hard to make it a better, safer place. Let’s tap into those minds and build relationships. Those are the people who can actually help us achieve the vision we want.

Boat3

Map your course, not theirs.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires…courage.”   –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Your network, is your net worth.  I head this phrase recently from Bob Beaudine, author of The Power of Who, and it stuck with me.  I have a finance background and was taught the math way to measure the net worth of a person. You take their total assets (home, vehicles, valuable belongings) and subtract their total liabilities (home mortgage, car loans, credit card debt, school loans, any other loans). The higher the assets than the liabilities, the higher the net worth. That is the way to measure a person’s financial net worth. However, there is another net worth too.

When I find a particularly interesting and successful person, I like to research their background.  I’m curious as to how they got to be where they are.  How much time did they put in to hone their skill and craft?  Who helped them along the way? Did they come from a healthy family upbringing, or a troubled one? What I’ve noticed is regardless as to how they were brought up, they have surrounded themselves with a lot of high energy, talented, positive people. They collaborate with these people on a regular and consistent basis and over time they’ve built trust and good friendships – a solid network.  You could say they’ve achieved a high net worth because of their network. I’m now putting more effort into building my network of trusted friends and am excited to see where it takes me. How about you?  What is your net worth?

network-is-networth

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Happy Valentine’s Day.  Let’s all love like this.

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday. It’s time to jump right into the new year!  We’ve been talking about building our 2017 vision board, using the special core words and underlying principles we plan to live by this year.  Remember, the overall reason for spending so much time and brain power on building a vision board, is to create something we can focus on every day, that will help make us better people tomorrow than we are today.  The more people who share this frame of mind, the more strength and power we will be as a whole to make our world a better, safer, and more beautiful place to live in now, and create a sustainable, brighter place for our children and grandchildren to live in later.

As promised, today, to kick off the new year, I’m revealing my 2017 vision board. To recap, here are my core words.

  • Essentials: Do essential things only, let the rest go – focus on tasks that move the needle, don’t let the busy things detract me.
  • Presence: Be present with everyone in everything, in good and in uncomfortable situations – I will learn more about them and they will feel heard and understood.
  • Energy: Bring energy – it brings everything up and makes life more exciting for everyone.

As I think of these words coupled together with the principles I’ve identified that I need to focus on (that I wrote down) in the six areas of my life (Relationships, Spiritual Growth, Healthy & Fit, Career, Financial Stability, Intellectual Stimulation), I selected a wide variety of images. I love each one of them. So, here it is, my 2017 Vision Board!

I sincerely hope the very best for all of you in 2017!

vq201723x17

As we are quickly nearing the end of 2016, it’s a great time to reflect on the year’s successes.  Perhaps it’s the entrepreneur in me, but as soon as I recount my successes, I can’t help but focus on what I can do to make the coming year more fulfilling than the last. Most people look at the new year as a clean slate and start talking about their new year’s resolutions – what they will change, start, or stop doing in the new year.

In my book, Your Ultimate Life Vision, I talk about resolutions vs. goals. As Earnest Hemingway wisely said, “Never mistake motion for action.”  Some people talk about doing things differently, however those resolutions fade and nothing changes. The only way to make your plans stick, is to put together a written vision plan starting now, in December.  Don’t be confused, this is not a list of new year’s resolutions.  Your vision plan is meant to last a lifetime, but your resolutions will be distant memories by March, like your new gym membership.

In the January 2012 edition of InStyle magazine, the following readership poll results were published, listing the most popular new year’s resolutions.

  •             22% – Manage my money wisely and stick to a budget
  •             18% – Stress less
  •             10% – Read and improve my mind
  •              6% –  Spend more time with family and friends

Webster’s dictionary defines the word resolution as the act or process of resolving as: the act of analyzing a complex notion into a simpler one; the act of answering (solving); the act of determining. And it defines the word commitment as an agreement or pledge to do something in the future. Do you see the difference? Having a resolution is good in that you’ve identified specific things you want to do, or changes you want to make, however only when a commitment is made, will you move those plans forward and actually do them. Resolutions without a commitment are powerless and do nothing.

What are you REALLY going to change in 2017? What are you going to do to make yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, healthier, build a career that allows you to become more financially stable so you can take care of yourself, your family, and give to those in need right next to us.

Never mistake motion for action.  Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”  Don’t be a talker, be a doer, and make it happen!

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Art

Art by Christine (Parrish) Barker. © Christine Barker. All rights reserved.

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© Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision 2017. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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