Have you ever used the excuse, ‘waiting to get my ducks in a row’?

Have you ever used the excuse, ‘waiting to get my ducks in a row’?   Why are we always trying to do this?

I wondered where this saying might have come from, and there appears to be a couple of different ideas…but the one that seemed most logical to me was in regard to bowling.  Pins used to be shorter and resembled a duck, and therefore called ducks.  Before the bowler would throw the ball, he would make sure the ducks were in a row.  Sounds about right.

But bowling pins are objects and will stay where placed until the ball moves them.  How many of us struggle on a daily basis to get our ”ducks in a row”?

Today the meaning has changed to an idea of getting all the details managed and addressed before moving forward.  However,  ducks never stay in a row and life is often unpredictable. If we are constantly waiting for all life’s details to be managed and “in a row,” we will never achieve our dreams.

My mom always said there is no better time than today.  That applies to most things.  Start living today to create the life that you want.  Most of the details that we worry over aren’t really that important but more of road blocks we create:  After I lose weight…. When I get that promotion….. When I have more money……

Let’s not worry about getting all “our ducks in a row” but rather moving forward toward the life we envision for ourselves.

Creating a buzz…..¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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What I Could Do With The Tools I Was Given

This is a story of a young girl that was given a tool box.  Inside the box were tools of all sorts; capable of performing any job that came her way.  As she examined each tool, she dreamed of all the wonderful things she could create. Then, she came across a tool in the bottom of the box that appeared to be broken.

Inspiration Kimberly BrustSuddenly, she realized her tools were not complete.  Because of the one broken tool, her creations would never come to fruition.  She began to compare her tools to the tools of the other girls.  She noticed that their tools were not broken.  Every time she compared her tools, she came up feeling “not good enough.”

Over time, the girl became depressed and did not open the tool box.  She did not create what she had dreamed of.  How often she noticed how perfect the other girls’ tools were and wondered why she had this broken tool. She felt sad and mad and small.

Finally, a wise women with her box of tools asked the girl why she did not acknowledge her tools and use them.  The girl started on about the broken tool….

For surely, this woman was wise;  she asked the girl to sit with her and look at her tools.  She opened the lid to the box.   The girl noticed that the tools on the top were worn and must be well used.  “You must of created beautiful things with these tools. I can see how much you have used them.”  They continued through the box and found shiny tools that were never used.  The woman told her, “I was given these tools, but I never really needed them for my endeavors. I felt that I could really create beautiful things, if I became a master of just a few of the tools.”

Then, at the very bottom of the box there sat a tool that was obviously broken.  “What about this one?” the girl asked.  The wise woman said, “I always knew it was there, but I learned to improvise and discover ways to to do things that did not require that tool.  Eventually, I forgot it was even there.  I never let a broken tool deter me from creating something beautiful.  My focus was always on what I could do with the tools I was given.”

The girl thanked the woman for sharing her tool box and words of wisdom.  Then she went to her tool box, opened it…as if it were the first time…and allowed herself to dream about all the beautiful things she could create.  She took the broken tool and put it at the bottom of her box, promising herself she would not dwell on that again. She closed the lid and picked up the box and with determination and inspiration she went out to create something beautiful.

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Earning the Right to Hear Your Story

You know what I miss most in my life?  Intimacy.  Not sexual intimacy, but as Brené Brown writes, those people that have earned the right to “hear your story.”

creating a buzzThrough the last five years,  my life has been turned upside down.  Divorce from a husband of 12 years and my best friend for over 20 years have left me feeling isolated many days.  No one to talk to about the things that scare or trouble me and that heavy load of responsibility I am carrying.  I was left in a bubble to sort things out alone.

Additionally, the few friends that I have are currently having such a difficult time in their own life, that I hesitate to share my emotional neediness.

I know that in order to find those people that have earned the right to “hear your story,” it takes time and trust gained over time.

I always imagine that saying, “when one door closes, another will open.”  But unfortunately, I have realized those two things don’t happen simultaneously.  Sometimes the delay between these two occurrences can be painfully long.

In the meantime, I cannot isolate myself from others as I want to.  I need to force myself to schedule time to be with others to develop new friendships.  It has been so long, my skills are probably dusty, but here goes.

Creating a buzz….¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Are You Teaching Kids How to Make Good Decisions?

creating a buzzOver the last few years, I have gotten frustrated by my kids not creating a sense of urgency about getting things done. Then at work, I have also noticed that many young people will procrastinate until the very end.

What created this?

Over-doing parents?

No buy in to the importance?

Not able to identify the pitfalls/consequences of waiting too long?

Or… All of the above?

I really think it is a combination of all the above.  I have heard parents say that they completed the college applications for their children, as it was too important to be left to them. Wow 😠 At what point do kids learn to prioritize and have consequences?  After they graduate from high school? At their first job? College?

I guess being a single parent with a business to run and a home to care for, I did not have a lot of time to check and double check or even do more than ask the question.  Ask the question once while cooking, driving, cleaning.

If they forgot their homework, I always had a twinge of guilt but could only ask how they could prevent that from happening in the future.  I asked them about the consequences of what they had done.  And finally, I tried to use stories of my life where I had procrastinated – or not – thought through the consequences to demonstrate the importance  – and as comfort to say, I know this is a tough lesson but all successful people have to learn this.

As painful as it was when they were young, I had to let my children experience the consequences of their behavior and decisions.  Many times they would cry about life not being fair.

But, as all adults know….. Fair in the game of life does not exist.

How have you taught kids to think through the consequences of their decisions?

Creating a buzz….¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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I have had an openly hate relationship with my mirror

They say that a mirror is the window of the soul. This cliche makes me  think of the Harry Potter movie, where Harry stares at the mirror seeing himself with this mother and father: the thing he desires most.

Kimberly Brust Recently, I had to face the fact that I have had an openly hate relationship with my mirror.  It seems like every time I looked in the mirror, I saw the third grade picture of myself: short, chubby, shag haircut.  Probably, one of my worst pictures, ever!  Of all the pictures ever taken, why would I see the ugliest one every time?  I have seen other pictures of myself and know that this picture is only one  of 1000’s and that I have plenty of pictures that look beautiful. It feels like watching a scary movie and after you watch the scene you can’ t “un-see” it.

This relationship with my mirror kept me feeling little, small and afraid.  Much like I did in third grade.  It affected my confidence in both my personal and business life.  It was the root of mPicture2any of my decisions.  Ultimately, I had to face that girl and put her in her place: my past!

Not who I am. Not holding me back. Not afraid. Not little. Not me. Simply an awkward phase that all children go through.

Now when I look at the mirror and my third grade self shows up, I simply replace her with the memory of a picture that reminds me of the woman I am now.

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Get right with yourself.  Own your story. 

Kim BrustThroughout my life, I can remember times when I said, I feel like a have a mask on.  I am not being myself.  Fit in but stand out…. (WT Heck). Be the best but don’t ask for help … you don’t want to appear weak.  Toot your own horn occasionally but be modest and humble. Make money but don’t flaunt it.

Listen:  Here is my story: I am a high-achieving, type-A personality. I have struggled with perfectionism. I have made myself ragged by being too busy running. Refused to admit defeat and was ever the optimist.  I can’t stand to look at pictures of myself. I have always put myself last. I struggle with my worthiness for the gifts I receive.

But also listen: This is not my entire story.  I have raised goal-oriented, loving children. I have learned new skills to bring my business to a new generation of consumers.  I have stopped trying to fit in or stand out!  True wisdom comes from knowing when to quit.  I found that by putting myself first, my loved ones were happier too. I said ‘no’ to the good so I would be ready to say ‘yes’ to the great. I have learned to listen to myself.

The first 50 years were hard fought lessons that needed to be learned.  I am proud to wear the scars of being in the arena. Those scars remind me of where I have been and what I have learned. Facing what I hope to be another 50 years, I will remain in the arena fighting to discover my strength and learn the lessons life has for me.

Creating a buzz  ¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Baby Boomers and Getting Married

Kim BrustAccording to many studies, more and more baby boomers are becoming single and not wanting to get married.  This presents some questions that should be considered:

  • What happens if I get sick and can no longer work?
  • How will I afford retirement?
  • Do I have a plan for my funeral and final expenses?
  • Have I told anyone?
  • Who will I ask for help?

All these questions and more based on your personal situation.

Whether we are male or female, whether we took care of the finances, we need to have a plan and let the people we will rely on know it.  Too many times things take us by surprise and the decisions we make under stress are not as thought out as they should be.

If you are single, especially over 50, get a plan, share it with your loved ones right away.  Don’t let the wrong person decide for you.

Creating a buzz…….¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Brené Brown is one of my favorite speakers/authors..

I am in the process of reading another book Brené Brown has written.

This book is titled Daring Greatly.  She has quoted Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

When you are going where no one else has gone before you in your group or family – becoming an entrepreneur, creating art or music, or taking risk on an investment, look for feedback and encouragement from someone that is in that arena.

Loved ones, friends and family, might not be the best people to seek council or advise — as much as they might have your best interest at heart – but being in the arena requires taking risks, being courageous, following your heart and most people do not do this.  They live a safe life from the bleachers.

If you are going to live YOUR life, do so from inside the arena and pay no attention to those that might judge you from the sidelines.

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Money, Money, Money – Money!

This song rings in my head as I am writing this post…

Kim Brust, Kimberly BrustRecently, I was coaching my team about how to overcome the objection, “I don’t have enough money.”  It reminded me that in my years of helping people manage the risks of everyday life, how little people understood about money.

Specifically, how money creates power, independence and security.

My first observation is personal.  With the development of debit cards, we have become a society that mindlessly swipes.  When we do this, we really don’t know how much money we are spending on things like coffee, fast food and snacks on the run.  I recently reviewed my spending for the year.  I realized that when they put the Starbucks right by my house, I was going everyday.  At the cost of $5 per day – 5 x 365 = $1825.  However, many of those days I had at least one of my kids with me.  Now we were up to $10.  I am guessing I probably spend $2400 per year on drinks…. OMG.  That pays off a credit card.

When I started talking to some of my team members, they looked at their spending and realized they were mindless spending on things that were really adding up – small things purchased everyday – and at the end of the week how little money they had left.

Now, as a team we are not going without the things we love, just going about it differently -like making our own coffee, eating home more often, and no impulse purchases.  The minimum one of us found was $2400.

Now you are wondering, how does this create power, independence and security?

*It allows us to save for things and not have to borrow the money in crisis.

  • We can shop for the best bargain
  • Having money in savings means our family is in a better position to cover things like illness, loss of job etc.
  • When we prepare for the future, we are creating a life of independence instead of always asking for help – either from banks, family of friends
  • We demonstrate to our children what fiscal responsibility looks like
  • We become better educated in how credit and interest works so that we are a smarter consumer

Look at your budget. What are you mindlessly swiping your card for?

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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How to find happiness in a chaotic world…

Kim Brust, Kimberly BrustI have always been a person that has a list of things to do each day. Buzzing here and there. Don’t get me wrong, crossing things off my list of things to do gives me a sense of accomplishment.  Many of my friends comment, “How do you get so much done in a day…?”  Scheduling and a reliable car!

Recently however, I was told by my coach that I needed to take time for myself.  What? I don’t have time: three kids, business, home, volunteer work, blogs to write, family …. he insisted that I incorporate time for myself into my life on a regular basis.

What I discovered was that this was like putting sugar in a pie.  Without sugar my pie was not so sweet.  Surely the fruit and the crust are good but the flavor was not what you expected.  Time with yourself allows you to add the sugar to your pie!

It is that time you get in touch with who you are, what you are passionate about and ultimately to consider your journey.

Things that won’t happen when you take time for yourself:

*kids won’t suffer –  just the opposite

*you will feel guilty – you will at first but stay the course!

*no one will think you are selfish – they will see you as an example

Things that will happen:

*your significant other will look forward to being with the new you and you will enjoy that more as well.

*you will have time to develop your passion and your dreams

*you will be more engaged in your life

*happy mom = happy kids/significant other!

*more productive at work

*greater life satisfaction

*your stress level will go down for longer periods of time – as if your mind knows it is coming

This is your daily/weekly vitamin.  Taken at regular intervals will add to your overall well being.

Creating a buzz¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

 

 

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