Monday, July 26, 2010

Using Your Strengths in Your Daily Life

I have been reading a book I won in a give-away when BUMPLES first started. It is called PARENTING BY STRENGTHS: A PARENT'S GUIDE FOR CHALLENGING SITUATIONS. It interviews several people who speak about different aspects of parenting.

In one chapter, Cathy A. Rodrigues talks about communication being a foundation of better parenting. She discusses different prinicples to effective communication, one of which is "use your strengths in your daily life." She asks the question, "What would you say if your spouse asked you, 'What do you think you're really good at?'" She goes on to discuss "signature strengths" as those things one does, and is good at, without thinking (Seligman 2002).

As I was reading, I was thinking that it would be nice to think about and know what my own signature strenths are and how I could use them to my advantage in writing. She suggested completing a survey, the VALUES IN ACTION SIGNATURE STRENGTH SURVEY (VIA) online. It is a free assessment that "helps you identify your top five signature strenghts." She further suggests that knowing these strengths can give you insight into why certain tasks or parts of your life are easier to accomplish and more rewarding. I have not done so yet but plan to check out the survey and see what it says about me. If any of you out there have heard of the survey or have an opinion, good or bad, please weigh in and let me know what you think. Thank you, BUMPLES MAGAZINE, for the great book!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Path of Least Resistance

In the Bylines calendar author's interview for the week, Laura Lee Carter spoke to me in a very profound way. Her words fit right in with all of my spouting of procrastination and lack of time. Perhaps, just perhaps, this is why I am so good at procrastinating?!! She says...

"It is far easier to keep to the path of least resistance, than to take a risk, stand up for yourself and make a difference. You don't need to analyze it to death. Just figure out what gives your life meaning and follow that path. Be courageous and live your dream."

Thank you, Ms. Carter, for the very wise words! I do analyze everything to death and frequently hesitate to take that risk and stand up for myself. Hence, the procrastination. It's hard to fail without an attempt--especially when half the people around just don't get it! But, writing is my dream and is what gives great meaning to my life. I will follow that path and be courageous. I hope you all do as well.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wise Words

I am not intending to be the voice of negativity this summer with all my posts about what I have not been accomplishing, but I recently saw this quote by Aesop and thought it very fitting--for my summer, at least.

"After all is said and done, more is said than done."

Very true, very true! I spend lots of time talking about what I need or want to do but just never seem to get very much accomplished. Granted, my summer is hectic with softball, baseball, tennis, etc., but so is everyone's. I've posted before about committing 15 minutes a day. Some days I've done well; others, not so much. So when I saw the above quote, it really put things in perspective for me. I'm going to TRY to stop saying what I need/want to do and JUST DO IT! Just as soon as we finish with a softball game, a dental appointment and packing for an upcoming vacation...See what I mean--I am the queen of procrastination:-)

If you have any wise words about this delicate balance, I'd love to hear how you make it work for you.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Train Hard

In my post last Monday, I spoke about training like athletes to improve our stamina as writers. As I was reading a Shape magazine this morning, while working out coincidentally, I saw this quote and thought it relevant to pass on. It also speaks to the importance of training in the exercise sense; however, I believe it also relates to writing.

"How you train is how you tackle life. Don't avoid discomfort; deal with it head-on to get stronger. Learn how to work out with passion and that fire will carry over into everything you do."

It is true that the discomfort we face as writers as we probe our inner thoughts and ideas to spin a story can cause discomfort, but we are all the better for it after meeting it head-on. I do also believe the passion and fire one puts into working out can fuel his/her writing as well--clears the head and improves everything--body, mind and spirit.

So, I guess I am advocating training like an athlete both in terms of stamina as a writer as well as in exercise to support and improve our writing life. Care to join me in this quest?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July! Wishing you all a wonderful day as we celebrate our great nation's independence.