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How to Feel Gratitude After a Disastrous Year

How to Feel Gratitude

Enjoy this informative guest post by nationally recognized life strategist, Randi Levin.

The #1 secret to understanding and effectively living a grateful life is in your acceptance that gratitude is not a one-and-done fleeting thought fueled by Thanksgiving. Instead, it is an actual state of mind and a lifestyle habit that exists in your daily life, unrelated to whether you have had the best or the most disastrous year.

This may seem difficult, yet a mindfulness practice of gratitude is rich in rewards, costs you nothing to develop, and keeps fears and energy in check. The overall benefits to your physical and mental health are sound. Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at UC Davis, is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is the author of the book Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. His findings are based on studies and research done around the globe revealing that happiness levels increase by approximately 25% when we practice gratitude!

We essentially train ourselves to reset to a thankful ‘set-point’ allowing ourselves to feel good even when things are not going our way. Dr. Emmons further points out that those who are appreciative tend to have stronger immune systems, are more creative, and may even have closer relationships. Listen to his point of view and amazing tips on how to feel gratitude in the video below or got go the link here.

Dr. Robert Emmons of UC Davis talks about Gratitude from Character Lab on Vimeo.

Have you ever longed to have more balance in your life? You may have noticed that life does not play out in a straight line! There are curves everywhere! Some years are more abundant and joyful than others.

Cultivating an active gratitude practice is the link to balancing the good and the bad, the highlights and the low points, and is a great connector to the gaps in evaluating your own sense of purpose. When you are thankful, you make decisions from your heart and your mind, working together in life-balance and accountability.

Here are 3 essential benefits and action steps of thinking thankful:

  • You fear ‘less.’ Gratitude bypasses fear. When you focus on what you are appreciative of, it becomes difficult to let negative thoughts in. Think about gratitude as a lamp that is turned on in a dark room. When you flip the switch, you shine a light on that which was previously scary, allowing you to take a small step toward a larger goal.

    Try this now: Write yourself a permission slip to do something that previously intimidated you. Then write down all the things that stopped you from doing this one thing before. Say them aloud; dump them in front of the mirror. Now that your fears and limiting beliefs are aired, rewrite that list as if you successfully completed what previously held you back. Now say this new list out loud. See the shift? Great…now what part of this fear can you bypass today?

  • You take action in the NOW. A gratitude attitude grounds you in today and allows you to control not only the moment but also yourself within it. This opens up opportunities and choices that are closed to us when our focus is only on tomorrow’s goals or yesterday’s failures. When you are focused on today, your energy soars.

    Try this now: Create a success jar or a success wall to post your daily successes. Yes, DAILY successes. If you are reaching for resolutions, promises, or goals, what often happens is that in your quest for the finish line you miss the process that led you there. Keeping a jar, or accessible wall filled with small notes about even the tiniest things that went right in your day keeps you mindful of your own growth and success and along with that your gratitude. Review your notes weekly or monthly, when strung together they will begin to weave a tapestry of positive reinforcement and abundance.

  • Manifest into your life what you most desire: You attract what you want because you are focused on the possibilities in your life rather than on the limitations. It is common to feel small and limited when you have had a run of failed results. Yet this is the stuff that resiliency is made of. We need resiliency and flexibility as part of our stories. Sometimes figuring out what you don’t want supports you in understanding what you do.

    Try this now: Reclaim your bucket list! Your new abundant thoughts can help you to pivot toward the things you most want to achieve this year! What shifts if you simply change the vessel? Instead of a large, amorphous bucket, keep your list in a beautiful box or glass bowl. Bring it down to the items that you really want to welcome in. Now…here is where the fun begins! What can you do RIGHT NOW in regard to each and every item on this list?

    We don’t always hit our goals because they are too large and abstract. If you take the opportunity now to decide on your first action step for each one this list comes to life! Here is an example: Your bucket list says that you want to travel the world. Yet, you have little cash and time. What can you do? Where can you combine a business trip and a pleasure trip? Do you know anyone who lives in a city or at a beach that you have wanted to visit? See where this changes the action steps?

    Now, book that trip! Begin.

“Gratitude is the soul of balance, realigning all aspects of your life.” ~ Randi Levin

A Bonus Step To BEGIN TODAY:

Many people love to keep gratitude journals to record their thoughts and activities. While I support this idea, I don’t like how often our words just remain on the page and never make it into real life! What I love instead is a 365-day in-action approach to feel gratitude that you can begin today!

START THIS NOW: Every day, for a year mindfully reach out to one person, one business, one old friend, one ex-lover, your mom, somebody you have not spoken to in years, or one burned bridge and share your gratitude with them! In your email, phone call, or text you are going to express why you are thankful that they are, or were in your life. You are going to shed light on what they have brought into your life, why you support this business, or what you appreciate the most about the lessons you learned from an old friend or ex-lover!

When you share these thoughts, be present about how this makes you feel. Are you happy, angry, sad, or overjoyed? Is this freeing you to do more in your day, to take forward action, to reach for more? Are you more mindful of your current energy and are you using that energy to create a better you and a more stellar future?

Related Reading: How Delaying Gratification Results in Remarkable Success

Think about your conversations with those you have thanked. How have they responded?  How is this changing your every day, and shaping and reframing your perspectives? Are you manifesting new enriched opportunities and connections?

Now, take this one step further! Once a quarter, reach out in person. Write and read a letter of gratitude to someone in your life. Savor the moment. What are you feeling? How are they responding? How is your life enhanced or changed by this experience?

What can you do now?

What can you do next?

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Midlife Reinvention; Is It Time For a Professional Pivot?

midlife reinvention

Imagine, if you will, you have about ten years remaining on this Earth.  It could actually be a few months more or less.  The point is, you know with absolute certainty you have approximately a decade to look forward to before you pass on.

This leaves too much time and not enough money to indulgently submit your two-week notice or cash out and sell your business.  Although, the thought of retiring and traveling the world crosses your mind more than once.  Alas, there are bills to pay and family members to feed.

The situation is distressing.  You always assumed you would have ample opportunity to begin a midlife reinvention when it felt right.  But you don’t have the luxury of time anymore.  The inevitable truth sinks in and tears fall as you grieve.  Eventually, you accept your destiny and your focus narrows on quality rather than quantity.  Serious decisions about how to spend the balance of your life need to be made.

Will you:

  • find a more satisfying job in your current field?

  • go back to school for a new career in a different industry?

  • switch to a part-time position and spend more time with family?

  • sign up for more volunteer or charity work?

  • start the business you have always dreamed about?

  • revamp your existing business to better reflect your interests and values?

  • stop working with difficult clients or stop taking on impossible assignments?

Clarity comes quickly to those on a deadline.  You discover making these life-altering choices is both terrifying and liberating.  The constraints that held you in unsatisfying situations seem to loosen and fall away.  You are suddenly less willing to tolerate toxic people and negative environments.  “Life is too short,” you tell yourself.

Alright, time to come back to reality.  The truth is, you probably have more than ten years to live.  You likely have plenty of time to plan and implement a midlife reinvention, should you want to.  However, think deeply about how you will spend your remaining days no matter what your age.  Not to be morose, but they ARE numbered.  Nobody knows when they have reached the half way point.

Related reading: 11 Midlife Career Change Ideas that Don’t Suck

Acknowledging this, what profound changes do you want to make in your professional life?  Are you ready to make a plan and take the first step?  Tell me about your career goals in the comment section below.  Putting your ambitions in writing might help get the ball rolling.  Remember, you are the author of your own story.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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25+ Terrific Gen Xer, Midlifer, and Boomer Blogs to Love

gen-xer-and-boomer-bloggers

I thoroughly enjoy midlife.  I didn’t think I would at first.  Father Time dragged me kicking and screaming into my forties, but I’ve embraced this experience now.  Everything my mother and grandmothers told me about this chapter in life’s story is true.  They assured me I wouldn’t worry as much about my physical appearance and would put greater value on the time I spend with family and friends.  That is all true.

To be honest, though, there are certain problems and stressors that come with being a woman over forty.  You begin to experience the loss of important people in your life more frequently, you worry about your health and mobility on a regular basis, and you wonder why your value as a career woman seems to diminish as you age.  I used to question if I could find a community of ladies who could help me celebrate and commiserate throughout this interesting journey.

It turns out, there are dozens of female writers who expertly share their lives and advice every week.  Some make me laugh while others simply inspire.  Take a look at these 25+ gen xer, midlifer, and boomer blogs.  Invite them into your life.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

1. Roxanne Jones – Boomer Haiku

Type of blog: humor

Topics covered: retirement, aging, health, sex

My favorite post: If Advertising Told the Truth

 

2. Crystal Arzu – The Middle Years Journey

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: family, friendship, health, career

My favorite post: Midlife Birthdays are Different

 

3. Elaine Ambrose – Midlife Cabernet

Type of blog:  midlife and humor

Topics covered: friends, family, health, mortality

My favorite post: Handkerchiefs and Smiley Faces

 

4. Debbie Harris – Deb’s World

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: family, travel, fitness, redundancy

My favorite post: How to Embarrass Your Three Daughters in One Post

 

5. Cathy Lawdanski – My Side of Fifty 

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: fashion, family, food, health

My favorite post: 5 Tips for an Awesome Multigenerational Family Vacation

 

6. Shelley Merchant – A Woman in Her Prime

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: beauty, food, love, career, family

My favorite post: Green Chili Chicken Manicotti

 

7. Peggy Reskin – Barefoot Front Runners: Sex, Women, and Power

Type of blog: empowerment

Topics covered: women’s rights, feminism, history, sex

My favorite post: Markers of Feminism – Fathers Today

 

8. Carol Owens – Healthy Empty Nest 

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: family, fitness, travel, self-improvement

My favorite post: 7 Ways to Boost Self Care When You’re Feeling Down

 

9. Rebecca Olkowski – Baby Boomster 

 Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: travel, food, wellness, entertainment

My favorite post: Are You Taking Life Too Seriously and Missing Fun Opportunities?

 

10. Linda Hobden – Boots, Shoes & Fashion

Type of blog: fashion and lifestyle

Topics covered: clothes, shoes, reviews, interviews

My favorite post: 5 Spring Discoveries

 

11. Vicki Marinker – Lifestyle Maven 

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: food, fashion, beauty, wisdom, fun

My favorite post: Oh My Aching Bones

 

 

12. Leanne Le Cras – Cresting the Hill          

Type of blog: midlife and lifestyle

Topics covered: family, friends, marriage, introspection

My favorite post: What if I Die Alone With My Cat?

 

 

13. Joan Stommen – Gramcracker Crumbs 

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: active aging, fitness, travel, family

My favorite post: How We Met; the Importance of Family History

 

 

14. Tamara Grand – Fitknit Chick

Type of blog: fitness and health

Topics covered: exercise, food, mobility, nutrition

My favorite post: Mobility Training for Midlife Exercisers

 

 

15. Sue Loncaric – Sizzling Toward Sixty & Beyond

Type of blog: midlife and lifestyle

Topics covered: health, menopause, travel, recipes

My favorite post: Menopause – Are There Non-Hormone Options?

 

 

16. Diana Frajman – Crone Confidence

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: wisdom, empowerment, humor

My favorite post: 8 Traits of a Confident Person

 

 

17. Anne Parris – Midlife Boulevard

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: beauty, family, food, health, travel

My favorite post: 10 Steps to Take as You Face Your Empty Nest

 

 

18. Shari Broder – Weight Loss for Foodies

Type of blog: weight loss

Topics covered: health, food, nutrition, goals

My favorite post: The One Thing You Must Do to Permanently Lose Weight

 

 

19. Carol Cassara – Heart Mind Soul

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: self-improvement, travel, health, grief

My favorite post: How Can a Guided Journal Help With Grief?

 

 

20. Jen Monks – Life Wise Lady

Type of blog: business ownership and career

Topics covered: entrepreneur, social media, money

My favorite post: 11 Midlife Career Change Ideas That Don’t Suck

Life Wise Lady also has a Facebook Group for business women and bloggers over forty.  We share wisdom and tips while supporting each other’s dreams.  Join here!

 

 

21. Cat McD – Rebloom Room

Type of blog: travel and moving abroad

Topics covered: community, foreign countries, women

My favorite post: Better Together: Why I’m Building a Community for Women

 

22. Valerie Hoff DeCarlo – Valerie Hoff

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: food, family, travel, fashion

My favorite post: Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables with My Easy Gazpacho Recipe

 

 

23. Patti Stevens – Live Balanced Naturally

Type of blog: healthy lifestyle

Topics covered: balance, ageless living, food, health

My favorite post: Five Ingredient Tea with Amazing Health Benefits

 

 

24. Rebecca Perkins – The Midlife Coach

Type of blog: midlife and coaching

Topics covered: change, self-improvement, wellbeing

My favorite post: What is a Midlife Crisis Anyway?

 

 

25. Joanne Mallon – Opposable Thumbs

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: beauty, fitness, travel, health, business

My Favorite Post: Tried and Tested – The Best Facial Sunscreens

 

 

26. Sarah Harris – Makes Me Wander

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: mindfulness, well-being, family, travel

My favorite post: What Now?!

 

 

27. Candace Allan – Text Me, Love Mom

Type of blog: midlife lifestyle

Topics covered: empty nest, grandkids, aging parents

My favorite post: Hey! Stop Spying on Me!

 

Related Reading: Overcoming Shyness After 40; Why Now is the Right Time

I hope you discovered several kindred spirits on my list of 25+ gen xer, midlifer, and boomer blogs.  They will bring you a true sense of joy and community.  If you found value in this post, please share it with the women you know and love.  Life is better when we lift each other up.

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7 Innovative Sites to Help You Crush It in Business

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.

I love shopping.  Not for clothes, handbags, makeup, shoes or jewelry, but for products that make me more efficient.  Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate a quality outfit.  However, nothing relieves my stress more than finding a tool that boosts my productivity.  Okay, maybe yoga and wine are also on my list for anxiety relief, but I’ll keep my focus on organizational tools for now.  After all, time is our most precious commodity.  If there’s a system or technique that will help me manage my work and avoid anxiety, I’m all over it.  In my never-ending search for the latest and greatest, I’ve found 7 innovative sites to help you crush it in business from this day forward.

  • Grammarly – I’m telling you, this tool saves my bacon.  I started using it when I wrote my first article and have been relying on it ever since.  The basic features are free, but I paid the nominal annual subscription rate for the upgraded version.  Grammarly checks for spelling and grammar errors as well as correct sentence structure in my blog posts, emails, social media messages, and Word documents.  I also use the browser extension when I surf the web.  This impressive platform can also be used for cover letters, term papers, business proposals and works within Microsoft Office.

  •  DialMyCalls.com – This business began in 1999 as one of the internet’s first wake-up call services and evolved into a mass online notification company with over 80,000 clients including Fortune 500 companies, schools, and government agencies.  With this service, you can send voice or text messages and emails to groups of customers, coworkers or family members.  You can send a 30-second message to up to 25 contacts once per week at no charge.  Beyond that, you can use a pay-as-you-go package or subscribe to the economical and unlimited monthly plan.  DialMyCalls is available on Android and iOS mobile devices.

  •  WorkFrom  – I recently started using this site because I was tired of working from the same old haunts I had been visiting for months.  I desperately needed a change of scenery and some better amenities.  If you are a remote worker and long for unique, new spaces with available wi-fi, then WorkFrom is for you.  After you create your free account, you’ll gain access to the listing of public and private spots that will allow you to get stuff done more efficiently.  Each location is rated by you and other Workfrom community members for high-speed internet connections, comfort, access to outlets, and other details important to digital nomads.  You can access the website or use the iOS or Android app.

  • TimeAndDate You don’t want to miss an important client call or phone meeting with a colleague rooted in another time zone.  I was recently attempting to schedule an interview with a podcaster who was located thousands of miles from me.  For some reason, it was difficult to correctly calculate the time difference and schedule a time that would work for me.  Fortunately, I managed the task, but the experience took longer than it should have.  I vowed to correct that problem and found TimeAndDate.  It’s free, but you will need to open an account to get access to most of the site’s offerings.  This powerful tool helps calculate more than the hours between time zones.  It boasts features that lookup international dialing codes, print and manage calendars, find worldwide weather forecasts, plan national and international meetings and more.  The app is available on iOS and Android devices.

Related Reading: 15 Motivational Podcasts for Women Who Love Business 

  • CamCard – This site and app are more than just a business card management system and scanner.  After you take a photo of a card, it auto-populates text fields and creates a contact for you to save and share with your email and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) programs.  CamCard can also export this information into Microsoft Office programs.  The technology is perfect for networking events, conferences, and client meetings as you can exchange e-cards with each other.  How eco-friendly can you get?  The stripped-down, free versions are available on Android and iOs as well as the paid, upgraded apps.

  • Gboard – This is an app rather than an actual website. As a new user of this third-party iPhone or Android keyboard, I appreciate that it’s increased my texting speed.  I’m probably the slowest smartphone keyboard user on planet Earth!  Gboard offers glide typing and built-in search.  This means you can be in the process of texting someone and look up an address or any other information you need and paste it in the conversation without opening your browser.  Just tap the Google button to search.  Easy as pie!  Use Slash Keyboard as an alternative if you are an avid Android user.

  •  TripIt – I used to equate travel with stress.  That was before I began utilizing this wonderful travel organizer. Now I can’t imagine booking a recreation or business junket without this handy tool.  TripIt consolidates the confirmations and emails from hotels, airlines, and car rental companies into a master itinerary on my phone or computer.  No more flipping between apps or emails!  If a flight is delayed, canceled or a gate number changes, I get a quick update that saves me time and aggravation.  The platform’s basic features are free to use, but you can upgrade to the annual plan or TripIt Pro that keeps track of reward program points, finds alternate flights with open seats, and shares itineraries with others. 

I hope you utilize this list of 7 innovative sites to help you crush it in business.  If you found these resources valuable, please share it with coworkers, family members, and friends and let me know which is your favorite tool and why.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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17 Powerful Quotes from Pioneering Businesswomen

Sometimes it requires great effort to stay motivated in your career.  Experiencing frustration or discouragement is a common occurrence in the lives of most professional women.  The path to success is fraught with obstacles like unconscious bias, sexism, racism, and ageism.  It’s no wonder we feel deflated or defeated from time to time.  It’s at those moments that we need to hear powerful quotes from pioneering businesswomen like:

 

1. Barbara Walters – Journalist, author, and the first female co-anchor of a network evening news show, ABC Evening News

“I was the kind nobody thought could make it.  I had a funny Boston accent.  I couldn’t pronounce my R’s.  I wasn’t a beauty.”

2. Madame Curie – Physicist, chemist, and first woman to win a Nobel Prize

“I have frequently been questioned, especially by women, of how I could reconcile family life with a scientific career.  Well, it has not been easy.”

3. Joan Rivers – Comedienne and first woman to host a late-night television network talk show, The Late Show with Joan Rivers

“I succeeded by saying what everyone else was thinking.”

4. Annie Oakley – Sharpshooter and renowned international star

“Keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect.  Finally, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.”

5. Ursula Burns – First black-American woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Xerox

“I’m an advocate for change and eager to break a little glass when needed.”

 

6. Agatha Christie – Author and Guinness World Records holder as best-selling novelist of all time

“As life goes on, it becomes tiring to keep up the character you invented for yourself, and so you relapse into individuality and become more like yourself every day.”

 7. Jennifer Lopez – Actress, singer, and first woman to have the number one film and album in the same week

“Things don’t always turn out exactly the way you want them to be and you feel disappointed.  You are not always going to be the winner.  That’s when you have to stop and figure out why things happened the way they did and what you can do to change them.”

8. Lucille Ball – Comedic actress and first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions

“I’m not funny.  What I am is brave.”

 9. Indra Nooyi – CEO of PepsiCo and consistently ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world

“At the end of the day, don’t forget you’re a person, don’t forget you’re a mother, don’t forget you’re a wife, don’t forget you’re a daughter.”

 10. Julia Child – Award-winning chef, author, and television personality

“I think you have to decide who your audience is. If you don’t pick your audience, you’re lost because you’re not really talking to anybody.”

Related Reading: Why a Physical Attractiveness Stereotype Crushes Opportunities

11. Vera Wang – Fashion designer and business mogul

“Don’t be afraid to take time to learn.  It’s good to work for other people.  I worked for others for twenty years.  They paid me to learn.”

12. Nellie Bly – Trailblazing investigative journalist

“Accept praise for its worth – politeness.  Be brutally frank with yourself.  It’s safer.”

 13. Aretha Franklin – singer, songwriter, first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

“We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white.”

 14. Mary Kay Ash – Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics and award-winning businesswoman

“Every achievement, big or small, begins in your mind.”

 15. Sara Blakely – Founder of Spanx and billionaire businesswoman

“I think my story says that, when women are given the chance and the opportunity, that we can achieve a lot. We deliver.”

16. Amelia Earhart – Aviation pioneer, author, and first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

 

 17. Estee Lauder – Co-founder of Estee Lauder Companies and the only woman on Time magazine’s 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century

“When I thought I couldn’t go on, I forced myself to keep going.  My success is based on persistence, not luck.”

 

So, did you think those were powerful quotes?  Do you feel empowered?  If not, tell me what words of wisdom or iconic women inspire you and keep you moving forward in your career.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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15 Motivational Podcasts For Women Who Love Business

Truth be told, I’m a wee bit of a podcast junkie.  Nothing’s better for me than listening to tricks of the trade or inspiring stories from people I identify with and trust.  Playing an episode gives me the feeling of being a valued member of an exclusive group.  I usually indulge this mild addiction when working out or walking my dog or running errands.  Uplifting and efficient, no?

A majority of the shows I support are hosted by females because, as in most media, we are seriously underrepresented.  A recent article in Forbes claims, “an estimated 70 percent of podcasts are hosted by men, and the male/female disparity overall is probably even greater.”  So, in an effort to level the playing field, let’s give a little love to the ladies.  Consider subscribing to these 15 motivational podcasts for women who love business:

1. Lose The Cape with Alexa Bigwarfe & Aubrey Mathis

This entertaining pair makes me laugh out loud while dishing up valuable advice and business tips.  The show features busy career moms sharing strategies for survival in their hectic daily lives.

Outstanding Episode: How to Not Be an Icky Salesperson

2. Raise Your Hand. Say Yes. with Tiffany Han

Tiffany is a business coach to creative entrepreneurs and she may give you a verbal kick in the pants from time to time.  She uses storytelling and interviews to inform and inspire you on your professional journey.

Outstanding Episode: Michelle Bablo on Going All In

 

3. Systems Saved Me with Jordan Gill

As an organization and productivity geek, I am compelled to tune into this show on a regular basis.  Jordan produces new content weekly to help us overwhelmed entrepreneurs find success with tried and true methods.

Outstanding Episode: The Process to Kill the Perfectionism Trap

 

Related reading: 7 Deadliest Sins of the Struggling Career Woman

 

4. The Big Payoff with Rachel Bellow & Suzanne Muchin

This dynamic duo has launched and sold six companies together while maintaining a close friendship.  They are uniquely qualified to give epic career and business advice.  “So get a tumbler of vodka, a cup of coffee, or juice cleanse and let’s get started.”

Outstanding Episode: Fatal Distraction

5. The Introvert Entrepreneur with Beth Buelow

This show has been named one of the “Top 25 business podcasts for entrepreneurs” by Entrepreneur.com.  Beth discusses business life from an introvert’s perspective. She offers resources and advice to build self-confidence and reduce fear.

Outstanding Episode: Confessions of an Untraumatized 40-Something Happily Married Woman

6. Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen is the bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before.  Although I would not consider it a business podcast, her thought-provoking show provides advice to improve your outlook and overall attitude.  That’s bound to help improve your professional life.  Don’t you think?

Outstanding Episode: Do what You Love, and Then Your Friends Hire You

7. Why Not Now? with Amy Jo Martin

Amy Jo interviews famous and not so famous people and asks them how they changed from a why notter to an action taker.  She is no slouch in business either.  She wrote the NY Times best-seller Renegades Write the Rules and was named the third most powerful woman on Twitter by Forbes.  Yeah, not bad.

Outstanding Episode: Julie Foudy – Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable 

8. Midlife Schmidlife with Liz Applegate

Liz calls herself “your second-chance enthusiast and positive change facilitator.”  I call her inspiring.  She interviews women over forty who are transforming their middle years and pursuing their dreams.  I can certainly relate!

Outstanding Episode: Being Brave and Learning New Things with Cathy Lawdanski

9. The Daily Meditation Podcast with Mary Meckley

I don’t know about you, but I’m more productive when I’m calm and collected.  Mary helps me get there with her daily meditations.  When I need a few mindful minutes, she is there to guide and enlighten me.

Outstanding Episode: Release Negative Thoughts

10. Social Sidekick Podcast with Laurie Solgon

Laurie created this show to inspire and encourage side-hustlers and fledgling entrepreneurs.  In weekly interviews, she speaks with dynamic businesspeople about their strategies, successes, and how they escaped the 9 to 5 rat race.

Outstanding Episode: Jen Monks, Life Wise Lady Blog (shameless plug alert) 

11. Less Than Or Equal with Aleen Simms

Aleen celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of women and minorities in technology.  Her guests discuss news in S.T.E.M. as it pertains to groups who struggle to be heard and often face inequality in their fields.

Outstanding Episode: Karen Catlin – Advocacy and Mentorship in Tech

12. Jump Start Your Joy with Paula Jenkins

 Paula finds guests with inspirational stories who followed their dreams.  The discussions often cover the adversity these people overcame to ultimately create a joyful life.

Outstanding Episode: The Astonishing Power of Choosing Joy When You Feel Stuck

13. The CourageMakers Podcast with Meg Kissack

 This show was designed to motivate creatives to pursue their passions and overcome their fears.  Every Monday a new courage maker shares her experiences and offers advice on how to get beyond the things that scare you.

Outstanding Episode: Depression, Feeling Worthy, & Finding Hope with Meaghan Gallant

14. Positive Productivity with Kim Sutton

As a mompreneur of five children (whoa), Kim has learned a few things about productivity and squeezing the most out of each moment.  Her guests give you tips and strategies to set and achieve goals without feeling overwhelmed.

Outstanding Episode: Oops! I Burnt MYSELF Out!

15. She Did It Her Way Podcast with Amanda Boleyn

Amanda “is on a mission to help more women succeed and break into the entrepreneurial world.” Her guests give you the woman’s perspective on what it’s like to launch and nurture a business. With a new show each Monday, topics range from product creation to online marketing to mindset training.

Outstanding Episode: Forget the Haters with Ariel Hyatt

 

Well, that’s my list of 15 Motivational Podcasts For Women Who Love Business.  I’ve included some bigger names and a few lesser-known ladies from which to choose. What do you think?  Did I forget to mention one of your favorite shows?  Please let me know in the comment section below.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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11 Breathtaking Cindy Gallop Quotes About Equality

Cindy Gallop is an outspoken champion of women in the workforce.  When she speaks, people in the corporate world sit up, take notice, and often cringe.  She doesn’t care.  As the chair of the U.S. branch of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, a global advertising agency, she was known to make waves in the male-dominated industry.

She has since utilized her considerable influence and experience to found the startups IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn.  She also wrote a book on the latter, Make Love Not Porn: Technology’s Hardcore Impact On Human Behavior.  Her 2009 TED talk on the topic has received almost two million views on YouTube.  Here are 11 breathtaking Cindy Gallop quotes about equality that helped catapult her to celebrity status and become the business crush of thousands.  

“I deplore the shying away that can go on, within women, from the term ‘feminist.’  I am, absolutely, all about being a feminist.”

“I like to describe myself as a proudly visible member of the most invisible segment of our society – older women.”

“Women who play it the way the men do, play by the men’s rules, are seen as domineering, aggressive bitches.”

 

 

“I am all for the Lean In movement.  But the Lean In movement is all about how women can win while working within the existing corporate structure and the existing system and the existing world of business.  I don’t want you to do that.  I want you to redesign it.”

“You’ll never own the future if you care what other people think.”

“I realized I was an attractive older woman who never wanted to settle down.”

“If I ran the world, I would find a way to bring the wealth of human good intentions and corporate good intentions together – to activate them collectively into shared action against shared objectives that produces shared hard, tangible results.”

 

“My personal cause and platform, if you like, is women’s rights and women’s issues.”

“Women challenge the status quo because we are never it.”

“Do you have a different point of view from the men?  Say so!  Do you see an all male environment in your agency?  Call it out and do something about it!”

“I idolize every woman who has ever fought to make equality happen for all of us.”

Related Reading: 17 Powerful Quotes by Pioneering Businesswomen

So, what do you think of these provocative Cindy Gallop quotes?  Does she go over the top or is she right on the money?  I wrote an extensive post on the struggles of career women, including a bit of advice from her.  Check it out here.   Whether you like her or not, Cindy is here to stay.  Is she your business crush or do you have someone else in mind?  Leave a comment below and let’s keep this conversation going.

Photo: Eva Blue

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How Delaying Gratification Results In Remarkable Success

Is waiting for something I want worth it?  That’s a question you ask yourself daily.  If you overeat, the jeans may not fit later.  Although you don’t have enough money saved, that new laptop could go on the credit card.  Your family wants to go on vacation, but that money could go toward business classes to improve your resume.  These are uncomfortable choices for most of us.  However, you probably know people who are quite adept at using their willpower.  They seem to turn off desire like a light switch.  And, as a result, they are successful in nearly all facets of life.  Those perfect jerks!  You want this power, don’t you?  Yeah, me too.  Why are some people better at delaying gratification and how does it help them become successful?

Like Giving Candy To A Baby

Standford professor, Walter Mischel published the marshmallow experiment in 1972.  His team tested hundreds of small children for self-control.  A researcher sat each kid in a private room and placed a marshmallow in front of her.  The child was then offered a choice.  She could eat the candy after the assistant left the room for several minutes or wait until the assistant returned to give her a second marshmallow.  As you can imagine, most of the children fidgeted and pondered and quickly gave into temptation.  But one-third of the kids held out for the bigger prize.

The research team conducted follow-up studies for decades.  They found the children who used willpower and waited for the second candy grew up to demonstrate more tolerance for stress, earn higher SAT scores, and exhibit greater social competence than those who gobbled down the first candy.  In 1989, the study concluded, “To function effectively, individuals must voluntarily postpone immediate gratification and persist in goal-directed behavior for the sake of later outcomes.”  Those who were capable of putting more value on the greater reward were effective at delaying gratification and benefitted academically and socially because of it.

To be truthful, I don’t know that I would have held out for the second marshmallow as a child.  But only because I hate marshmallows and wouldn’t have wanted another one.  I have my weaknesses, though.  Offer me a nice glass of wine or some dark chocolate, and I’ll squirm like one of the kids in the experiment.  My point is, people are more complicated than any study will show.

Perhaps you’re a dedicated worker, but you are a compulsive eater.  Maybe you exercise like a champ, then follow it up by blowing your monthly budget on clothes.  Professor Mischel refers to these reoccurring weaknesses as “hot spots,” and he believes we all have them.  If your hot spot is spending money, click here to find out how I paid off 40k in debt within two years.

 

It’s All In Your Head

I won’t get all textbook-y on you here, but it’s important to understand how the willpower process works.  The ventral striatum is the pleasure center of the brain.  It is the part of your mind that responds to the potential for immediate reward.  To bypass impulses from this area, the prefrontal cortex (in charge of rational thought), must be active.  As a person grows, the reasoning portion of the brain matures, and he or she learns how to deal with or avoid temptations.  This is why adults are better at self-control than children and adolescents.

However, we are all born into different environments.  If you were raised by people who frequently broke promises, you might have realized waiting for a fictional reward was useless.  Additionally, if you grew up poor, scarcity may have prompted you to choose immediate gratification.  One in the hand is better than two in the bush!  But that kind of thinking won’t help you reach your goals or overcome your indulgences now.

What’s She Got That I Haven’t Got?

It’s amazing to me how some people command incredible control over their desires.  They save money, exercise daily, eat right, and never make impulse purchases.  What’s the secret?  It’s all about the way they look at temptation.  People who successfully delay gratification believe they’ll be rewarded for sacrifice.  In addition, they’re able to put more emphasis on future pleasures than immediate ones.  Well, YIPPY for them!  I know what you’re asking; How does that help me?

According to Professor Mischel, both our biology and our psychology contribute to our overall self-control.  It’s not all predetermined by our DNA.  That means there’s hope for all of us.  We can learn how to increase our willpower and train it like a muscle.  However, this muscle can be fatigued.  According to the American Psychological Association, people who are subjected to repeated temptation are less likely to continue resisting the temptation.  They are “willpower-depleted.”  None of us make good decisions when we’re tired.

Can You Spare Some Change?

There are many different strategies to boost self-control.  You have probably tried several.  I’ll list the more common tactics I’ve used over the years that resulted in moderate success in delaying gratification:

  • Writing down both long-term and short-term goals

  • Having a daily schedule and routine

  • Eliminating exposure to temptations

“Been there, done that,” you say, “What else ya got?”  Those are great approaches, but you need more to get the ball rolling.  I know I feel the same way.  Here are some actions that you may not have tried yet:

  • Get an app to assist you.  There are numerous software programs designed to make it easier to reach goals and resist temptations.  Gympact rewards you with cash as an incentive to achieve your fitness objectives.   Level alerts you when you are overspending.  Quit That helps reinforce healthy habits and banish unhealthy ones by tracking your progress and updating you on how much money you’ve saved from quitting smoking or drinking coffee or alcohol, etc.   

  • Read The Willpower Instinct, by psychologist Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.  In the book, I found useful advice and exercises to help me make better choices through nutrition, fitness, and sleep.  Buy this one for yourself or a close friend.  I’m not so sure gifting this one to your boss or mother is such a great idea if you know what I mean.  It is a great read, though.

  • Get some help already!  If you’ve tried everything else, why not seek outside assistance?  Enough with the stigma about seeing a mental health professional in order to tackle this or any other recurring problems in your life.  The American Psychological Association can assist you in locating a qualified psychologist in your area.

At this point, I hope you are inspired to increase your impulse control and willpower.  It’s not just a talent given to some at birth.  Delaying gratification is possible if you understand and change how you think about temptations.  If you begin to choose anticipation over immediate reward, you’ll strengthen this ‘muscle’ and perhaps conquer a bad habit or two.

Do you have any tips or advice to overcome chronic indulgences?  If so, let me know in the comments section below.