Impressions. Not necessarily first ones.

First impressions are quick, powerful, and lasting. What about those impressions that are not the first? Are we obligated to constantly impress people we know?

After a while, personalities clashes, jokes goes flat, relationships fizzle. Is there a way to bounce back or should we impress people each time we see them? Not everyone gets along with everyone so stop pretending. Be yourself. Making good first impression means that you’re trying to “fit in”, but this will not work for a long run. At some point you will lose your identity & pretend to be someone you’re not. Someone said that first impressions count but last impressions are forever.

In today’s culture we place a lot of unnecessary pressure on impressing people. In reality, transformation of impressing someone happens long after introductions have been made. First impression is only a glimpse into what someone is like, not a final call who they really are.  Impressions overall are meaningless.  Don’t rush into a decision after just the first encounter. People are not easy to figure out & they go beyond the name they have been given. There are layers behind every persona & we need time to peal those layers. Time is an essential factor to get to know someone & determine who that person really is.  

Don’t jump on a first impression wagon & think you got someone figured out. Because chances are you don’t.  Just think how many relationships you’re missing out on because you made assumptions based off of observations. Practice getting to know people & do it for as long as you run out of time and energy. Give certain weight to the relationships you’re trying to develop & find ways to take them deeper. People will notice & you might make a difference in their life. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to stop judging. 

“It takes a moment to judge someone, but a lifetime to understand them”.

L.

I’m at the crossroads…now what?

Very often in our lives we find ourselves standing at the major crossroad, not knowing which way to chose. Crossroads can be scary & difficult yet enticing because they introduce an opportunity & excitement. Even if danger may be nonexistent, the choice feels dreadful to make and hangs over our heads before, during and even after a decision has been made. Some major decisions come unannounced & without anticipation. Changes or transformation can be gradual or it can be sudden. It comes as no surprise that choices often cause a lot of anxiety. It can either make you or break you. Deep inside we know there is a lot at stake. However, making the right decision can really pay off in the most rewarding way. But if it’s the wrong choice, we are filled with regrets.

When you hit a crossroad or life altering choice, counsel with someone who can be objective & non bias.  Whomever you chose to confide in, keep in mind that you are only collecting data. This person will not & cannot make a decision for you. Have an open mind. You might hear an advice that you wouldn’t even consider. Important element to think about is to follow your heart, your passion, your talents and the outcome you’d like to accomplish. Also, don’t ignore your gut feeling. The feeling that keeps you up at night. That could be your gut talking. Approach the crossroads lightly but head straight for it at full force. Otherwise the path might be chosen for you. The decision might be forced upon you if your time is up. In Alice in Wonderland, when Alice meets the Cheshire Cat for the first time. She asks him which way to go. In response, he asks her where she wants to go. She answers “It doesn’t much matter”. To which he says “If that’s the case, then take any road and eventually you will arrive somewhere”. The same can be said about decisions. If they are not firm or precise, they may lead you to an outcome, but likely not the one you wanted. Have a desired result- the end game of what do you want to accomplish.

During the process embrace the idea of change & see what happens. Unknown can be scary but you can start an entirely new life. Don’t oscillate between “holding on” & “letting go”. Chose curiosity over fear. We actually learn about ourselves from difficult experiences. I have lived thru it more than once & each experience was quite liberating. I connected with my intuition which is strength of mine. My intuition only fails me when I decide against it. If I follow it, I know that my values will not be intact. Once I made that one crucial decision, opportunities started to present by itself. So be true to yourself. Do some soul searching if time permits. Don’t make decisions to please someone else & do not settle for less.   

We might not always welcome changes that disrupt our stability & turn our world upside down. No matter how grim the situation is, unfortunately things happen when they happen. But there is always a silver lining. You just need to find it. Don’t be afraid to try new things even if they might be challenging at first. You might discover new paths in life, you don’t yet know exist.

L.

“It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” – J.K. Rowling

You settled for less

“The only difference between you & someone you envy is, you settled for less”. Dr. Phil

I came across this quote twice in my life. The first time I heard it I was convinced that Dr Phil was watching me from a hidden camera. It felt like he was observing me, whispered the quote into my ear, and left me to figure out the rest. I have to admit that it made a small impact but I didn’t think much of it. Every now & then I would remind myself of it but again didn’t make a big deal about it. Years went by and I continued to live uneventful & tedious life.  I noticed however that my life started to irritate me, make me sad & I began to suffocate. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong but each day I felt less & less happy. I did however put a good face to a bad game. I adore & respect Megyn Kelly and I was very excited when her book “Settle for more” came out. I was reading it & all of the sudden there it was. Same quote starring at me, right into my face: “the only difference between you & someone you envy is, you settled for less”. I have those words pinned to the wall in my office. I look at it daily. Megyn went on explaining how it was an eye opener for her & I recall the time froze on me. I felt paralyzed. I kept reading it over & over sitting straight up in my bed as I discovered world’s greatest secret. This time I knew it was meant for me to see it. I knew right there that I did settle for less. It felt like an intervention. I couldn’t sleep that night. Time to re-examine my life I thought. I was afraid that if I didn’t act on it now, I would miss out in life. This wasn’t a coincidence.

 I reached deep into my heart & soul and started visualizing my dreams. I categorized it as short & long term but I stayed realistic. Some changes required immediate action & some remained on the list for a while. Warning, dreams also come with setbacks. I have accepted mine as part of the process instead of giving up on everything all together. Setbacks build patience and perseverance. I adjusted my attitude and started working on myself & the emotions that caused my unhappiness. I pretty much created an improvement plan. It is crucial to stick to it & give yourself a deadline. Continue to visualize your dreams and don’t betray your authenticity. Few months went by and I started noticing how my attitude changed. I made small steps towards small goals at the beginning. All of the sudden I became curious of how much more I can stretch my ambitions. Turned out that opportunities were endless. My future was 100% in my hands. I stayed consistent with the plan because only consistency leads to personal transformation. I did experience hurts & fails during my journey. Big ones. The truth is, the more hurts & disappointments you experience- the more challenges & fears you can face. Important is to honor commitments to yourself. Don’t make excuses because excuses are dream killers. Be specific & commit to it. If you truly want to send an earthquake through your soul, when you know it’s time to make a change- you will somehow figure out the way to make it happen. Don’t let the dreams scare you. Devote your time, your energy & money if necessary. Be true & honest with yourself.  Otherwise it will not work. And remember, settling for less is not an option! L.

“…I have been asking myself some tough questions. Ones I’m not sure I want the answers to. I fear screwing up my life. Why can’t I be satisfied with what I have? Because, in my heart, my soul, I want more. I hope I have the courage to listen to myself. I hope I figure out what settling for more means in my personal life and have the strength to do whatever it takes to have a full, meaningful life….” “Settle for more” – Megyn Kelly

My views of what’s life all about

Have you ever wondered what life is really about? I have. Many times.  Especially when I was drained emotionally & exhausted physically. That’s generally when thoughts as such creep in.

Everyone is more receptive to common, very average life where everyone’s expectations are the same. How about experiencing uncommon life? Life where you feel fully alive, where you let go of your inhibition & where you live life of the highest aspirations. No one wants to climb mountains that at the end turn out to be the wrong ones. Don’t always look for tangible things in life. Look for things that are deep inside of you & things that will guide you to better life. Perhaps life that is unexamined yet. Those qualities are inside of every single one of us. We just need to wake them up. 

  1. Have a self- honor. This means- be true to yourself cause you have no one else to fool. Respect your values & accept your flaws. Flaws are part of who you are. Flaws define you.
  2. Respect your ideas even if they are different & unconventional. Go towards your dreams even if everyone around you don’t get you. Keep your chin up & be proud of your ambitions. Have confidence & stick up for yourself.
  3. My favorite- be genuine. We are all build to love. Open your heart & forgive anyone you haven’t forgiven. Let go of relationships that steal your happiness.  Love people unconditionally & faithfully. Nurture with your heart- not your hands.
  4. Express your creativity. I’m a super creative person. Ideas flow constantly thru my mind. I’ve always been different & original. So don’t hold your creativity. Be ridiculously curious. Adore books & learn to love learning. Exercising your brain is great.
  5. Experience life’s beauty. Travel broadly.  Start hiking. Get lost in the woods, forests or mountains where cell phones don’t work. Fell in love with nature. Read books. Laugh loudly with friends. Smile every time you make eye contact with someone. And smile like you mean it. Eat delicious food, drink great wine. Buy flowers. Loosen up to dancing. Play songs you like & just dance to it. Dance when you’re alone. Be yourself. No one can see you. Sing in the car when you’re stuck in traffic. Play your favorite song & sing it out loud. No one can hear you.
  6. Be altruistic. Generosity is a beautiful & fulfilling thing. Whether it’s monetary or simply volunteering-  start giving.  Pay it forward. We need kind & generous people now more than ever. It’s not only how you live but who you help.

Those 6 are my personal believes of what’s life’s all about. All 6 define me and have never disappointed me. I wrote this with an open heart and utmost authenticity. If you feel unfulfilled on some level & you don’t know how to change it- borrow my ideas. Because life is waiting for you & days are slipping away.

L.

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind” – Taylor Swift