I send one letter a month right to your inbox. It has all the tools, tips, ideas and support you need to amplify your life and your business. Sign up and join the over 2,000 folks who read it!  

Live Simply

True Joy or Happiness

What are you doing to find your true joy? This year my One Little Word is “True” and I am finding out what that word means to me in my day to day life, my relationships, my work, how I talk, and my heart. There is a lot of talk about finding happiness, but what about joy?

True Joy

Is there a difference between joy and happiness? According to Diffen.com, “Happiness is an emotion in which one experiences feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure.” Those are based on earthly and attainable things. Nothing wrong with that, but Joy “is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness. Witnessing or achieving selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice frequently triggers this emotion.”

Excitement over ice cream, completing a project on time, or getting something you have wanted are all triggering that happy place. There is nothing wrong with the happy place, but it is fleeting. Joy on the other hand is deeply rooted inside. There is a sense of satisfaction, peace and contentment. Joy is the feeling you get when you help someone who needs it or the pride of accomplishing something difficult.

Martha Beck talks about the illusion of faux happiness. “Intense excitement is what Asian philosophy might call the “near enemy” of true joy—something that looks like the genuine article but is in reality its evil twin. When a gift recipient or jackpot winner starts shaking, screaming, or hyperventilating, we call it happiness, but actually it’s evidence that their neurological fight-or-flight mechanism has been triggered.”  It’s an interesting idea that what people are really into is the addicting power of happiness.

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – Buddha 

I think that simple stuff can make a bad day happier and that is worth seeking out. In fact, I believe wholeheartedly in the pursuit of happiness, but joy warms your heart and lasts just a little bit longer. So, go for the good stuff, but also go for the lasting stuff. At least that is true for me and what I want in my life.

I’ll be exploring what True means to me all year through the One Little Word project and with that I will be looking towards what brings me True Joy. Let the journey towards “True” begin! What brings you true joy? We will be talking about it over on Facebook. Join us.

Why Building Community Matters

Today I had the privilege to speak at Rotary about our Main Street program. I am not a Rotarian, but I commend them for their commitment to friendship and gathering together each week. (Truth be told, I would be one, but ours meets at 6:30AM. AM!) Preparing for my short talk had me thinking about why building community matters to us professionally and personally.

Northwest Arkansas Bloggers

Two years ago I realized I was lonely. Although we love our simple life in the Ozark Mountains, I began to feel like I was missing out on collaborating with new people, exploring opportunities, and making friends closer to my age. As much as I love Eureka Springs, it is a retirement area and there aren’t a lot of 40 somethings.

My first step was to set up a Facebook page for Northwest Arkansas Bloggers because I had been blogging since 2006 and I thought that this would be a good group of people to connect with. I had met a lot of them through the awesome community developed by Stephanie Buckley, The Park Wife,  at Arkansas Women Bloggers. She had has brought together bloggers from around the state to create a strong vibrant community. She inspired me to gather bloggers in #NWARK. So, I set up the page and did nothing with it. I just let people find it, share it and like it.

Then last year I ventured out to put an invite together (still on Facebook) to a MeetUp at a restaurant in our region. Actually, an hour a way from me, but I was willing to drive.

27 people came.

Since then we have been meeting monthly at area locations, switching from one part of the region to the other to help ease peoples commute. The events are, for the most part, not sponsored by anyone and are not meeting with a topic. They are purely networking opportunities. 

What has the outcome been? Friendships, business opportunities, project planning, groups gather for focused retreats, professional leads, running buddies, celebrations and supporting those that need it. It is everything that comes from creating community – relationships.

The group has over 200 participants and about an eighth of the group attends any one meet up, but those that do seem to find value and community.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. – Cesar Chavez

I am extremely proud to have created community within this group. I didn’t do it to make money or garner attention, but to develop lasting relationships through a common element. We are open to anyone who would like to participate because I believe in the power of inclusiveness and that seems to be working just fine. We have been noticed at the regional level as a powerhouse of local engagement and amplification. We have also been noticed state wide. It’s nice to be noticed as a community of engaged individuals.

So, we are different than Rotary, but they are both important. They help us be better people, they connect us with those we might not connect with and they, hopefully, build lasting relationships.  One of my skills is bringing people together to create good things, but this isn’t about me – it is about the group and I love that.

5 Ways To Really Get Things Done

6a00d83427794753ef01a3fcb66842970b I see people struggling with to do overwhelm everyday online. The feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it. There is help, but you have to try these things to stop feeling that way.

Believe You Have Enough Time: This seems counter-intuitive, but the truth is we have enough time to do what we really want/need to do. If you spend all of your time whining about not having enough time then you have enough time to actually get something done.

Dump the Lingering Task: What we don’t have time for is all the superfluous things that land in our lap. If there is something you really don’t want to do then you aren’t ever going to find time to do it. Figure out if it s a real thing or not. If it is a real thing, but you still aren’t finding time for it; find someone else to do it for you even if you have to pay someone.

Master the Master List: You have to brain dump. There is no getting around this process. I like to keep a composition book that is just one big running list of stuff that I add to regularly. This is just every nagging thing that is running around in circles around my mind. If I don’t put it down on paper it keeps me up at night, leaves me unfocused and stops me from actually doing anything. Get all of it out of you and on paper. Do this often.

Make a To Do List Every. Single. Day.: I know you don’t want to. I don’t want to. It seems like I can just wing it, but you know what, we can’t. We need the focus and attention of the list because we are like crows going after the first shiny object. Write a short to do list either the night before or in the morning. Cross stuff off. It feels great.

Make an Action List: On that to do list that you are writing every single day make the items actionable. Don’t write “shop”; instead write “go to the grocery store”. Don’t write “plan event”; write “write press release. If your list looks like a lot of places to go or things to do, but doesn’t tell you what to do when you get there or start doing them you are typically overwhelmed by too big a task. “Plan event” is a huge list of to do’s and only a few can be done at a time. Break them down on your messy master list and then start adding them with action items to your daily to do list.

1 60 61 62