This is what I’m thinking about. And it’s funny that this comes to mind as I’m reporting a freelance story on dating. But these thoughts come when they do.
The reason? I’ve been traveling again, and I’ve had the best times strolling around the world by myself. Seriously. I mean, it’s nice to roam with people, too. But there’s something about doing whatever you want, whenever you want.
I love writing about personal finance and helping people learn how to meet their goals in this area. That said, when it comes to investing, I know it can feel overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. And even if you have experience, it never hurts to keep learning and improve your strategy.
For instance, many of us may have learned more about shoe shopping than buying stocks—and we pay for this lack of knowledge when we miss out on the returns investing can bring.
Meanwhile, some people in older generations are working longer than they’d planned. So it’s important to have an effective investing strategy for the short and long term.
As this month comes to a close, I’m reminded of what I’ve learned. The new things I’ve tried. The myriad opportunities that are here now and ahead.
I’ve accomplished a lot, and you probably have, too. So you also probably realize that success isn’t immediate. The best ideas can start with a seed that then grows and matures. And growth—through life’s storms and during the sunny days—is what matters.
So as long as you’re moving, learning, being challenged, please keep going. It’s actually good when life isn’t simple. It’s good when we face challenges. The things we’ve beaten can prepare us for the next round of the fight.
These things can prepare us for big victories.
So, like the sunflowers of summer–and those that will sprout this fall (I can’t wait to see those!)–let yourself grow.
Look to the light. Start that new venture, pitch that story, write that book, have that key conversation. Do the things you’ve been wanting to do.
Experience it all. And let yourself live.
For more views of these gorgeous flowers and my latest musings on writing and life, please visit me on Instagram.
And if you need a hand with your writing projects or career goals, see this page or this one for details on how I can help.
The clouds came in quickly. One minute the sky was bright and sunny. Then, suddenly, grayish black. With fat raindrops beginning to fall. I didn’t have my umbrella. So I waited inside. And it passed. The storm, that is. It passed…like they always do. That’s the part to remember.
When we’re in the middle of difficult situations, it can be hard to see past the rain, and the distractions, and the stress. When it comes to writing, for instance, rejections are part of the game. Having to learn new skills and processes, and frustration with that learning curve, can be, too.
But we have to know that these things can’t last forever. That we’ll get better. And that we can withstand the hard times to get to the good ones. Nothing worth having comes without some struggle.
Adjusting our mindsets can help during turbulent times. And actually, speaking of mindset, we can notice beauty (like in this street shot I captured) even when the bleakest clouds come in. Have you been surprised by a storm? Remember that it won’t last forever. Be calm in the moment. And realistically (all metaphors aside), carry an umbrella to be prepared. Mine is now securely back in my bag. ☺️
And if you want help with the storms that can accompany getting your writing or communications career going—whether it comes to pitching yourself or just having the confidence to start—please let me know. I have advice for that, too. ✨
I’ve been feeling free. Light. Accomplished. And extra independent. Things I’ve been wanting and working toward are happening. It feels great to see things that I’ve imagined actually come to pass in real life.
And that is the key, in part. The thought. The willingness to believe that good things are coming and that I am—and we are—worthy of them.
Our thoughts matter and can affect our bodies, our lives, and our experiences. This concept shows up in science, in the law of attraction, and even in faith-based teachings.
So if you want to feel free—or more successful, content, or relaxed—a big way to shift is within your mind.
For example, taking time to think kind thoughts about yourself has psychological and physical benefits, suggests 2019 research from the University of Exeter. In the small study, participants who listened to an audio recording that encouraged them to be kind to themselves reported feeling more self-compassion and connection with others. These participants also had a physical response consistent with relaxation and safety, including a drop in heart rate and a lower sweat response. Meanwhile, those who heard an audio inducing “a critical inner voice” had a higher heart rate and higher sweat response, consistent with feelings of distress.
So this July, and beyond, remember: If you have a dream in your heart, think of it positively in your mind. Believe in yourself, put in the work, and have faith. Think of the thing as already yours. You might be surprised to see the good things that can follow.
So do you believe in yourself? Want some encouragement? Maybe I can help–especially if you have questions about moving up in your career (including full-time or freelance work in writing, communications, or editing) or how to shift your general mindset. Drop me a comment or email me!
I’ve been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade. (Where did the time go?!) And I wrote for fun for many years before that.
One question that comes up when it comes to writing and creativity is this: Where do you get ideas? Whether we’re writing on deadline or writing just for fun, our ideas have to come from somewhere. And, in my experience, ideas for stories can come from all around us.
Recently I went to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to see a ballet. There, I ran into this exhibit of worldwide photos of hope and resilience (see above). It was another example of how surprises can pop up anywhere and at any time–and how we should be open to them. But it also reminded me that inspiration for writing, other creative pursuits, and even life plans can come from all around us. In fact, I think it’s really cool that we can soak up creativity even in our hometowns—without trying hard or traveling far.
(Side note: If you haven’t been to the Kennedy Center, do check it out when in DC—for everything from opera to ballet. This free exhibit via the National Geographic Photo Camp features photos from at-risk and refugee youth and runs through June 20, 2019.)
So here’s the takeaway: Story ideas and life inspiration can come from anywhere. And they can come by surprise. If you’re looking for ideas for your next piece of writing, look around you. Explore your hometown. Travel. Read something you typically wouldn’t. Start a new conversation.
You can find plenty of inspiration if you pay attention.