What You See Is NOT What You Get.

minimalism, goals, simplicity.

I started 2016 without any goals.  No New Year’s resolutions.  No plans for the future.

Toward the end of 2015 I found myself in a downward spiral of obsession and claustrophobia. Each day was a chore to get through.  I never seemed to have enough time to do what needed to be done, so I did a lot of nothing.

It seemed foreign to me to not have any goals for the new year.  It’s out of character but I just couldn’t focus on anything outside of the immediate.  I couldn’t even imagine what the next year would bring because I couldn’t see past tomorrow.

I happened to be sitting in my sister’s kitchen on January 1st.  We have always have tried to get together on New Year, whether in person or online,  because we’re planners and goal setters.  However, this year we didn’t make any plans.  It was only a last minute decision to drive the 3 hours to visit her.

Instead of planning, we chatted about our current struggles and the feelings of lethargy that we were apparently both dealing with.  We took the time to reconnect and sympathize.  Honestly, we didn’t have any great words of encouragement for each other.  Only that we could understand what the other was going through.

I mentioned to my husband on the ride home that night, how neither my sister nor myself had been able to come up with any great goals for the new year. We felt stuck.

That’s when he said something that was a complete paradigm shift for me.

He said, “Not all goals have to be life changing.”

I realized then that I had been looking for something that was going to completely revolutionize my life.  I wanted THE GOAL that would pull me out of the doldrums and shine a light on a bright new future.

But those words set me on a new path.  A path of simplicity, instead of enormity. A path to be taken one step at a time.  A path to be strolled for the sheer pleasure and not for some extravagant destination at the end.

What has happened since January 1st has been a series of deliberate steps that have, in the course of few short months, altered the course of my life in a very “life-changing” way.  I didn’t plan it.  I just walked it.

I want to share with you those deliberate steps and somehow help you walk out of the mire of overwhelm and into the spaciousness of balance. What you see is not what you get.  You can change your perspective, open up, and get more out of life.

Miranda Signature

P.S.  Part of this change is giving Coffee & Confidence an overhaul.  I appreciate your patience as I work out the kinks and think out the quirks to bring you something fresh and new.

 

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You Don’t Need the Want-To, You Just Need the Right Reason

reason, goal, dream, motivation, marathon

reason, goal, dream, motivation, marathonYou’ve heard it, I’m sure.  Someone comes along and tries to motivate you by pumping up your enthusiasm to do the work quicker and more effectively.  “You gotta have the want-to,” they say.  “You need to be motivated, turned on, set on fire.”

Motivation is good.  Enthusiasm is helpful. But it’s not everything and it often grows cold. It’s hard to stay excited when things aren’t going well.  It’s hard to be enthusiastic if you’re having a really bad day or just not feeling well.

Motivation is the nitro in your engine.  The espresso shot in your coffee.  The supercharge that moves you.  It’s great when you have some.  It feels incredible.  But it doesn’t make more creative.  And it doesn’t prepare you for the long road ahead.

If the guy’s an idiot and you motivate him, now you’ve got a motivated idiot. – Jim Rohn

Going after something meaningful is like running a marathon. The process isn’t all fun and games.  There are weeks of training.  Miles of ground you cover that nobody counts. Rainy days. Hot days. Muscle aches. Joint pains. Blisters. Sweat.

Sure, there are some great runs when you feel like you’re on top of your game, but that’s not enough to motivate you do it again tomorrow.  Tomorrow’s another day, with it’s own set of hurdles, weather patterns, and other surprises.

So, if it’s not motivation, what is it that pushes a runner to complete a marathon?  

It’s not the destination either.  It’s not like the finish line is in the garden of Eden or Paradise Island.  It’s just a ribbon down the street.  Probably a street you’ve already been down before. There’s nothing special there that’s going to make you feel like you’ve finally arrived.

It’s not even the journey or process of getting there. Although there are plenty of lessons to learn along the way.  Those lessons are actually more important that the destination itself. But no one runs a marathon to take in the scenery.  Towards the last few miles, you’re not even aware of anything outside of your breathing and footfalls.

The reason we run marathons, chase dreams, and set goals is to press ourselves to become more.  More of ourselves.  A bigger, clearer version of who you are inside. It unlocks the potential in you. In becoming more, you give yourself a higher spring board to the next big possibility.

After you’ve run the last mile and crossed that finish line, you are now a victor. A winner. A finisher. You are someone who sets their mind to something and completes it. You now have the “been there, done that” t-shirt. There were witnesses and celebrations.

And then the question.  What next?

You have gained skills and work habits and relationships and training hacks that will help propel you to the next big thing.   Your reason for completing a big audacious goal is the next big audacious goal.  The goals are the stepping stones to the best version of yourself.   That best version of yourself.  The strong, healthy, creative, happy, rested, peaceful, fulfilled version of you.

Want to meet that person?  Put in the hours, motivated or not, and get another step closer to an introduction.

What does the best version of you look like?  What are you doing to get there?  Leave your comment here. 

If you’d like to fuel your motivation, join my email list for some monthly inspiration direct to your inbox. 

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Is The Road To Happiness Paved With Guilt?

guilt, purpose, happiness, happy, passion, boundaries, road, selfish, selfishness

guilt, purpose, happiness, happy, passion, boundaries, road, selfish, selfishnessConfession:  I can’t help but feel a twinge of guilt when I read quotes about doing more of what makes me happy.

Is it selfish to spend my time and energy on what makes me happy?

Is it really okay to do that??

Shouldn’t I have a more noble cause than focusing on what makes me happy?

Feeling guilty for being happy negates your happiness.  How can one be happy and feel guilt at the same time?  You can’t.

Where do we get this idea that doing what makes us happy is somehow wrong?  Who said that we had to be martyrs and sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of others?  And who really expects you to do that?

Right to Pursue

Wanting to be happy is not selfish.  It is, in fact, an inalienable right to pursue happiness.  Our forefathers knew that every person needed to live a life of liberty and be free to work for what makes them happy.  They didn’t say we had the right to be happy, but simply a right to pursue it.  Remember, happiness is not a destination.  It is the journey.

Life is about give and take.  Ebb and flow.  To do only what benefits us at the detriment of our family or those around us is selfish.  However, chasing a dream, working toward a goal, or pursuing a passion is not a selfish act.

Boundaries – Self-interest vs. Selfish//Mentor vs. Martyr

We get mixed up in where our boundaries lie.  Some of us more than others.  Some to an extreme.

The Narcissist has boundaries that only encompass himself.  No others are considered in his decision making.

The Empath regards the feelings of others much higher than his own and subsequently gives all weight in decision making to others.  Deserving or not.

Neither of these are a healthy way of life.  You either become completely self-centered or develop a martyr complex.

The ideal is somewhere in between.  A place where you have consideration for those within your circle of influence while having a healthy level of self-interest.

Self-interest is different than selfishness.  It is taking full advantage of the opportunities that come your way without allowing others to take advantage of you.  It’s also being a mentor vs. a martyr.  Helping others without losing yourself in the process.

The Fine Line – Purpose

Where exactly is that fine line between self-interest and selfishness?  Where is that place where you can be happy without feeling guilt?

It’s different for each person and I can’t begin to guess where it is for you.  But I suspect that it sits along the line of purpose.

Every person has God-given talents that were afforded to us to contribute to the world, our community, the greater good.  These talents and passions are rooted deep in our souls and are attached directly to our values.  They are the vehicle by which we share meaning with the world and ultimately bring purpose and happiness to our lives.  When we can work with our talents, it doesn’t feel like work.

Passion x Purpose = Happiness

So, ask yourself, What is the one thing that I love to do whether or not I get paid?

Then ask, How can I use this to share meaning with my community?

When you can find this driving force in your life, you will have found your purpose.  Your passion.  Your element.  The zone.

In this place, there are no Mondays.  No day jobs.  No TGIF.  It simply becomes a daily pursuit of happiness.  Your purpose and passion may or may not pay the bills.  But that’s no reason to ignore the reason you’re here.  Work to pay your bills.  Then pursue happiness.  While you work to be happy, you’ll also be contributing to a cause of sharing meaning and value with those around you. You’ll love every minute of it.  And the rest of us will be better for it.

 

What’s your passion and purpose?  How do you share meaning and values with those around you.  Share in the comments.

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