Tag Archives: Life

5 #Winners & 5 Truths About #Winning

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In March, I began a journey of discovery. Like the rest of America, and probably the rest of the free world that follows celebrity related pop culture, I watched in awe and a certain degree of disgust as actor Charlie Sheen flitted around television and the internet (now the country) claiming he was a warlock, and telling the world that he was a winner who was #winning, and the rest of us were trolls. As this circus act unfolded, I began to think about the concept of winning….who was winning, what it meant to win, and, now that the word had been defiled to an extent, what was the future of winning in general. I knew only one thing for sure about winning-Charlie Sheen wasn’t doing it. He was having some sort of career and personal life destroying breakdown, but winning? Er, no…

Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I realized that I am lucky to know a lot of awesome people…most of whom are just more or less living regular lives, some of whom have attained some notoriety, but all are most definitely Authentic Winners in life, unlike our friend Charlie. So, I thought wouldn’t it be cool to interview them and feature them in my new blog because they are the sort of people who actually are worthy of admiration for the things they are doing, at least a few moments in the spotlight, and millions of Twitter followers. I also wanted to explore this whole concept of winning for myself, so that I could define specifically what a winner does, how a winner acts, and how a winner conducts the life that they’ve been given.

Just to recap, over the last several weeks, I talked to the following authentic winners:

Scoliosis Awareness Advocate, Kerrie Bassow

Knit Creation Artist, Sharmon Cate Hardin

Renowned Miniature Clothing Artist, Jon Coffelt

Professional Photographer, Phil Hunt

And last but certainly not least,

Author and Motivational Speaker, Mary Foley

Each of these winners is vastly different from one another, which was purposeful on my part, because I believe that winners can come from all walks of life, and certainly don’t have to follow some set template for winning. I thoroughly enjoyed my “E-terviews” with each and every one of these individuals! They were all interesting, engaging, giving, and so very gracious. Without exception, each of them thanked me several times for featuring them in my blog. Imagine that! Trust me, readers, the pleasure was all mine, to have the opportunity to get a peek inside the lives and winning life strategies of true blue, authentic winners!

Despite their surface differences, by the time I had completed and posted all five of the E-terviews, I noticed a few common characteristics in the lives of each of these winners—traits and activities which, in the end, informed and further shaped my own concept of winning….

1) Winners aren’t afraid to be themselves and take their own paths in life. Each of my E-terviewees had some interest or another that was uniquely theirs—not someone else’s plan for them. They were brave enough to figure out who they were, what really interested them, what they wanted out of life, and they went for it!

2) Inevitably, each of my featured winners incorporated a strong desire to help others into their individual life path. In other words, there was not one winner on my list who had a totally self centered motivation for doing what they were doing. Each of these people are exceptional because they used their talents and their vision for good, to ultimately leave the world better than they found it.

3) Each and every one of the people I interviewed met with obstacles in life. What made them different, however, was that they each immediately set out to figure out innovative ways to either obliterate or find a pathway around the obstacles. They were not easily discouraged from achieving their goals and dreams.

4) Each winner I spoke with was literally brimming with self confidence, self assurance, and an unwillingness to let other people discourage them. In other words, it appears that a necessary ingredient for winning in life is to believe in yourself. This is not to be confused with narcissistic overconfidence, such as that which Mr. Sheen is exhibiting right now. Self confidence married with a humble, kind nature makes a winner.

5) And finally, winners are never afraid to evaluate the direction they have taken in order to regroup and even reverse course as needed, or to evaluate themselves to undertake reinvention of self. Winners purposely evolve over time, and if something isn’t working, the winner recognizes it, and acts accordingly to move forward to win another day!

I learned a lot from talking to real live Authentic Winners and finding out what makes them tick. If you already read the 5 E-terviews I posted with Kerrie, Sharmon, Jon, Phil, and Mary, then thanks! If not, I’d encourage you to take the time to click the links above and get to know these folks a little better. After all, every budding winner could use a little inspiration from some great role models!

Until next time…

A WittyBizGal Authentic Winner E-terview; Author and Motivational Speaker Mary Foley

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I met Mary Foley a few months ago when she traveled here to Florida to deliver the keynote speech for my organization’s Independence Program graduation ceremony. Our purpose is to empower women in our community to work toward their own independence—financial, and otherwise. Many of our graduates had fought tough battles over the nine months they were with us in order to reach that amazing day when they could stand up assert to all of us in the audience that they had made impressive strides, and were well on their way to being strong, independent women who were now prepared to support themselves and give back to the community.

These gals deserved something special—or should I say someone really special, and Mary Foley did not disappoint! She made the graduates and all of us in the audience laugh and cry and feel great about being women. Then she inspired each of us to look inside and first figure out what we (not our mothers, our husbands, our sisters, or our kids) wanted out of this life we’ve been given—and told us to go out there and get it!

So, for this fifth and final in my series of Authentic Winner E-terviews, I am so honored that Mary graciously agreed to share with us a little bit about who she is, what she found out that she wanted out of life, and how she got it. I know you’ll love Mary Foley as much as I do, and will be inspired to get out there and live your own dreams, whether you’re a man or a woman.

WBG: Mary, you jumpstarted your career at a little company called America Online, back when it really was little. What was the one most important thing you learned during your time at AOL about being a successful working woman?

Mary Foley: When I was 23 years old with a newly earned industrial engineering degree, the only thing I knew was what I didn’t want for my career. I didn’t want to be an engineer!  I truly wished that someone would have waved a magic wand to tell me what I should do, where I should direct myself. There wasn’t anyone. It was up to me to decide, so I decided to move to a metropolitan area with lots of jobs and get started in something, anything, to pay the bills. From there, I could evaluate and make more choices.

I learned a lot of lessons during my AOL career, but the biggest one I learned is that you are in charge of your career. You are ultimately the only one responsible for your career (and life for that matter). And the first hurdle to success is between your ears. You have to determine where you want to take your career. There’s no waiting for someone to tell you, there’s no pre-determined path. So, learn all you can from mentors. Utilize all the career development opportunities that are offered by your employer and otherwise. But, the final direction and decisions regarding your career are up to you.

WBG: These days you travel all around the country teaching women how to “increase their sanity, confidence, and fun” and talk to women about women’s issues on your “Girlfriend We Gotta Talk” radio show when you’re back home in Virginia. I bet you’ve learned a lot about women! What are three things we all have in common, no matter what our walk of life, income level, or educational & career background?

Mary Foley: We are so much more alike than we are different!  We all want to feel good about who we are, we all want to feel confident in being able to handle life, and there’s not a woman yet that I’ve met that doesn’t want to laugh more often and more easily. The good news is that since so many women want the same thing, we can share what works and be there to support one another!

WBG: Who is the most interesting guest you’ve ever interviewed and featured on your radio show, and why?

Mary Foley: We’ve had so many great guests that it’s hard to pick just one.  However, a person who jumps to mind as exceptional is Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author, featured speaker on The Secret, and transformational expert. She’s so good that she is one of the very few guests we’ve had on our show twice!  What makes her stand out is that she so effectively pierces through emotional and mental clutter with her straightforward concepts and poignant stories. The research findings she shared about being “happy for no reason” or experiencing “love for no reason” spoke to my head and her real stories spoke to my heart. I even got unexpectedly choked up on-air, which is very unusual for me!  I won’t forget that anytime soon…

WBG: If I decided to branch out and start a WittyBizGal cosmetics company, I would want to include a nail color line. I want to name 3 nail polishes; one for you, one for your mother, and one for your radio co-host. What would I call those three polishes, and what colors would they be?

Mary Foley: I would say I have 3 fabulous colors that I’ve already created that are perfect for you!

  • “Perfection is SOOO Over-rated” is my cappuccino nail color that I like wearing myself that’s a perfect reminder for my driver personality to just chill.
  • “Little Miss Smarty Pants” is a fun medium purple color that was created to honor my mom who would teasingly use the phrase to describe me and my sisters. I always smile when I say this nail color name!
  • “Laughter is My Face Lift” perfectly describes my friend and “Girlfriend We Gotta Talk!” radio show co-host Susie Galvez.  We share lots of laughs, even when we’re talking about serious subjects. And, the fact that she’s a beauty expert just tops it off!

Good luck on your WittyBizCal cosmetics line! ;D

WBG: Your book, Live Like Your Nail Color, along with its related speaking engagements and parties has been wildly popular and successful in getting busy women like me to sit down and think about who we really are & what we want out of life, all while taking a much needed break while our nail color dries. Can you give us a hint about what we can expect next from Mary Foley?

Mary Foley: Given these challenging times, women want more ideas on creating sanity for their lives and confidence for their careers. So, I’m redesigning my website maryfoley.com and creating a Facebook page to share more ideas to help. In addition, I’ve created some new live, in-person programs including about thriving on change and tapping into the secrets of successful women. I look forward to a continued conversation – we’re all in this together!

WBG: Mary, I couldn’t have said it better myself! And I think I can speak for women everywhere when I say that with an advocate like you on our side, our potential for #AuthenticWinning will know no limits! Thanks for allowing us a little peek inside Mary Foley’s World. 🙂

Mary’s Latest Book, Live Like Your Nail Color, is Available on Amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/eyOFu2

To Plan Your Very Own “Live Like Your Nail Color” Party, or to Arrange for Mary Foley to Speak at Your Next Event, Please Visit Her Professional Website at: www.maryfoley.com

To Listen to Recorded Full Radio Broadcasts of Girlfriends Mary Foley & Susie Galvez, Visit Girlfriend We Gotta Talk’s Website: http://www.girlfriendwegottatalk.com/

To Follow Mary on Twitter: @BodaciousMary

I Became a Grandmother Today!

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“When a child is born, so are grandmothers”. ~ Judith Levy

I became a first time grandmother today! My grandson was born this morning, 2 months early, so we’re still on pins and needles but have every reason to be extremely optimistic that all will be well. Isn’t it a miracle how life continually renews itself? It’s an amazing thing to be a grandparent, I have to say…there’s just something so special about a part of me continuing on after I’m gone someday, especially since I didn’t play any active part in the whole “life goes on” thing this time…:-)

Noteworthy Grandmothers :

Granny Clampett

Sarah Palin

Grandma Moses

 

AND……..

WittyBizGal

“Grandmothers are just antique little girls.”  ~ Author Unknown

Selfless Acts of Selfishness, Otherwise Known As Being Human

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“Do some selfless service for people who are in need. Consider the whole picture, not just our little selves”. ~ Nina Hagen

I’ve been thinking a lot today about what it means to be “selfless”. So, as I did for my first blog, I headed to my trusty dusty dictionary to find the official definition which is as follows: having no concern for self. Okay, fair enough, but I’d argue that if this is what it really means there is no one on the planet who truly qualifies, nor should there be, as self interest is a qualifying requirement for membership in the human race. Additionally, that same self interest is innate in each of us because it fulfills an evolutionary purpose and is the very trait which fuels survival instinct. Even Mother Teresa herself possessed a certain degree of self interest as she dedicated her life to the pursuit of what I have often heard described as her selfless life’s work. Elements of self interest always enter into the equation as we carry out activities of our own volition, such as the selflessness that is required to make personal sacrifices for our children’s well being, or unpaid hours we devote to charity work, etc.

It occurs to me that while “selfless” may be a Utopian myth of epic proportions, the meaning behind it is very real, and comes down to a matter of degree and percentages. When we carry out so called selfless acts, it doesn’t always mean that we, ourselves, are particularly selfless. And here’s the big secret—THAT IS 100% OKAY! Individuals such as myself who have chosen to dedicate our lives to nonprofit work do so for a myriad of different reasons. And in the case of charity work, random acts of kindness, and all manner of seemingly self sacrificing behaviors displayed by people in this world, the truth is that, whether 100% selfless or 100% selfish, the end result is always the same, and can be just as beneficial to the world we live in.

Reality dictates that not one of us is 100% self-less or 100% self-ish, rather are some mixture of both, which is a completely separate matter from our actions. This is because our motivations for doing what we do are hidden—sometimes even from ourselves; more or less so depending upon how truly introspective we are. So, to chase worldly recognition for selflessness, is to chase illusion. We won’t always be recognized or thanked for true self sacrifice, and I think the degree to which we are okay with that is probably directly proportionate to how much mythical selflessness we actually possess. Mind you, this would be how okay we actually are with it, not the self effacing “Oh, it was nothing” wave of our hand within earshot of others. And it’s also wholly between ourselves and our Maker, that is, if our personal paradigm includes a Maker. If not, then it’s just between You and You…as lonely as I think that would be.

As for me, I will consider my life a 100% smashing success if my Maker turns to me and says, “Lisa, I see that you have been busy with the life I gave you. You were 50% selfless, but made effective use of your 50% selfishness to drive 25% of those selfless acts, that helped 75% of the earthly brothers and sisters I made sure crossed paths with you. You done good kid….Welcome Home!”

Until next time…

5 Things I Learned About Life When My Best Friend Died

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On January 11, 2011, my longtime friend Mark Davidson died suddenly. There was no prior warning, no illness which might have given a clue…nothing. One day he was posting on his Facebook Wall about kicking off the New Year wrong by showing up for work when the office was closed that day, and the next he was gone…just like that. While it is always hard to lose someone we love, the death of a peer, particularly when it is completely unexpected, is especially jarring. In my search to find comfort since the moment I learned that one of the best friends I’ve ever had was no longer spinning around on the planet with me, I have learned one of the reasons peer death is so difficult is that, more than any other type of loss, it really forces you to take a harder look at your own life—particularly your mortality. It also makes you think about life—a lot. This is what the loss of Mark taught me about my life and life in general;

1)      No matter where you go, there you are.

When I first met Mark in the early 90’s, he used to say this—too much. In fact, he said it so much that it annoyed me, especially after I found out he probably got it from a car commercial. His death made me realize that no matter how far we run, how we think we’ve moved on and never looked back, those people who have touched our lives, and those experiences we’ve lived through remain with us, because now they are a part of us. Everyone you’ve ever known…everyone you’ve ever loved, has made you who you are.  Mark, and everyone I’ve ever lost or even purposely left behind, looks back at me each morning in the mirror because they ARE me.

2)      Tie up your loose ends.

Oh boy did Mark leave loose ends—probably more than most. This has taught me that we all have those things we’ve been meaning to do, to get around to, but keep putting off for as many reasons as there are things. Do them—now. Because you may not have a tomorrow, and you owe it to yourself, as well as your family and friends. Just make a list and start checking them off…once you do this, you’ll learn a lot about what’s really important to you and your priorities will straighten themselves.

3)      Learn to live with loose ends.

Mark’s last words to me three days before he died, I kid you not, were “And keep playing that lottery! And if you win big, be sure to remember me!” Now that is a loose end I’d love to tie up…Earth to Heaven, Attn: Mark Davidson! Winning numbers, please! It’s just my luck that those cryptic last words didn’t include a well deserved easy payoff. Sometimes loose ends can’t be tied, and they will just stay loose forever. That’s just the way it is. We have to evolve to the point in our life journey where we can be okay with that, because it’s just the nature of living.

4)      Strive to be who you are.

Mark was always doing something new—he had a very short attention span, but jumped into new activities with great intensity. In the months before he died, he had watched that movie about eating organic foods, so he became obsessed with the Farmer’s Market…he made a foodie blog…he preached the virtues of organic, and the evils of the food industry establishment. He did that for a couple of months and then evidently went back to his curly fries and Krispy Kremes, because it was radio silence on the food front. He did that—a lot…over and over with different pursuits throughout his life. It occurs to me that Mark never really figured out who he truly was, but man did he try! I’ve learned that, in life, we should all have that same strong desire to first discover who we are, then BE it, in every sense of the word. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog…because I AM a writer. I just am…so now I write.

5)      You are the sum of your moments.

After Mark died, once I moved past the initial shock, I remembered not days I had spent with him, but moments. My mind would recall some insignificant (at the time) thing that he had said to me, or some silly thing he did or said—and Mark was always doing or saying something silly. Now that he’s gone, I have realized that is one of the things that made me love him so much. They say that you don’t remember people, but you remember how a person made you feel. This is true, I guess, but those impressions, aka feelings we associate with others are comprised of moments. And I have learned just how important those moments are, because once you are gone, moments are what you leave behind.

This one’s for you, Mark! Save me a seat at the cool kid’s table up there, will ya? 😉

Click here to view Mark’s Memorial Video on You Tube:

Until next time…

Standin’ on a Corner In Winslow, Arizona

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Every Eagles fan should do this at least once! This is me a couple of years ago on my most recent move back East…I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life living East…then living West…and back again. Some of us were just born to run, but that’s another song for another day…;-)

Authentic #Winning in a Post Tigerblood World

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Merriam Webster defines winning as, “the act of one that wins; victory”. Given that generally accepted, vague meaning of the word, I suppose it is really not surprising that this week, “winning” has come to define the self aggrandizing, self-indulgent, at times bizarre behavior of infamous man child, Charlie Sheen. Although I have thus far resisted widespread peer pressure to follow Guinness Book of World Records record-setting, @charliesheen, I must admit that this week I have made liberal use of his trending hashtags to promote my own tweets. After all, we all want to win, don’t we?

The highly entertaining, vaguely sad events of the past couple of weeks featuring the antics of Half Man Sheen (and you thought young Angus T. was the half, didn’t you? Ha!) have made me question what it means to be a winner. Sheen obviously thinks he’s winning–and if one counts 24/7 publicity, continually revolving porn star companionship, and 1M+ Twitter followers in 24 hours, he’s not wrong folks. But what does it mean to win? Really? The last half of the formal definition, “victory”, may hold some answers for those who wish to look beyond money and all of the gratification (instant and long-term) that it can bring, and attention, which we certainly all crave to varying degrees whether we are willing to admit it or not.

To be victorious is to conquer…to accomplish…to achieve…and yes, to win. These words evoke images of vanquishing foes in war, in games…earning coveted awards in life from good grades in school when we’re young, to promotions at work when we’re not…to win what you, and those around you, deem important and worthwhile. To an individual, victory and “winning” is and always will be defined by the personal demons they must conquer, disadvantages they must overcome, and the dreams they wish to realize.

In my mind, Charlie Sheen is no winner. He has certainly conquered Twitter–or has he? Chances are, someone with an even bigger train wreck of a life will come along and knock him off that pedestal. After all, Charlie Sheen is the new Lindsay Lohan, isn’t he? She herself was the new Anna Nicole, I’d argue. Accomplishments and achievements? Well, he has some, I will give him that one. Then again, how difficult is it to succeed in Hollywood when you pop out of your mother’s womb an obscenely rich and even better looking version of your already wildly famous and successful father?

I’m not here to bash Charlie Sheen. Enough people are doing that already, and their numbers are roughly equal to those who now worship and seek to emulate him. I’m just a gal, now in the blogging biz, sometimes witty, who wants more than anything to be an authentic winner. In my lifetime, and even in my daily life, I have had a lot to overcome…but who hasn’t? At 45, I’ve also accomplished a lot by my own standards, perhaps very little by others’ measure. In fact, I daresay, in Charlie Sheen’s world the very fact that I am a 45 year old woman with all her own original parts probably makes me a #loser. Because, as you see, it is all subjective.

Now that this whole concept of winning has been introduced so violently, as Sheen would say, into my consciousness, I am going to make it a point to seek out authentic winners…to feature in my blog, which is now my public voice, to admire, to model, and to appreciate for what they bring to the world. And Charlie, once you figure out what and whom you really should conquer, accomplish something of value all on your own that you and the rest of us can be truly proud of, and achieve as an authentic winner, you might just be one of them.

Thanks very much to everyone for reading my very first blog! Until next time…