Life can be so overwhelming some times?! One minute you think you know what you’re doing and then the next minute, the rules of the game change.
I have to be completely transparent. Starting a new business can be extremely overwhelming and daunting some days. Learning new technology and innovative ways to market Love What's Next, can be mind boggling! Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful that there are so many tools at our finger tips today that make our lives more efficient, but goodness there is a lot to learn. My sweet mom shared a quote with me the other day that kind of sums up what it feels like when starting something new or moving into a new phase in life. “Everything is hard until it’s not.” Wow!! Did that ever nail it on the head for me! It's always difficult in the beginning when faced with something new but once you figure it out, it's not hard any more.
COMPASS OF LIFE
Life can be challenging at times and it's hard to stay grounded and full of joy. That's why it’s so important to know where you're going so you don't lose your way and become overwhelmed and disheartened. Each of us needs to have our own compass that guides us on the path to where we want to go in life.
That compass always points us in the right direction. My compass points me every day to start with my morning routine. If you follow me regularly, you know how passionate I feel about a positive and motivational start to the day. In it's simplest form, it starts with mediation/prayer, exercise of some kind, and motivational inspiration. Without this, my path looks foggy and it’s really difficult to see the way.
My compass always points me towards family and friends. At Love What’s Next, this is one of the most important of the Six Pursuits, and it’s called Humans. Science has proven that 80% of our happiness comes from the close bonds we share, with the people we care for the most in our life. I make sure that I spend time with my family and friends on a regular basis, and tell them daily how much they mean to me.
My compass points me to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, improves our health, deal with adversity, and build stronger relationships. I always feel a sense of joy after expressing in my journal, or during my self talk (yes, I talk to myself haha! You know you do too), how thankful I am for my many blessings. This keeps me incredibly grounded and hopeful...pointed in the right direction.
Do you know where your life’s compass is guiding YOU? When life throws you a curve ball and your compass needs to recalibrate, do you know how to find your way? What guides YOU?
I believe it’s a higher power, the positive habits we create, and the people we love, that ultimately make up the compass of life. They get us back on track, clear the fog and confusion and redirect us on the path to where we want to go.
What do you think? Comment in the space below what makes up your compass of life. I would love to hear from you!
Do you ever stop to think why you're doing or saying something before you say or do it? So many times in our life we speak without thinking and hurt someone’s feelings or we act in a way to make ourselves feel or look better, but in reality we're really only damaging important relationships in our lives. Today’s blog post falls under our Humans Pursuit (creating lasting relationships).
I remember on my love what’s next journey listening to a podcast where the speaker was speaking on this topic and he said, “Just remember...you’re not that important.”
That really resonated with me, after I got over the shock of what seemed to be a harsh statement. Isn’t it so true though?! Why do we feel the need to put others down in order to build ourselves up or make ourselves feel better? We’re just not that important! Right?!
A really great question to quickly ask ourselves before we speak or act is, “What is my intention?”
Asking ourself this question is a good habit to practice because it can prevent us from saying or doing something that might create a break down in communication with the people we love. For example, I'm about to react to something my husband said that hurt my feelings. I stop and ask myself, "What is my intention in my reaction?" Is it to hurt him back and create a fight or is it to find a way to tell him that he hurt my feelings without making things worse? Because in all reality he may not have intended to hurt my feelings in the first place.
This is where the statement, “You’re not that important” comes into play. If I get all worked up because I think to myself, “He's so mean, how can he hurt MY FEELINGS like that?!” the situation escalates and now turns into a fight. When instead, if I think to myself, “He probably didn’t even mean or know he hurt me”, I can then react in a way that creates a healthy form of communication.
Another example might be when you are talking with your friends, and you're about to share a not so nice story you heard about someone you all know. STOP and ask yourself, “What is my intention in sharing this story?" I bet it will stop you quickly from sharing and prevent you from hurting someone.
Can you see how this could literally change the level of joy in your life just by taking two seconds before you speak or act, to ask yourself this simple question…"What is my intention?” I can't tell you how many times this has helped me in my relationships. Thinking before reacting, nine times out of ten, has helped me create lasting relationships with the people I love the most.
I hope this helps you find MORE joy in your daily life! Share in the comments section below if you can relate to this topic and how it can help you. Thank you!!!
If you’ve been following Love What's Next, you've heard me talk a lot about my definition of joy and how it’s very different from happiness. Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes in moments like watching a funny movie or celebrating a birthday. Joy is a sense of being...being present, being grateful, being purposeful and finding peace in your life.
We're all searching for more joy in our life whether we consciously do it or not. We eat, sleep, and we drink too much…these are just a few ways we look to fill ourselves up in an attempt to find more joy. At the moment, they might make us happy but they never sustain us. In fact, according to a recent Harris poll only 33% of us are joyful.
While on my own journey to find more happiness (what I later learned to be joy) now as an empty nester, I was so curious why we weren’t happier so I did some research and this is what I found.
I discovered that scientists have determined that our happiness level is a result of a complex interaction of genes, behaviors, and life circumstances. But while each person has a genetic set point for happiness, a large portion of how we feel is under our control. How we spend our time, who we spend it with and what we say to ourselves throughout our day can really impact our long-term joy.
This was very exciting for me to hear because through my own experiences while on my quest to love what’s next, I uncovered exactly that! We CAN control our own level of joy and this study is in exact alignment with the Love What’s Next 6 Pursuits , six, key, life impacting categories, which is the basis for all our Love What's Next Projects.
Happiness is fleeting but joy is unceasing! Everything we do at Love What’s Next is about teaching you practices to find joy in your daily life...even in times of change and struggle. Each Project is filled with simple, daily challenges created to enhance your current level of joy and show you how to sustain it.
It’s up to you at what level of support you need through our Projects...
Are you one of the 67% looking for more joy in your life? Maybe you have just found here at Love What's Next. Take a leap and see! We would love for you to join us and show you there is so much more to life!!
Tell us what you think...comment below. Also, if you know someone who could benefit from learning more about Love What's Next, please share this post with them!
So you are on a plane and the woman sitting next to you is holding her toddler and he is screaming. I don’t mean fussing a little, I mean screaming at the top of his lungs. What goes through your mind? Do you assume he is throwing a fit and his mom isn’t doing her job to get him under control?
This incident happened to me over the weekend and it's the inspiration to this blog post…
Because I experienced this while traveling with my kids, I knew why the toddler was crying but if I didn’t understand what was happening I might have been thinking, “Why isn’t the mother doing something to make her child be quiet!”
If you're a mother you too probably know why the child was so upset. If a child has an ear infection while traveling by plane, the change in pressure accompanies the change in altitude, which can mean sharp, excruciating, pain if fluid blocks the child's ears. It can actually rupture the ear drum. I don’t know about you but if that was happening in my ear, I am certain I would be screaming too!!
We make assumptions about situations all the time; she didn’t text me back she must not be interested in my business; the coach didn’t play my daughter he must not like her; I could never get that job I’m not smart enough; my kids didn’t text me back they must be hurt or in trouble; he never cleans up after himself, he must not appreciate me.
When we make assumptions we're actually creating a story in our head about ourselves or others. This bad habit can and will affect your level of joy!
A wise friend of mine shared with me a question that we should all ask ourselves when we begin to make an assumption, either about ourselves, a situation, someone else or we exaggerate how bad something really is. It’s so important to check in and ask yourself, "Is that true?”. I can’t tell you how many times this has come in handy for me. If you ask yourself, “Is that true?” it makes you stop, think and then realize that you really don’t have all the answers to make that assumption.
My niece plays college basketball in an extremely competitive division one program. While playing a playoff game, she was on fire, driving towards the net scoring and assisting her teammates while they scored. Defensively she was playing incredible as well. But as the game was about to end, she made one mistake that resulted in the other team scoring and they won the game.
I think she was even the high scorer of that game, but she still felt like SHE lost the game for her team. Her mom asked her this simple question, “Is that true?” All of a sudden you could see the wheels turning in her head as she played back the game. How could her statement possibly be true?! Because of this simple question, “Is that true?”, she was able to put the game behind her and have the confidence she needed to play the next game. Just think had she lived with that assumption how terrible her confidence would be?
Be aware of the assumptions YOU make going forward in your day to day life. Ask yourself the question, “Is that true?” when you begin to go down that windy road of assumptions and hopefully you will find the true answer.
I know from my own personal experiences and sharing this simple question with others, that it can and will DEFINITELY bring you more joy in your life! Try it and see for yourself.
Comment below if you can relate to this post and how this question can and will make a difference in your overall happiness.
If you have been following Love What’s Next, you're hopefully getting more familiar with the "Six Pursuits to Love What’s Next". These six, key, life impacting, pursuits are the focus of all our Projects. If you aren’t familiar with them, follow the link to learn more. Love What’s Next Six Pursuits
Today’s blog post is inspired by our Humans Pursuit; Creating Lasting Relationships. As human beings, we are biologically programmed to create close bonds. We have a basic need to be connected with others and form strong relationships and it's proven we are happier, healthier and live longer when we have close relationships in our lives. In fact, studies show that 70% of our happiness comes from those healthy relationships.
So, today’s question is for each of us to look inward and ask ourselves, “Would I be friends with me?” Friends will come and go in our lives but the true friends are always there. Why?!
In my reflection and research to uncover the top qualities of a true friend, I realized that there are many qualities that make up a good friend but there are 7 that really count…at least in my opinion. When reading through each quality, ask yourself, “Am I that friend?"
Top 7 Qualities of a True Friend
1. They make you WANT TO BE A BETTER PERSON
Friends aren’t just confidants, but role models. Through their example, their kindness and other special qualities, genuine friends bring out the best in us. They allow us to shine.
2. They DON’T JUDGE you
We all do stupid things…it’s inevitable right?! Nobodies perfect. A true friend won’t judge you or make you feel bad but they will help you find a solution to fix the problem. They also won’t hesitate to call you out when you are wrong. They care enough to say something which can be really tough to do.
3. They FORGIVE you
A true friend is around to weather the storm. When conflict arises, instead of talking behind your back they come to you directly to work things out.
4. They REALLY listen
Conversations will true friends are never one-sided. You can talk for hours and feel fulfilled.
5. They GENUINELY CARE about what is happening in your life
True friends know what is happening in your life and are genuinely interested in what’s important to you. They celebrate your wins, and are a soft shoulder to lean on when you don’t.
6. They TRUST
You can tell them anything and know it won't go any where. You always feel "safe" sharing your deepest, darkest feelings with them.
7. They SUPPORT you
A true friend is your biggest cheerleader. They always have your back and only want what’s best for you. When you decide to start a business, they're your first client. When you go back to school, they're your study partner. When you tell them you are moving away, they first cry with you, and then help you pack until the last box is on the truck.
ARE YOU THAT FRIEND?
Would you be friends with YOU?! If you are lucky enough to have one true friend, you are lucky enough. In our quest to love what’s next we can all strive to be that friend…seventy percent of your happiness depends on it! Choose to be that friend. Be a true friend on PURPOSE.
Embrace life and LOVE WHAT'S NEXT!
If you are lucky enough to have a friend like this, comment below and tell us what makes her or him special!
Today’s blog post was inspired by a priest I follow on social media, Father Mike Schmitz. Stay with me…this has nothing to do with religion. He shared on a podcast, how sometimes we attend church and just go through the motions. We don’t actually worship on PURPOSE.
So this really got me thinking about life in general. Am I just going through the motions, or am I living my life on purpose?
Every single day, we have to go through the motions, right?! We have to wake up, shower, eat, exercise, go to work, drive home, eat dinner, tend to our families, go to bed and then...start the whole thing all over again the next day. Of course, it varies slightly based on each individual's life, but basically the same things have to be achieved in a day.
What if, just what if, we actually did all those things on purpose instead of just going through the motions? What if you wake up in the morning creating a morning routine that brings you joy and accomplishes something meaningful? I believe that everything we do in the morning sets us up for the day we want to have. I also know that life throws us curve balls throughout the day, and I can’t guarantee that everything you set out to do will happen the way you planned, but I can guarantee you will be better equipped to handle whatever does.
Your Morning Routine on Purpose
Here’s what your morning would look like...
Your Job on Purpose
How could you do your job on purpose, instead of just going through the motions?
Love on Purpose
Do you love on purpose? Do you look for ways on purpose to show the people you care about how much they mean to you? Simon Sinek, motivational speaker and author, was speaking on this same topic when he asked the audience this question, “Why does your spouse or partner love you? Is it because one time you went on a date to dinner and a movie?" He said not even close...”It’s not one thing you do one time, but it’s what you do every day.”
70% of our happiness comes from our relationships with the people who mean the most to us, so why wouldn’t you make a conscious effort to love them on purpose and not just go through the motions?
Can you now see, how going through the motions on purpose, can make all the difference in your happiness? We all have to go through the motions of life so why wouldn’t you want to go through each day on purpose?
On my journey to love what’s next, I found it’s so much more fulfilling to live my life this way and because of it, I am happier and full of joy; being present, at peace and having purpose. I also believe the people in my life are happier too!
Do you have an example where going through the motions on purpose could or has changed your life? Please share in the comments below.
A couple years ago while on my love what's next journey, I ran across an episode of Saturday Night Live. Do you remember the skit, “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley”? He would sit in front of a mirror and tell himself daily affirmations... “I'm an attractive man", I am fun to be with, I’m entitled to my share of happiness.” Thinking back I remember how funny that skit was. As silly as it was though, I got to thinking that maybe Stuart Smalley was on to something. Not so much about staring into a mirror talking to yourself but the part about having daily affirmations. So on my journey to figure out what I was going to do next, I did a little research to see if there really was anything to this daily affirmation concept.
DAILY AFFIRMATIONS WORKED FOR THEM, WHY NOT ME THEN?
Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation, and which are repeated many times, in order to impress the subconscious mind and trigger it into positive action. History has shown this to be extremely effective in getting a desired result. People like Henry Ford, Dale Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Woodrow Wilson all used daily affirmations to assist them in achieving incredible feats. So if daily affirmations can assist them in achieving the unimaginable like inventing cars, the light bulb and the telephone, surely daily affirmations can help me uncover "what’s next” and create a life I love.
Our subconscious mind accepts as truth whatever we continue to say to ourselves and eventually attracts corresponding events and situations in our lives. If we tell ourselves negative things all day then we are willing only negative things to happen but if we tell ourselves positive, daily, affirmations our outcome can only be one of joy. Because we have 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day and 80% of them are negative, we really have our work cut out for us to change our natural way of thinking from negative to positive. Can you imagine how different our lives and this world would be, if out of those 60,000 thoughts, 80% were POSITIVE?! This is a challenge I’ll sign up for all day….wouldn’t YOU?
TIME, FOCUS AND FAITH
According to author Napoleon Hill, getting results with daily affirmations depends on several factors, such as the time, focus, faith and feelings you invest in repeating your affirmations, on the strength of your desire, and on how big or small is your goal. Napoleon says, it’s important to understand too, that repeating positive affirmations for a minute, and then thinking negative thoughts all day will only neutralize the effects of your positive words. You have to stop the negative thoughts, if you wish to gain positive results from this exercise.
Napoleon Hill also states that in order for this to work, you have to tell yourself positive statements such as “I am getting healthy” versus the negative “I am not unhealthy”. The negative statement invokes a negative image in the mind not a positive one. Always affirm in the present tense, not the future tense. Saying “I will be healthy”, means that you intend to be healthy one day, but not now. It is more effective to say and also feel, “I am healthy now", and the subconscious mind will work overtime to make this happen now, in the present.
HOPES AND DREAMS
Start your day and end with it telling yourself your daily affirmations. What is it you want to will to happen in your life? What are your hopes and dreams that you would like to see become a reality? I know it takes so much more than telling yourself , “I am______________”, two times a day to achieve success in life, but why wouldn’t you try daily affirmations and give yourself every opportunity to uncover what's next and create a life you love?!
Here are a few examples of "I AM" statements to help you construct yours:
“I AM physically fit and healthy.”
“I AM an excellent mother, sister and friend.”
“I AM making a difference in the lives of people I meet.”
“I AM taking a vacation every year with my family to some where exotic.”
“I AM fluent in Spanish.”
“I AM a great painter.”
“I AM loving to others because I show unconditional love to them.”
“I AM grateful for everything I have in my life.”
“I AM in a loving relationship."
“I AM living the life I have always dreamed of living.”
Will you try this??? Leave a comment below sharing your “I AM” statement and your commitment to giving this a try.
I believe everyone at one point or another longs for MORE JOY in their life. Joy, in my definition isn't a feeling, it's a state of being. Happy is a feeling that usually comes with an experience such as going to a concert or a great movie. Joy is a sense of gratitude for being able to go to the concert or movie. Joy is being present in your life, feeling a sense of peace and purpose. Does that make sense? Life is full of highs and lows and we can't predict or control what is going to happen every minute of every day but, we can control our level of joy. What I quickly discovered was that this doesn't happen overnight and it takes practice.
I didn't really understand this at first. Facing a major transition in my life (empty nest), I realized that I had to figure out how to find joy daily... not happiness, but joy. I had happy moments after the kids were gone but those were fleeting and I was left feeling sad again.
MORNINGS ARE THE START TO CREATING MORE JOY
I realized that how I started my day, completely impacted my level of joy. So I needed to figure out a morning routine that inspired me to experience joy throughout the day. But you can imagine, for 20+ years my morning routine existed of getting kids out the door for school. I had no idea what I needed first thing in the morning to inspire joy.
Being the self help junkie that I am, I researched how to find the best morning routine and what I found was profoundly interesting. According to an article online at www.success.com, we all have a dominant personality trait- Practical, Action, Social or Emotional. Actually knowing your personality type, can help determine your morning routine. Practical types, like me, want a highly structured morning routine. I plan to do the same routine every morning: Meditation, Journal, Motivation and Exercise, but I mix it up by changing up what I read, listen or watch and how I work out to keep it interesting. Action people need variety. If this is you, you may need to walk the dog while you practice gratitude and your workout might be a high intensity, type exercise like running or biking. Social types need a morning routine built around people. If this is you, you might need to call a friend and visit with her on your drive into work, and your workout routine would most definitely be in a group setting such as a workout class. The Emotional type is sensitive and tends to be more introverted, so your morning routine should have a lot of quiet time and introspection. You might spend more time journaling and your workout might be yoga at home.
The key though, with all morning routines is being able to stick to your plan. Everybody has a morning routine plan until life hits you. So it's important to create one you can stick with. You will need to experiment and explore what works for you.
From all my research and personal exploration, I believe there are four constants to your morning routine no matter what personality type you are.
Embrace Life and Love What's Next!
What personality type are YOU and what is one of the four constants you are going to explore first? Share with us and leave a comment below.
Can you imagine how your life might be filled with more joy, if at the end of every day, you wrote down one memory from that day, that made you smile?
I did this for an entire year and I'm here to tell you... it SERIOUSLY WORKS! While on my journey to love what's next, I read that writing one positive thought a day allows your brain to relive the experience, which teaches your brain that the positive behavior matters. In fact, research found that patients suffering from chronic pain or disease who did this for six weeks in a row had dropped their pain medication by 50 percent six months later.
Since I was struggling to find joy in my life, I thought this couldn't hurt to try it. Each day I sat down and thought about my day. Some days were better than others, but I challenged myself to come up with at least one thing that make me smile, one positive thought from my day and write it down. I was surprised to see that even on the worst days, I was still able to think of one, happy, memory that brought me joy. I found that this simple, little, exercise definitely made me far more grateful and joyful. In fact, I started each day thinking, "I want to be sure I create at least one happy memory to write down today." Just thinking this created opportunities for me to bring more joy into my life.
So, instead of writing my one, happy, memory from each day in my journal, I decided it would be more fun if I had a cool way of doing this that would entice me to want to do it every day. This is how the Smile Playback Project was created!
This is how the Smile Playback Project works:
If you are interested in buying all the pieces that make up the Smile Playback Project, you can pre-order through the link below. Orders will ship September 10th.
I encourage you to try this Project. If this seems like a lot, don't commit to doing it every day. Start with once or twice a week. See if you enjoy it and if it brings you more joy. I personally found that if I knew I had to write down something that made me smile every day, I ended up creating a day that I could follow through with my goal. In return for committing to this, I was happier and closer to creating a life I loved!
Click here to order your Smile Playback Project
I cried the entire 16 hour drive home after dropping my youngest off at school his freshman year three years ago. I cried every time I walked past his room and he wasn't in it. I cried every time I thought about not seeing him every day. I cried A LOT the first year he was gone. I couldn't imagine anything hurting more than the last of my three babies leaving home and experiencing the world on his own! Sounds dramatic I know, but I couldn't help how I felt and no one else but a mother, could understand. Don't get me wrong, I was so excited for him. He was ready to take on the world and forge his own path in life, just like his two, older sibling did. I just didn't know what I was going to do next and that was really scary.
So I had to figure out how I was going to start MY NEW LIFE and find joy again without my kids. This is how "Love What's Next" was born. I knew I couldn't be the only one asking myself daily..."what's next?!" Actually, to be completely honest it was more like, "WTF am I going to do now!"
After years of searching, experiencing new things, and countless hours of research, I figured out how to really love where I am in my life. After launching Love What's Next and talking with hundreds of women, I knew my hypothesis was right... I'm not the only one who feels this way!! In fact, it's not just empty nest. It's any transition in life (a divorce, a career change, a move or death of a loved one) that can leave us feeling lost and unsure of what's next.
Your story may not be just like mine and that's okay, we all have our own, unique, story but if you're in a place where you are feeling lost or unsure of what to do next, I can help you. I've been down that long, winding road and I can honestly say that now, I truly have the most profound joy in my life.
Get on my calendar and let's talk about how I can help you create your new normal and a life you love again.
Nicole Cavey is the Chief Pursuit Officer of Love What's Next. Through her personal journey to uncover what was next for her, she discovered that you can love where you are no matter what stage in life you are in... as long as you know how. Her mission is to show YOU how!