Thursday, April 14, 2005

"What does it mean to be Successful?"

An old family friend from my home ward gave me a book as a bridal shower gift. And I haven't been able to sit down and read it until now, since I'm riding the metro to work more often. "Life's Greatest Lessons" by Hal Urban.
I've been on a kick of reading inspirational books about CEOs and famous people that have found true success in life. Like Neil Cavuto's "More Than Money" (he's got a great financial news show on FOX News that I watch pretty much everyday at work!), of which he writes a chapter about LDS/millionaire/philanthropist/cancer survivor many times over, John Huntsman. In fact, I believe John Huntsman has a book coming out called, "Winners Never Cheat", out May 1.
I'm not sure why I've enjoyed these books lately. Perhaps, it's because I've suddenly found myself in a very "climb the corporate/social ladder" society here on the east coast and joined the ranks of the working woman. It was cool for a while, to be in the hub of excitement and action, but I guess I'm just too down-to-earth to even fit in. I just don't talk like they do, dress like they do, or even think like they do. So I guess these books inspire me to see that even those few that have climbed that ladder "successfully", in the world's sense, are still grounded and "successful" in a higher sense.

Here's an excerpt from Hal Urban's book...

The great philosopher Thomas Carlyle once wrote, "Let each become all that he was created capable of being." I can't think of a better definition of success. Life challenges us every day to develop our capabilities to the fullest. We're successful when we reach for the highest that's within us - when we give the best we have.

*Successful people accept life as it is, with all its difficulties and challenges. They adapt to it rather than complain about it. They accept responsibility for their own lives instead of blaming or making excuses. They say YES to life in spite of its negative elements and make the most of it, no matter what the circumstances.

*Successful people develop and maintain a positive attitude toward life. They look for good in others and in the world, and usually seem to find it. They see life as a series of opportunities and possibilities, and always explore them.

*Successful people build good relationships. They're sensitive to the needs and feeling of others. They're considerate and respectful. They have a way of bringing out the best in other people

*Successful people have a sense of direction and purpose - they know where they're going. They set goals, accomplish them, and then set new goals. They accept and enjoy challenges.

*Successful people have a strong desire to learn: about life, the world, and themselves. They see learning as a joy, not a duty. They continually enrich their lives by learning new things and improving themselves. They are always discovering, always growing.

*Successful people are action-oriented. They get things done because they're not afraid of hard work, and they don't waste time. They use it in constructive ways. They don't get into ruts or become bored because they're too busy looking for new experiences.

*Successful people maintain high standards in their personal conduct. They know that honest is one of the main ingredients in the character of a good person. They are consistently truthful in both their private and public lives.

*Successful people understand the difference between existing and living, and always choose the latter. They get the most out of life because they put the most into it. They reap what they sow. And they enjoy life to the fullest.

Our Potential for Real Success
In our society today, large numbers of ... people never fulfill their potentialities. Their environment may not stimulate such fulfillment, or it may actually stunt growth ... Our strength, creativity, and growth as a society depend upon our capacity to develop the talents and potentialities of our people. ~ John Gardner

Well, I'm inspired! Wish I could see the good in some of my coworkers... "note to self, don't talk to some of those coworkers."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Quickie blog (so expect spelling & grammer errors)

Drama abounds! I think it has something to do with spring. Seems like everyone is going through some sort of drama. Even me. Though I think mine maybe pregnancy driven and exponencially more traumatic to me. Poor Mark has to put up with me.

In the news:
I just got called as Young Womens Laurel class advisor (16-18yr olds) at church. I've taught the Beehives (12-13yr olds) before, but I think the Laurel class will be quite different. They're just at the pivitol point in their lives where they are prepping to get thrown into the grown-up world. I remember feeling like every decision I made, down to what I wore, would effect me for years to come. I hope I can be a good teacher and help them realize the importance of the gospel now and the rest of their lives.

I got a promotion at work! I went from a GS-9 step 1 to a GS-10 step 3!!! ok so if you don't know how the grads and steps work in the govn't then this info is worth nothing. Let's just say most college grads only make it to grade 7 to 8 starting. And the difference between one grade to another is $$$. Yeah, I know I sound like the cash is all that matters to me... and it does because I'm know I'm not going to be working there forever. So the highest grade and step I can get at my current job, only puts me in a better position for a future one.
Plus, I passed Mark up in grade level now! Unfortunaly, if you understand the grades and step system, he still makes $25 more than me a year. hehehe

Mark and I spent all last Saturday painting our bathroom. What we thought was a bucket of gray paint turned out to be more of a baby blue. That's what you get for buying 'oops' paint from Home Depot. I have to say though, that our freshly painted walls are nicer even if it isn't the color we thought it was. Don't worry we had proper ventalation, unlike the last time.

The whole 9 month thing is really getting on my nerves. Everyone treats you like you're either you're gonna break into a thousand pieces, like grandma's 100 year old china, or that you should be wonder woman, work 40 hours a week, keep your home ready for Martha Stewart's camera crew, be Molly Mormon's mom, and run for president of your home owner's association. If you have the preconception that pregnancy is great, you need to be kicked in the head. If you have the preconception that pregnancy sucks, you need to be kicked in the head too.
Ok so it isn't everyone that get's on my nerves, its (as my coworker Camille puts it) people who drink 'stupid water'.

Baby Chang is getting to be a bit annoying. I sound like a great mom huh? Its cause he's getting bigger and stronger everyday. Just when I get used to him, he throws me a curve ball. Baby's doing good. We're gaining weight and growing as scheduled. No name yet, but we're likeing the name Evan this week. Baby's training for the 2025 Olympics Decathalon. He's got such a riggerous work out even Mark's feeling it through the night.

Here's something that doesn't happen everyday... Last Monday, Mark was driving home from chinese class and was listing to the radio, z104.1 to be exact. He's been on this kick of calling in to radio stations to see if he can win something. Well this time, all he heard was "Call in now!" so he did, not realizing that he had to answer a question! His usual reaction is to hang up right away and dial again, but this time it started ringing. Good thing he was paying attention to the rings and didn't automatically hang up. The DJ picked up and asked him his name. Mark in a high pitched voice says his name, still in shock that he's on the radio. She askes him if he knows the answer to the question. 'Oh crap... I didn' t know there was a question!' Mark thinks to himself. "Where to 40% of women go to pick up on guys?" Mark thinks hard, while still keeping 40% of his thoughts on steering the car clear of dumb VA drivers. Lucky for him the song "tAke me out to the ballgame" was playing in the background. "A baseball game?" "Congrats Mark! You've won the Z104 prize pack! You and 3 friends are going to the opening of the new movie Sahara!" "WHOO HOO!"

Sahara, good movie. I'd recommend seeing it in the theater, or at least on your big screen tv.