Find a Feeder

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dancing for Old Ladies -- Life Lessons From Dance Class

One of the greatest life lessons was learned in dance class.  No, I wasn't one of those cute little five year olds in dance class, I was a chunky seventeen year old!  Classified by two of those cute little things as 'an old lady,' at 17!

Dance class...seemed impossible.  But together with my sister and two of her friends I braved the class.  My overweight body clad in unattractive tights and a leotard, the view was... well use your imagination!  Picture Rosie O'Donnell in tights (or don't, it might freak you out!).  But that was me.  Round, out of shape, and obviously not the top candidate for doing plies and splits.  And certainly not surrounded by walls of mirrors!

But it was a challenge.  And never one to back down from a challenge I signed up and kept on going.  As the teacher urged us on to kick higher, jump higher, and try new things, she's rap out 'IF YOU FALL, FALL REACHING!' 

I can no longer do those jumps or plies, but I did learn a life lesson from her.  Her mantra 'If you fall, fall reaching' has carried me through times I thought I just couldn't do it! It was just too hard. 

So if you're facing what feels like an insurmountable problem, remember the mantra--IF YOU FALL, FALL REACHING!--Better to have tried and fallen than never to have tried at all.  We learn from both our successes in life and our failures.  I may not have turned into a great dancer but I did learn the power of perseverance in anything I attempt.  It is the journey, not the destination that counts.  And if the journey stretches you, it's a journey worth taking.

Squirrels and Winning

Capt.Jack Squirrel after defeating Capt. Jack Sparrow -- How did he do it? He said 'it's all about focus.'  (photo link)

This battle between Harold and the squirrel went on for at least the 10 years I was his neighbor. I wanted to tell Harold that his attempts were futile and that he would never win this ‘War of the Feeder’; but I didn’t say anything. I just watched. It was cheap entertainment.

As this was happening, I started thinking about how unfair the match up was between a man and a squirrel. I didn't feel sorry for the squirrel...I felt sorry for Harold. Although Harold was stronger and smarter than the squirrel, he lacked the one quality that would guarantee him victory, focus.

You see Harold thinks about ways of preventing the squirrel from getting the food on occasion, when he has time. The squirrel on the other hand has its mind on getting that food 24 hours a day. The squirrel’s very survival depends on it. Survival brings about, not just focus but an intense focus on solving a problem by removing an obstacle. Unless Harold shows that same level of 24 hour commitment and intensity, I have my money on the squirrel every time.

Success is not about who is stronger. Success is not about who has more money. Success is not about who has a better GPA. Success is about who is more focused and committed to achieving their objectives. You, the reader, can compete with any person no matter who they may be. The only thing you have to do is commit yourself to focusing in on the very subject that interests you. When you focus in on one thing, like the squirrel, all of your mind’s resources are directed at attaining your objective and obtaining your rewards. With focus, you begin to take in more information quickly because you’re interested in learning, you want know everything. You are consumed by your focus to succeed!

Harold was not an expert in stopping squirrels; it was a task that needed to be done and he attended to it when he had time. The squirrel on the other hand became an expert at bypassing obstacles and solving problems because he focused all its attention on obtaining the end goal, food.

In today’s market, too many people want to be generalist (i.e., good at a lot of things or jack of all trades but master of none). But the market DOES NOT REWARD generalists, they REWARD experts. The market wants people who are good at doing a particular task; an expert. You want job security? Become an expert in your field of expertise. How do you become an expert? Like the squirrel, you focus.

Harold was 92 and died the year we moved from Minnesota.  I don’t know how long Harold fought the ‘War of the Feeder’ but as I drove off on the last day I looked back and saw a squirrel scurrying around the front lawn still trying to get to the bird feeder that still hung from the tree. Harold was gone but the squirrel was still around, still strategizing and still focused. The squirrel had won!
The above article is by  Victor Antonio G., top Hispanic motivational speaker and author of “The LOGIC of Success”. Copyright © 2004 by Victor Antonio G. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio G.,
Victor Antonio's "Logic of Success" truly hit home.'s all about FOCUS.  I think of many of the successful people I know and their focus is the key to their success.  They forget all the extraneous things and people and focus on their goal.  Find your goal, focus with committment and intensity.  You'll be a winner.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mighty Mom To Save The Day!

As my daughters were growing up our house was often a hive of activity--their friends were always here! If I had a quarter for every times I heard the phrase "Can I ask you for some Mom advice?"  I'd be the Warren Buffett of Blogdom!

I guess I just looked approachable--like I'd answer their questions, no matter what they were! I gave getting boyfriend advice, breaking up with boyfriend advice (and the gamut of questions in between!).  Today every time one of them is with me and we see a SEPTA bus (the local mass transit here) go by, the girls chime in "boys are like buses, another one comes along every ten minutes,"--advice they obviously heard from me all the time! I gave kids an ear when they needed it.  I didn't rat them out, but to this day I give thanks none of them came to me with problems that made me feel like I HAD to talk to their parents.

One of my daughter's friends told me I was "MIGHTY MOM!" I laughed, and wondered if I could put that on a resume to get a job to fill in those 'blank' years when I was home raising children! After all I do have 'super powers' although they are probably only powers another mom would appreciate.

I have the ability to sooth a child or teen who is in tears, negotiate arguments between crying teenage girls, cook dozens of cupcakes at the last minute for bake sales or food for parties; locate missing school bags, homework, sports equipment etc; run girl scout troops, help rodents deliver babies, run school fund raisers and the list goes on and on.  Yes, my suburban life has groomed me (and other moms like me) for life at the top in any corporation.

As I read this I think, hmmm...soothe people who are upset and negotiate arguments, obviously the government needs me in the Middle East.  Face it, half of a mother's job is crisis management! As for my cooking skills...the Food Network is really missing out on my skill sets; find missing items--I could be a PI or part of the police department (I can see it now "Carly's Mom, PI."  Look to your laurels Magnum!) I could run troops--the armed forces obviously needs my skills.  Delivering rodents, well I think I'll leave that skill off, someone just might offer me a permanent job in hamster labor and delivery or worse yet rat L&D ych! 

Yes, as a mom we all learn skill sets that are valuable--the trick is to generalize them into a marketable skills.  So my advice to other moms?  Keep being mighty and stay strong. Possibly your most important job is imparting to your daughters that women CAN be strong at work and at home or wherever they want to be.  It's all about CHOICE. 

Inspiration and drawing from The Toymaker, Whose Journal is chock full of maxims for living life creatively complete with her fabulous drawings.  If you haven't seen her books , available on Amazon and from other booksellers take a look, great Christmas gifts!