Sometimes in life we fall into patterns that seem to slow us down or even bring us to a complete halt. These are the times when we can feel defeated or overwhelmed. And we make the mistake of listening to those negative voices either from within or without and think we can't do something. It's times like these when making an Asset List will help get you through.
If you have been to one of my motivational speaking engagements, you may have heard me talk of a Victory Log (or Victory Wall). This is a tool I use to write down in a specific journal (or post-it note my wall) all the victories, large or small that I achieve. I sold X amount of books. I got new subscribers, I lost weight, I got a new gig, I got a letter of thanks or an awesome review... You get the idea. I write these down and when I'm feeling unaccomplished, I go back and look at all these victories and I am replenished again. I know that I can face whatever challenge because look at how far I have come! An Asset List can be a similar tool to use to help you through those "stuck" times.
If you were to go to a bank and request a loan, the banker would want to know about your financial assets, to make sure you are "worthy" of this sum of money. So you would write down your assets to assure the banker that, yes, you can repay the loan because, clearly, as it states on this paper, you are worth more than that sum. An Asset List is similar in how it is directly related to you. It clearly puts in black and white how valuable you are. What are those great qualities about you? What things can you do that come easily that to others may be a challenge? What are your talents? Your skills? Your gifts? Your experiences?
They are all right there, but sometimes we forget how wonderful we are, or sometimes, we have never taken the opportunity to look close enough. There's a story about a man who owned some property. The land was flat and dry and nothing could grow on it. One day a business man came along and asked if he could do some testing of the land. The owner said, "Sure," and scoffed at the man, warning him that the ground was useless. Well, the business man puttered around for a few days and ended up tapping into one of the largest veins of oil ever found! Of course, both men became quite wealthy from that big ole' hunk of useless ground. They never would have found it had they not scratched below the surface. Had they not looked at the land from a different angle.
What will we find if we scratch below the surface? What treasures would we find if we only took the time to search your beautiful heart and complex brain and worldly soul?
I'd like to recommend that you do just that. Get pen and paper and start writing, in no particular order, all the wonderful assets of you! Some of you will be able to pour out lists and lists, but for others, you might need some encouragement. So ask for help! Ask those people around you what they think your assets are and then write them down! Keep your list close by and review it regularly and alway keep adding to it as you grow and change and learn new skills.
Whenever you need a boost, take a look at your Asset List and remind yourself how valuable and unique you are and then go face whatever challenge is intimidating you! You can do it! If you can't do it personally, you can find a way to get it done! I believe in you. You need to believe in you too!!
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"If you attempt to build intimacy with a person before you've done the hard work of becoming a whole and healthy person, every relationship will be an attempt to complete the hole in your heart and the lack of what you don't have. That relationship will end in disaster."
-Les and Leslie Parrott
If I may paraphrase the above, what that comment is saying to me is that if you are looking for someone to "complete you" then you have already lost. I believe they are trying to teach us to become the person we are happy and satisfied with by building our own self-confidence so when the right person comes along, he/she is merely a happy addition to our lives. We don't feel that obsessive NEED for that person. We don't have to have this person or that person because something is missing in our lives. We can be happy on our own, but we can also be ecstatic that they have joined us on our journey. Love will come to you. Maybe not in your time frame, so you need to be happy with your own company until that right someone does come along.
So how do we go about becoming the right person? How do we find the patience to wait on love while we are making ourselves into the right person to be loved?
Become the person that walks in love and not just wishes for it.
There's this saying: The way you do anything is the way you do everything. We can put that into practice here. Your "anythings" are your unconscious decisions that you make on a daily basis. Your way of doing things. The evolutional attitude you've created. And it can be observed in everything you do. We prefer to focus on what we want to see and hear, both for the good and bad. And that's true of everyone. But no matter how we try and taint or twist the evidence we present to others for our favor, actions reveal our true character. So make sure your character is one that can stand the test.
All of your "anythings" create your everything life. You are who you are in the dark. So, perhaps we should shine the light and look at who you really are and how the rest of the world sees you?
I am just under six feet tall and I have bright red hair. My mother made it a point to teach me, that no matter where I am, or where I go, someone is always watching me. She wasn't necessarily telling me this to frighten me, she was reminding me that I stick out like a sore thumb and if I do something stupid, I WILL get caught. And it worked. I took years of ballet to make sure I walk with poise and grace. I've studied etiquette to be sure I always have polite manners... so on and so forth... Now that I am a public figure, my character is up for grabs as well. (1 Timothy 4:12) I am not perfect by any means, and in spite of my many years of ballet, I still manage to fall flat on my face. But I do try and live an honest life. What you see is what you get. I try to walk in love. I have bad days, just like everyone else, but how you do anything is how you do everything. Even on those bad days, I walk in love. There may be an edge to my voice, or my eyes may not sparkle through whatever I'm going through, but hopefully you will know that I am sending love your way.
As you know, I am a big component of if you give love you will receive love. Sometimes not in the direction you were expecting, but the rule has always held true for me. Meaning, you see this totally beautiful person standing across the room so you send out love in his direction... he may not respond. But that love will bounce around the room and suddenly, someone will come up to you and tell you that you have the most beautiful smile. So, it may not be from the hot guy, but that only means that he wasn't for you. So keeping that in mind, are you giving love? Are you the kind of person others can love? Do you walk in love? Are you patient and kind? Do you show respect for others? Do you live a life of integrity? You can only pretend to be someone else for a short amount of time. The real you will always come to the surface. Who are you when no one else is around?
Love is sacrificial and learning to put others first. Are you in a "ME" kind of mindset?
If you have been making the same kind of relationship mistakes over and over and ending up in the same hurtful place, start with yourself. Do you love yourself? If you don't love you, how can someone else? Look hard in the mirror. Fall in love with the face staring back at you. Let love begin with you. Create a fulfilling, healthy, whole relationship with you. Make the changes that need to be made that will make others see how truly wonderful you are. How you do anything is how you do everything. Start with you. Walk in love. Put others first. Send love out and it will come back to you.
I'm fascinated at how couples work. What makes two people stick it out to make a relationship work. What is it about one person over another that makes men decide to commit to that one person for the rest of their life? So, I've been asking married men "What's the secret to a happy marriage?" for months now, and I've pulled out a select few to share with you and I think you'll find their answers compelling, emotional, funny and heart-warming. So without further ado and in no particular order, I give you Men's Secret to a Happy Marriage...
Mark M. Married 24 years:
"I married my high school sweet heart. I'd say it would have to be patience. On both our parts."
Pete L. Married 53 years:
"It's a give and take. Lord knows I'm not perfect. We take it one day at a time. One day at a time."
Ken E. Married 26 years:
"Suffering through chicken night with a smile on my face for twenty-six years!"
Matt C. Married 7 years:
"Having kids. Seeing that it's a bit of each of you; you created them, together. It makes you want to try harder."
Bill W. Married 40 years:
"Don't sweat the small stuff and it all ends up being small stuff."
Jeff O. Married 31 years:
"Be intentional. Make her a priority."
Harmon C. Married 38 years:
"I don't make any decisions without her. (I basically do what she tells me to do!) It took me about twenty years to figure that out."
Bill J. Married 27 years:
"Wait. Don't get married until you're WAY out of adolescence. I waited until I was thirty-six. Then, just take it one day at a time."
Mark M. Married 26 years:
"When it comes to money, come to a mutual agreement. Listen. Not just listen, but hear her. And... don't make sports THE top priority!"
Larry S. Married 51 years:
"Always put her first. Make sure her needs are taken care of. She does the same for me."
John S. Married 42 years:
"Have the same religious base... and forgiveness. You're going to make a lot of mistakes. Forgiveness is a must.
Russ I. Married 6 years:
"Find someone that will put up with you!"
Jim L. Married 52 years:
"Just keep saying 'Yes Dear'!"
Bill H. Married 43 years:
"Communication... and don't lie. She tells me everything and I tell her everything. You can lie to anyone else, but don't lie to each other. That's the fastest way to lose trust. I know I can trust her about anything and she trusts that I will always be there for her."
Thirudathi R. Married 30 years:
"Trust. Trust is the key."
Dave H. Married 55 years:
"She's always right!"
Kevin N. Married 39 years:
"The minister said till death do us part. That means for the good and bad. So, that was that."
Ulli H. Married 35 years:
"Trust. If you cross that line, you can't go back."
Jerry D. Married 54 years:
"Always love each other. No matter what. And learn to compromise."
Knowles T. Married 39 years:
"I believe in communicating and sticking it out through thick and thin and forgiving."
Bob O. Married 27 years:
"Compromise. It's not so much about me but rather 'us'. Pay her a compliment every day. It costs little but it means so much."
Ken G. Married 49 years:
"Tolerance. And let me tell you that when you work so hard at being tolerant in your marriage, you're allowed to be LESS tolerant in other areas. Mine is driving. I go so irritated with ignorant drivers! Especially in traffic!"
David O. Married 55 years:
"Patience. Love and patience."
Matt M. Married 20 years:
"Respect each other."
John K. Married 38 years:
"The wife rules!! But other than that, I think openness and honesty."
Martin V. Married 5 years:
"Wait fifty years! I wasn't going to be a statistic, so I waited for the right one. It was lonely, and I thought I was going to be a bachelor forever and then I met her."
Charles E. Married 14 years:
"Know when to shut up."
A few were kind enough to answer a bonus question for me...
How did you know she was the one?
John K: Married 38 years:
"We dated for five years. I don't know, it was just... a feeling."
Martin V. Married 5 years:
"We met at a group meeting for people who have seizures. And I loved her personality."
Thirudathi R. Married 30 years:
"We went to school together. I really liked her. We were just on the same frequency. I went to my father and asked if I could marry her and he arranged it. We started as friends that turned into love." (He comes from India and their marriages are usually arranged for them.)
Bill H. Married 43 years:
"We lived in the same neighborhood and I even delivered the newspaper to her house. But we didn't go out on a date until after we graduated. I tried to fight it. I didn't want to settle down, but everyone else knew she was the one. I got sent away for a few months because of my job, and I just didn't want to be without her. Or worse, I didn't want her to find somebody else! Finally, I didn't want to fight it any more."
Russ I. Married 6 years:
(See his above comment!) "She put up with me!"
John S. Married 42 years:
"She told me. I was in the service and we were separated for three months. I couldn't stand it. I was only eighteen and had to have my mom sign for permission to allow me to get married! I got leave and we got married. We haven't been separated since."
Thank you gentlemen for talking with me and being able to offer up these insights to my readers. I love hearing everyone's stories, and I'd love to hear yours too! Do you have a secret to share? What's the secret to your happy relationship and how did you know that your mate was "the one"?
Ah, Valentine's Day... the holiday of love... How can you go wrong with a holiday like that? I was surprised to find out how just the opposite is true! There is more passionate debate about this holiday, it seems that saying "Merry Christmas" over "Happy Holidays!" In talking with people, it is definitely a love/hate kind of thing. You either love it or hate it.
I, personally, love it. My philosophy is all about loving one another, so how could I possibly be against it? The comments I am hearing are a lot from singles. Why should they like Valentine's Day when they don't have a sweetheart to call their own? And others are just upset at the sheer commercialism of it all.
Having my own blog has it perks every once in a while and this is one of them. I get to have my own happy way and get up on my soapbox and say what I want. You are welcome to continue reading, in fact I encourage it, but if you don't want to, it won't hurt my feelings! This is my room and you are welcome here, but brace yourself, I'm going to defend one of my favorite holidays...
My argument is this. People choose to celebrate holidays in different ways. Why should this one be any different? And who cares if it was created to generate more business for the card and floral industries, in any other text that would be called good business! And no one ever said it is just for couples! The holiday is about love! But let's face it, ladies, sometimes men need a little help showing their affection in different ways. And Valentine's Day makes gift-giving a no-brainer! You can't go wrong and marketing won't let you forget!! It's a win-win.
And let me address the argument that "if the men don't get just the right thing, or they forget all together, it causes strain in the relationship." Well, it's not the holiday that did that. That goes a little deeper than only one day a year. Men love this holiday just as much as the women! More proposals happen on this day than any other holiday. Every store and even every gas station is geared so men- who want to make even the tiniest effort- can't possibly mess it up! One holiday shouldn't be able to have the power to make or break a relationship. If it does, there were problems before February 14th came around.
"It's just another reason for men to have to spend money. And if they don't spend the right amount, it makes them look bad." Again, I say, read the above paragraph. It shouldn't be about the money. I know a thoughtful gift that didn't cost much would mean more than a gift that took no thought at all. Anyone can purchase a dozen roses (and believe me, I love cut flowers as much as the next girl) but if she hates roses, you have missed your mark. But a gift showing her that you KNOW her, is priceless. A letter, is one of the most romantic things that is a lost art anymore. A special outing to someplace you know she would like. Or someplace completely new that will create new memories. It's not about the money, boys. Gifts don't have to cost a fortune to be special. But yes, it's more than the thought that counts! A little action, please.
"You shouldn't have to have a holiday to tell someone you love them." No, and you shouldn't have to have a day to remind you to rejoice in the Lord either, but we do. And we commercialize the heck out of it too! It's a fun day!! Stop trying to make it more than what it is! Yes, you should love your people every day and yes, you should show them in some way or another so they constantly feel loved, but some people need this day to kick their people into gear! Some women have to wait all year to get a bouquet of flowers sent to their job letting all the office know that her man loves her. And if it takes that one day to make her feel that joy, so be it! You're relationship is a daily work in progress. Valentine's Day is an EXTRA day of love and showing love and remembering why you love, and love for the sake of loving.
"Companies like Hallmark and jewelry stores and florists profit ten fold during this time of year!" And your point is??? You don't have to buy a card from Hallmark... it's still freedom of choice around here. No one complains that Budweiser takes up a huge chunk of the Superbowl! But have a Hallmark commercial make you cry and you boycott a holiday? And talk about a price mark-up!! Anyone who has bought ANYTHING from the ball park during a game has felt the sting of ten-fold profit!! But we buy it anyway. Every holiday has its share of price mark-ups. It too, is the American way. We pay more for gas over the three day weekends, we pay more money for a fir tree thats going to die in a month, we pay a fortune for eggs... EGGS! because we want to paint them pretty colors, but only in April. This holiday is no different.
Thanks to our American commercialism, we have taken a small drinking holiday that didn't even belong to us and turned it into a major party to where the nation is allowed to be Irish for a day and wear green to be protected from pinching! And only in America can we glorify lucky clovers and leprechauns and green tinted food. I don't hear that holiday getting any flack. And yes, the price of beer, ham, cabbage, green beaded necklaces and anything green goes up ten-fold in price!
"I'm single, so it's just another day." It doesn't have to be. It amazes me how many people let this holiday that stands for love, throw them into depression! What is that all about?? It's just a day! It doesn't define who you are! Goodness! And it's not just for couples! Love your friends with little tokens of appreciation. Love your children with candies and goodies and cards. Love your pup with a heart-shaped rawhide. Love your mate with heart-shaped pancakes and flowers and love notes. Heck love your waitress a little extra with a bigger tip. I haven't had a Valentine in years but it doesn't makes me love this holiday any less. Maybe there will be one in my future, maybe there won't. But I enjoy having the "excuse" (and the ease) of spoiling those I care for with a whole day of love!
We shouldn't have to be told to love each other, but thank goodness we have a holiday to do just that. So quit your bah-humbugging and get out there and show some love!
Stepping off my soapbox now... we will now return to your regular blog-posts... Thank you....
Healthy relationships are based on compromise. Each person has to play their part and not expect one person to do all the giving while the other is doing all the taking.
You’ve heard me say that I think relationships should be not 50/50, but 100/100. This leaves nothing to chance. If you are both taking 100% responsibility for the health and well-being of the relationship, then nothing can fall through the cracks.
- If you are the one in the relationship who is constantly giving and not getting your love returned, it may last for a while. You could even think you’re happy for years, but eventually, your supply of giving without getting will be depleted. When your love and efforts are not being reciprocated, the relationship will fall out of balance. You could become bitter expecting it to change and it never does. Self-doubt creeps in wondering what you’re doing wrong; wondering why your partner doesn’t want to give back automatically. Depression can come in to play because you are not feeling loved and appreciated. Love lifts you up. Love is giving and kindness. Love is encouraging. Love is healing. If these things do not surround you, you are in the wrong relationship.
- Love does not just happen, people. You both have to give and take. Learn to compromise. Learn what is important to your partner. How does she take in love? What can you do to show him love? Often the way we give love is how we like to receive love. And that may not be what your partner is needing. One of my favorite books is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The book points out five different ways that we perceive love. Some feel loved when you hold their hand, others feel more loved when you do nice things or offer a gift. Still others need to talk or go on a picnic. Yes, these are all wonderful things and I’m sure we would all appreciate if our mate did any one of those things, but Mr. Chapman points out that usually one of the languages is our strongest. We respond more to one than another. Get the book, read it together and figure out each other’s love language and then speak it every day. You don’t have to feel it or like it, just do it and you will reap the benefits.
- Learn how to respectfully resolve conflict. Your relationship cannot be based on a scoring system. There is no winning or losing. You need to give up the “my way or else” attitude. You’re not going to agree on everything and it’s okay to have strong convictions about some things, but you are in this together and your partner deserves a chance to be heard and have an opinion. Give and take.
When arguments happen- and they will- keep emotion under control as best you can and try and get through it the best way you can without having any reason for regret. People need to feel they have been heard, try not to storm off. No name calling, it’s disrespectful. Fight fair. Don’t attack, try to use “I” statements to explain how you feel. Keep the past in the past, don’t dredge up old arguments. And focus on the issues at hand. I know it’s not easy when high emotion gets involved but this is only one moment in the life of your relationship and hopefully things can get resolved with a little give and take.
- Sometimes, one of you won’t be feeling up to your usual 100% and you need your partner to step in and take over. If it has been a steady give and take, your partner should fall into this role automatically. The loss of a family member, a physical illness, losing a job… we all have bumps in the road and it makes it easier to get past them when we can rely on our partner to help us through.
When you see your partner in a slump, or feeling reserved, assume that he/she needs more from you and fill that need. Whatever it may be for a couple weeks. Love them back to life, so to speak. Make him/her your priority. Wear something sexy, leave her notes in her briefcase. Make his favorite meal. Love language the heck out of him/her. Or maybe just be patient and step back allowing him/her to let you know what they need.
That’s what so great about love. It’s a growing, breathing, changing thing. If you treat it right it will fulfill you all the rest of your days.
Sometimes, you’ll give more… sometimes you need more. Be with the person that you can balance with.
Other articles you might be interested in:
Watch Your Love Blossom
Share the Love
Love Will Keep Us Together