Personal Development Archive

Today, Trust in the Nature of YOU

Posted May 9, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.
CRANE5One morning I sat on my deck overlooking the lake as central Florida woke up to a Sunday. I watched as a lily white whooping crane spread his massive wings, fly out over the water and bring back a little fish. It was comical how it slithered down his narrow throat.

A white ibis rooted out grub worms with his long, slender bill while a young squirrel hung to an oak tree enjoying his morning acorns. In the distance, a black cormorant walked to the shoreline underwater, then spread his massive black wings in the sun to dry. I was struck at how naturally these creatures just did what they do. No fretting. No worrying about whether they should do it. No wondering what the other would think.

Each approached life very differently. The crane flew for food and ate fish. The white ibis dug deep for earth worms. And the squirrel stayed up in the tree and fed off nuts. Yet they were all at peace. They lived and did their thing cohabiting with each other. The squirrel never tried to fly and the crane did not try to pluck acorns out of the oak tree.

I began to wonder what the world would be like if we all lived our lives this way. How much peace would you have in your life right now if you just did what you were created to do? What if you got up on a Sunday morning and just accepted who you are and go about your day doing what feels natural to you?

I believe that is the natural order of things. How God created us. Just like my feathered friends, we have a distinctive purpose. What’s more, we instinctively know what we are supposed to do and how we are to do it. Problem is, we’re watching the squirrels eat nuts when we’re supposed to be grabbing fish from under the surface of the water on the fly.

CORCORAN1As you begin your day, I urge you to be who you are. Do what you were created to do. Don’t worry that you can’t walk underwater like the cormorant. Be the best YOU that you can be.

So what do you think your natural self looks like? Tell me about the authentic YOU. When you enter a new day, do you show up completely authentically you? Share it here!

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The Most Valuable Thing: YOU!

Posted March 21, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Me in SmokiesI’m truly amazed when I meet people who don’t know or understand their value and worth. When I look at people, I see 10’s on each one of their heads. I see bright, shiny objects with priceless value. Trouble is, most people don’t see that when they look at themselves in the mirror.

It’s sad because either live has led them to believe something to the contrary, or they have been blinded to the truth. Perhaps that has happened to you in your life. Someone or something has driven in the belief that you are valueless. That simply isn’t true. I want to give you some truth that will prove you are not value-less, but rather priceless! The two could not be more different.

You are unique…one of a kind… are rare find. Ask any curator of rare art and they will tell you they simply cannot put a price on, let’s say, the Mona Lisa. She’s unique. You won’t find her on isle seven at the local discount store. Well, you’re a Mona Lisa in your own right but I can’t even call you that because you’re even more unique than her. They cannot put a price tag on you for the same reason they can’t do that to her. You’re both priceless.

Your flaws only increase your value. It’s true. No matter what the flaw, its uniqueness makes it more valuable. Don’t pondering womanbelieve me? Then go to the department store and check the price tag on those jeans they sell with all the holes in them. It’s enough to break your bank account.

No one sees the world like you do. Only you can look through your eyes and offer a unique perspective. You are the only one who puts your spin on the world. A thousand people who see the very same event will have a thousand different reports of that event. It’s impossible to fabricate your view of the world around you. What’s more, the world needs your individual view. It won’t be the same without it.

Please do yourself and the world a favor and just believe that you have immense value and worth. If anyone tells you something different, please don’t believe them. They may even be well-meaning but they simply aren’t telling you the truth. You are PRICELESS!

HAPPY SMILESchallenge: Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how valuable you are. Judge your reaction. Is it confirming? Disbelieving? Fearful? Write it down and set a goal to uproot the cause of that.

Do you believe how valuable you are, not only within but to the world? Do you struggle with that? Share it here!

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Drink What’s There

Posted February 4, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Glass of Water in SunlightOne of the greatest blessings I have in my career is to coach others to success. It really is fire in my soul. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

During a recent coaching session, I realized a client was looking at the glass as half empty rather than half full. Here’s what I told them.

The glass is all at once half empty and half full. Both are correct. But, if you were out in the middle of the desert and thirsty, it wouldn’t matter to you how you focused on reality. You would simply place the glass to your lips and drink what’s there.

All my life I’ve heard the debate about the half glass of water. Positive people see it as half full. Negative people see it as half empty. Until that moment in the middle of a coaching session, I’d never heard anyone focus on the water.

It seems we’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on the wrong thing. The glass—and the debate regarding its fullness—is completelyWoman Holding Cup of Water and Lemon irrelevant. The water, with its life giving power, is the critical component.

I began to wonder how often in our lives we get focused on the wrong thing and, as a result, we make ourselves miserable. Instead, we should take each moment and drink what’s there. Here are a few examples in my own life just this week:

Stuck in traffic that was completely stopped on the interstate.

Drinking what’s there: I was not the one whose vehicle had gone off the road and flipped over. And, because of modern technology, I listened to great podcasts while I sat and was able to take handwritten notes because I was parked on the highway.

Waited seemingly forever in line to pick up prescriptions.

DRINKING CAMPERDrinking what’s there:  I live in a country where healthcare is readily available. I have imperfections in my body that are totally treatable by medication. While waiting, I was able to have meaningful conversations with a half dozen total strangers.

The point is, it doesn’t matter whether the glass in our lives is half full or half empty. What makes all the difference is whether or not we drink up the water when the glass is presented to us.

It’s not about the glass. It’s about the water. We need to drink what’s there. Lap up every drop and you’ll end your day with your emotionally belly sloshing with life!  

When was the last time you focused on the water inside the glass? How did that make you feel? Share it here.

 

 

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Today, I Choose to Be Trustworthy

Posted February 3, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

scales of justiceIn today’s world this may seem the most difficult to manage, let alone master. Athletes are being stripped of titles for cheating. Skeletons are coming out of the closets of even the most revered leaders in modern history. It’s appalling, and depressing.

But it doesn’t have to be the case with you. You can make a choice to be trustworthy. If you do, every action you take will be toward being a trustworthy person.

Here are some truths about trustworthiness:

  • God has dealt to every man a measure of faith. Trust, on the other hand, must be earned. If you are going to earn someone’s trust, you MUST show yourself trustworthy.

 

  • Trustworthiness is nothing more than consistently doing the right thing each and every time you have the
    opportunity to do the wrong thing.gavel

 

  • When you’re in the middle of the temptation, it’s definitely NOT the time to make the decision to be trustworthy. That decision must be made long before you are tempted.

 

  • A reputation of being trustworthy is one of the greatest assets you can have and will open doors of opportunity for you.

There are more trustworthy people in the world than you may think. It’s true. Those who are noteworthy, popular, famous or hold high office only make the news when they are found to be anything other than trustworthy. Have you ever heard breaking news saying, “Daisy Bledford on Elm Street in Sealy, West Virginia returned a wallet full of cash to its rightful owner. All the money was there”? Uhh… no.

Being trustworthy is an unstoppable force that will propel you forward toward reaching every goal you have. It will cause others to support you, to rally behind you and help you when you need them.

piggyback rideOnce trust is shaken, it’s very difficult—if not impossible—to regain. Just ask those who have appeared on the news in this last year. They most likely will never earn anyone’s trust again. No matter what they accomplish for the rest of their lives, the question will always be looming out there: Did they do it honestly or did they cheat?

Today, as you read this and prepare for your day, take a few moments to decide to be trustworthy. Don’t wait until you’re presented with something today that could tempt even the strongest person to stumble. If you do, when the moment arrives, you’ll come out better for it. The world will too!

What is your definition of trustworthy? How quickly do you put your trust in others? Share it here.

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Today, I Choose to be Passionate

Posted February 1, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

There is a force that is more powerful than the space shuttle used to be as it blasted past gravitational pull and into outer space. That force is not rocket fuel. It’s passion.

I’m sure you’ve run across someone in your life who is absolutely on fire. They seem to have endless energy. Their eyes twinkle and they skin glows. Emotion drips off every word they speak and you long to just bask in their presence.

That’s passion!

Passion is an interesting thing because you cannot be truly passionate about something unless you believe in it.

Here’s an example. I just cannot muster passion around heavy metal rock music. Don’t like it. Never have. Never will. I avoid it like the plague and if I am forced to be around it, I plug my one good hear. Seriously.

On the other hand, I could talk to you for weeks on end about living your dream and personal growth. I believe with every fiber of my being that every person deserves the change to pursue their dream. I would fight to my death to ensure others had that right. No foolin’.

So what’s the difference? Belief. I believe in one and vehemently oppose the other. Amazing, really.

I bet you’re wondering at this point how you can choose to be passionate. Glad you asked. I’m not suggesting that say, “Hey, I’m having a root canal today, and I’m going to be passionate about it!” or “my husband beats me, and I’m really passionate about that opportunity to get another black eye!”

Not at all, but you can live a life filled with the rocket fuel of passion. Here’s how:

 

  • Get real with yourself about what you really, truly believe in. What is it that’s located at the center of your heart? Think of it and let the flame ignite. Fuel the fire with positive thoughts and soon you have a passionate inferno.

 

  • If you’re faced with a negative situation, find something about that situation that you do believe in. While I strongly dislike rock music, I believe in the right of rock stars to play it. I live in a free country that allows that to take place. And I’m passionate about rights and freedom. Based on that, even though I’ll never like it, rock music is a great example of my beliefs in action.

My point is this. In any circumstance, you can find something you believe in about it. And if you do, it really, truly is possible to choose to be passionate. Will you choose that today?

How do you rate on the passion scale? Do people really want to be around you? Share it here!

 

 

 

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Today, I Choose to Be Disciplined

Posted January 31, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Okay. Now I’ve done it. You were humming right along with choosing to be grateful, happy and courageous and then I had to go and toss in discipline. You’re pretty mad at me, aren’t you?

Most people rank discipline right up there with castor oil and flu shots. You know it’s good for you but it is a painful experience. That’s why I don’t like to use the word. There’s a much better way to look at it. Perhaps this post well help.

Discipline really is just taking advantage of opportunities in the moment. Nothing more. Nothing less. At any given time, you make the choice to work at living your dream… or not, washing the dirty dishes…or not. It’s simple, really.

Discipline need not be that ugly ogre that makes your nose crinkle when you think about it. It really is your friend. I promise. Here’s what discipline can do for you:

It makes the end of your day more rewarding. Don’t you just love to go to bed at night after a really productive day? Yeah… me too.

It puts you ahead of almost everyone else in the world. The only thing separating successful people from non-successful ones is that person kept going after most lacked the discipline to see it through to the end.

Discipline actually saves energy. Seriously. It takes more energy grappling with the guilt of not doing those things you should. If you discipline yourself to just do it, you’ll hold fatigue at bay.

Discipline makes you love yourself. There is no greater feeling than to have given something your all. When you’ve daily worked at what you know you should do, you look in the mirror with the utmost admiration.

Discipline is a learned behavior. It’s not like blue eyes of freckles. With those, either you have them or you don’t. But you can always work at being more disciplined. It’s entirely up to you.

While being disciplined is a choice, our emotions tend to buck and grumble against it. But you don’t have to accept that. You’re in control. All you have to do is decide you’re going to be a disciplined person and then take advantage of the opportunity of any given moment.

It is simple, just not easy. It does take work. But it is well worth the effort. Try combining things that you love with tasks you must do. For example, I’m writing this blog post while sitting on my deck at the lake. I’m basking in the sunshine while doing my work. Very pleasant.

I sincerely hope you say to yourself, today I choose to be disciplined. It will make all the difference in your life, your world and your dream.

Where are you when it comes to discipline? Do you have it? Or wish you did? Share it here and you could win a copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen.

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Today, I Choose to be… Courageous

Posted January 30, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

If you’re like most people, your hands started shaking just thinking about being courageous. Life is a frightening proposition. Throw in moving toward living your dream and it’s enough to derail even the best laid plans.

Courage is often misunderstood. Most people think it’s the absence of fear. When they move forward and get the jitters, they think they lack courage. So they abandon their dreams and settle for mediocrity.

 

But here’s the truth about courage:

It’s not the absence of fear. It’s continuing in spite of it. You feel the fear, and do it anyway.

We all have it. Don’t believe me? Remember when you pulled your child out of the street so they wouldn’t get hit by that speeding car? Yeah, that was courage.

Using it is habit forming. It’s there and if you keep it in the forefront of your mind, you get into the groove of leading with courage.

Courage multiplies. Faster than rabbits. The more you use what you have, the more you’ll have.

It builds confidence. Every time you step out on wobbly knees in the direction of your dream and survive it (and you will), it becomes just that much easier to step out at the next opportunity.

My point is simple. Use what you have. You do have courage. You were wired that way. God gave you courage as part of your makeup. Oh sure, you’ll still get jittery when you set out for places unknown. That’s only natural but it should NEVER stop your motion, at least not when you have so much courage inside you.

Here’s a great example. When I was a kid, my older brother and the neighborhood boys jumped off a cliff and landed thirty feet below in the Georgia red clay. I desperately wanted to be one of the guys but every time I walked up to the edge of the cliff, I chickened out. I was just too scared.

I was literally one step away from accomplishing that feat. I didn’t lack the courage. I just didn’t use it…until I jumped. I finally said, today, I choose to be courageous. I mustered the courage I had and took that last leap off the side of the cliff.

No one brought courage to me at the top of the cliff. It didn’t fall out of the sky. I reached deep inside myself and brought that courage to the surface.

You can do the exact same thing that I did when I was eight. It’s there. Somewhere. Find it and use it to get you through those unknowns and scary moments. Let it be the vehicle to take you where you want to be in life. Say to yourself, Today, I choose to be courageous.

What is your experience with courage? Are you fearful? Daring? Share it here. 

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Today I Choose to Be… Grateful

Posted January 28, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I sped down the road at breakneck speed. As usual, because I’m not a morning person at all, I’d hit the snooze button one too many times and I was running late for my appointment.

Then it happened. I was stopped by a school bus loading children. Then I was stopped by a traffic light. Then another. And a third one. What the…?!

As I sat at the fourth one in a row, impatiently tapping my fingers on the steering wheel, two large trucks roared across the intersection. It suddenly hit me how valuable that red light was at that moment. It forced me to stop, thereby preventing a serious or fatal accident.

The truth was, that inconvenience kept me alive and unharmed to drive another mile. Gratitude bubbled up inside me like a geyser. I looked around me and discovered the sun was shining. How’d I miss that?

The car I sat in while waiting for the light to change was nice and comfortable. I didn’t have to walk or catch a bus in the ice or snow. And I was healthy enough to get out of bed. Oh yeah, and I breathed in… and out. Life is good.

The point is, most of us are in the habit of coasting through days that remain completely unnoticed. That’s what happened to me. No doubt it’s plagued your life as well.

I made a decision right then and there that I would choose to be grateful that day. I looked for something in every situation that was worth thanking God for. Know what happened? I had a wonderful day. Oh, my decision didn’t alter the traffic pattern a bit. I was still stopped by several more traffic lights. But I didn’t mind it as much. I was suddenly more patient.

Being grateful does have its benefits. Here are a few:

It increases your patience. I instantly stopped drumming my fingers on the steering wheel and didn’t look at the clock again during that ride.

Your eyesight improves. Suddenly, I was able to see beyond my own circumstances and saw a whole new world that I was a part of.

It produces power. I had all it took to help others during their day. I stopped to let drivers merge into traffic. I held the door open for others. By the end of the day, I felt like I’d conquered it.

A lifetime of being grateful may seem too far out of reach. Would it be possible for you to choose to be grateful… just for today? Are you willing?

How have you been grateful? How did that make you feel? Share it here.

 

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When Something is Amiss

Posted October 30, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I love football. NFL. College. High School. Backyard pickup game. It doesn’t matter. I’m there. Yesterday I realized I’ve not watched an entire football game this season. Something just isn’t right. Can’t put my finger on it but something is out of kilter.

Our lives are like that sometimes. That which we hold dear seems to get knocked askew and we can’t seem to get our hearts in the game. As I think about my sudden lackluster attitude toward football, I discovered several factors that can influence how we look at our lives. Here are a few.

Change. Seeing your favorite player in a different uniform for the first time in their career just seems weird. Wrong. Hard to swallow. But nothing remains the same and we have to embrace the change in order to be ok with it.

External factors. For whatever reason, the games that air in my geographic area aren’t ones I want to see. I’m being force fed a lot of mediocre ball. Your life lineup might not measure up to your expectations.

Preconceived notions. I really expected to have a GREAT year watching the competition on the gridiron. By the time the season rolled around, there was no way even the best players could live up to my expectations. It’s ok to what more but to expect a duck to be an eagle… well, ain’t going to happen.ce fed a lot of mediocre ball. Your life lineup might not measure up to your expectations.

Internal desires. Right now, what I’m working on in my personal and professional life supersedes my desire to spend Saturdays, Sundays and Monday nights watching football. Sure, I might have the game playing in the background but something is pushing me deeper into my own world. That’s when you know you’re about to launch your own GREAT season! Go with it. TiVo the game (or that other thing in your life). Or wait ‘til next season. Roll with what’s getting your attention now.

I never thought I’d turn off a football game to go sit on the dock and brainstorm. But creativity—and live—does not keep a schedule in my life or yours. Go with what’s happening right now.

The bottom line is that if something is amiss, there is a perfectly good reason for it. Root it out. Use it to propel you forward into living your dream. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to accomplish!

Do you feel something is amiss in your life? What is it? Share it here.

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The Five Magic Questions

Posted October 9, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Yesterday I discussed with you why you should ditch the resolution for 2013 and replace it with a journey. With all my heart I hope and pray that you do that because it will set you up for success and a wonderful year.

Here are five questions that will jump start your journey planning:

1)   What are you a stand for? Sadly, many people don’t know the answer to that question but how you answer that question will determine whether or not you’re barking up the wrong tree in life.

2)   Why are you who you are? God did not make a mistake when He created you just the way you are. That’s true enough, but do you know why you are you? You have something very unique to contribute in your life that only you can do. Do you know what it is?

3)   What would the world lose without you in it? Suicide rates would be much lower if people would ask and answer that question before they took their lives. After 911, a song was recorded, “There’s a Hole in the World Tonight”. Each time a person doesn’t fulfill their destiny, they leave behind a hole in the world. Do you know what hole you’d create?

4)   What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? The major roadblock people face when deciding whether to live their dream is fear of failure. But what if that roadblock was suddenly removed and you knew for certain that no matter what you attempted, there was no way you could fail? Well, that’s exactly what you SHOULD pursue.

5)   What would it be worth to you to live your life to its fullest? If you awoke each morning excited about what the day brings today and jumped right into living it, how would that make you feel? And if you got to the end of that same day having done what you love in life and fulfilled your purpose, how would you sleep?

These thought provoking questions are critical to center you around what’s important. You simply must ask them of yourself. And answer them honestly. Please do yourself and the world a favor and take time today to answer these questions. Write them down. Burn them upon the tables of your heart. You’ll be one step closer to being completely fulfilled in life.

How did you answer these questions? Did they spark something within you? Share it here.

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