One Thing

For the past week or two, I’ve been reading the book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I checked it out from the library aside from the fact that it kept showing up on Amazon and was recommended by a few people I admire.

From the first few pages, I knew that this was a book that needed to be read slowly. A book that has so much wisdom and that by flying through it, I was afraid that I would miss something important.

Today I was reading Chapter 10 called “the focusing question”. While I was already familiar with this concept, I wanted to share it with you because I loved the way that it is described in this book.

Clarity must come from us. It seems we must envision our own journey’s, make our own maps, and create our own compasses. To get the answers we week, we have to invent the right questions-and we’re left to devise our own. So how to you do this? How do you come up with uncommon questions that take you to uncommon answers?

You ask one question: the focusing Question

Anyone who dreams of an uncommon life eventually discovers there is no choice but to seek an uncommon approach to living it. The focusing question is that uncommon approach. In a world of no instructions, it becomes the simple formula for finding exceptional answers that lead to extraordinary results.

What’s the one thing I can do

such that by doing it

everything else will be easier or

unnecessary?

Good question, right? Take a few minutes to close your eyes and really think about it.

You might not be able to do everything perfectly, or accomplish each task on your to-do list.

However, once you are able to identity your “one thing” the other things seem to become much simpler.

P.S. If you haven’t read the book, feel free to check it out here

 

June trip to California

I thought that I would give you a brief glimpse into my recent trip to northern California.

Josh and I had the most amazing time and were able to make several trips to San Francisco.

We also met up with a few of our friends including a friend from grad school that I hadn’t seen since we graduated several years ago.

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Left: Stanford University Middle Top: San Francisco Middle Center: Key Lime Cheesecake in Palo Alto, CA Middle Bottom: Longburger in San Franciso Right: Shabu Japanese Fondue, Sacramento, CA

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Obviously, a day trip would not be complete without at least one cup of coffee. I enjoyed trying Ritual coffee for the first time and tasting my favorite (Oakland Coffee Roasters) for the first time in 2 years!

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Our long awaited engagement photos…

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Although it seemed like we were always doing something and running from place to place, I still found time to start reading a great book called Love, Skip, Jump. We also had a great time skyping with two of our best friends Jah-Jah and Sydney.

 

Before Happiness

 

Check out this amazing interview at Google with with author, Shawn Achor. Before Happiness is Shawn’s most recent book and he previously wrote a book called The Happiness Advantage. He’s done some really interesting research on happiness and he even teaches a course on happiness at Harvard.

In the interview Shawn is interviewed by Meng….who is probably better known as the “jolly Good Fellow” at Google. Meng’s humor alone makes the video worth watching.

Here are a few key notes/topics that are discussed in the video:

  • Happiness brings about success
  • Mirror neurons & motor neurons
  •  Calmness is contagious
  • Positive genuis
  • Only 25% of job success is predicted by how smart you are
  • Optimism
  • Social connection
  • How you relate to stress

Shawn has also done several TEDx talks which you can check out here and here

Love Skip Jump

Love Skip Jump

“If we want to find the adventures God has planned four our lives, we need to imitate God’s epic love for us”

-Shelene Bryan, Founder of Skip1.org and author of Love Skip Jump

How Do You Start Saying Yes?

Robyn is on the left

Happy Wednesday to everyone! My time in California is coming to an end…and I might even be on an airplane as you are reading this! I will have some pictures and an update on my trip sometime next week.

Today we have a guest post from Robyn Guthrie (the girl on the left in the above photo) who has a blog called The Adventure Journal. Robyn is going to share a little bit about how we can each start saying “yes” in our lives more often! Hope you enjoy it!

How Do You Start Saying Yes?

If like me you have been an avid follower of other peoples adventures whether it be through blogs, books, or film you have probably, like millions of others, become a watcher.

I was a watcher not so long ago. I know what it’s like. You sit and scroll through endless documentaries, photo albums, journals and blog posts feasting your eyes on the experiences of these inspiring people.

People who travel and create and meet talented, like-­minded friends and do amazing things everyday as you sit at home hiding behind your laptop wishing that those things would happen to you.

But don’t fear.  You are not alone and I’m here to help you out of this minor blip and help you start living your life the way you really want to.

First we need to tackle the insecurities that are really behind your dissatisfaction. How do they do it? What do I need to do to make my life more like theirs?

The secret is so simple ( and the best usually are) and yet so difficult for many of us to start doing. The question you are really asking yourself is

How do I say yes?

How do I say “Yes, I like you” when I look in the mirror in the morning.

How do I say “Yes, I will go  to Europe” or

“Yes I will eat the double chocolate chip triple layer fudge brownie”

“I will join that pottery class”

“I will talk to new people”

“I will learn to play guitar”

and the list goes on.

How do you stop being afraid of the opportunities life gives you?.

We turn down so many opportunities without even thinking about it. We wish we could be more outgoing but we constantly hide ourselves in the shadows for fear of being laughed at or feeling vulnerable.

We wish we could have more friends but don’t commit to joining classes or talking to that person at a party. So many of us are guilty for underestimating the amount of control we have over our situation… or passing on the responsibility.

You may catch yourself saying things like “ I have a job so I don’t have time to do fun things” or “When I lose weight I will socialise more”

But this is not the solution. When you are in a “yes” or “no”  situation all you need to think about are these three simple things:

1.  Do you want to do it?

What was your first instinct? Before you started running through all the risks, the financial difficulties, the time consumption… Is this something that you want to do. If you had all the time and money in the world would you want to do it. If the answer is no consider, will this act help some­one else? If yes, will it be a burden or will the help you bring be worth the effort?

2.  Will this hurt the people I care about?

Most of us are able to recognise when an action will hurt others unnecessarily. Never skip this step. Sometimes  it is so easy to get excited about something without thinking about the consequences for other people.

See if there is something you could do which wouldn’t sacrifice your relationship with others. But sometimes you need to go for what want even if it offends the people you are close to. The classic example of this is a parents expectations of their child’s career and educational future.

3.  Can I honestly make this work?

If the decision has a deadline you need to be upfront and honest with yourself about if you can fit it into your schedule, if you can afford it at this time. Be really honest with yourself here.

Would you be able to afford it if you cut down on the Starbucks lattes?

Could you fit it in if you woke up a little earlier?

Life begins outside of your comfort zone, Netflix can wait.

Remember that although it is important to seek out adventures and pursue the opportunities you are given, sometimes life will get in the way and you really can’t make it work. But there is every chance that the opportunity will arise again in the future and there will be plenty more opportunities along the way.  So, don’t get too down about it.

Do you have trouble saying yes? What’s holding you back?  Tell me what opportunities opened up to you when you started saying yes!

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Robyn Guthrie loves adventures and books. You can check out her blog at www.theadventurejournals.tumblr.com or contact her at robynsimone@outlook.com and @RobynSGuthrie on Twitter

 

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