Note to my Younger Self

Young Marci WiseWhat if you could go back and have a heart-to-heart talk with your younger self – knowing all that you know now? What wisdom, warnings or advice would you relay that might have a positive life-changing effect on you?  It’s an intriguing idea, so here’s what I would tell young Marci, if given the chance.

Don’t let fear of the “What ifs” steal your joy – Life is really just a series of experiences strung together, and each of those moments is a gift.  Don’t waste them by being afraid to make mistakes or comparing yourself to everyone else.  There are no guarantees in life – ever – so over-planning, worrying and obsessing about it is really only serving to suck the enthusiasm from your life.  Take it one day at a time and be grateful for the moments as they come.  It’s really pretty simple – if you’re happy with each moment – then in the end you will have lived a happy life.

Own your Awesomeness – Now that I’m older and starting to see the age on my face (and the junk in my trunk) I’m realizing that I may have taken my younger, cuter self for granted.  Don’t buy into the world’s messages of “hey, you’re not all that!” and play it too safe.  While making good decisions and actually being safe is extremely important, don’t be afraid to work it a little. There’s nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying the gifts that God has given you.  You have a habit of dimming down your light so that other people feel more comfortable – but their insecurity is really their problem – not yours.  I’m not saying that you should become a conceited jerk, but it’s perfectly fine to own your own awesomeness.  Nothing lasts forever – so own it, girl!Awesomeness

Take some chances / then let it go – Challenge yourself to push the boundaries a little bit.  Falling into a stereotype or allowing other people (or yourself) to place limiting labels on you will only stunt your growth. Become comfortable with stepping outside of your comfort zone.  It’s okay to try new things – and maybe even be bad at them. But give the things that intrigue you a try and then let go of all expectation and self judgment. The truth is, you have to play big to win big – so get in the game!

Don’t be afraid to call it like you see it – You’ve been saddled with the long-standing family inclination to “keep the peace” – but I would suggest that you challenge that.  Speak your truth – albeit with kindness and integrity – and who knows, maybe the world won’t come crashing down around you.  Maybe people will respect that you’re a straight shooter and like the fact that what they see is what they get. Of course, I can’t promise that this will lead to good things in your life since I still haven’t mastered this myself, but I have seen that sometimes ugly and unfair situations only get strengthened and promoted by people’s silence – and then the result is anything but peace.  Just strive to be real and authentic in an effort to get to the true heart of the matter.

Marci Wise with TinyEnjoy life! – Play with your dog, laugh with your friends, and plan new adventures.  Goals are fine – but enjoying life should be your top goal.  As long as you’re having fun and appreciating those that you love – then you’re doing it right!

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Marci Wise is the award-winning author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

The Benefits of Getting “Back to Basics”

(Excerpt from Pain, Passion & Purpose )

In our complicated world, it’s no wonder that we sometimes feel agitated, exhausted or confused. There’s so much stimulus coming at us from every angle that it can be hard to know where to place our energies. Making the conscious decision to simplify our lives not only helps us to feel less harried – but also to enjoy the things that are most important to us. If you’re ready to jump off the “busy bus” – then take these steps toward simplifying your life:

clutterClear out the clutter – How many “dust collectors” do you have scattered around you? Each of these things steals a little bit of your time and energy – so if you don’t use it, lose it! You’ll be amazed at how much lighter you’ll feel without them. Plus, by purging your surroundings of unnecessary things, you’re strengthening your commitment to those items that you really do love and cherish.

Know what’s important – Successfully creating a simpler life involves having a clear idea of what has meaning to you – and then rearranging your life to make those things a priority. Do you like spending time with your family, traveling, or engaging in a well-loved hobby? Then move those items up on your to-do list. In today’s busy world, most of our time goes toward obtaining things, not enjoying things. Begin to make decisions that will shift that balance by prioritizing pleasurable activities just as you would work obligations. 

Use timesaving techniques – Work is important, of course, but there are always ways to become more efficient. Brainstorm ways to save time – just as you would money. Each moment saved could be geared toward your enjoyment. Use the benefit of modern conveniences, create a more effective plan of action, or even delegate some tasks in order to regain control of your time.

Reclaim civility – Remember that the expression of love and kindness should be a given in any life. Not only can you offer it freely – but you also have a right to expect it in return. As the foundation for a peaceful world, make civility toward your fellow man as natural as breathing. Offer a kind word or helping hand when you can – it doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Nurture nature – The warm rays of the sun, the gentle rustle of the leaves, and the beauty of a vivid sunset are just some of the priceless gifts awaiting your attention. These simple pleasures are always available to help you reconnect with a sense of peace and relaxation. Allow yourself to slow down and respect the beauty of the world around you. Enjoyment is after all, the greatest reward of a simple life.

Making these changes doesn’t mean that you have to leave the world of achievement and move to some remote location. Greater simplicity can be added to any lifestyle by making just a few simple changes. The key is to slow down and consciously pick and choose where to place your energies. It’s a wonderful mindset that will bring you more joy in your day-to-day life. Give it a try!

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Marci Wise is the award-winning author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. Copyright © 2013 Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.