By Jackie White
Long gone are the days when you would walk up to someone you don’t know and ask them if they want to play. Kids make it look easy. They meet a kid on the playground and within minutes they claim to be “best friends”. My son is one of these kids. He was always meeting a new best friend and when asked what his new best friend’s name was, he didn’t even know, or even care. He was happy to just have someone to play with. Those were the days.
Why is it so easy for kids to make friends and so impossible for adults? For some reason, even as adults, we turn back into timid teenagers and think things like we will look desperate or strange if we reach out to another person looking for friendship. Ok, so just for right now, let’s drop the teenage fears and look at the facts of why you should take time for yourself to get together with friends or work on making some new friends.
The Facts of Why Friendship Is So Important
Mental and Physical Health
Next to taking care of your body and mind through proper diet and exercise, an 80 year long Harvard study found that connections are the key to living a happier, healthier and longer life. Stress is often reduced when people engage in positive relationships. Also, when secure and reliable friendships have been established, a person’s brain health and memory recall are sharper.
Quality of Life
The quality of life is happier and more meaningful when a person has friendships. Through support, caring and positive conversation, friends can lift you up. Take these interactions up a notch and think about laughing with friends. During these times, cares seem to melt away and joy fills our hearts. These times are truly good for your soul.
Quality of Friendships Matter
There is an important distinction to remember when you are looking at your friendships, and that is the friendships you engage in must impact you positively. That might seem obvious, but sometimes we tolerate “friends” who bring us down or suck the energy out of us. These relationships do not enhance your quality of life. Eliminate or reduce these interactions and replace them with people who bring you up.
Loneliness is Toxic
The facts are that 3 in 5 Americans are lonely. To say it mildly, that’s a lot of people. That also means you are not alone if you feel that way. Those who are more isolated than they want to be are less happy leading to declines in physical and mental health. Circumstances that can be the culprit of loneliness are falling into busy-ness of life and not making time to spend with others or life stage timing that affects a person’s ability to connect with friends and/or make new friends.
How Do You Make a Friend as an Adult?
Now you can see the importance of friendships in your life. You are worth making the effort to surround yourself with people who enhance your life. The question that begs an answer now is how do you go about fostering or finding those friendships?
The first thing you have to get comfortable with is stepping out of your comfort zone. You will have to take some initiative to make new friends and it might be uncomfortable.
Ok, so now who do you ask?
Bottom line: Friendship is important. It impacts our lives in ways that we might not realize. Put yourself out there and benefit from spending time with friends. It will be time you will never regret.
Life is about using the whole box of crayons and other reasons why you should be creative
By Jackie White
Creativity is one of the most underrated and under utilized ways to take a break from life’s stressors. Creativity can actually help reduce stress and can improve your health. Taking the time to engage in something creative allows you to take a break and it gives your mind a chance to relax.
What happens is sort of miraculous in a sense. Just by doing something creative, which by the way is enjoyable for most, you can positively affect your own mental and physical health. What happens is that when you create your brain takes a vacation from your troubles and can create a sense of calm in you that is similar to meditating. You can also get yourself into a mental state called flow where you lose track of time because you are enjoying the activity so much. Being in flow also induces feelings of relaxation and release. Finally, you can also feel energized by leaving your worries behind and focusing on an activity that you enjoy.
Are you convinced yet that making time to be creative is important? If not, then just like a bad infomercial, we can tell you there’s more! When you engage in a creative outlet you can get smarter, get happier and be more mentally fit to handle life’s challenges!
Get Creative, Get Smarter
Being creative has this incredible effect on your brain and total wellness. Creativity can be a very complex process, thus, it engages multiple areas of the brain thereby increasing brain plasticity, meaning your brain’s ability to re-wire it’s connections. A well connected brain can result in increased intelligence. Who wouldn’t want that?
Get Creative, Get Happier
Serotonin, the happy hormone, is released when your brain is creatively engaged. Serotonin is a natural antidepressant that can reduce feelings of anxiety, depression and stress. So, yes, getting creative can make you a happier person!
Get Creative and Release the Emotional Baggage
Working through emotions by utilizing creativity can be very effective. Art therapy and music therapy are two therapies that have gained popularity in recent years.These therapies can help those with memory issues and trauma by providing a vehicle to communicate when words fail.
You don’t have to go through a therapy program to reap the benefits of utilizing art to work through your own emotions. Coupling art with journaling can be a very therapeutic way to process emotions.
But What if You Aren’t Creative?
Here is a newsflash: everyone can be creative! Does being creative mean you are a critically acclaimed artist? Nope. Does it mean you must perform at certain levels of competency to achieve the benefits of being creative? Nope. You just have to engage in something creative. That’s it. That's all. For inspiration on how easy it can be to get creative, check out the book called “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon.
What is Considered Creativity?
There are so many ways to be creative: it could be painting, drawing, playing music, sewing, building, gardening, cooking, writing, participating in a play or singing a song. The ways to be creative are unending! Find one that interests you and get to being creative!
Easy Do It Yourself Creative Escapes
Here’s some good news, getting creative is easier than it’s ever been! There are adult coloring books that have hit the market in recent years providing for a creative outlet that needs little preparation.You can gather some friends and make a night of it by attending a local paint night or DIY workshop. You can take a class in almost anything you want to learn and some very affordable options are classes available online. Pinterest is also chocked full of creative ideas for all skill levels.
Personally, I am an advocate of just grabbing some materials and just beginning. Enjoy the process and don’t stress over the quality of the output. Just revel in the enjoyment of the activity and the benefits you are receiving!
Great creative, get healthy and shine on!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
DreamChasers, get ready for a fun ride! Today, you get to hear the life story about my amazing friend, partner, and, possibly, long lost sister, Jackie White. In true Jackie style, there’s insight, inspiration, and truth all wrapped up in fun...and, maybe, a little song and dance.
Let’s Begin at the Beginning
Since she was a kid, Jackie has been goal-driven. Jackie places a high value of living her best life due to having had a near-death experience with carbon monoxide poisoning when she was young. This experience taught her the invaluable life lesson that we all have an expiration date and tomorrow is not promised; life is too short not to be joyful. Stop wasting time...go out and live this life today!
Jackie graduated from high school in 1984 and upon graduation took a few months to travel the world. Upon her return, true to Jackie’s style, she had a plan. Step one, graduate from cosmetology college, both because she wanted to become a hair stylist and have a way to finance her next step. Step two, go to UW-Madison to pursue a degree in Industrial Psychology. The kicker? At that time, this degree didn’t exist! Not to be deterred by this minor road block, Jackie set out to customize her course of study to combine her love of business and passion for psychology.
After graduating from the UW, this cosmetologist-turned-industrial-psychologist landed her first corporate position at Oscar Mayer. At that time, Jackie was working several jobs to pay for her college tuition. One of these jobs was working at her parent’s bowling center. The lunch hour regulars knew Jackie was hoping to get the job at Oscar Mayer, so when she did find out that she got the job, to celebrate, she brought Oscar Mayer Bologna sandwiches for everyone! That, right there, sums up how Jackie not only finds the fun, but brings it to any situation!
The Unexpected Paths Become the Most Rewarding
Jackie reports that she absolutely loved her time at Oscar Mayer and then later Kraft Foods. She held several positions during her tenure there, starting in Human Resources then transferring to Promotions and Marketing. Her desire to be innovative and creative in her career was fueled by the many books she read on business and personal development. One significant book she came upon was "Awaken the Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins. This book changed the way she looked at the world and ultimately how she decided to live her life. This book was the doorway to her own personal development journey that will continue on for her lifetime. Jackie states that you can never know it all - even about oneself.
Jackie’s work at Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods also brought about another key turning point in her life when she met her husband Mark on a project they were assigned to work on together. Future collaborations for them included their three children together, Scarlett (17), Marshall (16), and Truman (14); as well as Jackie taking on the role of stepmother, though not of the evil variety, to Ian (30) and Hayley (27).
After Marshall was born, Jackie decided that the best thing for their family would be for her to stay home with the children. Although she loved her career, she realized that closing that chapter would open another where her children would come first. True to Jackie's style, she threw herself into being the best mom she could be. She traded in her corporate life for playdates, trips to the libraries and a plethora of kid's activities! It was a perfect fit! This just goes to show, DreamChasers, you never know if what’s around the corner could be the next best thing in your life!
Living with the Forward-Thinking Lifestyle
As children do, Jackie’s kids became more and independent the further they traveled into the teenage years. Jackie realized she needed to have something for her when her kids were gone from the nest. She began re-visiting some of her personal development books. She spent about a year assessing where her true passions and purpose in life were directing her to go. That is when her friend, Stef mentioned that she had a friend with similar interests that Jackie just had to connect with. In January 2019 back before virtual meetings were trendy, Jackie and Erika had their first meeting over Zoom, and SoulShine Life Connections was born.
As it turns out, Jackie has been pleasantly surprised to find how much she loves and enjoys writing for the SoulShining Blog. Looking back, there were hints of this in how much she looked forward to writing her annual Christmas card letter; she even has had friends and family tell her that she needed to put her pen to paper and write a book or blog. Hmmm...foreshadowing at it’s finest, DreamChasers! (P.S. Looking for your passion or purpose? Pay attention to what others see in you...that’s a great clue!)
Jackie loves putting together all that makes up SoulShine. The strategy, the writing, the class and workshop development and even the creative execution. She will admit that she had to step out of her comfort zone into the unknowns of technology and starting an online business. So far, it has been fun and rewarding. Jackie holds a mixture of excitement, anticipation, and restlessness to take SoulShine Life Connections to the next level.
How to Begin Living a Life of Purpose and Passion
When asked if she is living her life purpose, Jackie’s answer was the best I have ever heard. She said this is definitely part of it but she has a lot more in her that is yet to be seen or even uncovered. She has had a passion for personal growth for years, so that piece is not surprising, but becoming a writer was not something she had considered. This makes her instinctively ask herself, and others, “What other doors haven’t been opened yet?”.
As Jackie says, she has bigger fish to fry. Her biggest challenge is that she has too many interests to pursue, which means being bored won’t happen! She encourages you to start your life of purpose and passion by looking for inspiration. Need a place to start? Check out books, podcasts, You Tube, and, obviously, SoulShine Life Connections blog or blogcast. Feed your mind with positivity and possibility if you want to live your best life and limit any negativity.
Jackie encourages all to find the fun and happiness in life and to stop being afraid to live! Everyday gives you the opportunity to choose how you will live out that day. You can find the fun and the joy if you just take the time to make it a priority. Life is too short to choose otherwise!
Jackie, thank you for sharing yourself with all of those who you meet. Keep on bringing the fun and pouring out the inspiration and happy, mixed with your creatively quirky and no-nonsense style. You are an example to all that, while living your best life takes effort and rolling with the punches, the journey is fun and rewarding as it unfolds.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
It’s naptime. Literally, I am writing this as Lucy is napping because, as all parents of toddlers or former toddlers know, this is my 2 or 3 hour window to get all the things done before I have a fully recharged almost 2 year old tornado back in motion. That’s how I imagine napping for kids, that they have a cell phone battery recharging bar climbing back to 100% as they sleep. Every so often, I will indulge myself in an afternoon nap instead of working my butt off cramming a day's worth of chores into a 2 hours slot. Because, wow, am I rested after that. And, if you didn’t catch it, there was a hefty dose of sarcasm in that indulge comment.
DreamChaser, it’s Mental Health Monday, and we are debunking the myth that naps are an indulgence or being lazy or a waste of time or any other excuse you have for skipping them. You know I love science, studies, and all things that go along with that. All signs point that naps, when done properly, have some awesome health and wellness benefits. It’s time to shift our mindset from naps being an indulgence to naps being a must!
Here are the top 5 health benefits from napping for adults.
Bring the happy factor back
Studies have shown that napping or just resting for up to an hour is a mood booster and can brighten your outlook.
Give the ole memory a boost
Did you know that sleep is important for storing memories? Naps can help you remember things and make connections between different thoughts from earlier in the day as well as keep you from forgetting motor skills, sense perception, and verbal skills. Get this! The benefits from napping can be the same as a full night’s sleep!
Ease your stress
Naps can help your body recover after a stressful situation by bringing down your blood pressure as you relax into your ZZZs. This will help bring down the levels of your stress hormones, like cortisone, in your body. As a benefit, reducing the stress helps boost your immune system.
Repeating the same task or actions throughout the day causes a decrease in performance. A nap can boost your consistency. Longer naps, like 70 to 90 minutes, that achieve REM sleep can boost creativity by activating the dream and image parts of the brain. This can help you combine ideas in new ways to come up with solutions to problems. Your performance is boosted further with quicker reaction time associated with increased alertness and better memory.
Feel sleepy after lunch? You are not alone! As the day goes on, your alertness fades. Napping can increase alertness. Studies have shown that naps are better than caffeine in this area with the added benefits of increasing memory and learning, too!
The list of nap benefits goes on and on, DreamChaser, these just happen to be my personal favorites. Another way to use napping to your benefit is when you know you are about to experience a night time sleep deficit, like when working a night shift or with travel; napping prior to the deficit will help you get through this period. These benefits come along with occasional napping but daily napping has shown the added benefit of enhancing your ability to tell the difference between images and textures.
Before you go snuggle up and nap it out, there are a few things to keep in mind to maximize these benefits. Keep your naps to 10 to 20 minutes, 30 minutes tops. Otherwise, you might experience a phenomenon called sleep inertia, which is where you actually wake up feeling more tired or groggy. Let’s be real, if you are planning to incorporate this into your daily schedule, finding a longer time slot might be a challenge anyway; so, it’s great that the benefits come from shorter and not longer, right? Plan your naps for early afternoon before 3 PM, otherwise, you might have issues with night time sleep. Finally, try to find a restful environment to get your most out of your nap.
Anyway you look at it, napping is good for your overall health and wellness. Abandon the notion that it is an indulgence to get your nap on, DreamChaser. One of the keys to living your best life is to listen to your body, mind, and soul. If you are tired or stressed or grumpy, a 10 minute nap reset might be the solution to getting yourself back on track. Just one more tool for your best life toolbox!
Forgive me, my pillow is calling...all this discussion of napping has me feeling very sleepy indeed. I encourage you to join me in recharging the batteries!
Living Life in Positivity and Possibility. The Life Story of Erika Fehrenbach Prell
By Jackie White
Life stories. Everyone has one. Today, we are lucky enough to get a peek at the amazing life of my friend and business partner, Erika.
As I began the interview with Erika, I didn’t really think we would have such a conversation about Erika’s name and that she is Erika Fehrenbach (SPACE) Prell not Erika Fehrenbach (HYPHEN) Prell. Quirky - yup, that’s Erika.
Let me explain, Erika states that she strongly identifies with her given name and when she married she didn’t necessarily want to give that name up, but she also didn’t want to not take on her husband’s name, so to give each name the place it deserves, each stand separately (no hyphen) yet together and that is a great definition of my friend, Erika. She is independent, yet thrives off of the connections with her family and friends.
If you know Erika, you will know that life is all about family and friends. Erika has been married to Adam for 14 years and they have 3 beautiful children: Ethan 12, Liam 7 and bonus baby, Lucy 20 months. They are a busy family attending lots of sporting events, family gatherings and chasing around a very energetic toddler!
Following Your Heart
Erika made up her mind as a child that she wanted to help people when she grew up. Initially, she thought she would become a doctor but, as she saw the benefit to total mind, body and soul care, she felt that being a nurse practitioner might be a better choice for her. Because of a series of cardiac related events in the lives of a close family friend and her own father, Erika felt a calling to work in cardiac surgery. The opportunity to make a difference for others was on her heart (pun intended!) She listened to that calling and in that opportunity she found that she really enjoyed educating the patient and the patient’s families about how to take care of themselves.
Erika worked as a nurse practitioner for 5 years before life began nudging her in another direction. Erika found that her beloved career became difficult to manage because working full time and caring for her family wasn’t balancing out as she had hoped. That is when Erika took a leap of faith and stepped into a direct sales career where she still works as an independent consultant for Arbonne, a company that offers a holistic approach to beauty, health and well-being. The great benefit Erika never considered was that through this direct sales opportunity she was exposed to the skills involved in being an entrepreneur and to the study of personal development. These were things that she never really had considered and realized this was a door she wanted to walk through.
Fast forward a few years and Erika had by then immersed herself fully into personal development. She was encouraging others by posting inspirational quotes daily on social media. This attracted the attention of another personal development junkie and that would be me, Jackie White. At that point in time, I was searching for a way to harness my love of personal development and share it with others, so I approached Erika and asked her if she wanted to work together...on something, we just didn’t know what.
What we found was a great partnership of two unlikely characters. Although Erika and I had met years ago, little did we know that we must have been separated at birth because we have the same thoughts and can finish each other’s sentences. It’s hilarious, yet actually kinda creepy!
Through the launch of SoulShine Life Connections we were both excited and scared to forge ahead in unknown territory, but both knew that growth and comfort rarely go together.
Erika and I have enjoyed our time learning, sharing and inspiring others together. SoulShine is the purpose for both of us, and we do not consider it work. When asked, Erika states that her purpose is “to help open people’s eyes and bring awareness to where they are in life and help them understand if they are on the right path”. She further explains that she wants people to examine if they are living an inspired life or just going through the motions.
Erika would tell you that SoulShine is her purpose, but being the mindset manager that she is, Erika says that there are things you don’t love even in the thing you love the most, but finding the positives in it and growing from the experience is the best way to manage that.
If you are searching for your purpose or maybe you know what that is, Erika has some advice for you that may help you along your way. You must follow your heart, face your fears and to do that you must take action. Getting your purpose in motion is important. One other very important thing to remember in life is that you need to stay inspired and motivated to continue the momentum of your purpose. Your purpose when followed will fill your life with meaning and joy. This other piece of advice is critical to following the path of your dreams, and that is comparison is the thief of joy. Your dream is about you and your joy, and it has nothing to do with anyone else’s path. Focus on your dreams with positivity and possibility.
Erika Fehrenbach (SPACE) Prell is a great example to others on how to follow your dreams, take action and keep joy in all that you do!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Welcome to "Mental Health, Monday" with a SoulShine twist. Today's topic...oxygen and self-kindness, DreamChasers. Oxygen is to your body what self-kindness is to your soul. What does that mean? Both are necessary for life to continue; they are not optional!
Have you ever stopped to think about WHY the flight attendants say to "put your mask on first before helping others"? Oxygen is necessary for survival. As your oxygen level drops, your ability to think clearly, focus, make decisions, and troubleshoot gets foggier and foggier. While helping others first seems the heroic path, that taking care of your own needs first is selfish, the fact of the matter is you are of no use to others in a flight emergency if you don't take care of yourself first.
I have been on many flights in my life, and I look forward longingly to many more in the future. I have fortunately never had to try out the "put your oxygen on first" drill. Thankfully, the oxygen masks aren't needed often on planes. This doesn't change the necessity of oxygen for our existence...or, for that matter, the same necessity for self-kindness.
Let’s make sure we are on the same page here. At SoulShine, we like to refer to self-kindness as it emcompasses the bigger picture of how you treat yourself, incorporating total wellness of the mind, body, and soul connection. Other similar words and phrases could be self-care, taking care of yourself, being nice to yourself, or anything along these lines. The basic idea is the same; doing things for yourself to take care of yourself. Just as we are all individuals, how we show self-kindness is individual; what works for one person will be different for someone else. The point is not WHAT you are doing but that you are doing it!
The unfortunate thing is that self-kindness often comes with a dose of guilt or feelings of selfishness. Thoughts of doing something for yourself BEFORE doing all the things for everyone else seem an impossible task. Because of this, self-kindness gets pushed to the back burner, to the “if there is time, then I will…” slot. And, let's be real, how often does this slot get filled? Rarely. Because there is always something to do for someone else.
DreamChasers, would you wait to breathe so everyone else has oxygen first? For life-sustaining needs, we can't rely on remembering or choosing. Instead, our bodies have reflexes built in to keep these processes going. Unfortunately, there is no reflex or physical signs telling us to do self-kindness!
Or, is there?
Let's explore this! Self-kindness is a way to recharge your batteries. It's a way to bring stress levels down. Self-kindness is having a positive mindset and practicing positive self-talk. It is finding joy, happiness and gratitude. Self-kindness is following your passion and purpose in the things you enjoy doing. The list goes on and on. Studies have shown that practicing these pieces of self-kindness decreases the negative effects of stress on your body, can boost your immunity, can decrease anxiety and depression, just to name a few.
If you have ever experienced the negative states of stress or anxiety or depression, you know there are physical signs that show up. While these states may not be directly a result of the lack of self-kindness, taking care of yourself through self-kindness is exactly what you need!
So, to answer the question posed earlier, are there physical signs of the lack of self-kindness? I would say absolutely! But, unlike the reflex to breathe, you have to consciously recognize that this is lacking and make the choice to incorporate this into your life. Don’t be fooled by the lack of reflex, DreamChaser, physical manifestations ARE the body’s way of communicating its needs to you!
Do your self-kindness first just like you are supposed to put your oxygen on first. Both are needed to survive but self-kindness is needed to thrive, to live your best life, and that’s what it’s all about! Not just to survive but to thrive. Explore what makes you feel refueled and recharged. Make time for it every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes. This, DreamChasers, is the difference maker! Looking for a place to start adding self-kindness in your life? Check out these self-kindness for the mind, body, and soul ideas:
Let go of the guilt or feelings of selfishness when it comes to doing something for yourself. These do not serve you! To be your best, you need to feel your best. Practicing self-kindness everyday is key to this. Consider self-kindness with the same respect of oxygen, a necessity for life. Do your self-kindness first before helping others, and you will be on your path to your best life.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
DreamChaser, I have a question for you. I know you have big goals and dreams. Goals and dreams that you want to accomplish to live your best life. How do I know? You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t! Today, I am going to let you in on the overlooked and underestimated key to all of this goal-getting business. It’s the mindset shift that set me on the path to believing I could get those dreams on my heart; those dreams I had buried because I didn’t think it was possible. Once I adopted this mindset, I not only believed I could get these goals and dreams but I also started achieving them! The gem I uncovered was the concept of the slight edge, described in the book of the same name, The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson. This mindset shift all starts with a question.
Do you need big action to accomplish your big goals and dreams?
Be honest. I am willing to bet the answer is something along the lines of “duh, of course BIG goals and dreams need BIG action”. It’s okay; I have a 12 year old and am used to people thinking I am asking an obvious and dumb question. And, in the mother-knows-all tone, I have two truths to tell you on this. You are wrong that BIG goals and dreams need BIG action. And, it is this incorrect thinking that is preventing you from getting all that you hope, dream, want, and deserve.
I know. Like the first sunburn in summer, that’s a little stingy. I felt the same way. I even argued with Jeff Olson on this concept. I mean, I don’t actually know Jeff Olson but I was listening to the audiobook in my car so I felt I could have a conversation with him. What can I say? It was my first audiobook! Eventually, I chilled out enough to remind myself the whole point of why I was trying out personal growth and development books was to become better and get new ideas where I was stuck.
Open mind back in place, I re-listened to the audiobook. Here’s an important tip, by the way, most books and ideas need to be revisited a few times for you to actually be able to take it all in and implement the ideas. It was this second go-around that I could actually take in this idea behind the slight edge as well as my error in thinking the way to accomplish my goals and dreams was matching the size of the goal with the size of the action.
Here’s the truthbomb, DreamChasers. It’s actually the small, consistent actions that you take every day that equal remarkable results over time! Jeff Olson’s idea behind The Slight Edge is that every action you take puts you on a path either towards your goal or away from it. At the time, the action you are about to take might seem too insignificant to affect your goal. You would be correct, if the action is a single, isolated, happened-only-once occurrence. The reality is that most actions happen multiple times, right? These small actions over time have a compounding effect, meaning they add onto each other, pushing you either in a positive or negative direction. Want to get to your goal? You want that compound effect to go in the positive direction.
Let’s use giving up coffee as an example, a goal I have had in my own life. I have nothing personally against coffee; it is one of those areas in nutrition that has been fought over for ages on whether it’s bad for you or not. For me, I have found that it causes my stomach to get upset, and, let’s be real, I do not need that or the extra calories from all the flavored creamer I pour into it. Yeah, I am one of those latte-colored “coffee” drinkers. Having one cup of coffee one time is not really a big deal but having 1-2 cups every day adds up. Let’s say that creamer is 35 calories per tablespoon, and I use, ahem, 2 tablespoons per cup. In one year, 70 calories times 365 days is 25,550 calories. There are 3500 calories in 1 pound. Cutting out flavored creamer and changing nothing else would mean I would lose 7.3 pounds in 1 year! Isn’t that a little mind-blowing how fast that adds up?!? All you do is commit to decreasing how much you drink by a little bit every day rather than giving it up all together. Before you know it, you will be coffee, and creamer, free; because you went slow and steady, you will not feel deprived and will have less withdrawal symptoms, which increases your chances of continued success. Bam!
To put the slight edge into place, there are 7 principles to consider. None of these are particularly hard to do or earth-shatteringly profound when they stand alone; it is the simplicity of these that brings the power. Just like the compound effect of the slight edge in action, the compound effect of these principles result in remarkable results when applied together. The idea behind the slight edge is small changes over time creating remarkable results, and these principles are the consistent actions you can put into place to execute the slight edge on a larger scale. They are as follows:
Let’s look at applying the power of the slight edge to a BIG, audacious, and common goal...getting healthy. This has to be one of the most common goals out there, right? First step, DreamChasers, is to define what this means to you by its smaller pieces. Getting healthy could include components like exercise, nutrition, hydration, mindset, stress management, weight, and self-kindness. Breaking that BIG goal down into its components makes it less scary and easier to attain. It gives you the places that you can start taking action and making changes to get you where you want to be...healthier. These components are where you start to apply the power of the slight edge by making small, positive steps towards your goal like drinking 1 glass of water, walking 10 minutes per day, eating a salad instead of chips as a side dish, or reading a positive affirmation when you wake up in the morning.
All of these are small but significant changes towards each small goal that are linked to your BIG goal. Each small goal uses the slight edge to compound on itself, like slowly increasing water each day and decreasing soda, energy drinks, and coffee. In addition, each of these small goals like drinking water, walking daily, eating vegetables, and positive affirmations compounds together towards your BIG, audacious goal of health, yielding remarkable results at a faster pace. Isn’t that amazing?!?
DreamChasers, getting all you want in life is really that simple. Small positive changes made consistently over time will yield remarkable results. Abandon the idea that BIG goals need BIG actions! Embrace the idea that small actions will get you where you need to be. Stay the course, believe in yourself, and get after it one little step at a time!
Can Happiness Be Found in Productivity? Brendon Burchard' s High Performance Habits Says Yes!
By Jackie White
Have you ever tried to achieve a goal in the past and either haven’t met the goal or the level of keeping the habit consistent has been a struggle? Wouldn’t it make things easier if you could just pinpoint the habits you need to achieve your goals and as a result you become a happier person? Here’s the good news, you can!
Brendon Burchard in his book, “High Performance Habits” has identified 6 High Performance Habits. These habits will help you succeed in anything you choose. Hard driving business people, students, entrepreneurs or stay-at-home moms. It is for anyone who has something they want to achieve.
Does that sound like something you could use in your life? The following habits can lead you down the road to success and, by the way, down the road to happiness as well. Stay tuned for more on that.
When consistently employed, you unleash extraordinary power developed by these habits. Implementing these habits in your life does not have to hinge on parameters or attributes that are out of your control. What this means is that you do not need to be innately good at something in particular or be a specific type of person to achieve at a high level. You only need to employ these habits consistently, and, here’s the good news, you actually have complete control over that!
That’s big! To achieve is in your control and only requires you to consistently employ the HP6:
Let’s look at these with a bit more detail.
Seek clarity on who you are and who you want to be, how you want to interact with others, what you want and what brings you the greatest meaning. A great place to start is knowing what your core values are. Get a free copy here:
Generate energy so you can maintain focus, effort and well being. This simply means you have to care for yourself in all areas of mind, body and soul to be on your “A” game. This is about caring for your mental and physical health and managing your energy and mindset.
Raise the necessity for exceptional performance. This is about defining and accessing why you absolutely must perform well. It’s about what is motivating you to achieve your goal. It’s about knowing your why and stoking the fires to keep you inspired to drive to achieve.
Increase productivity in your primary field of interest. This is about being clear about your goals and focus. To stay on track you must work to avoid distractions and avoid information overload and interruptions.
Develop influence with those around you. You must establish a positive network that supports your endeavors. Without that support, major achievements are all but impossible
Demonstrate courage by taking bold action and stepping outside your comfort zone. Facing your fears over and over again are the sign of a high performer.
Each habit feeds the next. Starting with what you are all about is the foundation. Taking care of your wellness is critical to be productive. Defining your why and staying inspired pushes your necessity for exceptional performance. Having a positive support network will lift you up when you need it and with many things in life, you must have the courage to persevere. It is a performance ecosystem of sorts.
All of this is balanced not with how many hours you spend doing each task, but instead by balancing the work with how happy you are.That is the cherry on top! To do this, you must be intentional about finding the joy. Burchard suggests setting up triggers throughout the day to remind you to bring on the joy! Some of the triggers he suggests come in easy reminders for yourself.
When you consistently practice becoming a high performing person through implementing this system of habits and balance you cannot help but to be productive and happy. That’s a winning combination!
For more information check out Brendon Burchard’s book called “High Performance Habits”.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
I’m about to admit something that you fashion forward thinkers may consider cringe-worthy. I love t-shirts with words. Sorry, not sorry. I have to hold myself back and make a conscious effort to have other shirts in my rotation. Some of my shirts are inspirational, like “Choose Kind”, while others are just pure fun, such as “Spring Break 2020: Porcho Myarda”.
These t-shirts have sparked some interesting conversations and unexpected insights. So there I was (my husband insists all good stories start with this phrase) at a socially distanced neighborhood cul-de-sac happy hour, wearing the newest edition to my eclectic collection, "I Run a Tight Shipwreck.” Isn’t that hilarious? I will be honest; I totally got it because I thought it was not only funny but also described the marginally controlled chaos that is the Prell household. My intent to add this to my collection was not for this to be one of my inspirational shirts, and I doubt that was the intention of the t-shirt producer. After discussing this a bit, it came to me that this shirt has an awesome lesson, and message, to consider. Suddenly, all my fun shirts have hidden inspirational messages. Here are my current favorites!
#1 - "Why Limit Happy to an Hour?"
The obvious intent of this shirt is to extend your beverage consumption. But, think about it...why not be happy? To live your best life, it should be built on a foundation of happiness.
Feeling happy releases the body's happiness hormones called endorphins. This flood of happy is a difference maker! It sets you in a mindset of possible and positive. With that shift in your energy, more happiness continues to come back to you (good ole Law of Attraction, DreamChaser). Sounds pretty fantastic to me!
#2 - "I Run a Tight Shipwreck"
On the surface, a tight ship may seem an appealing option. Everything is in its place. Everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing. Chaos is in control, and order prevails. All the type A’s reading this are daydreaming of this blissful utopia. The captain is in charge of the ship and all the sailors fall in line.
Here’s the reality. It is pretty easy to keep things together when everything is going according to plan. The true test is how you react in a crisis. Personally, I want to be the clear-headed captain when, as my dad would say, the s#@% hits the fan. If you are good in a crisis, chances are you keep it cool in everyday life. Your ship might not be perfect but there is an overall sense of confidence that everything will be alright.
Find yourself freezing in a crisis or getting stressed when the plan unexpectedly changes? Don't fear, DreamChasers, you can learn this skill with practice. Here is my strategy for keeping your cool when the ship goes down:
#3 - "Flawsome: (def) A person who embraces their "flaws" and knows they are awesome regardless"
This one is pretty self-explanatory but we all need reminders of this. We all have flaws. If we are stepping out of our comfort zones, those flaws will appear when we fail. Remember! Flaws and failures are the opportunities to be better...these are life's best lessons.
Stepping out of the comfort zone is where the magic happens, where dreams and goals go from a thought to reality. It might be scary or uncomfortable, but it will be worth it. You are flawsome for going after it!
Just goes to show, the universe sends lessons, wisdom and insight in unusual ways. You just have to pay attention! Join me, DreamChasers, in being the clear-headed, flawsome captain that runs the tightest, happiest shipwreck.
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.