Category Archives: Perseverence

Where Busy-Ness Can Get Us

I like to follow a simple motto:   “Focus on “ONE” thing”.

What does this mean to me?  It means focusing on just one simple goal at a time, with my most important one to be a loving, kind human being.  OK, that may sound simple-minded or mushy or even lofty, but it’s not really as high and mighty as you may think.  It actually comes out of the fact that, I know one of my faults is that I can be too harsh, impatient, pushy, and unkind if I don’t watch myself.   Yet, at the same time, I also know that I’m a nice  person at heart.   The problem is that when I get too busy,  I sometimes don’t behave as a nice person.

So, what does that have to do with ‘Focusing on ONE thing’?  Well, it’s when I am running around with too many goals, with the demands of a hectic lifestyle, that’s when the stress is kicked up and I am prone to be unkind to those around me.    And this can happen daily {maybe even many times a day} and that’s just too much time in the mode of acting unloving or unkind.

Maybe you are wondering how I came up with this motto.   Part of the idea came from following a wonderful blog by Rick Hanson, called: Just One Thing.   And another impetus was while doing some career and life coaching work, I started with a rather lengthy ‘Vision Statement’ and that was a good start, but then my coach asked me to narrow this down and to continue honing it down to fewer and fewer words.  Each time I did so, I got closer to my core truth.   It was inspiring, hopeful and mostly relieving to realize that all I really have to do is just “Focus on ONE thing”.   And as my life became clearer and I came closer to living my core truth,  I felt better, I had more peace, and I felt more in tune with the things that really matter.   When I stopped thinking that my “To do List” was more important than offering a smile or a kind word, then my relationships improved!    I became more clear on what’s most important and no longer stress so much on the non-essentials.   I hope this is somewhat helpful for you to consider, and thankfully, now I am heading in the direction of…

Doing my best to . . .  “Live Life On Purpose”

– Terri Mudge


Life Coaching Made Simple

WhLife coachingat do you want your life to be about?  What gets in your way?

Have you ever stopped to answer these questions? Or do you just keep going along, like most people – doing what comes next, the next obligation, the next task that is pressing in your household, or even the next fun event?

Of course, we can’t just stop fulfilling our responsibilities or doing the things that matter, or can we?

And yet what happens if we don’t stop? Well, ‘Life happens’ and our time gets filled up with things that don’t necessarily matter.

I have a few friends that have retired in the last few years, and it has been interesting to see what happens with the large amount of time that they thought they would have. It was filled up quickly… and not necessarily with things that they wanted to be doing.

But even in our mid-life or early, adult life, I just don’t think people put enough time into answering this question for themselves. It seems that we just go along with whatever life happens to offer us, kind of letting life make our decisions for us.

So, Life Coaching can be about taking some time for yourself to explore these questions. Basically, a life coach helps someone bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

So, here’s a sample of the kinds of things that we would do. First, we look at where you are today, by exploring what’s important to you in several life domains {work/fun/family/friendships/health/personal growth}, and then we ask if you are living up to your hopes for each of these areas. If you are not, then we look for the barriers that get in your way. We all have barriers that we will face, especially if we are moving out of our comfort zone into new, challenging situations.

Life Coaching Example:

Let me offer an example.  I have had a desire to be a public speaker for some time. Yet, I also have a rather significant fear of getting in front of people. You might say I have a love/hate relationship with public speaking. So, in order to move forward towards my goals, I have had to push through the barrier of these fears.

In my case, I used several strategies. For example, I joined a Toastmaster’s group so that I had to practice speaking (to a small group) on a regular basis. I put in some stretch goals, like scheduling a speaking engagement about 6 months away, so that I would have something to shoot for.

Then, I continued to work on my skills on a regular basis, and with the encouragement and feedback from the Toastmaster’s members, I was able to build my skills and confidence. I continued to have issues with anxiety. And I still get butterflies every time I speak, but I also have a clearer presentation style, because I have practiced many, many times. And it feels really good to have followed my dream.

Also, I always keep in mind why I am doing it. If I begin to lose motivation or think about quitting, then I just go back to my journal notes where I had written about my goals and values and why I was doing this in the first place.

Here’s another example:

For someone considering a job change, it is quite difficult to imagine the future and a lot of fear comes up. Again, first examine your values that are involved, and then see what small steps you will need to get you there, and when motivation falters, go back to your values and renew your resolve. It also helps to have an accountability partner, or a supportive cheerleader.

Another example might be exercise and/or diet goals. As you probably know, many people have goals in these areas, and many people fail in reaching these goals. Again, the system is the same, it’s important to know why you are doing this, so you make a statement about the values involved. The next step is to make a plan, and to have routines and supports to make this easier. The final step is to plan for relapses, with methods for getting back on track.

So, one of the things that I do as a Life Coach is to help people to see what it is that they actually want to ‘be about’ in the world. What I am talking about today is that we need to take the time to stop and assess what our goals are, asking what type of lifestyle do I want to have, and how is my current schedule/habits/choices matching up with that ideal life?

As a Life Coach, I use structured and creative methods to help people explore what they want to add to their life and what they want to discard. I help you to get motivated to do the things you want to do more of and to develop the skills to push through the challenges of behavior change. It’s not easy to change habits, but it can be well worth the effort, especially if we can begin to enjoy the life we want to have even sooner!

Doing my best to Live Life on Purpose.

 – Terri Mudge


Let’s Live a Life Worth Living

goodnewsbadnews-3Are you someone that is focused on clear goals and unaffected by outside influences or are you swayed by distractions, emotions, and other people?

I’m not saying I have it all figured out, or that I know what your life should look like. I’ve just learned the insight that comes from slowing things down for just a minute, and giving yourself the gift of examining your life and contemplating where you really want to go in life.

Many of us live our lives on auto-pilot and letting other people or circumstances decide where we go. Of course, we all have responsibilities and commitments that are influential in our daily choices. Things like, kids, spouse, job, church, and social demands. In order to become more conscious about how these influences are affecting our life choices, ask yourself this question:

“Is this a free choice, or am I being controlled by an outside influence?” If it is an outside influence, ask yourself: “Do I really want to allow this to make my decisions for me?”

Sometimes there are inside influences that push us around, too.  Things like, feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, boredom, or urges to fulfill some desire. Staying true to our values is difficult when stressors arise, like minor annoyances and irritations, whining kids, ringing phones, traffic, bad weather, being hurt or disappointed, or even rude people.

What can I do when I catch myself being pushed around by an emotion? I can stop, slow down, and notice what is there. Simply noticing what urge is happening, what desire or knee-jerk reaction is there. Then, I “consciously” choose my next step.

I like the ABC model of managing emotions or desires.

A –  Awareness – Slow down and be aware of what’s happening in this moment.   What are the external or internal happenings in my environment?   Thoughts, feelings, sensations?

B –  Breathe –  Take a few slow, deep breaths and focus attention on the breath movement.  Experience the breath like waves, flowing in and out.

C –  Choice –  Choose the next action with awareness.  Consider responding instead of reacting to your environment.

These concepts can help you to thoughtfully consider your next move with more consciousness and get off auto-pilot.

mindfulwaythroughdepressionRead more about the ABC process from the book: The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, 2007, by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Four experts demonstrate how to avoid the mental habits that lead to despair, so you can face life’s challenges with confidence. Or watch this video: The Mindful Way Through Depression: by Zindel Segal 

Do More, Do More, Do More….. Our modern manifesto.

Buried Alive by Klaus M

Does anyone feel propelled by this pressure?   Or, like me, instead do you feel stressed and over-whelmed, worn out.  Maybe instead of being motivated to get more done, you feel bogged down and sluggish, due to the feelings that can arise with these overwhelming expectations.

It can feel like walking through a muddy swamp.

And, not only are there expectations to do more, but also to know more, and  to communicate more.

There is so much information available, and maybe you also, like me, have a burning desire to learn more stuff.  I think it is a part of the deep need to be “good enough” that so many of us seem to have.  If I just learn some more, and learn the right things, and learn more than other people, then I will finally know enough and I can rest.

Well, that point hasn’t happened yet for me.  And, I don’t even see the end in sight.   It’s like the cartoon of the guy who is on his computer, and is told, “You can stop now, you have reached the end of the Internet.”  Wow, that would be so amazing and cool, if that ever could happen.

Instead, there is a constant stream of information, news, blogs, books to read.  There’s always new ideas of things that I want to study and things that I need to know more about.  And, many of these are extremely important:  safety information, parenting skills, marriage building, and anger management.  These are just a few of the topics I have been studying, and I do have personal and professional reasons to study these areas.

But, when is enough, enough? 

When can I sit back and rest and realize that “I am okay now”.  I know enough to get me through the day today, without making too many horrible mistakes.  I know enough for today.

Well, I guess I will never reach the end of the internet, and I will never know for sure if I have enough information.

And, I will go on today, and many other days, with this knowledge, and still do what is important.  I will live with the uncertainty, choosing to do and be the best I can be with where I am today, limitations and all.

Here’s just a couple of ideas about simplifying or reducing multi-tasking in your life.  I know it seems that if you could just get a few more hours in a day, or be more organized then you could get more done and all of your problems would be solved.  But the research shows that you/we are hurting ourselves and even our productivity with this endless push for .. Do More, Do More, Do More..  Some of the research as you can see in the following articles can shed some light.  Basically the research shows that multitasking will cause us to be less creative, more stressed out,  cause potential threats of dangers to ourself and others (phone use while driving/walking), and the funny part is:  It doesn’t even work!?!  Multitasking actually causes us to be less focused and have less use of our brain power to get tasks done, and they take longer then if they had been done one at a time!!
So, If you are interested in seeing some of the research results and have the time to do so, please check out these articles.

This is a report the American Psychological Association describing the drawbacks of multitasking.

I hope this helps, and wish you many days of productivity, with less stress.

Doing my best to Live Life on Purpose…………Terri Mudge

Barriers Get in the Way

Flooding Photo Mobile, AlaRoadblocks, road closures, sink holes, oh my!

Well, Mobile and the communities in this part of the world had some experience with torrential down-pours over the last few days.  And, today, as we go about our business, we are seeing roads closed due to sink holes appearing, and trees knocked down, and plenty of debris in the way.

So, of course, I look to see what I can learn from this and use as a metaphor for life.   It seems to fit right in with my battles to get a blog up and running.

Blogging is a new experience for me.   Actually, I have been practicing at it for over a year now, and this is actually a revise of my first blog.   I have had revisions of my website, and revisions of my blogs .. . And, still this blogging thing feels weird.  I am continuing to muddle through, dealing with the frustrations of navigating the blog site, deciding what to write, and pushing through the nervousness of choosing when and what to post.

There’s some creativity involved in the writing and finding pictures, and that’s the fun part.  Then there’s a lot of hassle, honestly.  For someone like me, who is not a computer geek,  I find that everything that I do takes 3 times longer than what someone else may be able to.

So, along with all of the frustrations, I am hoping that I can keep at it, and one day at a time, one blog at a time, and even one word at a time, I can make this happen.  This is about sticking with things, persevering, pushing through the frustration, the barriers, the roadblocks.

And, it makes me think of many other areas in our life.

We have a fine idea, a desire to do something new and different, to stretch, to grow and experience a new passion, or experiment with a newfound interest.   And then, it happens: barriers, roadblocks, frustration.  What happens next?   Well,  as some people say, “Life happens.”    We don’t have enough time.  It’s too expensive.  We may get started on a new interest and then we lose interest, or we just get side-tracked by other tasks that we also need to be doing:   It’s time to go to work, kids want lunch, laundry needs folding, bills need to be paid, and one task after another. 

Here’s a few of my tactics for getting through all of the roadblocks.

1.  Use a simple mantra, like “Just Do It” (borrowed from Nike).  Or (borrowed from AA (One Day At a Time, or even one hour or one minute at a time).

2.  Next, Ask yourself what is important to you about the task and then connect with the value.

3.  See if you can create some structure to make it happen.  We all need help in getting motivated sometimes.  So, what about getting an accountability partner, or someone to share in the endeavor.

So, I am planning to keep pushing through the roadblocks, working towards a goal that is important to me, and I will create a structure to make it happen.   Thanks for listening.

Doing my best to . . . Live Life on Purpose

Terri Mudge