Hungry To Learn? Travel…

If you’re physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go. ~Anthony Bourdain

The Breath Of Writing…

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If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” ~Anais Nin

Weekend In Paris…

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Suess

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I have always wanted to visit Paris. This was the promised gift to myself when I hung up my student cap after years and years of continuous studies. Then the workaholic that I am, saw 4 years go by in a flash embarking on community initiatives, writing, and more.

A month ago my oldest surprised me with a Birthday Weekend trip to Paris. But how can I visit Paris for just a weekend? That’s when my youngest ‘scolded’ me. “Go”, she said. “You have always wanted to do it. Just go.” I agreed and made it into a long weekend. Wonder of wonders! I discovered I even had time to spare. Time to watch the rain, the people, and the waves of the Seine River go by at sunset.

Travel Across Continents

The flight was long but it was far from boring. I read. I wrote. I watched movies. I chatted with my oldest, slept, and I ate. Before we knew it, the descent was upon us.

Travel’s Cultural Differences

Cultural differences are everywhere. In Paris the hotel rooms are tiny spaces. Just enough to get by, yet absolutely comfortable.  TV channels are in le francais. Plugs for chargers, electrical items and such differ. Disappointed, frustrated for sure I was at first, but then it’s not about me. I travel for new experiences and that’s what I got.

A polite society…bonjour, merci, pardon,  were among the basics to know in that language and will serve as the basic entre to service. They are curt and offer no apologies. So do your research before you go and you’ll be just fine (smile).

Travel’s Cuisine

Food in Paris is divine. Delicious. Sumptuous. Absolutely satisfying. But don’t rush….it ain’t fast food. When you visit the unique restaurants among which my fav is the Cafe, you dine, taste the delectables, and chill. No rush for the check. You ask, you eventually receive.

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Transportation

Getting around you have the choice of the cabs, buses, the metro. But may God help you if you do not understand the linguistic pronunciation of the place where you are going. When you arrive at your stop, you may not even know. So ask, ask, ask information before you board. Then read as you progress at each stop.

Speaking from experience…do I need to say more? Hint…frustration (smile)

Notre Dame

Paris Sites To See

You haven’t been to Paris if you haven’t visited La Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame, Le Louvre and smiled with Mona Lisa. Sites …beautiful. Historically meaningful. Mesmerizing. Long walks. Tired feet, but worth every minute.

The Eiffel Tower

So that’s a tiny glimpse into my Parisian journey for the first time. The trip was memorable. The photos provide the stillness of the moment.  A dream come through. Would I go back? Yessss definitely!

I encourage you to take the time to step out and achieve your own dreams. Big or small, they will come through despite the odds.

Cheers!

The Plane. The Sky. The Dive.

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Sometimes you have to do it afraid

I did it Afraid. Yes, I was afraid but I did it anyway. A skydive in Ocean City, Maryland. 14,000 ft. in the air! Here I share the jump, the skydive in pictures.

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Meeting my Trainer – Tandem Jump
The ride. The assent
The Coach. What to expect when jumping 14,000 ft. from a plane in the air
Being reminded to pull the chute during jump…yikes!
And Jump!! Feeling the fear!!
Pull! Then Enjoy the Soar
Amazing view
Wow! I am dreaming
Oh what a feeling!
The Air. The Sea. And finally…The land.

Want to see it live? See it here

Dreams can come through if we let them.

Career: My 3 Mistakes…

Reflecting

I have made many mistakes along my career. Mistakes that disappointed. Mistakes that caused hurt and pain. Here I share 3 with the hopes that they can help someone along the way. Someone who is just starting out. Or perhaps someone who needs a reality check (smile).

1. Don’t Tell All

Never tell all. When I got my very first job out of high school in an accounting firm, a week went by then the owner decided to have a talk. I was asked my goal to which I replied innocently, naively, stupidly (you decide which word best suits), that I wanted to be a nurse. By Monday I was no longer working there. What’s a nurse doing in an accounting firm? Using them to get to the next level?

Learning: Be wise. Don’t tell all.

2. Dress Appropriately

I wore a beautiful career top to an interview with a major insurance provider. The interview went well. Later after a few weeks went by, I was confused why no response. Digging deeper through a friend that works with the company, I was told that my blouse was too revealing–as in transparent. Beautiful career top with frills it was. But it was not appropriate without a jacket or blazer.

Learning: Be Professional. Dress For Success

3. Punctuality is Key

I am ALWAYS early. But for this interview, I wanted to look my absolute best! It was with a major airline. I went to get my hair re-styled. As ‘fate’ would have it, I arrived 5 minutes late. Never-the-less my interview went very well. However a couple of weeks later, I was confused about the lack of response and enquired the reason. The response…. I was late. Airlines need people who are always on time. Reliable. Punctual. I was all of these but my 5-minute tardiness cost me the job.

Learning: Arrive On Time. Punctuality is Key

Reflect: Connect The Dots

Often we go through disappointments. But when we look back and connect the dots, we learn in the process. Sometimes the disappointment is a path to the ideal career, or whatever goal we seek. I finally landed a job working with people (not nursing like I’d dreamed), but into managing the Human Resource portfolio for various countries for a major international pharmaceutical company. But I had to go through the disappointments to get to where I was supposed to be.

Today I implore you to hold on. Never give up. As I shared my mistakes along the way, I hope they serve to encourage someone who is waiting. Someone who needs it. I now spend my time coaching individuals making career decisions that I never knew I needed.

Share these learnings with someone who can benefit today. Prefer to go it alone? Get copy of book Success Strategies: Want To Succeed, Here’s How.

Cheers!

Move. As Far As You Can. As Much As You Can…

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If I am an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.                                                                                                                                                                              ~Anthony Bourdain

The 5 Strategies of Successful Achievers…

They begin with the end in mind
They set specific and challenging goals

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A 2-week getaway to Singapore! For 2 years that’s what she planned. All with the bells and whistles of flight, hotels, cruise, and cultural site visits along the way. She did it with the spirit and taste of satisfying dreams.

But how many of us actually do that? Create our goals, plan it, save for it, and not deviate. Hers was a vacation to a far away land. Ours may be Entrepreneurship, a job, career, exercise, home ownership, writing, starting a family, and more. Often we start off with a bang! Then we stall. Procrastinate or give up.

Marcel Schwantes shared Article that Science Says Only 8 Percent of People Actually Achieve Their Goals. Here Are 7 Things They Do Differently. Of the 7, I like 5. Here I share my favs:

Things Done Differently

  1. They begin with the end in mind
  2. They build a support system around them
  3. They set specific and challenging goals
  4. They recognize when they are procrastinating
  5. They don’t multi-task

How about you? How do you stay on track to achieve your own goals? Do share. We’d love to hear.

Cheers!

The Sun Will Rise….

Your Journey will always be filled with ups and downs, peaks and troughs. But keep going. There will always be the Sunrise. Stay Focused.