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Further self reflection has uncovered yet another little gem of insight. I used to believe that talking to others about my goals was a good thing. But I’ve learned in reality it has gotten me nowhere. The downfall of sharing your plans is that you give yourself a premature sense of accomplishment; thereby diminishing your ability to actually accomplish the goal. Sound bizarre?

Well, according to Derek Siver, a free-thinking entrepreneur:

Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed.

Sivers references psychological studies that have found if a person announces a solution to a problem, before it has been achieved, it now becomes a social reality.

We are actuality sabotaging our own ability to accomplish our goals. So next time you’re tempted to call your best pal and spill the beans on your next big plans, try practicing a little…

The Importance of Caring

I set out in the blistering winter to run an errand. An avid walker I did not let the snow dissuade me from my walk. The weather was harsh with blowing wind and accumulating snow. As I trudged on, I caught sight of a gaunt elderly man. Sheltering himself from the elements, he sat shivering with a miserable look on his face. I thought about how difficult it must be – to be outside at this very moment. With the darkness pending and the cold unrelenting. I decided the very least I could do is bring this man a hot cup of coffee.

When I purchased the coffee, however, I could no longer find him. I searched along the street but alas he was nowhere to be found. In an attempt to salvage my good deed, I proceeded to offer the hot coffee to an outdoor construction worker, who politely declined. Plodding on toward home I made another attempt. Seeing a well-dressed, older man at the bus stop I asked if he’d like a warm cup of coffee while he waited. He also declined my “kind offer” and I begun to wonder if I looked like a nutcase, rather than a do-gooder.

My final attempt came when I fell into step with a nice, older man. We exchanged pleasantries at which time, before parting, I offered him the warm cup. What the heck!

Although the goal of this mission may have failed, it also served as a reminder of the importance of taking care of each other. If nothing else, than to remind the people who really need our help that we really do care.

Keeping Face in Wintertime

While the snowflakes fall and our world turns white, I’ve pondered the importance of keeping a happy face during the winter months. It’s amazing (and unfortunate) that our social skills shrink to zero in the blistery winter months.

In the summertime, passing a fellow pedestrian often results in a smile – sometimes a nod, and even an occasional pleasantry is exchanged. Not so in the wintertime.  While the outside world screams “Hibernate!” “Hibernate!”, I find it much more rewarding to embrace our wintertime.

Bundle up (dressing warm is key to wintertime happiness) and take notice of the beauty of the billowing snow. Wintertime has a way of teaching us to slow down, if we allow it to. Growing frustrated with the knee-deep snow and plunging temperature is easy. But what if we tried to see the good in it? Like taking the time to dress warmly, and watch the falling snow sparkle?

Enjoying the wintertime is beneficial to our well-being. Spread some winter joy this season, and the return will be well-worth the effort. Plus… the more we enjoy winter, the quicker she passes!

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