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It Might Have Been

For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, “It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

Late again – sorry about that.  However it is IEP season, so I’m a super crazy busy lately.  And actually it kind of ties into the whole concept of it might have been.  IEP’s are all about helping students reach their fullest potential, and one of the saddest things we do as educators is think about “It might have been,” when we watch students fail.

it might have beenI think we all have so many things we could accomplish, and yet we don’t.  Why we don’t (and I include me in that we) is the biggest mystery.  I have theories.  Well I have a theory, and that is fear.  We don’t try because we’re afraid to fail.  Now logically, I don’t get that because if you fail, then you dust yourself off and try again.  That’s logically thinking.  In reality, I get it.

I am deathly afraid of failing.  I worry constantly what people may think of me if I try and I fail. Well honestly, most people probably won’t even care.  I’m not really that important to other people in the grand scheme of things.  No, that’s not me putting myself down, that’s truth.  I’m important to me, and you’re important to you.  We care about and focus on our immediate family and friends, and what other people do, it’s not that important to us.  So that being said, if you try and fail, people may feel bad for you because you didn’t succeed, but they’re not going to think less of you.

Think about something you want to do.  Maybe you want to run the Boston Marathon.  Well God love you, that’s awesome.  Why aren’t you training?  Why are you talking yourself out of it?  Because you’re afraid you can’t do it?  So what.  Plenty of people can’t run a marathon. Who cares? Nobody’s going to say “Oh wow, you failed,” but I bet you they’d be saying “Hey, great job!” if you tried.  I’m done with the it might have been phase of life.  I’m moving on to the I can do it phase, and so should you.


Depend On Yourself

The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depend upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. – Plato

What do you think it means to depend on yourself.  Does it mean you can’t ever ask for help, or turn to someone for support?  No, of course not.  We it depends on youare not islands, nor are meant to operate autonomously all the time.  We can, but it’s probably not healthy.

Nor is it healthy to derive all your happiness from others.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard kids hear at school saying, “Oh I’ll be so happy if so-and-so asks me out,” or “He’s my everything,” and let’s not forget, “She’s all I need,” and my all time favorite, “I’m nothing without him/her.”  Guess what, that’s just plain wrong.  Your happiness isn’t, or shouldn’t be tied to any one person, and certainly not dependent on one person.

You need to figure out how to make your happiness internally motivated.  It depends on you, not on any body else.  Your happiness is yours, it belongs to you, it doesn’t belong to anybody else, so why tie it to someone else? Find your happiness within, it sounds redundant to say but you’ll be happier if you do.

It’s What You Decide

Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live. ~ Anne Sweeney

Before I begin, I want to apologize for the lateness of today’s post.  It was SAT day at all the high schools in my state, maybe in the US in general, and I got to proctor a room with accommodations.  Translation, the student got 50% more time on the test, so I was out of my room all day.  When I finally it's what you decidemade it back there, it was time to put out fires, gobble down my lunch and go to a faculty meeting.  No time for writing….anyhow, on to the post.

What does success look like?  Honestly, it’s different for everybody.  It’s what you decide it is.  Success for one person may be amassing a fortune, for another it may be achieving success at work, and for someone else it could be raising happy healthy children.  There isn’t any one measure of success.  It’s completely and totally individual.  It’s what you want it to be, and the way you achieve your success is also up to you.  There isn’t any one way to be successful.  You need to forge your own path.  When you try and fit your dreams, and your life the rules somebody else has set up, it usually doesn’t work out as well as it possibly could.

Live a life you are proud to call your own.  Live it on your terms, and aim for your goals.  It’s what you decide, and not anybody else. Remember, it’s up to you, it’s what you decide.  Don’t try to live anybody else’s life, or a life that somebody else has planned for you.  Decide what success looks like, figure out how you’re going to get there and love the live you’ve created.


Who Are You?

You can’t know your real mind as long as you deceive yourself. – Bodhidharma

I really seem to be focused on internal soul searching and being honest with yourself lately.  Do I need to be more honest with myself?  Probably.  I who are you?think we all do.  If someone were to ask you “Who are you?” would you be able to answer?  Honestly think for a second.  I don’t really think you will be able to answer because I don’t really think any of us know who we really are.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to identify myself by what I do.  I’m a teacher, I’m a mom, I’m a friend to so-and-so.  The list goes on.  I may then identify myself by physical traits.  I’m fairly tall, I need to lose weight, I have brown hair and hazel eyes.  Those things tell what I am, but not who I am.  If I answered the who are you question with those descriptors, would you have a clue who I really am?  Probably not.

It’s time to get to know the person that you are.  Really get to know yourself.  Know how you feel, what you want, what you believe and what you stand for.  Start thinking about it, and be prepared for some pain.  This type of soul-searching and introspection can be pretty painful, but it’s necessary. If you want to make any changes in your life, if you want to accomplish things and reach your full potential, you have to be able to answer the question Who am I?

What Are You Afraid Of?

Find out what you don’t want to know about yourself, what you’re afraid of. – Linda Evans

It’s time for some brutal honesty.  What are you afraid of?  You need to take a long, hard look at yourself.  Go deep inside and figure out what you are afraid of.  You can’t begin to address your fears and move forward until you identify them.

what are you afraid of?I’m not asking you to share them with the world.  I’m certainly not about to put all of mine out here for the world to see.  But I do have fears, and a lot of them.  I may not become a master of all the things I fear, but if I don’t take an honest look at myself, it’s never going to happen.  I’m not talking about a fear of snakes, or bridges, I’m talking about the things that hold you back from success.

What are you afraid of?  Why don’t you want to be more successful, healthier, happier or in a relationship….the list goes on. Until you take a good hard look at yourself and figure out what is holding you back.  I’m not saying fears are the thing that stopping you from moving forward, but I know for me, it’s one of the biggest things.  And I know that when I finally work up the courage to address them, I’ll be able to start reaching my goals.

I’ll be honest, I’m not an expert in mental health, or self-help.  Most of the things I talk about here, are things that are going on in my life, and things that I’ve tried as a way to improve my life.  If they work, I share them, if they don’t, well then I don’t share them 🙂  Please, if you are feeling overwhelmed or really struggling, talk to a professional!

Expressions of Gratitude

The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for. ~Zig Ziglar

I’ve posted about gratitude too many times to count, and yet I keep finding more and more quotes about the importance of gratitude.  It’s not just enough to be grateful, you should express it too.  But what does an expression of gratitude look like?  I’ve actually given this a lot of thought lately, expressions of gratitudegiven my mood of late, and I’ve decided that like happiness, expressions of gratitude are personal and are different for each and every person.

I am not an overly effervescent person.  Don’t get me wrong, I can laugh up a storm, and I’m not afraid to cry, but I generally try very hard to keep my feelings to myself.  Side note, that doesn’t always work when you’re in a relationship.  The point is my expressions of gratitude are going to look entirely different than yours. It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it just is.

Given my generally cranky mood of the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection trying to figure out what’s up, and one of the things I have realized is that I haven’t been very grateful lately.  I may not have the dream house yet, but I have a place to live.  I don’t own my car free and clear, but I have a car and a way to make my car payment.  I may not be a size 5 (okay, I’m never going to be a size 5) but I’m fairly healthy, which so very important.  My children may not have become millionaires yet and aren’t supporting me in the manner to which I could very quickly become accustomed, but both my kids graduated college with honors and are gainfully employed.  When it comes right down to it, I have so many things to be grateful for.  I need to start focusing on that and expressing my gratitude.  I’m probably never going to be a stand up and shout to the heavens kind of person.  That’s okay because my expressions of gratitude are mine and mine alone.  I just have to remember to express them and so do you.  Honestly, it makes such a difference.  Try it.  What do you have to lose?


I’m always interested in hearing what you have to say, so please feel free to log in to the comments section and share your thoughts, opinions and suggestions.


You Are More Than Good Enough

If you get to the point where someone is telling you that you are not great or not good enough, just follow your heart and don’t let anybody crush your dream. – Patti LaBelle

First off, let me start by saying that if anybody ever tells you you’re not good enough, I hope you kick their sorry self to the curb, and do it fast.  You are good enough. In fact, you are more than good enough.  Now I realize that there are going to be things you’re not good at.  You may not be talented you are more than good enoughtenough to make the baseball team, or get the lead role in the school musical.  That’s a fact of life, but I would sincerely hope that someone wouldn’t look at you and say you’re not good, or you’re not great.  You may have to work harder, and try again, and that’s okay.

I’m going to assume that we don’t have people in our lives who would be so rude as to say something as hurtful as you’re not good enough.  Instead, I want to talk about the one person in your life who can and does say that to you.  Do you know who I’m talking about?  It’s you.  We all say crap like that to ourselves.  We are our own worst critics.  We belittle ourselves, and our efforts or worse, we talk ourselves out of trying because we know we’re not good enough.

It’s absolute baloney the way we talk to ourselves and the way we treat ourselves.  I don’t understand why we do it.  And when I say we, I mean we, because I do it to myself.  ALL. THE. TIME.  I’m not good enough to write, I’m not good enough for anybody to want to date.  I’m never going to lose the weight I need to lose, so why bother trying.  Seriously, these are just some of the horrible things I say to myself.  And yes, while it is very important not to let anybody else crush your dreams, it’s more important to stop doing it to ourselves.  You are capable of accomplishing great things, amazing things, if you just try.  Stop telling yourself, that you can’t, or you’re going to fail, or that you aren’t good enough.  You are.  You are MORE than good enough.


You Are Enough

I am enough. Who I am is enough. What I do is enough, and what I have is enough.- Unknown

It’s funny, because today, I’m feeling like I’m anything but enough.  To be perfectly honest, I’m feeling like an complete and total screw up who can’t do a single thing right.  That is not a good way to feel. In fact, my initial thought when I read the quote this morning was maybe you are enough, but I absolutely am not.

The thing is, I don’t like feeling this way, but I know people who do.  They make a life out of being a victim and having a poor me mentality.  I’m not that person, and I hope you’re not either.  It’s okay to have a bad day, and it’s okay to feel badly about yourself, but it’s not okay to live your life that way.

you are enoughSo what do you do when you’re feeling this way?  I normally have a list of things I do to get me out of the doldrums, but today I’m coming up short.  But I’m going to power through the day.  There really isn’t any other option.  Well there is, but I’m not a wallow type of person.  I’m going to listen to some feel good music, and re-read some books that cheer me up.  I had just started re-reading The Hunger Games, but I don’t quite think that’s a feel good book, lol.

I’m also going to work on a new project I saw on facebook.  It’s kind of a craft, but not a super crafty craft which is good because I am not a crafty person. It’s similar to a vision board, but it’s a manifestation box, or creation box.  Like a vision board, you put pictures of things you want to attract into your life in the box.  But what really is making it feel good to me is the fact that you say “Whatever is contained in this box – IS!”  I don’t know why, but that sentence just feels really powerful to me, and today, I need to feel powerful.  If you want to read more about it, you can check out a great article here.

So while I’m not feeling like I’m enough today, I know that deep down inside, I really am.  I am enough, and you are enough.  If somebody thinks differently, then it’s on them, and not you.  Remember that.  You are enough!

Find and Share Your Gifts

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. — William Shakespeare

I have a point about finding and sharing your gift, but bear with me because I think today’s post is going to be rather rambley.  I don’t write these out in advance, I don’t even think about them in advance.  As I’ve said before, I pick out a week’s worth of quotes, and somehow they just seem to apply to what I’m dealing with each day.  What does this have to do with anything relating to the quote?  Well, kind of everything.

First off, let’s talk about finding your gift.  I think most people, myself included, tend to think of gifts as things like musical talent, or artistic talent, or find and share your giftsathletic ability.  But there are so many more gifts out there.  Don’t limit your thinking when searching for your gift.  Maybe you have beautiful handwriting (and as someone who has the worst handwriting on the planet, I think that’s a HUGE gift) or maybe you’re wonderful at cheering people up.  Your gift could be creating a soothing environment that puts people at ease, or making people smile. It could be caring for children, or an attention to detail.  Your gift could be anything, and you need to keep looking for it!  Keep looking, always, because you get to have more than one gift, right?

On to the sharing portion of the program. Once you find your gifts, you become so much richer when you share them with others. It brings others joy, and a huge sense of fulfillment to you.  I’ve been thinking a lot about sharing something.  As you know, I love to write.  I may not be gifted at it, but I do love it.  I used to write a lot of fan fiction.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, fan fiction is writing your own stories using characters from pre-existing books, television programs and movies.  So yeah, that was my thing, and I loved it, and I used to be very prolific and I shared my writings on various online forums.

I had a small writing adventure the other night and I posted about it on my personal blog.  I didn’t realize it but it ties in so well with today’s quote. Again, I don’t know if I’m a gifted writer, but I do know that when I used to write, people enjoyed my stories, and I enjoyed hearing from them with their feedback and comments.  So I don’t know if writing is my gift, but it makes me happy and sharing it with others, scares the heck out of me, but makes me happy as well, so that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m dusting off an original piece and I’m going to share it (in limited format for now) on my personal blog.  And I’m going to urge you to share your gifts with the world as well.  The happiness it brings you is immeasurable.

Three Rules for Life

Three life rules: 1. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. 2. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. 3. If you don’t step forward, you will always be in the same place.- Unknown

I’m not a big one for rules, especially life rules.Rules and be confining, and my usual thought process is, it’s your life, live it the way you want.  But these three rules for life make total sense to me.  They’re short, sweet to the point, and more important, they really do make perfect sense.

If you want something, you have to go after it.  Nobody is just going to hand it to you.  I wish that were the case, but it’s not.  So if you want money, work, if you want to publish a book, then start writing.  If you want to design buildings then go to school and learn how to be an architect. If you want it, go for it.three rules for life

If you don’t ask, the answer is always going to be no.  Yeah, sometimes if you do ask, the answer will still be no, but you never know unless you ask.  Don’t waste time wondering if you should or shouldn’t ask.  Just don’t.  If you have a question or want something ask.  Don’t assume that the answer is always going to be no, either.  If you can present a valid argument as to why the answer should be yes, you may be able to change minds.  And sometimes the answer is just going to be yes.  You just have to ask and find out.

Ah…stagnation.  We just talked about that the other day.  If you want change to happen, you have to do something different.  If you’re just sitting in a holding pattern doing the same thing you’ve always done, the same way you’ve always done it, you’re going to have the same results.  It’s just the way it is.  If you want change in your life, you have to make it happen.  Take one step. Do one thing different.  It doesn’t have to be a big thing, even a small thing will work.  But do that one thing different and see what happens.  Then change something else, and then something else.  You have to take that first step.

So there you go, three rules for life.  They’re honestly not too hard, and they’re not very restrictive.  Follow them and see what happens in your life.  I bet it will be amazing.


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