Reset

Writing is a calling, not a choice.

-Isabelle Allende

I’ve written less since spring season.

New job, new challenges, and a big focus on the day-to-day of my passions pulled me into my introverted nature to sit back and take in my new surroundings.

So I made a decision, to give myself space from writing, while I adjusted to these rapid, yet pivotal, life changes.

After a while, though, the yearning returned. My true passion, writing to draw out your success. To make you, us, the world feel the inspiration and magnitude of pleasure from doing our greatest good.

These words do not come out, they escape, as if they were always there, a kyuubi, waiting for me to tap into its infinite power.  No matter how far I push it away from my deepest desire to write it pummels back to me.

What is a calling that you can not ignore?

Finding your calling may not always be easy, but following your calling is twice as hard, but you HAVE to do it for it to be realized in your life. So what do you do as an alternative to putting-it-off forever?

Take a break.

Find time to walk away in a calm, controlled, and consenting manner.

You may think …now Zinga…how could you suggest putting-it-off as a remedy to putting-it-off?

At first the idea does seem like a contradictory, but taking a break, involves some key factors to keep it from falling on the dark side of the procrastination line.

Here are some quick factors to taking a break:

Have a reset time. The main difference between taking a break and procrastinating forever is that you get back to doing what you were doing. Maybe you use an exact date and time, maybe you use an event in your life, or maybe you have a season in mind. Just know, visualize, and even write down when you will return to your original activity. Please note, the length of your timeline should be set realistically to how important it is that you get back to what you’re doing. For instance, if it’s your goal to get an A on a test in two weeks, but you need to take a break, then a two week break wouldn’t make sense.

Choose honor over guilt. Find the admirable reasons for making your choice instead of reasons that make you feel guilty. If you are in a state of rest then respect your wish to let your body restore itself. If you need to reshift your priorities for pressing matters, then appreciate your ability to adapt to new situations and see things through. Whatever narrative you build,  it should be one that is from a positive perspective.

Use what you learned. During your break, try to find one-to-two learning nuggets you can implement once you reset. Maybe it’s a shift in your schedule or reaching out to form new partnerships. This sets up two bonuses to your break:

1) You can be assured your break fits into your larger master plan

2) Your break serves an immediate purpose of helping to improve your your path to success.

So…this is how am I making an honest reset with writing for this page. I allowed myself to adjust to the pace my new situation before getting back to get back to writing. I committed to a goal to write again before the year was over. During my break, I learned that given the new responsibilities to be consistent, I will give myself time to ease into it, starting with twice a week! 

Are you ready to hit the reset button on something in your life, what is it?

Til the next time,

Zinga

Looking to the future and other writings.

Last week, I wrote about small moves you can take to plan for 2017. I hope you get to read it. This week, I’m just put some free-thought in response to what I wrote.

Why?

Well, I took this week to publish on the Pulse. I do that sometimes for my small business owners and community leaders. [Find my other writings from 2016 there 🙂 ]

So here we go:

Building off of 2016

2016 was a tough year.

Firstly, America’s existential crisis, was definitely a point of concern. I do hope we can find unity again.

Personally, this year I stepped up my presentation as a leader. As an INTP, I am super comfortable hiding behind my work. Look at the good work I do and let’s move forward to do more. As an employee or an assistant that makes me ideal, but as a leader of a budding non-profit, it is completely ineffective.

A leader listens to their community and responds in-kind. While I was always strong at the listening part, this year I really boosted the response part. They asked for more presence I created a monthly newsletter; more engagement – we added meeting activities and in-between events; more communication – we revamped our meetings, developed workshops, and gave even more details reports! All of this I would have never found the energy to do, if it wasn’t for their need.

A leader listens to their community and responds in-kind.

Yet, learning the balance between being present as a leader and finding energy as an introvert, was no simple feat. I learned to say no to wasteful-time sinks, yet so no to work during my agreed-upon free time. I listened to my body and gave it rest when required, and I never over-loaded my day, making sure to be aware of my meeting availability over the course of a month.

In 2017, I hope to be more present in the world of higher education. While, I love writing to help us all find our personal success, and running local and online economic empowerment initiatives, my true passion is higher education. Shifting how we draw out the success of adults from a systemic level will truly help achieve my vision of showing the world the trillion-dollar value of education. I hope to find time to meet with people during my professional career at the university, and eventually present myself on a person that likes to build communities that form a culture around the love of  self-development.

That long conversation…

When I meditated on my self and my higher purpose, I found that I finally feel as if I shifted into the groove of being passionate about what I produce. Now it’s a matter of producing consistently and intelligently.

So, I want to be even more efficient with my time in 2017 and to find ways more meaningful ways to connect with the people I care about more often.

Strive for More…

My greatest dream for 2017 is to grow Limitless Ambition’s (the non-profit) and Empower NOW’s (the network) community and to find better ways to serve their success.

On the blog, I hope to hone in and help you take meaningful moves to build your authentic success.

My fantasy is to head to an international beach for a week, something blue and sandy.

mpfiyu__1ba-joe-cooke

A week will do.

Honing in…

To review, serving others is going to be a key focus for 2017. I will shift from putting the work first to putting the heart first and instilling it into my intents and actions. Should be an interesting shift for a get-it-done girl like me.

Action Steps 

  • Call at least one friend and one family member per week.
  • Provide high-quality help to least two small businesses a quarter.
  • Give away highly valuable resources that I know others would find help on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Offer one highly-useful workshop, webinar, or tool per month to help people grow the authentic [small business/nonprofit] success.
  • Set a budget for a beach trip and save 🙂
  • Have lunch with one new or familiar colleague at least twice a month.

So there’s the quick personal plan for 2017. What are some action steps you want to take during the next year? Comment below!

Remember these Three Positive Maxims to Keep You Moving Forward

I’ve always liked maxims.

max·im
ˈmaksəm/
noun
plural noun: maxims
1. a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct. (Google Search)
When you find yourself having to make sound decisions followed by quick action, you notice you start to build a mental shorthand that helps turn the bets in your favor.
What are some maxims you like?
1. Just do it.  – Attributed to Nike.
My number one. Like seriously, ask my sister and my tattoo artist.
Such a simple reminder. If you find yourself wanting to do something, something important, and something that fits into your final vision, then do it. You can plan, think, talk, dream, and research all your life OR you can take those efforts and put it into getting the work done. Both paths take your energy, but only one truly fulfills you. You gain your substance when your energy expended, so put in that work.
2. Begin with the end in mind. – Steven Covey
You might be thinking, “Zinga…you just said NOT to plan…”  and I’d say…whoa there. Planning is critical to your success. How do end anywhere you want to go? The first step is knowing where you want to go.
So when you find yourself facing a decision that might stop you from moving forward, take a moment and reflect on the greater vision you are working towards.  For instance, as the president of Limitless Ambition, I actively think about our vision of building a positive network of women. When I find myself faced with a difficult decision I have to make on behalf of the organization, I consider, “Will this contribute to building a positive network of women?”
Consider what’s hindering your next success step forward, what’s your solution for overcoming the obstacle? Does the solution align with your final success vision?
3. Every drop fills the bucket
 This is a good thought for when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the gravity of the project. Sometimes, when you are ready to contribute to your promised time to move forward on your goal, you might need to break down your tasks into even simpler steps.
zinga hart a quote the river swells from the little streams

Another way to say it.

It’s okay. As long as you do it (see #1) you are gaining ground. Figure out ways to break your goal down into the simplest steps as possible for the day ahead of you. Celebrate when you accomplish it because you are coloring in your vision of success.
What’s a saying you keep close?

One Thing Your Goal Absolutely Needs For Success

Welcome to a new week everyone!  I’m happy to know you are still present.

I’m still here sharing what I can, my everlasting reminder that YOU are the key to your success. How you nurture, care, comfort, and create your Self over time will determine much of your outcomes on your success path. Of course, the only way to work on oneself is to spend time reflecting inwardly on who we are, why we are who we are, and who we are becoming. So I’m glad to have you here reflecting with me. If you ever want to share, comment below or send a message.

Now back to my life’s call-to-action of nurturing humanity’s Self-success, there are many quick tricks a success seeker will learn over the years. We adhere to the importance of following up, strive to listen to others, and remember to stay focused, but many of us have an essential go-to move that we know will ensure we make it happen.

Here is my go-to:

_
Write it down.
_

Yup, that is one absolutely, positively essential move needed to make sure you get your big goals done.

Now wait a minute, Zinga, I don’t care for writing… 

Okay, maybe you don’t. Maybe you are so attuned to your learning style that you have transcended the most basic tools for retaining human memories: the paper and pencil. I get it and I understand. If you must; find another medium, but the message remains the same. If you want to achieve your goals, you must first bring your imagination of a goal into reality, by any means necessary. This means making a physical prototype of your goal. Writing is a basic, yet effective way of prototyping your vision. Of course,there are other ways, and I am an avid advocate of working within your learning style to get things done.

In fact, I created an infographic on ways to keep your vision (i.e. the long-term goal) ahead of you.

Zinga Hart Success Quote

But there are some key benefits from solely writing down your goal to make sure it gets done. One study covered by NPR and conducted by the University of Toronto demonstrated that when students wrote down their motivations and faced their obstacles on paper, the achievement gap disappeared between genders and races. This powerful act of writing our goals into being allowed typically underachieving student groups gets us to organize our thoughts, which allows us to resolve stressors while finding the mental fuel for our passions.

So our One More Move for this week is to do just that. Write down those goals, and if you’ve already written your goals down go over them again and perhaps refine the sentence even further.

But..Zinga…What about me the non-writer? 

First,  you should send me a message with your the goal you have in mind or schedule a 15-minute chat, we can customize a solution together. Then there’s that infographic I created just to get you started right away. Let me know what you think and if you have any tips for keeping your goals ahead of you!

 

 

Feel Your Vision (1)

 

3 Time Saving Tools for Entrepreneurial Parents

Kids definitely have their future cut out for them. I, as a young Millennial parent, still have hope for them. Sure there is strong evidence of deep flaws in our systems of civilization, there is still hope that the human spirit will overcome, create, and innovate in response to the needs of the world. The spirit of the entrepreneur lives strong.

But what happens when the entrepreneurial spirit collides with the child spirit? Suddenly the burning obsessiveness that Napoleon Hill says we need to focus on to truly transmute our thoughts into reality, is interrupted, by tiny hands that want to type like Mommy on her keyboard. Those tiny hands love to explore, to help, and to just be, and as someone who doesn’t want to suppress her inner spirit, I have to find ways to fit in time for goal work and family time. Luckily, there are some tricks of the trade to help balance nurturing her and my purpose.

Tool 1 # Baby Gates

One big tool has been using baby gates, not to wrap her up, but to wrap up our stuff. us the baby gate to place around the entertainment systems and other places where she prefers to reach and grab. This way what is freely available she is okay to play with and the glowy electronic buttons are off limits.

Tool #2 Timer

One great quality about a good entrepreneur is we could just do stuff all day. When focused, we do and do and do and the effects are amazing. Yet, balancing our time takes an accounting of our time. When feeling pressed for time, set a time limit and focus happily and completely on what you want to do. For instance, when I get home from work spending time with my daughter is a key source of happiness, but I also have signed up for responsibilities that require me to respond to people, so I set a timer for getting things done. Whether it’s 40-minute session for story time or 20-minute email crafting for my team, by setting timers I am freed from time. One of my favorites is the Pomodoro timer, which sets the time to 25 minutes.

Tool #3 YouTube

Yup, I said it, YouTube has some pretty useful educational videos for toddlers and children. One thing I like to focus on Baby Einsteins. As a double benefit, a lot of the music could double as white noise, which has a minimal distraction for a parent who needs to focus. Just check out one of the episodes below:


Of course, there are plenty of other ways to use tools to help with raising kids while living up the entrepreneurial lifestyle.  What do you use? How do you balance? Like, I’d really love to know…I’ve spent 1.5 decades raising kids and have yet to find the perfect formula.

 

 

lessons learned from leading limitless ambition for the ladies who launch gala

Lessons Learned From Leading Limitless Ambition

As I get ready for the gala this week, I realize that this leadership ride I’ve been on has shaped some powerful lessons in my life. You see,  when I was in grad school I was a woman seeking to take a stance of power within my life and the world around me. Thanks to connections made at Kent State University’s LaunchNet, I was fortunate enough to encounter a young startup non-profit that had a motto aimed at helping girls dream, believe, and achieve without limits. As a lover of building solutions from scratch and human empowerment, I found a home to pursue my passion of achieving long-term strategic goals, while doing good in the world.

Shortly after, I found myself to be the president-elect of Limitless Ambition, Inc. and while growing a non-profit organization that empowers women in Northeast Ohio, I’ve come to unearth many areas of growth. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned after 2 full years in the position.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse. Read more.

one more move sustain small business success

Sustaining Success for Your Self

Howdy! It’s another Monday and this post here is for you!

You know who you are, you are the person striving to realize your vision of success. Yet, success means much more than money to most of us. It is a reality that money is an effective measuring stick of our ability to fulfill goals, it can often be wholly inaccurate when it comes to fulfilling our core desires. You may find fulfillment in your families, friends, plentiful passions, and, most importantly, all of the above. For us, success can be applied to many areas to growth in our lives.

So many goals to be complete — followed by the insistent reminder of the fleeting nature of time. So we make deposit after deposit of our time, money, and energy into our areas of growth.  Then, because we’re human, we take on an ambitious goal. The one that may disrupt our lives immensely and take a risk to build a larger vision of a day-to-day future beyond our current day-to-day grind.

How do we possibly fit it into our current lives? How do we possibly stay motivated to fit it in with our full-time jobs, families, and a host of other responsibilities? There are only so many hours in a day, and your life was full before you set about realizing your dreams of success.

There are a few scenarios we face during a substantive success journey.

  • You are used to managing complex change and fit this new personal risk into your schedule with ease.
  • Your are overall comfortable with managing complex change but find you overlooked areas beyond your limits, and thus are facing a slower growth than you first imagined.
  • You are not comfortable with managing complex change at all, in fact, thinking about it causes a shiver of anxiety. Typically you only think to take the risk and hardly move beyond this comfort zone.

Either of these scenarios can still result in your finding the personal success on the risk you know you must take. While the effort to get from discomfort to ease will vary there are some key points along the way.

Key Point #1 You are the core, captain, engine, leader, etc. etc. 

Albert Bandura’s work on self-efficacy sums up the important role that the Self plays in our ability to succeed. Self-efficacy is essentially our own belief in our own abilities. Much like the story of the elephants who grow up with heavy chains around the ankles. They believe this is the most movement they can achieve when they are on and thus by the time they reach adulthood they can be controlled with nothing more than a rope. Their self-efficacy in their ability to break the chains reaches a low-point and thus they lose a deep connection to the inherent power that lies within them.-source

On a positive end, I recently encountered a touching Facebook post about the story of Edison, who learned from his mother that he was dismissed from school because he was gifted beyond all the other classmates, and then, when his mother passed, years later he later found the note that showed the teacher thought Edison was too dumb for any formal teaching. The lesson distilled is his mother’s beliefs, built his beliefs about his own genius, so, he fully tapped into as much of his potential as possible.

What’s the takeaway?

Your foundation of success comes from believing you can achieve whatever you set out to do. 

Easy to spell out sure, but in action, this key point takes continuous practice. There are many conflicting images, thoughts, and experiences that will run contrary to our beliefs at times. They will attempt to break our beliefs, but the remedy is to find points of faith, whether it’s self-faith, faith in a higher power, or faith in whatever, practice touching base with the future you know will exist.

There are many conflicting images, thoughts, and experiences that will run contrary to our beliefs at times. They will attempt to break our beliefs, but the remedy is to find points of faith, whether it’s self-faith, faith in a higher power, or faith in whatever, practice touching base with the future you know will exist.

Key Point #2 Sustained success comes from systems 

Whether you like it our not, systems achieve a lot for us as humans. Within our body alone we can count over 5 key systems that keep us going, then there’s the road system, the water system, the school system, etc. etc. Organizing actions and activities around shared functions and themes can give us something very, very valuable. That value is and consistency. We can be deeply grateful that a red stoplight means cars will stop or knowing all the words on a spelling test means you will pass the spelling test. Excellent systems function so well we only notice them when they stop function. Consider your computer, millions of calculations are being made and networks are connected for your pleasurable use. Yet, our level of content with the computer working can often be vastly outweighed by our level of frustration should it suddenly stop, even if the computer spent years serving your needs dutifully!

The point is when systems work, we can achieve a lot more, and when systems break down we can face anything from the minute to disastrous frustrations. The takeaway is to pay special care to the how of things: how you do things, how you want to do things, and how you will do things can be key performance indicators on your personal path to success.

Final Key Point: Shift Your Solution Mindset 

You may jump at this one, but trust, I am not saying shift your solution mindset to the opposite non-solution mindset. What we are getting at here is the idea that the solutions you create to solve your current problems may not be the solutions that will help with future undertakings. In fact, the solutions you will need on your success journey may be wildly different than what you are used to doing. For instance, if you are trying to start a small business on the weekends, but are finding there is simply not enough time to do it yourself. How can you possibly do it yourself in between all the commitments? As you ask these questions for your subconscious to solve you may switch to your default solution of doing even more on your own, and staying up waking hours or missing lunches.

solve problems find success zinga hart quote from einstein - we can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them

Ask yourself, what are other solutions beyond the one I am already thinking?  Our small business owner may question other ways of securing time like: outsourcing easy tasks, scaling back on commitments, or honestly finding current time sinks in their schedule. Even if the alternative solutions you create seem impossible at the moment, finding alternatives will open you up to new possibilities for yourself.

Overview:

  1. You can achieve your success- Find ways to remind and affirm this belief.
  2. A system will allow you to sustain success long-term
  3. Systems that aren’t currently serving you may need vastly different solutions. Draw outside of your normal solution lines.

Well that’s all for this post. Let me know if agree or disagree. You could always message me on Facebook.

3 free paths to clarity

3 Paths to Clarity

I created an infographic for http://www.cultivatedvisions.com social media postings. It reminded me of how important it is to ensure you continuously seek to clarify who you are and who you will be. There are so many areas of input that can muddle up the inner voice that guides us while we fulfill our purpose. Sometimes the voice is so subtle it sounds like it’s coming from our Self.

So here’s an adapted version of the infographic to apply to any area of your life where you seek to find clarity.

 

3 paths to clarity for international and northeast ohio leaders