You’re not gonna fly like an eagle if you’re hanging with chickens.

A lot of us have different ideas of what success is. Some see it as having a high paying job, a great family or being able to pick up and travel anywhere they want. These are all great aspirations. In my opinion, success is doing what you are really passionate about and making a positive impact on the world.

But how do we get there? What is the formula for creating a successful life?

One sure thing that helps create a successful life is to surround yourself with great people. People who are challenging themselves, working hard on their dreams and making the world a better place for everyone. These people will challenge you too, not just by the greatness they are producing in their own lives, but by giving you truth and real conversation. They are going to be the ones that build you up and call you out when you’re being a jerk. People who lack character and fervor will just lie to you because they don’t care enough to make the effort to tell you like it is; you don’t want people like that around you.

Now, it’s not up to others to make you great, it’s up to YOU. But, having an inner circle of champions is only going to help you that much more.

Do you have to be surrounded by your great friends all the time? Of course not. A champion can spend time alone as well, in fact, it’s necessary. It gives you time relax, collect your thoughts, reflect and focus on your next goal. It’s just the hanging out with chickens part that’s a problem.

By all means, be kind and friendly with everyone, but don’t let apathetic and stagnant people influence you. That will surely drag you downhill. Then you might be thinking, “oh, I’m strong and people like that would never drag me down.” Well, it’s just like gravity, pulling someone down is easier, even if it’s a stronger person standing higher than a weaker person.

I challenge you to do a little life analysis and see what you have in your sphere of influence. If there is anything that drags you away from creating a successful and positive life, cut it out. And if it’s not challenging you and pushing you, you might want to rethink that too.

Being great requires that you push yourself past your limits. The comfort zone is not where you want to be all the time. If you keep doing the same easy, palatable things, you will never grow beyond where you are now.

If eagles stay on the ground with the chickens, they will see themselves as chickens and will never realize their potential to soar like they were born to.

Unrealized greatness is a tragedy.

The world needs you to soar and be great. Only more greatness will come from it.

Love, Kate

Faith in Humanity. It is not lost, and it isn’t as hard to build as some might think.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Faith in Humanity Restored”? It is usually used when people notice a random act of kindness to a stranger, which is all well and good, but why can’t WE be the person to bestow the act of kindness? Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we are mean or anything, but we tend to get tied up in our own issues and things that we shut out others we don’t know. This needs to change. 

Everyone is going through stuff just like we are. They have issues with a family member or with a girlfriend/boyfriend. They could even be struggling with the same negative self-image that we may be facing. It takes a strong person to lay aside their own junk to notice someone else’s. And by noticing, I don’t mean judging, like “ugh, look at them! They are so weird and messed up. Please stay away!” That is just rude and uncalled for.

We need to take the time to notice that some people can be hurting too, or lonely or would just like something new to come into their life because they are stuck in a mundane cycle. (Believe me, I’ve been there.) All it takes is a moment of empathy.We need to think about what might be going on with that person who was a bit gruff with us at the store. We tend to take it personally and automatically zero in on our own feelings rather than try to focus on what might be gnawing at the other person.

Even in situations that are going just dandy, we still only focus on ourselves. Why not try to get in the habit of thinking of ways to be a blessing to someone? Think about the times when you were having a really rough time and wishing and hoping someone would throw you a lifeline.

The unique thing about getting the in the habit of random acts of kindness is that the receivers are so unsuspecting of it and that amplifies the blessing. Now, I know there are some of those people that just want to shoe people away even if they are just trying to be nice. All we can do is pray for them and still keep a positive attitude.

Something like this is intentional.We have to make a deal with ourselves that we want to make the world a more positive and unified place. It also helps A LOT when you tell your family and friends about it. You can spread the goodness and keep each other accountable!

I try to do this every day. Of course there will be times when you’re “not feeling it”, but still try. There is a great quote from Joyce Meyer that says “you have to live by what you know, not by how you feel.” This is a bit tough to grasp because our emotions can be all over the place, but if we lived by our emotions, Lord knows how crazy everything would be. We need to live by what the right thing to do is. 

I don’t think anyone would disagree that being kind to everyone is the right thing to do. 

And don’t get discouraged by thinking “how can I make a difference by one small thing?” Think about the world of the person you are being kind to. Even the smallest thing can change a person’s whole day, their whole outlook on life. I have heard stories of lives being saved because one person made the choice to be kind.

If we can start doing this (or continue if you already are) and spreading the word, we can make a huge impact!

This is not just about getting your good deed in for the day, this is about establishing character in ourselves and actually caring about our fellow human beings. 

And one last note. I noticed when I am not focused on myself all the time and I am helping and encouraging others, my life is BETTER. We don’t see every little thing that is wrong with our lives because we are too busy shining light on others and making a great difference in the world. 

Faith in Humanity seems lost when we observe someone who was too wrapped up in themselves to be able to see the good in the world. So please, lets turn our efforts outward and make this place brighter.  

Love, Kate

Beethoven was said to be a genius. Can listening to his work improve brain function?

Many people have heard of the concept of having babies listen to classical music to make them smarter when they grow older. But is this, in fact, true? Does it work on adults as well? I don’t have any deep scientific research to prove it, but from my own experience, I find that listening to Beethoven and other classical pieces really turn up my creative thinking thermostat.

For 3 reasons:

1. The music flows impeccably, grips the mind and forces its attention to follow each of the notes. This causes us to take a mental pause and let our mind soar with the music. It sort of gives us a mental workout, or massage depending on the intensity of the piece.

2. We are hearing what was going on inside a said to be “Genius’s” mind. If we can gain insight into following closely to how the music is arranged, it stretches our minds just by listening. 

3. The shear magnitude of complexity that all of the notes are arranged in is enough for anyone to walk away in awe of such talent and genius. It rouses up a fiery inspiring feeling that makes you feel like you can take on the world and power through all obstacles to follow your dreams.

Love, Kate

Here is a little something to spice up your day. This is one of my favorites to listen to while writing (or doing other creative work). Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4IRMYuE1hI