Setbacks and setups

Zaimu Challenge
A wise person once said, A setback is just a setup for a comeback. Now, I didn't really have a setback, and I'm not looking to come back from (or to) anything. But I heard this phrase in my head as I got myself in gear late this evening. Today was sort of a bust as far as productivity goes. Because of my work schedule, my Mondays are usually pretty streamlined and predictable. But because I didn't set myself up for success last night, I paid for it in lost opportunities. I'm up later than I'd like to be, but I am syncing my Garmin to be ready for my run tomorrow. After that, I'll mix my endurance formula and lay out my running gear. There are a couple more…
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In progress

Running Buddha, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="224"] Ajee' Wilson[/caption] Today I ran another 4 miler. I don't generally run two days in a row, but rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I had to get it in. I had modest goals – namely maintaining yesterday's performance with the addition of a slightly faster warm up mile. To my surprise and delight, I crushed it. I pushed the warm up mile and was progressively faster on all miles thereafter. I even dropped my average pace by 30 seconds.  That's pretty shocking, and in truth, I hit my target. As in, what I expected to be doing after a couple of weeks of effort. Next steps? Keeping this up long term, and not just as a quick trick a couple of days here and there. I'm still taking…
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Keep on keepin’ on

Running Buddha, Zaimu Challenge
Today I woke up on time, then promptly fell asleep. I strive to wiggle out of bed around 4:45, but this morning's rain gave me permission to push that back. Since I couldn't run as I intended, I slept instead. Despite the extra sleep and snuggling with my boo, I was still sleepy throughout the day. I blame the rain and subsequent clouds. I perked up later on when the sun won out. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="315"] Allyson Felix[/caption] Reminding myself of yesterday's victories, I scheduled and scored some today by eating a frog early and then making my way through some easier, yet still dreaded, tasks. I also planned my approach to an ongoing project so I can stop making excuses and gain momentum. There are still a couple of things left to do…
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Difficult, possible

Zaimu Challenge
Today I had plans and stuck with them. This isn't always the case. Some days I jump right to work with no plan, and other days I have a plan but never commit to it. These are bad ideas, and  yet human nature, decision fatigue, and/or any other number of life events sometimes make it difficult for me to use the tools that work best. Difficult, but by no means impossible. It's time to stop letting difficult win. Every now and again I remind myself of some of the most productive years of my life, the early 2000s when I taught elementary school. I was relentless with my planning and execution, my organization and classroom management. Things ran like clockwork, and the momentum was enough to keep me going to…
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Get ‘er done!

Zaimu Challenge
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="248"] Dig deep. Get 'er done![/caption] Sometimes the day just slips away. Or the hours of the day more specifically. Today was one of those days. I can't exactly say I was productive – at least if we're only considering deliverables or output. Simply put, I don't have products to show for my time.  But I do have mental space cleared and three project plans in the works. Moreover, I updated my goal list, transforming it to include bigger, yet more concrete goals. I even changed the name, now calling it a Victory List. We're nearly halfway done with 2016. It's time to get it cracking! How are you doing on your 2016 goals? What will you do to make them reality?
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Getting Free

Personal Narrative
It's such an amazing feeling - freedom. Freedom from my own thoughts of limitation. Freedom from an old path. Freedom from what no longer serves me. I've felt this freedom in recent days, swelling in a joyful crescendo this evening. To celebrate and reaffirm my recent decisions, I started tossing and recycling items long outdated. Tomorrow I get to cart them away. There's new space in my garage where anchors used to be. There's new energy and mental clarity where there was once clutter and dread. It's wonderful. [caption id="attachment_3336" align="aligncenter" width="604"] Embracing my true self.[/caption] Even an individual at cross purposes with himself is certain to end in failure. Yet a hundred or even a thousand people can definitely attain their goal, if they are of one mind. ~Nichiren Although many quote this passage from Many…
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Next steps

Personal Narrative
[caption id="attachment_3323" align="alignright" width="175"] Nic taking steps in Portugal.[/caption] I long held on to something that was once a good stepping stone and source of support but it turned into something... much less productive. After a couple of years it became a crutch. And over the past few months, and most clearly the past couple of days, I realized it was more like an anchor. In Nichiren Buddhism, once you realize you're in a less than ideal situation, you seek to understand your role in it. You take responsibility and try to transform it. Hendoku iyaku, or changing poison into medicine, is a powerful approach. But it doesn't work if you try to transform the wrong thing. You can't change other people. You can only change you. I've felt stagnant and frustrated for quite some time,…
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On Mission

Productivity
You will not find your mission by standing still. The only way to find it is by challenging yourself in something - I would almost say it does not matter what. Then by making consistent effort, the direction you should take will open up before you quite naturally, just as wide, new horizons open up before someone walking up a hill. Little by little you will come to understand your mission. That is why it is so important to have the courage to ask yourself what it is that you should really be doing right now, at this very moment. It is likewise important to set your sights high. The greater the tasks you chose to take on - one step at a time - the more rewarding and joyful…
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On puzzling

Personal Narrative, Productivity
So we puzzle. The kids are gifted puzzles for birthdays and what have you, and the four of us sit around at various intervals and piece them together. Our latest enterprise? Tour de la Tour, a 1000-piece Crowd Pleasers that features countless bikers who are dressed alike and are engaged in sometimes similar, oftentimes strange activities. This puzzle is sort of challenging, yet also sort of easy because many of the pieces have tell-tale images: A small red bell on a bike that's otherwise the same as all the other bikes. A black shark fin in a stretch of sandy pathways. A dark sheep in the middle of all the ivory ones, and so on. I'll have to admit, this puzzle has drawn me in more than the others we've done so far. Perhaps more…
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Free write

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
I've set a timer for 5 minutes and I'm just typing stream of consciousness. I had so many plans when I woke up, and I've been working through them, but, well, you know how it goes sometimes. A few interruptions here, a fire to put out there, and it seems there's been a lot of busyness, but not as much business. That's fine. I can still check a few items off my list and create a clear plan of action for tomorrow based on what I accomplished today. And really, that's the best you can do on any given day. Since the fourth agreement is "always do your best," I can close out the work day in peace and look forward to a productive day tomorrow. [caption id="attachment_2008" align="alignright" width="225"] Me…
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