Focus on what you have

Life is amazing! No, I am not joking. I am dead serious. We are often asked “How are you?” Or, “How are things?” I find that people are regularly surprised that I with enthusiasm (even when tired) say that “I’m Great” or, “I’m amazing.” Why do I think they are surprised? Well, they look at me like I’m lying. They respond questioningly with “Really?”

No, this blog is not about how amazing I am. Or why can’t people just take what you tell them for what it is. This blog is about focusing on what you have already in your life. Why? Because if you do your life will feel more amazing to you.


Last year I wrote how to deal with a barrage of green grass.  If you haven’t read it go ahead and check it out. It’ll help with what I am about to tell you. If you focus on what you have already. More will come your way. You don’t have to take my word for it. If you want someone with more clout check out The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.

In his book (which we are reading for our book club so grab a copy and join us) he talks about the things that successful people regularly do. One is be grateful. Be grateful for what you already have.

I know, this sounds all new agey and yoga like. But, please stick with me here. It is so easy to get caught up in what we do not have. What we think we need. But, what if you instead just took an inventory of what you already have.


I am the first person to beat myself up. I know I just said my life is amazing and I meant it. But, in my personal work and workouts I can be the biggest judge.  I don’t need that little devil on my shoulder, I am perfectly capable of being right inside my head telling myself every little mistake I made. However, after reading this section about being grateful by focusing on all the things you already have, my mind went down a journey into realizing all the strength I already have. Yes, I want more. But, what if I just focused on what I rocked. Only focused on that. Sure, I have to do the exercises and tasks that are hard for me. But, what if I came at them with the same strength and enthusiasm I use on other tasks and exercises? What then? Well, they will probably be easier to at least get through.

I’ve brought Strength Finders  up before. They have a wonderful test and book that helps you figure out your top 5 strengths and how to use those to be the best version of yourself. Again, it’s so easy for us to focus on the things we don’t have. We wish we had more time, money, education, experience, etc. Strength Finders would say you focus on your strengths not your weaknesses and you will have more success. Meaning: Focus on what you already are capable of (have) and more will come. If you focus on the strength and abilities you don’t have or you think you don’t have you’ll be where you are or worse. You’ll feel further behind…stuck. Like your treading water. That’s exhausting!


I’m focusing on taking five minutes each morning to be thankful for what I have that day ahead of me. If I feel a little judgey devil in my head I am going to turn my grateful music on louder and listen to the sounds of focusing on what I have.

Want more in your life? Try this:

  1. Set aside time each day (preferably morning) to write or say what you are grateful for.
  2. When you feel a “I wish” “I need” “if only I had…” Stop. Call a friend or family member and just tell them Thank you for being awesome.
  3. You have all that you need to get to where you are wanting to be.  If you’re reading this you have at least something that connect to the internet. That’s more than lots of people have.
  4. Starve the Devil. He/She feeds off you focusing on what you don’t have. Starve him by thinking about all that you do have.

Is there more I want in this world? Heck yes! YAAS!!! I want so much awesome stuff. But, the truth is if I only look at that list, that picture it will soon feel like a mirage. Like something so far off in the distance that I am not getting any closer to it. Keep my eyes on what is in front of me right now and one day that mirage will be this awesome reality.

Go be Grateful my readers, Focus on your have’s!

xx~LL

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2016 Goals update #11 LL

Happiness! Yes, I wish I could just write that and you could see the updates…but since I can’t here you go:

Health: It’s time to get real adult. I must get a doctor. Calling this week

Personal: 3rd book of 12 done and 4th book is in the pipeline. I love reading. Can’t believe I ever stopped reading so much before this year.

JobLove: Get 2 more workshops on the books. Film 2 more for this month.

Happy Happy

xx~LL

Goals Update 2016 #10 Clare

Finance:

I’ve been shopping a lot for my job this week–spending someone else’s money…so the need to spend my own has slimmed. I’ve also been taking my lunch a lot this week–BIG money saver. CRAP–I NEED to file my taxes. 

 

Fitness:

5 sun salutations every day!! 

Organization:

I cleaned out another drawer and donated to Goodwill!! 

Book:

Sigh. No status change.  

Agent:

I’m literally sitting, waiting for an audition as I write this. GIGANTIC, life changing, dream roll audition Tuesday–send the good vibes! 

7 Secrets for Patience

I’ve heard it said many times that we are Human Doings, not Human Beings…which explains our lack of patience: we continually seek to do, not to be. Living in the moment is one of the most difficult tasks we have as thinking, thriving humans. But it is one of the most important.

I just saw one of those memes that said: Worry means you’re living in the past, Anxiety means you’re living in the future. Calm means you’re living in the moment. Really, patience is letting go of that anxiety and worry and focusing on the things that need your attention now. 

Patience is one of those essences that I seem to continually strive for, but am seen as someone who has a lot of. Truth is, it’s all about perspective and distraction. I feel like 1/8 of my life is sitting and waiting. So I’ve become good at entertaining myself, which to the outside observer makes me seem good at being patient. Truth be told, like a magician, it’s all about slight of hand to yourself.


Here are my secrets:
1) Resign yourself to it. Give in. Patience has to happen. Waiting will occur. Breathe. Shrug your shoulders. Give over the power and control to whatever deity you choose and say it in your most believable Ice Cube: Bye, Felicia.

2) Now that you’ve told whatever you’re waiting for, bye for now, focus on something else. I’m sure there are a million options to you sitting and staring at the situation to change. Go work on a hobby, go learn a new skill, go call friends/return emails/catch up, clean your home, read/write/watch TV, bake, sleep, basically turn your back on your waiting game and put all your focus elsewhere.

For example–I’m currently waiting to hear about an audition. It’s a very important one. A dream role. But I know I cannot show up and do my best work until someone else says they are available. This made me obnoxiously anxious for a few weeks–inside and out. I’d told a few people about it, and they are continually checking in with me, the one trying to wait patiently in the waiting room of my brain–which has no smooth jazz Muzak to soothe me.
3) Come to terms with, or realize, or acknowledge that for whatever reason, whatever deity or power doesn’t want this in your life right now. You can also say: whatever, FAIT. (I spelled it right. “Fuck All, I’m Tired.” F-A-I-T.)

This is kinda step one as well, but really, to be good at patience you have to hear that voice and constantly tell it to hush. That you’re busy in the moment, but you’re ready when the time comes. It’s just not the time yet.

4) Remind yourself that you’ve been patient before, you can definitely do it again. As Kimmy Schmidt said down in the bunker when turning the crank: I can do anything for 10 seconds. And when that 10 seconds is up I’ll do another 10. (As in: she survived the last amount of time, she can survive the next allotment).

5) Other than reminding yourself that you’re capable, don’t compare yourself to anyone else or even previous versions of yourself. Stories and myths of waiters like Job, Penelope, and even Sisyphus come to my mind a lot when I need to be patient–by the way if you need to go look up those references, go for it. I can wait!

Good you’re back–these are stories. Myths. If they did happen, their timeline and life is totally different from yours. Your timeline is even different from yours in the past. The last time I went to the DMV it was delightful, even though I waited for over 90 min.  It was agony the time before that, and I probably was the same or less time, but I set myself up to wait.  Which brings me to secret 6:

6) Prepare to wait.  Set yourself up to be patient.  To the DMV, I brought a snack, water, a fully charged phone and a book. I prepared to wait. I settled in and was actually annoyed when my number was called. Ha! I ALWAYS take a book to the post office these days–I know its going to be a wait, so I get ready for it.  Auditions ALWAYS have waiting.  I’ve just learned to keep a snack, a book, and a charger on me at all times–because you never know when you’ll have to be patient.

7) Don’t give whatever it is, the satisfaction when it finally arrives. Just pretend it’s a normal thing on a normal day. This will help your mindset and balance in the scope of the world next time you have to be patient.


Like anything else, patience takes practice, ESPECIALLY in our instant society. I now live for the ellipsis on text message to go away–I want my friends to finish their texts to me!!! But, time is a good thing. Living in the moment is a good thing. Patience is a good thing. Practice. Breathe. Bring yourself into this moment. The next one will come soon enough, a whatever you’re waiting for.

One of my favorite quotes from Rumi starts: Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…

Good luck!

–Clare

2016 Goals Update #10 LL

Time flies when you are enjoying it. So, from now on I shall see that as a positive thing. My trip was beyond magical. As I land back in LA my goals for this week have a theme: Reflect and Revise.

Health: Check in with what I wanted out of this year. Make plans for what’s next.

Personal: Check with Financial progress first. How’s the first quarter playing out. What’s next?

Joblove: Check in with all the #’s get honest and make plans for the next 3 months

It’s good to take a step back and get a birds eye view. Checking in allows you time to revise. Goals are not set in stone!

xx~LL

Goals Update 2016 #9 Clare

Finance:

Ugh.   Money is hard.  I’m doing all of the working.  None of the saving, and even less of the paying off the credit cards.

Fitness:

Well, I think I get three gold stars for this week!!!  I did sun salutations EVERY DAY.  I participated in Cycle for Survival on Sunday, and did not one but TWO hours of cycling.  AND I went to a tap class with a friend–and we’re going to try to go weekly together.

Organization:

Last week I started to clear out a drawer a week.  I put a reminder in my phone to remind me weekly.

I go through a drawer–because its not a huge time committment.  I take out anything that I’m just over and put it in a bag and put it in another room.  If I think about it the next day, I take it out.  If I don’t, the bag goes to Goodwill on Monday!

Two drawers down!!

Book:

I put a reminder in my phone to fund raise, but that just keeps getting snoozed.  This post makes me remember too!  Whoops.

 

Agent:

I have TWO auditions in the next month!  No agent yet, but one of these projects might get me there!!

Why your bi weekly paycheck is holding you back

Until now I always have known when I am getting paid. Since I was 15 years old I have been getting paid every other Friday. I remember my first pay check and being so excited. It was all my money! Well, and all those other people who were taking their piece of the pie. But, what was left over was mine!

I like a good oldest child did what was expected of me. I put some in savings and then I went shopping! I quickly learned that I would need to ration it out more if I wanted the paycheck to last more than the weekend. However, I was 15. There was going to be a roof over my head, food on my table and a little extra from my folks just because. Eventually I got better at spreading out my little coffee shop pay check.


Then as many of you readers know I went into retail where again I was getting a small check each week but enough for a college student to have some sort of life. After several promotions however, I got salaried! Yep, guaranteed money. No matter how much I worked I at least knew how much money I was making. There are upsides and downsides to both. However, it was so freeing to not worry if I would get “enough” hours at work. I knew what my pay would be and could budget accordingly.

Now, different then most salary jobs I also had commission bonus. So, if I wanted more (which who doesn’t) I just had to sell more. Or have my staff sell more! I was able to quickly get out of college debt, move into my own apartment. I could get a car on my own. I had a lot more freedom.


But, I wanted more.

See, it’s very secure knowing how much you are going to make no matter what. In fact it’s almost too secure. Like comfy secure.

There is no real fire under your arse. Sick or not that paycheck will magically appear in my bank account. Every other Friday will balloon my account. Unless something unexpected happens, I’m good.

It’s so comfy that it can be hard to get away from. Like a couch that’s too soft and deep, it can be hard to get out of. Like a drug it can be hard to walk away from. Every paycheck is a hit!


If you have a dream, a desire beyond your current job; if that dream or desire is you working for yourself, I can tell you that your bi-weekly paycheck is going to be one thing, one big thing that holds you back!

Why? Because it’s pretty hard to leave. It’s hard to go out on your own, not knowing how much you’ll make. You may make more money in the beginning but then…when is the next deposit? You might have to start off making nothing…when will the next hit come? Slowly, if you left the check it may seem like it’s calling you back. If you haven’t left the check…well you get my point.

I have not been living off my own paychecks for 3 months when this posts. Is it scary HECK YES! My account is more full than ever but I am scared to spend it. However, don’t worry. I am working out where the money needs to go next to grow my business further. There are weeks where no new money comes in. Weeks where I make a months worth in a day. It’s an ebb and flow. A entrepreneurial roller coaster. But, it’s my roller coaster. All mine.


If you want to work for you. If you are trying to get out of the addiction from your current “comfortable” paycheck. Try this:

Whats your bare minimum budget?

What can you get rid of entirely?

Do you have at least 6 months living expenses saved up?

Do you have a plan for how your desire will bring you money?

Can you start your desired business in the wee hours before work and the evening hours after?

Can you get your business off and running before you go cold turkey?

We are about to read “The Power of Broke” for our LCL Book Club. I must say dear readers there is so much power in not having a guaranteed income. You get creative. You don’t throw money at things. You get down and dirty with your business and really figure it all out.


You may go cold turkey, you may slowly wean yourself off. But, either way remember that going back to a job or staying at a job for a biweekly hit will only get your a biweekly hit.

xx~LL

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2016 Goals Update #9 LL

Hello from Thailand and enroute to Cambodia. Yes, life is more amazing today than yesterday. My husband and I are enjoying the incredible life and culture of these amazing countries. I’ll have much to share after I get back. But, for now I must be quick!

Health: Being ok with not being on my normal LA schedule. Finding creative ways to move while on vacation.

Personal: Stay present!

Joblove: Looking forward to it when I return. For now…it’s on vacation too!

Off to the temples of Angkor

xx~LL

Goals Update 2016 #8 Clare

Finance:

UGH… faced some harsh realities this week… Sat down and mapped out spending habits versus income.  Its not pretty.

Fitness:

I’m working on finding a tap class!!  I miss it!  In the mean time, I swam once this week, and did 6 Sun Salutations each morning!

Organization:

You guys AREN’T going to believe this–I went through two drawers, got rid of a whole bag of clothes, AND I cleared off the top of my dresser! (Well, the half that had all of the junk on it.)  Now I just have to make room for the clean clothes sitting on top of my jewelry box, by cleaning out more drawers next week!

Book:

Sigh… nothing to report here.  I found another person who was willing to copy edit!  YAY.  I lost my fundraising motivation.  Have to find it again.  Maybe its under the pile of clothes on my dresser.

Agent:

Took another class this week… the lovely casting agent told me that he’s mostly casting Latino projects–so not me this week.  But I have an audition coming up for a play… so fingers crossed that I’ll book it, someone will happen to trickle in, ask me in for a meeting, and think about signing me…. basically, cleaning out my drawers and doing all of the sun salutations is easier…. but I did have a friend approach me about co-writing a children’s musical.

And I was a guest blogger for Just Add Tea today! 

 

 

 

Is There Merit in Laziness?

I was at work a few weeks ago, and I heard a co-worker quote Bill Gates: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

 

I’m having a hard time with this one. I’m not lazy. I’m an over-thinker, overachiever,  exuberant bundle of knowledge and positivity. No I’m not writing out my hedgehog for Danielle Laporte… Well. Though it’s kinda where this started…

Wait, let me start at the beginning. I’m an actor in New York City, which means in any given week, I work up to five different jobs, plus my free time is spent looking up auditions or going to plays.  I’ve never been a lazy person.  I started babysitting when I was 13, and had a job ever since. When given a task to do, I want to get it done. I do work first and have fun second–in fact, I usually can’t have fun or even relax if there are unfinished things to do. I’m not so crazy that I’ll get up and scrub the kitchen sink in the middle of the night, but if I’m in bed and I’ve forgotten to do something or get a grand idea, I get up and do it, or write myself a note for tomorrow.
Downtime is a thing I cherish. I love some of my TV shows and I’ll make time to sit and watch them. I love reading and I try to find time to read each day. I understand the desire to relax and do the “wants” in life and not the “needs.”  Believe me, I would much rather watch The Blacklist, rehearse plays, and sit around drinking coffee with my friends.
I’m always looking to entertain, be entertained, enlighten, or be enlightened.
 IMG_1559
But lazy…let’s discuss this. Lazy people, if we use Bill Gates’s definition, will get things done faster because they want down time. They will find the most direct solution.
Lazy people make time for themselves. They take down time. They sleep. They relax.
Lazy people lay awake at night and don’t worry about being the best because it requires too much work. However, they will do just enough to get by.
Lazy people figure out how to get other people to do their work for them because they don’t make the effort. Thereby they free up their time to do what they want.
Lazy people almost always own up to being lazy.  And they don’t care that others call them that.
So, to all my overachievers, here are the lessons you should take from The Lazies.
1) Find the direct way to do something. There might be a better way, but sometimes you just need to finish. If you have time, you can go back and tweak and polish.
2) Take downtime. You NEED to sleep. You need to decompress. The more time you allow yourself to relax, the heather and more alert you will be.
3) Stop with the stress. I read something recently that said Worry means you’re thinking about the future. depression means you’re
Thinking about the past. Stop doing both and live in the moment. Tomorrow will get here whether you worry about it or not.
4) Delegate or ask for help if you can’t do something. Someone else can take care of that task if you can’t. Sometimes just the act of asking for assistance allieviates some of the stress.
5) Own what you are. I’m a busy driven woman who will make time for TV–it’s what I choose. Deal with it.
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I’m still not convinced that lazy people have it all right, but there is
some merit behind the behaviors of the lazy. (Now stop reading and procrastinating and go do something productive.)
Clare
 (And if you’re wondering… the lazy baby picture–that’s me.)
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