Forgetting the Joneses

Katie Corbett holds the book "52 Small Changes"

By Katie Corbett

 

It can be easy to compare your life to that of others. You might buy things you don’t need and do things you don’t want to do simply to keep up and try to make yourself “look” happy.

 

In “52 Small Changes for the Mind,” Brett Blumenthal encourages us to forget about what others have and focus on what we truly want. Here are some benefits I have noticed in my own life of living for myself and not worrying about what others have:

 

  • I am more satisfied with my own accomplishments, because I’m doing things I truly want to do.
  • I save money, since I’m not buying things to keep up with everyone else.
  • I have more to give to others because I’m not using resources to keep up with others.
  • I’m not stressed about what others think of me.
  • I have more time because I’m not wasting it looking at the lives of others and wallowing in jealousy or sadness that I don’t measure up.
  • I’m happier because I’m truly able to enjoy the present.
  • I have time, money, and energy to plan for my own hopes and dreams.
  • I’m more grateful for what I have.
  • I’m not nosey when it comes to the doings of other people.
  • I’m happy with who I am because I’m not comparing myself to others.

 

Are you finding yourself spending money, time, and energy you don’t have because you’re trying to keep up with others? Are you neglecting your own goals because you’re trying to do what you think others want you to do. If so, I encourage you to take some time for yourself and reflect on what you’d like to change. Do you need to stop looking at social media? Avoid long conversations with certain people? Start a gratitude journal?

 

Let me know what you decide to do. I’d love to hear more about it.

 

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The Joys of Experiencing Nature From Your Cubicle

Katie Corbett holds the book "52 Small Changes"

By Katie Corbett

 

Winter in Wisconsin is a frigid affair. Temperatures regularly dip below zero degrees Fahrenheit and snow blankets the ground from December through March. Due to the lack of sunlight, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder during these freezing months, which makes me more prone to unhappiness at best and depression at worst.

 

One winter a few years ago, I read “52 Small Changes for the Mind,” by Brett Blumenthal, in hopes of finding a way to brighten my mood. I was working a job as a part-time writer and didn’t have much time to spend outside during daylight hours. I was also missing our family’s annual trip to Florida because I needed to work through the end of the year.

 

In “52 Small Changes for the Mind,” benefits of going out in nature are outlined. I wanted to incorporate nature into my cold days. I was really bummed about missing out on Florida sunshine and time at the beach. I read that even looking at pictures of nature and having plants in your environment can help boost mood and productivity.

 

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m totally blind, so seeing pictures and plants don’t have the same benefits for me as they might for someone who can see. I wanted to find some other way of appreciating the great outdoors. Enter YouTube.

 

I decided to try listening to videos of the ocean. I wasn’t sure how it would help; luckily, it did. As I plugged away at spreadsheets and wrote articles, I listened to the sounds of waves, seagulls, and ocean breezes. On sunnier days, I made a point of stepping outside during my lunchbreak for some much-needed vitamin D. With a little creativity and curiosity, I was able to push past what might have seemed like understandable excuses and make my wintertime more cheery, or at least more bearable.

 

What are some ways you can incorporate nature into your workday? I’d love some more ideas, so let me know in the comments.

 

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Devotionals Can be For Business, Too

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett

 

As you can probably tell if you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, I love plans. There are times, however, when I want some of the planning done for me. That’s why I’ve had a lot of success working with books that suggest an activity, thinking prompt, or mindset shift every day, week, month, or season.

 

Books like this are commonly associated with weight loss plans, religious practices, or building healthy money habits. It turns out, these books exist for business activities, too! Listen to this short audio about why I love books like this! Enjoy!

 

Reflections on The 4-Hour Workweek: The Cost of Your Goals and Dreams

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

 

Since I owe a lot of my success—and future planning—to the book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, I have decided to revisit the book each quarter in 2021. Here are my thoughts as we end quarter three. I hope this inspires you to pick up a book that helps you live your dreams. Enjoy!

 

Work Not According to Your Feelings

Katie Corbett holds the book "One Month to Live"

By Katie Corbett

 

Feelings can be helpful. They can tell us when we are in danger, when we are in love, or when we feel passionate about a business idea. They can also encourage us to procrastinate, form unhealthy habits, or lash out at those we care about. I try not to let my feelings get in the way of my work, and I think this is a key element of my success thus far.

 

When I read, “One Month to Live,” by Chris Shook, I was going through a lot of change. I wanted to improve and become my best self. At that time, it meant experimenting with new hairstyles. Here are some questions to consider as you decide how you are going to act based on your dreams and goals, rather than letting your progress be dictated by your feelings.

 

  • What would you do if your body only had 30 days left?
  • If you don’t act, what will you regret?
  • How could you improve yourself?
  • What has been on your list for a while that you have not taken the time to accomplish?
  • What excuses are you ready to part with?
  • When you look back on this month, what do you want to say you have done?
  • What do you wish you had taken the time to do sooner?
  • What habit would you like to form?
  • What habit would you like to break?
  • What change would you like to see inside yourself?

 

Think about your most compelling answer. Do you want to work out more, lose weight, drink more water? Is there something else you’d like to achieve in the next month? Determine the first step and take that step today.

 

I’d love to learn what you’re hoping to achieve. Let me know in the comments, and share this post with a friend who could use some encouragement to go after their dreams.

 

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Kick Someday Syndrome, Once and For All

Katie Corbett holds the book "One Month to Live"

By Katie Corbett

 

Procrastination can be tempting. It can be easy to sit back and do nothing rather than do what the best version of yourself wants to be doing. Unfortunately, procrastination won’t get you any closer to achieving your dreams, and it can hold you back for years.

 

I read “One Month to Live,” by Chris Shook, at a time when I was leaving a relationship and had a lot of career options to consider. I was feeling nervous, disappointed and hopeful, all at once. It would have been easy to wallow in my emotions. In the book, I read about kicking Someday Syndrome and decided to embrace what I needed to do. Here are some of the benefits I noticed of doing things today; not someday.

 

  • I felt more accomplished.
  • I checked a lot off my to-do list.
  • I didn’t feel lazy or like I was wasting time.
  • I could focus on the future, rather than the past.
  • Taking action was refreshing.
  • I didn’t have time to wallow in unhelpful emotions.
  • I was accomplishing my dreams and improving my life in spite of negative and uncertain circumstances.
  • I could relax at the end of the day knowing I had gotten a lot done.
  • Although I was unemployed at the time, I felt productive.
  • I stopped relying on excuses and found it was faster to take action.

 

If you are looking to beat procrastination and kick Someday Syndrome into the past, I recommend doing the first thing you need to do to get started. That could be as easy as turning on the computer, cleaning off your dresser, or making a list and a plan to tackle one thing at a time.

 

What projects are you motivated to begin? Leave a comment and let me know. Cheers to you and your success!

 

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How My Tendency Supports Me in Business and Following my Dreams

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett

 

As you might imagine, I find being an Upholder to be helpful in business. I would also argue that the knowledge that I’m an Upholder is more helpful than the tendency itself. I’ll explain what I mean by this below.

 

I read “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin, as I was beginning to build my business. These are some ways in which the knowledge about my tendency has helped me:

 

  • I try to prioritize the things I need to get done, since it can be easy to see all tasks as equally important.
  • I now have the confidence to know that things will get done eventually, even if it is not as soon as I might like.
  • I have learned to rely on metrics to decide what to continue doing, since it can be easy for me to continue doing something that doesn’t have the largest return on investment, simply because I have made it a habit.
  • I have learned to appreciate others who follow through, especially since I now realize how rare that is.
  • I have learned that having a more Type A personality means it is vital to take time away from work to relax and have fun.

 

If you would like to discover how your tendency can support you in business, and discover how it can help you achieve your dreams, I encourage you to read Gretchen Rubin’s book and take her test. It will only take a few minutes to realize the ways in which you make the world a better place.

 

What is your tendency? Are you an Upholder like me, or are you an Obligor, Questioner, or Rebel? Leave your answer in the comments.

 

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How My Tendency Helps Me Relate to Others

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett

 

We do not live or work in a vacuum. Even if you are a researcher in Antarctica or work in some other remote location, I would imagine you have to interact with others. Insights about personality can help you understand yourself and how you relate to those around you.

 

I learned of my Upholder tendency in the book, “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin. This knowledge helped me work with others more smoothly. It also helped me be more understanding and appreciate the unique gifts each of us has to offer.

 

I learned first and foremost that being an Upholder is rare. Few have this tendency to be able to fulfill both the expectations they set for themselves, as well as those expectations others set for them. This knowledge gave me a lot more patience when working with others, especially if they didn’t always follow through. Here’s an example of when this patience paid off.

 

I love book clubs. I can always get myself to finish the book before the discussion, even if it means I spend the entire day reading the book. I used to get annoyed when other members of the club would not have completed the book before coming to discuss it. Since learning of my Upholder tendency, I have become more patient with others and celebrate their presence at the meeting, as opposed to being irritated that they didn’t read the book.

 

I encourage you to learn more about your tendency and consider how you relate to others. It might help you become more patient and understanding, and it will probably help your projects go more smoothly.

 

Have any stories about how discovering your personality type helped you collaborate with others? Leave a comment and share it with me.

 

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What My Tendency Taught Me About Myself

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett

 

One of my favorite aspects of personality tests is their ability to teach us about ourselves. I have found great strength in knowing myself, and learning what I bring to the world when I’m being authentically me. I’m always interested in taking more personality tests, because each test provides different insights and perspectives into who we are as humans.

 

In the book, “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin, I took her test to learn my tendency. It turns out I’m an Upholder. This means I follow through on expectations I set for myself, as well as those set for me by others. This knowledge deepened what I know about myself in various ways. I learned that:

 

  • I want to do what others expect of me, and also to do what I expect of myself.
  • Since I respond to both inner and outer expectations and view them as equally important, it is critical not to overwhelm myself with too many expectations.
  • It is easier for me to form habits, and setting schedules and to-do lists for myself is satisfying.
  • Since inner and outer expectations can sometimes clash or interfere with one another, I have learned to give myself grace when this happens.
  • I have learned that since I have this characteristic of setting and following expectations, I might be more readily suited to taking on leadership roles.

 

If you would like to learn more about yourself, I recommend this book. You might be an Upholder, or you might have the personality of one of the other three tendencies. Grab the book, take the quiz, and start the discovery process about yourself.

 

Did you learn something that surprised you through a personality test? Do you have a favorite personality test? Let me know in the comments.

 

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