“You know how every once in a while you do something and a little voice inside says, “There. That’s it. That’s why you’re here.”…and you get a warm glow in your heart because you know it’s true? Do more of that.”
I'VE WORKED A LOT OF JOBS. I’ve worked outside. In cubicles. In offices. At home. From my car. On a river. At a university. In schools. In kennels. In medicine. In food. In the woods. Behind a camera. With children. With senior citizens. In academia. And for world class jerks. I’ve been bored beyond belief. I’ve been exhausted from extremely long commutes. I’ve watched the excruciatingly slow minutes tick on the clock, knowing I had to put in my time and keep my derriere in my seat until the end of the scheduled day (even though there wasn’t a lick of work in sight). I’ve cleaned urinals. I’ve picked through trash. I’ve scrubbed gates and floors on my hands and knees using a toothbrush.
On the flip side, I’ve found what I love. It was with me all along. The difference was, I finally opened my eyes and took notice. I didn’t change anything about who I was, or am. I just let myself (finally) be that person; and that’s when everything began to take shape.
That's why I wrote my latest book, Be Awesome: How to Live Your Best Life. I wrote it because I was searching for this very book. I was looking for motivation. I was seeking insight. I wanted to hear about other people's experiences in going for their goals.
In Be Awesome: How to Live Your Best Life, I’m here to help you find what you love to do and to encourage you to begin (or continue) your journey to your best life. Whether you’re nineteen or eighty-five, it’s never too late to start living a life you love. You're awesome, so be awesome. Small tweaks and everyday attitudes and actions make a big difference. Discover how to live your best life by utilizing the gifts already inside of you.
And in case I forgot to say it earlier, Happy New Year friends! Entering a New Year is always an exciting time and a great time to set new goals. But it doesn't have to be New Year's Day to set goals. You can set them any time. You can work for them any time. This is your one precious life, don't forget to live it right now!
What goals have you set for the new year? Today is the start of your blank book, what will you fill your pages with this year? What will you achieve in the next 365 days? What are your hopes? Your dreams? What makes you feel alive? What brings you excitement?
I share the following story in Be Awesome: How to Live Your Best Life, but wanted to also share it with you now:
“I hate my job.” She told me matter-of-factly. “I hate it.”
Rather than ask what she hated about the job, I asked this: “If you could have any job, what would it be?”
“I wouldn’t be stacking boxes on shelves!” Molly grew angrier, although she hadn’t answered my question.
“What would you enjoy doing?” I asked again.
“I do not want to work third shift!” She added, still avoiding the question.
Molly continued listing things she did not want in a job, but no matter how many times and ways I asked, she refused to say what she did want. I saw her again, months later and she told me she was still at the same job. We had the same conversation again and still, she refused to consider what she wanted. She only wanted to tell the world what she didn’t want. The next time I saw her she told me she was pregnant.
Molly cried. “I don’t want to be pregnant. I’m not ready to be a parent.”
I asked her if she was scared and she said no. I asked her if her husband was excited and she said yes.
“But I won’t be able to work the same job.” She added. “I can’t lift boxes while I’m pregnant and once the baby is here the hours just aren’t going to work.” She grew angry that the child growing inside of her was going to make her change her job. The same job she’d been complaining about for years.
I suggested that maybe this would be a fresh start for her and she cried, saying that it was the end of her world. “I can’t believe I won’t be able to keep this job. It’s a good job.” Again, this was the same job that she’d been complaining about and wanting out of for years.
“What is a job that would work well for you? Is there something you would enjoy?” I went back to the same question I’d been asking Molly all along.
Still, she couldn’t answer. She could only list the reasons that her life was horrible. It saddened me to realize that no matter how many times anyone asked, she would refuse to look at all of the good in her life. I didn’t know her well, but I knew she had a husband and a family who loved her dearly. I knew she had a cozy home. She had amazing gifts in her life to be thankful for, but she couldn’t see them because she was too focused on the things she thought were wrong.
I saw a picture once, of a cat in a pet carrier. The top of the pet carrier was taken off, yet the cat still sat in the carrier staring out the cage door. He could have looked to either side and realized that there was no top on the carrier and he was free to leave at any time. Instead, he sat staring at the cage door in a depressed demeanor. He was too focused on the thought of being trapped in the pet carrier; so focused that he did not bother to turn his head to one side or the other and realize that he was actually free.
There are times we all do this to ourselves. We trap ourselves in frustration because we are too focused on the problem, much like the cat in this situation and Molly in the story above. If we take a breath and give our energy to finding a solution (rather than focusing on frustration), often we will. The cat in the photo was angry because he felt trapped and could only focus on the perceived problem, much like Molly. If the cat or Molly focused on potential solutions instead, they may have saved themselves a lot of unwanted frustration and stress.
“When you love what you have, you have everything you need.”
A FEW EARLY REVIEWS...
"One-of-a-kind! A book that feels like a good friend. Motivating. Inspiring. Encouraging and filled with insightful, helpful stories." -Julie, Youth Write Now Mentor
"The perfect book for anyone who has a goal. A great gift for graduates, athletes--anyone who has a dream." -Runners Musings
"A fantastic book for every age!" -Amy Beatty, Author of Treadmill Workouts: 90 Treadmill Workouts for Every Runner
"Everyone needs a copy of this book. When I finished reading the book, I read it again. I bought copies for co-workers, friends and family. And I started thinking about my own life - my goals, my dreams. The book restored my enthusiasm toward everything I want my life to be. Get a copy of this book. You won't be disappointed!" -Patricia Lynn, RP Editor
"Whatever it is you want to do in this life, you can do it. Be Awesome is a must read and a book you will surely pick up again and again for years to come. Filled with motivation, stories and practical steps to reach your goals." -Advocates 4 Animals, Inc.
"Need motivation? Want to feel inspired? Want a dose of happiness? Want a reminder that you are AWESOME? Look no further- you'll find it all in Stacey Ritz's book, Be Awesome: How to Live Your Best Life. If you want to live your best life, this is a must read. I loved picking up the book each time to read and I never wanted to put it down- but each time I did, I felt happy. I felt motivated. I felt read to go after all of my goals." -OSN
Stacey Lee Ritz is an Amazon Top-20 bestselling author. Ritz writes both non-fiction and fiction novels. Although her books appear to cover a wide variety of topics at first glance, they all have one thing in common: discovering and living your best life. To be your best and do your best takes courage and dedication and Ritz’s writings reflect this. Her bestselling book, Covered in Pet Fur (Rockville Publishing) has gained attention from RIVA Media and Animal Planet. She is the Executive Director and co-founder of Advocates 4 Animals, Inc. – a 501(c)3 non-profit animal welfare organization that has saved more than 11,000 lives (and counting).
Click here to view Stacey's fiction books.
Click here to view Stacey's non-fiction books.
Stacey's Book Blog
Welcome! Stacey's Book Blog shares book reviews on a wide array of non-fiction and fiction books, along with tips for both readers and writers. Find your next great read here! Also enjoy author interviews, and more.
The Lost Years: A Novel, explores the question - Why do some relationships fall apart while others endure?
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