Re-post: Signs you may have patience issues

Re-posting this because I fell prey to number 9 today, and laughed at myself as I remembered to take a deep breath and let go… :) Enjoy!

I’ve compiled a list of signs that may indicate you have patience issues. These may or may not be from personal experience, I’ll let you decide on that one!

1- People move out of your way when you walk behind them because they’re afraid you will run them over or sever a nerve ending or cut their Achilles tendon with that pointy work-appropriate weapon shoe you’re wearing.

2- You get frustrated with the microwave because it is simply Not Fast Enough. (Then you get to the point where you skip the microwave altogether, because eating soup straight out of a can is less torturous than having to wait idly by doing NOTHING while the whir of the microwave fan/vent thingy threatens to drown out the sound of your own thoughts)

3- You wonder why the elevator has to stop on ALL those floors before finally reaching yours. (Yours = the 3rd floor)

4- You press the walk signal button for the tenth time in a row (in a record time of 0.67 seconds), knowing full well that it won’t make a bit of difference. (Obviously, if anyone can will that light into action it’s you, so it’s always worth a try).

5- You finish people’s sentences because they aren’t finishing them fast enough.

6- Standing in line gives you hives. Actual hives.

7- You perfect the traffic lane bob-and-weave to avoid red lights at any cost.

8- Every time you tell yourself “This time I’m just going to WALK for exercise”, you end up running because walking is just. so. slow. (Even at 9 months pregnant).

9- You get mad as you wait for the 3 dancing dots (…) on your iMessage to turn into words (WHY CAN’T THIS PERSON TYPE FASTER?!?!?!).
Even worse is when the 3 dancing dots disappear and words never materialize after you’ve been waiting and watching. (Absolutely UNFORGIVABLE is when the 3 dancing dots come… then go… then come back again… then go, in a mind-numbing exercise of indecisive text messaging that leaves you ready to strangle the person on the other end and curse Apple for giving you too much information).

10- You are a loyal member of the Church of DVR (fast forward through all ads and unnecessary content!), and are waiting to invest money in the person who’s going to invent the “Skip all commercials (except the Carl’s Jr. ones)” feature.

Packing My Boxes

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to check in and let you all know that I am still here!

Things have been dusty and a bit messy around here lately as I work on trying to move this blog to my own hosted site. I hope you will come along with me, and I will definitely provide all the required information once the move is final.

In the meanwhile, I’m also trying to focus my blog posts on content that is more appealing to you all, so if anyone has any comments, suggestions, strong words of wisdom, or anything else to share, please do leave a comment or send me an email!

Thanks for staying halistic as I am packing my boxes :)

Have a great day!

My Running Shoe Roundup and Why I Shouldn’t Wear Vibrams (But Still Do)

My brother, (who is a rockstar and is about to graduate with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering – oh my goodness I’m so proud of you BROOO!), recently sent me a text asking:
“What running shoes do you have now?”

I have to admit, I was more than a little psyched to have an opportunity to share my running shoe love with someone, so it took exactly zero seconds for me to start typing away on my iphone and sending him pictures and links.

Ahem.

And I know you haven’t technically asked me for this, but I thought I would share my running shoe roundup, and maybe help someone looking for information or trying to make a purchasing decision!

I will also talk a little about my experience with the Vibram fivefingers – which I love in an irrational way because, well, you’ll find out.

So, here goes:

1- Nike LunarGlide+
I use these shoes for my longer runs. At about 9.7 ounces, they are lightweight, but for me still sturdy enough to hold up and give me support.

When I first bought the Lunarglide+ I was transitioning from even heavier shoes, so I felt like I was flying in them.

Another good thing about the Lunarglide+ is that it has built-in support for the Nike+ system – meaning there’s a little spot where you can put your Nike+ sensor in the shoe and you won’t even feel it there. Good for those times when I am interested in using the system.

Overall I think the Nike Lunarglide+ is a pretty good shoe, but the toe box doesn’t really fit my feet that well. I’ve had shoes that fit my feet a lot better than these do in the front – most probably because I have weird feet, but we’ll talk more about that later.

2- Adidas Adizero Boston
I love these shoes. My typical Adidas shoe for the last few years was the Adidas Supernova Glide, but I saw the Adizero Boston on sale one time (online at my favorite store to buy running shoes + gear, Road Runner Sports, which used to be a 15 minute drive from my house in Sunny Southern California. I stayed loyal even after moving away, because their VIP service is pretty amazing).

Anyway, I have to admit that what initially attracted me to the Adidas Adizero Boston was… the AWESOME color and blue stripes on the side. For some reason really reminded me of Boston, probably because I had some Adidas when I was back in Boston but they were VERY classic Adidas – white with the navy blue stripes on the side. Ah yes. :)

I feel really light running in the Adizero Boston, and I like that. They give me enough support to be able to run on the roads, but doesn’t feel clunky or heavy. They also fit my feet REALLY well, which is a feature of most Adidas that I’ve worn for running.

3- Vibram FiveFingers
My beautiful, misunderstood Vibrams. People are just trying to get to know you better, my lovelies, so don’t take offense!

I wrote a post about what got me interested in barefoot running here, but the summary is that I read Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run in early 2010, got crazy obsessed about giving barefoot running a shot, and ended up injuring myself going 7 miles without any preparation. That spells D-U-M-B. And O-U-C-H.

Couldn’t take the stairs to save my life for about 2 weeks, couldn’t walk like a normal person for about 3. Fun times.

Fast forward to 2012, I’m SO MUCH older and wiser, and I decide to take people’s (good) advice and take it easy. I bought these and started out with 1 mile, then 2, then had to do 4 one time because I forgot my other shoes at home (oops!). Things were actually still ok, so I’ve been running in them for about 4 miles at a time since then. (I may have gone 5 or 6 miles one time but never longer.)

I really like how fast I feel I can run in the FiveFingers (ahem, fast to me might be your recovery pace, but hey no judgement here). My calves and even hips feel so much stronger after a good run in the Vibrams (sore = stronger, right?).

The thing with these is:
a) I have only been using them on the treadmill (ew treadmill), mostly out of fear of hitting the asphalt with them and breaking myself.
But this summer is definitely the summer of the Outdoor Vibram Adventure – bring it on!
b) *sigh* Here’s where we talk about my weird feet (and explain why I shouldn’t wear Vibrams). See how nicely the toes are on the Vibrams? How they go from tallest to shortest? So nice and neat.

NOT the case with my toes. There’s a reason I don’t have a picture to prove this to you – I want to make sure we stay friends.

The summary is, my second and even third toes are over-achievers, and they want to be taller and more important than my first toe. Soooo, they aren’t too happy crammed into the nice and neat Vibram toes. But whatever. They like the pain (hence why I keep wearing them), just like me (DON’T YOU, OVER-ACHIEVING WEIRDO TOES? Hmmmmmm?!?!)

I hope this was helpful, and slightly entertaining, especially the last part. Please don’t tell your friends about my toes.

Run wild!

What Story Are You Telling Yourself?

Today I realized something that I believe has the potential to create big, scary, awesome ripples in my life.

I realized that a part of getting where I am today, a part of the happiness I feel as compared to the desperation I felt almost 2 years ago, comes from changing the story I had been telling myself about my life.

2 years ago, this was the story I told myself:

I was a “victim” of circumstance.
I wasn’t smart enough, innovative enough, or talented enough to go beyond the confines of a “safe life”.
I wasn’t as financially privileged as others who were able to “make it”, and I was “stuck” in a place I didn’t want to be, where I had no friends.
I wasn’t “good at communicating” in my personal relationships.

Today, I look back and can see that the story I was telling myself became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Until I decided to turn it all around.

Until I decided to grow up and take responsibility for driving my life, instead of letting myself be driven by self-limiting beliefs.

Nowadays, the story I tell myself is light years away from the one I had crafted 2 years ago.

Nowadays, I am

grateful for the gift of family

loving the possibilities of continuous learning

amazed at the beauty of people

inspired by many to go out there and make a difference

humbled by how little I know, but hungry to learn more

Am I there yet? Have I reached the goals I am setting on a daily basis for myself (including becoming a change agent and success creator?)

Nope.

But I know I’m taking the steps needed to get there, and I am so excited about waking up every single day and taking one step closer.

The shift in mindset has made me a different person, and I’m still growing, every day a little more. I wonder what kind of positivity I can attract to my life by expanding the story I tell myself even more.

And now I want to ask for your help.
I am working on content that is relevant to YOU, that serves YOU, and that helps you achieve your goals. I want to provide value to YOU.

If this resonates at all with you, I invite you to take a moment and think about these questions:

  1. What story have you been telling yourself about your life?
  2. Does that story serve you, and serve the person you want to be?
  3. What aspects of your story could you change, and what parts of your life can you learn to appreciate and see in a different light?
    (For example, instead of saying “I’m not good at communicating”, can you say “I want to learn how to communicate better because I know I can improve and create more clarity in my life”? Or, instead of saying “I’m just not good with money”, can you say “I want to focus on learning how to manage my finances better, so I can feel more in control and be smart about my financial decisions”?)

With love,

Hala

What Do You Do?

Hello there. I have a question for you:

What do YOU do?

Wait!

You’re not allowed to say “I’m a web developer”, or “I’m a librarian”, or “I’m a photographer”, or “I’m a financial analyst”.

NO.

Stop for a moment and think – what is it that YOU do uniquely and amazingly and that brings meaning to your life?

If you are a web developer, what is it that YOU do? Do you kill it with amazing yet simple functionality that delights users?

If you are a photographer, how are your pictures uniquely about YOU? Do you have an ability to capture things and people in just the right light, creating photographs that reflect the soul of your subjects?

If you are a financial analyst, are you able to create reports that dazzle with accuracy and detail, while at the same time distilling the information in a consumable way?

If you are an administrative assistant, do you bring people together and fulfill their needs before they even know they have those needs?

I want to know, what is it that YOU do? (You want to know it too, because it is the only way to set yourself free and realize what your value and potential are!)

Will you share with me in the comments below? I am dying to know what it is that YOU do!

My New Project

If you read my previous post, you know that I’ve been working on a new project lately.

I’m pleased to announce that I have “gone live” with a blog where I share how I bring heart to project management – pmlove!
I also aim to provide guidance and tips on achieving success – whether personal success or for a team/organization.

The truth is, the bulk of the work of getting there was internal – I had to get to a place where I felt ready to share, even in the absence of “perfection”.

And you know what I’ve realized in the process?

There will never be a “perfect” time, or “perfect” content, or “perfect” circumstances.

The only way to find your place on the path to doing what you love is by starting somewhere, today.

What do you love? What have you been putting off doing in your life? How can you take just one step that will take you closer to doing what you love, and living your dream life?

I would love to hear from you!

Sometimes You Just Have to Launch

Sometimes, you just have to trust your gut and do something you feel strongly about.

Sometimes, you just gotta launch.

It might end up being the least (or most!) exciting thing you ever do, but if you don’t try, you will never know.
Assuming you have done your homework, put in the time to learn, hone, and build a solid base, there comes a point where you need to gather up the courage to move forward.

Be willing to accept failures on your way to success.

But know that you will not succeed unless you:

  1. Learn to listen to, and live by, your authentic voice. (Who are you? What do you really care about? Are you doing the things that serve you and serve your passions?)
  2. Learn to care enough to give back. You will only expand who you are and your own possibilities for greatness by serving others, and doing good for those around you.
  3. Learn to tune out the “noise”. All the Are you crazies and But how will you be able to do thats and Are you seriouses in the world come from a place of fear. Don’t let others impart their own fear on you.
  4. Learn to recognize when something isn’t going well, and be willing to inspect your methods and course-correct.

I have been working on something that means a lot to me, and even though it is only a start, and it is something very small, I think I’m just about ready to start sharing it. It will only interest about 0.05% of the population, but that’s ok with me.

More details soon. (Don’t expect anything big) :)

Wish me courage!

(Thank you, Seth Godin, Bassam Tarazi, Marie Forleo, Laura Roeder, William Arruda, and all the other amazing and inspiring people who have been in my head and on my computer screen for the last few weeks.)

Health Matters

Today, I urge you to step  back and take a moment to reflect on your health.

Are you taking care of yourself?
By taking care of yourself, I am not only asking whether you eat and drink well and generally avoid stepping in front of moving traffic.
My question is, are you really taking care of yourself?
Are you doing the things that will ultimately contribute to your body and mind being healthy and supporting you, allowing you to thrive and have a long and fruitful life?
Are you nurturing your body and soul with good food, exercise, meditation, human connection, and engaging in activities you are passionate about?

If not, please consider re-evaluating your priorities.

If you find yourself frequently stressed, overworked, tired, and dissatisfied, please know that it is in your hands to live the kind of life you love.
It might mean taking baby steps and getting there over a period of time, but any improvement is still improvement.  

Today, decide to take a 20 minute walk. Decide to eat a salad along with your meal. Decide to ditch the soda and drink some water instead. Decide to let go and realize that you cannot control every other driver out there on the road, so just enjoy the ride, enjoy the scenery, enjoy being alive.

Decide to live differently, and by doing so, know that you are making not only your own life better, but you are also giving more of yourself to your loved ones. You will be with them more fully, with more clarity, and hopefully, for a longer period of time.

If you’ve made it this far through this post, I urge you to let me know in the comments section below what small change you can make in your life in order to take care of yourself better.
Do you think you can take a yoga class every now and then? Maybe wake up half an hour earlier to get in some physical activity before the craziness of your day begins? Maybe you can take 20 minutes just to be by yourself, close your eyes, and focus on filling your body with breath? Or maybe you can swap out one of your weekly meat-based meals for a vegetable-based meal instead?

(Note: This is really relevant to me in my life right now, and would make me feel so much better to know I was able to make even one person consider doing something for their health.)

To your health!

Psst! You’re a CEO and you don’t even know it!


Surprised? Confused? Think I’m nuts? (I may well be, but that is totally beside the point of this post!)

This post is about YOU.

Did you know that you, me, and everyone else are all CEOs? Isn’t that exciting? Entrepreneurship EXPLOSION up in here!

Have you heard of a little concept called Personal Branding, and the company called “Me, Inc.”?
In a nutshell, each one of us is (perhaps unknowingly) our own brand.
YOU have a very distinct set of qualities that make you unique, and you need to know what those qualities are in order to manage your brand.

I will say that again, because I  believe in the transformational power this statement has if you really take it to heart and internalize it:
You need to know what qualities you have that make you stand out, make you unique, and differentiate you from others.

These days, it’s not enough to be “good enough”, or even “very good” at what you do. Anyone can learn the basics of a job function and get the work done.

NOT everyone can do it the way you do it though. Not everyone can make that presentation sizzle with your artistic touches, not everyone can dig into technical details the way you can, not everyone can run a meeting as smoothly as you can, etc. etc.

Figure out what it is that makes you different, and WORK IT.

And no, it’s not enough to just know that “I’m good with numbers.” or, “I’m creative.” Get really, really, really specific, and then once you know what things make you stand out, make sure others know it as well.
There is so much power in specializing, and in being known for the very specific way in which you add value.

Read this from FastCompany.com. Here is an excerpt that I think is really helpful:

“Your next step is to cast aside all the usual descriptors that employees and workers depend on to locate themselves in the company structure. Forget your job title. Ask yourself: What do I do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value? Forget your job description. Ask yourself: What do I do that I am most proud of? Most of all, forget about the standard rungs of progression you’ve climbed in your career up to now. Burn that damnable “ladder” and ask yourself: What have I accomplished that I can unabashedly brag about? If you’re going to be a brand, you’ve got to become relentlessly focused on what you do that adds value, that you’re proud of, and most important, that you can shamelessly take credit for.

When you’ve done that, sit down and ask yourself one more question to define your brand: What do I want to be famous for? That’s right — famous for!”

The rest of the article has some great ideas on how to go through the exercise of figuring out what differentiates you and how to communicate that to the world. This should all give you PLENTY to work on this weekend, and come out of it with a strong sense of who you are, how you want to be perceived, and how you can be seen as indispensable by anyone who might have the privilege of receiving your work, your gifts.

Once you know what makes you special, and once you have honed your special skill enough that it is undeniable, you will have the freedom of being confident in your value. No longer will you need to hide behind what you think your employer or the workplace wants you to be, because your value is in who you actually are.

Allow this, as I have, to be the first step in the next phase of your personal growth. If nothing else, you will gain a clear vision of who you are today, and perhaps the things you want to work on to become the version of you that you want to be tomorrow.

Hopefully, though, you will gain much more than that, and will be able to tap into your power to own your success.

Some awesome resources:
http://www.williamarruda.com
http://www.personalbranding.tv/
http://www.thepersonalbrandingblog.com/

Waste Ad Space, Lose Customers!

Today, there is a vast landscape out there of real estate for marketers to try and sell us on their products.

Billboards, newspaper ads, TV, banner ads, those little, annoyingly persistent popup ads that swallow up your screen and hide the “X” so you don’t know how to get rid of them (what are those CALLED, anyway?), and more. The Internet has made it inifinitely easier for marketers to reach their target.

With the explosion of ways to reach your customer, wouldn’t you want to make sure you have the most effective message you can have, thereby maximizing your return on investment in whatever your chosen marketing media (what I’m referring to here as marketing real estate) is?

What about your return on investment in your target customer’s attention span? That’s even more precious (and hard to come by) than space on a billboard, or an email campaign.

It hurts to see companies waste resources (time, money, ad space, HIGHWAY CLUTTER) by creating marketing that is just wasteful. Think of the environment, people! Do we need even more useless, empty words an images polluting our roads, newspapers, and online journeys through cyberia?

NO.

Discount Tire is a great company. We have been buying tires from them for years. The thing that keeps us coming back is their customer service.

They fix our flat tires free of charge.
They rotate our tires free of charge.
They put air in my tires and calibrate the pressure free of charge.
They have a great system that keeps track of us as customers and they can quickly look us up and provide the service we need, even across different states.
They treat people like PEOPLE.

Driving on the highway today, I saw a billboard for Discount Tire that just made me sad. All it said was:

DISCOUNT TIRE
CHEAP PRICES

Seriously?
There are SO many things that make Discount Tire stand out from its competition that could have been highlighted in that space above the road.

Also, isn’t the price point advantage (i.e. cheap prices) already built into the company’s name????
Hello, it’s called DISCOUNT Tires.

Price advantage, in my opinion, is no longer a competitive edge that companies should rely on in their marketing.
These days, you need a more human edge. 

On the other hand, the first time I saw Chik fil-A’s “Eat Mor Chikin” billboard (see below), I probably laughed for a full 15 minutes (and then many many other minutes later when thinking about the billboard).

Part of it was just the absurdity in seeing cows look like they were painting a billboard and trying to convince people to eat chicken instead of beef, but mostly, it was the genius in the framing of their core message:

Chik Fil-A really just wants you to eat more chicken. (At their restaurants, preferably).

The company has come up with a number of other campaigns that are offshoots of the above message, but again, I think most of them are just a waste of marketing real estate and trying to copy/mimic the success of the billboard above.

As Seth Godin says in his book Purple Cow, sometimes, doing nothing is better than doing too much, or doing something that is not effective. (More on Purple Cow here).
Yes!

Marketers – please stop wasting your precious marketing real estate!
As the world gets more and more connected, online, and distracted, you need to think harder about how to get and keep our attention and interest.

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