From Tears to Cheers: 3 Lessons Learned from the Dichotomy of my Day

My Week in Pics: Celebrating Canada Day and the 4th of July with my fellow remotes; visiting Terezin Concentration Camp, listening to Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus perform songs from Brundibar, and meeting survivor John Freund ~ who lived in that same camp and watched that same opera 75 years earlier… and then on the other extreme indulging in a Prague Foodie Tour.

From Tears to Cheers: 3 Lessons Learned from the Dichotomy of my Day

Happy Friday!

And greetings from beautiful Prague, Czech Republic.

Yup. I’m in a new city, new country, new continent since last week ~ and I have to say so far I am loving it here. Walking down the cobblestone streets with the the rich history, beautiful buildings, gothic domes and cathedrals… it almost feels as though you are taking part in a storybook.

Five days in, and I’m feeling quite at home. Even began to learn Czech today! And, I’ve had some pretty neat experiences. The two highlights – and they were biggies – taking place in one day.

Yesterday was full of tears and cheers. And it was tough to go from one extreme to the other.

I visited Terezin ~ a walled city that acted as a Ghetto during WWI from 1941 – 1945, an hour outside of Prague. It housed a concentration camp, army barracks, and more than 150,000 people were held for months or years before being deported to other camps, many of which for extermination.

However even more moving was the story behind my visit. One of my dear friends from Toronto informed me her daughter was currently on tour with the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, performing Brundibar, a children’s opera performed by the children in this concentration camp 75 years ago. And there was a pretty special 87-year old in the audience, for whom it wasn’t his first visit…

Watch this week’s video to hear the moving story, as well as how I then went to another extreme, experiencing a Prague Foodie Tour, and the lessons gleaned moving from one to the other.

(Yes, a tad longer than usual, yet worth the 7 minutes, I promise!)

Perhaps a little heavy today. And yet it was a real slice of a day in the life of…

1. Same Same but Different
2. Appreciate it All.
3. Give Back; Give Big.

What lesson most resonated with you? And what one small action will you commit to taking today as a result? I want to hear from you over at the blog or on my YouTube Channel

Happy Friday, and have a FAB week.

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more of John Freund’s story, you can do so here: http://memoirs.azrielifoundation.org/survivor/john-freund

There is indeed power in vulnerability…

My week in pics: Last week in Buenos Aires! Attending the ballet (Swan Lake), having fun at the farewell party, Women Living Big’s ‘Vino & Vulnerability’ event, attending the Canada 150 special reception at the Canadian Embassy and meeting Ambassador Robert Fry. 

There is indeed power in vulnerability.

Happy Friday!

And HAPPY 150th BIRTHDAY CANADA! (and to my friends both of the border, happy almost 4th of July…!)

Although I wish I were in Canada for the festivities, I will be sporting some fun Canadian paraphernalia on the plane from Buenos Aires to Prague! And, I was fortunate to have been invited to the Canadian Embassy last night for a special #Canada150 celebration. Yes, I did manage to not only meet (and get a selfie with!) Ambassador Robert Fry, I also had a lovely and inspiring conversation with him. He seems a wonderful man, and we spoke about some of the initiatives he’s passionate about, happy to hear women’s issues (especially ‘Ni Una Menos’ fighting violence against women) being one of them.

Last night while watching a special indigenous performance, I had a moment, and felt very grateful and proud to be Canadian.

It was an exciting last week in Buenos Aires, especially as Women Living BIG had another successful event on Tuesday evening entitled ‘Vino & Vulnerability.’ A wine tasting (we’re into region of wine after all!) and an opportunity for women to connect and bond while opening up out important matters. It was a powerful night, and yet even more powerful was what happened the day after the event…

Watch this week’s video below to see what I’m talking about.

And so now I challenge YOU to be just a little bit more vulnerable this week. Imagine how freeing it would be,  and the positive impact it would have.. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this important subject below, or over on over on my YouTube Channel

Have a FAB week, and enjoy the festivities!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

P.S. If you’re interested in watching Brené Brown’s TedX talk, you can do so HERE. (It’s a goodie!)

 

 

A powerful distinction… and it may just be a game changer!

A powerful distinction… and it may just be a game changer!

Happy Friday!

What a whirlwind the last week has been! I’m just back from New Orleans, after having an amazing time presenting at the SHRM conference (with over 19,000 people!). Initially I was a tad worried not many would show up to my 7am session, however it was a full house of around 500 people, and we had a great time learning how to “Communicate your way to the Top!” (WELCOME to new Happy Friday members from this amazing audience!) And, by the time you read this, I’ll be back in Buenos Aires, Argentina, continuing my Remote Year experience. Good thing I love traveling (and collecting air miles!) 

Today, I want to talk about an important distinction I learned at one of my first personal development and leadership seminars I attended. It was a game changer for me, and it may just be a game changer for you.

Watch the video to see what I mean.

 

 

And now I want to hear from YOU.  What are YOU going to choose this week? Who are you going to choose to be, and how are you going to choose to show up? I want to hear from you in the comments below, or over on my Youtube channel.

 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

We all need a tribe. Got yours? 3 Ways to find, or build, your tribe.

We all need a tribe. Got yours? 3 ways to find, or build, your tribe.

Happy Friday!

Hard to believe I’ve been home for a week now… it’s almost as though I never left! To be honest, it’s kind of comforting. Nothing really changes.

And although it’s been a busy week, preparing for two exciting presentations for the Association of Public Sector Professionals and the International Association of Administrative Professionals, a Women Living Big Habitat for Humanity Build, and lots of fun fam jam and friend catch up time, I’ve loved every minute of it.

Why? Because I love being surrounded by my special peeps. I love being surrounded by amazing folks that I love and that love me. I love being surrounded by my ‘tribe.’

Human beings need human connection. We’re social creatures. And we all desire to be around people who accept us, who ‘get’ us, and who love us unconditionally no matter what.

And that’s what this week’s video it all about!

Watch it here:

 

Which of these three ideas are you going to take on this week? And why does it matter to YOU to be a part of a Tribe? Share your comments below or over at my YouTube channel! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE

AND, please feel free to share with other people in your life! 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

 

TRANSCRIPT:

HAPPY FRIDAY! I’m Carol Schulte, and welcome to another video edition of my Happy Friday blog.

And greetings as I come to you live on location from our Women Living Big Habitat for Humanity Build.

Last week Iguazu, Argentina, this week Ontario, Canada! Yes, this jet-setter is pretty fortunate. However I have to say even more fortunate than being able to travel? Having a network, a community, a tribe I can come home to.

Although it’s been a busy week ~ preparing for my talk yesterday in Ottawa for the Association of Public Sector Information Professionals ~ and more prep for the workshop I’m delivering for the International Association of Administrative Professionals on Saturday, today’s build (not to mention some much needed fam jam and friend catch up time!) I have to say I’ve been loving every minute of it. Why? Because I’ve been surrounded be some pretty amazing peeps.

Human beings are social creatures.

And our number one desire is to belong… to something. A group, a community, a tribe.

We all want to know there are people that ‘get’ us. We want to know there are people who have our backs. We want to know there are people who will love us regardless of what we look like, what we’ve done, or what we’ve said.

Now I know I’ve written before about the importance of having a ‘Positive Peeps Posse,’ and so today I want to expand on this idea, and offer three simple strategies for you to start finding, or building, your own tribe.

  1. Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People.

As Oprah says, ‘Surround yourself only with those who life you higher.’ This may mean doing a personal audit and getting honest with yourself, and it may mean having to let some people go that are no longer serving you. Sometimes it’s more important to subtract, then to add to your current network.

  1. Put Yourself Out There.

It can be intimidating to join new groups, attend events where you may not know very many people, introduce yourself to folks you don’t yet know. And yet sometimes that’s exactly what you gotta do to find your peeps. And I truly believe in the idea: There are no such thing as strangers, only friends you haven’t met.

  1. Become a cheerleader, a raving fan, and treasure your peeps. 

Before I went on Remote Year, I had a pretty jam-packed schedule attending events and meetings left, right, and center. People used to tell me I was crazy! Perhaps I am. However I LOVE people, and I love supporting people who are going after their dreams and are up to big things. You have to first offer support, if you are also looking for support in return. And we all need it.

And, treasure those people who are already important people in your life. Reach out to them regularly, Remember not only birthdays, but also important events, milestones, anniversaries. Take the time to let those important people in your life know how much they really matter to you.

So there you have it. Surround yourself with like-minded people, put yourself out there, and become a cheerleader, a raving fan, and treasure your people.

If you have someone in your life you think would benefit from this video, please share it with them! And let’s keep the conversation going. Which idea are you going to take on this week?

Share your ideas in the comments below.

And until next time, I’m Carol Schulte coming to you live from the Women Living Big Habitat for Humanity Build, surrounded and humbled by 22 powerhouse women. And don’t forget to keep dreaming big, playing big, and living big.

Who is in YOUR tribe? And if you don’t have one yet, who is one person you’d like in yours? Perhaps you may even want to reach out to them today!

Have a FAB week!

Carol

What is YOUR Living Big Hedgehog? (Watch this video to see what I mean!)

My week in pics: Having a fabulous time wine tasting in Mendoza, taking in the magic and beauty and splendour that are Iguazú Falls, getting SOAKING wet on the boat ride (that literally went under a part of the falls!) and visiting Las Tres Fronteras, the intersection of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. 

 

What is YOUR Living Big Hedgehog? (Watch this video to see what I mean!)

 

Happy Friday!

And greetings from… My Dad’s house back in Canada!

Yes that’s right – after four flights, five airports, and over 24 hours later – I’m back on Canadian soil! And it’s pretty exciting, I have to say.

I’m home for almost two weeks, as I have two exciting conferences I will be speaking at, and a Women Living Big Habitat For Humanity build, plus lots of friends and family I’m pumped to be seeing!

However that’s not what this week’s video is about.

This past week I spent a few days in beautiful Iguazú, where I was able to take in the magic, the splendour, and the beauty that is Iguazú Falls. And then I visited Las Tres Fronteras, the point where three countries – Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay – meet at the interaction of the Iguazú River and the Paraná River.

It’s a pretty powerful place. And it got me thinking about the power of three, and moreover where they intersect.

Some deep thoughts in this video as I share about Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept, and moreover what my Living BIG Hedgehog concept would be! Watch this video to find out what I mean…

(transcript below!)

 

And now I want to hear from YOU! What would YOUR Living Big Hedgehog be? Please share your ideas in the comments below, or over on my YouTube Channel.

Let’s keep the conversation going! So please share your thoughts and ideas below.

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

P.S. Ready to live just a little bit BIGGER? Join me on our upcoming 5-day Living Big Challenge

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Happy Friday!

I’m Carol Schulte, and welcome to another video edition of my Happy Friday blog. Greetings from Puerto Iguazú, where I’ve been the last few days taking in the majesty, the wonder, the splendour, and the beauty that are Iguazú Falls.

One of the seven natural wonders of the world. And it’s no wonder, as they make up almost 3km of natural waterfalls. Just gorgeous.

And I’ve been looking at them from both the Argentinian side, where I am now, as well as the Brazilian side, which is actually just across the river. But where I’m coming to you from today is at Las Tres Fronteras, or the Triple Frontier. Which is a pretty important point, because it separates not only Argentina and Brazil, but also Paraguay, and at the intersection of the Iguazú River and the Paraná River is the pinnacle, or the border, frontier, triple frontier… where these countries connect and come together. It’s a pretty powerful place.

It got me thinking, where are there other ways, other places where we can look at the intersection of three things. No doubt you’ve heard of the Venn Diagram, and there are lots of famous concepts and theories that talk about the power of three, and moreover where they intersect. One of the more famous examples being Jim Collins’ Hedgehog Concept. He talks about this concept in his book, Good to Great.

Now, funny fact. How did it get its name, Hedgehog Concept? It’s based on an ancient Greek parable that looks at the fox and the hedgehog. The fox is always trying to get at the hedgehog. But no matter what he tries, what strategy he applies – pouncing, sneaking, playing dead – the hedgehog always wins. Why? Because the hedgehog is really good at one thing: defending himself. So the poor fox always ends up with a lot of needles in his nose!

Jim Collins expanded on this idea and works with individuals and organizations to figure out what is going to bring them the most success. And it’s based on three circles, three questions that he asks.

The first being ‘What are you the best in the world at? The second, ‘What are you most passionate about? What do you love to do?’ And the third, ‘What is going to fuel your economic engine?’

And where those three circles connect, where they intersect, is where your powerhouse is, where your power lies. It’s where you are going to enjoy the most success, and happiness.

So it got me thinking. Now I talk about this idea of living big, and so I thought about what my circles would be, what would my questions be, and where would they intersect. Because no doubt that is where I could live my biggest life. And this is what I’ve come up with:

 

1. What am I the most scared of? Or where will I be living at the edge of my comfort zone?
2. Where am I living the most authentically? According to my own values, passions, goals?
3. Where am I living with the most purpose, meaning? What do I want my legacy to be?

 

And where those three answers intersect, that is where I am going to be living my biggest life.

Now I know living big means different things to different people, so I’m curious: What would your circles be, and what questions would you want to ask, so that you would be living YOUR biggest life?

I want to hear from you. Let’s keep the conversation going! So please share your thoughts and ideas below.

And furthering this idea of living big, I have a 5-day Living Big Challenge coming up. Five days, five ways, five small actions that you can take to live even bigger. And I hope you’ll join us!

And please, if you know someone in your life who you think could benefit from this video, please share it with them!

Until next time, I’m Carol Schulte, and don’t forget to dream big, play big, and live big.

How to taste wine, how to taste life.

My week in pics: Visiting cute lake town Villa Carlos Paz (and indulging in wine and ice cream…) hosting ‘Cocktails & Conversations’ event, good times my last few days in Córdoba, first wine tasting here in Mendoza! 

How to taste wine, how to taste life.

 

Happy Friday!

It’s funny, I’m actually just noticing the theme of wine has been pretty prevalent in my past week’s events…

Over the weekend I took a day tip to ‘Villa Carlos Paz,’ a beautiful lake town in the Sierras, did a hike up to to this famous cross on the top of the hill, and enjoyed some delicious wine while sitting next to the lake afterwards.

On Sunday, I hosted a ‘Cocktails and Conversations’ event (or vino and vulnerability ~ as it was with wine!) where we got opened up on the concept of home and shared what we may be missing.

And now I’m writing to you from Mendoza, the famous wine region of Argentina, where I’m indulging in one of my fave things to do…  wine tasting.

Last night, while contemplating the complexities of the certain malbec I was sniffing, it occurred to me that how we taste wine could be (or dare I say should we) taste life.

Watch this week’s video to see what I mean!

(And again, you can also read the content if you prefer below.)

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This week, I challenge you to engage in all of your senses, honour your unique experiences, and enjoy the moments.

Let’s continue the conversation! Share your thoughts and comments below or on my YouTube channel.

Have a FAB week!
Carol - high res

 

 

P.S. As you know, I’m a self-professed lover of selfies… AND, I thought it high time I share  some of my selfie taking secrets with you! Sign up to receive ‘7 Steps to taking the Perfect, Shameless, Splendid Selfie!’ today!

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Happy Friday!

I’m Carol Schulte, and greetings from Mendoza, Argentina… otherwise known as wine country! And welcome to another video edition of my Happy Friday blog.

I arrived here yesterday, and wasted no time getting out of the city, and was at my first winery within a few hours.

It was a gorgeous winery, Kaiken, which means Wild Goose, and after a private wine tour of their gorgeous facility – one of the oldest in the region established in 1920 – I sat down to taste a flight of some of their most famous wines.

It’s one of my favourite things to do. Wine tasting.

And as I sat there, I realized how we taste wine could be (dare I say should we) taste life. Because I actually don’t think we often take the time to truly taste it. Hear me out, as I have three ideas I’d like to share with you.

 

1. Engage all of your senses.

Wine tasting is an in-depth, complicated, albeit enjoyable process. And it involves a lot of steps. First you have to look at the wine, observe the colour, the legs, take it all in. And then you have to smell the wine. A big part of the tasting is noticing the aromas before even getting it to your palette. And then of course, the tasting. Are you utilizing all of your senses to experience and enjoy life? Or are you so busy do, do, doing that you’re not taking the time to utilize all of your senses to fully experience it.

 

2. Honour your unique experience.

Your tasting is going to be different than the next person’s. We bring different palettes, different preferences, different experiences to the table. And so it is in life. And that’s good! Are you honouring your unique experiences, gifts, talents? Are you allowing your authenticity to shine through? As Anais Nin says, “We do not see the world as it is, we see it as we are.” Our unique experiences and way in which we see the world needs to be both honoured and celebrated.

 

3. Be present in, and enjoy the moment.

So you’ve heard me say this before, however I realized when I was in the moment enjoying each sip of each wine I tried, I was totally there. I wasn’t thinking about my to-do list, or what I was going to have for dinner, or my overflowing inbox. Now maybe it’s because I happen to love wine tasting, however I truly was in right the moment.

Imagine what our life would look like if we were fully in each moment, each experience as it happened, and really enjoying it?

 

So there you have it. Wine tasting can teach you about life tasting. Be sure to engage all of your senses, honour your unique experience, and be present enough to truly enjoy the moment.

I’d love to continue to conversation, so please share your thoughts and comments below.

And, if you know someone in your life who could benefit from this video, please share it with them!

Until next time, I’m Carol Schulte, and don’t forget to dream big, play big, and live big.

 

P.S. As you know, I’m a self-professed lover of selfies… AND, I thought it high time I share  some of my selfie taking secrets with you! Sign up to receive 7 Steps to taking the Perfect, Shameless, Splendid Selfie!’ today!

It’s time for me to get real. To be vulnerable. (Plus 3 tips on how to deal with fear!)

My week in pics: Experiencing Semana Santa in Ayacucho, Peru (and what an experience it was… the running of the bulls, beautiful processions, crazy Easter festivities…) more surfing, touring around Lima, Remote Year birthday BBQ, indulging in a DELISH meal at La Picantería!

It’s time to get real. Be vulnerable. (Plus 3 tips on how to face those moments…)

 

Happy Friday!

So, you’ve seen me share about some of the amazing adventures I’ve been having so far on my Remote Year experience, as well as some of the insights I’ve gleaned.

And now it’s time to get real, to be a little vulnerable with you.

Because the truth is, despite the excitement, every day is not all rainbows and unicorns!

In fact, this week I had a moment. And seeing as how I’m all about living big and getting outside of the comfort zone, I’m going to do just that and be a little bit vulnerable with you today…

(and for those who would rather read about it, transcript is below.)

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So, this is me getting real with you today!

And now I invite you, too, to get a little vulnerable… please share your thoughts, and/or fears, in the comments below. Because chances are you’re not the only one feeling that way.

 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Happy Friday! I’m Carol Schulte, and welcome to another video edition of my Happy Friday blog. Greetings from inside the cacti on the rooftop of my Lima, Peru apartment.

Brené Brown, a writer and researcher extraordinaire, and someone I greatly admire, speaks about the importance and power of vulnerability.

Now while I certainly believe in this idea, and definitely do with many people in my life, it’s another thing to share publicly in a video such as this one.

However, if I’m all about living big, which I am, that sometimes means doing things that are out of your comfort zone and make you just a little bit uncomfortable. While for some that may be bungee jumping or skydiving, for others that may be opening up about your true feelings.

And today, it’s the latter.

Here’s the thing. Yes, I’m on this epic Remote Year adventure, living and working in new cities every month, having some incredible experiences (like last weekend going to Ayacucho, where they celebrate Semana Santa – the week leading up to Easter – with beautiful processions, the running of the bulls, and crazy festivities…) and by the time you watch this video I’ll be on my way to the Amazon, which I am super pumped and thrilled about.

And yet, that doesn’t mean everyday is filled with nothing but rainbows and unicorns!

In fact, I had a moment this week where I found myself in a serious conversation about marriage and babies and single women in their thirties and well, I may have just about cried.

Although I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fear around the idea of finding the one, settling down, and having a family one day. And I know I’m not alone. The Sex and The City phenomenon is real. And sometimes our expectations of where we thought we would be at certain points in our life – either professionally or personally – don’t come into fruition. And that’s okay.

So there you go. Being real and vulnerable with you today.

It’s okay to have moments, days when you’re down or off, or when your fear hits you in the face. We’re human after all!

And so next time you experience a moment, your fear becomes very real, or you’re about to have a mini panic attack or want to cry, remember these three things:

 

  1. First, breathe! And then sit in it. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable. Be with your feelings.

  2. Get some support. Reach out to a friend or family member who you can honestly share your feelings with. Chances are talking it out will have you feeling a whole lot better.

  3. Jump back on the faith and belief bandwagon. Yes, it’s a fear of mine, and yet I do believe deep down there is a man out there for me and I will have a family one day. So, I’ve created some new affirmations and I’m feeling a whole lot better right now.

 

So now I’d love to hear from YOU! How can you be a bit vulnerable this week, and perhaps share one of your fears? Chances are you’re not alone. 

And, if you think there is someone in your life who could benefit from this video, please share this with them! And be sure you sign up to receive my Happy Friday blogs.

Until next time, I’m Carol Schulte, and don’t forget to dream big, play big, and live big.

 

What surfing can teach you about opportunities in life…

My week in pics: Saying goodbye to Medellin, Colombia; interviewing the inspiring Paulina from Huerta De Las Delicias, going surfing with a few peeps, indulging in an incredible experience at Central, rated #4 restaurant in the world; bike tour at sunset, learning Peruvian dances. 

What surfing can teach you about opportunities in life…

 

Happy Friday!

And greetings from Lima, Peru!

We arrived over the weekend, and I’ve already indulged in some delicious ceviche a few times, been surfing twice, and watched numerous gorgeous sunsets over the water. ‘I think I’m going to like it here.’ (cue: Annie Soundtrack!)

There’s something about being near the water…

In fact, that is what this week’s Happy Friday topic is all about! And more specifically, about waves and opportunities… And, seeing as how so many of you piped up with positive feedback after last week’s video, well, you’re in for a treat! ‘Cause I got another one for you today.

(And for those of you who prefer reading the Happy Friday message, well, I’m going to experiment with video this month, however will have transcriptions available come next week. And we’ll go from there… comments welcome!)

 

 

So there you have it. Waves are much like opportunities… you have to have the courage to leave the shore and be willing to work hard to get out to where the good ones are, you have to practice patience in order to wait for the right one for you, and then you gotta set yourself up properly on your board – on your path – stay balanced, and enjoy the ride all the way to shore.

What are your thoughts on the matter? I want to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

P.S. THANK YOU for all of your comments and kind words after hearing about all of my mishaps last week! Quick update: My arm is healing nicely, I haven’t been flooded in since, AND, my laptop is able to be repaired! YAHOO!!!

Don´t Cry Over Spilled Milk (err, I mean mango juice!)

 

Happy Friday!

On Monday, I met with an amazing woman with whom I was going to be delivering a workshop the following day.

I was thirsty, and as I had already had a coffee beverage, I decided to order a fresh mango juice to quench my thirst. Yum. Or so I thought.

First mistake.

The juice came, however as my friend and colleague had not yet arrived, I thought I would be polite and wait.

Second mistake. 

When she got there, I jumped up excitedly, wanting to show her just how pumped I was to see her.

Third mistake.

My arms, in their unbridled, unabashed manner, were flailing around, and must have somehow knocked over that tall, full, inviting glass of mango juice all over my laptop.

Yup. It happened.

I froze. Did that really just happen?!?  And in not wanting to shake or pour more mango juice on the table, I waited for one of the amazing baristas to come to my rescue. She turned it over, my friend got some cloths, and we wiped it down as best we could.

 

My friend was quick to look up what to do when spilling liquid on a laptop, I turned it upside down in a ‘V’ shape and let it sit. I assumed it would be fine. Nothing more came out. Worse case scenario? The keys would be a little sticky…

After our meeting, I went to buy a few bags of rice, with the intention to submerse the thing. I mean, it had worked for my phone years ago, surely it would work again? Now there also happened to be a group event that night, The Moth, and so in not wanting to miss out, I asked the bartender for a plastic bag, opened up my laptop within the bag, and poured rice all over the keyboard. Yes, in the bar. I asked a few friends and techies in the group if I was doing the right thing and got mixed messages. However none of them good. Mixed messages on the rice myth, however the consensus was not to attempt to turn it on for at least 24-48 hours.

WHAT?!?

I went home, and boy was it hard not to try to work on my laptop. In fact, I had to borrow my roomie’s…

In the morning, I was so tempted to test it out. Instead, I found out where a mac repair store was, optimistic to find out it wasn’t too far away and there was someone who spoke English.

I rushed over there, especially given the fact I was delivering a presentation not long afterwards… And that was another issue. How was I going to deliver my presentation without a laptop?

In any event, it wasn’t good. I’ll spare you all the details, however this lovely young gentleman, when he saw the look of distress on my face after hearing it wouldn’t be looked at today, offered to open it up during his lunch hour and clean it up. I was hesitant at first, however what So kind…. and he would get back to me.

Now again, being overly optimistic, I thought for sure it was in the bag, and that all would be well after the cleaning. Heck, I thought I may be getting away with a fast and freebie fix here!

No such luck.

In short, I am writing to you from my roomie’s iPad, as I am off for a few days adventure on the northern coast of Colombia, and want to have this ready to go in advance of Friday. My laptop is not responding, and my dude (still a nice guy, even though he wasn’t able to fix it…) says it’s not looking good. That being said, he said there is still a chance it may turn on a few days from now…

Okay, so I was a little stressed. A little frustrated. A little emotional.

I wanted to play the ‘what if’ game. Have a do-over. Replay all the steps thinking how many different ways it could have gone. But I know that just does more damage than good.

And then I spoke with my Dad, who talked me off the edge.

In his brilliant British accent, he said, ‘Come on, Carol. It’s a technical device. it’s not the end of the world!’

And he’s right.

It’s kinda ridiculous to think our laptops are our lifetime here. But they kinda are. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to get our work done. And yet, there is more to life than laptops.

Moral of the story?

Well, there are a few:

  • Be careful whenever you have mango juice. And perhaps keep well away from your laptop!
  • Be careful having any liquids near your technical devices.
  • Don’t trust rice. If your piece of technology ever gets damaged, take it to the experts right away
  • Never get too attached to any one device
  • Count your blessings. It could have been a lot worse.
  • Make sure you have insurance for those valuable items!!!
  • Stay positive and light. You´ll figure it out.

 

There has got to be a deeper reason why this has happened to me. Now again, I still want to believe it may somehow magically turn on after a few days, however I may have to take more drastic measures.

I’m leaving for the coast of northern Colombia or a few days of adventure tomorrow, and the thought going without a working laptop scares me a little. However, maybe it’s exactly what I need.

I shall keep you posted!

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 Any advice for me? Other thoughts? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

Wanna Be More Productive? Try Being Lazy. Allow me to explain…

My week in pics: Visiting a coffee farm, going horseback riding (with my new bestie Higa!) jumping in a waterfall during a rainstorm, doing a barrio tour, embarrassing myself during rumba and hip hop classes, indulging in a 13-course tasting menu (at one point we had to wash our hands in one chocolate!) enjoying a full day hike in a beautiful national park in the rain… 

Happy Friday!

And happy St. Patty’s Day! I have my green shamrock earrings on (yes, made sure I packed them when I left back in January… good thing I have my priorities straight!) and hope you’re sporting some green, too.

 

I had an epiphany this week. Contrary to what may make sense intellectually, maybe I’ll actually accomplish more by accomplishing less.

What do I mean?

It seems I’m trying to force being all one way all of the time, when it’s just not possible.

 

You want to be more productive? When was the last time you allowed yourself to be lazy?

You want to be happier? When was the last time you embraced your sadness?

You want to feel more connection? When was the last time you enjoyed time on your own?

 

Here’s the idea.

You can never be all of only one side of the spectrum, and none of the other. It just doesn’t work. And as long as we try, we’ll never win.

We’re never all one way with anything in life. We can’t ever just be one spoke of the wheel. We’re the whole wheel.

When I was completing my masters thesis, I used a theory called relational dialectics when examining end-of-life conversations.

Now stick with me here, I promise I’m not going to get all morbid on you, nor too academic.

However the theory speaks to the fact in every interaction, and in every dialogue, there are tensions at play. The three main ones are:

 

Autonomy-Connection:

We want to be connected to another individual, however at the same time be able to hang onto a sense of our own autonomy.

 

Openness-Closedness:

In our desire to build connection, we want to self-disclose certain information about ourselves. And, we also want to be sure to keep other things private.

 

Novelty-Predictability:

In our relationships we crave some newness to keep things exciting, however we also want to ensure we have certain rituals that make us feel comfortable and that we’re used to.

 

One of my ongoing struggles while being on this crazy Remote Year journey thus far, is trying to strike a balance between working and experiencing. And I’m not sure I’ve quite struck gold yet on that front.

And maybe it’s unrealistic to think I ever will.

First of all, I’m not sure balance even exists. And it’s not about being all in on one side without also embracing the opposite side, with respect to anything.

It’s about integration.

You’ll be more productive when you realize it’s okay to feel less than, or dare I say ‘lazy’ on occasion.

You’ll be happier when you realize it’s also okay to have off days.

And I bet you’ll experience increased connection when you realize you’re also perfectly fine on your own.

We don’t live in a black and white world. It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing. And although I’ve often said ‘go big or go home,’ perhaps that’s not necessarily the case.

So welcome both sides of the spectrum this week. Embrace it all. And perhaps in being okay with doing less, you’ll realize you’re actually doing more.

 

Have a FAB week!

Carol - high res

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on striving for integration instead of balance? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!