Two Roads and Empathy

I have always been fascinated with the many points in life where we face forks in the road.  None of us can escape these forks!  Robert Frost gave us beautiful advice when he told us “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by; and that has made all the difference.”

Whenever I reflect on Frost’s advice, I always feel a surge of inspiration to make better choices aligned with my life purpose.  And the advice is always right on: I end up feeling more fulfilled, having more fun, and creating more abundance than if I had played small.  Yet, what if the fork on the road is less about playing “small” vs. “big”, but a decision that creates more serious consequences?

When I moved to the US from the Dominican Republic in middle school, I encountered quite a bit of bullying.  I went straight into ESL classes; the bit of English language that I did know was filled with interesting pronunciations (e.g. I used to say the number three as “tree”, and athletic sneakers as the chocolate bar “snickers”…I now consider these quite cute!) and a slew of instability did not help the situation.  Fast-forward years later: I had graduated from the Wharton School and had started a job at JPMorgan when I went to the movies and decided to buy some popcorn.  When it was time to order, I realized the person serving was one of my worst, scariest bullies.  She was as shocked to see me as I was shocked to see her!  We started talking and she told me how after our time together in middle school, she started hanging out with the wrong crowd at her high school.  She enrolled at the local community college but ended up dropping out.  At that moment she expressed how she was trying to get things back in order.  I was shocked and sad; she had been considered one of the smartest girls in the class. 

At some point we are all middle schoolers.  And at some point after that, we start making different choices.  What if those choices are the difference between fulfillment and frustration? Joy and resentment? Stability and depression? This could not be more clearly exemplified than by the example below.  Please take a look at this video, where two classmates that played in the school yard together meet again in the most surprising of circumstances. 

What can YOU do TODAY?

  • Can you remember a time when you faced a fork in the road with others, and can now see how lucky and blessed you are to have taken a more fortunate path?  When I go back to middle school and realize my bully was as young and innocent as I was when we faced our fork in the road, I feel a tremendous amount of empathy towards her.
  • Is there someone in your life right now that is causing you stress? If you close your eyes right now and visualize them as 3, 5, or 7 years old, what opens up within your heart?

I would love to hear from you, so please leave any comments or questions below!  What forks in the road have you faced?  How have you made different choices you are now grateful for?  If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and family!

Lots of love,

Judit

Video: Steve Jobs and the people around you

In my previous post, I shared Steve Jobs' advice on what is needed to stay at the top (if you missed it, you can read it here) from the TV documentary Steve Jobs: One Last Thing.  Today, I want to share the second most impactful moment I found in the film.  I believe I had heard this piece of advice before, but remembered it only vaguely.  Now that I’ve come across it again, it empowers me even further to continue to forge my way forward.  Here it goes:

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.”

How often have we not thought that someone else is better than us?  Or may more important than us?  Maybe it is someone we have heard of that has had great success.  Maybe it is our boss, or our bosses’ boss.  Maybe it is a wealthier person.  Maybe it is a celebrity.  Yet, it is much more likely that the gap we see between them and us is a result of something different than just a greater level of competence.  Their success could be a result of hard work, discipline, risk-taking, even faith.  Things that ARE accessible to us as well, but which we do not explore because we immediately think someone is just “better” than us.  Often, we do not even seek to understand the person we admire…we just “imagine” that they must have access to things we do not have access to. 

Watch the video below and consider Steve Job’s advice.  The change you want in your life could be as accessible as a shift in perception.  

What are your thoughts? Do you think we let our own fears of others around us limit or intimidate us? I would love to hear from you, so please leave any comment or question below.  If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and family!

Lots of love,

Judith

No Limitations: Entrepreneur and New Mother

At the Latino Community Foundation, a great organization based in California

At the Latino Community Foundation, a great organization based in California

I was fortunate to be interviewed by Latin Business Today recently.  I would love to share the interview will you as I believe you might enjoy it.  You can find the interview by clicking here.  I hope this is of service to you!  I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.  If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and family!

Lots of love,

Judith

Video: Steve Jobs and Losing Yourself

Audio option! Just hit play below.  Remember to subscribe to my Podcast series on iTunes so you get these right away when they are uploaded.  

Recently I saw the TV documentary Steve Jobs: One Last Thing, which was pretty good.  There were two great moments in the film, both of which I will share with you, though today I  would like to focus on my favorite moment as it goes to the core of my work and message.

In the film, there is a snippet of the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates interview that occurred in the 2007 D5 conference.  Answering a question about Apple’s troubles once he left the company and before he returned again as CEO, Steve Jobs said:  

“There were too many people at Apple and in the Apple ecosystem playing a game that ‘for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose’.  And it was clear you didn’t have to play that game.  Because Apple wasn’t going to beat Microsoft.  Apple didn’t have to beat Microsoft.  Apple had to remember who Apple was, because it had forgotten who Apple was.”

I paused the video and replayed the response.  Several times.  What greater proof do we want, than this from one of the greatest companies of our times, to support the Living On Purpose message?  That the only way we will win in this game of life is to truly be ourselves and bring forward our unique gifts and talents?  We are so scared to do that because we believe it’s too risky.  We believe the world works in a certain way and that if you stray too far away from that way, you will lose.  And you will lose really badly.  And others (like your family) will be brought down with you.  Thus, we forget who we are.  We get caught up in comparisons, and in “beating” those people that we believe are in competition with us.  Yet the message is clear.  Don’t worry about beating others as much as worrying about remembering who you are and what is unique to you that makes you DARN good

Check out Steve Jobs talk about this by going to 16 minutes 40 seconds in this video: 

I hope this is of service to you!  I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or question.  If you enjoyed this article, I would be honored if you share it with your friends, family, and community.

Lots of love,

Judith

 

Do this and elevate your life!

Audio option in English! Just hit play to your right.  

Subscribe to my Podcast on iTunes or Android.

I recently filmed one of my segments for Alimenta Tu Alma on Al Dia.  As always the segment is in Spanish, but here’s a translation of what I spoke about to our dear audience.

This past summer I found myself short tempered and irritable.  My family was in the midst of a move while I was entering my second trimester of pregnancy.  Finding a new home, packing, unpacking, and everything else that entails moving was taking up almost all of our spare time.  In the midst of the experience I found my energy was low, and this was causing me to show up in life in ways that I did not want to. 

This has happened to me before and I know exactly what to do…I have to elevate my energy so I can elevate my life!  

So how does one do that? Take action!  Start doing an activity that will elevate your energy.  The best thing to do is to have a list of things that bring you incredible joy handy.  I keep mine on my phone.  Whenever I am angry, anxious, glum, etc. I can easily scan this list and choose an activity that is doable for me wherever I am.  Here are some of the things on my list:

  • Seeing a good movie (either at the movie theater or on Netflix)
  • Watching one of my favorite TV shows (Barefoot Contessa or Anthony Bourdain here I come!)
  • Cleaning out my closet
  • Having lunch with a friend
  • Exercising
  • Spending time on Pinterest
  • Reading the food section on the NYTimes
  • Going on a walk

Some of these I can do immediately, some might be a phone call away, others require a bit of planning.  That’s all OK.  The important thing is to have this list handy so you can get into action immediately.  As soon as you go into action, you will start elevating your energy.  As soon as you start elevating your energy, you elevate your life.     

So here’s the deal: When your energy is low, you will not want to motivate to do the above activities.  That’s why you need to have your list easily available.  It will help you find light and hope in the midst of your mood.  My questions for you are as follows:

  • Do you love yourself enough to take the time to identify what these activities are in your life?  Just come up with a few right now, as you are reading this article. Maybe just 3-5.  Type them into your phone.  Right now.   
  • Do you love yourself enough to perform these activities?  Just one baby step of doing this will change your life in that moment.  Do you care enough about yourself to do that?  Sometimes we want to sit in our pain and throw ourselves a pity party.  Play the victim role and blame everyone in our lives for our situation.  It’s the easy thing to do.  I challenge you to love yourself more than that to fall into that trap.  You deserve a better way of living.

What are some of the activities that elevate your energy?  We would love to hear from you, so please share them here! You will give us some great ideas that we can incorporate into our own lives.  Either way, I would love to hear from you, so please leave any comments or questions below.  If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and family!

Lots of love,

Judith

How to open up to someone’s point of view

How to open up to someone’s point of view

Some of the toughest times we can have are when we cannot see things from a different perspective or from someone else’s point of view. We remain at a standstill, stuck and unable to move forward.  The most frustrating and debilitating part is being aware that we are stuck and believing that we cannot and will not be able to move forward.  Well, the good news is that with (1) willingness and (2) committed work, getting unstuck and seeing someone else’s point of view is possible.  Here is how to do it. 

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Choose love not fear!

I wanted to share my recent segment on Al Dia with Leticia Mendoza.  Though it is in Spanish, here is a translated summary of what I spoke about :)

“Something that changed my life was to learn that all of our decisions come from one of two places: Love or Fear.  I wrote about this a while back here.  At all times, we have a choice as to where we make decisions from.  Here is an example:  You might want to ask for a raise at work.  Fear tells you: Do not shake things up, you are well where you are, be satisfied with what you have. Love tells you: Make a list of all the things you contribute at your job, evaluate them, value them, and knowing this ask for what you deserve.  Fear will want you to live a small life, giving examples of all the disasters that may occur.  The problem is that eventually fear creates a life filled with bitterness and resentment. Many years of making decisions in a place of fear results in a frustrated life.  To avoid this and to make sure you live the best life you can live, do the following the next time you have a decision to make:

  • Ask yourself the question: What would be an answer coming from a place of love, not fear?
  • Note the feelings that occur within you:
  • An answer that comes from fear will mainly have negative feelings of low energy, such as sadness or anger
  • An answer that comes from love will have more positive feelings, such as hope
  • Choose the answer that comes from a place of love

In the same way, when you feel low and negative energy I recommend that you ask: ‘Where am I making my decisions from, Fear or Love?’ This question will help you center around that which is most important to you.   Choose to take your actions from a place of love and I assure you that you will not only enjoy life much more, but also live with more peace, honoring everything that is important to you.  And now here's the surprise ... when you begin to practice this, you might start taking unexpected actions.  I assure you that these actions will be the way to your individual and unique happiness.”

Lots of love,

Judith

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Start your day better with this

Start your day better with this

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Happiness is easier than you think

Happiness is easier than you think

Did you know that research has found that happiness is: 50% Genetic, set by the genes you have inherited from your family; 10% Extrinsic, impacted by the amount of money, social status, or job we might have; and 40% Intrinsic, created by our internal state of mind driven by the intentional activities we do daily?  Yes, you just read this correctly.  And this is how you can impact 40% of your happiness with the activities you intentionally choose to take daily.  

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What to do when you have had a bad day

What to do when you have had a bad day

Sometimes, we have unexpected bad days that come out of nowhere.  Our computer crashes deleting hours of hard work.  A fire drill at work derails all of our plans.  We get into a fight with a family member.  Often, when these things happen, we fall into the trap of ruminating in our head for much more time than we should.  Here’s how to keep a bad day from becoming two or three bad days.  

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