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Encouraging Tips for Embracing Your First Step

Life is a journey. The imagery for envisioning our individual paths varies based on the unique experiences of each person. My path embraces the natural terrain of a peaceful forest. Patches of sunlight peek through the leaves as I walk, delivering warm positive thoughts. Of course, some stretches of the path are rocky. I’ve hiked through thunderstorms. My heart has been bitten by frigid snow as well. Still – I keep going. I know storms end. I have faith the darkness of night will be expelled by a benevolent sun.

Take Your First Positive Step! © _Danoz – stock.adobe.com

Our journeys don’t stay on a single path. Life is full of byways and turns. Each decision we make takes us on a new trail. If we are wise, then we will use what we have learned from past excursions.

Encouraging Tips for The Next Leg of Your Journey

  • Reflect with an open and forgiving mind as you look back on your journey
  • Be Compassionate with yourself and others. You didn’t have the knowledge then that you do now
  • Let the past go, taking with you only the things that will aid you in future trails
  • Banish the fear. Embrace the new!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Which Bucket Will You Fill in The New Year?

Thoughts are like water buckets waiting to be filled. One bucket holds positive thoughts we use to inspire our dreams and give us confidence. The other bucket contains negative thoughts from the droning self-doubts we whisper to ourselves each day.

@biker3 – Stock.Adobe.Com

Each thought, act or wish puts a little water into a bucket. As the positive bucket spills over, it washes us with creative energy. We accomplish our goals and feel good about the work we’ve done.

If the negative bucket fills first, we are drenched in dirty, putrid fluid. The stain upon our self-confidence is nearly impossible to clean away. It can take years to overcome just one splash from this bucket.

As we head into the new year, think about the words you whisper to yourself. Are they kind and encouraging? Or are you dragging the smelly bucket of negative thoughts into the new year?

@Tierney – Stock.Adobe.Com

From me and mine to you and yours

Happy New Year,

C.R. Richards

Not Another Retrospective. Ugh.


One of the most important tasks a project manager performs at the end of a project is close-out. The project manager and her team wrap things up neatly before moving on to the next thing. One of the most important tasks within this close-out phase of the project is to conduct a “lessons learned” session with the team and the folks who paid her to complete the project. The group typically sits around a table to talk about what they did right and what they could do better next time. It may not sound like a critical activity, but these lessons learned sessions have covered my back side more than once. I’ve also taken what I’ve learned from one project close out and used it to avoid problems on future endeavors.

And so, here we go on my lessons learned from 2014 as a Writer:

  1. Stay true to my dream. It became clear to me this past year, in order to reach my writing career goals I would have to take risks by Indie Publishing. Thus I became a Hybrid Author. I released two works of Indie fiction in 2014.
    1. Are they represented by a major literary agency? No.
    2. Were they picked up by one of the big houses? No.
    3. Am I pleased with them and proud of my accomplishments. Yes!
    4. Did creating in my art form make me happy? You bet!
  2. Life is like the weather. I can’t control it. The best I can do is prepare for the storms and hold on tight. Oh yeah. And have chocolate on hand
  3. Don’t be too quick to follow the crowd. If I must try new social media trends, make sure I’m actually getting something out of it. Don’t let it become just another time sucker. I’m talking about you, Facebook!
  4. I remembered why I write. It isn’t for the fame. It isn’t for the hope of a fat royalty check. It isn’t for the ego strokes either. I write…scratch that. I tell stories, because that’s what storytellers do. I and others like me have been sharing our imaginations since the beginning. We tell our stories, because the world has, does and always will need to hear them.

These are the lessons I’ve learned from 2014. I’m going to carry them to the next year with me to draw strength from and use for my next new thing. Anything else I can’t use stays in the past. Don’t drag negatives with you. Start fresh from a positive foundation. Each project/ year/ relationship is different. Embrace the difference and enjoy the ride.