I am especially impressed with someone who will step out of the line of “existence” and move into the field of “excellence” in any field.
It is far too easy to become a woman who lives to “exist”. We go through the day, allowing the car of life to be driven by the status quo. Succumbing to peer pressure well beyond high school, we can feel awkward if we don’t fit in with the other women. We change our appearance based on the “average” and get to where it almost feels good to just “exist.” We carry excuses along like, “I don’t need to be a better wife until he’s a better husband.” Or “Other people try too hard; school days are for the kids.”
Life is like a down escalator. If we are not running up, we are riding down. In other words, if we are not doing the work to excel, we end at the bottom. Excel-lent women seem to be heading toward extinction in this crazy world. But girlfriend, you and I can stop Excellent Women from becoming an endangered species!
“Excelling” in any area takes work. Changing results in life starts with changing thinking, and believe me, thinking is the hardest work there is. Just ask my 11-year-old. I guess that’s what makes me so proud of women who challenge themselves to excel.
Fitness is the easiest category in which these truths show. If I am “excelling,” I have a different outcome than if I am merely “existing,” where my flab and I are sure to end at the bottom of the escalator. When I gained weight last spring, I didn’t feel like I had overeaten, or even stopped exercising, I had just stopped excelling. I “existed” on the treadmill in the morning at 4.0 mph. I had stopped counting food, and went with a relaxed “what feels right” attitude. And the pounds were found at the bottom of the escalator. I found an accountability partner, and she immediately adjusted my thinking: “Which burns more gas,” she asked, “a car that drives at 55 mph for 30 minutes or a car that goes 100mph, for a while, then 30mph for a while?” My 4mph treadmill was just a 55mph car. If I wanted to burn more, I needed to adjust and excel.
In finances, “existing” is doing what everyone else does. Buying due to the elation of the purchase, spending money on hair, makeup, or even phones all because “it’s normal” is merely existing. After all, have you heard of anyone these days who only has one car or one cell phone, or whose parents don’t pay for the teenager’s first everything? I had an eye opening on my lack of excelling in this area the first time our business made good money. I had been “the good wife,” buying used clothes for the kids, cooking instead of eating out and delaying gratification for long enough that when we hit a new level of income, I knew it was my time to let it loose! Always “budgeting” because I believe that is responsible to God who blessed me with the money, I had mentally decided I could afford 3 Starbucks $5-drinks a week. Starbucks was literally on the end of my street, and the caramel macchiato was the perfect afternoon treat (maybe not in the fitness category – LOL!). Then I did the math. $780. That would be $780 that I planned to give to Starbucks per year. No offense to Starbucks: but for me, to spend “excel-lently” would not include $780 toward drinks for my splurges. (Girlfriend, I am NOT condemning anyone who chooses it that way – please read on!) To “excel” in finances, my financial spending had to agree with my priorities in life. I had so many dollars in my pocket, and I wanted those dollars to be spent to agree with my heart. THINKING leads to EXCELLING in finances.
Twitter has made the word, “followers,” a common term. We who “tweet” type online, and our “followers” will see it on their screen when they log on to Twitter. Whether on Twitter or not, every person on earth has “followers”: people who see, hear, or are touched by their influence. Whether good or bad, our influence reaches others. The woman who had a fit on the plane because she was in the middle seat, influenced me to realize she thought I deserved the lesser seat. (I immediately offered to switch – which she declined- unwilling to take help offered by me, a mere peasant. Lol!) The woman who, despite embarrassment, patiently helped her screaming 2-yr-old work out his disappointment that the security employee broke his toy train, reminded me that the child would remember her patient love long after he plays with trains. My friend, Eve, who came at the drop of a hat to help me move my parents’ things before the charity closed, bringing her four kids in tow influenced 1. Me: I was so incredibly blessed by her willing heart. 2. Her children: They watched their mom go beyond her current circumstances to help someone else. 3. The people who received the goods for the charity (and their children who also participated) 4. My parents who were so impressed that such people exist even today. Of course, I know Eve isn’t just existing; she is excelling, and influencing her followers to do the same.
Girlfriend, I love how my husband declared war on the status quo long ago. It has made such a difference in our family. By examining and excelling, we surpass existing, bringing women of excellence as examples out of extinction and into exceptional living. Exactly!
Thanks for being my extraordinary reading friend who is more “extra” than “ordinary”!