It's All About The Windows



What Goals Are Within Your Sight?

Virginia Ritterbusch

Shakespir Edition
Copyright © 2017 Virginia Ritterbusch

All rights reserved: No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of embodied brief quotations and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

The information in this book is the opinion of the author based on personal experience and creative thinking. The author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any responsibility for your actions.

[email protected]

Edited by Nancy Pile: http://www.zoowrite.com
Interior book design and formatting by Angie Mroczka: http://authorsoul.com

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Windows of Opportunity

Chapter 2: Make It a Treasure Hunt

Chapter 3: Engage in Discovery

Chapter 4: Sound the Gun

Chapter 5: Purpose and Vigor

Chapter 6: Hope-Filled Risks

Chapter 7: Expectancy

Chapter 8: What’s Within Your Sight?

Call to Action

About the Author

Before You Go

Chapter 1

Windows of Opportunity

CREATING CHANGE LIFE COACHING was founded on the principle that changes in life are attainable by anyone who chooses to examine their circumstances from a questioning perspective and follow that assessment with energy committed to a new direction in life.

CREATING CHANGE in life begins with the knowledge that something could be different from your familiar routines, habits, or behaviors that may cause you to question your present circumstances. Questioning your status quo may create a desire in you to further contemplate making a change in your life. This is the beginning of change.

READING THIS SHORT BOOK can begin to help you expand on dreams or desires you have contemplated over the years. Reading this short book will begin to make you pose the question, “Why is it acceptable for others to expand their enjoyment and balance in life but not me?” Reading this short book may cause you to ask, “What about me?” I pray that this book triggers those questions in you—and opens the possibility for change and growth in your life.

INITIATING THE START of working toward your aspirations is truly only a moment away from reality. It is the deliberate systematic accumulation of those moments that culminate in and enable purposeful change over time.

WHAT IF YOU could grow your desires and make them come true? What if you could get more organized, change jobs, improve your time management, organize a closet, move to a new location, find more leisure time, or meet any number of needs you feel would bring more balance and health to your life? These are all desirable goals worth considering.

WE HAVE ALL HEARD the phrase, window of opportunity, and understand it to mean a short time period during which an otherwise unattainable opportunity exists. Without fast decision-making and action—the window sometimes closes too quickly. After the window of opportunity closes, the opportunity is extinguished—it is lost.

YOU MIGHT THINK, “It’s no big deal! The opportunity will present itself again in the future.” Unfortunately, you may be wrong—it may never be repeated, or it could be a very long time before it presents itself again, and the circumstances will not likely be identical. Time, your most precious commodity, will have been lost.

HOWEVER, IF THE OPPORTUNITY registers as a cognitive thought, and you take it away to develop into a new course of action based upon the new understanding, insight, or information, then it is not a lost opportunity. You have passively acted upon a window of opportunity through your listening, absorbing, and building a plan of action. If that is the case, the moment of opportunity has been seized.

AN OPPORTUNITY MEANS having the chance to insert a thought, statement, question, or action of significance into your thinking, usual routines, circumstances, or dialogues either in a present moment or used as fodder in moving forward. The thought, comment, or action of significance can initiate potential life-impacting changes that could alter usual tendencies, behaviors, or future outcomes. The thought, comment, or action perpetuates the new start.

THE LIFE-IMPACTING decision, behavior, statement, or question you may insert into your windows of opportunity may seem small at the time; however, they can alter the course of your thinking, change a perspective that invites you to proceed in a new direction, or empower you with positive energy to move forward with confidence. Those life-impacting insertions begin the process of change—they get the ball rolling inviting further development.

LOOKING FOR windows of opportunity can lead to your finding the moments where you can insert new direction in your life, take on a challenge, or stretch yourself beyond what feels comfortable to you; thus, you’re proving to yourself change is possible. Looking for opportunity leads to learning, thinking innovatively, and responding to life differently.

ALLOW INNOVATIVE THINKING to be your doorway to wanting and needing to look for your opportunities. Can you begin to see how these tiny steps begin to link together to build toward your growth?

OPPORTUNITIES PRESENT themselves continuously when your mind is eagerly anticipating and looking for their appearance. If the windows seem impossible to find, then let’s look for the vents.

VENTS ARE NARROW OPENINGS that allow air in and out of spaces. You only need a tiny vent opening to draw in a small puff of air that will oxygenate a space and start the air to circulate, creating a vacuum that pulls in more oxygen to supply your idea with life-supporting energy. Think of your ideas as little vacuums pulling in an energizing stream of oxygen to fuel their needed growth. Nurture your ideas by assembling the vents.

SEE THE VENTS as opportunities. You can either sequentially link together the small vent spaces to further develop an idea or link them into a single timeslot. You could also take a series of disjointed vent-sized spaces to insert several related but independent ideas or actions, that when added together, will result in the accomplishment of one or more steps toward your desired goal.

MOMENTS LINK TOGETHER to become the infrastructure of your minutes, and the minutes add together to create a 7-minute timeslot and eventually a 15-minute period of time. The vents will begin to build your confidence in looking for and finding more vents to construct into moments and finally the larger timeslots.

THIS IDEA OF COLLECTING a series of timeslots has great potential and can yield enough accumulated time to produce something significant. You can discover coveted time so long as you set your mind’s eye on doing so.

MY FATHER TAUGHT ME the concept of using regularly accumulated timeslots to enable completion of larger tasks. My parents purchased a money-pit of a house that needed extensive renovation while we lived in it. Weekends were occupied with family activities, so finding time over the weekends for renovation projects was not realistic.

LOOKING FOR HIS OPPORTUNITIES to find the much-needed time for house construction turned his attention to looking for slots of regular time, which he could accumulate in order to make progress. He discovered he had two hours, five days each week, after getting children in bed and before he went to sleep, when he could consistently work toward the goal of a modernized home. It was his frustration and desperation that forced him to think creatively. Face your frustration and desperation, and use it to create forward movement.

LOOKING FOR WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY requires you to consciously set your mind in a scouring mindset so that your environments and circumstances reveal a plethora of opportunities to you as you move through your days. The numerous chances detected begin to alter how you usually navigate life because now you see the potential for growth if you cash in on this collection of timeslots to be used toward personal gain.

SETTING YOUR MIND into a search mode to continually explore your environments and circumstances for windows of opportunity requires awareness of when an opportunity is being presented and creativity in how to use it.

Chapter 2

Make It a Treasure Hunt

A SCOURING MINDSET means you are on the lookout hawking for opportunities in personal growth, improving your life situation, building character, or simply adding enrichment to your life. Enriching your life may feel selfish, but it not only benefits you, your experiences will benefit everyone through your sharing.

AWARENESS AND A MINDSET POSED for action will lead to your success in finding your windows of opportunity. Maintaining a mental awareness of what you are seeking as your primary focus entering every situation and dialogue throughout your days will yield your opportunities. That may sound “calculating”— and it is. However, in this context, I use “calculating” to mean being alert for opportunities and poised for action to improve your situation. Using the new perspective (being alert) from which to approach life simply means you are being proactive. “Calculating” becomes an attribute.

MAINTAINING AWARENESS throughout your day requires you to make sure awareness is your top priority 24/7. Seizing a moment that will perpetuate your growth and potential can be like going on a treasure hunt. Make it a game—sharpen your mental awareness and keep it turned on at all times. Becoming vigilant in your searching is imperative.

THERE ARE TWO PERSPECTIVES from which to work during any moment of your day: “Is there a way in which I can use this present moment to challenge myself?” or “Is there a way I might challenge the situation to bring myself value” These two perspectives seem very similar; therefore, I will break them down.

CHALLENGING YOURSELF would mean using a present moment to take a risk for the purpose of stretching your comfort zone and experimenting in life by doing something out of your usual routine or behavior in order to challenge one of your negative core beliefs or self-imposed rules. The risk-taking could bring potential growth. Suppose you are invited by friends to join them to train for a half marathon. None of you has ever competed before. Your first reaction is negative because this idea is uncomfortable to you. However, lately you have been thinking about implementing an exercise program as a healthy habit. Suddenly you see this discomfort as an opportunity to stretch yourself socially, athletically, and in habit making. You decide it is a safe risk and seize the opportunity.

CHALLENGING A SITUATION to bring value to yourself could be taking a statement made by another person and asking a question that promotes the consideration of another point of view. You might also contribute to that statement and build upon it to increase its dimension. Others can link that contribution to you, adding to your sense of value. An opportunity such as this might present itself at work during a meeting and you use the situation to add to or expand on someone else’s idea. In that case, you would feel proud of your contribution, which would reinforce your belief that you are an asset to the office.

BECOME THE CURATOR of your thoughts throughout the day by maintaining an objective perspective at all times. Step outside of moments, focus on, and really listen to and hear what’s going on. Enter every dialogue or circumstance by searching for ways you can use that dialogue or circumstance to challenge it, learn from it, and grow from it.

GRANTED, AT FIRST you may only be able to recognize one or two of these moments “after the fact”—but after you have accumulated a number of after-the-fact moments, you will become more eagle-eyed and better able to act on those opportunities in the moment to implement your challenge on the spot. Becoming quick to recognize opportunities is an acquired skill. Be patient with yourself—criticism of yourself is negative energy that will interfere with your ability to turn on your awareness skill because your mind will be filled with chatter that prevents focus.

IN FACT, when beginning to scan your environments and horizons for windows of opportunity, smaller challenges work better so that you do not feel overwhelmed by the thought of stepping far outside of your usual behaviors.

THE MEMORY OF AN OPPORTUNITY I have used on many occasions is when I have been in a store and I am struggling with the dilemma of making a decision between buying something I really want but knowing it is something that I do not really need. I find myself deliberating over the object while my imagination reinforces all the wonderful ways in which the purchase will help me look more stylish or make our home more organized—sound familiar? I have learned to recognize the stress stirring inside of myself over the anticipation of how great it will be to have the purchase in my possession versus understanding that making the purchase will stretch our budget.

MY OBLIGATION to my spouse and our household budget is fighting with my perceived need. This is a reoccurring dilemma in my life, so I have become prompt in recognizing it and using it as another opportunity to build my character. In my moment of turmoil, I ask myself, “What do I want more—wrestling with myself to justify the purchase or sensing the feeling of pride?” The pride for staying committed to our common goals will be more important to me in the long run.

AS SOON AS I use this moment of indecision to develop my character, my perceived need for the purchase slips into second place over doing the “right thing” to perpetuate harmony within our home and with our pocketbook. By the time I leave the store, I am relieved and at ease with myself. I know very well that I will not really miss the item, and I feel good about myself.

Chapter 3

Engage in Discovery

INITIATING CHANGE IN LIFE starts with your dreams. The moment you begin to entertain a hope or an idea of change is the moment the process begins. That single moment will generate the energy needed for every subsequent moment in your process of change. Every energized moment leads you forward. The deliberate systematic accumulation of moments that culminate in and enable purposeful change over time is what brings change to fruition.

IF YOU ARE EXCITED by the idea of change, then you need to be open to shifting around your present schedule to fit in the steps necessary to create change. This is why implementing change is all about the windows. You will have to discover where the opportunities for time exist so that the new activity, the one that correlates with your aspirations, can fit into your schedule. How do you presently allocate your time, and what needs to be altered in order to build your dream? Look at your entire day—how much time do you spend on social media? Would reallocating that time provide you with the time you are looking for? Do the momentary connections on social media bring you lasting satisfaction? Crafting your dream by devoting accumulated moments of time and building toward your goals will bring long-term fulfillment.

WHAT ARE YOUR DESIREABLE GOALS? You have the ability to create change in your life. How could you bring some creativity into your life? What in your life needs to change so that you can feel more content?

SOME GOALS that may have flashed before your eyes—

p<>{color:#000;}. Implementing an exercise program

p<>{color:#000;}. Learning to fly an airplane

p<>{color:#000;}. Augmenting your education

p<>{color:#000;}. Returning to a hobby—photography, woodworking, sewing

p<>{color:#000;}. Moving to a different part of the country or world

p<>{color:#000;}. Changing jobs or starting your own business

p<>{color:#000;}. Traveling

p<>{color:#000;}. Joining a church, mosque, temple, synagogue, or spiritual group

p<>{color:#000;}. Bringing more balance into your life

p<>{color:#000;}. Bringing your talents to the forefront of your day

p<>{color:#000;}. Researching ways to attend to your health without depending on prescriptions

PAUSE HERE and allow yourself to see, feel, or hear what in your heart desires change. Take a few minutes to dream a few things about your life that you wish you could change. Consider how the talents and skills that flash across your horizons can be used or expanded upon to bring more fulfillment to your life or work. Take this momentary opportunity to discover and jot down three changes that what might be stirring within you and that are trying to get recognized.

p<>{color:#000;}. ______________________________________________________

p<>{color:#000;}. ______________________________________________________

p<>{color:#000;}. ______________________________________________________

THIS IS EXCITING! You feel something being stirred inside. You feel some interest, excitement, or energy rising. Thinking about one of these changes gives you hope. Let’s hang onto and work with this new hope energy and turn it into discovery energy.

BEGIN TO VERBALIZE your desire even if it is only to yourself. Use your discovery energy to grow it from a fleeting thought to a fully stated wish for its potential outcome. Spend time daydreaming about it. Start to talk about it as a future reality. Share it with a friend or family member. See and sense their obvious enthusiasm. You are engaging in discovery. Every incremental effort you take at affirming your hope is an important step toward perpetuating your journey.

ALLOW YOURSELF the right to step outside the usual boundaries you place upon yourself so that you too can attain what others have achieved. Everyone has to start somewhere, and all of us have stood at a starting gate at various points in life. You are no different, you have needs and desires, and you are entitled to work toward your goals. Engage in discovering your pathway.

COMMIT TO AND PROMISE yourself that you will work with determination to bring your goals to fruition even if it takes time to learn new skills or create a new habit. You deserve new opportunities for growth, and you owe it to yourself to say, “YES, I want this change.” You have the right to make the effort and spend the time on this new objective. You are worth this effort, and it is worth the time and the commitment necessary for you to succeed. You are making a great investment in yourself, and those close to you will benefit, too.

THE POSSIBIITY FOR FINDING OPPORTUNITIES is as vast as your imagination allows. If you have a dream, desire, and hope—you will find the opportunities to seek your desire and create your new reality by keeping your scouring mindset and maintaining your commitment.

I COMMITTED TO MY DREAM OF A FULL RECOVERY following two cancer surgeries and chemotherapy. In growing this ambitious wish into a full-fledged goal, I determined that as I regained strength, I would need to make room for consistent exercises in my daily schedule. I constructed a realistic plan based on my knowledge of the time needed for the body to recover from such an ordeal. It was a progressive plan—meaning I knew I needed to gently push myself, but within the limits of what could be expected after such procedures.

MY PLAN FOR EXERCISE consisted of a very short daily walk, gradually lengthening the walk a few minutes at a time until I felt I was able to handle walking on a small hill. After months of gradually increasing my endurance, I was able to include a yoga class one or two times each week. When I first started the yoga classes, I frequently did not hold the individual poses for the full length of time, nor was I able to move quickly or with easy balance between the poses. That is the beautiful part of yoga—it allows for individualization and self-adjustment on a day-to-day basis. Honoring the physical needs of my body in each moment kept the daily goals achievable and prevented burnout or overload from interfering with the traction toward my ultimate goal.

[]Chapter 4

Sound the Gun

IN ORDER TO GROW, you need to stretch beyond your familiar habits and stretch outside of your comfort zones or previous experiences. As stated, finding windows of opportunity means continually scanning your moment-to-moment environments searching for your windows, recognizing when a window presents itself, then using that found opportunity for growth—no matter how tiny that vent or window may appear. Grab hold of the moment, allow yourself to react, and celebrate the birth of your dream.

CHANGE BEGINS with incremental steps. You can begin to think about how you want something to be different or changed in your mind: you may hear it, see it, or think it for a fleeting second, shrug your shoulders, and get onto the task at hand, having decided that you do not have the time today and that it is beyond your reach for numerous reasons. Examine those reasons, question their validity, and measure their importance in relation to whom they serve. Who will benefit from this change? How will this change improve your family’s life? What will this change look like in time? Will this change be detrimental to anyone in any way?

ARE YOU HESITANT to buy into the idea of looking for change in your life? Might the reason for your hesitation stem from your thinking you are not entitled to grow or you feel underserving? If that is the case, how is it acceptable for others to make changes and improvements to their lives but not you?

EVERYONE DREAMS about changing some aspect of their life and thinking about that change is a vitally important one—it breathes life into our bodies. The fact that you may be starting to think about a change is the beginning of the change process. Thinking about it means there is something inside or you that is scratching its way to the surface and wants to be heard. Your job is to listen to and help mature that need or desire. Change cannot occur by just thinking it, wanting it, or hoping for it. More times than not, those ideas and wishes never get past the transient dreaming stage. This is a loss! Hang onto your dreams and develop them into reality.

EVERYONE HAS AN INNER VOICE that is trying to get attention. Those voices need to be listened to. So, look for the windows of opportunity to communicate with your heart in order to discover your inner need, hear your voice, and see your potential for achieving the change you wish for. Inner voices or desires of the heart must be heard, valued, and advocated for. Nurture and parent yourself.

IF ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN needs some sort of attention—kissing a wound, feeding them dinner, or driving them to the mall, you listen to their need and try to meet it. You try to provide your child with their expressed desire. Your desire for change deserves the same parenting.

TIME TO SOUND THE GUN and bust you out of the starting gate, so you can visualize how to begin to initiate the task of taking the next step and then how to move beyond that. Find and connect your moments of opportunity to start to plan your change. Driving or commuting is a great opportunity to become engaged in planning.

AN INITIAL STEP might be making a list of a few action items toward your goal, like buying exercise clothes for a fitness routine, taking the time to place a specific phone call to get information about a desired change, researching labor and material costs for a building project, or simply sharing with someone that you are thinking about a particular goal. All of these actions would yield significant steps toward converting the dream in your thoughts and heart into tangible progress.

OUR DAUGHTER SHARED her life’s goal with me when she was about 8 or 9 years old. She was born in Colombia and at ten days old became a member of our family. Her goal was to go back to Bogotá as an adult to help children living on the street. She made steps to act on that dream throughout her university studies. Through academic programs at West Virginia University and Florida International University, she returned to Bogotá twice to conduct undergraduate and post-graduate research on street children. Our daughter self-perpetuated each step along her path. She was self-driven and independent, so as parents, we simply encouraged and helped her in whatever way possible, such as facilitating her seven-week living experience in Spain one summer, so she could become more fluent with the Spanish language.

OUR DAUGHTER HAS LIVED in Colombia since 2008 and is now a professor in the school of government at the University of the Andes in Bogotá where she is involved with government research and policy related to marginalized populations. Throughout her teenage and adult studies she never wavered in her goal; however, there were many times she was unsure of the next step outside of her educational objectives. She regularly needed to look for evolving opportunities through which she would move forward toward success. She needed to adjust her plans and modify her course of action based on her changing circumstances. This is what we all must do—our circumstances are continuously changing, bringing us new or different opportunities from which to move forward—but that doesn’t mean our goals have to change. It means we need to be able to adapt our plans and not get discouraged.

OUR SON, on the other hand, had the dream of flight from the age of three. He was more open to our helping him navigate his path to success through educational pathways. He earned his private pilot’s license at the age of 18. He continued to pursue his dream of commercial flight through the Naval Academy, which led to flight training upon commissioning. He now is a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

THEY BOTH HAD DREAMS, they both were self-motivated, they both sought out opportunities, they both needed our support and parental involvement—albeit in different ways—and they both met with success. Everybody must find their way, and you can, too.

JUST AS WE PARENT our children, we must parent our own selves to make plans that lay out the steps needed, so we can attain our dreams. We helped both of our children in accordance with their needs to meet their objectives, just as you will customize mentoring yourself to meet your particular goals.

[]Chapter 5

With Purpose and Vigor

WHEN YOU KNOW what you want and what is standing in the way of that desire, you can look for your windows—windows of opportunity—to experiment with and try different ways of interacting with life or taking the steps toward your goal.

THERE IS A PROCESS to creating change. Creating change requires purpose and vigor. President John F. Kennedy, Jr., used the word “vigor” in a number of his presidential speeches to instill a feeling of measureable energy to his audience—his goal was to create the vision of measurable energy and attach that to his presidency making it synonymous with his term in office. Only with his Bostonian dialect, “vigor” was heard as “vigah.” JFK wanted to convey a concept of vitality and force with the word “vigah,” so he used it frequently. Creating change in your life will require consistent dedication to your cause with measureable energy—great “vigah.”

YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON who needs to feel the purpose and vigor to maintain momentum and carry that energy forward. However, your friends and family will feel and absorb that vigor from you, which in turn will build their interest and excitement in your goals—they will jump on board to contribute their support and encouragement. Your vigor will enlist them into your plan and make them partners. Sometimes maintaining energy comes easily when we are excited about something and feeling in a positive frame of mind. At other times, it can be very difficult to harness and maintain that energy level when our critical voices sabotage our positive energy. Those sways from high to low can shift back and forth quickly. It will be during these times that you need to self-coach your way back to the purpose and vigor required to move forward. It will be at these times that your support team will be critical. Share your goals and build your support.

SOMETIMES, we do not feel entitled to make a change. Sometimes we cannot see beyond the obstacles or barriers in our path. Some barriers or obstacles can be lack of time, money, or personal support, feeling stuck, uncertainty, or logistics, to name a few. Just the idea of creating a change may feel overwhelming. Other barriers might include not giving yourself permission to try, not working through the how and where to begin, not making the commitment to yourself, or being afraid of failure. The only failure in this effort would be not to try or not to do anything at all. To work through any negative feelings or obstacles, keep JFK’s “vigah” and purpose in your sight.

BELOW LIST the obstacles or barriers causing you to pause with apprehension. What might be causing you to postpone the idea of creating change? What keeps you from bringing a desired goal into your sight? Take a few moments right now to write down any obstacles you envision or barriers that are in place that might prevent your moving forward.

p<>{color:#000;}. ______________________________________________________

p<>{color:#000;}. ______________________________________________________

p<>{color:#000;}. ______________________________________________________

p<>{color:#000;}. ______________________________________________________

p<>{color:#000;}. ______________________________________________________

KNOWING THE OBSTACLES allows you to plan for their circumvention. Now you have a goal, and you have identified some barriers. This means you have begun to consider a change may be possible! Time to sound the gun!

AS MENTIONED EARLIER, our daughter has lived in Bogotá, Colombia, since 2008. She married a Colombian, and they have a 4-year-old daughter. They planned to come live with us for six months, and I was to be the main childcare provider, so I needed to improve my meager two-year high school Spanish achievement level. Working full-time made taking a course inconvenient, but I understood that if I wanted a relationship with our granddaughter and son-in-law, I needed to find the vents for learning so that I could step up to the plate.

I DETERMINED MY BARRIERS were time, my attitude, and my energy. To circumvent the time issue, I had to look for my windows of opportunity to find study time. To deal with the attitude, I asked myself, “What do I want the six months to look like when I reflect back on it?” I saw I wanted family connection, which would not come without the Spanish. As far as the energy barrier, I knew that sounding the gun and getting started would perpetuate the energy I needed to become more fluent in conversational Spanish.

MY TIMESLOTS were when I was driving, so I worked through a Spanish language program on CDs while commuting to and from work—that yielded 90 minutes each day. On a note of interest, the language lessons paid off very well.

WHEN YOU SEE an opportunity, capturing the moment to expose yourself to the risk and stretching yourself to actually do it can be inconvenient and/or scary. For example, oftentimes my mind wanted to unwind on my commute home from work, so I didn’t feel like concentrating on Spanish lessons. So, at those moments, I had to return to purpose and vigor to capture the windows of opportunity. I had to push myself because I only had six months in which to prepare for their visit. All of these steps require purpose and vigor. That does not necessarily mean your purpose and vigor must be visible through physical energy, but that purpose and vigor must be in your heart and mind, and come across as confidence and desire.

SOME OF YOU may jump into finding windows of opportunity without hesitation—go for it! There is not just one single correct approach to creating change. Creating change is available to everyone, and there are countless ways in which to initiate the process of change and succeed in the culmination of that effort.

WITH PURPOSE AND VIGOR insert an action into your window. When you have identified a window, it is yours and the time is right now. If you have discovered a window, you have accomplished more toward your goal than you did the previous week. That is reason to celebrate too! It is the small steps that will lead to your full strides in the future. No step should be considered too small.

MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS in three-month increments. As C. S. Lewis once said, “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be.” Daily assessments of your progress are more difficult to measure, and you will likely neglect considering the baby steps to be significant enough to celebrate. They are significant; however, looking at the steps on a daily basis will not allow you to see the full spectrum of your accomplishments and the habits that you are establishing, It is easy to get caught up in minutia, and particularly when working on one aspect of a larger goal—“You can’t see the forest for the trees”—it is easy to lose sight of the forest when only looking at the individual trees.

[]Chapter 6

Hope-filled Risks

HOPE is defined as the feeling of wanting something to become a reality. Hope means looking forward with desire and eagerness to believe, work toward, and trust that something can come to fruition. Hope means having an expectation.

HOPE produces forward-directed energy. Hope embraces the unknown. Hope is a gift you give yourself. Hope gives you the power to dream. Hope allows you to see future possibilities. Hope is the precursor to change.

AS A LITTLE GIRL, I twirled and danced on the large front porch of our New Jersey home, but I never was given the opportunity to take dance lessons. As an adult, I was fortunate to have a husband willing and excited about starting ballroom dancing. Our dance teacher worked diligently with us on posture and the correct dance frame to maintain. I had scoliosis (curvature of the spine), so a flat back was not possible for me.

I WAS SO DETERMINED and filled with the hope to be the best dancer I could be that I set to correcting my posture through posture awareness and training my back muscles to compensate for the misplaced curves in my spine. I knew I would have limited success at best, but I needed to believe I could improve my posture so that when I saw myself dancing in the mirror, I would not appear quite so misshapen. I found windows of opportunity to practice good posture every time I moved from sitting in a chair to standing and walking somewhere. It was an accumulative effort, and with it my awareness of how good posture should feel grew so I could self-correct when I did not feel I was standing with good posture. I was retraining my back through habit.

IT WAS A HOPE-FILLED VENTURE for success that drove my desire and progress toward that dream. Did I achieve perfection? No, but I did achieve much better posture as a result of my determination. The physical awareness of what good posture should look and feel like, plus my cognitive attention to strengthening the appropriate muscles and standing correctly, contributed to my improved posture. It has been about ten years since we have danced regularly, and I have not lost that awareness habit—I still work at posture but with a focus on healthy movement. Your awareness habit needs to be strengthened in all aspects of your life.

BEFORE you can have hope, you must figure out how you want your life to look. The following list outlines how to bring hope into your life and how to maintain that hope:


p<>{color:#000;}. ASK yourself: when I wake up tomorrow, what would I want my life to look like? What would my home look like, who would my friends be, what activities would I want in my life, how would I want to feel when I wake up every day?

p<>{color:#000;}. COMPARE your ideal vision to your present circumstances. Compare what you have to what your ideal vision is. Are you headed in the right direction?

p<>{color:#000;}. CONSIDER if your expectations or desires are realistic for your life. It might mean setting up a one-, three-, or five-year plan of action to ultimately reach your envisioned goals. Some goals are further out of reach and need more time to come to fruition.

p<>{color:#000;}. BEGIN by setting goals that are attainable in the relatively near future. List on paper the progressive steps. Be specific—identify step-by-step goals that are measurable, like taking courses toward a school degree, beginning an exercise program to build endurance over time, cleaning a closet shelf by shelf, etc.


p<>{color:#000;}. RECOGNIZE, name, and acknowledge your strengths and resources. Look back over your life and see how those resources brought you to where you are currently. Being humble may interfere with the building of this list—dig deep and be proud.

p<>{color:#000;}. CULTIVATE supportive relationships by surrounding yourself with supportive and capable people—people you are aspiring to emulate. Associate with people who help you feel good and are encouraging. Build a supportive network to cultivate and maintain hope. Find role models—learn how they navigate life.

p<>{color:#000;}. ENGAGE in pleasurable or new activities. This takes planning, initiative, and stretching yourself. Try something new, like a sport, hobby, or class—photography, bird watching, cake decorating, woodworking, graphic arts, etc. Make time for fun in your life. Learn how to be playful.

p<>{color:#000;}. GET INVOLVED. It will help you to overcome feelings of alienation. Find a cause, community objective, church, local politics, or volunteer work.


p<>{color:#000;}. HOPE is an attitude that must be worked at every day. It is not a permanent state of mind. Hope comes from doing things that are pleasurable, meaningful, productive, and giving.

p<>{color:#000;}. ATTITUDE is something that must be consciously and actively worked at every day by staying positive, focusing on what you can control, and participating in positive activities with people. Check your attitude every morning when you wake up—“What am I feeling when I open my eyes?” Adjust your thoughts—it is a cognitive effort.

p<>{color:#000;}. LEARN to challenge negative thoughts, learn how to deal with and handle anxiety by facing it squarely in the face. Set realistic goals that are achievable.

p<>{color:#000;}. FOCUS on being resilient in challenging your discomforts in life, reduce your risk of physical health issues, and improve your overall psychological functioning.

USE PAPER AND PENCIL to plan and document each step. This list will be your personal blueprint and accountability contract. Review this blueprint frequently to give yourself credit for your accomplishments and modify it as needed—remember, make the plan flexible.

HOPE GIVES you direction and determination in life. HOPE provides you with the desire to go on living. Assess your level of HOPE and evaluate how to nurture HOPE in yourself. Seek out your windows of opportunity to nurture your HOPE and enable it to grow. Give yourself the gift of HOPE—cultivating HOPE can energize your forward movement and your ability to create change in your life. Life without HOPE is desolate.

TAKING HOPE-FILLED RISKS is what will generate the changes you are dreaming of.

[]Chapter 7


POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS propel us in the direction of a goal. Expectations are based on the belief that someone will or can achieve something. That someone can be YOU. When you believe, you anticipate, you work toward, and you expect a result.

YOUR EXPECTATIONS will drive you forward in your quest for change. It is not important that you attain perfection in your efforts. Perfection is impossible to measure because we usually keep raising the bar. Besides, perfection is not attainable by humans. However far you move toward your goal will bring you to a better place than where you were when you started, and your life will be more fulfilled. You will have gained knowledge and experience. You will feel pride and accomplishment.

YOUR WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY will lead to your expectations for success. It is the thoughts that traverse your mental landscape that can be constructed into a clear vision. Spend time contemplating the possibilities and expanding an idea while building hope and structuring a plan for what you envision.

FIND THE VENTS that oxygenate your future. These are the vents that you will link together into ultimate goals being met and cohesive plans of action. Expect to achieve. Expect to work in small steps and expect to grow.

FULFILLED EXPECTATIONS or the self-actualization produced by pursuing your desire is believed to be at the top of the hierarchy of meeting human emotional needs. Sometimes you will exceed your expectations, and things will turn out better than anticipated—while at other times your achievements may fall short of your ultimate goals. Either way, you will be better off.

HOWEVER FAR you drive yourself in pursuit of your ultimate goal is progress and that progress can be extended toward your next goal. The success here is that you tried and whatever level of achievement you attained will bring you to a better place and closer to what you are striving for in life.

THE PRICE PAID for not attempting to reach the “gold at the end of the rainbow” can be costly. You only have one life in which to strive to meet your expectations and dreams, and there is a finite limit on your life. I felt this realization when I received my cancer diagnosis. I realize now, cancer is a gift. The price for not trying to create positive changes in your life will leave you feeling stuck, continuing to question what things might have been like, thinking everybody else achieves more, wondering how you might have succeeded, and sensing an overall numbness to life from the loss of energy that challenging yourself would have provided.


p<>{color:#000;}. MAKE SURE you understand the expectations: steps, obstacles, tactics, and goals.

p<>{color:#000;}. MAKE your expectation match your reality of what is possible.

p<>{color:#000;}. DETERMINE HOW you will measure your progress so that you have a feedback mechanism to ensure you can stay on track.

p<>{color:#000;}. CREATE a written plan defining the future goal and outlining the baby steps, the graduated steps, the various phases, your personal and general support system, your available resources (including what you bring to the table as your personal strengths and characteristics), and any anticipated obstacles.

p<>{color:#000;}. SET a timeline for each step.

p<>{color:#000;}. TICK THE TASKS off your list for each activity that helps meet the definition of your expectation and leads you toward your eventual goal.

p<>{color:#000;}. DO NOT let pressure erode your sense of inner joy and satisfaction over accomplishing the daily steps/goals of your structured plan. There is no one hanging a noose over your head—goals and schedules can be adjusted as needed.

p<>{color:#000;}. LOOK AT setbacks as “lessons learned,” and celebrate the process.

EXPECTATIONS OF OURSELVES are meant to be energizing, motivating, and like a lighthouse guiding us through the storm and bringing us safely toward living our purposeful life. As people develop and mature from infancy into adulthood and on into adult years and throughout life, most of us learn the difference between appetite satiation and deeper emotional satisfaction, and an appreciation for fulfillment in life becomes the ultimate goal and peace provider. Most dreams become a reality with persistence—while others may fall short of the final objective, they still provide significant growth.

MY RETURN TO SCHOOL AT AGE FIFTY-FIVE to work toward a Master in Social Work degree was not the normal social expectation for someone my age. I was not sure how far along I would get in the degree program or whether health or something in life would interfere with my educational goals, but I surmised that never starting at all would forever affect my energy level and outlook on life.

EACH SEMESTER I SET MY EXPECTATIONS on completing that semester. Only at the end of a given semester, did I address whether or not I would register for the next one. I had to un-matriculate from the UConn program when we moved to Florida and take another year off to establish residency before I could enroll at UCF. I kept the attitude and as long as nothing came along that had a higher priority, like my family, I would continue with the program.

MY MSW DEGREE was not to be achieved. Disillusionment in that career choice, lack of exercise time, grandchild daycare needs, and my husband’s retirement held a higher priority. Nonetheless, the amount of knowledge, experience, confidence, and personal growth that I did attain from the years I did study social work is something I continue to use and benefit from every day of my life. It provided me with deeper understandings of myself as well as human nature in general. My life has been enriched because I traveled as far along that path as possible—I feel no sense of failure because I use my inner yardstick to determine my satisfaction in life.

I TURNED MY FOCUS to becoming a life coach through two on-line training courses. I love to connect with people and I have a talent for motivating others. I have accrued a lot of knowledge from my years of schooling both in social work and health care, I have worked at dental hygiene for 25 years, I have years of life experience in general, and my husband and I have navigated house building, adoption, child raising, cultivating a marriage of 43 years, and general life experience. I have done extensive personal research on nutrition, cancer prevention, alternative health therapies, social work, and understanding psychology. I believe helping others through life coaching is an excellent fit with my background and personal skills and I am well equipped to help people in many aspects of their daily lives.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT to be your next step? Some of you may linger in a planning stage—postponing action—while others will begin to take action as you continue to plan. That is the approach I would recommend: the approach of learning, growing, and revising your plan frequently. Because nothing turns out exactly as we expect, flexibility is imperative in order to continue on your path for change,. You will be dealing with humans—humans are not robots; we operate from our emotional needs, which are changing from one moment to the next. Remember why I like yoga—it allows for individualization and self-adjustment on a day-to-day basis. Your plan can do the same.

MAKE A TABLE, list, picture, or mind map as a tool or guide to outline your goals, obstacles, time commitments, the steps, the graduated steps and phases, your support system, your resources, skills, and talents into the documentation of your total plan. Seeing those elements written on paper will bring everything into clearer view and allow you to hold onto your expectations. You can expect every next step will need to be modified a bit from your original plan, so put that into your expectations as well.

[]Chapter 8

What’s within your sight?

ANYTHING YOU WANT—that’s what!

NOW IT IS TIME to assess where you are versus where you want to be. Now is the time to scan your horizon, imagine a different vista, and imprint that image on your mind to guide and lead you to creating the change you can see in your new future. Let that imprinted image be the first thing you see when opening your eyes every morning.

DARE TO DREAM about how things could be and what changes you would like. Focus on one change at a time. In other words, there may be several related goals that contribute to one significant change—stay with each step until you are closing in on that accomplishment before trying to add on the next step or work on too many steps at one time, which may cause distractions or dilute your energy. This is not to say planning should not be your on-going visionary backdrop, but focused and consistent attention to each progressive step will lead you forward, whereas distractions may prolong your success or compromise its culmination.

CHOICES need to be made. You are in the driver’s seat, and you are the only one who will determine where you are headed in your future. You can create the change you envision. The windows are what will create movement and reinforce your WHY.

YOU NOW HAVE THE TOOLS to get the job started and to bring your goal to completion. You have the concepts of looking for your windows, keeping your focus on one step at a time, understanding that there will be some risk-taking, and moving forward with purpose and vigor. There is more than one way to structure your future, but there is only one you and your plan will be just that—your plan. It will fit into your specific situation, it will fit with your disposition, it will follow your timeline, it will match your energy level, and it will advance with your commitment to the task. Allow yourself the freedom to puzzle this out as you move forward, and believe in your ability to do so. Go ahead and take these hoped-filled risks.

IT IS YOUR WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY that birth the goals and perpetuate the forward movement. There are four categories of windows.

p<>{color:#000;}. Windows that alter our perceptions and lead to discovery

p<>{color:#000;}. Windows that provide connection with our hearts to daydream and plan

p<>{color:#000;}. Windows that provide timeslots to be assembled into forward movement

p<>{color:#000;}. Windows that provide just the right moment to take an action or insert a thought

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU MISS your windows of opportunity? Life is left to chance. Will chance bring you success, growth, personal development, enrichment, attainment of your goals, or prosperity? Maybe! But do you want to leave all of this to chance?

YOUR HORIZONS CAN OVERFLOW with possibility. Capture your energy and launch yourself into the next phase in your life’s journey. It is waiting for you.

Your life does not get better by chance,[[
]]it gets better by[[

—John Rohn—

[]Call to Action

UNDERSTANDING HOPE allows you to see what is possible. Hope is the necessary precursor to change that energizes you and keeps you relentlessly scouring for your windows of opportunity to create change in your life. Allow your enthusiasm, energy, and hope to become the focus that drives you forward in your pursuit of making your life match your dreams.

WORK THROUGH the three steps in chapter 5 to determine what in your life you would like to change. Make a reasonable and realistic plan that you feel you can confidently execute over the next 30 days to accomplish toward the first step of your future goal. Write it down and review it frequently.

SET THE 30-DAY CHALLENGE for this first stage of your plan. Commit yourself to consistently and consciously incorporating awareness and maintaining the mindsets of hope, desire, and vigor to propel and sustain you in your pursuit to creating change in your life.

SUCCESS WILL COME with commitment to this challenge and will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to continue to move forward in each of your steps. Success with this challenge will fuel your purpose and help drive you to reach future goals. Success will guide you in planning and executing all of your future hopes and dreams.

IF YOU BELIEVE in the prospect of change through windows of opportunity, I invite you to read


[Harness Stress & Anxiety
—Transform It Into Peace & Confidence—]

REFRAME YOUR VIEWPOINTS teaches a technique that will take your inner turmoil from your stress and anxiety, and transform it into a calm, confident, and more peaceful state within minutes. REFRAME YOUR VIEWPOINTS provides an understanding of the origins of your stress and anxiety. Learn about human behavior and become aware of how stress and tension impact your health. Learn the reframing technique along with strategies to support and boost the effectiveness and efficacy of managing your anxiety to restore calm. Click on the link below to purchase your copy of REFRAME YOUR VIEWPOINTS and allow the potential to live in peace become your reality.


[]About the Author

Virginia has a desire to help people stretch and grow in how they navigate life. She believes people are capable of making in-the-moment choices that will lead them to their desires and goals. Combining information and incentive sets the stage for a person’s choosing to create change that can lead them toward attaining their desired wishes.

Virginia chose to explore why fear, obsessive thinking, body image dissatisfaction, generalized discomfort in life, and depression plagued her. Through personal research and courageously stretching herself, she has attained a life almost free from the oppressions under which she once lived. She hopes to provide a path to peace for others.

Virginia and her husband reside in Orlando, Florida. They have two grown children and three grandchildren, and share a life rich in family interactions, both in Orlando and in Bogotá, Colombia, where their daughter and her family live.

[]Before You Go

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this short book because I have hope it will make a difference in someones life. Having navigated so many changes over the years in my life, I have learned how to streamline the process. I want to share all of that with others. I hope that presenting the idea of using your windows of opportunity as the starting point of initiating change in your life of any kind will open that door to you and make that undertaking look more manageable and, therefore, possible.

We all lead such busy lives, and the idea of placing another demand on your time may seem impossible. That is why using the concept of searching out the tiniest openings throughout your day to insert your first action, question, or comment to begin your quest for creating change in your life works and works exceptionally well.

I want you to experience those desires that stir from within you. I want you to have success. It would be my privilege to help you get started, to brainstorm with you to find ways to make those desires a reality in your life, or to accompany you on your journey by helping to expedite the hurdles. I invite you to connect with me through my website, so we can partner in successfully Creating Change in your life. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

[email protected]

It's All About The Windows

CAN YOU SEE the fleeting thoughts that traverse your mental landscape daily? WOULD YOU LIKE to lasso your thoughts and develop them into recognizable ideas? HOW CAN YOU FIND the time to change your thoughts into action? IT'S ALL ABOUT THE WINDOWS will help you begin to find the moments to bring change into your view. Do your fleeting thoughts revolve around . . . • Self-improvement • Travel • Fun & relaxation • New job • Enrichment in your life • Taking classes IT'S ALL ABOUT THE WINDOWS will reveal the presence of opportunities to you that you could not see before. Opportunities for developing. . . • Perspective • Connection • Forward movement • Action Take the short excursion into, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE WINDOWS and recognize you are on a journey where you can develop hope, cultivate support, and engage more thoroughly in life. Learn to recognize when opportunities are looking you in the face that can lead to self-improvement and change. Learn to turn teasing thoughts into forward movement.

  • Author: Virginia Ritterbusch
  • Published: 2017-09-30 23:20:30
  • Words: 9049
It's All About The Windows It's All About The Windows