Archive

Monthly Archives: May 2015


Where I am in My Total Life Makeover Affirmations Of Previous Months

What should I do now?

What should I do now?

January” ” I am organized and productive.” Since I have been getting ready to move, I have gone through my things again and threw out more of what I want bcause I am continuing to downsize.

February: “I am energetic, fit,, strong, and healthy”..I am continuing to eat healthy foods. However, I have not been exercising as I should have.

March:  “I First seek to Understand, then seek to be understood” regarding this affirmation, my focus has been on my family. To tell the truth, this is probably the one affirmation that I find most difficult. I am discovering that I am really resenting that my daughter is getting close with my husband’s girlfriend and that I have being squeezed out of her life. I am trying to be understanding, but all I feel is anger.

April:“I am a spiritual being in a physical body”. I have been spending a lot of time this month building on this affirmation. This month I added Wednesday Bible Studies here on How My Spirit Sings and on Sundays, I write another short Bible Study on Bubblews. The Bible Study on Bubblews has been getting a lot of  attention. I have enjoyed the conversations that I have had with people on that site.

May’s Affirmation

:” I am In Control of My Destiny.”

This month, I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone and do things that show that I am indeed in control of my own destiny. This month on Sunday 5/17/2015 I went to church three times on that same day, and on the last time, I asked the pastor of the church if I could give the message on June 7. As of yet, I have not had a confirmation of that request. In another situation, I got a new to me travel trailer in which to live. In addition, the location where we were to put the trailer fell through and I was required to make several calls to help me decide where to set up the trailer.

I have been digesting the book 50 lessons I Learned From The World’s #1 Goal Achiever. by Vic Johnson. From this book I have been worked on various ways to remind myself that I and no one else is in control of my destiny.

This month I had a photo taken to use in advertizing, social media,and on my book covers. In addition, I re-edited my book When God Turned His Head again.

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


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I have heard a lot of people say that God put something bad on them to teach them something. The Bible doesn’t support the idea that God puts anything bad on believers..

With Whom Is Our Fight?

As we learned in Ephesians 6:12, it said that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (people). The verse goes onto explain what we do wrestle against. principalities, against powers, against the rules of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. On the surface, we can take that to mean that we are to fight against evil in the world system whatever that may entail.

However, as we read this in context, it specifically speaks of the evil in the spiritual dimensions that are beyond the four dimensions of height, width, depth, and time. What exactly is the evil in this spiritual dimension?

The Father of Lies

In Genesis 3:15  we learn about the serpent who tricked Eve into eating of the fruit of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Revelation 12:9 the Bible tells us that the serpent is the Devil, Satan. In Ezekiel 28:13-19 we learn that this same being was in the Garden of Eden and that he had been a  beautiful and perfect cherub. that walked in the midst of the stones of fire. But when he deceived Adam and Eve, he lost his position as one of God’s angels. It was his pride in how beautiful he was that  separated him from God. Here it says that it was Satan who defiled the earth and that he is the ultimate terrorist.

Isaiah 14:11-20 tells us even more. It says that Satan’s angelic name was Lucifer. who fell from heaven and weakened the nations. Here it says that he had so much pride that he wanted to take God’s place. However, at some time he will be placed in the pit of hell and everyone will ask, Is this the man who made the earth to tremble and did shake kingdoms? That made the world like a wilderness and destroyed the cities and held prisoners captive. The people of the world may have mercy and grace, but Lucifer did not have that opportunity. He would never receive what he wanted which is to be greater than his creator.

The Enemy’s Tactics

In John 10:10, it says that this devil is come to kill steal and destroy, but (Christ) came that we could live and to live more abundantly. In other words, whenever something/one is killed, stolen or destroyed, it is not God that does it, it is the devil, Satan. Christ came to die on the cross to set us free so that we could have abundant life.

Our Lord’s Strategy

The truth is, we do not need to say “the devil made me do it”. We have been given tools to wage war against the devil. In addition,God gives us the battle plan for overcoming this enemy. First, we are recommended to protect ourselves defensively. In James 4:7 it says to submit to God and resist the devil and he will flew. Therefore our first strategy is to submit to God and resist the devil. According to Ephesians 6:13-15, we are to protect ourselves with truth, righteousness, prepare ourselves  with the gospel of peace,  take up the shield of faith, take up the helmet of salvation.

Verses 16-18 tell us how we can advance offensively we are to carry the sword of the Spirit which is The Word of God. In addition, we are to pray all forms of prayer and supplications in the Spirit  to put the enemy on the run.

 

 

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


In the book 50 Lessons I Learned From The World’s Greatest Achiever by Vic Johnson I learned more about facing my overwhelming fears.

Changing Your Definition of Failure

Here are five different definitions of failure.

  1. Failure is not receiving the desired end.
  2. Failure is the condition of falling short or being insufficient.
  3. Failure is a cessation of proper function or performance.
  4. Failure is non-performance of what was requested or expected.
  5. Failure is a decline in strength or effectiveness.

Whatever definition of fear defines your situation, fearing failure will stop you from taking the necessary risks needed to achieve success. It helps to develop a healthy relationship with failure. Rather than beating yourself up for the failure, blaming yourself for taking the risk and failing, think of failure as a feedback mechanism. Analyze the failure to determine what went right as well as what went wrong.

Whenever I face failure, I don’t think of it as an end. Instead, I remind myself that failure helped Edison invent the incandescent light bulb.  According to some reports, he failed ten thousand times before came up with the solution. Since then, better, more efficient ways have been discovered that are even more efficient than what he finally came up with. It is through trial and error that any new thing is discovered.

Find A Failure Proof Mentor

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My friend Laura McHugh and I on the night before the official launch of her first book Weigh Of Blood

 

The internet is full of expert who are willing to mentor you in one way or another. I am currently looking for someone to mentor me in the marketing of my books. There are literally hundreds of thousands of novels out there so the competition is fierce, therefore, finding someone who has actually done what I am looking to do (selling millions of books) will help me cut through the failure red tape.

One place to look to find best selling authors would be to go to the best sellers shelf in your nearest book store. A better and easier way is that you could go into Amazon and in the search look for books in your genre. Look for the best sellers in that genre and discover the author. Look at everything you can find about the author in Amazon. Analyze the author’s bio. Is there any way that you can improve your bio based on that author’s bio? Analyze the “Book Descriptions”. What can you do to improve your book descriptions? Look at the “Look Inside” feature in that author’s books. Analyze those first few pages of the author’s books. If you like those first few pages, you might want to read an entire book to learn even more from that author’s work.

Create a document on your computer titled the author that you are studying. Write down what you learned from the author and that author’s books on Amazon.

Once you have learned about this author from their Amazon pages, find that author’s “Author Central” Page (also affiliated with Amazon). There it repeats the same information you already found concerning this author, but it also offers a connection to other aspects of the author’s work like the author’s website, the author’s blog, as well as the author’s Facebook,, twitter page, and linkedIn page. You can also follow the author from that page. Go to those connections, follow the author in those locations. Leave appropriate comments..Join other groups that that author is on. Let the author know that you are a fan. Leave just enough comments to show that you are a fan, but not so much that you appear to be stalking the author.  If the author has a mailing list, get onto it. Whatever you do though, do not ask an author to read your work until you have followed that author for at least six months (and posted on the author’s forums and sites during that time.) Over time you will know this author on a more personal level on the internet.

Keep copies of all the interactions that you have with this author on the document you opened. On another page, write down all the things that you learned from this author then utilize those things  in your own writing.

This will work concerning any area of your life that you have fear or are not certain what area you fear. There are experts in any area of difficulty.  Go to Amazon, find books on the subject. If there is a writer who is especially adept at doing that think, get to know that author then when you come against difficulties, you can ask that author directly through social media.

Facing Fears

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The only way to overcome fear is by facing that fear. First, you need to separate your fear of action from the action itself.

General George Patton said that he didn’t take counsel with his fears. In other words, he had them, but he didn’t give into them. Everyone experiences fears, but it is important that fear doesn’t govern our decisions.

A good rule of thumb is “If fear is the only reason for not doing something, and there is no logical reason not too. (An example of a good reason for fear would be the fear of stepping out of an airplane without a chute. If you are afraid to step out of an airplane without a chute, there is good reason supporting that fear.)

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said  that “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Small Doses Of The Fear Of Rejection

Science has taught us that we can overcome fear by taking what we fear in small doses and building over time until we no longer feel that fear. Procrastination could be a symptom of that fear. Because science has also shown that willpower is limited  to a certain amount every day,  it is a good reason to do whatever you fear early in the day if possible.

If you are an author who is looking to become traditionally published, but you fear rejection, take one small step every day and submit one query every day  to an agent or a publishing company. via email. Collect your rejection emails in a folder marked rejections. Think of it as a success that you sent out the query, think of it as a success that you received a rejection letter. Continue to improve your work and continue to send out queries.

If you are a business owner and are afraid to make cold calls, make it a point to pick up the phone first thing in the morning to make one of those calls. No matter what the outcome of the call, celebrate the moment. Give yourself a pat on the back, give yourself a relaxing break before continuing with the rest of your work. Do this every day for as long as it takes.

 

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


50 lessons

Today I am Continuing  what I have learned from the book 50 Lessons I Learned From The World’s Greatest Achiever by Vic Johnson.

Just because we have goals with actionable steps does not make life as smooth as the Saragossa Sea. There are those rough spots in life where we need inspiration to keep us moving forward through the challenging times and beyond them. Visualization tools can help get us through these difficult times.

One visualization tool can be a physical photo of your goal. For instance, my visualization picture is the new photograph that  have had taken as my author photo on my book. It is also my photo in my signature at the bottom of this post. Looking at the photo inspires me to try to continue to try strive toward the image of a prosperous, productive author.

Using Our Day Dreams Constructively

One visualization tool that we can use is daydreaming, but not in the sense that we use daydreaming to escape reality. Rather, we should use it to inspire us to picture what we want our future to look like. Imagine your goal coming to fruition. Imagine every aspect of that goal. Imagine through every sense. See it, Hear it. Smell it. Taste it, and especially feel it. Feel the exhilaration.

Now take that feeling and apply it to imagining your next step. Imagine that step going perfectly. Imagine working through a problem related to that next step.

 

Fall In Love With Your Dreams

Do you remember when you first fell in love. I do. Every waking hour I would think about the object of my affection. I would feel bliss whenever I thought about him. Every time I was not with him, I would count the hours until I could see him again. I’ll stay out and talk with him for hours. Sleep is the last thing that I want to be doing when I am in love.

That’s the way it is when a person falls in love with his or her dreams. My dreams are like that. When I have to do something that does not relate to my dreams, I am looking forward to getting back to those dreams. when I go to bed at night I actually look forward to getting back to working on my dreams.Do your dreams excite you like this? Are you so in love with your dreams that when the alarm goes off in the morning, you can’t wait to jump out of bed and get started? Are you willing to work for hours toward making those dreams a reality? If so, you have found your passion. If not, perhaps you should keep looking for that kind of love.

Get obsessed with things that surround your passion. Search out music that inspires you toward your goals. Look for movies and literature that motivate you toward success. Write down new ideas and follow the inspiration wherever it leads.

 

Following My Passion Is Not Always A Bump Free Journey

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Just because we want to do something does not mean that it is always an easy road. Back when I was in High School, I failed t typing. Because I knew that typing was a necessary ability for a writer, I knew that I had to get proficient at typing. Though I failed typing in high school, as an adult I discovered an online typing course from which I learned what I didn’t learn in high school. Now I prefer to type all my writing directly onto the computer. I don’t think about the letters that I write any more. I just do it. My personal learning style is simply more conducive to online learning than in a classroom environment which is probably why I graduated with honors in an online college program.

Another course I failed in school was French. About a year ago I discovered Duolingo and immediately began to learn Spanish.  In August I will finish the Spanish program and the next language I plan it take up is French again.  Because I was successful at learning the Spanish lang uage, I know that Iwill be ready to tackle French again.

When I wrote my first novel, at first I tried to go the traditional route. It was at the time of the most recent crash when most traditional houses were downsizing.and no one was interested in the books that I was writing. I tried about one hundred literary agents and publishing houses before I finally decided to self-publish. Through trial and error, mostly error, I have been learning the ins and outs of publishing as an indie publisher.

Therefore, I have been learning to ward off apathy and have held tight to my dreams. I have surrounded myself with visual aids that inspire me  to continue the pursuit of my dreams. I am a self published author because I did not quit. I fell in love with my dreams and despite set back, I have never looked back.

 

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Photo by Joyce Bohm Photography

 

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


Our Enemy , Ourselves

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When my first husband and I broke up, I had a dream. I dreamed that I was in a restaurant with a bunch of friends including my then husband. Then a good looking man came into the room and the next thing I knew everyone else left except for the “good looking man” and me. The next thing I heard was this “good looking man” telling me everything that was wrong with me. He also told me that every fear that I had about myself was true. I was a total mess, I had nothing to offer. I was a complete and utter failure as a human being.

After I awoke from the dream, I realized that the “good looking man” was a spirit. I began to see that spirit in other men around me. The man would look desirable on the surface, but underneath, that spirit as overly critical. and left me feeling like I didn’t deserve to live.

Then about fourteen years later,  I married my second husband. At first I thought that he did not have that spirit, but over time I have learned that he was influenced by that spirit more than anyone else. Our whole relationship seemed to be about showing me how worthless he felt that I was. I was never good enough.

I could go on and on berating him, but in truth, the problem isn’t his. It is mine. I have listened and accepted what he said as truth, but it isn’t the truth. Its a lie that I do not have to accept. I am good enough. The truth is, I am an exceptional human being because  I am a child of The Most High God. The truth is not about any specific thing that I have done. It is about who I am in Christ.

As A Roaring Lion

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Each of us have a similar spirit that comes against us trying to tell us that tells us that God doesn’t care about us. He has doing that since he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:1 the Serpent asked Eve, “Has God said, ‘you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’

From that day onward, the devil has been telling us either that God does not exist, or that God doesn’t care about us or that God is angry with us. All of those things are lies that separate us from the one who loves us most.

I Peter 5:8 tells us “Be sober, be vigilant: because the adversary the devil as a roaring lion walks about, seeking whom he may devour.””

The enemy searches us out, looking for our weaknesses and exploits them to the point that he is able to devour us. The only way that he can devour us is by getting into our minds and convincing us that what is a lie is actually the truth. We have to be on our guard and remember that God cares for us.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes for to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The idea that “I am worthless to everyone including God” is the enemy’s attempt to stop the Body of Christ  from doing the great commission that Christ gave us in Mark 16:15: “Go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be save; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Resisting The Devil

It t is, therefore, important to remember that we are, in fact, in a war against this spiritual being. We need to understand that as it says Ephesians 6:11-17 that we need to take on the whole armor of God including the truth in order to stand against the lies of the devil.

James 4:7 tells us that must resist the devil. To accomplish thisl, I must first submit to God. I have to recognize that he wants the best for me. He will “never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). God loved me enough to send his son to take my place in judgement. (John 3:16-17). Therefore, I am lovable and capable of good works because God says that I am.

 

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Cygnet Brown now has a new look! (Photo by Joyce Bohm Photography)

 

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


Reminders All Around

50 lessons

In this post, I  continue the 50 Lessons I Learned From The World’s Greatest Achiever by Vic Johnson, by continuing to focus on the good. When I are working to achieve our goals, I am often confronted by negativity. Therefore in order to keep focused on the good, I need to remind myself of the accomplishments I have already made on my journey in reaching my goals.

In the book, Vic Johnson suggests that I should post Post it Notes all over the house to remind me of my achievements. As I look back over my life, I see numerous accomplishments. Some are directly related to the goals that I am working to accomplish, but the others are just as important.

Taking A Chance

When I was twenty years old, I decided to go to California to pursue my dream of being a writer. I quit the dead end job that I was dong and went out to California by bus, alone and without knowing anyone out there. It was quite the adventure and when I tell about it, people are amazed that I would take such a chance. The adventure only lasted two days, then my money ran out and I returned home. I tried to write from my own bedroom, but my parents insisted that I get a job.

My Military Experience

About two years after I went to California, I joined the US Navy I was on  Active Duty for six years and then ten years as a reservist. I trained as a corpsman, specialized in neuro-psychiatry, and trained as a Field Corpsman who went out with the Marines.

Homesteading Skills

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My youngest with one of the baby goats we raised.

 

After my active duty military time, I lived in numerous places where I used the gardening skills that I developed as I experimented with various gardening techniques.

In addition, I learned about raising chickens and raising goats.

Helping Children Learn

Some of my accomplishments involve children. I have always loved reading, so one thing that I like to do is teach children how to read. I have taught two of my own children how to read. (I could not teach my older son because he was dyslexic.)My middle son I helped teach the letters and letter sounds, but someone else gets credit for putting it all together.  I also taught two other girls how to read. I taught my daughter how to read before she started kindergarten.

Another thing that I taught all of the children I mentioned above (including my elder son) plus several others is how to tell time. In both teaching both, I learned something very valuable myself. Both reading and telling time involves numerous steps that without mastering any step, the whole process would be lacking.

I home schooled each of my own children for about a year each.

Nursing

I went to nursing school in 2003. I did well in school and graduated with honors. However, I soon learned that nursing had little to do with my passion. The only part of nursing that I like was when I taught others about their diagnosis and their medications. I didn’t like doing procedures or actually giving medications, the things that nurses are normally known for. From this experience, I learned that just because you can learn about something, doesn’t mean that you should make it a career.

What should I do now?

What should I do now?

College

Last July, I graduated  Magna Cum Laude. with my Liberal Arts degree.

Authorship

The theme that is interwoven in all of my goals is the fact that I am developing as a self published author who wants to get more of my books into the hands of more readers. I have published two novels (the third one ready for publication but not published yet) and I have published one non-fiction book.

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Spiritual Achievement

Some things don’t follow a timeline, and my spiritual achievement is one of those that don’t. I have been to numerous types of churches since I was a child.. I read through the Bible the first time when I was twelve years old. I have read through it several times since then. I also have taken numerous Bible courses over the years. A few years ago I got my ordination. Over the past several years I have written about my Biblical experience.

Impressed By My Own Achievements

As I look over this list of things that I have done over my lifetime, I realize that I should never trivialize my achievements. I have made some very impressive contributions. I realize that I need to recognize for myself my achievements and pat myself on my own back. “Good Work!

Adding To The List

This, of course, is not the end. This is simply the beginning. As I make more achievements, I will make Post It Notes with those achievements too.

 

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


Counting My Blessings

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For several months last year I spent some time as a member of The Champion’s Club run by  Vic Johnson the author of  50 Lessons I Learned From The World’s Greatest Achiever. One of the things that he always stressed was the idea that in order to improve our business, we first need to improve ourselves. One of the best ways to make ourselves better people is by seeing the good in every situation.

This is why every night before I go to bed, I write down at least two things that I found was a blessing for me that day. Before I decide which two things to feel thankful for,  I have to feel the gratitude expressed. It may be something that I felt grateful for before, but there has to be something special about that gratitude that relates to that specific day.

My Blessings

Here’s a sample of some of my more recent blessings:

  1. I  am blessed with three wonderful children. All three of them are taking what like has given them and made the most of their lives.
  2. I blessed by the inspiration of  both of my parents. Both overcame physical disabilities and raised six healthy children.
  3. I am blessed with great friends who help me when I need it.
  4. i am blessed with a sound, creative mind.
  5. I am blessed with good health, and not dependent on any medications.
  6. I am blessed with a travel trailer that is fully paid for.
  7. I am blessed with a small truck that is fully paid for.
  8. I am blessed that I am learning self-discipline.
  9. I am blessed in that I have a love for continuous learning.
  10. I am blessed with a job that provides me with cash flow so that I can continue my passion of writing my novels and online articles.

The Art of Doing Exceptional Work

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Another aspect of seeing the silver lining , in addition to counting my blessings, is in doing something excellent relating to my goals on a daily basis. There are certain things that do every day toward reaching my goals. One of those things is that every day I work on learning Spanish using the online program Duolingo. However, I always try to do something else that leads toward my goals. Recently, my goals have involved raising the bar on the books that I have put out. I have recently had a professional photograph done of me as an author. I have again been rewriting my first book and intend to let my beta readers tear it up.

There is a fine line between determining to do excellent work and do it to the best of my ability and being a perfectionist. With perfectionism, we are often danger of not giving ourselves allowance to  do imperfect work as we learn to become more and more excellent. As perfectionists, we tend to want to do it all ourselves because we don’t think anyone can possibly do it as well as we can ourselves. This sets us up for procrastination depriving us of doing our best. Doing our best is what excellence is all about.

When we look for the silver lining in our daily pursuits, we feel better about ourselves. in the process, we try to excel even more because we want to prove to ourselves that we can do better than the day before. We become more self-confident. Self confidence leads to better performance and better performance leads to improved skills overall.

 

 

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

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