Uncover Your Purpose: The Winning Plan #3

UncoverYourPurpose{This cool print is the design work of Cocorrina  – www.cocorrina.com}

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion!” – I’m not sure who first said this but I saw it on Instagram yesterday @foiclothing

I know you all have been sitting around wondering where my next post was… kidding! Please don’t do that, I’m a little unpredictable these days! But seriously, I hit a wall with the blog last week. I had one of those confidence relapses, you know when you start questioning yourself and why you started this whole thing anyway? I was going to make an excuse and say that I just had a really busy work week and decided to “take some time off”, but honestly I got stuck. A few things were happening: 1. I started to compare myself to others. There are literally THOUSANDS of blogs out there and lots of them are REALLY GOOD with THOUSANDS of followers. So in my head I started to make up a list of reasons why my blog would surely fail. This leads me to 2. I lost sight of my purpose. What luck! This weeks Winning Plan is all about uncovering your purpose and using that deep rooted passion to fuel the pursuit of your goals.

“When you care passionately about anything it gives you a sense of purpose. You won’t let anything deter you from achieving your dream.” – Lou Holtz

I started this blog because I had ideas. Ideas that I thought deserved to be put to life and shared with the world. Not because my ideas had never been thought of before or were in any way life-altering, but because it just feels good to create something and explore the deeper parts of ourselves. I did not start this blog with the purpose of getting thousands of followers. Don’t get me wrong, it would be really nice to know that people are actually reading the blog because otherwise I’m spending a LOT of time blogging for myself. I started the blog to share and connect with others, and with the hope of bringing some inspiration and encouragement to the world. It took some serious self-reflection over the last week to refocus and get back on track.

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

This is not to say that I don’t have goals for the blog. I do. Because if I didn’t then I would not be honoring my purpose. I do intend to grow my blog following. The best way I can do that is to be myself and trust the process. If I try to be as cool and beautiful and stylish as the other bloggers I love to follow then I will fail because I will lose myself, and eventually I’ll give it up altogether. The blog will likely continue to cause me some anxiety at times. Creative endeavors are always a unique challenge. But it is a challenge I welcome. I want to challenge myself to grow, create, persist, and repeat.

You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination, and things start to happen – Sophia Amoruso (#Girlboss)

One of the best things to do when you’re feeling discouraged is to go find some inspiration. I stumbled on Cocorrina’s blog post yesterday about her creative frustrations and how she pushed through and ended up bringing something fabulous to life. She honed in on her deeply rooted purpose for creating and voila! Okay, so it wasn’t really just like voila! There were hours and hours involved, some swearing, probably a good sweat… it took work and determination. If she had quit, we would never be looking at this cool graphic on my blog. And I may not have written this blog post. Corina’s story reminded me of all the times I have felt stuck and frustrated, but I pressed on and eventually created something really great. So I’ve decided to focus on that, on the exhilarating feeling of success that comes after grinding it out and persisting until the break through. Often if feels like your not making any progress, and then suddenly, voila! If you love beautiful designs and graphics, check out Corina’s blog, I think you’ll be inspired http://www.cocorrina.com.

I hope you have found some encouragement here today. Thank you for being a part of my journey. As you may know, or will soon find out, I’m a huge sports fan and I love the life lessons inspired by the pursuit of sports achievements, whether as a team or an individual. This blog series was originally inspired by one of my favorite coaches and authors, Lou Holtz. Here are a few quotes from his book Winning Every Day that are inspiring me today.

“You will never be indecisive if you know your purpose.”

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

“All winning teams are goal-oriented….. Losing teams lack focus.”

“What have you done today to bring you closer to your goals?”

*On a side note, Foi Clothing is a lovely online clothing boutique and the owner has a very inspiring story on the pursuit of her dreams to grow her store. And the clothes are very cute too! Just thought I’d share the good stuff :-)

Now lets get the creative juices flowing!

Love, Cara

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The Winning Plan #2: Tackling Adversity

I’ve been putting off writing this post. Ironic, right? I find that often my greatest adversary is myself. I get in my own way a lot. I’d like to improve this. How do you overcome yourself? I’m not sure… to start, I’m going to push through and write this post about tackling adversity, even though I haven’t felt lately like I’m doing that great of a job at it. I tend to get stuck on little things, like when you stub your toe and then suddenly the whole day is ruined. Last weekend I sprained my ankle and I’ve been in a grumpy mood ever since. So I have my own little adversity to tackle right now. Does it count if I’m doing it from the couch with my foot propped on pillows and ice?!

Here’s what Coach Holtz has to say about tackling adversity.

First, I’d like to point out that he’s named the chapter “The Best Part of Getting Knocked Down Is Getting Back Up“. It wasn’t fun getting knocked down (falling down actually) and it still isn’t fun getting back up… maybe I should let him know? Probably I should suck it up (rub some grass on it) and move on to making something happen! I had to read the chapter again for inspiration :-) Here’s what I learned:

1. Believe In Yourself and Your Own Resiliency

Coach quoted Miles Davis who once said “Don’t be afraid of failure. There is no such thing“. Whether or not this is true, I like it. As long as you keep getting back up, you’re not failing.

Resilience is: The ability to become strong, healthy or successful again after something bad happens (otherwise known as adversity). – Merriam-Webster definition. I told my ankle to be resilient… I hope it works.

2. Don’t Let What You Don’t Have Keep You From Using What You Do Have

Very good advice. I have another ankle, and 2 arms and legs that work. And a lot to be grateful for. Never use your shortcomings as an excuse for failure. Get so busy winning that you don’t even notice the things you lack. (Coach tells a really great story he calls Fourth Becomes First – page 40 of the book Winning Every Day)

3. Life is a Classroom, Adversity Is Its Teacher

So there’s no escaping adversity if you’d like to grow and accomplish anything in life. Coach says “adversity presents us with numerous possibilities for success, if we are just willing to see them“.

You can’t allow difficulties to sink you. Everybody has problems. What separates the champions from the also-rans is how they react to them.” (pg 40 Winning Every Day)

4. A Setback Is a Setup For a Comeback

This is something I learned from the coachings of Brian Buffini (of Buffini and Company – Real Estate Coaching and Training).

Decide. Be Resolute. Quitting is Not An Option.

To achieve greatness “you must welcome adversity as a test of your resolve“. (pg 29 Winning Every Day)

Okay, I feel a little better now! How about you? What adversities are you tackling right now? How do you stay encouraged?

You can also catch The Winning Plan #1 here for last weeks inspiration from Coach :-)

Much Love, Cara Michelle


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Weekend Shopping: My Gilt Picks

Have you shopped on Gilt.com yet? If not, you should really check it out. It’s a glorious website for shopping designer brands and current trends at seriously reduced prices. It’s like the Nordstrom Half Yearly sale everyday! New sales start each morning (precisely at 9am PT, 12pm ET) featuring tons of top labels and our favorite go-to brands. The timing is important because the best stuff goes fast so you want to jump on early and make sure to snag your favorites in your size. It’s like speed shopping! I’m kind of addicted. I’ve gotten some of my favorite pieces from Gilt over the years (my favorite Hudson jeans, a gorgeous Milly dress, my nude DVF pumps… all at killer prices!). My latest purchase was an amazing YSL bag that I’d been eyeing for some time but couldn’t pull the trigger… so excited to finally have it my little paws. I’ll share it on the blog this week!

Go check it out www.gilt.com – you’ll thank me (or curse me:-) later! It’s my favorite thing to do in the morning with my coffee, to browse the new sales each day. I often put stuff in my cart and then I don’t buy it, but it feels like I got to shop :-)

Gilt.com is a membership shopping site, it’s free to join of course. My only piece of advise is to make sure the item is returnable before you pull the trigger. Unless you’re okay with not being able to return it. Also, returns are for store credit only. I’m okay with this because, like I said, I’m addicted! So I don’t stress if I don’t like something when it comes. It’s easy to send it back, and then I have money to spend next time I want to shop. Oh, and they also have sales for men, kids and home decor. I warned you, addictive.

Let me know how the shopping goes!

Much Love, Cara Michelle

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Not Your Average Backpack

BackpackMain_edited-1// Deux Lux Downtown Backpack // Rebecca Minkoff Tech Wristlet (similar) //

Okay kids, it’s official. Backpacks have made a major comeback, or maybe you’d call it a rebirth. Even Chanel is rockin’ the backpack these days (take a look at this beauty). I got my new Deux Lux Downtown Backpack a few weeks ago and I finally busted it out last weekend. The fiance and I went for a little day trip adventure on Sunday and we decided to ride our bikes. I felt a little like a kid on the first day of school. But then I wondered, what have I been doing all these years without a backpack?! This is awesome! I could easily carry everything I wanted to have with me for the day and still be hands free. Just like a tourist. Yes, I looked exactly like a tourist in my own town. But a stylish tourist! Check out the cool features of this bag. It’s actually a great combination of the trendy bucket bag + backpack. I’m obsessed with gold hardware these days, and the perforated (faux) leather adds a cool edge to the look. It’s quite spacious but not oversized. Are you sold yet? You should be. Every women should have a stylish go-to backpack for such occasions as bike rides and other tourist-like activities!





Here are a few other fun backpack options I’ve been checking out. Happy shopping!… and bike riding, touristing, etc :-)

Much Love, Cara Michelle

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