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"In this world, you're either growing or you're dying, so get in motion and grow." -Lou Holtz

It is easy to become complacent and live the life we are comfortable with. That life might be good but not great. Living life to the fullest is never easy, but it is worth it!

I have lived a good life, not an easy one, but a good one. I became complacent in what I was doing. I went to work, to a job I truly loved, went home, watched TV, went to church, and hung out with friends. I believed I was happy. Then I was forced to grow.

My mom died in 2011. She was running our family business in another city. It was important to her that my brother and I keep my grandpa’s legacy alive. I had to move and start working in a business I knew nothing about. I knew nothing about running a business; my background was in mental health. I spent the next two years crying as I went to work.

I finally came to terms with the fact that I needed to make a change, or I would continue in depression and not live the life I was meant to live. One day, I woke up and decided it was time to make a change.

My accountant invited me to Rotary, and one of my employees attended and introduced me to other businesspeople. I was shy, interacted little with others, and was uncomfortable because I was intimidated. I started attending the Fresno Women’s Chamber of Commerce and felt and behaved in the same manner. I became an Ambassador with the Chamber of Commerce, overwhelmed and again intimidated.

Then, my life changed again, and I decided not to fall into the same trap of doom and gloom and move forward to a better life. Now, I feel a part of all three of the above groups and take an active role in them. I enjoy going to meetings, like meeting and talking with new people, and I give back to each group. Now, I am honored to be a part of Leadership Fresno class of 38.

I feel like I am successful. No one has ever “made it” to the perfect person. All we can do is move forward to our goals to become the best we can be. Right now, I feel like I am in that place, but I need to continue to move forward.

Today is new; you can make changes if you choose to. You may be asking; how do I start?

Improving oneself is a continuous journey. Here are 10 ways to foster personal growth:

1. Lifelong Learning: Always be curious. Read books, attend workshops, or take online courses to expand your knowledge base.

2. Physical Health: Regular exercise and a balanced diet are foundational to overall well-being. Prioritizing physical health can lead to better mental clarity and energy. - This one continues to be difficult for me. I have just started doing YouTube exercises for over 60. It is a great way to start my day, and I feel I can face it.

3. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and improve concentration. These practices can help you be more present in your daily life. - This has been very helpful for me, and I continue to work on being present in my daily life!

4. Setting Goals: Clearly defined goals provide direction and purpose. Break down larger goals into smaller, actionable steps, and review and adjust them regularly.

5. Building Strong Relationships: Nurture relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Interpersonal solid relationships can support you, offer different perspectives, and enrich your life. – My friendships and business acquaintances have become vital to my journey.

6. Time Management: Learn to prioritize tasks and delegate when necessary. Efficient time management allows for better productivity and frees time for personal activities.

7. Emotional Intelligence: Being aware of, controlling, and expressing your own emotions, as well as understanding the feelings of others, can significantly improve interpersonal relations. – I continue to work in this area.

8. Financial Literacy: Understand the basics of personal finance – budgeting, saving, investing – to ensure you make informed decisions about your money.

9. Travel: If possible, explore different cultures and places. Traveling can offer new perspectives, challenge your beliefs, and allow you to learn more about the world and yourself.

10. Feedback and Reflection: Regularly seek feedback from peers, mentors, or supervisors, and take the time to reflect on it. Constructive criticism can provide insights into areas of improvement, while reflection allows you to assess your actions and their outcomes. -This can be scary. Be ready to hear the good and bad and use that feedback to change or improve areas in life.

Remember that personal improvement is lifelong, and moving at your own pace is okay. Celebrate small achievements along the way, and always strive for growth, not perfection.

Have a great week!

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