Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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Fun Facts: Tidbits You May Not Know About Me

ThinkstockPhotos-172588224So, if you’ve just started reading this blog recently, you may not know much about me. But I’d like to rectify that now. Here are a few things that might interest you . . .

  1. Language I most want to learn: Spanish. I’ve forgotten most of what I know, but honestly, I’d love to be multilingual in just about anything.
  2. Show I most enjoy binge-watching: Alias
  3. Place I’d most like to travel: Spain
  4. Food I crave most: Appetizers. I love making meals out of an assortment of appetizers.
  5. Pinterest board I use the most: Hair, BY FAR. I’ll never get around to making all those recipes.
  6. Favorite ice cream: Trader Joe’s Coffee Bean OR Bruster’s Key Lime Pie
  7. Biggest fear: Failure
  8. Thing I’m most thankful for: Salvation, followed by grace
  9. Strength I love the most: Faith (second would be independence)
  10. Place I’d most like to live: Probably California, but I’d also love to live somewhere in Europe for at least a year.
  11. Favorite Atlanta eateries: Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party, di Paolo, Figo, Alon’s, ONE. midtown kitchen, and sooooo many others
  12. Favorite piece of furniture: I have a loveseat made from two movie theater seats. I used to frequent this theater in college so it’s tied to good memories—plus, it has cup holders!
  13. An ability I’m proud of: I’m really good at picking the kind of friends everyone should want and have.
  14. Something I’m not good at and don’t like: Cooking. Despite my best efforts, I’ve yet to rectify this.
  15. A goal I had for this year: Donate hair—just did it!
  16. Biggest pet peeves: Unaware people with strollers and also listening to people eat
  17. A piece of advice I’d give to anyone: You aren’t in control.
  18. A few of my favorite books: Bible, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Experiencing God, Visioneering, Harry Potter series, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, and TONS more!
  19. Something I love right now: doTerra essential oils
  20. Most interesting previous job: I reviewed restaurants for a short time in a local, Atlanta publication. The publication is no longer in business, but I’m fairly certain that isn’t my fault.

 

And here are a few other things I posted previously. Now you know a bit more about me. Tell me something about you!


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Leadercast Conference Highlights

The Brave OnesLast Friday I attended Leadercast for the first time. I looooove being at conferences, and was especially excited to be a newbie at this event. The funny thing is that I was there at the same Arena just a week earlier for my company’s conference. But it was really cool to see how differently they used the space, and what they had going on that we could learn from.

The theme, “The Brave Ones,” was awesome and inspiring. It was definitely what I needed to hear right now, and I was also excited to share it with friends who came to mind as I sat there in my seat.

Here are some of my takeaways. I hope they can help you to be more brave too.

Andy Stanley

  • Bold leadership isn’t just for bold, fearless, super-talented or ultra smart people. Bold leaders have clarity, focus, be stubborn and stay resourceful.
  • Bold leadership is the clarity around an unreasonable commitment to what should be.
  • Bold leaders refuse to be cowed by “how.” You can “how” an idea to death.
  • Ask yourself this question from Joel Backer’s book, Paradigm, ” What do I believe is impossible in my field, but would fundamentally change my business or industry?”
  • Think about Nehemiah. His work was almost interrupted by a meeting. But he said, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”

Bill McDermott

  • Don’t obsess over your competition. Obsess on the areas they can’t or won’t cover. Do it better.
  • Trust is the ultimate currency.
  • The best part of you is you—your uniqueness.

Commander Rorke Denver

  • Limit your field of view and you’ll actually see more.
  • Make bold corrections.
  • Bravery doesn’t have to be a solo experience.
  • Choose the amount of work you’re going to take on wisely.
  • Don’t avoid the pain. Bravery is there. Lean into it. It’s a growth opportunity.

Malala Yousafzai – THIS is who I came to see, and she didn’t disappoint!

  • This war will be fought with books and pens, not swords and guns.
  • I still believe in a happy ending.
  • If I didn’t speak out, I thought I might have to live that way forever.
  • Don’t wait for the fight to be taken up by someone else. Why not you?
  • In every field of life we find brave people. Bravery has no limit.
  • It’s your duty to speak up for what’s right or just.
  • We are all living here together. We must think of others as brothers and sisters. We must speak up from all sides.
  • We can all make a better world. Everyone has a role to play.

Peyton Manning

  • If you wait for someone else to make the change, you are a follower.
  • Learn to thrive on uncomfortable situations.
  • Invest in a coach.
  • Set personal goals that contribute to the team’s overall success.
  • Understand the power of your influence, but realize your accomplishments are never made alone.
  • Surround yourself with people who will give you honest feedback.
  • Earn your platform.

Seth Godin

  • Bravery isn’t just for other people. It’s for us too.
  • We don’t need people who copy. We need people who create.
  • To make art, you must be all in.
  • When Gutenberg launched the press, the illiteracy rate was 93%. He didn’t wait until he had a market for it. He had a dream that he pursued.
  • It’s always too soon. We can be prepared, but we can never be ready.
  • We can make change, but we can’t change everyone.
  • Change creates: Tension, obsession, connection, direction and compassion.
  • Treat every opportunity like its your last.
  • Do work that matters.
  • Own your unreasonableness.

Ed Catmull

  • Creativity is the process by which we solve problems.
  • Focus on the dynamic of the team, not the ideas.
  • Create shared ownership.
  • Give good and honest notes.
  • Failure is necessary for something new.
  • To be successful, you must be wiling to take the first step.
  • Creative people usually discover their talents over time, by continually being wiling to take the hard problems.

Aja Brown

  • Bravery is a decision to live not just exist. Brave leaders just make the decision and do what needs to be done.
  • Peace is one of the most powerful things that cannot be bought.
  • Brave leaders ask the basic question, “If not me, who?”
  • Be brave enough to believe in a different future.
  • Brave leaders overcome the fear of failure. It’s not that brave leaders never fail, it’s that they never quit. the worst case is not failure, but it’s living in the invisible prison of fear.
  • Elevate your expectations in order to elevate your organization. If your team lacks momentum, elevate your vision.
  • Dream a vision that’s too big for you to achieve by yourself.
  • Brave leaders serve for the purpose, not the praise.

Rudy Giuliani

  • One of my rules of leadership is to always go to the scene of the incident.
  • People who succeed have strong beliefs and big ideas.
  • To be a leader, you have to be an optimist. Be a problem solver. Every problem may not have a solution, but every problem comes with perspective.
  • To be a leader, you have to have courage. If you’re not afraid, something is wrong with you.
  • Relentless preparation takes the fear out of leadership.
  • Teamwork—it’s never about you.
  • If you want to be a leader, you have to communicate. People cannot know what you think and want. You have to tell them, and you have to tell them again.


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I Donated My Hair!

Hair DonationIt’s taken a while to get there, but I finally grew enough hair to donate! This was my first time donating, and it was exciting to hear the scissors make the big cut. (I may have even held my breath.)

I always thought it was a really cool idea and have had several friends do it, but didn’t know if I’d ever do it myself or not, simply because it would take so much time. I’m more fond of changing my hair quickly.

But once I started growing it out, my friend Nick who is also my stylist, would ask me every time we got together if I was ready to cut it yet. I said no a few times, and then realized I didn’t know how long I wanted to grow it. So, I thought it might be a good time to consider donating it. It gave me a mark to hit, and I do love a goal.

Deciding where to donate was the next hurdle. There are a lot of great organizations out there, so I started by looking at a lot of the major players:

Locks of Love

Wigs for Kids

Wigs 4 Kids

Children with Hair Loss

Childhood Leukemia Foundation

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Matter of Trust’s Clean Wave Program

After an initial scan of each organization, I narrowed it down to just three: Locks of Love, Children with Hair Loss and the Clean Wave Program. I was disqualified from the others either because my hair was too short or colored, or both. But I was still left with three great options.

From there I read all the websites thoroughly to make my final choice. If you’ve never heard of the Clean Wave Program, it’s really cool. They use hair to make “brooms” to clean up oil spills. The tree-hugger in me loved that! But, they also encourage you donate your hair to one of the more prominent players if it’s long enough, which is nice. And you only need 3″ of hair to donate. So, it’s a great option for both males and females who have shorter hair. AND if your want your loveable fur ball to feel philanthropic, they also accept pet hair!

So, down to two—much tougher. I really liked Children with Hair Loss (except for the creepy mannequins on the website). They give to children, which I preferred to do, and at no charge. They also choose recipients with all kinds of diagnosis, which I thought was great as I have no particular cause I wanted to support. And they only require eight inches, so I could keep my hair a little longer if I wanted. Plus, they were started by a beautician, which is neat, and the pieces come with hair care kits. It’s the little things! A great option.

Now, the final contender. Over the last few years, Locks of Love has been surrounded by some controversy, so if you’ve heard about that, you may wonder how they made my list. Simply, I did my homework. Almost all of the rumors about them are misunderstandings and can be negated by actually reading their website. Huh, who would’ve thought? The only one that couldn’t was an article posted in 2013 which stated that they had missing funds, up to $6 million. While I agree that’s a problem that I didn’t find a solution to, they did pass the test for many leading charity reviewers: Charity Navigator Four Star Charity, Guide Star Exchange Silver Participant, Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity and Independent Charities of America Best. So, my opinion is that they couldn’t fool all of that oversight, especially considering several of those require transparency. Maybe that’s naive, but that’s where I landed.

And I didn’t read anything on their website that I questioned or didn’t agree with. I realize many people out there want the hair pieces to be free to recipients. And I admire that as well, and wish it were always an option as the people needing the hair are in terrible situations. But the hair given to recipients of LoL is either free or on a sliding scale based on their finances. Also, perhaps the largest reason, these are actual prostheses, not just hair pieces or wigs, which means they are fitted to the recipient’s head using custom molds over the course of a few months. So, they are more realistic and less likely to move around. Goodness knows that’s important for kids! This means their prosthesis are for long-term and permanent hair loss. Those who have short-term loss (ex: from chemo), are given synthetic wigs.

LoL also gives to multiple diagnoses, but mostly for Alopecia Areata, to which they also provide funding research, which is amazing. And their website is far more comprehensive than most of the others I looked at, which is always a good thing in my book. They just need to do a better job keeping their social media and blog up-to-date, but I digress.

Let’s face it, I have a mind for business and a heart for charity. And I have worked at both on multiple occasions. Therefore, I know that charities still need to make money. They are doing great work, but families have to be fed and lights have to stay on. So, I don’t knock LoL for needing to charge some people or for selling extra hair they can’t use. It makes a lot of sense.

So, as you can guess, in the end I went with Locks of Love. I sent my 10.5″ off this morning, and feel great about my decision. If I do this again, I may choose a different organization, but for now, I’m enjoying my summer hair, and proud of the fact that I could help someone with such a simple act.

If you ever decide to donate hair, do your own research and make a decision you can stand behind. The point is that we’re all providing a gift to someone who needs it. And that’s always a good thing.

And from my point-of-view, the world could use a few more redheads. ;)


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I’m going to India! Would you be willing to help?

ThinkstockPhotos-470167860

Darjeeling, India

I’m so excited to be heading to India for the first time this July with two friends to learn and explore. My friend who is leading the team is the founder of an organization that assists at-risk girls in India to pursue their education through university level with “life scholarships,” which provide housing, tuition, clothing, medical care, life training, tutoring, service opportunities, stability and care while in school. The funding is mostly accomplished through her tea shop in Downtown Atlanta, which is how I met her.

Unfortunately, some women and girls in India are still persecuted for being female, especially in rural areas like Darjeeling. And for some of these girls in the program, good alternatives would be hard to find. They have already faced incomprehensible challenges in their young lives such as: families who couldn’t provide for them, being orphaned for being a girl, and the threat of being trafficked or forced into prostitution, among others. So, I’m excited to meet the scholars in this program who are excelling in their education, and have promising futures that might not otherwise be available to them. They will create a better India. In a country of 1.2 billion people, the education disparity between girls and boys, especially after age 14, is still far too high. Programs like this one are helping to fill the void. For more information on girls’ education in India, please see the “women’s education” section on this page.

Additionally, many of you are aware of my passion for abolishing modern-day slavery. According to the 2014 Global Slavery Index, India has more slaves than any other country in the world, around 14 million. Therefore, I am very interested to see the climate which fosters this reality, and hopefully meet other organizations who are on the front lines of fighting this atrocity in its various forms.

And, of course, there will be many bright spots in this trip. India is a unique and beautiful country with a long and interesting history. I’m really excited to see the culture and vibrancy of these remarkable people.

It’s going to be an incredible trip, and I’d love to have you partner with me.

Here are some of the things we’ll be doing:

  • Staying with the 11 scholars at their center and spending time with them, helping however we can and learning their individual stories.
  • Exploring the cities of Kolkata and Darjeeling, and possibly Mumbai.
  • Visiting the tea plantation in Darjeeling where my friend sources her tea.
  • Connecting with other local orgs that are fighting various forms human and labor trafficking.
  • Having a ton of fun along the way!

If any additional money is raised beyond my needs or goal, I plan to give it as a donation to this incredible organization. And if you’d like to make a donation to them directly, I’m happy to connect you.

**Unfortunately, donations made for this trip are not tax-deductible. I realize that may impact your ability to give, and I still deeply appreciate any consideration. Also, please know that Indiegogo Life, where my campaign is housed, charges no fees for its service, therefore all donations will go directly to me outside of your standard credit card fees which are typically around 3%.**


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The Orange Conference 2015 RECAP

If you weren’t able to attend OC15, or even tune into the Live Stream, here’s a peek at what happened when over 6,600 people decided to gather here in Atlanta and learn how to make the most of the phases that kids go through.

I think it went pretty well . . .

OC15 Recap on Vimeo

 

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