Tag Archive: Speakers With SPark

Short and Sweet

Will bookshelves become a thing of the past?

I love words – I am an English Major after all.  I am quickly learning though that the rest of the world may not share my love of the English Language.  It is hard for me to imagine that not everyone wants to sit all day and read and create new passages.  There are so many possibilities!

I tend to use more words than less and I have the hardest time on Facebook and especially Twitter because I am limited to so few characters.  I can barely get a complete thought out in 160 characters.  I am going to try to be more succinct though.  Most people these days only have the attention span for a few characters or are so busy they do not have time to read a long drawn out email or blog.  If I want people to read what I have to say, I am going to have to learn to shorten it or I am going to lose my audience. 

I thought that maybe reading was just going to become a hobby of the past and video would reign supreme.  Interestingly enough when I asked on Facebook if people would rather read a book or watch a video, the majority of my friends said read a book.  Maybe there is hope for me after all – as long as I keep it short and to the point!

What do you think?  I am curious to know!

Authored by Sheila O’Mara, Lead Fireball at Speakers With Spark


A New Day, A New Choice

Choices, choices, choices! There are so many options to choose from on a daily basis it could almost drive a person crazy! In this day and age it seems like there is a different option for everything and some choices seem limitless. There is still one choice you have that really doesn’t change – it is the same one everyday. That is to decide whether you will have a positive day or a negative day.

You may be scratching your head thinking that it is not entirely up to you. Circumstances in life can cause many reactions and not all of them are positive. In a perfect world we all wake up and have an ideal day – no worries, no stress, no problems – just peace, love and harmony. We don’t live in a perfect world though, so how do you keep the worries, stress, and problems from keeping you from having a negative day.

Your reaction to the circumstances in your life is the key. Adversity happens … but how you react to it dictates how peaceful and positive your day will be. If you see every problem as a problem/hardship rather than an opportunity for creativity and growth, you will be stuck in the negative. When problems become challenges to overcome or the problem becomes an opportunity for something new and better to arise, it fails to be a problem anymore. It almost becomes a gift for renewed skill and strength. When you embrace each “problem” in that way, everything is more manageable and no longer seems a hardship.

With each new situation you can react negatively or positively. You can choose to let the negative situations overcome you and beat you OR you can choose to greet each one with a smile on your face and take the new challenge head on. Each day you wake up you get to rejoice that there is another day to experience whatever life wants to throw at you. Waking up and breathing is an excellent start to the positive outlook of each day. Having a positive day really isn’t as difficult a choice as you may have first believed! 

There are situations that you may find yourself in that you did not ask for, desire or can even pretend to want to deal with. You can complain and whine and scream: “It’s not fair!”, but it doesn’t really change the situation at all. You can say: “This will not beat me. This will help me grow. This will make me stronger and wiser. This will be a learning experience that will make me better than I was before.” Suddenly when you approach with that kind of thinking, adversity becomes something to embrace because of the blessings that will abound. Making it through tough times is a cause for celebration and can boost your confidence. Even situations that seem the most dire can bring about the most amazing results with the right attitude. The good news is … the choice is yours!

There are probably a thousand clichés that could be used to demonstrate that there is a positive outlook for every negative one. Getting bogged down in negative thinking really doesn’t make any situation better. Being open to the opportunities that can spring from tough situations will facilitate growth and strength and confidence that you may have not ever realized was there. There are very few things in life that you have control over. Your attitude is one of them. The choice is yours and it is a new decision for you everyday. Here’s hoping that you have a decidedly positive day!

Authored by Sheila O’Mara and featured in the Speakers With Spark Column in The News Enterprise.

It Starts With Respect

Every once in a while, we need a little pep talk. If our spirits are lifted, then we are more productive, create better relationships with clients and generally have a better quality of life. I think that it all starts with how we think of ourselves. Here is an article I would like to share that may help you achieve the life you desire!

Have you heard? There is a growing epidemic sweeping our nation. It is claiming the well being of thousands of people and is changing the shape of our society. It is altering lives and not necessarily for the better. What is the cause of this growing epidemic? That would be an overabundant lack of self respect.

Some of you reading this may have an overabundance of self respect and I congratulate you! Stay the course and continue to flourish! You probably do not need to continue to read this article either – which is aimed for the rest of us who may think we respect ourselves or want to respect ourselves but may not even know where to start.

The way we view ourselves affects everything we do and say, how we interact with others and how successful we can become. Respect is a healthy attitude of reverence and awe for the existence of something. Respecting yourself is recognizing that you are a gift merely by your birth. You are worthy and are an awesome creation! When you recognize those two ideas as true it helps achieve a higher level of self esteem. Self respect is like the glue that holds together your self esteem. It is difficult to achieve high levels of esteem without a healthy dose of respect first.

When you embrace your worthiness, other things fall into place. They way you treat yourself and take care of yourself for one. That also translates into how you treat and relate to others. Your achievement increases because you believe you can do it and are worthy of success. If all people walked around with this kind of attitude can you imagine how different our world would be? It is unfortunate that self esteem peaks for most people in the third grade! Third Grade!!! That doesn’t bode well for us, but the good news is that it can change.

The most difficult part about respecting yourself is that no one else can do it for you – just you. The great news is that you can do something about it. Here are a few ideas to help you achieve a healthier attitude towards yourself.

Celebrate your creation. You were created therefore, no matter what anyone else says – YOU ARE AMAZING and certainly worthy of respect!
Quit the negative self talk. Recently I spoke with a group of teen agers and we did an exercise where they looked into a mirror and had to describe what they saw. They all had faces that they could describe and yet the majority of the descriptions focused on the negative items that they saw. Interestingly enough, the things they did like about their faces were not described in positive terms like the negative aspects that they shared. There weren’t “pretty eyes”, but there were plenty of “ugly noses”. This doesn’t apply to just your physical features either. Your job performance, your attitude … the list goes on and on.
Express and truly feel gratitude – for your creation, your blessings, your highs and your lows. If you were to make out a list of all of the “things” that you possess or were given, they would surely outweigh the negatives. Unfortunately we concentrate so much on the negative things we do not like experiencing, we neglect to respect the positive and healthy things in our life. Being grateful for both automatically lends to respecting each situation for what it is and confidence in your ability to weather any storm. Emerging from dark places and horrible situations is plenty to lend momentum to your self respect and what you can accomplish.
If you are feeling like the odds are stacked up against you and your life is overcome by difficult and seemingly impossible circumstances, there is still hope. Really look at the situation and find purpose to your pain. Even the most desperate situations have a purpose and you are a part of that. Look for the lessons and learn from them. You will emerge stronger and wiser and certainly worthy of praise.
Take care of yourself – body, mind and soul. Take steps everyday that lend to your healthy state of mind and body. Get enough sleep, eat better, exercise, dream, participate, and believe. By feeding your body and mind with what makes it stronger and clearer, you will feel better about yourself. When you are too tired to care about anything, your self respect is on the top of that list. If you are feeling guilty because you ate a whole box of Oreos, it is hard to celebrate your creation. When you stop believing that you can do anything, you can’t. A healthy mind and body can change everything for you.

Remember too that you can be a model for those around you. You can lead by example and hopefully change the trend of those who do not highly respect themselves. It is a contagious feeling and who wouldn’t like to feel good about who they are and what they can achieve? Don’t forget – YOU ARE AMAZING – and worthy of respect!

This article was published in the Speakers With Spark column of The News Enterprise.