10 Tips I Live By…

I am always asked how do I have the patience and the strength to live here in China.  Due to all the criticism that I get from the locals and my own American people.  Well I have some tips that I live by and they have helped me, not only while I have been living abroad but when I was living in the states also.

I can’t take credit for creating the tips.. That I have to give to Tara Sophia Mohr, she is a women’s life coach and a very good one.  I wanted to give you guys the tips that she gives and that I follow.  You can follow Tara on her website Wise Living at  http://www.taramohr.com. 






10 Rules for Brilliant Women

1. Make a pact. No one else is going to build the life you want for you. No one else will even be able to completely understand it. The most amazing souls will show up to cheer you on along the way, but this is your game. Make a pact to be in it with yourself for the long haul, as your own supportive friend at every step along the way.  This is so true.. there are many time that no one supports my ideas or what I want to do.   I have found in my life the best cheerleader I have is myself.  I pat myself on the back every time I feel proud of myself.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with praising yourself.

2. Imagine it. What does a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park life look like for you? What is the career that seems so incredible you think it’s almost criminal to have it? What is the dream you don’t allow yourself to even consider because it seems too unrealistic, frivolous, or insane? Start envisioning it. That’s the beginning of having it.  This one is a little harder for me.  Sometimes I tell myself that I should even try that or it is not possible.  But I have gotten better with age I guess.  I have more confidence in my abilities because I have accomplished many things so far in my life.
3. Gasp. Start doing things that make you gasp and get the adrenalin flowing. Ask yourself, “What’s the gasp-level action here?” Your fears and a tough inner critic will chatter in your head. That’s normal, and just fine. When you hear that repetitive, irrational, mean inner critic, name it for what it is, and remember, it’s just a fearful liar, trying to protect you from any real or seeming risks. Go for the gasps and learn how false your inner critic’s narrative really is, and how conquerable your fears. When I was younger I could find more “Gasp-level” actions, now they are fewer and farther between.  I guess the last one I had been when I decided to come to China to live.   My heart was in my throat but I made it and so can anyone of you that want to try something you have never done before.
4. Get a thick skin. If you take risks, sometimes you’ll get a standing ovation, and sometimes, people will throw tomatoes. Can you think of any leader or innovator whom you admire who doesn’t have enthusiastic fans and harsh critics? Get used to wins and losses, praise and pans, getting a call back and being ignored. Work on letting go of needing to be liked and needing to be universally known as “a nice person.” This is one of the most important things i have had to learn.  Making my skin tougher.  I was always taught if your kind to others they will be kind to you .. then I learned that it is not always the case.  Sometimes, no matter how kind you are to people they are an ass to you.  I just remember my grandmother saying, “If people are trying to bring you down, it only means that you are successful…take it as a compliment.”  I always keep that in my mind, hold my head up and just keep doing what I do.
5. Be an arrogant idiot. Of course I know you won’t, because you never could. But please, just be a little more of an arrogant idiot. You know those guys around the office who share their opinions without thinking, who rally everyone around their big, (often unformed) ideas? Be more like them. Even if just a bit. You can afford to move a few inches in that direction.  I guess for us being arrogant can mean we are being a “Bitch.”  However, if that is what I have to do to get things done… Then HELLO .. my name is Bitch…. I myself just call it confidence and determination. 
6. Question the voice that says “I’m not ready yet.” I know, I know. Because you are so brilliant and have such high standards, you see every way that you could be more qualified. You notice every part of your idea that is not perfected yet. While you are waiting to be ready, gathering more experience, sitting on your ideas, our friends referenced in rule five are being anointed.  I have quieted this voice in my head… I rarely hear the voice that tells me I am not good enough or my skills aren’t high enough.  I only hear positive things. 
7. Don’t wait for your Oscar. Don’t wait to be praised, anointed, or validated. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to lead. Don’t wait for someone to invite you to share your voice. No one is going to discover you. (Well, actually, they will, but paradoxically, only after you’ve started boldly and consistently stepping into leadership, sharing your voice, and doing things that scare the hell out of you.) This is a hard one for me.  I am the kind of person that likes people to tell me I am doing a good job.  I even want to hear my husband say it to me… even if I have to tell him to tell me…(smile).  But in China they do not praise you very often, so you have to just go ahead and do it on your own.   I use that inner voice to give me the praise and motivation to go on. 
8. Filter advice. Most brilliant women are humble and open to guidance. We want to gather feedback and advice. Fine, but recognize that some people won’t understand what you are up to (often because you are saying something new and ahead of your time). Some people will find you to be not their cup of tea. Some will feel threatened. Some people will want to do with your idea only what is interesting or helpful to them. So interpret feedback carefully. Test advice and evaluate the results, rather than following it wholesale. This is advice i was giving from my grandmother also.  Not all advice you get is good advice and not all advice is to help you … some is to hurt you.   So, be careful of what advice you follow.
9. Recover and restore. If you start doing the things that make you gasp, doing what you don’t quite feel ready to do, and being more of an arrogant idiot, you are going to be stretching out of our comfort zone–a lot. Regularly do things that feel safe, cozy, and restorative. Vent to friends when you need to. Acknowledge the steps you’ve taken. Watch your tank to see how much risk-taking juice you have available to you. When it’s running low, stop, recover and restore. This is good advice also.  I usually take a break from being “on”… every week by having some me time or meditating.  This helps calm myself and prepare me for another week in China.  Sometimes, I just want to talk to American people…. and laugh.  I have many friends from all over the world and many Chinese friends but sometimes you want to talk to someone who understands where you are coming from.
10. Let other women know they are brilliant. Let them know what kind of brilliance you see, and why it’s so special. Call them into greater leadership and action. Let them know that they are ready. Watch out for that subtle, probably unconscious thought, “because I had to struggle and suffer on my way up…they should have to too.” Watch out for thinking this will “take” too much time – when the truth is it always has huge, often unexpected returns.
This is what I always try to do.  I love to encourage others to achieve.  It makes me work harder.  I enjoy see women and men achieve great things.

Well these are the tips I live by and before I found Tara Sophia Mohr’s website, I already had a version of these tips in my mind but she made them very clear.  Check out her site I find her words inspiring and motivating, and I am sure you will to.

until next time….


5 thoughts on “10 Tips I Live By…

  1. Jo,

    Thank you, I certainly needed these inspiring words! I believe you have written your grandmother’s quote in a previous post, but I have to say I love it.

    Too many people brought me down through my life which sometimes still bring me down to this day (I do it to myself due to their actions in the past). I need to shake it off and live from the following: “If people are trying to bring you down, it only means that you are successful…take it as a compliment.”

    Needless to say this applies to you as well – I just read you latest entry on re-investing yourself. I know you can do it! Watch out China!

    Happy Mid Autumn’s Day Festival!

  2. Mayte

    I like this one Jo!

    I think on some level, we try to incorporate these things in a little at a time but they’re useful tools for living your life on your own terms.

    Thanks for listing them!

    Happy Mid-Autumn Festival too! =)

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