Motivational Monday – A Quote from Maya Angelou

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

~Maya Angelou

This is a great quote for many reasons. It speaks to that mission in life that we all should have, it speaks to thriving which betters our lives, and it speaks of passion. Living a passionate life is, I believe, what we are all here for to begin with; living that passionate, well-intentioned life. That life that puts all the impossibilities out the window. How do people get to passionate living? It is certainly a journey and takes time and dedication to get there, but is well worth a try. Reflecting on and living this quote would be a great start to that passionate living. Maya Angelou gives us some of the ingredients and it is up to us to complete the recipe with our own passion, style, and flair.

I often reflect on this quote, and try to incorporate its words into my everyday living. It satisfies the seeker’s quest by giving it instructions it might not have had before or have lost sight. Its motivational overture inspires me to take on the obstacles of life on a level that allows me to embrace, not turn away. And that makes such a difference in this journey.

I encourage you to reflect on this quote, and then read it again. Open up to the words and let them transform the way you think about your mission in life and how you will continue moving forward to that passionate and well-intentioned life.

xoxo, laportsia

My Do’s and Don’ts For Living a Passionate Life

Living a passionate life is not difficult at all, it simply takes planning and forethought to make living this type of life possible. I live by a set of, I don’t want to say rules, but rather do’s and don’ts that help me navigate life and live the way that I want. These do’s and don’ts just scratch the surface on living a passionate life, there are certainly a lot more. These specific do’s and don’ts helped get me started living a well-intentioned, passionate life. Try a few and see how things change for you.

  1. Do what you love every day. Period. The End.
  2. Don’t stress over things you cannot control or that are outside your zone of genius.
  3. Do have a purpose. Without a purpose, you sort of just float through life, directionless. You need a compass, which is your purpose, to continually keep you on the right path. You will need this compass if you somehow find yourself off your path, your purpose can show you back to the reason for everything.
  4. Don’t hold onto negative thoughts. If one happens by you, acknowledge its presence very briefly and dismiss it just as quick.
  5. Do know that you are enough. You cannot be any more than you already are. Remember this and that you are beautiful inside and out each and every day.
  6. Don’t clutter your space or mind with things that do not bring you to your why, your purpose.
  7. Do be thankful every day and keep a gratitude journal.
  8. Don’t be afraid to say no. If your first instinct is to always say yes when asked for something or to do something, you must know and not be afraid to say no, especially if it does not fall within your purpose.
  9. Do serve others. This is a no brainer, happiness duly comes when we help others, whether it is something very small or very big. We have an obligation in this life to pay it forward.
  10. Don’t surround yourself with negative people. Limit yourself to such people’s company. When trying to live your passionate life, it is important to remember that you are the sum of who you spend the most time with. If you are constantly surrounded by the negative or doubters then your life will manifest those things.
  11. Do wake up early. That quiet before the day begins is so magical. It centers and focuses you on what you have to accomplish for the day and helps you be much more productive in getting things done.
  12. Don’t spend too much time on social media. Unless this is your business, 15-20 minutes a day is plenty to post and capture all the relevant information you might need each day. Use those 15-20 minutes wisely. If the content does not fall within your purpose or your zone of genius, scroll past it.
  13. Do budget your finances. You won’t believe the stress money has on a person each day. But if you take the time each week or each month to budget out your income and expenses, you will find a peace and a financial freedom that lets you live a passionate life.
  14. Don’t let fear prevent you from doing what you love or from making a living doing it. You must move past the fear; the fear will still be there for sure but finding the courage to do the thing anyway makes you feel braver and more confident than you can imagine.

15.  Do make your bed every morning. Let it be the first task you tackle and accomplish         each day. By accomplishing this task right off the back each morning, you signal to your brain that any and all things are accomplishable. It is the gateway to more productivity, and a sense of accomplishment. Let it be your starting point to that passionate life.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Leave me a comment and let me know what Dos and Don’ts you have that help you in your passionate life journey.

Until next time,

xoxo, laportsia

Interview With Writer J.B. Vample: Author of The College Life Series

Good afternoon!! Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with an author I found to be quite interesting, J.B. Vample. She has written a book series called The College Life Series. I thought this book series idea was so amazing I wanted to know more about the author, her books, and her writing process. If you like the interview and want to see more interviews like this, hit the like button or leave me a comment. Sit back and enjoy.

laportsia: What inspired you to start writing?

J.B. Vample: I started writing when I was a child. I always  had an overactive imagination and writing allowed me to tap into that. It was just something that I always enjoyed doing, even though I never actually expected anybody to read my work back then. It also provided me an escape during some trying times in my life because writing allows me to express feelings that I otherwise keep bottled.

laportsia: What inspired the book series?

J.B. Vample: I was seventeen, getting ready to graduate high school and go to college. I started thinking of what my own college experience could be like and from my imagination, I created these characters and their storylines. From there, I started typing. 8 book later, these characters are still going strong.

laportsia: Who is your target audience?

J.B. Vample: Late high school through college aged readers (seventeen and up.) Although I have readers ranging from fourteen through mid-fifties.

laportsia: Who are the authors that you look up to?

J.B. Vample: Umm, can’t say. I never really idolize anybody, although I do enjoy a good series writer and I’ve read a few books by AA romance author Rochelle Alers, that I love.

laportsia: Do you have a writing process? Would you be willing to share that process?

J.B. Vample: Honestly, I just sit down and write. I have one basic outline of eight of the books that I created years ago, but its safe to say that a lot has changed from that outline. A lot of times when I write, things come to me as I go. So I don’t get to write too much down. I just started typing and the words flow. Now, I do need quiet when I’m writing. So I try to seclude myself and tend to listen to music, and drink tea.

laportsia: Do you ever get stuck when writing? How do you overcome it?

J.B. Vample: Yes, I do. Years ago I was struck with writers block and I didn’t get back to the keyboard until about five years later. Now, when I feel like I’m stuck, I either go walk or get on the elliptical for an hour, (movement gets my mind working. Or, I just sit and start typing, and things tend to pour out. Now, I do go back and read over it to make sure that it doesn’t sound like crap. But just typing something is better than nothing.

laportsia: What is your morning routine?

J.B. Vample: Weekdays I get up and get ready for work at my 9to5. My ten minute car ride to the train station allows a moment of clarity so I can act out these scenes.

laportsia: What is the one thing you’d like people to know about you or your book series?

J.B. Vample: Regarding my book series; it’s a fun read, full of drama and humor. Regarding myself…yes, I did write each and every one of these books myself (I get asked that a lot, lol)

laportsia: Where do you get your ideas?

J.B. Vample: Inspiration comes from all places, so I can’t really pin point one thing in particular. I could be listening to a song and a scene will pop in my head. I could be driving down the street and think of a word that a character would say and then create a dialogue around that. So yeah, ideas come from everywhere, from the simplest things sometimes.

laportsia: What advice do you have for others who want to write?

J.B. Vample: Always, always, always write what you love. I don’t care if its fantasy, poetry, erotica, contemporary, etc. If you love it, write it. Often times when coming into an industry, we think that we need to do what others do, or what is popular just to make a splash. And granted, if you’re doing something different, it might take a little longer to get noticed. But as long as you’re passionate and have an audience, you will get noticed, trust me. I pride myself on being different and sticking to the story that I love and believe in.

laportsia: If you could tell your younger writing self one thing, what would that be?

J.B. Vample: Follow your dreams sooner. Don’t let fear and uncertainty discourage you from publishing your work. Oh, and choose English as your major, not Computer Science. Your mind is too creative for binary codes….and you hate math.

laportsia: What is your favorite book?

J.B. Vample: One that I can think of at the moment is “No Compromise” by Rochelle Alers.

laportsia: How many hours a day do you write?

J.B. Vample: I get it in where it fits in. Sometimes, during work. Combined, I’d say maybe at least two hours a day during the week and longer during the weekend, depending on what I’m working on.

laportsia: What is your goal setting mindset?

J.B. Vample: I try to set realistic goals for myself (even if others don’t think that they’re realistic) and just put plans in place to be able to achieve those goals. Some achievements will take longer than others, but the more goals that I set and achieve, the closer I get to my ultimate goals. I also keep in mind never to throw in the towel, Even when I get frustrated, I keep pushing.

laportsia: How do you measure success?

J.B. Vample: I don’t measure success by money, although money is a good thing to have. But if I’m working at a job that I hate and am making a bunch of money, that’s not considered successful to me. Success to me, is me making a great living doing exactly what I was born to do, which is write.

laportsia: What comes to mind when you think of living a passionate life?

J.B. Vample: What comes to mind is living a life full of happiness and purpose. And following your dreams no matter what.

laportsia: Where can people find your books?

J.B. Vample: My books are currently available in both ebook (Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and Itunes) and paperback (Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com and Books-A-Million.com).

laportsia: Where can people find you on social media?

J.B. Vample: I am on Facebook. I have both a personal page (J.B. Vample) as well as fan page, (facebook.com/thecollegelifeseries) I am also on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat with the handle @jbvample.

I hope you enjoyed the interview. Hit the like button if you liked this post or leave me a message.

xoxo, laportsia

When Productivity Stalls

Not sure if any of you have ever suffered a productivity stall. I have just been through one and it was definitely not fun. Despite following through with all my productivity do’s, I found myself floating down a path I was certainly unfamiliar with, an inability to focus on one singular task, my mind was all over the place.

There are many things that could have contributed to this inability to focus, this stall in productivity. Recently I had a house guest which disrupted the flow of my morning routine, which has led me to believe that I need a routine that is more solid and flexible for the variety of variable that I might encounter. I also took a vacation and instead of taking the time for what it was and what it needed to be, I was determined to work as well, this split between family and work caused my productivity to suffer dramatically, which took me some time to recover.

Lack of routine and lack of planning, seems to have significantly stalled my productivity for the large portion of September and not only have I suffered but so has my business.

But the good news is that I have recovered my productivity. I could not go back to the system that had eventually failed me when variables were added, so I had to create new systems of productivity, a new planning system that takes into account the natural disruptions that life hands to us. I am overjoyed and confident that things will begin to climb to newer heights of productivity and as they do, so too will I get back to living the passionate life that calls to me each and every day.

xoxo, laportsia

21 Day Productivity Challenge: Day 15

Today’s challenge is to try to automate as many tasks as possible. Automation is a great way to get more productive because it frees up valuable time that could be spent on other more important things.

I like to automate the little things. I have all of my bills automated, so that I need not have to worry about due dates because everything is already set up to be paid at certain times throughout the month. Another thing that I automate is the posting of my blog posts and Instagram posts. Because I am an early riser, this is the time that I am able to focus and get all of my writing accomplished, therefore I write my posts and then put them on a schedule to be published. This saves me so much time and energy especially during the day when I have little time to sit down and write posts.

Try out automation, you will be surprised the amount of time you now have for more pressing tasks. Leave me a comment and let me know the types of things that you automate in your life to make you more productive.

See you tomorrow for our next challenge.

xoxo, laportsia

21 Day Productivity Challenge: Days 11, 12, 13, 14

_DSC0110Today’s challenge will be four in one since I did not post the challenges the past three days, which I sincerely apologize.

The first challenge for today is to utilize block scheduling. Block scheduling is a great way to help you get more things done in a day. If a specific timeframe is set aside for a specific task then there is little to no possibility of that time being utilized for something else or interrupted by distractions.

I utilize block scheduling on a daily basis. Once I get up there are certain times with in my morning and my day which are specified for a specific task. My morning routine consists of blocked scheduling since I must balance running my own businesses and working a 9-5, plus ensuring that I get a workout in sometime during the day, and maintaining an organized household. Blocked scheduling saves me from distraction, especially so early in the morning, and helps me get many things on my tasks list done.

The second challenge for today is to schedule in breaks, especially if you are utilizing the 90-minute working sessions. Scheduling time to take a break ensures that you will not get burned out or overwhelmed with the things that you have to do each day. Scheduling in breaks also, decreases, if not eliminates distractions during the time that you should be working.

I utilize scheduled breaks specifically to prevent distractions during my working sessions. Without these scheduled breaks, I have found that I do indeed find ways to be distracted as well as I start to feel burned out. Working non-stop despite what it seems, actually makes a person less productive. I lose my focus if I continually work without taking that needed break. My scheduled breaks whatever they be rejuvenate my whole being and refocuses me on the tasks at hand or that are to come.

The third challenge for today is to maximize your task list. What do I mean by maximizing it? Getting the fullest usage out of your task list to get done the things that you need to complete each month, week, and day.

I maximize my task list by first doing a brain dump, I take a piece of paper and write down everything that I can think of that needs to be done. I usually do a brain dump at the beginning of each month and then at the beginning of each week. I have heard that some people even do a brain dump daily, which if it works for them super. Once I have dumped out all the tasks that I need to or think I need to complete. I think scour through them and decide what needs to be complete this month, this week. I also go through the list and weed out the tasks that I can delegate and those tasks that seem important but are really outside of my zone of genius. This helps me par down to the three to five tasks from my brain dump that I need to complete on a daily basis. It works wonders for me.

The fourth challenge for today is to eliminate distractions. Eliminating distractions can be difficult if you do not realize what is distracting you in the first place. The first place to begin in eliminating distractions is to figure out what are your distractions. A distraction is anything that takes you away from your goals and out of your zone of genius.

In order to eliminate my distractions, I had to take an inventory of what I did on a daily basis. I started with what I was doing from the moment I work up to when I went to bed and I saw in a day all the things that were not helping me get things done, but I did not know exactly how to eliminate these distractions until I started blocking time, utilizing the 90-minute work sessions, and scheduling breaks. Once I started utilizing these tools, I saw a significant drop in my distractions, no longer did binge watching a series on TV appeal to me because it was not helping me move forward in improving my productivity or get things done.

Try out these four challenges over the course of the rest of the challenge and see how your productivity sky rockets. Leave me a comment and let me know all the challenges which have been most beneficial to you or if you have some productivity tools that you use and would like to share I would love to read them.

See you tomorrow with the next challenge.

xoxo, laportsia

21 Day Productivity Challenge: Day 10

Today’s challenge is to work in a 90-minute interval or work session at least once a day for the rest of the challenge.

This challenge I learned from the great achiever, Darren Hardy, and I believe wholeheartedly in the process.

You pick a 90-minute timeframe, a time where you will have no distractions, extreme quiet, and be able to be laser focused on one task. You set a timer for 90-minutes and work, just work straight for those 90-minutes, and when the timer goes off, you rest, you stop working for at least 30-minutes, and you celebrate the win.

I use the 90-minute work session at minimum twice a day, I aim for three a day, but two sessions are still plenty for one day. The 90-minute work session works magic for me and helps me be even more productive.

I really encourage you to try out this challenge, you will be amazed. It has truly propelled my life and business forward in ways I could not have imagined.

Once you try the 90-minute session, leave me a comment and let me know how it went.

See you tomorrow for the next challenge.

xoxo, laportsia