Why Pushing Yourself is Worth It

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the best), are you pretty satisfied with life?

Wherever your gauge lands, I hope you’re somewhat content, because the fact that you’re breathing and able to read this is a sign that there’s more to do and be and experience.

Whether you’re in a season of 1 or 2 on the scale (life is really hard right now) or clicking on all cylinders (10 – couldn’t get any better), the reality is that all of us experiences ebbs and flows, ups and downs and swings of the pendulum that leave us struggling to get by or enjoying bounty beyond measure.

With each shift, however, comes an opportunity to be grateful, and in the process, an opportunity to grow. May sound trite, but it’s also true.

So today, assess where you are and where you’d like to be. Instead of beating yourself up (or gloating), challenge yourself to be braver or kinder or more strategic or more laid back.  Don’t stop when you find yourself uncomfortable, afraid or tired. Winners push through, and I believe you’re here to win.

Here are some tips that you and I both can practice until we hone them….

  • Don’t let your motivation to do well or do the right thing be driven by what others do or don’t do. Be excellent and operate with integrity regardless of how it’s received.
  • What others think of you truly is their business; respect yourself while respecting their choice to choose.
  • Lead with love, because this is still what we all need most.
  • Remember that what you see isn’t always what it is. A fleeting perception or assumption about someone or a particular circumstance could be completely wrong. Base your opinions instead on that person’s repeated actions and attitudes, because who they are will spill out over time. Accept that truth whenever it’s revealed, and be okay either way.
  • Choose joy. Life is too short to let grudges, gossip, guilt, greed, jealousy or the like derail you. Joy is the secret sauce that keeps you going and gives you hope.
  • Speak your vision for your life and prepare for it. Instead of wishing your circumstances were better or different or easier, embrace what they are currently and trust that the better experiences of which you speak will someday become your reality. Then get busy creating a better, different, more meaningful life for yourself and your loved ones.
  • Have fun and go for gold; but don’t “get yours” and leave others to fend for themselves. When you open your heart enough to care about and make sacrifices for the benefit of all humanity, you’ll enrich your own world more than you could have imagined.
  • Decide to get uncomfortable enough to try something new. You never know what opportunities, blessings and growth are just waiting for you to show up.
  • Take time to be kind or to simply be available. You are the gift someone needs today.


When Change is a Gift

Research shows that most people dislike change so much that they’d rather stay in unfulfilling, stagnant or unstable circumstances rather than risk the unknown or stretch past what feels safe. It’s human nature, it seems, to “go with what you know.”

Over the course of my personal and professional journey, however, I’ve become convinced that the different or the uncomfortable (or even the heartbreaking) can sometimes be a sacred path to purpose.

For it is on this fresh course and in unfamiliar territory that we learn more about ourselves, discover strengths we might not have otherwise realized, and connect with ideas, skills and relationships that are meant to play pivotal roles in our destiny.

Yet, if we’re not open to change, or avoid accepting its unexpected arrival, how will we ever know our other (possibly wiser, stronger, happier) selves?

This is my sentiment as I bid farewell to readers of Life Notes, the parenting column I’ve had the pleasure of writing since July 2007 for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Yes- more than 10 years! (Read my farewell column, in today’s newspaper, here.)

Life Notes was actually my second venture as a columnist for this daily newspaper in Richmond, Virginia: From 2000 to 2006, I wrote a weekly column for the Saturday metro section called Inspirations, which acquainted readers far and wide with the uplifting and resilient journeys of metro Richmond residents and with their explorations of faith and personal growth. It had a tremendous following, and according to Times-Dispatch reader surveys, was a primary driver for Saturday newspaper sales during that time.

Both columns were meaningful to me, as was my connection to their readers.

I retired Inspirations, however, when I “retired” from my daily journalism career to focus on penning books and freelance writing. Not an easy decision since I loved my work, but an exciting and necessary one, in order to fulfill the other dreams on my To Do list. I never regretted the choice.

This time around, with changes abreast in newspaper column inches and editorial direction comes the opportunity to take another leap that has long been on my To Do list: expanding the genre of books I write to include more nonfiction (in addition to my women’s fiction) and perhaps some young adult reads.  And while I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to blog for the Huffington Post, I look forward to penning more essays and profiles about the power of story and the relevance of our individual journeys for additional national publications. (Stay tuned!)

So yes, this is a goodbye of sorts to one platform for my writing, but a hello to all of the opportunities and open doors on my uncharted path. Will you celebrate with me?

I hope you’ll follow this blog to see where the written word takes me. Feel free to comment below and share ideas about what you’d like to learn about personal growth, matters of faith, living your best life, walking in purpose or writing your way to joy. I look forward to exploring these themes and more with you, and to growing with you.


Stacy Hawkins Adams ~ Author, Essayist, Journalist, Blogger

Why I Love: March and Welcoming a New Season

I love spring. My first name, Stacy, even means “of the springtime” in some translations and “Resurrection” in others. Both befit the awakening I feel within as this month slowly but surely ushers in warmer temps, blooming flowers and brighter sun.

It’s a transition that each of us can mirror, by taking time this month to reassess, recharge and refocus.

In the days between now and the first official day of spring (March 20) take in the wonder around you and recognize the lessons each day brings. Find some beauty where it seems lacking. Thank the darkness and coldness for the incubating space it has provided for this month’s beauty to form, grow strong and eventually blossom.

Then open your arms wide with welcome to all that awaits you, and don’t look back. Spring is coming.