Mastering Life with 20,000 Days and Counting

15, 713 Days.

That’s how many days I’ve been alive as of today.

If I live as long as my great-grandmother, I’ll live another 14,228 days. That means I’m more than half way through my days. I could live more days, or I could live fewer days. Regardless, I’m here now, and that means I have today to experience, cherish, and squeeze the most life out of as possible.

That’s the basis of the book 20,000 Days and Counting; The Crash Course for Mastering Your Life Right Now, by Robert D. Smith, aka "The Robert D." as he is known to friends, clients, and followers.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Warning... going deep today! We all have things that we're good at... things that comes naturally to us. We call those our strengths.

One of my favorite things about being a Certified YCG Practitioner is revealing people's strengths. I say "revealing" because we're not always taught to talk about our strengths, so we tend to bury them. We might have been told once that talking about strengths is impolite or bragging. And maybe, just to make sure we got the message, we were quickly instructed on our shortcomings.

While it's socially more acceptable to discuss how we can improve our weaknesses, we do ourselves a huge disservice. It's not bragging to talk about the things you're good at. When we identify our strengths, we're finding the optimal direction that our path in life can take us. It's a direction where our heart resonates, where our natural talents shine.

But we're too busy trying to fix our weaknesses to shine.

What we don't always realize is that our supposed weaknesses may be identifying things that are simply not authentic to our true nature. The weaknesses may not even be in our wheel house, yet we beat ourselves up trying to make it a strength! In our education and our work, we're often taught to force ourselves into assignments, evaluations, and job descriptions. We're graded on these "weaknesses" and taught to struggle to gain skills that are not authentically ours.

And then, we're even rewarded for the struggle... until we can't "overcome" it, at which time we're labeled a failure. It's crazy making!

But how can we have failed if we were doing something we're not even supposed to be doing?

One of the five elements I talk about with clients at Live the Sweet Life are Strengths and Weaknesses, but not in a way that you might be familiar with. The human assessment test, Y.O.U. (Your Own Understanding) reveals several inherent traits in each of us. Those traits can appear as a strength or a weakness, depending on the state of the person. Are they experiencing some toxicity? The trait will appear as a weakness. Are they feeding the areas of life that they naturally need fed? Their traits will appear as strengths.

If we understood ourselves and our natural traits better, we'd be able to not only identify what is authentic to us, but equally as important, what is NOT. We can focus on the activities where we shine, and we can learn to lead with those traits from a place of strength. Knowing how that trait shows up as a weakness (the opposite state of your strength), you can identify when things aren't quite lining up in your life and then go about fixing that, instead of focusing on activities that will drain you of your energy, taking you away from your true calling.

On Live the Sweet Life, I share a few examples of Strengths and Weaknesses and explain how they are really two sides of the same coin. I also offer a few examples of activities to get you out of that weakness funk.

And, as always, I invite you to take The Test for yourself.


Live the Sweet Life... NOW!

It's LIVE! My new site. My labor of love. My offering to the world.

Live the Sweet Life

What's it all about?

Live the Sweet Life is a site that promotes my Y.O.U. Consultation practice. For the past two years, I've been busy getting certified in a human assessment technology, The Ultimate Life Tool. It's like a personality test, but not really. This test is based on "The Knowledge of Y.O.U." and goes deeper than any other personality test you might have taken. It's objective, rather than subjective, because it's rooted in science.


Y.O.U. is an acronym for Your Own Understanding. Understanding what motivates you, what feeds you, what you need to get back into alignment, and what your energetic boundaries are, you will be able to navigate more efficiently, reserving your energy for the things that matter most in your life.

The Test

People that take the assessment can choose to simply receive their personalized report ("Life Map"), or get the Life Map PLUS a 45 minute one-on-one consultation where we go deeper into your results and your unique design, as well as getting some practical application of the results for immediate results.

There is a third option that includes the personalized Life Map, the initial 45 minute consultation, plus a two hour portal discussing the wisdom and technology behind Y.O.U., a personalized life mapping session, and a follow up session.

There's a blog, too!

In the blog, Notes from the Trail, I'll be sharing inspirational stories, guest posts from experts of all areas of life, testimonials from people that have taken the test and applied what they've learned to their lives, and insights into the knowledge behind Y.O.U. and The Ultimate Life Tool.

So come on by... check it out... tell me what you think... share with your friends... all that jazz. :)

And if you want to know more about what makes you tick and how to navigate more efficiently in this world by taking the test, email me and I'll send you a special discount code.

The Invitation

It was 1999. Such a long time ago. Y2K loomed over us like the Mayan Calendar. I had just left my corporate job and returned to school to, as one professor put it, "chase a little piece of paper." I had not yet met my husband, so weekends when my oldest two daughters were at their dad's house were a time of solitude and introspection.

And wild partying.

During the moments of introspection, I would wonder what it was I should be doing. What was the life I should be living? How or when would I ever be really truly successful? Those days, I spent a lot of time at bookstores and coffee shops... pondering.

It was fabulously exciting, I swear.

On one particular day, I wandered into a bookstore to see if there were any books that were calling to me. Seriously. That's how I shopped for books. I think the booksellers thought I was trying to steal something the way I fingered the bindings, waiting for that feeling.

Coo coo...

One book did call to me that day. You might say it invited me to read it. The book was aptly called "The Invitation," written by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Oriah. Mountain. Dreamer.

Coming from someone who adopted the name "Sugar," I immediately dug her name. The cover bore the first few lines of the poem the book was named after. Intrigued, I opened it up to read more. Inside was a testimonial from Dr. Wayne Dyer saying that Oriah's words "pierced my shell and pricked at my soul. An invitation to the ultimate dance." I had just discovered Dr. Dyer (you gotta love those all day PBS marathons) so I was sold.

Since that day, a lot has happened. I opened myself up to a different way of thinking, a different perspective on life and success. And then I closed up again out of fear. I went back to fitting in and people pleasing. But the book found me once more. There on the cover were the words. The Invitation. With a little more determination, I set out to live differently. Little by little, I worked at releasing conformity and became comfortable being my true self. And as it is with onions when you peel the layers away, there were lots of tears. And lots of goodbyes.

It was NOT easy. But it was worth it.

Someone posted a picture today. It was an open palm with the words, "They tell you to be yourself & then they judge you." I left a comment saying, "That's when you find other theys." I know "theys" isn't a word, but you get what I mean, right? That's what happens when you become your true self, which is probably the fear that holds us back from being who we really are. But the truth is, there are plenty of amazing people on the other side of your decision to change, waiting to accept the real you and cherish every quirky bit of you.

I want to share with you the poem that started me on my personal adventure of self discovery. The journey that came with many tears and goodbyes... and many new faces and more laughter and joy.

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting you heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the core, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I invite you to be... YOU.