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Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

  • Patti Hatton

Love Your Enemy

Fear serves a healthy purpose when the clouds become dark and a dangerous storm is approaching, and animosity is a normal reaction to an armed robbery, but these emotions become toxic when they linger past the purpose they were intended to serve. How do we overcome these emotions? Scripture tells us to bring every thought captive, to praise God in all circumstances and to love our enemies, which feels very unnatural when we are in pain. But if we want to gain control over our mind and emotions, we will consider the wisdom behind these commands. Many times, the offenses we ruminate over have to do with petty circumstances such as a friend saying the wrong thing or a mother-in-law overstepping her boundaries. (Be on the lookout for a vlog with Lisa Lou and Cecelia on healthy Mother/Daughter-in-law relationships!) Our quality of life will be a direct reflection of our state of mind. Protective boundaries against harm are imperative but obsessing over offenses does not serve us well. Here is an exercise used by psychologists to help break fixated thought patterns: 1. Go to a place in your mind where you feel calm, peaceful, and loved. Some may see themselves by a stream or in the mountains, and others on a beach watching a sunset. All is well in your safe place and you feel relaxed and at one with yourself. 2. Picture your enemy, or the person that caused an offense in your mind and allow the same feelings of love and beauty you are experiencing to enter them. Stay in this place until you see this person receiving the same good that you are receiving. 3. The next time this person comes to mind or you interact with them, go to that place of refuge and safety and see them through the lens of love. For the believer, we can do the same exercise, but we internalize God’s love in the midst of visiting our place of refuge. His love is greater and more powerful than anything we can provide. When we allow and offer that love to another, even our enemy, it changes our disposition. It breaks the stronghold of allowing our damaged emotions to rule our thought processes. It sets us free as we see the enemy as someone who is also in need of the Father’s love. This exercise does not require our protective boundaries to change, but our minds will shift to willing good into the life of the person we once thought had hurt us. The same applies to praising God in all circumstances. Love overcomes evil. And when we shift our thinking from our pain to a God who sees and knows our circumstances, we can put our faith in a power greater than ourselves to care and act on our behalf. God’s got you! Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

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