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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

Q/A How to Love Yourself

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Q: How do you love yourself? How do you stop comparing yourself to everything you see on Instagram? I recently unfollowed people who made me feel bad about myself. I began surrounding myself with more motivational and inspirational people. It made a huge difference.

A: We are all tempted to compare our lives with others to see how we measure up. While it is wonderful to gain inspiration, encouragement, and ideas from others, using our time and energy to live in a tormented state of envy or inferiority is just not worth it.

I use the hula hoop as a metaphor to describe what I own and what lies within my jurisdiction. Imagine a hula hoop around you and a hula hoop around someone else. Everything in your hula hoop belongs to you. Your hair is in your hula hoop. It is your hair, you own it, and you are responsible for it. You can cut, color, or do whatever you please because it is your hair. Your spiritual gifts and natural talents are in your hula hoop. It is your responsibility to learn what those are and to develop and use them to make a meaningful contribution to society. They are your gifts and talents. You own them and you are responsible for them. Your desires, feelings, ambitions, etc., are within your hula hoop.

Why would I use my time and resources to focus on another person’s hula hoop when I do not own anything within their hula hoop? If you look at it through the lens of the hula hoop metaphor, you can see what a loss it would be not to explore and discover what you own and do your very best to love, nurture, and develop those things. Think of your hula hoop as a pie chart divided into sections. Each piece contains something different. Spiritual, intellectual, relational, creative, physical; all are a part of you.

Ask yourself, “What can I do to grow the intellectual part of myself? What books can I read, or classes can I take to stimulate my mind?

What can I do to grow the creative part of myself?” Make goals that are small, specific, and measurable to cultivate wholeness and move towards success.

Scripture tells us in Psalm 139 that God fashioned and formed us in our mother’s womb. We were HIS idea and he has declared each of us to be “wonderful and complex.” God did not make a mistake when He created you. Learning to love and develop yourself as if you were your own best friend is your privilege and responsibility. It is a choice, though. You could choose to squander all that God has given you by focusing on what you perceive others have that you do not. God gave them their gifts for a reason, and he gave you your gifts for a reason. Think of your traits, your gifts, as tools. When we set out to complete a job, we make sure we have the right tools. A carpenter needs a hammer. A cook needs a stove.

God has given each person the tools we need to perform the work he has placed before us. Embrace it and be the best you that you can be. You were created, just as you are, for a reason. It is your job to figure out that reason. We should surround ourselves with healthy relationships, this includes on social media. Just as we would never consume poison, we should not consume destructive things that hold us back from the plan God has set before us. When you are old and gray, you want to be able to look back on your life and know you took responsibility for that which God entrusted to you, and only you. No regrets!

Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

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