Category Archives: Insights from My Life

9 Counter-intuitive Ways to Improve Concentration and Get More Done

By Monica Nelson The faster our world speeds up, the less we seem to be able to get done. The technology that has come along to help us improve our lives can be just as destructive to accomplishing what we must. One of the problems we face in getting more done is that we can’t seem to concentrate enough to get our tasks done in the time they should take. Instead, we end up spending more time trying to get our focus. If this strikes a chord with you, why not slow down a little to begin with. Or take extra time to do certain rituals that in the long … Continue reading

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Can We Forgive Enough to Ban the Box?

By Monica Nelson Twenty years ago I worked as a volunteer with a group that taught GED preparation to a group of prisoners at a large metropolitan county jail. What a wonderful experience that was. Our little group consisted of three or four instructors and a leader who was in charge of our program. We met with a group of around 20 prisoners once a week. The men we instructed had to be chosen to participate in the program because there was a waiting list three times longer than the number of accepted participants. Each student had to display exemplary behavior to get in and, once in, had to give … Continue reading

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What Makes Us Perfect is Our Imperfection

By Monica Nelson As a writer, I adore watching movies in order to study story structure. I will devour the really well made flicks over and over to catch nuances that I may have missed in the previous viewings. When I started this pastime, I discovered a side glitch that I didn’t expect. I began to see errors in production – for instance, an article of clothing that was invented or used only after the time period the story took place. Or a glimpse of a piece of filming equipment in the background. All imperfections to an otherwise perfect creation. I realized that this is a very apt metaphor for … Continue reading

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If you find it hard to forgive, take a radical approach

By Monica Nelson For me, forgiveness is a high aspiration, as you can probably tell if you have read my blog for any length of time. But putting it into practice (and making it stick) is one of the most difficult of my pursuits. If you are with me in this same exasperating goal, you will want to listen to what Colin Tipping has to say in his book, Radical Forgiveness. Discovering this book has (and I don’t say this lightly) changed my life. I hope sharing this with you will work miracles for you too. I will attempt as comprehensive a summary as I can below. In addition, I … Continue reading

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4 Insights for Successful Living We Can Learn from Watching a Toddler at Play

By Monica Nelson Recently I visited with a friend at her office where she was entertaining her young granddaughter. The child had an entire floor full of toys spread so thinly there was no room to walk. With this vast array of commercial delight in front of her, what do you think held her interest for longer than the average toddler attention span? Give up? It was a small plastic container (that in a former life held some sort of food item) full of all sizes of metal paper clips, and a very strong magnet. Clamping the magnet on the bottom of the container while watching the paper clips dance … Continue reading

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It’s Free, Easy, and Underutilized – But It’s Absolutely Essential for Optimum Functioning

By Monica Nelson Our son just finished his first real job. He has been looking forward to the day when he could work as a detasseler for three weeks during the summer. It is a great first job for him. He has learned many things from it: the importance of a strong work ethic, commitment to a promise to complete his job, responsibility in doing the very best job he can perform, and the fulfillment from a job well done. We, as his parents, are thrilled with these benefits. And for a 13-year-old, he was making pretty darn good money. To him, this is the most important element of his experience. … Continue reading

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5 Great Ways to Make A Difference – Give a Little, Get a Lot

By Monica Nelson We all have a calling, something that gives us purpose and makes our lives meaningful. Your calling is as individual as you are. But every calling has a common component – the need to make a difference while we inhabit this planet. Discovering your specific answer to this common component may seem elusive. Many times we think that we have to achieve some large accomplishment in order to make a difference. But that is simply not true. There are many seemingly small acts you can do which have huge impacts that you may or may not ever fully comprehend. Here are a few ideas to get you … Continue reading

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Where the Soul Lives

By Monica Nelson I am going to deviate just a little from my normal advice-type format to throw something at you that I have been kicking around for a while, and to ask a few questions of you. No, it’s not a test with one right answer, but I am asking you for your honest feedback. I’ll start with two radical concepts. Concept Number 1: We are not our bodies. Our body houses the essence of who we are. It is the vehicle through which we operate in a physical world. It is the instrument through which you express who you are at a given moment. Concept Number 2: We … Continue reading

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The Art of Transformation: 5 Absolute “Get Ready for Change” Musts

By Monica Nelson After a recent visit to the doctor for a physical, I was faced with a do or die decision. She had been telling me for a couple of years that I needed to stop ignoring my health, and make some changes. This time the numbers were too significant to ignore. She lectured me on the need to change my diet (lose weight) and start/maintain a consequential exercise program. It was too important to my quality of life to put aside any more. I had to make a transformation. Whether we face this kind of ultimatum, or we simply desire to make a change, transformation is necessary. It … Continue reading

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Be Careful How you Classify Someone, Even if You Mean the Best By It

By Monica Nelson Many, many years ago when I was a young single adult, I became friends with a woman who wanted to set me up with all of her husband’s single friends. She was so adamant about doing this and wanted so much to see me connected to one of them that she tended to “talk me up” a lot. On one such set-up she told the man that I was a model. (Not true. I had taken modeling classes but had never worked as one.) On the night we were to get together, she and I traveled to a practice session (her husband and his friend were both … Continue reading

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