Thanks Bruno Mars!

treadmillThe Bruno Mars lyrics mentioned above in my Jen’s Gem below are what was placed on my heart this morning as I worked out.  I hit a major milestone recently in my workout which made me think of this song.

What was this milestone? For several months now I’ve been waking at 5:15 a.m. to walk thirty minutes on my treadmill. I do this five days a week in the hopes of losing (once again) some weight as well as to increase my energy levels. Now that I’m back in the corporate world, I need all the energy I can get!

At first I was barely making it to the thirty minute mark without feeling like I was going to pass out. My pace rarely made it over 3.5 and my calories burned hovered around 200. Not exactly anything to write home about but it was something.

My goal was to get back to where I was 3 years ago with a 4.0 pace, burning 500 calories, and running – not walking. After several weeks, I had to adjust that goal. Why? Because it was unrealistic and could potentially derail all of my efforts if I got hurt.

I settled for sticking with a fast-paced walk, upping my pace as my body adjusted, and accepting that burning 250 calories was better than burning 500 calories and getting hurt.

The other day I happened to look down at the treadmill display and saw that I had hit the 250 calories mark in under 30 minutes. This was a big deal. Goal accomplished!

I’m sure there are many people reading this who are likely scoffing because they can burn 250 calories in five minutes. That’s ok. I’m happy for them. If I start to compare myself to others, I will not only discount my hard-earned goal, but I may even stop working out because I can’t be like them.

How often do we do this – compare ourselves to others and then toss away every gift and talent we have like yesterday’s trash? Why do we spend our time competing with others instead of rejoicing in who we are? Why do we let this jealousy of other’s gifts eat us alive and break our spirits?


Because we don’t know who we are. That’s right. Take a breath and read that sentence again.

We don’t know how great we are or how fabulous our gifts can be if we only valued them enough to confidently share them with others.

word probs

Let me give you an example. I’m horrible at word problems. Always have been. I don’t get why it matters which train arrives at the station first because of a shorter wheel span or wind speeds or whatever. This is why I never did well on these types of questions on math tests and why I got a “D” in computer programming in college. My brain works better with algebra and statistics problems which are more ‘black and white’.

My oldest brother on the other hand can solve a word problem as he’s reading it. When, later in life, he took a few computer programming courses, he aced every one. Why? His brain works better with geometry and ‘grayness’.

I could compare myself to him and feel stupid because I can’t solve these problems or teach my kids how to solve them. I could choose to get frustrated, feel badly about myself, and get angry that I wasn’t given this gift. What does this accomplish and more importantly, what does it teach my children?

Instead, I embrace his gift, and have him on speed dial whenever my kids have word problems for homework. What do I tell my kids? “Word problems are not my gift but they are your Uncle John’s. Let’s call him for help.”

This accomplishes two things. They see that I know my weaknesses and that I can find a solution to compensate for them. Hopefully, they will do the same when they face their own weaknesses.

‘Cuz guess what? They have them…and so do you. But you also have strengths and talents and gifts that no one else has. When you focus on those instead of what you can’t do – or worse, what others can do, you embrace all that you were meant to be and your light shines.

That’s when you will truly know who you are. And you’re amazing…just the way you are.

Jen’s Gem: “You’re Amazing…Just the Way You Are”. Believe this.


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