Was it a dream or ghosts?

On the eve of New Year’s eve, December 30, 2018, I woke up to a swishing sound in my bedroom. Near the bottom of my bed the room was extra dark and it seemed like there were three people standing there, two women and one man.

Now I don’t know for sure if I was awake or asleep or seeing ghosts, but I felt scared at first. I believe I see ghosts occasionally…please don’t judge me too harshly. There has always been light, not darkness when I’ve seen ghosts before, so I was really scared. I asked why they were there and wondered if they meant to hurt me. It seemed like they were talking to each other.

My heart was racing and when the thought that they may be there to harm me was raging in my head, they all turned to me at once and said “of course not.” So I asked what they wanted?

They looked at each other and seemed to be trying to figure out how to tell me something really important. Then the man looked at me and said they were concerned about my health.

Well that got my heart racing even more. Since I have only been in remission from breast cancer for two and a half years, I wondered if it had returned. They all turned to me again and seemed to shake their heads no. I thought about my routine check-up scheduled later next month and calmed down. I feel sure I’m still in remission, but always confirm a few times a year.

The woman in the middle said they were concerned about my diabetes. Now I was starting to think this dream was annoying. After my battle with cancer, I ended up with Type 2 diabetes. When I get my blood sugar under control, I like to pretend I don’t have it and it was all just temporary. Classic denial stuff.

This holiday I had been eating all sorts of high-carb and sugary foods and ignoring all the signs that my blood sugar is out of control. I kept justifying that my achy joints, tingly fingers and low energy weren’t that bad.

The shorter woman on the end didn’t seem convinced that I would pay attention to them. She kept saying “I don’t think this is going to work, we may have to find someone else.”

That got my attention.

I asked them, “Find someone else for what? What do you want me to do?” The man looked back and said they wanted me to take care of myself. To eat more healthy foods and to exercise. The woman in the middle said that’s all I need to do and that’s why they were there.

The woman on the end looked at me, then looked back at the other two and said she didn’t know if this would work. So I asked again what they wanted me to do. The woman in the middle said the only important thing is that I take care of myself. She said everything else will happen as it should. The other two agreed with her.

Now that was ambiguous, but I somehow believed them and vowed to eat right and get regular exercise.

The next morning I was thinking about whether that was a dream or if I was awake. I was wondering if I told anyone would they think I was crazy. I was even beginning to waiver on my commitment. After all, it was only a dream.

Then I opened LinkedIn and saw the post that Penny Marshall had died the night before due to complications from heart disease and diabetes. Woah!

Now I wasn’t thinking that any of the ghosts in my bedroom were Penny Marshall. But it did make me wonder if I’d had my own personal version of the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Now some of you may be thinking that she was 75 and had a good long life. But it seems to me that her life was cut short by at least 10 years according to what experts say about our average life span being 84-85. A recent study even projected that baby boomers that live past the age of 50 are likely to live to be 100. I don’t know about you, but I plan to become a Centenarian.

My commitment to health is stronger than ever. Without my health I can’t accomplish any of the fun things on my list. Without my health, I can’t truly enjoy the people in my life. Without my health, I can’t accomplish my professional and personal goals of financial freedom and travel. Without my health I can’t be effective at sharing the knowledge I have about personal branding, marketing, sales and leadership that my growing customer base has come to rely on. Without my health, the motivational speaking I enjoy and am passionate about is definitely out of the question.

For some reason my health seems to only surface as a top priority when I’m sick. This year, thanks to my vivid dream, and Penny Marshal’s unfortunate death, my health is back on top as my number one priority.

May you find love, health and prosperity in abundance this year!

Happy New Year!

Debbie Donaldson

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How I Stopped Worrying About Money and Doubled My Income — Twice

At the age of 25 I was a single mom working as a customer service rep in Houston, Texas. My son was 10 years old, my daughter 8 years old and I felt like a terrible mother never having enough money for the things they needed and wanted. My salary didn’t quite cover the rent, car payment, utilities and groceries, so I felt like a failure constantly having to ask my family for help.

I was always worried about money but knew I was making the most anyone had ever made in the position I was in. So I asked my boss Steve for advice on how to get ahead and make more money.

Steve had become my mentor that I admired and trusted. He recommended I go into sales. He also suggested that I read the Houston Business Journal and the business section of the Houston Chronicle to stay informed on what was happening in business locally and what was going on in the world.

In addition to reading both the papers he recommended, I also subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. Can you imagine how hard it was for me to stay awake and read business news at the age of 25? Especially after working all day, taking my kids to sports and scouts activities, helping them with homework, making dinner, then reading with them before they went to bed? More nights than I can remember I fell asleep reading and woke up to newspapers strewn all over the bed and scattered on the floor.

Scanning headlines helped me find the businesses and industries that were growing, improving and learning about those not doing so well. I also started reading the classified ads for sales jobs. I had tried for several years to go into sales with the company I worked for, but they required a college degree to go into sales, and I didn’t have one.

I’d made my choice to have a family when I was very young. Supporting and spending time with them took all my time…and money. So going to college was not going to happen.

I ended up finding a sales job, but it didn’t lead to the increase in income I was hoping for. When I told my mentor Steve that I was considering going back into customer service, he encouraged me to look for another sales job. He was more confident in my sales skills than I was, but I trusted him and took a leap. That one didn’t end up paying enough either, so I took one more leap.

That’s when I found another mentor. An author Denis Waitley, who published an audio tape series called the Psychology of Winning. Now in my 30’s, I was finally making a little more than I had been making at 25, but it still was not enough to cover all my expenses. I felt guilty about asking my mom, sisters and brother to help me so often.

Not having enough money all the time was stressful and I have a bad habit of eating ice cream, cookies and candy at night when I’m stressed. It wasn’t a surprise that I gained several pounds, and being so heavy made me feel uncomfortable and less confident. My new sales job was selling over the phone to people all over the country, so I was sitting in a chair for hours getting very little physical activity in my day, making it even easier to gain weight.

When I started listening to my new audio tape series the Psychology of Winning, I decided three things. The first was to lose the weight I’d gained by walking, which would also give me uninterrupted time to listen to Denis Waitley’s tapes while I walked. The second thing I decided was to stop worrying about money. Then the third thing — I made the decision to double my income within the next year.

It finally happened. I was finally starting to make the money that would help me support my children without extra help from my family.

Deciding to double my income within the next year, believing I could and taking some very specific actions is what made it happen. I finally felt like my life was on track.

I was in a sales job that I liked and had even been promoted to sales manager. It turned out that I enjoyed teaching other people how to be successful in sales more than anything I had ever done before.

The company I was working for in Houston merged with a competitor in Kansas City.

That’s when I met my new boss John, the third mentor that changed my life. He was an entrepreneur and had built a business by targeting a very specific customer and creating a desire for a solution to a problem his customers hadn’t realized was keeping their businesses from growing.

But the most important thing he taught me was how to have fun with customers and co-workers.

It was the first time in my career I stopped craving money and started really loving what I did for a living. It’s funny how when that happened, my income doubled again.

If you’re an entrepreneur or in sales for a living, I’d like to give you a free copy of my new e-book SALES FUEL — The truth about what it takes to launch and navigate a fast growing business you love. Click here for your free copy.

All the best,

Debbie

WAKE UP

Hosting and co-producing WAKE UP to The New Rules of Business on the Infinity Business Media Group channel is my new favorite passion.

Meeting and getting to know fabulous, smart, driven professionals is just one of the many rewards of my career. The opportunity to share their secrets of success with you is a dream come true.

Each week guests on the show share their business challenges, ah ha moments and accomplishments that give them the most satisfaction. They even offer a little mentoring advice for entrepreneurs that want to grow their businesses faster.

A new episode is available every weekday morning at 5 am on INBLV.tv/WakeUp

ZEST

This week I watched an unbelievable woman win an incredibly challenging dance competition. Her age was only one of the amazing things about her.

It would have been impossible to guess her age if I’d been asked to try. Standing in her skin tight dress next to her 35 year-old male partner, she was stunning and every inch as fit as he was – and she was 71 years-old.

They were dressed like figure skaters and as the dance began, they moved so graceful and smooth, that they looked more like ice skaters than dancers. They twirled, turned, twisted and spun to the point of making me a little dizzy just watching. At one point, her partner swung her around and around in circles while holding on to just one ankle and wrist. I felt my own limbs ache a little as I watched.

When they finished to a standing ovation, I noticed something in her face that I couldn’t describe right away.

That night I was lying in bed thinking about the grueling workouts it took for that beautiful 71 year- old woman to master such a difficult dance routine. I finally knew the word that described the look on her face and the glow that was surrounding her.

It was her Superpower. It was her ZEST!

Her ZEST for life I witnessed in that moment will forever inspire me.

ZEST wasn’t a Superpower I wrote about in Superpowers Activated. If I had seen that beautiful woman exhibit such grace, strength and accomplishment before writing the book, ZEST would definitely have been included.

What gives you ZEST for life? Can others see it? Is it your Superpower?

ZESTfully yours,

– Debbie

p.s. You can see Quin Bommelje and her partner in the America’s Got Talent competition here.

The Grateful Tree: episode two

Happy New Year!

January 1st is one of my favorite days of the year. And this year I’m even more excited than usual. Each year I’ve observed people making plans for a better year ahead. Some even looking back at the previous year or years. Some people feel a sense of regret or remorse for things in the past. However, like me, many are filled with hope and resolutions for better health, greater wealth and loving, lasting relationships in the new year.

Before we get to why I’m excited this year though, you may be wondering who I am and why you should pay any attention. After all, I’m just a tree that shades a small playground in a corner of a park in the desert, right?

Well that is what I call an incomplete truth.

That description of me would be like saying you are a human being that works at a company in a community. And we both know there is so much more to you than your species, job and location.

Here is a little more about me and my unique view of the world.

I was planted here as a sapling just 20 years ago. I came from seeds of greatness and have what some consider an old soul. When I look back, there are centuries of my ancestor’s experiences and wisdom in my roots. When I look out and ahead I am situated at a vantage point to see a small community of people and observe their struggles and accomplishments up close. Young children play just under my branches with their parents close by. Older children and adults play on the basketball & tennis courts in the park. There are even swimming pools, baseball and soccer fields within steps from my shade. Now here’s the fun part for me. Not one of my ancestors had this advantage. I am tall enough to see a city that attracts more than 3 million people each year from all over the world. At the same time, my roots have grown into the lot of a church next door. So, my roots are grounded in faith while my tallest branches observe the world in a place nick-named Sin City. This unique position provides the experiences, wisdom and vision I’ll be sharing with you.

There are families who have grown up in my park and nearby church. The lessons I’ve watched them learn over the years will now be yours as I share their life experiences. Brace yourself, these are not fairy tales. Their lives are filled with beauty and wonder just like my branches as they blossom and fill with tender spring leaves that become a rich, deep green in the summer. However, like the ground beneath my branches in the fall as my leaves litter the park, the lives of those I shade from the sun are sometimes messy. And very much like the barren branches in the picture you see of me today, their lives at times seem bleak with nothing to shield them from the cold, cruel world around them.

Then there are those energetic world-traveling visitors I can see in the distance. They come to celebrate, escape and forget the messiness of their lives back home. I’ll be sharing some of their antics with you as well. It’s a way for me to capture a bit of their excitement for myself. Of course, things aren’t always perfect with the visitors. They come to play, yet end up being played on occasion. Those lessons are hard, but worth knowing.

So why am I so excited and extremely grateful this year more than any other?

You.

Yes, you are the reason I’m excited this year. I can’t change what is happening or what happened to the people around me. However, I can give you an advantage with a few insights for a better life as I share their lessons with you.

This self-assigned, expanded purpose is enough to keep me grounded and reaching for the stars all year.

As a human, you have the power to assign yourself a greater purpose in life than the one you believed you inherited. Consider a purpose that honors your roots, broadens your capabilities and empowers those around you.

Cheers to the New Year!
The Grateful Tree

Burning Desire

For the past couple of years I’ve had a burning desire to hit the road with my husband and travel across the country in an RV. The sunrise photos coming to me from around the country have rekindled this desire

We didn’t do anything to nurture this dream before, always telling ourselves it wasn’t time yet.

Now we’re looking into the possibilities.

There is the possibility my husband and I would love this new lifestyle. There is also a possibility we would Hate it. So we find ourselves laboring over every decision to be sure.

Our timing to decide is summer 2018. I’ve started a travel section on this site so we can share what we’re learning about RV and camping life.  There are a lot of travel bloggers, so we’ll try to learn from those that have gone before us.

We like a convenient lifestyle and enjoy being outdoors, but don’t consider ourselves outdoorsy people. In fact, I burn easily and bugs…bug me.

We went to an RV lot for the first time last week after looking at many models online. We looked at trailers, 5th wheeler’s, class c’s and class a’s. We’re almost certain we’ll go with the class a, gas, under 30 foot for our new life adventure – almost. Would love comments from anyone who has gone through this process and were happy… or not happy with their decisions.

I’ve downloaded an RVer’s Best Public Campgrounds book to begin planning a route for our first trip. If there are better resources for deciding on campgrounds that aren’t like  busy trailer parks, would love to find them. We like exploring nature, learning about the history of a place and interacting with people… but don’t need constant entertainment.

When I look at the sunrise in this photo, it looks almost as if the sun is moving forward. I think it’s a sign.

Chasing the dream,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

P.S. If you have a sunrise photo to share, just email it to contact@superpowers365.com. We’ll mention you in the photo.

 

Relax, It’s Golf

We didn’t have golfers in our home, but we had a plaque on the wall about golf.

The words on the plaque read:

GOLF

An ineffectual attempt 

To drive an uncontrollable sphere

Into an inaccessible hole

With instruments ill adapted to the  purpose.

– author unknown

That plaque may explain why I never feel relaxed when playing golf. However, I believe the ladies who shared this photo find it incredibly relaxing and fulfilling.

I also never witnessed an incredible sunrise like this one from Reno, Nevada. Thank you Ronda Henderson for sharing Anita Mackay’s photo with us with her permission.

Relaxed,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

P.S. Where in the world will we see tomorrow’s sunrise? It could be from your special view. If you have a sunrise photo you’d like to share, send it to contact@superpowers365.com. We’ll mention you and let you know when it posts.

Wake Up Sleepy Heads

This rising sun reminded me of my mother calling up the stairs to me and my brothers and sisters…”wake up sleepy heads.”

It always seemed like Friday’s were the hardest days to get out of bed. My brain was always ready for the weekend and that few extra minutes of Saturday morning sleep.

Well, wake up sleepy heads.

Let’s soar,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

Impact

Carla Avruskin was “shaken to the core after experiencing the eclipse…the color was striking and the sun seemed more mysterious as it rose the next morning.” Lucky for us she was able to capture the sunrise through her plane’s window as she was flying over Idaho.

Several people have sent me photos and tell me how they were personally impacted by the solar eclipse that happened August 21, 2017.

They are people from different parts of the country and I have been intrigued with their reaction. It was unusually cloudy and rainy where I was that day… and I was very sad I didn’t get to see the eclipse. I even bought the special glasses.

You may have experienced the impact Carla described as she was traveling for a much needed vacation. I know I have.

It’s when the bliss I feel coming home from a long trip suddenly happens when I’m going back for a visit to someplace I’ve lived before.

 

I’m not sure what Superpower to develop that would allow me to live in a place I love  while moving on to the next place I’ll love, but I’m working on it and will keep you posted.

Brace for Impact,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

P.S. Have a sunrise in your pocket you’d like to share? Send your photos to contact@superpowers.com or PM us on Facebook. We’ll mention you in the photo and let you know when it posts.