Would you believe that life is a series of the same things over and over again, with a sprinkling of new experiences?
Succeeding in achieving a goal or dream will tell you that no success comes without failure, and usually repeated failure. Our motivational blogger, Amber Florek has an inspiring story to share through the answers she gave to our interview questions. Read on to get to know her better.
What are the reasons you see for making a change this year?
I lost my husband in a work accident on Christmas Day when I was 25, eight years ago. That day became a pivotal moment for me. Suddenly my life was divided into two parts: before he died, and after he died.
Grief is a strange thing. There is no way to avoid it, rush it, or control it. It’s like a river that plots its own course, and we are like a little boat on that river. For many years I kept trying to control my grief, control the river.
This year it clicked. I need to control the boat, not the river. It’s a much easier task. Now I’m ready to move forward. I used to think moving forward meant I was leaving him behind.
Now, I realize that it’s the opposite. Moving forward means accepting what happened and carrying on, with the memory of that person in tow. Their memory and your loss becomes like a new appendage, like an extra arm. You get used to it, and learn to function in a positive way with it. It’s a new normal.
My Mister has also contributed in a huge way to my motivation. We met about a year after my husband died, and since then, he has been there for me in ways I could have never imagined. He is my best friend, my partner in crime, and my safety net.
I am making some big changes this year because I want to be proud of myself. I want to make a difference in this world. My blog is the medium I am using to contribute in a positive way, and to make my mark in this thing we call life.
What sort of person would you like to become?
I have never wanted to become anyone else but me. My life and my goals always focus, not on changing who I am, but on embracing my authentic self, and being the best version of me I can possibly be. So the person I want to be is me, happy, content, kind, loving, self-sacrificing, humble, and never too serious.
If things worked out in the best possible way for you, what would you be doing a year from now?
My blog, The Bonafide Broad, will be going strong. I will be creating, crafting, and teaching my step kids how to express themselves creatively. My friendship with my Mister will be stronger than ever, too!
More specifically, I hope a year from now I will have learned how to use a pottery wheel, and how to tack weld (two things my Mister is teaching me) so I can begin creating art from found objects.
How do you motivate yourself to get work done after trying many things and failing over and over again?
Life is a series of the same things over and over again, with a sprinkling of new experiences. We have great moments, and we have awful moments. We will KEEP having great moments, and we will KEEP having awful moments. That’s the nature of living.
Anyone who has ever succeeded in achieving a goal or dream will tell you that no success comes without failure, and usually repeated failure. We don’t usually get it right the first time. We have to learn through trial and error.
When I fail, I tell myself that if I don’t try again, nobody else will. I have to depend on myself.
Why do we willfully and consciously engage in self-destructive habits while ignoring our better judgment?
We are human. We are inherently unreasonable creatures. Sometimes it’s the pain we experience that blocks us from seeing reason, and sometimes it’s the pleasure. Often, we make choices because they are comfortable, and when the world beats us up, it feels good to have something comfortable to turn to. Change is terrifying, and I believe fear can trap us into being self-destructive.
What stops or reduces your motivation?
Isolating myself, or allowing myself to wallow in self-pity. I simply cannot stay motivated on my own. I need love, encouragement, feedback, laughter, companionship.
Those things remind me that I am not the only person in this world that matters. When I isolate myself, I’m not getting those vital fuels to my motivation, and I began to slow down.
What’s the habit requiring the least effort that makes the greatest difference?
Being kind to others. Some people see kindness as weakness. However, it is much easier to be sarcastic, rude, or mean than it is to be kind. Kindness takes courage, intelligence, and effort. Especially when we aren’t feeling good or happy with ourselves.
It takes real effort to set ourselves aside and be kind to others. Kindness is the opposite of weakness. It is an act of love, and love is the most powerful emotion in our universe.
I believe kindness makes the biggest difference because it isn’t necessary. It is a choice we make, to be kind. When we do, the smallest gestures and words can make the most significant impact on the people around us.
What is your best advice on keeping the focus on the important when the distractions in our lives are constant?
Distraction will always exist. So we have to make the important things stand out from the distractions.
I try to write the important things down, and put them in places I can see them regularly. For example, I have mantras on my bathroom mirror, my fridge, the edge of my computer screen, my car dashboard, and my office window. It’s much more difficult to forget what’s most important when it’s literally in your face all the time.
Also, regular self-check-ups are essential. Lately I have been trying to take five minutes in the morning to think about how I can make this day in my life a day I’m proud of. Then, I try to take five minutes before bed to think about what I’m most proud of from the day. It really helps to not let my days just blend together and become insignificant.
What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard someone say?
“This too shall pass.” My great grandmother used to say it all the time. We have all heard that phrase, but take the time to REALLY think about what it means.
No matter how difficult what we are facing may be, it will eventually just be a part of our past. Thinking this way helps me to make it through the small daily conflicts I face, as well as the huge life battles I encounter that may seem insurmountable.
What is the most important quality you look for in another person?
If a person is legitimately kind, they can’t be narcissistic, spiteful, greedy, or dishonest. Those undesirable traits just cannot survive in combination with real, true kindness. When I find that a person possesses authentic kindness, I don’t hesitate to develop a friendship with them. They will, without a doubt, be a positive addition to my life.
This is why I have almost always made great decisions in partners and in friends, and is a huge reason why my Mister and I are about to celebrate our 7th anniversary.
What life lessons do you wish you knew 10 years ago?
I wish I knew that there are only a few things in life we can really control. Time and unforeseen events affect us all. Other people, no matter how much they love us and are there for us, could disappear in the snap of a finger, just like my husband did. The only person we know 100% will be with us every day of our lives is ourselves.
I wish I could have told myself that 10 years ago. I would encourage myself to develop a relationship with me, who I really am inside. Embrace myself, and LOVE myself. I am my most reliable companion.
Do the people you love most know how much you love them?
Yes. I believe in saying it as much as possible. When I was a girl, my mom always said she loved me, and she never hesitated to show me affection. I felt safe and secure in my mother’s love.
I try to do the same for my family and close friends. I want them to know that they can rely on my love, and wrap themselves in it like a cozy blanket.
Do you say ‘yes’ too often when you really want to say ‘no’? Why?
Yes. See? There I go again!
I have always shied away from confrontation, and I hate to disappoint others. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to learn that saying yes all the time isn’t a way to avoid disappointing others. It IS a way to easily create resentment, though.
Do you think it’s too late to do certain things in your life? Why?
No. It’s never too late. As long as we are alive, we have the power to affect our lives. I read an article about a woman who skydived for her 100th birthday. My hero!
I don’t plan on ever letting time and my age control what I can or can’t do. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
If you could offer only one piece of advice about beginning, changing habits, or starting fresh, what would it be?
Pace yourself. The worst thing you can do is decide to make a change and dive in full blown, gung-ho, head first, only to burn out within a few weeks. I know this because I’ve done it, many times.
I am the most successful when I set a big goal, and then divide it into several smaller, more reasonable goals. I’ve learned to try take it slow and only add what I can sustain for long periods of time. When I make changes that way, they become permanent.
Blogger: Amber Florek
Blogger Bio: I am a thirty-something lady who loves not exercising, munching on flavored popcorn, hanging with my cats, and teasing my Mister. I’ve been through a lot in my short years, just like everyone else.
I love to write, craft, cook, read and spend time with my Mister and my step kids. My blog, The Bonafide Broad, is a lifestyle blog that is dedicated to being honest and authentic.
I’m not interested in making life look perfect. I’m interested in finding ways to get through life and get things done in the easiest way possible, as long as it is realistic, and sharing that with others.
Blog link: The Bonafide Broad
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