We are excited to present to you our Motivational Blogger of the Week, LeeAnn Fox!
She believes that life really is what you make of it. She answered 10 questions we gave her with at least one or two paragraphs, and expounded the answers as long as she wanted.
What is your definition of success?
My definition of success would be to look back on my life and know that it was a life well-lived. I used to think success meant making a lot of money. Sure, financial peace is important, but I think everything leading up to that point and everything after reaching that point really defines how successful you truly are.
Life shouldn’t be about how much money you can make. It should be about what a person is doing to make the world a better place. I’ve learned and witnessed that those who focus on helping others get ahead in life and usually end up better off themselves. I want to look back on my life and know that I had a significant, positive impact on someone else’s life.
What do you fear the most?
I used to have a lot of fears. I always worried that I wasn’t good enough or that I’d never get anywhere in life. I also had a major fear of not being a good mother while I was in the military. That last one affected my decisions so many times and I missed out on great opportunities to advance. I’ve since realized that there is no perfect mom out there and all of us struggle with how we are raising our kids.
Today, however, I really don’t fear much of anything. I’ve learned that fear is a waste of time. Time is better spent tackling things head-on. Fear can paralyze you and keep you stuck in the same place forever. I know so many people that are stuck because of their fears. I made the decision a long time ago that if I ever had a thought of fearing doing something, I would just jump out and do it.
Also, I became a Christian later in life and know that my God has my back. I have nothing to fear because He is always with me.
What qualities do you admire in others?
I truly admire those who give their time to help others, even when they may have their own struggles going on. All too often, people tend to become self-centered when they are going through something. Those who put their own struggle on the backburner and, instead, focus on helping another person – that is the kind of person I want to be around.
These same people usually come out on top because they focused on something other than their problem and eventually, the problem either went away or turned itself around. I love meeting women (and men) who have had great difficulty in their past such as domestic abuse or similar issues and are now living a successful and prosperous life.
We need more people like that to show those still struggling that their life struggle isn’t a permanent thing.
What area of life makes you feel the best?
My children. Most of my military career was spent as a single parent and much of that was either overseas or ship duty. My kids had to fend for themselves at an early age. As I mentioned earlier, that used to weigh heavily on me.
My kids are awesome! They are well-behaved, well-mannered, and able to think for themselves and figure out stuff that most kids need a parent to figure out for them. Oh, and they aren’t on drugs or in a gang! I think I did OK in this department!
Is there anything you can’t let go, but you know you should?
Not really. Holding onto anything negative isn’t healthy. Grudges are even worse. You can’t move forward in life if you are holding on to anything from the past. You have to let the past go and focus on creating your future.
What life experience changed the way you see and define life?
I’ve been fortunate that my military career allowed me to see other cultures and also the really bad stuff like war. I’ve also suffered mental, physical and sexual abuse. I’ve been exposed to a LOT of bad stuff during my life so I should have a negative view of it all.
What really changed my view of life, however, was the day (just a couple of years ago at the age of 42) that I gave my life to Christ. Something happened in that moment that just transformed my entire way of thinking. I truly believe that everything, every struggle, every loss, every heartbreak – happens for a reason. I’m a living proof of that.
All that bad stuff happened to me, it prepared me to be able to empathize with others that are struggling and show them hope for a better future. Many people struggle their entire life because they think there is no way out of their situation. By showing them success stories of others who were in similar situations, it gives them hope and also a mentor to look up to.
The best quote I’ve come across that really drives this home is this: “You can’t change WHAT happened to you, but you have 100% control over HOW you react or deal with it.”
When life pushes you over, how do you react?
Remember Dori from Finding Nemo? I just keep swimming. That is my mantra. No matter what, just keep swimming. Stuff happens. You can either sit and sulk or give up, OR, you figure out a Plan B. I always opt for the latter. I met so many people that get off their intended track because something happens and they just focus on that.
You can’t change the past or change what has happened. You also can’t move forward if your thoughts are still in the past. Time is short and you have to manage it by focusing on what you have the ability to change or do something about. Don’t waste it on things you have no control over.
Who/what motivates you the most?
This may sound odd, but my kids and my funeral are what motivates me. I’m motivated, like most parents, by my children. I want to ensure they know that anything is truly possible in life no matter the obstacles. I didn’t have that as a kid. I didn’t have anyone telling me I could do anything. I’m motivated by ensuring my kids know that THEY (not circumstance) are in control of their futures.
My funeral also motivates me. Not that I’m in a hurry to get to that appointment or anything! More specifically, it is what happens at my funeral. What are people saying? I’m motivated by knowing that at my funeral, at least a person or two will say that I had a positive impact on their life. I’m also motivated by knowing that I contributed to making the world a better place before departing.
What qualities do you have that others should possess?
I think I have the quality of finding silver linings. In every situation, I can find something good. Life is much better when you find something good to focus on versus the many bad things.
I also have integrity. Unfortunately, these days many have lost that trait and would do things they probably should simply because they think no one is watching. Integrity is such an awesome trait to find in someone. It’s what you do when you think no one is looking that really defines you as a person.
What words of wisdom would you share to our readers/community?
I would just like to say that bad things happen to everyone every single day. You can’t change that. Also, happiness is a journey and not a destination (yes, I borrowed that from somewhere!). Ultimately, you are the only person that can change the path of your life.
You can choose to stay focused on something negative from the past or you can choose to move forward. Either way, it is a choice. I know it can be difficult to find the good in the world, especially with all the negative media. Again, look for those silver linings. This world really is an amazing and beautiful place if that is what you choose to see!
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