Guilty Pleasure

photo-12On a recent flight home, I broke the golden rule of being a good seatmate:

I interrupted the reading-immersed woman sitting next to me.

Noticing she had not come up for air since firing up her ereader, I asked if she always preferred reading digital books.

I mentioned still loving to curl up with my ink-doodled piles of books vs holding my hard metal iPad.

Her comment will forever crack me up:

*If I were reading a business book like you, I’d have no problem holding that book in my lap for all the world to see…*

She continued, *I’m reading the 3rd book in the 50 Shades of Grey series… I’m traveling with my team and believe me I don’t need anyone to know what book I’m devouring… it’s my secret guilty pleasure.*

The look in her eyes told me she sure hoped I didn’t know anyone on her team! 

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®  ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:  Ahhhh what better to signify Guilty Pleasure than one of my favorite cuddle-up blankets. This living room blanket is always nearby when I immerse in hours of reading.

It Will Always Be Easier

photo-24When is the last time you were so passionately committed…

that you were willing to climb to the top of the hill… stand alone…

silhouetted against the sky…

knowing you were in a position to be shot down?!

It will always be easierto care just enough to toss your two cents in as you walk away to follow the crowd.

It will always be easierto do just enough to get by, fit in, unnoticed.

It will always be easierto fly safely under the radar where there are no headwinds creating ripples of new success, much less churning waves of inspired innovation.

WHAT IF you stepped up, stepped out in a fresh new way that forever changed your own view of you? and in that process, expanded your view of what’s possible, what could now be accomplished…

…by this committed, capable, compassionate, confident, courageous…

CONTAGIOUS NEW YOU?!

Go ahead.  Trust yourself.  Climb to the top of that hill.

YES, the one you are most afraid of.

It could be just the place to start!

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© 1993-2012  Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   ANNULRICH.COM

with appreciation to Dale Dauten, The Corporate Curmudgeon, for his permission to share in my work our conversation re: leadership and Dale’s powerful vision of *standing alone silhouetted against the sky in a position to be shot down*.

Photo:  Calligraphy art of a strong horse has special meaning honoring my amazing experience in Taiwan in 1990, the year of the horse.

What’s Your Happiness Trifecta?

photo-17After a few decades leading in Business in roles from Rookie to Executive to the Runway to the Boardroom to Business Owner…

And after a few more decades ;) of exciting and challenging ages and stages of living and loving and experiencing and sharing and curiously observing Life…

I am convinced the HAPPIEST people simply:

CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!

There is a powerful and winning connection between articulating and achieving the happiness you’re after right now, not just delaying as your future reality… you know, till you somehow *deserve* it then (ever wonder why some people seem to achieve Happy and some it forever eludes?!)

Delaying Happiness Is Simply An Excuse.

Look at the impact you can have TODAY if you CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!

The BOLD! Factor HAPPINESS TRIFECTA: Discover Yours!

1) Know what matters in your life at this age, this stage,

2) Know what you want most to achieve as your big win, and

3) Know what achieving that big win means for you, right now.

When you know, you define HAPPINESS AS SUCCESS… in YOUR OWN terms.

Here’s Mine (I’m happiest when I walk my talk!):

1) Courageous Self-Leadership (OWN THIS. IT’S UP TO ME!)

2) Everyday Greatness & Good Enough. BOTH.  (AM I PROUD OF MY IMPACT ON THIS DAY? WAS I ACCOUNTABLE TO MYSELF IN IT? NO EXCUSES?! And realizing sometimes, in some situations (not all), Good Enough trumps bringing my A-Game!)

3) Contagious Excellence (DID I SURROUND MYSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO I WANT TO CATCH WHAT THEY HAVE? AM I SPREADING GOOD CONTAGIOUS?! OR AM I SIMPLY INFECTING AND BEING INFECTED BY OTHERS?)

Happiness Is Your Choice!

How cool is that?

<SMILE>

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:  This big-aroma bunch of bright orange roses as a gift from David’s work party inspired adding orange in our condo – in our den and on our deck – and soon to be added to the red of The BOLD! Factor. I’ve always loved Red & Purple – now also love Orange!

Body Confidence: Perspective Or Excuse?

photo-22Struggles with Body Confidence come in all shapes and sizes, ages and stages, business and life.

There, whew, relax… it’s not just you.

As a national speaker, consultant and trusted advisor, and former national Plus Size runway and fit model (former because as my business grew I chose to retire from my own modeling, and former because I chose to work hard to return to my naturally fit size – another story for another day ;) people confided in me… poured out their hearts in ways that will forever touch mine…

I was blown away one day when, as people gathered to share personal thoughts after The BOLD! Factor presentation, I heard these polarizing points of view:

*Ann, OMG, I consider myself your same size and I could NEVER get up in front of an audience and present like you do!*

And then a few minutes later, same group, different person, shared this:

*I’ve been thinking how it’s no wonder you can get up in front of so many people… and present in a way people actually want to hear what you have to say… if I was tall and had such passion… such a commanding powerful presence as you… well then I could too. I couldn’t tho, because people don’t notice me.*

These comments and these women FASCINATED me.

I kept quiet and listened as each privately shared from the heart, trusting me with their thoughts:

The first woman – who made a point of being larger sized – was friendly, passionate, beautiful – said she could never be in front of a group, and never be on stage, because she’d be worried everyone would be focused on well, you know, everything BUT her message. I’ll spare you the details…

Her gist? How could I get up in front of people as my work… when I was her same size. (Interesting how we view ourselves as similar to or different from each other.)

Later that day, a conversation unrelated to the first, came from a quieter, so-intensely-searching petite, obviously fit, shy, beautiful woman. She said she feels invisible being her size, and that a person of my size is, of course(?!), naturally magnetic and someone people want to listen to and want to be around.

I was blown away. Look at these messages!!

How we view ourselves in comparison to others?? How we see gaining/losing our own cutting-edge advantage based on our size??

Or is this really about our perceived vision of how others see us?? And the perception that being *invisible* might be anything other than the choice it is, as each person makes for him/her self??

You know I have much more to say on this subject… and some proven strategies I know without a doubt can cause the shift that’s needed in our thoughts, actions, outcomes related to this topic… altho my goal is not to turn this blog into a BOLD Body Confidence podium.

I’ll share more on this topic as we go. I have to. God doesn’t put people in front of us just so we can forget and move on with our life, unaffected.

Creating The BOLD! Factor provides me the platform – I feel and respect the pressure of the gifts I’ve been given – as I hope you in turn feel compelled to use the gifts you are given, too.

Body Confidence struggles can be the self-sabotageur that in itself can become the all-safe-here comfort zone we might never ever have to leave if no one makes us.

After all, some things are just too hard to face, much less accomplish, on our own.

So what’s your take on these profound thoughts shared by these two women:

Powerful Perspective… or Simply Another Excuse?!

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®   ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:   Captured this while strolling thru Neiman Marcus downtown. Ever since owning my fit model agency, fit forms make me smile… I have so many stories. I must add that I am not about perfect form – or perfect bodies. And REAL people please. Not fake. Thank you.

Do We Really Need Valentine Validation?

photo-1Ok, call me a cynic.

Why do we look to card companies, chocolatiers and florists… to validate our love, passion or lust… based on ‘proof’ this one day each year?

Do you really need Valentine Validation?

You really do, huh? You need a gift on Valentine’s Day to know how special you are?

I hate to think someone will feel ‘less than’ (or worse, greater than!) if the package that arrives at the office is for the cubicle next door… Or if a surprise on the doorstep is mis-addressed, intended for a neighbor down the street.

If nothing arrives for you, will it wreck your day? Think about it.

It will? Really?

OK then, be the sender!

MAKE YOUR OWN *AND* SOMEONE ELSE’S DAY!

And either way, let’s not let any day on the calendar determine our self-worth or validate our own sense of CONFIDENCE, our HAPPINESS, our SUCCESS, or our SMILE

Especially not that last one. Don’t stop Smiling. We need your Smile. More Smiles please!

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PS… Here ya go.

Just in case you really do need flowers today…

These are just for YOU. 

By the way, I hope you realize there is someone out there who would love to be YOU.

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© 1993-2014 Ann Ulrich THE BOLD! FACTOR®  BEST BOLD U!™ ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:  This recipe came from one of my clients (I can’t name them publicly as they are for now choosing to be a private BOLD! Sponsor funding one of my upcoming Keynotes) Super-healthy dark chocolate, ginger, walnuts, cranberry treat. Ah, maybe super-healthy is relative: These are SO good I indulge in UNhealthy amounts! ;) And the flowers were a gift to me from someone who created an event and knew I love BOLD orange mixed in with with all my BOLD reds.

Eliptical Wisdom: Getting The Goal

Getting on the Eliptical isn’t the hard part. Finally second nature, it’s what I do to start my day a few mornings a week.

Our condo workout room is pretty quiet at 5am. It takes just a minute to set the TV, fan, water and as my final all-systems-go:

I ceremoniously tighten my pony tail. Ready.

The hard part comes a few minutes in. When calories burned shows around 100. Early on I often bailed around 200. 500 seemed elusive and hey, it was just a number I made up anyway…

Now I’m used to seeing 100cals, groaning less, seeing 250 and thinking hey it’s almost 300… about then I try to laser focus on max’ing my muscles and breathing and sweating… and suddenly I’ve pushed past 500. It also helps to hide the number with a towel.

What keeps me going and committed?

Trying to never lose sight of my goal: Feel Younger, Be Stronger.

And specifically how does that goal calculate on the Elliptical? 500 calories burned.

No matter how I get there, intervals or straight away, I have one simple goal: hit 500.

Here’s My Elliptical Wisdom On Getting YOUR Goal (any goal!) Business or Life:

1) Define TWO Clear Goals: Your big picture goal (mine is Feel Younger, Be Stronger) and how you’ll measure so you know you hit it (my goal: blast 500 calories)

2) Set Yourself Up For Success: first establish, then commit, making it repeatable or you’ll risk over-thinking it each time.

3) Do The Work.

4) Celebrate Big & Little Successes Along The Way.

5) Check Your Peripheral View to help someone cross THEIR finish line as reach yours!

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich   THE BOLD! FACTOR®   ANNULRICH.COM