BLOG 166—You MUST challenge Yourself!

With my words, I hope to throw some oblique light upon your life.
I want to inspire you to see life in a different and/or better way.

*** Remember, to read past blog posts, go to >> kitsummers.com/blog/

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*** The happiness I am experiencing in my life is a marvelous thing!

*** Going where I want, when I want, and seeing wonderful places and people, too. (But no longer alone, Beth is by my side.)

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*** Secrets to unfold and good news!

*** I want to thank my wonderful wife Beth for her superb editing and adding to the blog each week.

BE TAKEN AWAY WITH ME
ON WONDERFUL ADVENTURES!

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INTRO TO THIS WEEK >>

One of the main ways I came back strongly from my accident and 37-day coma is I would challenge myself. From learning to walk again to learning to jump again, these were personal responsibilities that I had to conquer and excel at.

Challenging yourself will bring a bright and dandy future. Also, no matter what your status is currently, challenging yourself will bring you to a higher level.

Why You Should Challenge Yourself?

There are so many reasons to why it’s important to challenge yourself. First of all, you’ll discover that you are capable of things you didn’t think you could do. You have so many skills if you just gave yourself the chance to see them.

By challenging yourself, you’ll also reach new ideas you never would have previously thought to even reach for. Things that never would have seemed possible for you could be right within your grasp.

Sure, you could just stay in your comfort zone and never grow beyond that. No one can force you out of it. But I promise you’ll be happy once you take the leap!

Ideas for how you can challenge yourself >>

1—SET A TIME EACH NIGHT FOR YOUR SLEEP

Going along with the idea of waking up earlier in the morning (I often wake before 3am), I really challenge you to set a bedtime for yourself!

I always tell myself that I need to start going to bed earlier. But the only time I actually do is when I set a bedtime for myself and commit to it.

2—WAKE YOURSELF UP EARLIER IN THE MORNING

Mornings can be an amazing time of day, a good time for thinking. It’s a peaceful time to do something like staying calm, meditate, do yoga, or just sip a cup of coffee or tea before the full day comes on.

It’s also amazing how productive your day can be if you start off on the right foot in the morning. Each day, start thinking in a positive and better way.

3—SET A NEW GOAL

I can’t think of any better way to challenge yourself than to set a new goal and really create a plan to follow through on it. There is so much power in planning by goal setting!

If you find yourself hoping to see something change in your life, set a big goal for yourself. But don’t stop there! Once you’ve set your goal, break it down into smaller steps and put them on your calendar.

4—LEARN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE

An excellent challenge. Learning a new language is such a fun way to challenge yourself by expanding your horizons. Even better if you love to travel, and can learn the language of some of the places you’re going to be visiting!

When it comes to learning a new language, the internet has many sites that can teach you.

5—TAKE A CLASS WITH A SUBJECT THAT INTERESTS YOU

I am a lifelong learner and I really love and look forward to being able to learn new things. But not everyone is like that. For some people, learning something new is outside their comfort zone. Make the time to learn.

Taking a class to learn something new is such an amazing experience! You may even discover a new area that you love and can bring in a great income.

And, you could end up making a new friend or finding a new favorite hobby!

6—FIND SOMEONE YOU CAN LOOK UP TO

I’m not just saying someone taller than you. Find people you would love to connect with or have a conversation with.

Once you start reaching out to people you look up to, you will be so glad you did! Sometimes you might seek advice, other times you could say “hi” and let them know you were thinking of them and you enjoyed what they were putting out into the world.

Meet people. Find someone who is doing excellent at what you want to be good at, too. Later, send them an email and tell them how much you admire them! If a relationship doesn’t form, at least you’ll be able to give them a self-esteem boost.

7—GET AWAY FROM TECHNOLOGY FOR A DAY

We are so reliant on technology these days, it’s almost a little scary. I mean, have you ever found yourself opening your computer, only to forget why you needed it in the first place?

Not only is it often just a waste of time, but we’re shutting ourselves off from connections with the people around us who might be able to help us.

I challenge you to turn off the smartphone and close down the computer and TV for an entire day, and do this each month. Instead of the technology, just focus on interacting with people and enjoying activities you don’t normally make time for like reading a book, having a deep conversation, or getting back to nature.

8—SET A SAVINGS GOAL

Setting a savings goal can definitely be a challenge, and an especially uncomfortable one if it means cutting your spending to reach your goal. But in the long run, you’ll be so glad you challenged yourself in this way.

For a week (or a month?), write down everything you spend money on.

See how you might be wasting your money. Start saving by not spending on frivolous things.

When I have a trip or another large expense I’m planning for, I always like to break it down and determine how much I need to be saving every month in order to reach my goal. Sometimes I can fit that within my current spending, but oftentimes it means cutting spending in other areas.

9WRITE IN A JOURNAL BOOK EVERY DAY

After my first accident, memory was a problem, I kept a journal regularly. As an adult, however, I struggled to stay consistent for a long time, eventually not making future entries.

And yet, I’ve found that when I consistently journal, or at least journal when I’m having a lot of thoughts running around in my head, it helps keep my anxiety at bay.

If you’re someone who has a lot of anxious thoughts, I challenge you to start writing in a journal every day, at least until you have time to figure out if it’s helpful for you.

10—RECONNECT WITH A DEAR OLD FRIEND

We all have old friends who we still consider friends, but who we probably don’t reach out to all that often. Too much effort, hmm. Sometimes, it can be easier to just let things be than it is to put in the effort to revive the friendship.

11—START A NEW WORKOUT ROUTINE (Always good!)

Sticking to a workout routine can be so difficult! We have the best of intentions, but then we talk ourselves out of it after we’ve had a long day or make other things more important.

A good way to stick to a workout routine is to prepare everything ahead of time and make your intention known. For example, if you wanted to do yoga in the morning before work, you would get your yoga mat set up the night before so it’s there waiting for you in the morning.

12—VISIT A NEW PLACE

I know a lot of people who take annual vacations or weekend getaways but usually visit the same place each time. It’s great if you’ve found a spot you love so much you want to keep going back, but, it will be amazing to travel to a new place. And you never know, you might find this place could be your new favorite!

Some of my favorite experiences have been being able to travel to new cities, states, or countries, and I’m definitely looking forward to exploring more new places in the future!

13—CONVERSE WITH A STRANGER

We all have different stories and others can add to your life through a gentle conversation, as you add to theirs. Meet people, have a talk, learn and teach.

When I remember, I occasionally challenge myself to talk to one new person each day. I especially try to do this if I’m attending an event alone that I’m not super comfortable going to. Jumping into a conversation with someone always helps ease the discomfort!

14—DROP ONE BAD HABIT

Let’s be honest, we all have at least one or two bad habits we’d like to stop. This week get rid of one bad habit, then make it a habit to do this each week.

It can help you to help others with their bad habits, then focus on yourself.

15—DOWNSIZE YOUR BELONGINGS

When I went through a divorce and the break up of my family, I went from a two-story house to living in a van. So, I did get rid of much. But, that’s a good thing, the less you have with you the smoother life can go.

If you’re struggling to figure out where to start, I always like to start with clothes. And, if you really want to go all-in, obtain some books on organizing and downsizing.

16—TRY PREPARING A NEW MEAL

When I was young my mom cooked delicious meals, it was a treat. I took that on and can follow any recipe and make it as any restaurant would. Also, for over twenty years I had a very successful company where I made and sold a tasty fresh salsa.

See summerssalsa.com to learn more.

That being said, every once in a while I get the urge to whip up a new recipe for myself. It doesn’t always go great, but it’s fun and helps me work on my cooking skills a bit. You can do it, start making new and delicious meals.

17—VOLUNTEER FOR A CAUSE THAT MEANS MUCH TO YOU

We all have causes that are near and dear to us, but I’m guessing most of us don’t actually make the time to donate our time to those causes. Sure, a monthly donation is great. But even better is to show up in person and help as you can.

Volunteering is not only a great way to contribute to your community, but, more important, it is a great way to meet new people and possibly make some new friends.

18LEARN TO MEDITATE (not mediate)

For years I heard about all the benefits of meditation. It wasn’t just self-improvement people either. All of the most successful online business owners I followed talked about their meditation habit.

I was not sure about meditation, seemed like something that helped people relax. Then I learned of how it can help you focus and other good things about it. As I learned, you will learn. I am learning there are many benefits to the ancient art of meditation.

It may not be for you, but it’s a fun challenge, and I’ve heard from people that it’s really, really made a difference in their life.

19—MAKE A NEW FRIEND

Making new friends can be one of the biggest changes. Since many are not all that outgoing, it’s more of a challenge to make new friends, and it really forces them to put themselves out there.

New people in your life can add so much to your existence. It can be a lot of fun to make new friends who have similar hobbies or interests. You will add to each other’s life and that is such a good thing.

20—ASK FOR HELP?

Asking for help is scary for many. Maybe you’re like me and you’re a perfectionist, afraid of admitting to someone that you need help to do something just right.

Or maybe you’re afraid of looking stupid?
Or you are afraid of putting yourself out there and talking to someone new.
Or you could be afraid of bothering someone with your problem.

Most people have these phobias but continue, anyway. I challenge you to ask for help next time you are struggling with something!

21START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

We all get a lot of help in our life. It is good to chart your connections as in a journal of gratitude. Do this, don’t depend on your memories.

Stay with the positive! You don’t want to focus on the things that are going wrong. Make it a challenge by forcing yourself to look at the GOOD.

But writing down things you can be grateful and it can actually have such an amazing impact, and it can turn a bad mood right around.

At the end of each day, write down three things that were good about your day. Once it becomes a habit you will find that this actually works to help you feel better about your life.

22—CREATE A “FUTURE” VISION BOARD

At first, making a vision board doesn’t seem like something that would challenge you. But you’ll see that it really is, stay with me.

Creating a vision board requires you to do a couple of things uncomfortably. First of all, seeing your life and changing it. Also, it forces you to actually create a vision for your future. If you’ve just been letting life lead you rather than leading your life, it might be scary to see what you want your life to look like.

Second, creating a vision board forces you to see and confront your big goals each and every day. So many of us have a huge goal that we’ll probably never really create a plan to reach. But by creating a vision board, you’re constantly reminding yourself of the challenge of that goal and daring yourself to take action on it. It’s honestly a way of tricking yourself into going after your big scary goals!

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You “CAN” make the life you want—accept the challenge.

There are so many fun ways you can challenge yourself to grow as a person. And the great thing is everyone can find at least one thing on it that sounds like something they can do! And, even better, you can do many of them!

It’s made such a huge difference for me, and I know it can do the same for you! Start now to challenge yourself to make the life that you want to live!

LIFE IS HAPPENING ALL THE TIME – ARE YOU KEEPING UP?

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WORDS TO INSPIRE YOU! >>

Inspirational quotes and motivational sayings have an amazing ability to change the way we feel about life and can change our thinking.

This is why I find them so interesting, challenging, and important on our path to joy and happiness and finding ways to inspire ourselves as well as others.

Inspirational quotes and ideas provide us with a quick and timely burst of wisdom to get our focus back, offering the inspiration needed for the day or occasion.

I hope to inspire you with my words.

Words have power.

At any age, you can (and should) make changes to make your life better.

You see, the way you think and feel about yourself, including your beliefs and expectations about what is possible for you, determines everything that happens in your life. It all derives from your quality of thinking.

When you improve the quality of your thinking,
you change the quality of your life—sometimes instantly!

Just as positive words can make someone smile, and/or, a well-timed amusing quote can make someone laugh, your own thoughts react to the world in real-time. You have this control!

In fact, you have complete control over only one thing in the universe — Your Thinking — and that’s where motivational quotes come in!

To keep your motivation, you have to use each day as an opportunity for improvement, to be better, to get a little bit closer to your goals. It might sound like a lot of work—and with your busy schedule—next to impossible. But you can do it!

Self-talk is so important—THINK RIGHT!

Motivational words, yes, they’re just words.

But they’re positive words; they will keep you on track.
Remember, you are only as young as the last time you changed your mind.

Keep your thoughts and self-talk fun and productive and always reaching for advancement.

VERY LITTLE IS NEEDED TO MAKE A GREAT LIFE.
I HOPE THE FOLLOWING WORDS INSPIRE YOU >>

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1. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein

2. “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. “The key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he’s dead.” – Bette Davis

4. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

5. “Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.” – Author Unknown, Be Thankful

6. “I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot.” – Nadia Comaneci

7. “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Chinese proverb

8. “You see a mousetrap; I see free cheese and a fucking challenge!” – Scroobius Pip

9. “There is a tendency at every important but difficult crossroad to pretend that it’s not really there.” – Bill McKibben

10. “Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

11. “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.” – Paulo Coelho

12. “Hope and change are hard-fought things.” – Michelle Obama

13. “I’ve learned that success comes in a very prickly package. Whether you choose to accept it or not is up to you. It’s what you choose to do with it, the people you choose to surround yourself with. Always choose people that are better than you. Always choose people that challenge you and are smarter than you. Always be the student. Once you find yourself to be the teacher, you’ve lost it.” – Sandra Bullock

14. “Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart

15. “It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties.” – Abigail Adams

16. “I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether it’s going to work or whether I’m going to fall flat on my face.” – Johnny Depp

17. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – John F. Kennedy

COMPOSE A NOBLE BOOK AND WRITE A BEST-SELLER.
YOU ARE AMAZING—PLAY YOUR PART!

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MY DAILY JOTTINGS >>

4/9—Today we went to, basically, a yard sale, also called an estate sale. These people had hired a company to make it into an auction, stuff sold for big bucks; many were there. We stayed for a short time, then it was bye-bye.

4/10—Picked up, yet another, bunny rabbit. Right now we have 4 bunnies, another comes tomorrow. In the future, they will have babies – yikes!

4/11—Beth had to bring her car over to the mechanic to be looked at before we went on our trip. I drove ahead to give her a ride home. I was backing into space and wanted to leave enough room on the road. There was a rain gully that I did not see and backed right into it.

I tried, but could not get the van out, stuck I was. I called AAA, I had already used up my service calls. Ricky, the mechanic, knew someone who would come and get me out. Fifty-five bucks later I was happy to be back on the road.
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Beth wrote this about the incident >>

Every week, sometimes every day, something happens that lets me know that being married to Kit is like living on the border of insanity. We have days when everything goes normally and happily. We have days when one of us is cranky, usually me. And then we have those days where living with Kit is an adventure. 

This week’s adventure started with the weather. It got quite warm and he was working on a project outside and decided to change into his shorts. The ones with the large red chili peppers on them. The shorts he is not to wear in public unless he matches his shirt with them. And then, even that is questionable.

A gray and white striped shirt is not a match. No, no, no.

I needed to drop my car off at Ricky Whites Service Center and told Kit he could pick me up there but, he could not get out of his van. As long as those shorts were on his body, he was to stay in the van. I saw the smirk in his eyes. I never know what is in store for me since meeting him.

He left ahead of me and when I pulled into the car lot, there is Kit standing outside of his van. In those shorts. And there was his van, backed into the ditch, tipping the front of the van forward. Surely he wouldn’t go that far just to show off his shorts! I looked at him and said, “I thought I told you to stay in your van.” And then I cracked up. This could only happen to Kit.

We went to the shop to ask if anyone could pull his van out, where, people saw his lovely red pepper shorts. I whispered to Ricky, ” This is my everyday life now.” And I laughed.

We didn’t have to wait too long before Jerome Perrin brought his truck and removed the van. Now, remember it’s a small town and I know almost everyone. I used to worry about keeping my reputation clean when I worked at the library. Being married to Kit has changed that. And I do not mind one bit. He is fun! Our life is fun.

Oh no, I just realized that he went to Lowes wearing those shorts!”

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4/12—The tadpoles arrived! More and more animals in our household. Beth saw a small pond with many tadpoles in it. She scooped up a bunch and brought them home. We learned to feed them boiled lettuce and cucumber slices. It will be interesting to see them change into frogs.

4/13—Worked on building the ramp that goes onto the front porch. There were only three steps, but I thought a nice ramp would be a much smoother walk up, so I built it. At first, I had no idea how I was going to build it. Step by step, things came together.

The cost for this ramp was very minimal. The wood I used for the ramp was wood from free pallets I picked up.

Also, as I wrote before, I used pallets to build my above-ground gardens, we will eventually have four of them. I watched some videos of people who build gardens, and mine is better.

I saw some that were just a foot off the ground. I build mine with the pallets by cutting them right by the center support, which was 22 inches from top to bottom. Then I used pallet wood to screw onto the top for more support.

This size makes for a rather deep and large above-ground garden. But you can fill the bottom with tree branches and logs from trees. Just make sure you fill it with all organic material. It’s really quite fun.

I’ve written before, if someone else can do it, so can you. Keep this confidence as you live your life.

You will see from the photos, the ramp turned out fantabulous, better than I expected. After a paint job in the future, it will be magnificent.

Ready for painting

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YOUR CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK >>

I’ve started mine with Beth. We will be growing many different vegetables in our above-ground garden planters I have built.

Your challenge this week is to start a garden growing vegetables and fruits you can eat. There are many sources on the internet to show you how. On YouTube, you can even watch videos on how to start and grow a vegetable garden. Let me know your progress.********************

NEXT BLOG >>

On Friday we will be driving up to see Beth’s parents, who, at age 84 for dad and 82 for mom, they are still doing well. This is so great. You will read a full report next week.

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THIS WEEK, MAKE YOUR LIFE SOMETHING
THAT YOU CAN WRITE ABOUT!

1 Comment

  1. Jessica April 15, 2022 Reply

    Your story “Challenge” is fantastic. Reminds me of the saying “Accept the challenge. refuse to fail” that kept me going after my head injury.
    You are one great man Kit.

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