July 29, 2011


My hubby shared this YouTube video with me.  He saw it on his friend's Facebook wall.  This friend of his is getting married soon, which is appropriate (I guess, haha!).  This video is hilarious and super cute!

Click HERE for the video.

So how the heck is this related to court reporting school???  Well, here's what I see...

This little girl showed such DOGGED DETERMINATION, even in the face of the constant screaming and tearful opposition of the little boy.  She continued to unwaveringly hold her ground.  She was ADAMANT about what she wanted and would not take "no" for an answer.  She even told him, "I'm not afraid of you.  I'm still marrying you."  How cute, right?!  And how true it is for us to also NOT be afraid... to type up that test, to go 20% above our speed level, to try for another certification, etc.

This little girl can teach us court reporting students a lot about TRUE DETERMINATION. :)


On another note, I'm drooling over this home office.  One day, one day... ;)

July 26, 2011


Last week at our school, Downey Adult School in Southern California, we had the pleasure of hearing a guest speaker from Total Recall, a CART providing company  located in Agoura Hills.  President of Total Recall, Sandy Eisenberg, could not make it because of health issues, so one of her CART providers, Susanne Watson, spoke to us instead.  Here are the bullet points of her convo with us steno students... all GREAT STUFF!

  • You do NOT need to be licensed to work as a CART provider.
  • CART providers earn $35+ an hour (to START!!!) depending on their skill level and certifications/licenses.  The more certifications/licenses you hold, the better.
  • Court reporting students in the 180/200 WPM range who are writing realtime are ENCOURAGED to work as CART providers while still going to school.  To do is a great way to build your speed and stamina... and you're getting paid in the meantime!
  • Don't be scared to jump into the working field.  Most of us have been in court reporting school for so long that we are deathly afraid of anything else.  Do NOT be like that!  Bite the bullet and JUST DO IT!
  • When you work as a CART provider, you arrive early to set up, write realtime for your client (who is deaf or hard-of-hearing) on your laptop, then email your notes to your client at the end of the day.  There is NO transcript to worry about.  However, you are CONSTANTLY working and building up your dictionary... as official reporters, freelance reporters, and broadcast captioners should do as well.  Students too!  We are ALWAYS working on our dictionaries.
  • Susanne has worked in various colleges as a CART provider such as UCLA, FIDM, Loyola Marymount, Santa Monica Community College, Pacific Palisades High School, and at several meetings and conventions.
  • You start off slowly in the CART world, but as you network, take more jobs, and/or more clients specifically request that you work for them, you can easily work more hours in each subsequent year.  
  • The summer times are usually slower since not many deaf/hard-of hearing students take summer classes.  However, during all other seasons there are plenty of day as well as night classes for CART jobs.  There are numerous CART jobs in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
  • Some jobs will pay you for prep work, which could be $200 in addition to your regular pay.  If not, you do your prep work at home before you go on the job.  Prep work consists of entering words/phrases into your dictionary for that specific job (which usually is a class).
  • You can make $750 in 1 day because you'll be going to 4-5 different jobs all over the area.  But this 1 day could take care of your whole week! :) It all depends on how much YOU want to work/earn.  
  • Some CART providers can work part-time hours and make $6K a month!  Again, how much you earn is dependent on your skills, certifications/licenses, and the amount of jobs you take.
  • Usually there are no health insurance/retirement benefits when you work as a CART provider because you are an independent contractor.  You provide your own steno machine, laptop, and skill set (180+ WPM).  There are some agencies, however, that will hire you as an employee.  If so, you work out your benefits with your agency and would be paid on an hourly or salary basis as opposed to a fee per job if you're an independent contractor.
  • If you want to get into the CART, broadcast captioning, or want to write realtime, practice to the news on TV.  News anchors talk clearly yet quickly!  Great practice for speedbuilding too!  And it's FREE!
  • It's best to do everything wireless.  Susanne is going to buy a wireless steno writer soon.  Being wireless makes it much easier to navigate in your classrooms/meeting areas as you work as a CART provider.
  • Susanne is currently not a certified court reporter or CART provider, but will take the CCP (Certified CART provider) exam given by NCRA (National Court Reporters Association) soon.  The exam is 180 WPM literary for 5 minutes which you must pass realtime with a 96% accuracy rate.
  • A lot of the briefs you use in school do not apply in the real world, especially in CART since you're doing various classes.  Therefore, she doesn't brief too much and just keeps up with the speaker(s).
  • If the job is more than 3 hours long, 2 CART providers are required to be at that job (they will alternate).  However, you do NOT split the cost between you two.  
  • Meetings start charging at $80 per hour with a minimum of 3 hours.
  • You can charge $100 per job if they ask to use your projector.  You can buy a good projector for $300, and if clients use it at least 3x, then you've made back all your money.  Projectors, extra monitors, and other backup equipment are all good investments for independent CART providers.
  • Susanne went to Bryan College for 1 year for Theory, then went online for the rest of her steno education.  She converted her garage to function as her office and built up her speed completely by going online.  Therefore, it IS possible to complete your court reporting journey remotely.  You do NOT need to go to a brick-and-mortar school if it is not possible for you because of distance, cost, and/or time.  If you're dedicated enough and have that quiet space somewhere in your home, then it is VERY DOABLE!
  • Susanne LOVES her job as a CART provider!  She cannot picture herself working in depos
  • If you're a student writing realtime in the 180/200 WPM, you are READY to become a working CART provider.  Don't wait!  Jump in!  Don't be afraid!  The market needs you!  And there's GREAT MONEY to be earned AS WELL AS the awesome opportunity to serve the deaf/hard-of-hearing community with your steno skills!
Lastly, here is the flyer that Total Recall gave us court reporting students.  EXCITING!!!

July 23, 2011


To add to my Etsy Love, I found some Cafe Press Love!

Click HERE to see what you get after you type in "court reporting" into Cafe Press' search box.

And out of the pages and pages listed, these are a few of my faves with their corresponding artist.  Cuuute! ;D

July 22, 2011


Fortunately or unfortunately, there really is no social element for me at school.  I really try to be in "school mode" during my time in school.  I seriously stay in my corner of the computer lab, bury my head in either the steno machine or laptop, and seem to only go out when I need to grade my TC (typing credit), use the restroom, or make/take a call.  No funny business! :P

I tend to be like this at work too.  Even when I'm working with super close friends at an office, I really cannot switch myself to that "social mode" since I know I'm still "on the clock."  I can finally let myself "loose" during a break or lunch or at the end of the day... and that's about it.  Maybe it's the obsessive part of me that wants to give 110% concentration at the task at hand.  It's nothing personal against anyone at my school or work environment... it's just that I like to compartmentalize my time.

Every waking moment, I'm consumed with steno... even when I get home! :P I browse the Internet for the latest talks on anything steno-related and write on my machine while my husband and I watch TV.  As Todd Olivas, CSR (certified shorthand reporter) and agency owner says, we need to EAT, SLEEP AND BREATHE STENO in order to get out of court reporting school as quickly as possible.

In the end though, I think my not being as social as I could be at school will help me out tremendously.  The official CSR I interned with last week told me that her friends jokingly called her a "homebody" during her school years because she went to school full-time and when she got home, she was yet again always on her steno machine.  She even made herself practice on the weekends.  But hey, if being a "homebody" and/or a "social recluse" at school is what it takes for me to get out of school, then so be it! :)

July 17, 2011


When I was planning my wedding of March this year, I logged into Etsy.com several times for general wedding inspiration and bought a few necessary items as well.  Everything on Etsy is handmade and therefore "one of a kind."  LOVE LOVE LOVE this place! :D

I visited the site again just now and this time typed "court reporting" in the search box.  Check out all these cute CR goodies I found!  DROOOOOL!!! <3


Here are two of my faves by Debra of Phoenix, Arizona.  Her design line is called Joshua By Oak. You can learn more about her HERE.

July 16, 2011


My friend asked me to email her friend who is looking into the possibility of jumping into the CR field.  She needed info on what a CR training involves, what to expect, etc.  This was my email to her, a potential CR student.  Hoping this blog post will help any other potential CR students out there!

My name is Christine, I'm a court reporting student, and our mutual friend gave me your email addy.  She told me that you're interested in a career as a court reporter (CR) and you needed some info before moving forward.  I am so happy to provide any help I can give! :)

Court reporting is a GREAT career...but it is NOT cut out for everyone.  You need to have discipline in practicing on the steno machine to eventually reach 225 WPM.  A great proficiency in English and punctuation wouldn't hurt you either!

There are many schools out there that will charge SO MUCH for your training, ESPECIALLY the private colleges out there (Bryan College in LA or South Coast College in OC, for example).  I myself attend Downey Adult School (DAS), which is very low in tuition -- $745 per quarter for steno and $145 per academic class...compared to literally thousands of dollars per month at other schools.  There is an even cheaper program than DAS, which is Tri-Community in Covina (don't know the exact rates, but last I checked it was cheaper than DAS).

If you cannot drive out to Downey or Covina, there is also the option of training via online courses.  DAS has an online course -- $549 per quarter.  I tried it for about 1 week, and I myself didn't like the quality of the training.  I had something to compare it too, which is SimplySteno.com.  I HIGHLY recommend this online speed-building course, BUT they do NOT take Theory students...ONLY speed-building students.  The cost is $610 for 3 months, $920 for 6 months, and $1,550 for 12 months (you get a discount if you bring in multiple students to start the program with you).

Theory is the first thing you learn at court reporting training.  Theory is basically how you "write" (it's not called typing) on your steno machine.  Theory takes usually 6 months or so, depending on the individual.

And that is an IMPORTANT factor about the CR process: it's all up to the INDIVIDUAL!  There are some out there who are "naturals" and can get done with the whole program in 18 months!  Then there are those out there that, because of whatever circumstance (job, family, health issues, or plain old laziness) take 10 years to get out of school!  Yes, TEN YEARS!  So the beauty (and the beast) to court reporting is that YOU GO AT YOUR OWN PACE...and that is WHATEVER pace YOU set up.  You have FULL control.

Once you pass your Theory, there are the speed-building classes.  Most programs are organized in 20 WPM increments...so that would be 40 WPM, 60 WPM, 80 WPM...and all the way up to 225 WPM.  The CSR (certified shorthand reporter) exam in California is a 10-minute live 4-voice Q&A (testimony) panel at 200 WPM.  If you want to work in California, you MUST pass the CSR exam.  If you want to work at another state, you need to check and see what their state requirements are, if any.  Some states do not have any type of license requirement and you only need to be proficient at writing up to 200 WPM.

Along with building speed, there are "plateaus" that ALL students go through.  Some students will only get snagged in a speed level for 3 months or so...while others stay stuck for 1 year!  Again, it really depends on YOU and what YOU do to PUSH YOURSELF out of that plateau.  Some people may be just plain too busy or distracted to give their best and fullest attention to the CR program...but that is REALLY what you NEED to do.  If you can go full-time into the CR training and TRULY dedicate yourself to finishing fast and well, then you CAN and WILL do it!  (I have always gone to school part-time up until April of this year.  I got married and my husband allowed me to quit my job in order for me to dedicate all my working hours to school.  Now that I have, I am progressing faster than ever before!  If you can go full-time, DO IT!!!)

To pass a speed level (depending on which program, of course) usually means you need to pass 1 literary (or congressional) test, 1 jury charge test, and 1 Q&A (testimony) test...all in the same speed level at 95% accuracy or better.  At DAS some of these tests you must pass are at 97.5% accuracy...which is a lot harder than 95% (the error limit is pretty substantial).

Besides building speed, you need to also get your academic classes done, which are English, Vocabulary, Medical Terminology, Legal Terminology, Depo/Court Procedures, and Transcript Preparation (hoping I'm not missing anything).  These are regular sit-in classes (without your steno machine), but some schools offer these classes online.  At DAS I know we have Vocabulary and either or both Medical and Legal Terminology as online courses.

Later as you reach your higher speeds, you will need to take time out to do some observation hours and intern hours with official and deposition reporters.  This is the fun stuff really.  It just takes time, and that's hard to do, especially if you're working.  At DAS the requirement is 10 observation hours, 25 intern hours with an official reporter, and 25 intern hours with a deposition reporter.

So Theory, speed-building (including the plateaus), academic classes, and observation and internship hours are all in the package of any NCRA (National Court Reporters Association)-approved court reporting school you attend.  The majority of our training is, of course, speed-building up to 225 WPM.

If you want to do the bare minimum (for whatever reason), you could take Theory with a brick-and-mortar CR school or an online CR program such as CRAH (Court Reporting & Captioning From Home), then speed-build on your own at home all the way up to 225 WPM.  There are LOTS of speed-building DVD's and programs you could purchase WITHOUT ever having to pay a tuition.  If you decide to do this route (and you still live in California and want to work in California), you would then take the RPR (Registered Professional Reporter) exam, pass this...and then be eligible to take the CSR exam for California...then you're able to work in California as a licensed CSR...and you obtained TWO licenses in the meantime, instead of only 1.

Here are some links to some speed-building material you can purchase for use at home:

Also, I think it is VERY important to stay motivated, driven, and POSITIVE throughout your CR education...if you decide to pursue this.  Here are some links to some helpful forums where working reporters and students gather to ask and answer questions, share tips, and foster community.

Lastly, let me tell you about some options you have as a licensed court reporter.

You can work as an official reporter in the courtroom.  In LA County you could earn a GREAT salary with GREAT benefits.  On top of your employee salary (about $60K and more), you get paid for the transcripts you produce plus any copies of it.  The going rate for transcript pages is around $4 per page.  If you have people buying several copies, that all adds up...since usually transcripts that are purchased are in the hundreds of pages. Just this week I heard you can make up to $100K in transcript fees alone in preliminary hearings, and $200K in transcript fees alone in long-cause cases...and this is ON TOP of your employee salary and benefits!  You also get even more money if attorneys order an expedited transcript, have expert witness testimony (which is very dense material), or have hook-ups for attorneys to stream realtime on their laptops as you write on your steno machine (about $200 per attorney realtime hook-up).  It's NOT rare for court reporters to make $100K and more at court.  It depends though on which division you work at. 

You can work as a deposition reporter with 1 or several court reporting agencies.  You decide your own schedule, what type of cases you are willing to report, and how far you are willing to drive.  Note, however, that the depo reporters that make the big bucks are the ones that do not say "no" to any case, take the very hard cases, work M-F, drive anywhere, and are ready to take any last minute jobs they can handle.  A CR friend told me that on her 2nd year working as a depo reporter, she made $80K...but she also did the above.  However, this same CR friend of mine made $10K on 1 job alone as well!  She said that is pretty rare...and the more frequent cases of sky rocketing pay is up to $7K on 1 job alone...which is NOT bad!

Regarding official and deposition work, as a CR you can also hire a scopist and/or proofreader to look over your transcripts before submission.  A scopist is a person who reads steno notes, goes over your transcript, and basically polishes it up.  A proofreader does the same things, however, does not read steno notes.  Some CR's use none, 1, or both.  The going rate is $1+ per page for scopists and it increases based on what type of job it is (expedite, expert witness testimony, lots of audio where you need to listen to the audio recording several times, etc.).  I'm not sure of how much proofreaders get paid, but I'm pretty sure it's less than scopists (maybe $0.75 per page).

CR's that make the most money out there ($150K to $200K) are the ones that are, first of all, at the TOP of their field (they're like the Navy Seal 6 in the military, haha!), and second of all, they use scopists and/or proofers.  These CR's rely on scopists/proofers to help finish their transcript ASAP and into the clients' hands.  This way the CR doesn't have to do it themselves and can be busy taking even more jobs out there!  Everyone gets paid (CR's, scopists, and proofers)...clients get their transcripts...all is well! :)

You can work as a CART provider who is a CR that serves the deaf or hard-of-hearing community as they go to their college classes, doctor appointments, or anything like that.  You bring your steno machine with you, sit by your client, and produce realtime notes on your laptop for your client to read, so they are able to participate in the class or appointment.  There is no transcript that you produce.  You just email your steno notes (converted to English using your CR software) to your client at the end of the day.  Some CR's like this field because they are helping people instantaneously and/or they don't want to deal with transcripts.

You can work as a broadcast closed captionist either at the TV station or from home.  The captions you see at the bottom of your screen are being produced realtime by CR's somewhere in the USA.  Currently you don't need a license to work as a CART provider or a broadcast closed captionist, BUT you also need to be VERY fast and VERY accurate on your steno machine.  Speeds are up to 240 WPM and accuracy rate is at 98%.  If you can do that, then there should be no reason why you do not have your license.

To start off as a working reporter, most CR's upgrade their student steno machine writer (usually a manual or an older version), which can cost $5K and more, depending on which model you choose.  You can choose do buy your upgraded machine during school or after you graduate.  (NOTE: You can buy used manual and older version steno machine writers anywhere from $100 to $2K on Acculaw, eBay, or Craigslist).  You will also need to buy your upgraded CAT (computer-aided transcription) software, which translates your steno notes into English.  The going rate is $5K and the most used brands are Case Catalyst and Eclipse.

So wow...that's what I have to say about the CR career...at least all that I know of it to date. :) Oh, let me add another thing: I also DO KNOW that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my soon-to-be profession.  I LOVE the prestige of having a skill that not many have (or know about!).  I LOVE the flexibility of the job if you want to work as a depo reporter, CART provider, or even broadcast closed captionist (the flexibility is great for parents!).  I LOVE the fact that working as an official reporter, I am playing a crucial role in the justice system.  I LOVE the fact that working as a CART provider or broadcast closed captionist, I am helping the deaf or hard-or-hearing community.  I LOVE the fact that the pay is more than awesome, dependent on how much I want to work.  Yes, CR's can and do make good money...but they also really do EARN that good money!  

It is NOT easy getting through CR school and graduating.  95% (or more!) of students who start the CR training...quit. :( But if you CHOOSE to not quit and CHOOSE to truly want this CR career...you CAN have it!  Job security is so there!!!  There is a SHORTAGE of CR's...and we will NOT be replaced by electronic recording devices anytime soon.  If anything, technology HELPS us court reporters since we can now work anywhere in the world and produce our work live via realtime.  Technology only helps our cause...if we continue to hold the bar of CR's and their skills to the high level it deserves.

Again, if you really want it, you CAN have it!  All the best to you!!! :)


July 15, 2011


This blog post is for all my fellow court reporting students who feel discouraged about the CR program.  We've all been through the ups and downs of CR training (hopefully more ups than downs).  Usually we become gloomy because we're stuck at a speed for longer than usual...or our student loans start to pile up unbearably...or we have too many academic classes plus speed-building classes to juggle around ON TOP of our already full lives.  

Well, I am here to encourage you to NOT be discouraged!!!  If you REALLY want to become a working court reporter, you simply CANNOT give into your feelings of discouragement.  Do NOT allow yourself to be a participant to pity parties nor "woe is me" venting sessions.  Refuse to show up to the blahs...and rewire yourself to BELIEVE again.

Because if you TRULY want to achieve your dreams badly enough...you simply MUST believe you will get it...and work hard and smart to make your dreams your realities!  Believing and working hard and smart is the ladder that takes you from your dreams (Point A) to your achieved realities (Point B).  

You CAN do it!!!  BELIEVE you can!!!

July 8, 2011


I recently chatted with a good friend of mine and  was asked how the married life was going.  Why, thanks for asking!  We just marked our 100th day of being married earlier this week.  Yay for that! :)

I told my good friend that it was quite an adjustment during the first and second months of matrimony.  We were still on a high from all the excitement of the wedding planning (we planned our wedding in 2.5 short months!), and we were trying to find our rhythm as the new Mr. and Mrs.  Being in our third month of marriage now, we've finally carved out our own routine... and I like it.  It works. :)

With that said, I told my good friend that in an alternate world, if I were still single, this is what I would do...

I would ask 1 or 2 classmates to be my roomies.  We would then rent an apartment across the street from our school, and I would live, eat, and breathe court reporting until I became a CSR, RPR, and all the other lofty licenses out there!

My school is in Downey, and my old home was in the San Gabriel Valley area.  If I were to still live at home, I would have had to commute at least 45 minutes ONE WAY each day... and I HATE commuting!  Thus, A) my dislike for driving and B) my desire to get out of court reporting school as my #1 priority = I would definitely go to school full-time, get classmates as my roomies, and then do freelance transcription work from home at night and weekends (if necessary) to support myself (I've done freelance transcription work in the past).  That's how I would have done it... should my man not have proposed. :)

It's a fact that court reporting students sacrifice SO MUCH to follow their dreams of becoming CSR's... and I admire them so much, ESPECIALLY the ones who have families of their own and/or commute super far just to go to a brick-and-mortar school and/or work full-time.  Maybe there's a super-human out there who has all three going on at the same time!  If so, my hat is off to you!  How the heck do you do that?!?!

For those of us who are not that super-human and yet have our own sacrifices to go through while going to CR school, what are YOUR sacrifices specifically?  How do you cope with the everyday world of court reporting school PLUS everything else on your plate?  Would love to know!

July 7, 2011


Sap alert!  This post is all about my husband... and how great of an artist I think he is!  Look at these super cute images he drew and colored himself! :D

My husband is by far my biggest supporter of me going through court reporting school.  He not only hears me out when I need to vent or ramble, but he really wants to know the process of stenography, TC's (typing credits), tests, and even briefs!  He's a GUI (graphic user interface) -- he designs websites.  But he's also a programmer and wants to sharpen his skills as a programmer on a daily basis.  After we eat our dinner and clean up, we're usually both studying -- me on my steno machine, he on his desktop.  It helps to have someone sort of go through the same academic journey you are... or at least someone there to continually cheer you on.  I know I'm a very blessed girl. :)

Who is your biggest supporter?

July 6, 2011


Today I transcribed a 180 4-Voice test... and missed it by ONE POINT!!!  How frustrating is that?!?! :P

But my good husband reminded me that I'm super close... and it's only a matter of time before I earn that official pass.  Therefore, I will NOT stay frustrated.  Instead I will continue to push hard to MAKE SURE I pass that 180 4-Voice test BEFORE the term ends on August 19th, GOD-willing!

Once I pass this 180 test, I will officially be in the 200 WPM class.  EXCITING!!! :D

How do you cope with the ALMOST pass???

July 5, 2011


I am so excited to announce that I passed two tests last week -- a 180 WPM Congressional and a 190 WPM Congressional!  Woo hoo!  Thank GOD!  And I thought Congressional takes were my most dreaded takes!  I have NO FURTHER Congressional tests to worry about!  What a relief!  YAY!

I think I know why I might have passed these tests:

-I have been practicing longer and at higher speeds (180 up to 225 WPM).

-I have been practicing hard copy and repeating each sentence 3 times.  If I make any kind of error, I repeat the sentence another 3 times to help ensure accuracy.

-I didn't stress out while taking the tests.  I allowed my fingers to take full control.  I shut down my brain and went into auto pilot.

-I made sure I used up my full 1 hour of transcription time and went over my tests very carefully before turning them in.

-I was generally happy.  I was in high spirits, getting enough rest, and content and proud that I was accomplishing small tasks in my daily to-do list.

I think all the above culminated in my passes.  What are the factors that allow you to pass your tests?

July 2, 2011


I love going to the library.  I went a few days ago and picked up an armload of books (not a box-full this time!).  One of those books is by John C. Maxwell entitled Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow's Success.

To keep with the positivity theme (see last post), here are randomly selected take-away tips I got from this book.  Enjoy!

By John C. Maxwell

The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

Good Decisions (MINUS) Daily Disciple (EQUALS) A Plan without a Payoff
Daily Discipline (MINUS) Good Decisions (EQUALS) Regimentation without Reward
Good Decisions (PLUS) Daily Discipline (EQUALS) A Masterpiece of Potential

When it comes to change, there are really only three kinds of people:
1. Those who don't know what to do
2. Those who know what to do but don't do it
3. Those who know what to do and follow through

I can’t
If only
I don’t think
I don’t have the time
I’m afraid
I don’t believe

I can
I will
I know
I will make the time
I’m confident
I’m sure 


We have a great court reporting director at my school, Downey Adult School!  Every Sunday she emails her students a concise email with info on the coming week and an encouraging story and/or court reporting tips at the end of the email.  The following is one of my favorites from her weekly emails!  She has even printed this and placed it in the computer lab for us students to read and remind ourselves that staying positive and productive is SO MUCH BETTER than staying negative and defeated.

Here you go... and thank you, Cindy, for sharing this! :)


Yesterday I was asked how I stay ‘up’ all the time; what my ‘secret’ to staying focused, motivated, positive and productive is. As I began to launch into some mind-numbing monologue of an answer, I stopped myself mid sentence. I told her (hello Grace) that I would answer her question in a brief (no really, I can do it) post today. So here it is; the pr’ecis version of how I personally stay ‘up’ most of the time.

1. I hang out with like-minded people who energize me and I avoid the energy vampires.

2. I learn from, and get inspired by, successful people.

3. I ask myself the right kind of questions – the “what can I learn from this experience” questions, rather than the “why does this happen to me” questions.

4. I regularly get excited about possibilities – sometimes too excited!

5. I don’t focus on negatives – I invest my emotional energy where it will give me the best return.

6. I change the stuff I can and I let go of the stuff I have no control over.

7. I am constantly setting goals. Big and small.

8. I dedicate time every day to ‘switching off’ and having fun for fun’s sake. Strategic silliness.

9. I express myself creatively. It makes me happy.

10. I let myself dream. Sometimes my mind keeps me awake all night!

11. I invest time into others. People who are completely self-focused tend to have more downs than ups.

12. Whatever most people my age do, I try and avoid.

13. I regularly take stock of my life and consciously appreciate everything in it and about it. I am always acutely aware that my life is great and that I am blessed to be where I am.

14. I set high standards for myself. I want to be exceptional and do exceptional things, and I will. Not because I’m particularly talented, but because I am prepared to work harder than most. I love to explore and push the boundaries of my potential.

15. I love swimming against the tide. I love doing what most people don’t or won’t. I love being unconventional and throwing ‘logic’ out the window (now and then). Sometimes logic is a synonym for fear and ignorance.

16. I look after myself physically. I don’t smoke, drink or use drugs and I never have. Ever. Being physically fit and healthy, helps me stay focused on a mental, emotional and creative level. It’s very hard to be ‘up’ when you’re physically unwell.

17. My self-talk is positive. I don’t beat myself up. I don’t feel sorry for myself and I don’t indulge in ‘pity parties’.

18. I get great feedback and support from lots of amazing people – like you. Thanks.

19. I keep stimulated and challenged by doing lots of different stuff! I thrive on variety and change – private coaching, corporate speaking, professional writing, TV, radio, blogging, business coaching and every so often, I make an appearance at my gyms. If I had to do the same thing day in, day out, I would be in trouble. I have made a career out of my passion. I get paid to do what I love.

20. I spend quiet time alone recharging my batteries. No phone, no internet, no TV, no people, no noise, no distractions. I connect with the fat eight year-old for a while and see what he has to tell me. Sometimes the only person we don’t listen to is ourselves.

See, that was short and sweet. I knew I could do it.

By: VintageVerses of Etsy.com