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What are your three words?

My three words
My three words
Lisa Baker

As I was contemplating the Universe this afternoon (and no, that wasn't snoring you heard), I noticed the three inspiration stones pictured here on the corner of my desk.

The two large stones were given to me by a boss nearly 17 years ago. I'm sure there was a large selection of excellent "words on rocks" to choose from, so why did she pick these? In considering the answer to this question, I remembered back to how different I was at back then...

{Insert flashback fog and woo woo music here}

It was 1998 and for 10 years, my career had been a very high priority for me. Somehow though, I decided that with the birth of a second daughter, it would be a great idea to stay home to raise my girls full time. Maybe it was burn-out from stress and lots of hours on the job that made that seem like a good plan.

Everyone in my life knew better than I did that leaving an accounting leadership position to raise a toddler and an infant would be a major transition (How did I miss that?). It certainly would require me to rethink the ways I had operated. I was no longer "the boss" - I had little control over anything during the day. I wasn't a "business woman" - which was tough on my ego. I wasn't dealing with adults who could understand my highly persuasive arguments (or anything much actually). I was on call literally 24 / 7, well beyond what my corporate job had demanded.

While I felt overwhelming love for my girls, suffice it to say that staying home was a BIG challenge. I believe in part that my boss picked those rocks because she knew how hard it was going to be for me to change jobs. What better words than "patience" and "balance" to help cope with that difficult and crucial new role?

(Of course, I had to keep the giant rocks from the kids so they didn't end up in the television. I'm happy to report that I was successful on that point.)

But there was another reason she picked those words. My boss realized that finding "balance" with health, family, friends and work isn't something you do once and it's solved. She recognized that "patience" was a growth area for me - even now, I always want things to move faster than they do - and the stone is a constant reminder to hang in there. Thank you Luanne.

Can't believe I almost forgot about the red heart-shaped rock!

I actually bought that one for myself. "Inspire" is a word that warms my soul and red is one of my favorite inspiring colors. The little stone fits perfectly in my hand and when I hold it, it reminds me that in all I do, my goal is to assist people in bringing out their best - even beyond what they believe is possible. Good reminder.

Oh, and, if I drop it on my toe, I don't have to go to the ER.

I would love it if you would share. What words are front and center in your life and how do you stay focused on them?