Or is it?

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Do you remember that “in love” feeling where your future felt bright and limitless, where you were open and receptive, curious and giving, and eager to see how each new day would unfold?

These sentiments are the ones young children often experience before becoming disillusioned by their parents, teachers, friends, and environments. It’s challenging to get back there to this place of sheer unquestioning hope and faith for life and the future; however, it’s easier for me to tap into these emotions ever since I found my happy place here in the South of France.

Certainly, at times, conditions can…

The Unexpected Gift from an Ex-boyfriend

I’ve searched for love, all of my life.

I guess we all have to some degree.

Early on I didn’t feel worthy of love. I was not a planned child. While I felt cared for and in a sense wanted by my parents, I felt like an intruder in our small family. My brother seemed to be the center of attention. I took that to mean they loved him more than they loved me — that I was not worthy of that kind of love.

As a teen, I was accepting of the attention from any boy who would give…

Growth in Spite of Grief

“You will be successful,” Nicolas’ text message read.

I did not respond immediately. Receiving a message of encouragement like this one just four months earlier would have buoyed my spirits. It would have made me believe, at least for that instant, that what I was going for was perhaps possible for me. Someone else believed in me and in my abilities. Over the years, I have put a lot of weight on what others have believed about me (both good and bad), yet this time this message felt empty. It did not raise my hopes or belief in myself. …

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Reflections of a Lone Achiever

Is a success a success if you don’t have someone with whom to share it? It absolutely is!

Yet I still seek my soul mate with whom to share life’s highs and lows. As I accomplish more and more in my life, it can feel lonely to achieve. The nonexistent support during my effort and lack of recognition once I’ve completed a challenge successfully haunts me.

After my recent breakup with my boyfriend, I had a presentation to give. I’d been excited about being asked and felt confident in myself to do an excellent job. And I did. But right…

How I zeroed in on my New Home in France

When I told my friend Bea that I had moved from Perpignan to Céret after only a year there, she remarked with surprise, “Oh really, do you think you’ll stay there long?”

I could sense confusion and a bit of judgment in her tone. After all I’d just picked up and moved from Richmond, Virginia in the United States to Perpignan in the South of France only a year earlier, and now I was on the move again.

Certainly, it was another change, but I had gained clarity about where in France I would be even happier. And I had…

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You Might Just Find the Fountain of Youth

“The Fountain of Youth is Closer than You Think.” That is the title of a chapter I wrote for the ABCs of Awesome Living, a book project in which I took part. And the fact that the publisher will release it in the next few days is no coincidence. Recent events have convinced me of it!

I’ve been following the same route for my morning walk for over a year now, but I took a slight detour down a street with no outlet on Sunday. Usually, when I see a road with a dead-end sign, I avoid going down it…

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You Just Might Build Skills that will Come In Handy Later

I recently gave a presentation to a group of college alumnae. A college representative had asked me to speak on November 21, and I’d been honored.

Though I’d had five weeks to prepare, I waited until the last minute (or what seems like the last minute to my old self) to start to prepare. On November 15, I got serious, figured out the structure of my presentation, and began writing my speech. By 17th, I was content with what I’d created and I had the 15-minute introduction memorized. By November 20, a full day before my talk, I felt fully…

Then Ask Yourself this Question!

Every society (and family) has a set of rules that help guide it, which helps keep order and the status quo. We are born into our culture without choice, and our brains are imprinted with the cultural norms (rules and regulations) without our choice either, when we are young.

I was born into a family with the guiding principle of “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Meaning you do everything to keep what you have and maintain the status quo. This was meant to protect us by playing it safe. You don’t quit a job…

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And How You can Improve your Track Record

We don’t reach our goals because sometimes the goals we set are not important to us. We think we want to do something for some external factor, but the reasons don’t tap into our core values. I spoke of this in last week’s message.

But in my article entitled Is a Lack of Motivation Derailing your Dreams? I shared with you how to avoid or navigate this pitfall when it comes to having the success you want in life by leveraging How #2 to have Copious Success: Set a Meaningful Goal.

And sometimes, the reason we don’t reach our…

Then turn to Your Core, Core Values that is!

When you set a goal do you lack the belief in yourself to attain it? Sometimes I do. I mentioned this in my story “Want More Wins in Your Life? Start here!” which led me to discuss the “Building Self-confidence” Catalyst for Cultivating Courage.

But “Setting a Meaningful Goal” is a Catalyst for Cultivating Courage all by itself.

“Setting a Meaningful Goal” is easy to say. But it can be challenging to define goals that are meaningful. That is to say, that they pack the necessary motivation to get you into action and keep you there. …

Patricia Brooks

Bold, fledgling entrepreneur, author, podcast host Discovering Courage, Finding Freedom, Living in France! Adventures.Insights. Stories. thecouragecatalyst.com

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