Taking Stock of Your Distinctive Qualities

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Can you believe we are already two Fridays into the new year? I hope that whatever you’ve set to accomplish this year will come to fruition. I have quite a few things I want to do: cut down on Diet Mtn Dew, drink more water, take my dogs on frequent walks, and write a breakout novel that propels me into the big time. Well, if not the big time, then at least attracting 50 reviews on Amazon.

Quote of the week: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Book/Movie of the week: The book I want to talk about this week is Wonder, by R. J. Palacio. It’s about a boy named Auggie Pullman, who looks different from everyone else. It depicts the struggles Auggie and his family face as they try to live a normal life. The movie version also does a great job with the story.

Joke of the week: How do schools of fish meet their annual goals? They call in a-fish-in-sea experts.

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: What sets you apart from others? That’s a million-dollar question, right? Everyone has something unique only to them, but it’s a tough question to answer, since we all are our own worst critics. I can’t believe I am publicly admitting this, but I once won a game for unwrapping Hershey’s Kisses with my toes. To be fair, it was a church game for a New Year’s Eve party a LONG time ago. Although I don’t plan to use that particular talent anytime soon, it’s a good example of how we all have little things that make us different from others. I also know tons of trivia that I share when my family texts me with their questions…

Seriously, though, we all have abilities that set us apart from our family members and colleagues. Some people can handle individuals who are a little more bristly than others. Others are able to let the communication from “mouthy teenagers” go in one ear and out the other, hearing the needs and responding to them while not taking offense by their behavior. Some people have a high tolerance for that…while others, not so much.

Whatever your distinctive qualities are, be confident in them and not embarrassed by them. Spend time jotting them down, and remember to include any experiences along with the qualities that make you unique. It is a great way to create a career statement or find keywords to describe yourself in the future. That is one of the hardest things I am trying to do as I establish my author career. I know what I am not, so I need to focus on what I do have going on for me.

I must always tell myself that I cannot compare my achievements (or perceived lack of them) to others, and you shouldn’t either. We can have the same situational experience but take away totally different internal realizations.

Shout-Out of the week: This week I want to give a shout-out to all of the people who provide support for foster families and the children in their care. One of the biggest blessings someone can share is to provide gift cards for meals or offer to watch the children for a couple of hours so the caregivers can have a little time away. Now that we are not able to foster, my family tries to give back as often as we can. Thank you for doing what you do.

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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