What are your interests, what do you enjoy doing, what are you good at, and what skills do you have? Figuring these things out can then help you find direction and a path to take, as well as helping you understand your passion and purpose, the means to know where you’re going, and how to get there.

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Shake off the Grind will now be providing a bi-weekly post on Sundays called Rise and Grind. You can expect to find 5 recommended post from the previous week that offer inspiration, insight, and knowledge to help you have an enhanced week. These are posts that deserve special attention and particularly inspired me through the previous week. Hopefully they will provide you needed encouragement and inspiration when the week gets hectic or stressful.

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Questions and answers lie within all of us. Though coming to a solution isn’t always easy. There is no golden rule to decision making and problem solving, particularly when it pertains to important personal decisions. Often times the most difficult questions to answer are those that pertain to who we are? How often do you ask yourself, “What do I want?” “How do I feel?” “What’s my purpose?” These questions can leave us feeling confused, threatened, and even vulnerable.

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I love when I run across a person that’s making strides in life that are truly admirable. Mark Powers is one of these individuals. He is a dynamic and creative musician, educator, and entrepreneur, who teaches drum lessons, performs live, travels the world, and has developed unique music based team building programs for schools, communities, and organizations. Being a fellow drummer I understand Mark’s passion and had to ask him a few questions about his creativity and inspiration.

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We’ve all had those days where we’re pushed to the limit. We’re physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and unable to give another ounce of attention to any meaningful task. It’s like we’re supposed to be the energizer bunny, and just “keep going, and going, and going.” Though, unlike the energizer bunny we must recharge our battery if we want to maintain health and well-being.

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Face it, you’re not perfect, and that’s okay. Movies, magazines, and television tend to present an idealistic self-image of how people should look, feel, and act, and these unrealistic depictions can lead to a perfectionist attitude. Even some self-help philosophy’s can make the claim that perfection is a reachable peak if we follow the right principles. Though, an inherent part of being human is fallibility and imperfection.

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What causes stress in your life? Is it the major life changes? The countless responsibilities? Or the minor inconveniences? Maybe it’s all of the above? The fact that change and unexpected events are a part of life means that everyone will experience stress. Stress is synonymous with change. Even positive changes are stress provoking. Fortunately, stress is natural, and is an important part of dealing with life’s many challenges. It prepares our body and signals us to take action. Though, excessive stress can cause serious mental and physical health problems.

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The beliefs and perspectives people hold truly “shade” their expectations. These come from the unique and varying life experiences everyone encounters, which influences the way the world is interpreted and represented in the mind. From this, paradigms develop. A paradigm is an expectation or assumption about what and how things should be done. These paradigms can help you see important details, but can also blind you from the bigger picture.

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