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(this video is an intro to the article)

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I was having dinner with a dear friend of mine.

I knew something was a bit “off” in me.

She summarized it.

“Karen, you’re striving.”

She was right.

It got me thinking…


There are three ways to strive:
1.  PERFECTION:  The need for things to be perfect (not a good idea).  My best will never be perfect.This, I fully embrace!  For me, the need to do something perfect isn’t where striving crept in.  (If you want, you can read more of my thoughts here: “Make An 80% Decision“)

2.  MY BEST:  The desire to do your best (great idea!)  Doing my best is very important to me.
Yes, it is.

3.  CASUAL:  Making casual decisions that create added stress, and then the added stress puts pressure to make an effort to achieve something, anything, just something! (not a good idea)  My best won’t show up if I’m treating important decisions casually.  
Where striving tip-toed into my life was because I chose to be more casual in my decision-making.

definition of casual:  relaxed and unconcerned

In this article, I’d like to focus solely on how casualness initiates striving.


That ol’ adage – “Hindsight is 20/20”

I arrived in San Diego in 2015, fully committed to chasing my dream.

How I began my quest, and where I am today, is dramatically different. 

With three years under my belt, enough time passed to assess my progress. 

I think striving kicked in right about the time I realized that generating revenue was not easy! 

In other words, I made a bunch of mistakes at the onset!!  

My starry-eyed excitement was partnering with a casual approach to important matters.

Decisions were not thought through properly and I began to experience a tremendous strain.  

In that strain, I started to strive.

A casual mindset + not-so-great-results = Panic!
Panic sounded the alarm = “Uh-oh!”
The Alarm created stress = “This is hard!”
Stress kicked into striving = “I need to see something happen!”
Striving = I lost my rhythm and rest.

How do I stop from striving and why did I invite this nasty habit into my life?!

I immediately did some self-coaching…

QUESTION:  “What does striving mean to me?”  

1.  High work ethic

2.  Feel responsible

3.  Take into own hands

4.  A lot of effort

5.  Exhausting

6.  Fearful

7.  Waste of time

9.  Control

10. Reactionary

QUESTION:  “What does the opposite of striving mean to me?”

1.  Simplicity

2.  Smart

3.  Wise


For the past 15 years, each fall season leading up to the new year, I begin to prepare my heart for a theme.  That theme is activated on January 1st.

How it works:  
I ask myself, “For the next 12 months, what do I want to learn?
Where do I want to grow?
Where do I want to mature, be inspired, be challenged, be confronted,
be humbled, be uplifted, be present, be curious?”

As 2019 approaches, I know what my theme will be: to diminish ‘the pressure to strive’ from my journey.  This excites me. Yes yes yes!

I’ve allowed striving to enter my space – because of fear.  

With all the joys that come with being an entrepreneur (exciting, invigorating and rewarding!) – it’s also scary.

Striving started ‘innocently’.

I have a high commitment to “work ethic”, “sweating”, “investing in my dream”.  Fantastic!

Along with those wonderful rationales, striving also showed up.

Wisdom:  I can be casual about what to wear, where to eat, how I travel and all my whimsical ideas.  When it comes to important decisions, taking a lackadaisical approach might not be such a good idea.

Where is my casual vibe beneficial and where does it invoke striving?

What new ‘aha!’ moments will I be experiencing? Where will my character be enriched?  How will this theme change my life? How will I, in turn, empower and serve others in greater measures?

I look forward to learning.  I’m gearing up for a great year ahead.  Journal is ready.  Pen to paper.  Eyes open.  Ears attentive.  Sign me up!!!

[4]  YOUR TURN!!!  #foodforthought

  1. Is there a part of your life where you might be striving (but not in the good way)?
  2. What new ‘aha!’ moments would you like to experience in 2019?
  3. Where would you like your character to be enriched, and why?
  4. In what area of life would you like to see a surge of growth?
  5. How will your 2019 theme create significant change in your life?
  6. In embracing your theme, what might be possible?
  7. In doing so, how might you empower and serve others?



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