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The Key to Success–Lower your Standards.

I know. Believe it or not I used to be paid by the state of California to offer business coaching–and I post slogans like: “The Key to Success–Lower your Standards.”

But here’s the deal.

Sometimes to get to the next level, we have to accept that we’re not there yet. And to get to the next level of whatever it is that we’re after, we have to first accept the mediocracy of where we are and show up anyway, and do our best. The key to success is to have a beginners mind if you will.


Lowering our standards at times is necessary to both our health and well being, and consequently it’s necessary to our success. Accepting exactly where we are is essential to moving forward. If we compare our first steps to those of someone who is miles ahead of us on their journey, we’ll never have the courage to take our own first steps.

How does this beginner’s mind relate to Wild Child Travels and the happenings of the Lozano tribe?

Well, we’ve been back in the states for roughly three full weeks now.  And I am ON FIRE with ideas for how we are taking our businesses on-line and how we can make money as we travel, and I’m ready to implement them already! And I have to confess that you can take me out of North America, but it’s really hard to get me to shed my Americanness. Meaning that I suffer from that forward propelling drive to accomplish something. every. single. day.

I am truly striving to not completely base my self-worth on my productivity or output, but to be honest, I’m not there yet. It’s a total work in progress. Ah shit! SEE–I’m not supposed to work at it, I have to remember to just surrender to what is!  I’m hopeless!

Anyway, how easily I become distracted! Back to my point.

The kids have been in school since the fourth day we arrived. So we are back in the groove of packing lunches, getting out the door with matching socks, jackets, and homework organized into those superhero backpacks, all before 8am. To be honest it’s a total shock to the system for someone who has been enjoying Spanish life which prides itself on long, lazy mornings.  But we are doing it, and we are doing it all while living out of the back of our new 1985 Westfailia Vanagon, and the limited space in my parent’s spare bedroom.

So yesterday I sat down to do a planning session for the blog–which is of course based on the true events of our life. Here’s the rub. I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing next week, much less 24 months from now! (I mean do travel bloggers really do that? Do they plan out their narratives and travel plans 24 months out?! Because those life plan things, well, that’s kind of why I decided to run away and join the travel circus! I’m not all that good with long-term planning!)

And so I worked myself into a total funk. About the state of my life and what I’m doing with it. About my children’s education and how I would take this on alone without the love and support of their teachers. And about the products I want to create for my business. And about getting Diego’s website up and running. And about the beautiful circle of women that are working through the Desire Map process with me. And how I was letting us all down, by not knowing how this would all go. How I’m not sure where exactly we’re headed and how.

And that’s where this advice comes in. And it’s not mine. My dear friend Claudia, who has lived overseas with her family several times, and who unfortunately took the brunt of my mega dismal attitude yesterday said:

“You know, sometimes it’s just a really good reminder that it’s okay to have scrambled eggs for dinner,” she cocked her head to the side, heavy with that priceless mother wisdom of one who’s been there. “And whatever your TV limit for the week is, just up it a little.”

And suddenly it hit me. I’m trying to do a life planning session in the middle of a metaphorical tornado.

We’ve been back for not even a month yet and here’s a summary of what we’ve crammed into that timeframe, and the decision we are currently contemplating:

1. We’ve purchased two new cars to be self-respecting, working Americans.

2. Re-set up all those annoying, yet necessary modern conveniences such as cell phones and car insurance.

3. Diego offered a week-long ski clinic for some clients, and was away for 7 days.

4. He also took on a new video project and traveled out of town overnight to shoot it.

5. I organized and promoted an additional stop on the #Workanywhere Film tour, of The Wireless Generation (great film, watch the trailer here!)

6. Diego is assisting with the final carpentry touches of our soon to be temporary home. It’s a beautiful loft space in a gorgeous meadow with unobstructed views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

7. We traveled to Sacramento for Diego to interview, and pass his citizenship exam to be welcomed by the Department of Homeland Security as an official US Citizen!

8. We’ve rented a private, downtown office out of which to build our empire, at the local co-working space.

9. I’ve been running a 6-week virtual workshop for women, since the middle of February.

10. We endured a massive wind and rain storm the weekend we arrived which resulted in four days without electricity, running water or phone service. Seriously…in California this apparently can still happen.

That list has been accomplished all while cramming our family of four into my parent’s spare bedroom which is a 25 minute commute to the kids’ school. Holy shit no wonder I feel a little scattered.

On top of all that I am feeling pressured to decide if we will head south to Mexico or the Virgin Islands at the end of this summer, or commit to staying on for another school year and wait until our on-line endeavors are more solidly in place, before I add homeschooling my children to my list of responsibilities.

So I thank Claudia today for reminding me that it’s okay to lower my standards.

You mean it’s better for my kids to watch an extra two hours of movies, rather than witness my resentment and frustration explode all over the Thai peanut stir fry I made for dinner? Go figure. Yup. Lower my standards.

And so there you have it. My best advice of the week: Lower your standards.
Guess what’s for dinner tonight?

My kids will be elated!

Citizen-4This man now has the right to vote in a US election and leave the country for more than a six month stretch.
A HUGE win in our journey toward long-term travel!


Tiffiney Lozano is the creator of the Mama Said Project and two crazy humans. She offers workshops for women craving connection with themselves and the world around them. After 18- months of continuous travel she and her family are finding adventure in the everyday from the comfort and beauty of their home in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe.
7 Comments... add your own
  • February 28, 2015, 1:42

    I eat cereal for dinner at least once a week 🙂
    You guys have achieved so much since you got back, you definitely need to go easy on yourselves.
    Can’t wait to read what happens next. And I am so looking forward to seeing pictures of the view from your loft. Sounds incredible!
    Emma recently posted…This is the WhyMy Profile

  • February 27, 2015, 6:54

    PS I want to hear EVERYTHING about your dilemmas and what happens next!

    • February 27, 2015, 8:55

      Ok! If nothing else, it will likely make you feel as if your own life is so together!

  • February 27, 2015, 6:52

    Hi I was so pleased to see your comments about Americanness.Since starting Blog Brilliantly, I’ve been bowled over by the sheer drive of others, and becoming more and more conscious of my own Europeanness.
    I realise I’m used to communication that’s less open/direct, more cautious and possibly even concealing underlying feelings, even when superficially candid.
    But then Henry James wrote some hundreds of thousands of words on that theme!

    • February 27, 2015, 8:55

      Oh I didn’t realize you were from Europe. Which part? Yes, we Americans are an intense bunch, and many of us are not very self aware. I do my best to keep myself out of that camp 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • February 26, 2015, 3:29

    Wow. I’m tired just reading that.

    “but it’s really hard to get me to shed my Americanness.”
    I found that to be true after being abroad for a year. I can’t deny it – although I have European tendencies, I am an American through and through…and totally ok with that! There are advantages.

    I totally get the expectation stacking, though. I do it to myself all the time. In some ways it’s great because it gets you thinking big and gives you big goals. If you fall short, you still end up way ahead of the game. The bad news is that you usually fail to appreciate any of it. We have to go through these little breakdowns at times, huh? They kinda suck, but after a good cry (ok, that’s what happens for ME at least), I usually look at things and don’t feel so bad. In fact, I usually feel a little proud of what I’ve accomplished. There has to be a short cut to that feeling…

    Good luck with all your plans! And congrats to Diego!
    Carmel recently posted…LOCAL TRAVEL OR: WHY DON’T WE DO THIS MORE OFTEN?My Profile

    • February 27, 2015, 8:53

      OMG Carmel! When you figure out the shortcut, please let me in on the secret!!!

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