The Two Best Things I Learned at NAPO Conference 2012!

I recently attended the National Association of Professional Organizers annual conference and I want to pass along to you the two best things that I learned at NAPO Conference 2012. I know you are reading this and forming jokes or crazy visuals about what a conference with 840 organizers looks like. No, we don’t invade housekeeping at the hotel and refold all the sheets and towels.

Over the course of 3 full days, I attended10 sessions, 3 networking events and even ate and drank with other organizers.  It is always amazing to be with so many people from different states and countries that all do what I do.  What is even more amazing is that we all do things differently and have different areas that we specialize in.  I learn so many incredible tips and tips in those 3 days that it usually takes me weeks to process all the information.  I learned about some great new products that you will see in my e-zine or on my products page, but the tips that I want to share with you are the ah ha moments when a speaker says just the right thing that triggers you to realize great things.

Here were the two biggies for me:

1. The brain can’t tell the difference between fiction and reality.  Keep repeating something that you want to come true and eventually, your brain will believe it. (Dr. Jo)

You can call it the power of positive thinking or the downward spiral of negative thinking, but what I realized in this statement is how often people in my life are doing one or the other.  I find myself drawn to other people that, even if not yet achieving it, are thinking and moving toward their goals.  At the same time, I find myself shying away from people who constantly ‘down’ and complaining about people or situations.  With all of life’s stressors and pulls in different directions, I will choose the positive thinking person to spend my time with.  I want to be happy and recharged and surrounding myself with people who want the same, is halfway there.

2. We cannot achieve balance.  Even if we could, it is not sustainable. The reality is that in life you are perpetually off balance, invested in each moment with a bias toward achieving something meaningful or worthwhile. Being ‘off balance’ is how you will learn, grow and improve yourself.  (Dan Thurmon)

Everyone constantly talks about balance.  The big one we always hear about is work/life balance.  I am always trying to balance spending time with my kids and being a good mom with being a good business person and serving my clients.  Dan used juggling to illustrate is that we all have multiple ‘balls’ in the air.  If you have three balls in the air (which we all have many: work, relationships, health, spirituality, etc), you have to let go of one, to catch the incoming ball.  Therefore, if you are holding on to any one thing to tightly , you are leaving no space for the ‘catch’. AND, as you add more balls, you need to toss each one even higher to give yourself time to catch and throw the next one.

My goal is to now take these tidbits and use them to make my life and my clients’ lives a little better!  Hope you can use these in your world too.

If you liked today’s post, you’re welcome to use it in your own ezine or blog as long as you include the following blurb: Certified Professional Organizer, Tara Donohue Rudo, CPO, helps families, solopreneurs and mompreneurs focus on what is important. Get her FREE weekly tips and advice at


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