Why Blame the Snake?

Ever notice how two people at the same “event” will often have rather different experiences? Two friends were in a pet store and (non-poisonous) snake got out of its cage. Karen shot out of there so fast, she nearly knocked down a small child – while Suzie with great glee asked if she could hold the snake. Karen was full of fear at the same time and Suzie was filled with delight. It wasn’t the appearance of the snake, but their perceptions of it. So the next time you are ready to “blame the snake” pause and see how you might reorganize your thinking.



Do You Need a Break?

Time Out!!!  The Ref

What do you do when you need a breather?

When you feel overwhelmed, take a break from whatever is causing the pressure and do a task that will please you and bring instant gratification. Have a cup of coffee. Organize a stack of papers. Practice deep breathing. You can then return to the bigger tasks with renewed energy, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment. Use these feelings and attitude to succeed at whatever you do next.

Have a great day,

Cleaning Up Your Grudge Sludge

Are you holding a grudge? Perhaps it’s a tiny bit of one. You may not even be aware of it, but this begrudging attitude may show up in subtle ways in your thoughts, words, and actions – and in lower levels of success and happiness. While it may “feel good” momentarily to resent another person, holding a grudge steals your power – and along with it your confidence, motivation, and focus.

Guess what? It’s Grudge Sludge Cleaning Day! Here’s a quick, simple, and effective exercise that you can do in the privacy of your home or office. Right now, stand up and say the following out loud, “_______(fill in the name of the person), I release you from the grudge and resentment I feel towards you.” Repeat this as often as you’d like until your thoughts, words, and actions are grudge free. Then watch for a renewed focus, motivation, and sense of empowerment – and the outcomes that you desire.

Have a great day,

One Good Thing to Accelerate Your Happiness and Success

I was chatting with a friend over the weekend and we were talking about someone that neither of really likes. Well, I do my best to find something good in each person I meet – and in some cases (like the man in our conversation,) it’s really hard. After I hung up, I was really troubled by my lack of compassion and spent the rest of the day “searching” for one good thing in the person I didn’t like. Fortunately, around 6pm, I “found” it. This man loves someone whom I truly adore. That’s a start. I already feel a bit better about him and myself.

Today, find one good thing about each person you meet and your happiness and success will accelerate.

Have a great Monday,

Communicate for Success

It’s often said that it’s not what you say that matters, but what you leave unsaid.

Many years ago I was taking a test to see what I would be best suited to do vocationally. “What do like to do more than anything else in the world?” Don, the tester, asked me. “Oh, that’s easy,” I replied. “I love to talk one-on-one and speak to groups of any size, although I do like to choose my audience.” “This is quite unusual,” responded Don. “Did you know that most people would rather die than do public speaking?” “Not me,” I said chuckling.

Sharing ideas, information, and encouragement is “My Thing,” my heart’s expression, my life’s work. My enthusiasm often comes out in words, sometimes too many. There are moments when I wish I could rewind my mouth and take back what I have said. While I never found a “human mouth rewinder,” I did find a solution. It’s listening with rapt attention.

So now, I am spending more time listening to what others are saying and less time thinking of the next clever thing that I will share. I’m learning a lot too – which comes in quite handy when I’m preparing to give a speech.

So what do you want to say today and what can be left unsaid without a loss?

Enjoy your weekend,

Chicago, Thailand, and the World

I was with a group of friends last night, in a beautiful home overlooking Lake Michigan. One of the women at the get together brought a group of friends from Thailand. It was a really interesting (my favorite word) gathering – encouraging, uplifting, and every word translated from English to Thai. It took some getting used to. At first, I was impatient and I had to really think about what I was going to say before I said it. I needed to share thoughts that were meaningful and yet short enough to be easily translated. The other thing that I noticed was that I had time to let other people’s words sink in – rather than formulating my next “brilliant” thought.

All in all, it was great – and it reminded me that in Chicago, Thailand, or anywhere in the world – all human beings want to be happy, successful, and loved.


The Dark Side of Criticism

Are you good about refusing to criticize others, but continue to disparage yourself? Maybe you even feel that admitting your weaknesses to yourself and others is a sign of growth and maturity. Yet whoever the “target,” the act of criticism destroys happiness. So the next time you’re ready to go “fault finding,” make it a short trip. Notice what needs to be changed, do it, and then move on.

Have a great Wednesday,

My Half-Full Half-Empty Dilemma

I am a person who constantly (and I do mean constantly) swings back and forth from seeing the proverbial glass as either half-empty or half-full. I actually want to see it as overflowing (as my friend, Caryl, describes life,) but I don’t, can’t, or won’t. The perpetual empty-full and back again feels like a tennis match. I haven’t been winning, but am determined to be victorious.

So here’s my new strategy – assume that life is half (or even more than half ) full  with the good things in life. My goal will be to find the things that make it so. While this could be a bit daunting for me, I am committed to making it work.

So today, find all of the ways your life, work, family, and more are at least half-full and enjoy the ride.

Have a great week,

Taming My “Evil Twin”

I was with a group of friends last night and after we did a quick catch-up on our lives, we began to talk about resentment, challenges, and respect. This may seem like an unlikely trio, but after a while, it all made perfect sense. I know that when I am feeling stressed, disregarded, and unappreciated, my “evil twin” started to scream words of doubt, fear, and ignorance into my ears. Most of the time, I ignore (or better yet – transform) my negative side, but I will admit that there are other times when I surrender. Those times are marked by my watching hour after hour of Law and Order (in its various forms,) which it a direct line to DEEP pessimism – no offense to those L & O fans.

What snaps me out of this negative haze is a momentary flash of appreciation and respect – for myself and others. Thanks goodness for that.

So I keep a thankful heart in my back pocket for the times I need it most.

Have a great weekend and thanks for “listening,”