One Big Thing

Earlier today, I interviewed Chuck Templeton, Founder of OpenTable, and Managing Director of Impact Engine for CareerCast at Chicago Booth.

It was amazing. First of all, Chuck is an incredible person – a combination of guts, drive, and humility. He shared insightful  ideas, thoughts, and perspectives of entrepreneurship. All of this was great.

When we finished our conversation and he was on his way, I paused and felt enormous energy, vitality, and happiness. It was so clear that doing these interviews is my one big thing and the positive impact didn’t end with me. I immediately went into a coaching appointment with a student who benefited from my recharged inspiration.

Please keep discovering your one big thing.

Happy Thursday,


Placeholders for Life

I have been thinking a lot about how I spend my time, what I gain from it, and how I contribute to others. I noticed more than a few placeholders for things I really want to do. These “substitutions” could be anything from watching tv (live or online) to making myself overly busy. I have made a commitment to replace my placeholders with activities that are truly important to me and where I can create the most value – for others and myself. I know I won’t be perfect at this and that’s okay.

Have a great day,

Breakthroughs and BabySteps

There is a whole school of thought that the only important wins are those that are big, bold, and splashy. While those are exciting and cool, I don’t know too many people who operate that way. I have found that time after time when I speak to really successful individuals in a variety of fields, Big, Bold, and Splashy are actually the result of many, many tiny steps.

Go figure.

Have a successful day,

The Power of Resilience

As I was contemplating today’s writing, the idea of resilience came to mind. While I have many friends and family members who display resilience, one person came to mind. That is my friend, Donna.

She is a person who sees obstacles as things that block her view of something even greater than what she has. Now some people would perceive this as a setback. Not Donna. She uses her masterful problem-solving skills and deep resourcefulness to find solutions that lead to amazing things – often way better than expected.

I have learned a great deal from her – the biggest is to always remember what we want and that finding the really wonderful stuff is more important than being right.

Thank you, Donna – and happy birthday!

Have a great Monday,

Knowledge versus Wisdom

There is SO much easily accessible information – from books to blogs to the internet in general.  Yet more information doesn’t often translate into better decisions. That said, developing wisdom helps us in so many ways – from increasing our ability to focus on doing the right things to applying what we learn to create greater value wherever we go.

For me, gaining wisdom comes when I sit down and quiet my mind. Then the best choices bubble up and I can apply them.

Have a great weekend,

The Clear Mirror

I was reading (actually re-reading for the upteenth time) an essay about the clear mirror of our lives. I love the concept – the people and circumstances in my life are a reflection of my mind, heart, and spirit. I am especially onboard with this when life is going smoothly and I am happily advancing.

Yet there are times when I “forget” the whole thing. It could be when a friend or family member is asking for more than I want to give. “They’re so needy,” I think. “How could this possibly be a side of me?” When I am honest with myself, I can be that way, too.

Or, even better, a person who was an advisor who belittled and told me how little my life was worth. While his words broke my heart and spirit for a time, when I took a step back I was able to see two things: 1. I have the same tendency toward arrogance and 2. I can make the commitment to find the best in people and help give others confidence.

So when the mirror of my life shows me something (through another person) I don’t want to experience, I do my best to digest the message and realize the messenger is me.

Have a great day,

The Pause

Today started with a 7:30 am meeting and continues straight through nearly without a break. While I love the activity, brainstorming, and progress, sometimes I need to pause – to actually stop, look around, and take a deep breath. This works wonders for my mind, perspective, and productivity.

Have a great day,

When Opposites Attract Success

Last night I was with a group of friends and the topic for discussion was about how not giving up leads to victory. One person shared an amazing experience about how a change inside of him helped him expand his life and capacity – from love to cooking.

A few minutes later, we played a game where we pulled two-side notes from a basket. The purple side – I would call the weak self side – had words like “arrogance,” “greed,” and “fear” written on it. The yellow side – I would call the power self side – had words like “courage,” “generosity,” and “compassion” written on it. Each person talked about the transformation from greed to generosity or fear to courage.

At the end of the gathering, a very talented graphic artist, gave each of us a mini poster of each person’s goals for 2013 – with beautiful pictures of each individual and the group.

I left encouraged, inspired, and ready to advance.

Thanks Broadway members!

When Small is Big

Certain people and things scare me. I know – this happens to everyone at one time or another. I can certainly agree with that. I have even been told that a bit of fear can be a good thing – it protects us from danger.

I have come to the conclusion that being scared is only a problem if it stops me from taking action that I want to take. So my fear “work around” is creating a series of actions big enough to be interesting and yet small enough to stop my “being scared” response.

So far so good.

Sometimes small really is BIG!

Have a great Monday,

Who Wins?

I was watching a promo for a new CBS drama called “Golden Boy”. Now, I am not a big fan of shoot ‘um up shows, but something in the promo caught my attention. The seasoned veteran cop, told the newbie something like this: “You have two sides in you – a good one and a “bad” one. It’s true for everyone. The only question is which side do you feed more? That is the side that will win.”

So it got me to thinking, within my own life – which side do I feed more and how do I keep the balance toward the good?

Food for thought – pun intended.

Have a great weekend,