When You Just Have to Let it Go

A couple of months ago, I was having coffee with a long-time friend. The conversation started out upbeat enough, but then he went into a tirade about a coworker who was frustrating him to no end. My friend went on and on about how wrong his co-worker is. Finally, I said: “I have been there and know how you feel. You may be right, but how much time, energy, and effort does this hapless co-worker deserve?”

My friend looked shocked. He didn’t even realize that he had spent nearly 30 minutes ranting about his co-worker – time that we could have spent on more productive and fun things.

As my friend left the funky coffee place in our neighborhood, he paused, turned around, and said,”Time to let this go, huh?” I nodded and thought: No question about it.

Have a great day,


Does Your Career Inspire You?

Okay, we know that our work isn’t going to be all sunshine and roses every day. There will be times that are frustrating, discouraging, and disappointing. In the throes of this, most people consider giving up (even for just a moment). It’s so easy to feel this way – I have on felt this way on more than a few occasions.

What gets me (and many others) over that negativity hump? It’s having a purpose and being deeply committed to it. When I have my sights on my purpose and the long-term nature of it, the immediate obstacle morphs into something manageable.

So if you want your career to inspire you, ground it in a strong purpose.

Have a great day,

When is a Question Not a Question?

Yesterday’s Cubs traffic gave me a lot of time to think and self-reflect. Since the bus was doing the driving, I had to luxury of uninterrupted time for contemplation. I was revisiting a conversation I had with a long-time friend last week. He was going on and on about a challenge in his life.

I was getting really impatient since I heard the same story many times before – the names and places were different, but the underlying obstacle was the same. So I did what I often do and asked a question. Now, my question wasn’t a question at all. It was a (judgmental) comment not so cleverly disguised as a question. It went something like this: “Don’t you think that you might want to consider changing yourself a bit instead of demanding that the other person change first?” My friend was not amused, but he did appreciate my point.

That said, I learned that if I really want to make a statement I need to have the courage to just say it instead of hiding behind a question that is not really a question at all.

Have a great day,

Doing the Right Thing

In the last few weeks, I have spoken to two different people with an ethical dilemma at work. For each person, it was a critical crossroad. At some level, it would have be “easy” to look away, ignore the grey area, and continuing doing the job. Yet neither could. They both spoke up and when they did, each was fired.

It made me reflect on what I would do in a similar situation. What would you do if faced with this untenable set of circumstances?

Hopefully this question is just hypothetical and something you will never have to face.

Food for thought.

Have a great week,

Own Your Value

I was chatting with an acquaintance this week. We were trying to figure out why she had 22 first round interviews, but no second rounds. I was stumped because this person is so capable. We decided to do a mock interview, and as I did, my acquaintance’s obstacle revealed itself. It was her undervaluing her talents, experiences, and accomplishments.

She wasn’t acknowledging her value. I see this over and over and over again with people from all walks of life. While I don’t advise people to boast and brag, I do believe that we should own our value and share it when appropriate. Who knows – you could be exactly what someone is looking for?

Have a great weekend,

Courage and Power

I was with some new friends yesterday and I was taken by one person’s experience of showing courage and inner power that he then felt. When I first was introduced to this man yesterday, I saw a kind and rather shy person. So I was very surprised to hear him share a story about what he did when he learned a female acquaintance was struggling with depression.

At first, he didn’t want to reach out to her because he was afraid of imposing. Yet, his compassion superseded his fear. In the end, he was able to connect with this young woman, touch her heart, and give her hope. In the process of helping another person, my new friend increased his confidence, courage, and sense of empowerment.

His behavior really encouraged me to reach out even when I am a little scared to do so.

Much to learn from him.

Have a great day,

Are You Up For the Challenge?

I was chatting with a friend a few months ago and she was facing some big challenges that really scared her. First, she was in a job working more than 90 hours a week. Second, she had lost all of her savings fighting a lawsuit that had damaged her reputation tremendously.

In the midst of all of this, she was offered an opportunity to be part of a startup team for a very exciting venture. You might think, “what does she have to lose since her finances are gone?” For her, the idea of one more potentially risky challenge felt like way too much.

After we discussed things, my friend decided to find out more about the new venture before offhandedly rejecting it. That took a lot of courage and I admire her for that.

So if you are facing yet another challenge, pause and see where you can take action – even a little bit.

Have a great day,

The Difference Between Winning and Losing

I was with a group of friends last night and one young woman shared a harrowing experience she had over the last several months. So many things went against her, yet in the end she achieved her goal. Why was she successful when many others are not? The answer was two fold. First, she took personal responsibility again and again. Second, she realized that winning or losing happens moment by moment – which is also the place where one can pivot.

Excellent advice.

Have a great day,

It’s Okay to Ask

I was heading to a volunteer activity over the weekend and I knew that the commute would be longer than usual because of the various summer concerts and festivals. I wanted to plan ahead, understand the agenda, and know how long the meeting would most likely be.

One of my friends suggested that I not worry about such things and just go with whatever happens. Those of you who know me will immediately realize that this is not my style. So, I texted the senior person organizing the event and asked. He came back is a clear answer, I could plan accordingly, and I felt better knowing the parameters.

So if you want to know something, ask. Just do it with an open mind and heart.

Have a great day,

Go Ahead Today

I was contemplating a number of decisions this past week and will fully admit that I was caught in a bit of analysis paralysis. The idea of looking at the options, researching the pros and cons, and analyzing yet again was a seemingly positive distraction. Oddly enough, my mental postponing seemed to be seeping into decisions I was waiting for others to make.

Maybe there is a connection and maybe not, but what I noticed was that as I starting saying yes to certain things and no to others, the things I was waiting for also began to move ahead.

Perhaps there is something to the idea of cause and effect.

Enjoy your weekend,