The Zero Sum Illusion

How generous are you really? How happy are you to see others succeed?

When I entered the “real world” after graduating business school with my MBA, I was scared. I had never worked full time in my life. I approached my career with energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm, but without a strong sense of true self-worth. After all, what could I bring to the workplace that would be embraced, valued, and appreciated that others hadn’t already thought of. Needless to say, I started my professional life insecure and viewing the world as a zero-sum – if you win, I must necessarily lose.

It was hard for me to celebrate my friends’ and colleagues’ successes. I really wanted to (and felt guilty that I didn’t), but I was stuck in the mindset that they got a piece of the pie, I’d go hungry.

As I began to “work on” my inner self, I realized that the zero-sum model was completely bogus. “Anita,” said my friend, Caryl, one day, “the glass isn’t half empty nor half-full. It’s overflowing. So stop moping and get a bigger glass.” How profound! Caryl is wise woman.

I took Caryl’s advice to heart and I began to view the world through my “ocean model” – there’s plenty of water out there and everyone can have a swim.

I am happy for all the wonderful advances my friends and colleagues make. Instead of feeling diminished, I feel proud, encouraged, and motivated to challenge myself to succeed in the ways I desire to.

So when you hear about a friend’s, family member’s, colleague’s, or neighbor’s success – be the first to stand up and cheer. Then go out and make some of your own good news and send it on to me!

Have a great day,


Respect and Honoring

The next time you walk down the street pay attention to the people you see.

Are you concentrating more on how each individual is different than you or more on how they are the same?

Whatever you focus on will transform your environment. Decide how you want it to be. Consider a balanced approach – see each person’s humanity while respecting and honoring their differences. What’s one way you can do this today?

Enjoy your day,

Appreciative at First Sight

Ever look at the people you come into contact with and only notice their flaws – a few extra pounds, a missing button, or a squeaky voice. For the next 48 hours, put a new filter on your “sight” so that what you see first and foremost is each person’s internal and external strengths, beauty, and goodness.

Have a great day,

Why Not You

Ever feel like you want to change something in society, but feel too many doors are closed to you?

There may in fact be a HUGE wall blocking your way and few would judge you for giving up.

Yet someone will go beyond complaining and actual transform the situation. Why not you?

So where could you get started today?

Make it a great day,

Valuing Others Can Help You

How do you treat people who can no longer give you something important? Are they relegated to a dusty shelf somewhere or do elevate them to an even higher status?

Which approach you take might just predict how healthy you will be during your lifetime. Researchers from Temple University found that individuals who view people at replaceable as the latest and greatest device are likely to suffer from a variety of health problems even if they live a so-called “healthy” life.

Embracing and finding the continuing value in each person’s life can be a priceless elixir. Drink up.


Stand Up and Step Out

A friend of mind was in a really terrible situation at work. Her direct managers harassed her, humiliated her in public, and made her life on the job miserable. It went on for over two years this way until she took action on two fronts.

First, she documented everything and brought it to HR – and while that got things rolling, it was not enough.

Second, she prayed to be able to let go of a grudge she was holding against her managers. Given that she felt justified, this was no easy task. Yet when she did, work improved dramatically.

So where do you need to stand up for yourself and where do you need to step out of your own way to do it?

Win today,

The Power of Practical Imagination

Why do two people look have the same dream – one sees it as impossible while the other sees it as possible?

Often the difference between fantasy and a doable dream is an infusion of practical imagination – the ability to see new possibilities along with the means to make them a reality. This is talent and art that can be learned by virtually anyone.

Start with a good teacher – you will some of the best around in kindergarten and first grade classes.

Thank you,

Worth Doing?

Ever do a great job on something and then not receive any acknowledgement for a job well done?

While sometimes recognition is not part of the culture, it could be something else. Was your project worth doing in the first place? Did it contribute to a goal valued by your organization?

If not, no matter how well you do something if it’s not worth doing, it likely will never be rewarded.

So what project or activity could you work on next that is valued by you and your organization? Proceed with care, commitment, and capability.

Have a great day,

Happiness for You

Have a happiness party with your friends.

Get some crayons, markers, glue, stickers, watercolors, glitter, and old magazines and even printed images from your device. Don’t forget oversized construction paper, card stock, or folders. Invite some friends over to create “Happiness Collages.”

Your mission to create an image of what happiness means to you. Use pictures, words, and squiggles of color to show what happiness means to you. Then post your collage where you can see it every day and watch your happiness sprout in ways you can’t even imagine.

Enjoy your day,

Success Value

People spend more time connected to their work than ever before – in terms of both time and sense of self-worth. Yet you are not what you do, but how you do it.

Look at your current situation. How can do your work in ways that you will make you feel proud of yourself and add value to your colleagues, yourself, and your organization? Begin right now.