Sunday, October 28, 2018

Is it just me, or have we all been seeing Christmas decorations since July 4th?! 

Since this week sees the beginning of November it does seem time to start looking ahead to the holidays.

During the next few weeks I’ll be suggesting a variety of gifts and experiences for you and others that can get you and them closer to a Perfect Workday. 

My first suggestion is a wonderful little book, It’s Never Too Late, by Patrick Lindsay. Hardbacks are available at and are incredibly inexpensive, $2-4; making them perfect gifts for family, friends and clients! 

Each page offers the suggestion that It’s Never Too Late To…succeed, be content, save money, find a soulmate, have a pet, say I love you, ask for what you want, be free. 

Interestingly, my favorite life quote is, “It is never too late to be the you you might have been,” by George Eliot (which, by the way, was the pen name of a woman, Mary Ann Evans). 

There is another It’s Never Too Late book by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. All three  books push the reader to find those talents, skills and dreams we all have within us and create successes. They all make wonderful gifts for ourselves and others. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Are You a Sore Head?

Almost everyone knows the trail of failures Abraham Lincoln experienced before becoming president, but he kept trying. 

None of the stories about millionaire successes or superstar athletes start with, “I was winning from Day 1!” They rejected defeat and kept plugging away. 

As Americans, we count persistence as one of the key components of success. In fact, grinding persistence is a cornerstone of the Protestant work ethic;  one of the founding values of the United States. 

However, many cultures around the world and throughout history take a different view. They believe that if you consistently find a door locked, well….as success coach Jay Shetty offers, “If the door doesn’t open maybe it wasn’t your door.” 

Now, I’m not saying we should give up on the first rattling of the doorknob. 

But, after going through all my keys and banging on that door for awhile I’m going to ask myself four questions: Do I have a clear PURPOSE/GOAL I truly want to see fulfilled? Do I have a definite PLAN, not just a hope? Am I FOCUSING my energy on reaching the goal? Do I have OTHERS who will support and encourage me to keep going (and who may have ideas I haven’t tried)? 

I’m all for persistence but, in some cases, continuing to bang your head on the door just gets you a sore head.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Thank you, Hurricanes Florence and Michael

Here’s the question that should be on lots of our minds: Many of us have recently experienced two of the largest hurricanes to hit the United States in the last 50 years…what have learned? 

Of course, as communities, states and a nation we should continue to prepare for these eventualities.

But, what did you and I learn as individuals? What will we do differently? Buy a generator? Start keeping more bottled water during hurricane season (late summer/early fall)? Keep a little more cash on hand? If you live at the coast will you heed the warnings in a more realistic way? If you leave the coast where will you go? 

We all experience challenges in our lives. The key is to learn from them. If we keep responding to challenges in the same way we get the same results. If the results are what you want, great! If not, you need to try something different. 

I’ve learned two lessons from hurricanes Florence and Michael: Do a better job of keeping a full tank of gas in the car; don’t wait until the gauge shows, “Empty” to fill up. And, don’t keep so much junk in the garage that I can’t quickly make space for my car. Simple things? Yes. Would doing those things make my life less stressful when a challenge arises? Absolutely! 

What did you learn?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Wisdom Straight From the Clothes Basket

“Have you ever taken anything out of the clothes basket because it had become, relatively, the cleaner thing.” The wonderful line was written in 1963 by Katharine Whitehorn, a celebrated writer for London’s major newspaper, The Observer. Whitehorn was known for her wit and was a keen observer of the changing role of women.

 I love the quote because it is a bump against perfectionism. I truly believe that perfectionism has ruined far more dreams than lack of money. 

You believe you can’t step out until just the right time, or until you have finished your current project, or until you have boxes checked in all the right areas. 

Granted, most of us have areas of our lives in which we want things to be a certain way. But, take a moment and do a little self-examination: Do you think in all-or-nothing terms? Something is either right or wrong, good or bad, perfect or a disaster?

Do you tend to think in one extreme or the other, rather than seeing the characteristics of people and situations existing along a range of values? For example, you tend to think, "She is mean,” instead of, “She can sometimes be mean.” "I had one cookie and messed up my diet I might as well eat them all.” 

Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself, and others, the benefit of the doubt.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Just a Little Different

Stay with me on this, even if you don’t care about sports I’m sure you will get the point I’m offering. 

My goddaughter is a senior at the University of Alabama and she is wonderful! She invited me to Tuscaloosa last weekend and I had the chance to check off one of the items on my Bucket List; I saw the Alabama Crimson Tide play a home football game. 

In the 8-hour drive south I kept wondering if the experience at a game there would be any different than the experience here; I go to UNC games. 

It was a different world. Dramatically.  

The fans at Alabama are very serious about the game. Once the game is in hand, though—it was Alabama 28-Louisiana Tech 0 at the end of the first quarter—they relax and have fun. Carolina fans’ primary interest is the social side; the game is secondary. 

Children at Bama games aren’t playing with toys in the stands like they do in Chapel Hill, Bama kids are watching the game and yelling “Roll Tide!” And, they can tell you about the icons of Crimson Tide football. I mean…little kids. 

Here is the Lesson: In one area of their lives those folks live in a different world. Not better, not worse, just different. Are you looking at some people in your world as different? Is it slowing you down? For the most part, they are just like you and me.