Auld Lang Syne
A new year begins, and a new decade is entered. New hopes and dreams are established while the song Auld Lang Syne is sung. This song comes from a 1788 Scots poem by Robert Burns set to the tune of a traditional folk song. Auld lang syne essentially means “for the sake of old times”. It calls for the preservation of our oldest, and dearest friendships and we sing it together to recall past joys and sorrows we have shared. The first line is a question, “Should old acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind?”. The answer, of course, is “no!” we should never forget.
I began this new year speaking at the memorial of a dear colleague and friend, Cathy Adkison, President and CEO of Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee who died in December. We heard about Cathy’s resume virtues, and there were many, the letters after her name, and the titles she amassed in her short time here on earth. However,...
The Secret to Warren Buffet’s Success? It’s Simple…
A man once asked investor Warren Buffet, “I want to be successful, but how do I know where I should put my focus?” Buffet’s answer went something like this (and I’d strongly suggest that you read and follow steps #1 and #2 BEFORE you read #3).
#1. Take a few minutes to sit down and consider, then write down, your top 25 goals for both your life and career. These can be personal or professional.
#2 Go through that list carefully, then choose your top 5.
#3 Clear on those top 5? Good. Now, avoid at all costs number 6-25, and concentrate all your efforts on the top 5. That was Buffet’s advice; that success is achieved through focusing only on those things that matter most and letting the rest go.
I’m thinking about goals today because we’re at the start of a new decade, and that’s a great opportunity to consider seriously what it is I want to bring forth in my life...
What Is The Tilt of Your Axis?
It’s December 21, Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, and today is the darkest day of the year. This is the day when the sun stays in bed with the covers pulled up, peeking out only for a short stretch. In the Arctic Circle on this day the sun does not come out at all.
The Solstice all about the tilt, the tilt of our Earth’s axis in relationship to our elegant dance around the sun. It’s about a change in the orientation and angles between the Earth and the Sun. The slightest of shift determines if we receive or deflect the Light.
As we in the US navigate during the major holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day with Hanukah and Christmas beaming brightly, it is our tilt that determines whether we adore or dread this time of year. Our tilt can result in welcoming the joyous celebrations of religion and culture to buoy us up. Our tilt can also make us cranky wanting only to utter...
Slaying the Dragon of Perfectionism
For some of us, the holidays are a chance to reconnect around a table full of friends and family, For those saddled with perfectionism, though, holidays like Thanksgiving are a chance to go full-on Martha Stewart. The turkey has to come to the table, looking like a crew of stylists dressed it up for a photoshoot. And the table? If everyone there doesn’t have a handwritten place card and menu in front of them, big points off. Ditto an artfully arranged centerpiece, beautiful linens, and dazzling flatware. Who cares if the chef is ready to drop by the time the pies get to the table, as long they’re bedecked with wreaths of perfectly-browned pastry leaves?
So much of my professional time is spent helping leaders who bring this kind of impossible standard to work with them, every day. They’re typically stressed, fatigued, and constitutionally resistant to delegating – of letting go. And I’m good at helping them...
The Fine Art of Appreciation
The holiday of giving thanks is upon us, and for me, it always provides a welcome opportunity to pause, reflect, and take stock. What or whom do you think of when it’s time to give thanks? When I think of the people in my life whom I love, family and friends and neighbors and colleagues and more, I recognize my immense wealth. Material things come and go, but it is the love we share that is our true measure of success.
The words that come to mind for that feeling of love – thankful, gratitude, appreciation – are somewhat interchangeable, but to me, the most powerful among them is “appreciate”.
To be grateful is to look back at the blessings, and kindnesses that have come your way. Thankfulness is an action word that describes how we make the conscious effort to express that gratitude – to let whoever we’re grateful to know that we see and value what they’ve done for us.
But, for me, the most...
How Goes It With Your Soul?
"How goes it with your soul?" That's the question my friend Peggy Dyson would ask me each time we saw one another. It always took me a moment to consider before my answer would emerge. Which was just exactly what she hoped for. John Wesley, the joint founder of the Methodist movement in the Church of England, used this question two centuries ago when his followers met in small gatherings.
We measure our lives in all kinds of ways—the hours we work, the salary we earn, the grades we (or our children) make, the time we spend at the gym. Businesses and other organizations focus on the bottom line or quality control. But how often do we assess the most important relationship in our lives, our relationship with our own soul or our highest and best selves?
In 2001 Peggy showed me the collection of quotes she had been writing. I said: "Peggy, you should write a book!". She replied, "I will if you do the watercolors." I...
Have you noticed all of the “noise” in your life lately? The constant chatter on emails, texting, Face Book, Twitter, political debates, talk radio and talking head news, it is endless. It seems everyone is talking but is anyone really listening? Social media offers so many options to “connect” with anyone, anywhere, anytime that a conversation now consists of emojis or single letters vs words.
While it’s wonderful to instantly send off a text or email to a friend or colleague for quick interactions, yet at the end of the day, how meaningful are those exchanges? Are you reminiscing about the beautiful text you received and how it made you feel as you’re falling asleep at night? Or are you feeling frustrated because your in-box is overflowing, and you don’t have time or energy to respond to everyone who wants something from you?
Many of my clients have the problem of staff “over-sharing” emails. ...
Has your summer flown by? School’s in session already, Gator football has begun, and Hurricane season is in full swing. The big Labor Day arrival of Hurricane Dorian in my home state Florida has everyone on edge.
With Floridian’s anxiety meters shifting from low gear to high, it’s easy to begin to dread what this storm might bring. In addition to all the usual storm prep of batteries, water and cans of tuna in the cupboard, and an evacuation plan, it's also important to stay emotionally balanced. I begin by asking myself three questions:
Yesterday I could feel my anxiety rising as the gas stations were running out of fuel and news stations were showing the horrific devastation this storm could bring. I had to stop, and consider my intent, “I want to be calm in the storm”. No matter what storm arrives, Mother Nature’s fury or a personal or...