Archive for the ‘Living Fully Present’ category

Tuesday Tidbit inspired by sunset

September 9, 2014

Vacation edition…a slight deviation from the usual work focused message.  Enjoy!

I love watching the sun rise and set, especially at the expansiveness of an ocean beach.  I appreciate the idea that a new day brings a fresh start and the end of the day brings rest. Whether it’s work, relationships, health, or anything else I am dealing with, a new day brings an opportunity to gather up new energy and try again; evening brings a chance to exhale and reflect.

Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal. -Elbert Hubbard

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. -Rabindranath Tagore

It’s almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream. -Ben Williams

Another day comes to a close.

Tuesday Tidbits are usually focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, inspirational. Feel free to share with your team. Consider adding your own comment to let them know why you are sending it to them.

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Thank You Thursday inspired by our 35th anniversary

May 29, 2014

In a few days, my husband and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. We have reached that point at which younger people ask, “What’s your secret?”

Wedding photoThere is no secret.

Two people. Love for each other. Shared commitment.

It’s that simple. It’s that complicated.

Today, I am thankful for 35 years of love and commitment between my husband and I.


We had a simple church wedding with both a pastor and priest presiding (somewhat radical for the 70s!).  Our six readings provided the foundation for our life together, including the frequently used Corinithians 13:4-8 passage:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

The passage that was the basis of the Pastor’s medication that day was Colossians 3:12-17:

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

No, there is no secret.

Two people. Love for each other. Shared commitment.

It’s that simple. It’s that complicated.



What are you thankful for?


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Book Review: The Carpenter

May 27, 2014

The Carpenter written by Jon Gordon, published by John Wiley & Sons. Inc., 2014.

The CarpenterIn his easy-to-read style, Jon Gordon reminds us once again that success is found in how we work and how we live.  If you’re a fan of The Energy Bus, The Seed and Jon Gordon’s other books, you will love this story, too.

The first chapter finds Michael hospitalized with a heart attack and the doctor asking him about stress at work. (Sound familiar?) After being ordered to take some time off, Michael meets “J”, the carpenter who helped save him when he first collapsed. Michael decides to hire the carpenter to build an entertainment center in his home.  Together, they not only build an entertainment center, but they rebuild Michael’s life and business strategies.  Through stories and lessons shared by the carpenter, Michael learns that real lasting success comes from putting Love, Serve, Care into practice.

The focus of The Carpenter is not solely business, however. Personal relationships, teams of all kind, and one’s own attitude will surely benefit from reading this book.  As he usually does, Jon uses a simple story with familiar feeling characters to draw us in and share important life truths.

Be inspired. Inspire others. Read the book. Share the message. #LoveServeCare

Order through Amazon, Barnes and Noble or download on iTunes. For launch week only, purchase the book on The Carpenter website and get a free download of The Carpenter Action Plan

Note: An e-copy of this book was provided by the author.  Neither the author, publisher, nor anyone else influenced or reviewed the content of this post; the opinion expressed is entirely my own.

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Tuesday Tidbit inspired by Commencement

May 27, 2014

It’s graduation and commencement season.  The words are often used interchangeably but there is an important difference between them. Graduation is the end of something – the completion of high school or college.  Commencement is a beginning, a new start.  Graduating students attend a commencement ceremony; the official beginning of the next phase in their education or their life. With that in mind, here are some recent commencement speech quotes that also relate to our work lives:

“In baseball, the best batters fail two out of three times. You’ll fail, too, because failure is not an aberration. It’s the price of success. It is how you learn.” -Larry Baer, President and CEO of the San Francisco Giants at San Francisco State University

“Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people or find a different room. In professional circles it’s called networking. In organizations it’s called team building. And in life it’s called family, friends, and community. We are all gifts to each other, and my own growth as a leader has shown me again and again that the most rewarding experiences come from my relationships.” -Michael Dell at the University of Texas

“Your remaining life is an hourglass. Once the sand grains begin to fall, you cannot return them. So, you need to make every grain count.” – The Baron Alexander von Humboldt, as portrayed by Stephen F. Cunha, Chair & Professor of Geography at Humboldt State University

Every new day is a commencement, of sorts. Make the most of the new opportunity!


Tuesday Tidbits are weekly messages I send to my leadership team. They are generally short & sweet, often focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, motivational. I hope you also find some meaning in them.

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Thank You Thursday inspired by Mother’s Day

May 15, 2014

The gift that brings the most joy is not something that can be put in a box and tied up with a bow. The greatest gift is time.

For Mother’s Day this year, I was given exactly that. My children, their spouses, their children and their in-laws joined as at our home for brunch.  My husband suggested it and did most of the planning. We teamed up for some of the prep & then he did all the clean-up. It was a great morning with good people, good food and good conversation.

Today, I’m thankful for the gift of time.

Young Moms, especially, may enjoy a little pampering.  As hard as it is to raise children to adults, they deserve it.  (Year ’round, I might add.)  But the joy in that is that it really is a gift of time – time for themselves. Their focus is usually on the care and development of their children, often at the unfortunate sacrifice of their own self-care.  They might also be juggling another job outside the home, caring for parents, or volunteering in the community.  The gift of time for themselves truly is a great gift.

But, at my age, 50+, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity and the means so that if I need a little pampering, I can do that.  If I need new clothes, I buy them. If I want to eat out, we go. If I need a break, we plan a vacation.

What I can’t force, and what brings the most joy, is my family spending time with me.

I am thankful that they frequently do. We see them all several times a month, though not usually all together. Hearing about their week, plans they are making, job challenges and new opportunities is exciting. Listening to their opinions on world events, favorite sports teams or local news is interesting. Playing with our grandchildren and watching them grow week by week is priceless. Seeing the family that we raised now raising families of their own is wondrous. The gift of their time for me truly is a great gift.

My family gave me exactly what I hoped for on Mother’s Day. They gave me their time.

What are you thankful for?


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April 19, 2014

One of the speakers at last weekend’s Extreme Leadership Summit was Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS magazine and author of The Compound Effect.  What really stayed with me – as I continue on my forever journey to lose/maintain my weight – were comments he made relating to choices.

Success is a result of small, seemingly insignificant, day-to-day choices.  

A hamburger or a salad? Water or soda? Fruit or ice cream?

The challenge, according to Hardy, is that we are immediately rewarded for our bad choices. The cheeseburger is delicious, the soda is refreshing, the ice cream is yummy.  If we make the good choice, we get nothing. Well, except for better long term health.

Sleep in or workout? Take the stairs or the elevator? Park near the door or far away?

At the time we are making the choice, the results are invisible to us.  One workout does not make us fit.  One trek up the stairs will not improve our conditioning. An extra hundred steps will not make me a size 10!

What’s easy to do is also easy not to do.

So true.

In the middle of his excellent presentation, Hardy asked,

“What do unsuccessful people have in common with successful people?”

“They both hate to do what it takes to be successful. The successful people do it anyway.”

I’m trying to be fully present to each and every choice I’m making, focused more on the long term reward than the short term gratification. Since listening to Darren speak, I’ve taken the stairs everyday, all day at work (I’m on the fourth floor). I’ve been deliberate about what I’m eating – even to the point of sharing – cut it right down the middle – one of my favorite peanut butter eggs with my husband!

I’ve lost 7 pounds this week. Maybe I’ll call it the “Choice Diet.” I could be on to something.

What choices are you making today?

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Thank you Thursday

April 10, 2014

An exciting adventure begins today as I travel to Chicago for the Extreme Leadership Summit. I’ve anticipated this event for a long time.  I can’t wait to get started.

Today, I’m thankful for the experience I’m about to enjoy.  

I hope I personally grow through the next few days. I hope I’ll learn more about inspirational leadership to help my team members grow to new heights as we face a challenging year ahead. Perhaps I’ll make some new like-minded friends, as well, so the inspiration continues well into the future.

I’ll share more on the other side of the weekend!


What are you thankful for?

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Thank you Thursday, #100HappyDays edition

April 3, 2014

On April 1st, I started the #100HappyDays challenge, posting a daily photo on Instagram of something that made me feel happy. The point is to notice the little things in everyday life that make us happy. My first two posts were a picture of my cruiser on a nearby bike path on a warm Spring day and colorful artwork created by one of my grandsons.

Already, I’m being more observant about what makes me happy.

Today, I’m thankful for the link between #100HappyDays and #TYT Thank you Thursday.  

It is not always easy to be happy. It is not always easy to live in gratitude. However, the two emotions are absolutely linked.  If we notice what makes us happy, isn’t there a coinciding feeling of gratitude for those things?

Too often, we look for the big things to make us happy – a job promotion, a new home, a fancy meal, an extravagant vacation.  I believe it’s really the little things that make us happiest – a hug, a good book, fresh flowers, an ice cream cone.

What are the little everyday things that make you happy?



What are you thankful for?

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Tuesday Tidbit inspired by the Passing Time

March 4, 2014

Can you believe the first quarter of 2014 is already in the home stretch?  Now is
a good time for a gut check.  Are you being who you want to be? Doing what you want to do?  Are you moving toward your 2014 goals or are you stuck? Are you prioritizing all the “stuff” or overwhelmed by it? 

Here are a few related quotes for reflection.

Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it.  -Lord Chesterfield

The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business–or almost anywhere else for that matter. -Lee Iacocca

To comprehend a man’s life, it is necessary to know not merely what he does but also what he purposely leaves undone.  -John Hall Gladstone

The more business a man has to do, the more he is able to accomplish, for he learns to economize his time. -Sir Matthew Hale


Tuesday Tidbits are weekly messages I send to my leadership team. They are generally short & sweet, often focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, motivational. I hope you also find some meaning in them.

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Tuesday Tidbit inspired by Valentine’s Day

February 11, 2014

Do you love the people you work with?  The people you lead?

You might be thinking, “Oh, there she goes again, all that Encourage the Heart stuff.” Or, “Love at work? Can’t I get fired for that?”

Some terrific business authors have written great books about loving the people you lead.  Don’t be fooled; it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.  Sometimes, love can be tough.  Sometimes, love needs to be tough.  Helping people be the very best version of themselves is a daunting responsibility and a loving toughness is required.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is certainly in the air.  In that spirit, here are several tidbits about leadership and love.

Real leadership, in other words, is an extreme act rooted in love and motivated by a desire to create a better world – whether it’s the world of your company, team, neighborhood, or family. –Steve Farber, “Greater Than Yourself”

I want to encourage you to love your people.

Who are your people? Everyone who is important to you…your family…your friends…your colleagues…your customers, patietns, team, students.

And love? It’s care.

And care? It’s attention and contribution (what you give, what you do). It’s kindness, patience, generosity, truth. It’s encouraging, apologetic, forgiving, and thankful.  –Sam Parker,

You have got to love your people more than your position. –John Maxwell, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

And at the heart of leadership is caring. Without caring, leadership has no purpose. And without showing others that you care and what you care about, other people won’t care about what you say or what you know. As a relationship, leadership requires a connection between leaders and their constituents over matters, in the simplest sense, of the heart. It is personal and it is interpersonal. –Jim Kouzes, Barry Posner, Encouraging The Heart

Hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with love; even at work! Especially at work!


Tuesday Tidbits are weekly messages I send to my leadership team. They are generally short & sweet, often focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, motivational. I hope you also find some meaning in them.

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