Thursday, February 27, 2014

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning keeps me excited and motivated.  In the past day I've visited with two folks who are at very different stages of their careers.  One recently graduated from college and is understandably doing a lot of on the job learning.  It was exciting to meet him at a large community event.  One of his colleagues invited him, knowing that exposure to community issues and leaders is another critical part of his post-college learning and growth.  The second encounter was catching up with a former colleague who has been in the workforce for 30 years.  She stayed in the same industry, but changed roles at her new company.  Though she has significant career experience,  her company and job learning curve is much like that of the newly minted grad.  And, I reminded her that she would be well-served to keep her community engagement and relationships current as she assesses what her next move might be.

Continuous learning takes many different forms.  Regardless of our age and stage, many of the elements are the same.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Might Have Been

What might have been, wasn't.  When we allow ourselves to quit replaying what if scenarios, we free ourselves to accept what is and what might be.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Play with the Hand You're Dealt

How fabulous that we can learn life lessons as we enjoy card games!  Some similarities

  • life and cards are actually played one hand (day) at time - plan ahead, but live in the present
  • keeping score allows us to track progress - goals motivate accomplishments
  • losing one or more hands doesn't mean that we might not be the ultimate winner - don't give up
  • do-overs are easier in cards than life, but one is never granted without a request - ask for what we want
  • we don't know others' hands (agendas, motives, skills, ambitions) - play to our strengths and show our cards one interaction at a time
  • winning is fun, but many games well played make life wonderful, regardless of the winner
  • rules are boundaries - when desired, create a new game
  • fun is a-ok regardless of how busy we are!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

All or Something

As a recovering perfectionist, I understand "all or nothing" approaches to projects.  And in dealing with grief, I've adopted a "something is all it takes" approach.  Micro-approaches to projects are amazing!  Getting started is often the most important part of tackling a difficult, overwhelming or unpleasant project.  Committing 15 minutes to a task breaks the barrier.  Now the project is started.  When we give ourselves the option to quit after 15 minutes, we can choose to continue or schedule another 15 minutes at another time.

And, choosing to organize a drawer or cabinet, rather than a room or whole house,  provides a chance to more easily celebrate success.

If you have a drawer full of business cards that you've intended to enter into your contacts system, consider entering 10 per business day.  The stack will rapidly diminish within a month, and once you begin to see an end in sight, you might even commit to keeping your newly acquired cards, and LinkedIn connection requests current.

When we move from "all or nothing" to "all or something" thinking, icebergs become ice cubes.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Trash (Recycling) is Another's Treasure

My family razzes me a bit with my interest in putting unwanted or unneeded items into the hands of others who can use them.  Yes, I've plucked many recyclable items from the wastebasket.  And, I've never regretted, but often rejoiced, at giving items new life at Goodwill and Dress for Success.

My best friend brings her magazines to me. And, after enjoying them, I love passing them on to others.

Perhaps the least expected recyclables are canceled stamps.  Because of my friend's collection, I notice postage on all incoming mail, and have alerted others to save and share these oft overlooked delivery tickets.
And, this makes me far more aware of  the array of postage options.

Many of us are incredibly blessed.   A double blessing inures when we share our bounty.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Routes

Our familiar routines are comfortable and predictable.  But new routes can be invigorating.  My daily runs tend to follow the same terrain, expanded or contracted slightly, based upon available time and weather conditions.  When I alter my route, as I did recently, my sense of observation is heightened.  Small changes can greatly enhance our experiences.  However, we must be willing to change our course.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Degrees of Difficulty

Julia, Gar and I had long anticipated this past long weekend and approached our three very different races - 5k, marathon and half-marathon with varying degrees of preparation.  The only different challenge facing me in my 5k was Austin's hills, as the distance was within my 1 - 3 mile daily run range.  Julia prepared diligently for her first marathon, after successfully completing 4 half-marathons and two Ragnar relays.  And though several of her training runs incorporated distances greater than her previous longest distance of 13.1 miles, she'd not yet completed 26.2 miles, nor had she trained on hills like Austin would present.  And Gar approached his first half-marathon, with the expectation that years of athleticism and youth, rather than training, would serve him well.

We each completed our races with better results than expected.  And we each embraced different degrees of difficulty for ourselves.  My race would not have been a challenge for either of my children, but I increased my normal pace and ran my fastest time ever.  Gar's race was an amazing feat for him, but would have just been a 5th half-marathon finish for Julia.  And Julia's goal-setting, preparation and determination served her well in completing a race which a small percentage of the population even attempts.  Yet, scores of runners also completed her race.

It worked out beautifully that we were all proving something only to ourselves, and could appreciate and celebrate the accomplishments of our other cherished family members.

It's important to realize that what is easy for one is a momentous accomplishment for another.  Degrees of difficulty are very individualized.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Accepting Bags of Rocks

Everyone has his or her own bag of rocks.  I love this way of describing all the unseen things that each of us deals with every day.  It's perhaps, just an updated version of the concept of walking a mile in another's moccasins.  We all have our public personas and our private selves.  Regardless of how carefree we are in our public appearances, we are all vulnerable in various ways.

When we consciously try to embrace the possibility that others we encounter are dealing with their bags of rocks, to the best of their abilities, we can be more accepting of small slights or things done differently than our way.