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Showing posts from January, 2016

Keep Your Focus on Your Growth

I had a bad week. Everything frustrated me - other people, circumstances, the weather, work and even my hair. It was bad.

I vented to a friend. He's a good friend, so I was hoping for a little sympathy and maybe an "oh, poor you."

I got neither. Turns out, sympathy was not was I needed. The problem with sympathy (in situations like these) is that it makes feeling crummy and wallowing in self pity acceptable. It validates an unwillingness to change something about how we think and operate.

Instead of coming to my pity party, my friend took off my party hat and said "the party's over." He reminded me that there are always opportunities to learn - even in bad situations. He reminded me to focus on the things that I can see and control and capitalize on those to buoy me through difficulties. The best part of the advice was this: keep your focus on your growth and everything else will fall into place.

Remaining focused on growth means I can take charge of how I …

(A Story) can change the world

"Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music,  or a book can make a difference. It can change the world." ~ Alan Rickman
Years ago I fell in love with Alan Rickman. I was in college and home for winter break and my mom forced all of her teenaged & young adult children to watch Truly, Madly, Deeply. I was hooked. A few years later, my brother and I would chronically watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves realizing it was a terrible film but relishing in Rickman's wit and talent. He went on to play Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility - my favorite of Jane Austen's impressive body of work. And while I was a fan long before Alan Rickman became Professor Snape, his role as Snape appealed to my inner nerdy teacher. Professor Snape was demanding and exacting, but he really knew his stuff.

I love what Alan Rickman had to say about the power of storytelling to create change. Looking back at his body of work, both the sublime and the ridiculou…

The Process is the Goal

Only recently have my sons allowed me to take them to the barbershop. "It is a manly place, mom," they would say. "You won't like it."

The truth is, I love going to the barbershop with them. Even though I don't smoke cigars or ride a motorcycle, I enjoy reading magazines about them. I am prone to ask questions of the barbers themselves and I suspect THIS is the reason why my sons had previously banned me from the barbershop. Everything there is so foreign to me, so I seek to understand and create meaning.

On a recent visit right before Christmas, I was asking the barber about his holiday plans. He told me about a fishing trip he'd planned to take after the new year. He planned to fly to Florida and fish for 2 weeks.

"Do you try to catch anything in particular?," I asked.


"Do you eat what you catch?"

"I throw it back. To me, fishing is more about the process and less about the end result," he said.

Over the…