When I worked in London, I met people from all over the world: Latvia, Norway, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Egypt, Lithuania, Romania, and the list goes on. I love, love, love people, asking about their story and how they ended up abroad.
But the first question I always asked was “what’s your name?” and then introduced myself. I like to call it the magic question.
It is said that each of us has a favorite word….our name. Think about it: if someone references you by name, don’t you feel valued. They took the time and effort to remember your name.
When we were in Paris, France several years ago, I learned enough French to say Comment t’appelles-tu? Je m’appelle, Christine. I literally observed a complete shift in how we were treated, from aloof - almost rude - to kind and compassionate.
When you ask someone their name, they are no longer some anonymous person; they are accountable for their actions because...
Emotions ran high. Frustration grew as time was ticking. Our family zipped around trying to make sure we had everything needed for the entire day. We had to get on the road PRONTO.
It was the crack of dawn on a Sunday and frankly, I was annoyed that we’d gotten ourselves into this crazy schedule. Our children were young and we chose this life of being on the go, so I certainly couldn’t play the victim. Ugh…don’t ya hate when that happens!
The previous week I had a conversation with ladies at work whose children were grown up and out of the house. They shared about the days of sports events and being on the go with a look of yearning and a tone of nostalgia. They advised, “enjoy this time, you will miss it.” WHAT? Are they serious!
So back to this crazy morning where we can’t find a cleat, my daughter’s ponytail wasn’t tight enough, and my son refused to wear his jacket…it hit me…These ARE the Good Ol’...
At a party where I didn’t know the people well, I found myself in a conversation that went abruptly from ordinary small talk to personal...where “friends” not present were being discussed.
Nothing horrible was said but a lot of the comments weren’t very complimentary either…
...Ok, let’s call it by its name; this was a gossip fest.
Then, to my own horror, even though I did not know the persons of interest, I was tempted to add my two cents so I could fit in.
This prompted me to ask myself a few questions, you know that uneasy, internal dialog that we all have...
Where did you see yourself in this story?
There’s a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that sticks in my mind whenever this temptation comes over me: “Great minds talk about ideas, Average minds talk about events, Small minds...
The most important promises we make are the promises we make to ourselves.
And yet...How many times have we told ourselves,
"I’m going to the gym every day for the next month,"
"I’m going to lose 20 lbs. in 2 weeks."
Many of us are great at making lists, but at the end of the day, we see only one or two items checked off.
We minimize how important those promises are because we think nobody will ever know since we made the promise privately.
We should be honoring ourselves as the most important person.
We must strike a balance in our lives.
Too much of anything isn’t good.
Having a big bowl of ice cream…good,
Five big bowls …not good.
Striving to be better every day is what it’s all about. We’re all a work in progress and it’s important to be kind to ourselves. Only compare ourselves to ourselves, and no one else.
We finally synced up our schedules and were sitting at dinner engaged in conversation. She asked me what was going on in my life, she seemed interested. I enthusiastically shared the ups and the downs.
As I was mid-sentence, pouring my heart and soul out...she reached down and picked up her phone, looking at it with intent.
WOW! A crushing feeling of being insignificant hit me. I guess what I was saying wasn’t very important; maybe I’m not very important??
We have so many distractions. It’s not just our phones that cause us to detach from conversations, it’s all the noise in our society. Our pace is so crazy that we’re constantly thinking of other stuff...even when we’re opening the mail or backing out of the driveway.
How many times has someone been talking to me and it’s like I hear the words but they are not registering in my brain because I’m thinking about something else...
Our children had been away for a week at an overnight summer camp. We missed them while they enjoyed this picturesque place with mountains in the distance, horse stables, and a beautiful lodge. Anticipating the camp’s closing ceremony, I was reveling in the entire experience…
...until the parent next to me leaned over and said “what’s going on, can’t they get this thing going! I didn’t drive an hour and a half to sit here! Why is the horse stable so far away?”
Talk about a Debbie Downer!
There is so much good to focus on...but instead we find things to be offended by.
I’ve been there, too...like when I let someone out in traffic and the person doesn’t give me the “thank you” wave. Come on!
The solution is gratitude.
When you find yourself getting worked up about minor, ridiculous factors...step back and consider the big picture.
Ask yourself these questions to realign your...
My parents divorced when I was sixteen.
I set my college applications aside and felt devastated as I watched my friends go off to school.
I began my career in sales and became a top producer moving up the corporate ladder. Not having a degree wasn’t an issue because if you produce no one seems to care…
...But I cared!
When people asked where I went to college, a knot would form in my stomach. I’d do anything to avoid that conversation!
In my early thirties, I decided I was going to get a degree for me.
I discovered Executive MBA programs with weekend classes that are designed for business people. Boom, that’s it! I’ll take the GMAT and use my business experience as leverage to get accepted.
A friend informed me: “You can’t get an MBA without an undergraduate degree!”
There it was again...that twinge when someone crushes your dream...but that wasn’t going to stop me.
Imagine dropping the anchor, and tumbling backward off a boat into the ocean to go scuba diving.
While under the water, you constantly look back to make sure the anchor is still in view. Eventually you get taken by the moment and stop checking. Time passes by and the undercurrent has carried you away...
...it was too late.
You ascend to the top of the water, only to find their boat practically beyond view...
Our lives can be carried away by the “cultural current,” too, without even realizing it!
Step back and ask:
Your answer may be very different from what you are living.
It’s easy to go along with what everyone else is doing because we feel like that’s what we’re supposed to do.
Click above to watch and/or listen!
Where are you in your life?
A podcast asked “are you living or merely existing?”
It’s sad to say but many of us just exist.
Why is that?
We get caught up in the daily grind, i.e. the rat race, huh?
Is that really how you want to live?
I’m sure the answer is “NO”. I mean come on, wouldn’t we all love to live like Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin Airlines, who is out there skydiving, and going on safari...
Or maybe like Oprah, doing amazing things like opening the leadership academy in Africa, funding thousands of young people’s college education, and presenting at the Oscar’s...
Okay, so those examples may seem really out there but there is a lot us “average Joe’s” can do to be more purposeful and fulfilled in our lives too.
Many people get motivated to fulfill their dreams only when something tragic happens.
I’m not going to wait for...
It was one of the most interesting dinner conversations...and my whole family had fun and participated! My husband, 12-year-old son, 10-year-old daughter, and I were enjoying each other’s company - “Wow!” I thought, “This is what it’s all about!”
Too often, people at social gatherings are either playing a game on their phones or checking their social media. Why is that? Kids stare at their phones because they are “bored.”
If we asked good questions and then listened, then asked more QBQ – question behind the question - we’d learn more about what makes each other tick.
Isn’t it great when someone is interested in what you have to say and truly listens?
Sometimes we can feel stuck in conversation and default to asking the standard: “How was your day? What’s new?”
You know, the questions that receive one-word answers or superficial responses.
When that happens,...