Thursday, December 20, 2012

Musings on year-end

In honor of a 2013 New Year's resolution...
> "Publish my personal blog at least once/month."
Because it sure didn't happen in 2012 - "too busy" blogging for others. 
So I lost a little of my personal self that I need to will reclaim in 2013.
And with respect for the fact that this WAS written 12/20/12 and left in Draft mode as my brain recovered from a 24-hour hug-the-porcelain-throne bug...

I bring to you... my last blog post for 2012. Back-dated.To end the year and start fresh.
Let's make this goal a reality this year.

I am about to share something online that I have never shared before - ever.

Is it because I'm ashamed of a fact? Absolutely not. 
Is it because it's something to hide? Sort of. 

In a culture focused on youth and beauty - externals - it's a tough compete when you have 'matured'... But, like fine wine, what should transpire is the 'best is yet to come' the longer it stays around. At least internally. At least that's the way it should be. 

So if you're going to downslide externally, at least aim for an internal uptick, right? ;)

That's an ongoing personal goal. And it continues to be a work in process. And a work in progress. And it's an ongoing goal...

Time. It should bring: maturity, knowledge, a broader view of the world around you. 
But it also gives a perception of slowing down, not open to new ideas...
And an inflexible unadaptability. I don't want that personally. I've seen the consequences.


Here it is and here we go...

Yes. I am. Over 55. I hope my employer takes advantage of all available tax credits.
Whew. That feels better.

And, as a bonus...
I also don't wish the 24-hour flu bug on anyone. It creates anti-lucidity that promotes strange blog post ideas, which the DELETE key is created for. The one good that comes out of it is the THANKFUL that comes the next day when you realize that you didn't die as you thought you were going to the day before. Seriously.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I received the following as an email recently and wanted to save it - and share it...
Michael Hyatt: Intentional Leadership

You are receiving this message because you opted in to receive blog updates via email on
Monday, October 22, 2012

Recently, a woman approached me after I finished a keynote presentation. In the speech, I had mentioned the importance of living with intention.
A Wooden Kitchen Match Striking on a Grey Slate Surface - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #7829867
She got stuck on that thought and realized she had not been intentional, particularly as it related to her career.
As it turns out, she was a doctor with a very successful business. She was making more money than she had dreamed possible. She had a very busy practice. But she was deeply unsatisfied.
“If I’m honest, I think I became a doctor because my father was a doctor. It was expected. I didn’t think I had a choice,” she confessed.
Her eyes welled with tears.
“But I hate it,” she continued. “I only get to spend a few minutes with each patient. I feel like a factory worker on a conveyor belt. It’s all I can do to make myself go to work.”
She was good at what she did. Her practice was exploding. But she had lost her passion.
As I later reflected on her situation, I realized job satisfaction requires three components.
  1. You must be passionate. This is where it begins. What do you care about? What moves you? What problems do you want to solve or issues you want to address? If your heart is not in your work, you have a job but not a calling.
  2. You must be competent. Passion alone is not enough. You have to be good at what you do. Being good-enough will not give you the satisfaction you desire. You have to excel at your craft and be awesome. Mastery is the goal.
  3. You must create a market. To enjoy a successful career, people must be willing to pay you for what you do. You don’t have to get rich, but there must be a market for your product or service. Otherwise, your career is not sustainable.
If you have all three of these components, you experience satisfaction. Few things in life are more rewarding.
I envision it as three overlapping circles. (Jim Collins has a similar model in Good to Great as it applies to companies.) At the intersection of all three is true success.
3 Components of Job Satisfaction
Be wary of only having two:
  • If you have passion and competence without a market, you have a hobby. We all know people like this. Living in Nashville, I know musicians who love what they do, are accomplished on their chosen instrument, but can’t pay the bills.
  • If you have passion and a market without competence, you have failure. If you aren’t willing to put in the hours honing your craft, it will eventually catch up with you. You will struggle to get hired or simply be flushed in the next round of layoffs.
  • If you have competence and a market without passion, you have boredom. This was the doctor’s problem. On the surface she had it all. But in her heart, she was missing the one piece she needed to find satisfaction in her work.
You can get by for a time with only two of the three elements I have described. But if you want to succeed at the deepest level, you must incorporate all three.
Questions: Do you possess all three of these components? What is missing? What could you do to become more satisfied in your work? 
Quote Post
I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.””

Maya Angelou
Worth Repeating: More Than 5,000 Classic and Contemporary Quotes (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2003), 310

©2012 Michael Hyatt
P.O. Box 1221, Franklin, TN 37065

The treasure of John Wilt's shoe

John Wilt's shoe is in my office.
One shoe. I bought it for $5.
I'm sure John didn't know where his shoe went. I'm sure when John was asked to paint his shoe, he probably did so happily - or at least I would think so, because his shoe is bright and colorful, with happy mushrooms and designs.That's why I chose his shoe. That's why I wanted this reflection of John Wilt's life. It made me happy to see it. This happy shoe was also used as a planter for a happy-looking little flowering plant. The plant wouldn't remain happy without real sunshine, it took up residence in real garden dirt at my house while a little fake greenery found a home in John Wilt's shoe.

His shoe was part of a silent auction at an event I attended last spring. John worked at a local facility called Marimor, which enables people with developmental difficulties to be productive. Productive is good. Productive is happy. And John's shoe looks like it came from happily productive hands.

The man's face in the picture known as John Wilt is smiling - a smile of a child: innocent, free of care, without pain or fear or worry or concern. I see John Wilt's face and I see others like him. Children who are born to be loved because that's their world. That's what they can understand. John Wilt would never have a space in an office like mine, a life like mine, or even children as I do. John's Wilt's life was meant to happily share his happiness - and the innocent smile I see in his picture - under the care of others.

I'll never get to meet John Wilt. I've had his shoe, along with his picture and a brief written introduction to John, in my area of the office since that March event. A number of people have walked past the shoe, because it sits on the shelf next to our one and only office printer. I wonder if anyone has ever wondered about the man in the picture that painted the shoe that I have on the shelf in my area of the office? I have many times. I even asked a Marimor staff member about John Wilt, and they smiled and said, "Yes, I know John Wilt." His smile made me smile, and I've always smiled as I've thought about the man behind the brightly painted shoe, John Wilt.

I'll never get to meet John Wilt because he died last month. The man's name that painted the brightly colored shoe was printed on obit page. One day I was reading through the online edition of our local paper and the name "John Wilt" leaped off the screen and into my eyes. John Wilt. John Wilt, with his picture and a recap of his life here on earth.

As I read, it became clear. John Wilt left a legacy. A legacy of love, and apparently a broken heart as his mother died the very next day. His obituary and her obituary were laid side by side on the screen before me, and the legacy of their life of love was shared in yet another newspaper article. It seems that John Wilt, in his shoes and with his smile, were part of many local sporting events as he and his Mom were inseparable. Their smiles and their love were welcomed by many, and there will a space at future sporting events for this Mother and her son. I picture a Mother who deeply loved her son, John Wilt, and who cared for him so deeply that they were inseparable - even to the place where she couldn't live without him. A son named John Wilt, who wore smiling eyes on a face of innocence as he painted his shoe - brightly and happily - because he was asked to. He shared his love, and I have have that treasure to make me smile while his legacy lives on as a brightly painted shoe in my office.

John Wilt - thank you for happily painting your shoe - and for giving me this reminder that there's an innocence and beauty to be found in the joy of life... and that's the best place to leave a footprint... :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The C for my wrist

I love surprises... don't you?
The nicest surprises are the total surprises: unanticipated, unawaited, unexpected - totally surprise surprises. A few weeks ago I got one - so nice! Someone close to me received a silver-snap Chamilia bracelet as part of an event and... she gave it to me.
She asked if I had one...
No, I've never spent the money for beads to get a free bracelet. 
Here - you can have this.

For me?

I don't think I said that. It was one of those speechless moments, when the heart overwhelms the mind's ability to remain calm, cool, and collected enough to offer fitting words of gracious thankfulness. I don't know that she realized how special that moment was to me. I know she couldn't understand the roots it tore up of overwhelming appreciation. I still carry the baggage of having so little as a young person that a silver-snap bracelet coming as a gift was not taken lightly, but with deep gratitude and sentiment for the gift - and its giver.

I'd keep it plain - no beads - simple - like me - but that's not the common style of the bracelet. The style for these bracelets is to carry charms of life's significance for the owner and wearer. That took some thought.

It's a Chamilia bracelet, so the quality clasp bears a bold letter "C". I made my gift of the C bracelet complete on my birthday, in a way that reflects my own style and inner motivation for life, to wear on my wrist as a reflection of... me. I took a coupon good for 30% off anything at a local big box store and got $10 off every $50 I purchased. In that way, my bracelet also reflected my inward sense of frugality, functionality, and financial focus. My Daddy would have been so proud of me.

The main charm is a simple circle of hearts, which reminds me of all those around the world that Jesus came and died for - to redeem to Himself. He loves the world; I need to do likewise. The two plain silver charms on either side of the main charm are for my hubby and I. God is our Source and our Strength for everything and we stay united through His love. Two stopper charms hold these charms in place - together we live our lives for His glory through His grace and His love, and our lives are held His place by His Almighty arms.

My bracelet reflects the Cs that are important to me and, as almost anyone who knows me can probably tell you, I enjoy words - and my C bracelet reminds me of words that are meaningful to me. My C reminds me of my favorite Cat Carlo - a very faithful friend and furry Companion. My C stands for Character, for Commitment, for Courage, for Caring. My C stands for Communicate, for Create and for Curious, Challenge and Compassion, Credibility and Courtesy, Connected, Confident, Consistent, and Competent. I am a person of Conviction and... above all...

I am a C...
I am a C-H...
I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N.

And I wear that with humble pride, realizing that this oxymoron also has great meaning in my life. I am thankful for all the blessings that my Heavenly Father graciously gives, sometimes from the hands of someone who has no idea what she is doing to impact the world around her with her wonderful surprises.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The person of influence

Influence is the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others. 

Personal observations:
Becoming a person of influence is not a short-term assignment. It’s a life-long journey.

You cannot legislate attitudes. You can’t become a person of influence unless others choose you to be such. This is one area where you cannot become a self-made person. It’s based on someone else’s perspective, which is fickle and easily swayed. The trendline of an influential person is consistently on the up-and-up.

Consistency and commitment are foundational as influence comes from trust and trends, both of which take a LONG TIME to build. It’s a process; a worthwhile process. Your credibility and reputation impacts whether the other person notices or really hears what you want.

Here are some traits of people who have influenced my own life: 

Live a life of undivided integrity. Be transparent. Be solid. Set the example to follow.

Always demonstrate a positive attitude.
 No matter HOW bad life is going, negativity is never an encouragement. Never. It’s a huge detriment. Wimps, whiners and cry-babies don't influence anyone productively. Encourage, support, lift others up - and smile.  
Consider other people's interests as more important than your own. Show genuine interest in others. How well you relate to the needs of others will develop entire networks and bonds that last. Respect differences. You don’t have to agree or even condone, but respect their right to have an opinion or conviction within legal, moral, and ethical guidelines. 

People LOVE to talk about themselves – don’t YOU?! Use this fact to broaden your own horizons by learning more about someone else’s perspective, knowledge, interests, and insights. That’s the wonder of conversation and relationships: mutual growth! Listen and learn. Zig Ziglar said it well: People like those that listen more than they like those that talk.

Face it - people don’t want to hear about you… they want to hear themselves echoed in your words. Find out what motivates the other person. It could range from looking good to their boss, to wanting to get promoted, to achieving a specific goal or working less. Take the commonalities and build the relationship on mutual influence.

Find your common ground with others. Combine your interests and intent with what matters to the other person. People tend to be much more receptive if they view your interests as aligned with their own interests, goals and objectives. 

Lend a helping hand: authentically, genuinely, and without seeking anything in return. Doesn’t it feel really good to help other people?

Find your niche – your area of expertise - and use it to productively help others. Don’t flaunt your skill. Don’t be obnoxious because of your abiliity. Don’t use it to be critical of others. Don’t be better than anyone else because of it. Be constructive, not destructive, with your abilities, talents and skills – and SHARE with discretion and with a goal of mutual growth and productivity. Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).

Establish a reputation of integrity. It’s never nice to talk about people behind their back, and doing that always takes away from your credibility. If you talk about someone, you’ll talk about anyone, so what you say had better be something anyone will want to hear. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies is, If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all. While it may be tempting to join in a discussion to express a negative opinion about a third party, it will not develop your ability to influence the person who is not present and could quickly snowball downhill when heard by others. In all reality, gossip and slander will destroy your honor with all parties concerned. Even perceived allies will question your trustworthiness when you engage in backbiting.

If you’re in a discussion about someone and making decisions that will affect their life, stop the discussion until the person can join the conversation. Don’t make a decision that affects someone without them. That’s just rude! True alliances are founded on loyalty, dependability, and straight-forwardness. Be honest. The bottom line is: You must be seen as a foundation of integrity in order to be influential within a group. This means your own foundation MUST be solidly built on integrity.

Last, but not least:
Don't settle for anything less than excellence and quality in anything and everything you do. Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it; autograph your work with excellence. Never settle. Always push for better. Sloppiness, “dropping the ball”, and half-hearted efforts will be recognized for what they are. Whatever you do, don’t do it halfway.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit
. ~ Aristotle

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Style is a way to tell the world who you are without having to speak.

I just saw that on Twitter and I stopped.

In a world where acceptance is sometimes far more important than uniqueness, style can get lost in a maze of becoming someone else's expectations - and then some.

Nope. Style means I am unlike anyone else. I - am - UNIQUE. Style means I can like and accept myself - and my style - more than I like and accept the concept of looking like someone else. Finding that style can be a fumbling game at best at times, but being comfortable in your own skin is far more comfortable than wearing someone else's.

I've discovered that with shoes. No high heels - no chunky, clunky for looks sake for my feet. That style means OUCH for me - not my style. I found an awesome pair of solid leather black flats that will probably outlast me, they're made so well. And the instant I put them on - ahhhhhhh..... comfort. My style. Not showy. Not flashy. No glim glam flash for my feet. Quality. Comfort. Classic. Functional. Healthy. Yup - now I'm bulleting out... my style.

No one else like me... And I'm going to be comfortable with that.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Love your loved ones - while you can... :)

A third child has died as a result of yesterday's senseless act of violence. A high school student, frustrated by life, used a gun to express those frustrations, creating an abrasively abrupt end to three young lives surging with potential.

I'm a mother. Situations like this make me ill - physically ill.

We learned today that a business acquaintance could no longer deal with the stress of living his life, and chose to end his by calmly walking out into his backyard at the end of his workday, pointing a loaded shotgun at his head, and pulling the trigger.

No one knows what the next second holds. The longer I live, the more I realize how fragile the thread of life is. And when it breaks violently, it rips a multiplicity of hearts apart in its wake.

Hold your loved ones close.
Gaze into their eyes and tell them how much they mean to you. 
Hug your loved ones, arms tightly wrapped around their fragile bodies, while you can.

Make each moment of life count. The next... is not yours to claim.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wow. It's almost hateful how fast time can fly when you really don't want it to. I treasure the winter months for the occasional blizzard or, at the very least, ice storm or other temporary diversion to everyday normalcy that keeps everyone inside for at least a day or two when I can get caught up with all the stuff I've put aside simply because everyday life has gotten in the way of doing everything I want to do and don't have time to do...

except this year. This year the weather has been absolutely uncooperative with snow emergencies or otherwise and life has been progressively active to the extent where...

Where has the time gone to WRITE?  Yes, I do know. My life revolves around writing - writing for everyone except for myself - and much has been accomplished for all those I've head responsibility to write for. Except myself!

So, here are a few moments on a quiet Sunday night, as my cat is sitting lazily in front of me daydreaming cat daydreams, for me to pause...

catch my breath...

and wish - hope - wonder...

Where has the time gone this winter?

The more accurate question, I'm afraid, is: Are we going to have winter this winter?  Just one day - one nasty ice-snow-blizzard event so we can all walk away from what is called winter into the next realm of spring with something to complain about and one day in our recent memory banks to treasure because we got to enjoy being forced to be stuck at home to get all the stuff done we have to put off because we don't have enough time...

I'll wait and see... :-)

Or will this have to wait... until next year...?