Choosing Happiness

People often talk about wanting to be happy as if it’s something that happens to them. And, while there are external things that happen to us that can increase our happiness, our sadness, and our stress; generally people who describe themselves as happy choose happiness over and over and over again—often without even noticing it. Think about the prayer that has come to be known as The Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot…

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Fall down seven times, stand up eight. -- Japanese proverb

Falling Down

Let’s face it, there times in life when we’re going to fall down—either through the fault of our own doings or through the travails of daily living.  The test of our strength and our character is how we get back up. Sometimes, life knocks you down and it takes the wind from your being. Sometimes, it’s good to sit and inhale a moment or two, letting your lungs refill with the force of life before you rise again.   What’s…

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"Laughter is an instant vacation." -- Milton Berle


We’ve had a number of conversations lately about the longing for a summer vacation. Not a week or two, but the whole summer off from school with, as folks have described, “enough time to get bored.” Many people do take a vacation in the summer, yet don’t find it to be quite what they are longing for. And many others haven’t had a vacation in years as they struggle with finances or work demands or family needs. It’s challenging to…

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indəˈpendənt, adjective 1. free from outside control; not depending on another's authority. synonyms: freethinking, free, individualistic;      2. not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence. synonyms: self-sufficient, self-supporting, self-reliant, standing on one's own two feet Most of us have the privilege of being independent and therefore able to take action on our own behalf. Today, we would like to encourage you to celebrate your independence and to take action on your own behalf in the area of your life where…

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I’m A Mess!

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had a number of brilliant leaders start our meetings by saying some version of “I’m a mess!” They then go on to describe a range of experiences—both professional and personal—that they can’t resolve easily. They recount a range of pain points from long-held challenges in a family business, to a change in direction from the Board of Directors, to a shift in the market, to a diagnosis of a frightening illness, to the…

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Of all the traits that make up a good leader, resilience is probably one of the most important. re·sil·ience /rəˈzilyəns/ noun the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Resilience is something that you learn and develop over the course of your lifetime—it’s not something we can do innately. Resilience means that you can manage your fear, disappointments, and negative inner voice to come back to a…

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End of the Beginning

Change is hard. We all know that it’s inevitable, but most of us like the sense of safety and control that comes with a reasonable amount of sameness. Remember when we were hunters and gatherers? Predictability often meant a greater chance of survival, so change unnerves us—whether unplanned or planned. And, it often comes as a surprise to people that positive change can be as hard for us to embrace as a challenging change. As we move toward a positive…

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Growth Matters—for Everyone

Last week we talked about the Gallup poll that showed that 93% of the people surveyed have left their organization to find job growth opportunities elsewhere. We talked about being aware of the need to grow your teams and nurture your leadership pipeline to create ongoing success in your company. This week we’d like to get you thinking about what this same statistic means for you in your personal life and relationships.  If this poll is even partially correct, it…

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Are You Bent and Broken?

We love the entertaining and quirky TV show Grimm that is filmed and set in our hometown Portland, Oregon. The show is described on the NBC website as: A modern twist on the Grimm Brothers’ tales. It’s often a fun romp and it always starts with an interesting quote. A recent episode started with:  I’ve been bent and broken . . . but I hope into a better shape. What a wonderful depiction of life’s journey. It spoke to us especially deeply as we each…

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5 Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

Last week, we talked about Disappointing Others. A number of you wrote to thank us for that post and asked about an even more challenging person to disappoint… yourself. You described having the experience of being disappointed in something you did or didn’t do, or gave up on too early and found yourself paralyzed by self-doubt. Self-doubt is a debilitating emotion that leaves us unprotected in our inner world and unable to take action on our own behalf in our…

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