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May, 26 2006

Think you are good enough?

I know some extraordinary women. Truly. They have made their mark in their careers -- they have wonderful families -- they are good, good friends. They are smart, attractive, enthusiastic, committed people. So what comes next may surprise you because even with the best and the brightest there are insecurities. Often these fabulous people will have conversations and discussion about what they are not. I am told about their fears or challenges or lack. It happened just the other day with a group of these exceptional, outstanding people and I wanted to shout (maybe I even did) -- don't you know that you are not only good enough but even better than most by any indicator? And so are we all. And so are we all. I wish that I had a magic pill that I could give to everyone I know that would change every negative thought to a positive one. But since I don't, I offer this advice: Choose to know your strengths. Choose to feel confident. Choose to give your best stuff all the time. Choose excellence. In your head, right now, know that I know that you are good enough.

May, 14 2006

Happy Mother's Day

I love being a mother. It has provided me with all of the extraordinary moments in my life. I do, of course, love my daughters (3 of them who are all mothers too.) They probably have never realized that they need to do nothing on Mother's Day to celebrate me because their lives and their ongoing gifts have done that so well. Isn't it true that gifts, while we like them and use them, rarely hold the significance that a passing thought or message or note can give -- am I different about that? I don't think so. I want to be appreciated just like everyone else but I know for sure that my appreciation must come from within first and then it will show up on the outside.

My girls are great. A matter of good genes as well as any upbringing I may have provided. They excel in business, work and in motherhood.

And then there are the grandchildren -- NOW, we're talking -- they are the gifts that keep on giving.

Happy Mother's Day today and every day that we remember the miracle of birth or the special moments of our lives with our families.

May, 04 2006

Say it isn't so...

In the last week or so, a number of people have reminded me about their "truths." It could be about how much sleep they and therefore I need -- what is best for me to eat to make sure my heart stays healthy -- and what I must do to find and keep work. Oh, please...I could give them a gazillion examples of people who are rested, fit and successful who have not followed the prescription. In fact, it's the folks who march to their own drummers that rarely proffer advice. There's that old saying, "What's good for the goose may not be good for the gander." Or, what's good for the goose may be good for gander. OR...what makes a difference in what is good for you is how you think and feel about the issue. A really long time ago, I knew a guy, who loved twinkies and all manner of processed food. His cholesterol was low, his weight really low, and his attitude terrific. The French -- they eat lots of butter, drink wine, enjoy food way beyond the boundaries of what we do in this country and it seems to agree with them entirely. Hundreds of scientists have studied this phenomenon -- what's up? I don't know, of course. I also don't know why a colleague seems alert on 4 hours of sleep while another spends 9 hours in bed. And why some people work really, really hard and don't get very far and others seem to succeed at a delightful pace.'s the brain and what we tell ourselves.'s what we choose to believe rather than what we choose to do. Something to think about, yes?

April, 27 2006

When the weather is sunny

Have you noticed how much nicer people are when the sun is out and the weather is pleasant? Does that mean that people, who live in moderate climates, are nicer than those who struggle with rain, cold, sleet -- probably not -- though Hawaiians are the friendliest of folks anywhere that I've been so maybe so. What's the point? The point is how much most of us let externals affect our mood, productivity, and ambiance. My mother used to say on days when I was especially grumpy that I had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed...we all have excuses. What a shame. Because if we give in to the external conditions -- whatever they may be -- we aren't assuming the responsibility for our actions. This is particularly important in business. I have heard more often than I can count that a certain season is bad for someone's business. Business is great in summer. Business is lousy when it snows. Business slows when people are on vacation -- it goes on and on. A very smart colleague of mine said that when he heard that, he would call a staff meeting and tell everyone to focus on what was supposed to be the bad time, because so many had bought into the message that he KNEW that he could make a killing in those times. BEWARE of belief systems. BEWARE of the trite. BEWARE of the edicts. Go further and challenge them in your own way. When I was president of the Women's Business Center, we found that the summer months were our best and when September rolled around and everyone was going back to take classes, we really had to hustle to build attendance in our programs -- it's counter-intuitive. RIGHT! That's the point. There may not be much that is intuitive about business. Prognosticators make money making us believe certain things. We convince each other of what will be good or bad. You might as well pay attention to my mother's observation about which side of the bed you got out of if you aren't doing well. I say...let's hold ourselves accountable and challenge any and all "pat" statements about what's good or bad. Don't buy in to prevailing theory or even fact. It could hold you back.

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