And the times, they are a’changin

Change we can count on – but that doesn’t mean opportunities are decreasing.  True, not all change is progress, but all progress does require change.  Embrace the change by positioning yourself for new options. I recently worked with a young lady who had lost her job, making in the mid 70s.  Panicked and convinced she could never find another job in that income range, she had decided she would have to start her own business.  However, after identifying her unique “areas of competence” I advised against that and encouraged her to do a creative job search.  In a short period … Read More

Jelly on my hands

The comic strip, Peanuts, has some excellent examples of the obstacles we all encounter.  One of my favorite examples involves Lucy and her little brother, Linus, who is constantly hanging onto his security blanket. In this particular cartoon, Linus is in the kitchen, eating a jelly sandwich.  As he finishes the sandwich, for the first time in his life, he notices the hand that held the sandwich.  He begins to admire the hand.  Then, without realizing it, he drops his security blanket and admires the other hand.  He begins to imagine that with these hands he could be anything:  the … Read More

Why did God do this to me?

Here’s a question from a reader – an engineer.  (We’ll call him Bill) I’m at a job that I hate mainly because I feel like every day I’m set up to fail. There’s no job satisfaction. I go to work and try my best but the bosses and organization demand excellence in everything that we do. That is a good goal to have but there’s no way to accomplish all that needs to be and do it perfectly. ………So why would God place me in a situation like that for 8yrs?? Bill, be very careful about asking “why God put … Read More

My Life is too Small

Recently a 36 yr old MBA in exec position in an exciting industry shared this concern in her coaching profile:  “I have a vague sense that my life is too small.” Living large does not necessarily mean a bigger salary, house, cars or retirement fund.  It has nothing to do with fancy vacations or the latest fashions.  Rather, it means having a life that is full of meaning and purpose.  And that can occur – or be absent – at any place on the continuum of the traditional parameters of “success.”  I’ve seen millionaires who are living life “small” and those … Read More

I leaned into my future and saw this……..

Last week we had our annual sold-out INNOVATE event here at the Sanctuary.  These were people who were willing to fire up their imagination and dream about what is possible.  The diversity in the room was awesome.  As I read through their registration responses I saw those who were a deputy sheriff, car salesman, concert promoter, carpenter, seamstress, dance teacher, video producer, blogger, artist, writer, restaurant owner, banker, stay-at-home mom, photographer, ex-nun, glass sculptor, teacher, e-Bay entrepreneur, speaker, lifestyle evangelist, software developer, tree eater, podcaster, doggy daycare provider, internet salesperson and more. We heard from presenters Deby Dearman, Ken Davis, Bob Baker, … Read More

Don’t forget how to fish

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”  How do you best help someone who is struggling?  If third-world natives are living in poverty, should we send them money?  Or could we teach them how to plant crops or provide a goat that will nourish their family and allow them to sell the excess milk?  If an unmarried woman has a child, should we reward her for having additional children in the way of living quarters and medical care, or … Read More

I have a problem

A few weeks ago I acknowledged a growing challenge with the sidewalk leading to our front door. A full 10ft section had buckled up about 6 inches because of tree roots underneath.  That had ruined the gentle flow of our sidewalk and had created a dangerous lip for people to walk over.  So yes, I had a “problem.” Or was it something else?  When our children were small we never allowed them to come to us with a “problem.”  Rather, it was “an opportunity for a solution.”  And I’ve approached every situation in my business and life in the same way. … Read More

Homeless but Classy

Boston artist Kenji Kayayama has started creating high-quality, hand painted signs to replace makeshift cardboard posters typically used by homeless people.  Their original art is used and they are given an opportunity to tell their story.   It seems many of the homeless are trying to find their voice as much as they are trying to solicit for money. Can you imagine the frustration in being homeless?  Not only is there the need to find food and a place to sleep but it often is the ultimate in feeling like a failure. What do you think is the most helpful … Read More

Desirable Difficulties

Does this seem like an impossible combination to you?  Is it an oxymoron – words that combine contradictory terms?  We recognize oxymorons in terms like: living dead, organized mess, alone in a crowd, jumbo shrimp, hot ice, cruel kindness, plastic glasses, pretty ugly, just war, or a real phony.  You get the idea. But what about Desirable Difficulties? This week in my podcast I had multiple questions about unexpected challenges:  a dad who has a child with signs of autism, a mom who wants to start her own business but now finds herself living in Thailand because of her husband’s … Read More

The Shallow Waters of Avarice

The lead-in question on the information requested when I coach someone personally is this:  “Briefly describe your current work situation.”  Here is a response I received:  “Antithetical to my personal and professional expectations.  Unfulfilling on multiple levels:  Lack of meaning and purpose; a myopic pursuit of the almighty dollar; a parasitic and never ending voyage into the shallow waters of avarice.” Wow – what a powerful and eloquent statement of being off track.  And of the understanding that money is never enough compensation for investing one’s time and energy.  The dictionary defines “avarice” as extreme greed for wealth or material … Read More