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Showing posts from July, 2020

Surviving The Day Is Also A Victory

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Tough situations happen. Work gets crazy. Kids schedules get hectic. You figure your only options are to figure out how to clone yourself, invent a time machine or give up and sit in the corner crying. 
The actual solution is to get through it. Sometimes we just get through it, barely, and that is okay. One step in front of the other. Being able to say you got through another day is a victory. Celebrate that as a small victory and sooner than you think a big victory will come along.

The Lost Art Of Thinking Before Speaking

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I wonder what it was really like during World War II in our country. Reading the history I know that most Americans opposed entry into the war until the attack on Pearl Harbor. Even after we were drawn into the war there were groups of people that opposed the war thinking Nazism was preferable to Communism as well as other more racist stances. Amidst all of that the overwhelming stories handed down were about the Greatest Generation and how everyone did their part, no matter how small, to support the war effort. Everyone knew that sacrifices had to be made, even the sacrifice of so many lives.
I think about that generation, trying to understand how in 80 years it has become hard to find a similar spirit of unity. We are a divided country and I see no desire on either side to try to reconcile. The concept of evaluating the words you say before you say them has been lost with the anonymity of social media. Asking ourselves, "Is it helpful? Is it kind?" before speaking to someon…

If You Have Free Time Prepare For The Unknown

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One of the great questions out right now is what school is going to look like in the fall. There are still a lot of unknowns around COVID-19 and what the right decision is. Education, mental health, social growth, nutritional well being are all factors that need to be weighed along with the health risks of the virus. 
Parents know the end of the school year was not great. It was pure survival mode for everyone, trying to make the best of a situation we were thrown into. There has been a lot of grief given to teachers and administrators expecting a rock solid plan as we approach heading back to school, which is too bad. The problem is there is still a number of options on how it would look. Each option would require a different structure and game plan for teachers. They need to prepare for all of the scenarios, and also the possibility of having to switch to a plan B over the weekend multiple times throughout the year. 
It reminded me of how hard it is to plan. We all get thrown into sit…

Maintaining The Status Quo

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One of my favorite movies is National Treasure. I am a history fan and enjoy stories that involve solving a puzzle so it is right up my alley. Towards the end of the movie as the cat and mouse game with the bad guys comes to its climax there are a few lines about maintaining the status quo that have always stuck with me. The good guys and bad guys are working together because they both have a piece of the puzzle. Patrick: Look, cooperation only lasts as long as the status quo remains unchanged. As soon as this guy gets where this thing ends, he won't need you anymore. Or any of us.
Ben: So we find a way to make sure the status quo changes in our favor. Status quo is a Latin phrase meaning the existing state of affairs. This idea of maintaining the status quo to retain your position, or your bargaining power is all to common. Individuals want to maintain everything  they currently have and expect in a negotiation the other side concede to their wishes. Of course the other side is als…

The Energy You Give In Every Interaction

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Most of your interactions with people generally go in one of two ways, those that give you energy and those that suck the energy right out of you. The same person might do both depending on the circumstances. Anyone that is a parent knows this because there are times that your kids just lift you up and bring you so much joy. There are those times though they drive you to the point of demanding that your spouse find a babysitter for the night before you lose your mind.
This is likely the case at work or school also where there are those people we struggle to be around when they get in a mood. 
Have you ever wondered what type of a person you are to other people? When you are talking with someone and the conversation has you energized and motivated, have you ever wondered if the other person feels the same way? Communication is more than just the words we say. You can tell by someone's tone and their responses if they just want the conversation to be over with. 
We have to remember tha…

When You Have A Chance To Make Someone's Day - Do It

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There are a lot of things going on in the world that can bring a person down. If you took a poll of everyone and had them rank on a scale of 1 to 10 how good they feel life is at the moment, what do you think the average would be? Lower than any of us would like it I'm sure.
You see things opening back up, the talk of sports finding ways to return and seeing more people out and about. It is a good thing but then we hear the rise of more cases and the unknowns of what we are truly dealing with. 
It feels gloomy right now. Like you are either waiting for a rain storm or it starting to lighten up. Off in the distance you can see sunshine trying to peak through and you wonder which way the wind is blowing. Does the future bring sunshine or more storms? 
It is hard to find the sun at times, so we need to be the sunshine in each others lives. Little gestures, to make someone smile is that first ray of sun poking through on a rainy day. We need to ask ourselves every day, with every person …

What Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Risk

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The standard view of entrepreneurship is someone who starts businesses, taking on a higher level of the risk and therefore being entitled to more of the potential rewards. This idea of taking on the risks is interesting, because what is a risk to some people isn't true for others. Risk is like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. I believe someone who is a small business owner probably takes on more risk than an entrepreneur. 
Entrepreneurs look to fill a gap they see in the marketplace. The often aren't the inventors, they are the people who see different inventions and advancements and can apply them to different situations. An entrepreneur is able to take a set of processes and apply them to a wide variety of businesses. They often look at how they can start different ventures with the least amount of risk. They aren't risk takers, they see the risks and figure out how to mitigate them.
For some people the thought of opening their own business or being an entrepreneu…

The Cost Of Bad Curb Appeal

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My project of late has been updating our landscaping. We've been in our house over a decade and things were definitely starting to show their wear. We started with the front of our house for the whole curb appeal and all. Things were nice, we had a nice layer of mulch and a variety of plants. Time went by and some plants died, some plants spread like crazy and some areas had far more weeds than we could keep on top of. As for the back of the house, just never really got around to it. So when a pandemic hits and you find yourself with more time on your hands than normal, it is decided it is high time we did something about it. It isn't the most fun job in the world, it is pretty physical and you are hot, sweaty and dirty. But the payoff is what it does to the value and appeal of your home. 
Thinking about the value of good landscaping got me thinking about the value of good design in anything. Having a pristine, well manicured yard might increase the value of your house, but you…

History Has Its Eyes On You

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Hamilton is coming out on Disney+ tomorrow and I am so excited to watch it. I've been singing along with the album for the last 4 years and have never had the chance to see the show. I remember when I first learned about it I started reading more about the history behind the musical. I had heard about the famous dual and knew Hamilton was one of the Founding Fathers, but there was a lot that I didn't know.
I've been learning some new things, doing some new research lately as I have have once again realized how little I really know about the history of our country. I've heard the terms before but didn't really know much beyond the surface of the Reconstruction era, Jim Crow laws and the Civil Rights movement. I was this many years old before I had heard about Juneteenth, celebrating the actual end of slavery in the United States. I grew up knowing about Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, and that was in the middle of the Civil War, but I'm still s…