Making Gratitudes Real

As I’ve written before, Thanksgiving is the most psychologically powerful holiday we celebrate as we recognize and express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. Even in the strangest of years, we’ll find plenty of ways to express our appreciations for the many good things in our lives. For myself, I have sometimes noticed that my expressed gratitude can be somewhat perfunctory. I might say how grateful I am that everyone is around the dinner table (this year on the...

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Emptying My Brain

Over the weekend I decided to empty my brain. Boy, did I need that! I’ve just been feeling like my brain has been overloaded and I think the reason is because my brain is overloaded! Given my cabin fever with Covid and the freezing temps we’ve had here in town, plus all the crazy news and social media buzz that surrounds us and a very busy and full work schedule, left me mentally exhausted by the end of the week. A number...

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Don’t Assume Expertise

We rightfully expect that people on our team will know what to do within their areas of expertise. It is not, however, reasonable to expect that they will know how to do things outside their area of expertise, especially around people skills. Leaders often assume, for example, that people know how to behave and work on team, but if your folks were not in the marching band, drama club or an athletic team, they may not have learned that skill...

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What’s Next

“The pain is inevitable but the suffering is optional.”Haruki Murakami I made a pitch to a  national newspaper journalist a few weeks ago about what resilience will look like in 2021. She responded and we engaged in a series of spirited emails exploring the topic I proposed. My basic premise is that the greatest danger from stressful events is not when they are occurring, for that is when we are girded and invoke our “grit response,” but instead happens after...

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The Music in Our Heads

“Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do”Julie Andrews I heard Julie Andrews (and those delightful Von Trapp children) charming rendition of Do Re Me on the radio the other day and now I can’t get that song out of my head. Hearing music in our head is something we all experience and the awful term that is used to describe it is known as “earworms.”  Scientists who have studied the phenomenon report that the music usually lasts 15-30 seconds,...

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Survival of the Fittest Nurtured

I’ve been very optimistic, over these past 10 months, about how our resilience will carry us through the adversities of the pandemic, the racial justice and equity movement, and our recent election. Now that we’re “through” 2020, many have thought that things will automatically get better. That may not, automatically, be the case. I expect that the economy will zoom back to life, probably in the second and certainly the 3rd quarter as we create a “community immunity” (we’re not cattle,...

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Poetry and the Presidency

“…I must study politics and war so that our sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry and music…” John Adams I wonder if John Adams would be disappointed that today’s inauguration looks more like a battlefield than an artist’s celebration.  After 240 years, he would have preferred we were more focused on the art of beauty than the art of war. It is good, none the...

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