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Bringing Your Strengths into Focus

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If your sole focus is on fixing your weaknesses you may be bokeh-ing your strengths…

If your senses are numbed with delusion and denial, you will stop looking for these true strengths and wind up living a second-rate version of someone’s life rather than a world class version of your own.

— Donald O. Clifton
Now, Discover Your Strengths

By making weaknesses the center of your attention, you could be bokeh-ing one of the more important aspects of who you are.

Worse still, you just might be amplifying the very weaknesses you seek to eliminate.  Uh oh. In a 2009 post, Óbjects in the Rearview Mirror, I commented that: Continue reading » Bringing Your Strengths into Focus

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

5 Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On

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How do you carry on in the face of adversity?

Keep your cool, stay calm – that would be the first order of business!  A few days ago the Huffington wrote:

There’s no escaping the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster. From [amazon-product text=”coffee mugs” type=”text”]B004TN85OC[/amazon-product], to bandaids and now memes, the British slogan is simply everywhere. Perfectly, it captures the stiff upper lip culture from across the pond, which has inevitably made its way stateside. For those who’ve wondered where the devil the poster first came from, here’s a YouTube video to unravel the mystery of the iconic poster for you.

BTW, that Brit store, Barter Books (featured in the YouTube video) looks like a really neat place – I’m putting it on my “someday” list… but that’s another post… right now I need to focus on “carrying on”.

Have you been hearing lots of No, No, No’s? Continue reading » 5 Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On

Blessing of the Animals

Speaking Blessings

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A sense of blessedness comes from a change of heart, not from more blessings.

— Mason Cooley

The Catholic Church actually began as a splinter group from Judaism.  Followers of Christ were really devoted, they kept two Sabbaths, Saturday and Sunday.  That’s a lot of church in one week.

One of the traditions of Judaism is the speaking of the blessing over the children.  In My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen, she writes of the power of the blessings that her grandfather spoke over her.  It’s still the same, we all want the approval/blessings of our parents, our friends, our families.  For some of us, these blessings never come from our parents.  Others must provide them.

Lesson 1 – Know Thyself

I was educated in grammar school by the Sisters of St. Joseph.  Our school was 1st through 8th grade.  We had no kindergarten.  For that you went to the public school and since I started 1st grade when I was 5, there was no kindergarten for me.  Eighth grade was the pinnacle.  We were cool and about to become high school students so the principal chose to “have lunch” with each of us that year.  One by one, we went to the principal’s office and “chatted” with her.

I don’t really remember my lunch with Sister R.  I just remember the reaction.

At some point, during the lunch, Sister asked me Continue reading » Speaking Blessings

Super Sunset in the Desert

Creating Success From Your Strengths

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He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.

— J.F. Clarke

What are you good at?  Do you appreciate your gifts?  Have you ever been told that something you thought of as a gift wasn’t really a gift?  (I have the gift of gab, and yet some seem to think that it’s a curse.  Hmmm.)  As I get older, I’ve realized that whether something is perceived as good or bad depends largely on where you stand.

My friend Teri moved up the coast to a small town only a few miles from the beach where the marine layer tends to keep things temperate.  She moved from Oldtown four hours to the southeast.  Both towns are rural.  They both have things that those of us from the “big city” think are weird – for example, Oldtown has a resident miniature camel.  The residents of both towns tend to think like people from rural areas.  When I was up visiting her, I actually said, this is just Oldtown with water and shade.  She essentially agreed.

Now, before she had moved up the coast, she had very little patience for the rural residents of Oldtown.  Up the coast, they’re somehow more charming.  The real difference is Continue reading » Creating Success From Your Strengths

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Too Much Polka DotsLast night I caught a quick segment of the TV show Dancing with the Stars.  It struck me, as I watched Shawn & Mark’s Jive – waaaaaay too many Polka Dots!  Too many, too many.  Exuberant dancing yes.  But too many polka dots!

And it got me to thinking: how often do we do too much of what we’re good at JUST BECAUSE we are good at it???  I teach a management class to graduating university seniors and I cite a French company that is preparing its managers to lead globally – to work in other countries and be successful – by helping them see the line they cross when using their strengths (whatever they may be) too much.

Continue reading » Too Much of a Good Thing?