Work with What You Got

talent-development-is-exploring-different-skills-and-perspectives-qrfbd3-clipartYou – got – it.  Perhaps only you.

A clever sense of humor?

A gift for storytelling and capturing an audience?

An unusual ability to listen and hear a deeper meaning beneath the words?

An eye for design?

An ease and talent for playing the guitar or singing?

An ability to problem-solve and see projects through to completion?

What you “got?”

Are you honoring it?

Or, taking it for granted?

When did we all start wanting something just a little different, just a bit “better” than what we “got?”

Was it playing with that first Barbie or Ken doll?

Wow – look at Barbie’s waist! Not to mention that chest!!

And Ken, he doesn’t have – red – hair…  He’s – blonde – and he’s handsome…. Why can’t I be like – Ken?  

Was it hanging with the mission-driven pre-med crowd?

Gosh, they know what they are doing…. they’ll make a lot of money….science is so assuringly concrete and exact and free of subjective judgment…. At least, it seems so….

Sure, in a lifetime, many of us will have opportunities to explore what it is like have a different hair color, to expand our skill set and learn how to succeed in fields of expertise that do not come naturally to us, to take a stand-up comedy class or write or paint or sing or dance – to surprise even ourselves.

All good.  As long as the exploration brings us joy and a sense of fulfillment, is self-empowering, not self-negating.

Sometimes the quest or yearning for something else, something more, something different comes from human curiosity.

Satisfy your curiosity – carve out time to read about fresh topics, henna your hair, train as if you were a potential Olympian, eat as if you were model-thin Barbie, but along the way, appreciate what is natural, easy for you.

Ignoring – or – taking what you got for granted – makes the “work” of life more work and just may rob the world of the talent, the genius, the person that is you – and you alone.

Today! The Past – is – Past


My son works at a chic coffee bar where all employees must wear a head-covering of some sort.  Since this is a hip coffee bar, his choice of head gear is of interest.  Of interest for how he will be perceived by fellow hip employees. Of interest for how he will be perceived by the hip patrons…..  Of interest for the message he bears.  He frequently sports a baseball cap brim backwards. It is a red cap with a rainbow,  the logo from the TODAY show.

It simply says: TODAY.

What an appropriate reminder for morning java patrons!  TODAY.

Not yesterday.

Not last academic year.

Not that season when you were down with mono.

Not that phase of life when you were anxious and knew not what you wanted or who you were.

Not those years when you were in a relationship that depleted you and just felt wrong.

Not any day from the past when you felt sad, or lonely, angry or resentful, apathetic or unsure.


What a distracting trap to daydream or obsess on what went before:

what she did!    what he said!    how unfair was that!   wow! that did not go – as planned!

What of it?

TODAY is here – now.  Focus on the rainbow of possibility of this very 24 hours.

The past – is – the past.

TODAY is here but once. Wrestle with it.  Own it.  Be hip to even its tiniest of messages.

And move on to a fresh TODAY.

Yes, and…..

Yes,and.8.16Improvisation groups use those two words as a segway, a verbal cue to move the story forward. Yes, and…. the action pauses for a second until a clear and fresh direction is established.

Where in your life is your yes, and…..?

Yes, you’ll finish the assignment…. when?

Yes, you’ll clean the cupboard……when?

Yes, you’ll make the challenging phone call……when?

Yes, you’ll begin saving money for the downpayment – or retirement….when?

So often during the yes, and phase of life we build a mental barrier that leaves us lingering in the positivity of the Yes! yet mired in a weighted unease that makes the pause before taking action longer and more torturous than it need be.

Simply stating the when and then taking even the smallest action in the fresh direction is what empowering ourselves is all about.  Small actions lead to accomplishments and pushing past the “and” to completed tasks and realized dreams.

It is easy to make the excuse, to distract ourselves and procrastinate, but lingering in that pause is dispiriting, debilitating, depressing.  

In the pause – breathe.  (You were neglecting to take that breath, you too, eh?) and

I will finish and post this blog.  

I will open a savings account and create even the most minimal of automatic transfers into that savings account.

I will take the contents of the cupboard, place it all on the floor, curate and edit and organize until an agreeable order reveals itself. 

I will outline the whats of the assignment, make a calendar for completion and prioritize completion of the assignment so that I can confidently report to my inner boss: 

Yes, and…. Mission accomplished!




How Much Pain Will It Take?

How Much Pain Will It Take?

“In spite of warnings, nothing much happens until the status quo becomes more painful than change.”

                                                                                 ~ L.J. Peter

 Why are we so resistant to change?  Change challenges us to think in fresh ways.  Change challenges us to revisit past patterns – to break those patterns.

To stop the treadmill and walk out of sync for a while.

We must evolve from where we were to where we are going to be.  And it is not always clear where the there  – is.

Facing the unknown churns up emotions: fear of the unfamiliar, anger at discomfort.  What is going on?  What should I do?  Why is this happening?

How is your status quo?

Are you at ease, feeling fulfilled and creatively challenged at work?

Is your financial house in order?  Bills paid on time? Debt-free?

Making enough to be self-sustainable?

How do you feel? Are you tired? Energized? Clear-headed? Focused?  What do you make of the human shape you see in the mirror?  Does it show a thriving human specimen?

How is that human being interacting with family? with work colleagues?

Are your relationships loving and supportive?

Are you lonely? Isolated?

Pain.  Do you recognize it?  Are you curing and conquering it?  Or, numbing it with paralyzing distractions and excesses:

fantasy games and novels and television

vicariously “living” through Facebook

wandering the mall or the Internet

eating and drinking with no awareness of hunger or thirst

sleeping and sleeping some more, rationalizing your life away…

blaming others for your paralysis, your lack of motivation

Put pain to work in your life.  It is there to draw your attention to a dis-ease in your life that requires you to CHANGE, to show up differently, to go boldly down a different path.

Move past the pain and feel the joy of returning to the leading hero that is YOU.