The Gift of Your Transformation

Young Boy with GiftThere is real joy in giving. We instinctively know this. A young man gives special presents to his sweetheart in a quest to win her heart. A parent relishes the wide-eyed joy in their child’s eyes on discovering an unexpected gift. Most of us have experienced moments of such joy.

When someone we care about is in trouble it’s natural to want to help. Often we try to do so by giving things. A divorced parent tries to soothe their child’s pain by buying more “stuff.” Culturally those who have a sense of guilt feel obligated to give “stuff” to those who may have been wronged.

Sometimes things are needed. But too often that becomes nothing more than feeding a hungry man a fish, when teaching him to fish for himself would feed him for a lifetime. And there’s nothing more powerful in teaching someone to fish than seeing YOU do so.

Your own transformation is the most powerful gift you can give to someone in trouble.

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5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

Happy FarmerI might not say it in quite those words, but it’s really true: “I don’t care what you think!” In fact it HAS to be true, or I’m no good to you or anybody else.

For a people-pleasing person like me, that conclusion is a hard one to come to. I learned very well how to please professors, bosses, and other superiors. I learned how to read the reaction of patients and respond in ways that they could understand. Most people liked me.

But I was comparatively useless.

It’s my unique understanding that makes me most valuable. And it’s YOUR unique life experience and perspective that someone else – or the world – needs. If you care too much what others think of you, your ideas, or your way of doing things, you won’t be any good to anyone.

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A Response to Recent Election Results

BallotAlong with millions of others I was watching the election returns on TV Tuesday night. The last two days have provided somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster for me, and I know I’m not alone. A large group of people were surprised by the election results, and are now struggling to find ways to both understand what happened and to choose how to move forward.

Some possible responses to these events are decidedly unhelpful: becoming angry, running away and hiding, remaining depressed. And moving to some South Pacific island probably won’t work for most of us!

The pundits and TV talking heads have poured over the detailed numbers and there seems to be somewhat of a consensus: the country is changing.

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The Benefits of Healthy Investments

Cash IncreasingInvestments come in all varieties. Financial, yes, but so much more. Little things you do today make a much bigger difference in your tomorrows.

Small seeds grow into big trees. Small habits form character traits. A small stream can carve a deep valley. Small deposits can grow into a significant fortune.

We look at the nobel-prize-winning scientist, the Olympic medalist, the concert musician and think, “I wish I could do that!” We marvel at the accomplishments of well-known authors, thinkers, politicians, preachers, sports figures, artists, or entrepreneurs. But we usually only see the end result, not the investment of blood, sweat, and tears day after day, year after year.

Sure, there is the occasional child wonder, the occasional lottery winner, the occasional “big break.”

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Happy Anniversary! Five Steps to a Happy Marriage

Happy Anniversary! Five Steps to a Happy Marriage

Wedding RingsFirst a disclaimer: I’m not sure there are ANY five steps that guarantee happiness in any area of life, let alone something as long-term and complicated as marriage. But I DO know that there are some things that can make or break the union of two people.

Four years ago today (as I write this) I married Al Tanksley, and I’m more in love now than on the day I said, “I do!” I know four years doesn’t seem like a long time to those who have been married fifty years or more, but I certainly treasure every moment. Yes, we have had challenges, but we have met them together. And I look forward to many more good years together.

Here are some steps to a happy marriage in our experience, and I hope will do the same in yours:

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