Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Another year has come and gone and so it is that we change the calendar, make promises to ourselves, believe in superstions and look towards tomorrow a little more hopeful than yesterday because we want to believe that what lies ahead is better than what has already past.  Perhaps it will be and perhaps we still have a few lessons we need to learn in this ever changing life of ours, but one thing is for certain - this year will be different.

Regardless of the economy or the political change that is in the works, these things will always afford us a different perspective on the new year, but for me making a change and seeking a year that is different than the last is part of climbing to get to the next view.  Part of how I do this is to participate in a one word, overarching theme to my year.  It sets the tone and allows me to channel my energies into various directions, but with a singular goal in mind.

My word this year is: ASPIRE.

I find myself haunted by a certain phrase in life that keeps creeping up in the most unexpected places "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Perhaps this is not a bad problem to be haunted by, but I think what bothers me the most about this is that I truely do not have an answer...I have not found a "label" that I want to be identified as and so I search and seek and enjoy the possibilities that tomorrow I can be something different.  Eventually though, I stop to look back and wonder, what did I do with my life?  What did I accomplish?  What did I leave behind? Pass on to my children?  Did I touch any lives or do anything to make tomorrow better for mankind?

So for me, this year will be about aspiration - the aspiration to be something better than I am today.  To leave something behind for others and know that in my small way, I made a difference.

This year will be different!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Year in Review...Believe

Once again, it has been quiet around these pages.  This is not for lack of things to say, but rather my hesitation in saying anything at all.  A lot has transpired over the course of the last 12 months and while change is not always "easy" it is always necessary if we want to continue to grow.

I started this year like I do any other year - a shiny, hopeful outlook.  There is something magical about the date on the calendar that says January 1 that makes me feel as if the possibilities are endless that lay ahead.  A few years ago, I stopped writing resolutions and instead starting choosing a one word theme of what I would like to work on.  There are many things that I would like to work on to improve myself and sometimes it is hard to pick ONE, but the one I choose is what I would most like to work on/get better at/achieve.

Last year, my word was Believe.   Funny thing (looking back now) I didn't know how big of a part this word would actually play role in my future decisions.  Hind sight being 20/20, here are a few of the things I learned...
  • Led a team of professionals (inexperienced in our business) and continued operations as normal
 I learned to believe in my own abilities as a professional.  Having knowledge and being able to do a job can be easy if you don't have to think about it, or even be responsible for it, but when it either will succeed or won't because of your actions, it takes on a completely different meaning.

  • Stepped out of my comfort zone and changed career focus
I learned to believe in myself and to accept change for the necessity that it is.  There are forces at work bigger than we are and we are not always given the insight or ability to understand them when facing challenges.

  • Packed my home and my family and moved...far far away. 
 I learned "When people show you who they are, believe them."  People are complex beings in words, but actions are so profound and sometimes you just have to open your eyes to be amazed.

 This year, I took a leap of faith because I wanted different results.  It has not been easy and there are days I have cursed the word "change," but I have grown and I know I am a better person.  I have learned about myself things I never saw before and I have learned about others, things I never wanted or expected to see.  I have hurt, I have cried and I have laughed and felt my soul soar on the wings of tomorrow.

As this year comes to a close, I know my journey is far from over - I can feel it in my bones, but rather just beginning.  I am looking forward with eye's wide open to what the future holds and wishing you each a bright and better tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Putting the I in...

It's been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I don't like to believe there is truth in that statement, however there are days when I question what I believe...today is one of those days.

I, by default, tend to put the "I" in b*tch...especially when I am not comfortable in my environment.  That is not to say that I am typically the big B....however I am closed off and outwardly overly professional until I become "comfortable" in my surroundings.  Let me preface this thought with one thing - I use the term b*tch based on my own personal definition:  "One who is emotionally withdrawn, directly speaks their mind and is no nonsense about the direction they intend to proceed."

Remember, this is my inital projection and "first impressions are lasting impressions."  I prefer to understand the expected outcome - all facets of the current way of doing business and then determine what (if any) changes should be made.  Over time, once I am comfortable in how processes work, then I soften and can bend the rules where applicable.  Part of this is based on the trust that is built through working relationships, understanding political agendas and identification of where the "land mines" are hidden.

While this attitude tends to work well in the mail dominated world I spend the bulk of my time, this also happens to spill over into my personal world, which is less suited for the harshness it brings.  It takes longer to build "friendships" and when they are broken, often it is unrepairable.  I am not saying they are severed, but they are rarely, if ever, the same and often respected from a distance.  I will say that I do not recommend  this approach in a personal life - however due to my own past experiences, I am a little unorthadox.

There are only a few times, when I look at the path - this path - that I am traveling down and actually take the time to stop and look back at the friendships, the relationships that I have walked away from and let my heart ache for the loss.  Today, is one of those days for me...I miss my friend.  I miss the bond I thought we shared and even though I might be able to change the outcome of this situation, I've learned that if someone doesn't appreciate you today - they will not appreciate you any more or less tomorrow.

So for now, I hold on to the good memories and trudge past the bad down this road towards my tomorrow. Why?  Because I know there are people who deserve what I have to give and will appreciate me for what I am.

The view from here is: Overcast with a chance of hopefulness.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wanting to be Needed

Most of the time around here I talk about communication - talking about what we want, saying what we need, telling others that they matter, praising someone for their actions, but I fail to ever mention (and maybe because I tend to forget it exists) the many unspoken aspects of life that are just as important in a balanced work/life relationship.

The last few months have been a bit quiet around here because I agreed to move my home and my family 1000 miles away.  It was a rather quick decision without much preplanning, but when an opportunity arises, I believe we either seize the day or let it pass us by, but that is a story for a different day.  As I just mentioned, this move was unplanned and ill prepared for, but we decided to go and thus began the process of getting ready, which is very hard to do when one person leaves months ahead of the rest of the family. 

I have always prided myself on being self sufficent.  I can do many things and those which I know I cannot, well, I can hire assistance.  I am not so blind as to think I can do it ALL however, I am an idiot enough to think I can do most of it by myself.  Sadly, I cannot and I needed more help than I ever realized ... in the end I think I learned as much about me in this process as I did about normal human nature.

I give a lot, I also ask a lot in return.  I have high expectations and a determined personality.  I like to be needed by other people, I like to be wanted for a skill that I can provide and I like to support those around me as they attempt to reach their goals & dreams.  I like to give praise for a "job well done," and I like to show my appreciation for others.  I don't like big, showy, "spot light" presentations, lots of fan fare or excess attention drawn to myself, an acknowledgement is enough for me.   But in my need for 'being needed' I lost sight of the fact that other people like and want to be needed too. 

During this move, I had friends who've I've known many years - those which I've dropped things in a moments notice to help - cowar behind "other obligations" and become recluse.  The people I thought I could count on without a doubt were no where to be found in my times of need.  Then there were people who I've known only a short time who came out of the wood work to help me when I they noticed I was stressed and didn't have to say "I need help."  What is important, is that I DID need their help, I was failing under the tremendous pressure of doing it alone but didn't feel like I could ask these people for help because the ones I did ask for help had turned me down.  These people who helped, saw a need and answered my unspoken request.  They kept tabs on me and they supported me from start to finish...anytime things would get to tough they were there to make sure I had whatever support  I needed to get to the next step.  Without them, this move wouldn't have been possible.

The view from here is: Sunny with a chance of Optimism

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I've struggled a lot lately with the idea of "loving" what you do, of "living" for what you do.  For me, my work is both, I love what I do and what I do drives me to push farther every day.  My work is my passion...seeing something grow, change, morph - become better than it was before is what I live for.

I will admit that there have been certain times in my career where I have felt less than appreciated and there are moments when I am faced with the harsh reality that I am as replacable as the next person.  This is only a J.O.B after all, but doing what I do makes me satisified overall.  Perhaps that is why I've struggled with the idea that the people I work with do not enjoy their jobs in quite the same way. 

Don't mistake my previous statement - I don't think everyone has to be thrilled all the time, however there attituded are almost apathetic in nature.  They are here - 5 days a week collecting a paycheck.  What we do and the quality of service that we do our job is of little concern to them and that bothers me.  So how do I change that?  Well for starters, I cannot do it alone...

A review of the research literature by James R. Lindner at Ohio State University concluded that employee motivation was driven more by factors such as interesting work than financial compensation. John Baldoni, author of Great Motivation Secrets of Great Leaders, concluded that motivation comes from wanting to do something of one's own free will, and that motivation is simply leadership behavior--wanting to do what is right for people and the organization

If I stop and look around at the climate I am currently in then I will notice these are sorely lacking in the work environment today.  I think the biggest factor is that there is no leadership example to follow, in fact they are about as transparent as you can get.   Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, says that true motivation boils down to three elements: Autonomy, the desire to direct our own lives; mastery, the desire to continually improve at something that matters to us, and purpose, the desire to do things in service of something larger than ourselves.

So what does all this tell us....motivation is a complex thing (as if we didn't already know that) that requires more than gobs of money.  For me and my situation today - perhaps it is time to have a little chat with the boys and put them in the drivers seat towards their own motivation.