Posts Tagged ‘optimism’

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Each new year brings the good intentions of productive beginnings, and the vow to stop bad habits. Resolutions. With the arrival of 2017 came countless articles and social media bemoaning the horrible year we had just come through. The common refrain was, “Thank goodness 2016 is over!” At first, I was quick to join that chorus but then I shifted my perspective, as that was not a mindset I wanted to hang on to.

Before I get to my key message I need to share some back-story. I lost my Mother in November 2015, two years shy of her 90th birthday. I held her hand and watched over her fragile body, the one that gave me life. I prayed for more time despite the fact that I was blessed to have her in my life for so long. We are told, “No regrets”. So hard to do. So hard not to rewind our lives wishing what could have been. To go that route, I knew was futile and damaging.

So I shifted perspective.

I got a pad a paper and started to make a list all the special moments and milestones my mother and I shared. Quickly the list filled a page, then a second. I was amazed. I was comforted. I was grateful. My tears turned to smiles.

The loss, the disappointments, the shortcomings dwell in our minds. But if you started a personal list of joyful moments, achievements you may just be amazed and grateful. Sometimes we just have to see it on paper.

So I have started to a practice of writing down the positive events and moments that touch my life and keep the notes in a large Mason jar. I plan to refer to these notes when I feel overwhelmed or am need of some inspiration. Our heads get full of so much stuff that sometimes our most precious memories get buried. The jar is a convenient receptacle that can be accessed immediately. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to take stock of your life.



The Upside of Uncertainty

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Lorraine Greek sunset

Photograph ©Lorraine Behnan

Life is uncertain. Uncertainty is life. That’s the appeal of living. So why then is uncertainty often depicted or perceived in a negative context – like it is a bad thing?

References to uncertainty are cited daily in a variety of scenarios and through multiple forms of media and communication. What is certain is that every day the sun will rise and the sun will set, and between dawn and dusk there will be uncertainty.

Humanity is resilient in uncertainty. Resiliency drives us to see what tomorrow brings, and even more importantly, what we can bring to tomorrow.

Sometimes people confuse uncertainty with security. Uncertainty is not being able to read the future.  Well, that’s normal unless you are psychic.  Security is providing a safe environment. This too is normal, however it is practical and achievable.

Arguably some people do better than others in times of change and uncertainty, but generally we have the ability to bounce back. Beware the ‘Chicken Littles’ who squawk loudly to keep us in fear because they may have a hidden agenda for their own gain: power, control, manipulation, and dependency.  These are obstacles that can crack our confidence and derail our personal goals and beliefs.  Amid the noise of uncertainty it is hard to keep one’s focus, and easy to be drawn into the abyss.

Before you go down the  rabbit hole of anxiety and fear look at the upside of uncertainty: the joy of wonder, the element of surprise, fuel for curiosity, antidote to complacency.

This quote by the late Gilda Radner beautifully captures her inspiring perspective on uncertainty.

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”

New Beginnings, Old Best Practices

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

New Year 2010There are many pundits with opinions on whether we should bother with New Year’s resolutions because often they are made without a specific plan or support system, and therefore are destined to fail. This can have an adverse effect by causing feelings of defeat instead of igniting the optimistic intentions.

Rather than simply proclaiming hollow vows  another approach to resolutions  may be taking the time to reflect on the individual and collective practices that have contributed to your success, and resolve to continue with the best.  You can exercise this ritual any time of the year.  Let the celebrations begin!

Consider these practices:

  • Communication Effectiveness
  • Relationship Building
  • Innovation
  • Networking
  • Teamwork
  • Efficiency
  • Time Management
  • Customer Service
  • Research and Development
  • Continuing Education
  • Knowledge Transfer