Mindset Matters: Entitled or Empowered?

The findings of a recent study by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research indicate the behavior of others can influence traits like laziness. Since I was a child, I’ve heard the caution, “You’re known by the company you keep”. As a teenager, I scoffed at the idiom, “birds of a feather flock […]

The Power of a Smile

I refused to smile for my high school senior portrait. I thought it would make me look “cool” to deny my natural inclination to smile. And for a 17-year-old, it’s all about looking cool. News flash: a stern demeanor doesn’t make you look cool [professional] [smart] [serious]. It makes you look stern. The Power of […]

No Grit, No Pearls

Unintimidatable. Now there’s a $50 word. It has popped up numerous times as I was writing about mental toughness. Intimidatable means being reduced to a state where the spirit is broken or courage is lost. Thus unintimidatable implies strength of mind in the face of forces that would disrupt, distract, and deter. It defines an […]

The Generosity Intiative

Look around you. Scores of people abhor the widely-celebrated holiday we call Valentine’s Day. We’re all expected to be happy for those receiving candy, flowers, jewelry, and other romantic expressions of love.  Yet it can feel a bit like getting stabbed when you notice everyone – but you – seems to be the recipient of […]

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Ever felt like for every two steps forward you wind up taking one step back? It seems to be a frustrating – yet normal pattern of progress. I’ll stand with Robert Brault, who quipped, “An optimist is someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s […]

The Key to Taking on the Impossible

Texas  A & M football wasn’t on my radar until recently. This team isn’t in the Southeastern Conference, so I can’t tell you what their ranking is or if they are playing in a bowl game. It was a remarkable game in another era that captured my attention – the one that led to the […]

Are You Becoming A Grinch?

Jim Carrey’s hilarious portrayal of the Grinch elevated the status of a classic Christmas story to the top three of my favorite holiday movies. But if you don’t have green fur – rants, complaints, and offensive behavior don’t bode well for your relationships. Cindy Lou Who was extraordinarily patient and resistant to insults  – not […]

Fear Is What We Feel – Brave Is What We Do

Most of us know fear on a first-name basis. Fear wears as many masks as the number of hats we wear. I’ve felt it as a business owner, mom, wife, community leader, musician, and speaker. When the wind is at your back, the skies are cloudless, and life is smiling at you – it’s easy to […]

Count It All Joy

Last Wednesday, I woke up realizing I was about to undergo the first surgery of my entire life. I suppose it’s rather remarkable to make it this far without going “under the knife”. A fractured ankle along with a dislocated bone necessitated a plate, screws, and general reconstruction to assure proper healing. I knew that […]

Happiness is a Form of Courage

I have always been a happy person. Not the kind who squeals with glee over sparkly stuff, but the kind who smiles often and laughs easily. I am certainly known as an upbeat optimist. But lately, negativity has been singing a siren’s song. Like those dangerous and beautiful creatures in mythology who lured passing sailors […]