DUST MOTES OF WISDOM

During my search for past writings on Optimism, I came across this article from 2012, LONG before pandemics and 2020’s turmoil – and I was struck by how much of the wisdom from a “normal” year still applies, but feels different, in a pandemic year. With minor tweaks, I share this from the archives. My ambition for this newsletter was …

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Special Request from Jim – What did you learn in 2020?

What did you learn this year?  In a normal year it is a common practice to look back to reflect on accomplishments before looking forward to plan for the next. Janus, the ancient Roman god of beginnings and endings, represents this duality. As this Dumpster Fire of a year blessedly draws to an end, I’m looking forward to 2021 and …

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Strategies for Personal Change

COVID Brain Part 1

COVID-19-Affect-Brain

Part 1: From The Pandemic Lockdown, Day 159 How long have you been in lockdown, or working from home, or having to balance kids and job and worry about the return to school, or feeling separated from loved ones? Too long, right? I thought I was doing OK. Then two weeks ago (day 143, but who’s counting?) I had a …

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Leadership and Workplace

IT’S NOT YOU

WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Since mid-March, every conversation touches on the pandemic, at least for a second. But the topic’s been consistently held as a temporary situation. Then last week happened. Plans for return to work in July shifted to year-end 2020. Conferences in 1Q21 started getting the “let’s go virtual!” treatment. Three months is temporary. A full year is, “We gotta figure this out, …

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Leadership and Workplace, Strategies for Personal Change

Lessons From The Muck

Muck [muhk], noun, moist farmyard dung, decaying vegetable matter, etc.; manure; a highly organic, dark or black soil; mire; mud. From 1200–50; Middle English muc, muk <<Old Norse myki cow dung Say WHAT?? When we moved to a new home in 2016, we inherited a large, reed-infested marshy pond that had been neglected for 30 years. We mostly avoided it because the area was …

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Curiosity Can Conquer Fear

Into the unknown

There’s a moment in the movie Frozen 2 when Queen Elsa, haunted by a mysterious voice, decides to shift from ignoring it (out of fear) to pursuing it (out of curiosity). The song, Into the Unknown (watch it here), follows her transition from “I won’t” to admitting, “there’s a part of me that wants to go, into the unknown.” We can …

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Slow Down or You'll Miss It

Slow-down-or-you-will-miss-it

  This month’s post was inspired by a blog from one of my favorite mentors in the consulting world, Alan Weiss. This short excerpt sets the stage and my thoughts follow: An asteroid three times the size of the Empire State Building shot by the Earth last week, “only” three million miles away and traveling 30,000 mph. In terms of …

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Talking About Death and Happiness

Talking-About-Death-Happiness

Talking About Death and Happiness Death—and its relationship to life—has been pushing onto my agenda in the past month, so much so that when I sat down to write this month’s post, I found it impossible to not write about it. “But Jim, “you are possibly thinking, “isn’t this site about happiness and leadership?” Well, yes. And as you’ll see, …

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