October 2009

Growing up, I understood that I had to use large steps or undertake major actions in order to achieve a goal. Now being “under tall,” large physical steps was quite a challenge! I really couldn’t take what seemed to me to be “giant steps.” When walking with my tall friends, I’d sometimes use three steps for every single step of theirs. That was until I realized I could ask them to slow down!

When I slowed down and used small steady steps, I still arrived at my destination. That perception shift became a metaphor for my actions – physical, spiritual, and financial. By taking consistent small actions I methodically achieve my goals.

What small action can you take today toward your goal?


Transitions are challenging. OK – let’s be direct: Often, living through a transition is down right painful, hurtful, upsetting, and frustrating.

Sometimes, I am tempted to bury my head in the sand. Even on a sunny day. Ah…wouldn’t it be safer to just go back to sleep? Can’t I simply ignore the outside world?

What would happen if I bury my head in the sand? Well, I would miss out on all the wonderful events and phenomena this world has to offer. I would pass up the opportunity to meet interesting people. I wouldn’t be able to develop my skills or even discover new interests. I certainly wouldn’t be able to take part in activities I enjoy.

So am I going to bury my head in the sand? Nope. I’m in this life for adventure, exploration, investigation – and fun!

(Thanks to JF for suggesting the topic!)

Throughout my current transition, I’ve met (either in person or virtually) some incredibly talented and creative people.  Many of these folks share their knowledge on their web sites and/or blogs. Here are some of the places I visit for motivation, inspiration, or humor:

What sites do you visit for inspiration or motivation?

The leaves are incredibly vibrant – gold, yellow, red, rust, and light green. The apple picking is “just right.” Squirrels are scurrying around to collect nuts and acorns. Neighbors are installing new energy-efficient windows and doors. (I bet the squirrels are grateful that all they need to do is find a nice tree!) And where did the robins go? On our recent jaunt to Hinckley Lake, we saw flocks of geese and ducks over head – presumably heading south.

All of these signs point to the annual transition from Fall to Winter (for those of us in the north/northeastern US). Store up and prepare for cold times ahead. Or head south? Hmm…now that’s an idea!

Enjoy winterizing!

Transitions involve a high level of activity, rushing around, and frantic movements. Sometimes I need to take it easy, give myself a break, unwind, or calm down. In a word, ‘REST’.

  • Recharge,
  • Energize,
  • So that I can …
  • Take action!

What restful activities recharge you?

What we think, what we say, and how we say it influences our actions.

  • When we think positive, motivating thoughts, we move forward energetically.
  • If we allow The Committee (in our respective heads) to shout out their negative thoughts, we’re often stuck in place.
  • Do we say, “Good morning, how are you?” with a smile and an uplifting voice? Or do we mumble a greeting despondently, Eeyore-style, complete with a downcast face?



I vote for positive thinking, optimistic statements and enthusiastic actions!

Just like Pooh here –



What words = your actions?

* * *

Winnie-the-Pooh (A.A. Milne) pictures from http://www.winniethepoohbear.net.

Picture these scenarios:

  • You’re in your favorite department store, headed up to the second floor. You meet a long-lost friend who is on the down escalator and she asks you, “What are you up to?” You have 10 seconds – maybe – to answer her question. How do you respond?
  • You’re at a large networking event and want to “work the room”. So does everyone else. You have 10 seconds to let someone know what you’re doing. What do you say?

Sometimes we don’t have time for the “elevator speech,” aka a 30-second commercial. At the October 2009 Beachwood Home Office Link meeting, Wendy Schwarz shared a new technique – the 10-second commercial. Larry Mattes (M A Marketing Communication) dubbed this commercial “the escalator speech!”

Here are Wendy’s requirements for the escalator speech: 1) contains 18 words or less; 2) lasts a maximum of 10 seconds, and 3) the statement you convey encourages a question. We paired off and helped each other develop our respective escalator speeches, then shared them with the group.

So when we meet and you inquire about what I’m doing, I might say: “I give you the right words, the right way, right away.”

What’s your escalator speech?

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