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Personal Development Blogs

09 July 2020

Personal Development Blogs
  • 15 Reasons to Be Independent of the Toxic Opinion of Others
    09 July 2020
    “To become free of the toxic opinion of others is to realize that their opinion never had anything to do with you. But […]
  • Does Napping Improve your Sleep and Productivity?
    09 July 2020
    The truth about napping and performance I get asked all the time about napping and what a good general rule is. Should we take naps, or should be not be taking them?Do they really improve productivity, and how long is a good nap? Wh...
  • “Why Passion and Energy are Everything” with Tyler Gallagher & Tracy Tilson
    09 July 2020

    The importance of passion and energy because they are everything. In our world you have to believe in your ideas and have the ability to share them with commitment and energy to clients, media, staff and everyone you encounter in business.

    As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy Tilson, founder and president of Tilson PR.

    Tracy has a B.A. in communications. Prior to foundingTilson PR, Tracy served as press director for a major tourism organization in Rhode Island and worked in radio promotions for a top station in the South Florida market.

    Tilson is also founder of Use Your Gift Card, LLC, an online platform that serves consumers with reminders, tips and tactics for using and receiving the most out of their gift cards.

    Tilson has earned her accreditation in public relations (APR) and is a member of The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a member of the PRSA Counselor’s Academy. Tilson has also been active in the community as a member of the Boca Raton Community Relations Board; the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce; founding board member of the Wellness Community; board member of the Snow Foundation; board member of the American Cancer Association; and her firm has handled multiple public relation projects pro-bono for local organizations.

    Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

    People talk about the “road not taken,” but I believe every road brings us closer to the path we should take. Although I was a Communications Major in college, when I graduated, I wasn’t sure that was the right direction for me. As a horse aficionado, I’d always wanted to play the sport of polo, but could never afford it. As luck would have it, in my 20’s I had the opportunity to volunteer my communications skills as a publicist for a polo club in Boca Raton, FL. In exchange for getting press for the club, I received polo lessons. The polo club turned out to be my first PR client that set me on a road to owning my own PR agency.

    Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

    When I first launched my PR agency, I wasn’t making much money to speak of but, I used some of it to make business cards for “Tilson & Associates” — my shar-pei puppy was my one and only associate! Even with little money coming in, I believed in what I was doing, I loved the freedom of setting my own destiny and knew that if I just kept working hard, I could make it work!

    Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

    I had the good fortune to be raised on a farm in New England, and I totally believe that the work ethic I gained from having to get up early to feed and care for animals, along with the responsibilities of mandatory chores, helped me to set life-long habits that in turn, raised my own bar for tackling obstacles and barriers.

    So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

    I have never felt more creative and entrepreneurial than I do now, with nearly three decades in the PR business behind me. My current main obsession is with Go Daddy. I literally have over a hundred URL’s saved from past ideas, campaigns, etc. that all seem relevant and possible! My latest is www.useyourgiftcard.com and I’ve trademarked National Use Your Gift Card Day. I created this new shopping “holiday” for all of us who need a reminder to our forgotten gift cards! The day is celebrated on the third Saturday of every January, and this year it falls on January 18th.

    Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

    The funniest mistake I’ve made in my career happened many years ago when I hosted my first big Chamber of Commerce event on behalf of my first client. We all had name tags and I quickly scrawled mine while I was handling last minute tasks for the event. Because of the small size of the tag, and my pre-occupation with everything that needed to be done, I abbreviated my company name. Was my face red when an attendee called me out on my name tag which read Tilson & Ass, instead of Tilson & Associates. Whoops! That mistake taught me the importance of slowing down and paying attention to details, especially when hosting an event!

    What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

    Gratitude and thankfulness are the differentiators between our firm and others…we do “Thank You Thursdays” when everyone on our team is required to hand write at least three thank you notes. Then we meet and everyone shares who they are thanking and why. Thinking of all those who have helped us softens our company culture. I want to create the world’s largest thank you campaign over a full year, with a goal of 1,000 handwritten thank you notes. We could change the world!

    Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

    It’s important to take time each morning to get ready for the day by taking some time to think creatively and thoughtfully about what has to be done and why. Success in the PR industry relies on coming up with fresh ideas, maintaining relationships with clients and media and also being one step ahead on the creative spectrum. For me, a morning walk, devotion and taking time to plan the day is critical.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

    My first client, John Oxley, who founded the Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton, was a seasoned oil man from Tulsa who loved the sport and gave me my first chance when I started my company. He believed in me and gave me an office in the back of the stadium. My deal was that 50% of the time I worked on polo and the other 50% of my time seeking and signing other clients. Without his assistance and support, this journey might never have happened.

    How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

    I hope that my feeling of thankfulness radiates to my team, clients and people I come in contact with. I truly am filled with gratitude and when you come from that place, it connects you to the community and the world. I find great personal value in assisting non-profits and getting involved with organizations that reflect my values, and bringing a positive attitude is essential.

    What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

    1. How fast time flies! At a certain point in life, you start to realize that there truly is a finite amount of time to get things done!
    2. What seems like a huge deal now, might not be that important a year from now. For instance, I remember thinking this one contract that was not being paid and was going to severely affect the bottom line for my company. It all worked out, but I remember fearing that it would have a lasting effect….and it didn’t.
    3. Not everyone is going to be rooting for you. I had a colleague a year into starting my business who was downright nasty to me, no matter what I did. And it caused such stress, until I made myself look at him with different eyes. I knew that somewhere inside of him a good person existed, and visualizing that person softened my approach and gave me power in our relationship.
    4. Trust your instincts. With people — and especially clients — you’re usually right. There have been a few times, especially in the first few years of starting my company, that I put more faith in people than I should have. I’ve come to trust my experience and gut-feelings a lot more in recent years.
    5. The importance of passion and energy because they are everything. In our world you have to believe in your ideas and have the ability to share them with commitment and energy to clients, media, staff and everyone you encounter in business.

    How can our readers follow you on social media?

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracytilson/

    This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

  • 7 Hacks to Know that Will Keep your Skin Healthy
    09 July 2020

    The best things in life truly are free, in any event, with regards to your hectic schedule. Dealing with your skin can be a major thing (howdy, lasers and serums), so we’re generally down for healthy skin tips that don’t whittle down our check. This is what drove us here: We’ve asked top fit skin […]

    The post 7 Hacks to Know that Will Keep your Skin Healthy appeared first on The Inspiring Journal.

  • “Balance and patience.” With Tyler Gallagher & Ahlilah Longmire
    09 July 2020

    You can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try. I had a client that just literally liked to complain even when there was nothing to complain about. If we nailed an article from the client’s top ten list, the complaint would be the article wasn’t long enough. If it was a television appearance on a National show that was beneficial to the sales of the client’s products, he/she would still find something to complain about with that.

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Ahlilah Longmire of The Tesla Group.

    No stranger to the world of Sports, Entertainment, Music, and Fashion, Ahlilah has been a recognized industry leader for more than 17 years. She is the Founder of The Tesla Group, the lifestyle PR-Marketing & Events agency established in 2008, and is widely recognized for representing and developing brands for top athletes, producing events, tours and a wide range of productions, and in driving national & international PR campaigns.

    As an Entrepreneur and competitive tennis player, Ahlilah observed how large numbers of skilled junior players were forced to drop out of the competitive tournament circuits after they had worked their way up the ranks in Harlem, New York. Through extensive research, including contact with coaches and retired professional tennis players, she formed a vision that would support these young players, who could not otherwise afford to continue to play tennis at the higher levels, to fully develop their potential and continue on to transition to pro-tours. Her desire to help these young players fulfill their dreams has now found expression in what she regards as her greatest accomplishment to date, Ascot Manor.

    Thank you do much for joining us Ahlilah. Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

    I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young girl. A natural-born leader, always having to run the show. My father says if it wasn’t a musical instrument in my hand or some sort of athletic ball, it was a clipboard! However, I don’t believe in having talent(s) which you do not share, teach or give to others, therefore all of my ventures have always included a charitable or give-back model. The Tesla Group and Ascot Manor have been no different in how they were developed.

    Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company? What lesson did you learn from that?

    I started both businesses from the ground up. The Tesla Group which has been my longest-running business of 11years, I can be honest in saying, I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing when I started it. Every step was an expensive learning step. Getting the right people involved or who believe in the business that was willing to work for hardly anything or intern was probably the most challenging.

    What are some of the factors that you believe led to your eventual success?

    Grit, honesty, drive, determination, and purpose.

    What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or example for each.

    1. That you can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try. I had a client that just literally liked to complain even when there was nothing to complain about. If we nailed an article from the client’s top ten list, the complaint would be the article wasn’t long enough. If it was a television appearance on a National show that was beneficial to the sales of the client’s products, he/she would still find something to complain about with that.
    2. The importance of taking time for yourself. It’s good to sometimes take a step back to appreciate how far you’ve come. To be able to reflect and evaluate any necessary changes.
    3. Work smarter, not harder. That concept had NOT been passed down until I was already in year #5 with my first business lol
    4. The importance of setting the tone in your work environment. From being present, cheerful, engaging, down to the structure of the office decor. All of it plays a part in the overall moral and energy of your team.
    5. Not every client is the right client. As important as client management is, there are some that are just completely unmanageable. I’ve had occasional clients who will call and email everyone in the company to have a question answered they just emailed you 5min ago. They will send 20 page text messages. Unscheduled random meeting requests. Conference calls where the client is taking care of 10 different things on the phone while you’re sitting on the phone with an itinerary. I’ve had a client email me 19 times in a 24hr period and this is with my OOF response on during a travel period.

    What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

    Balance and patience. Whether you are starting a new business, partnership or new professional journey, it’s almost like you’re on this very long adrenaline rush. You want everything to happen NOW and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make it, even if that means you are sacrificing sleep, proper nutrition, some sort of social or active life. Overtime not only will you burn yourself out, but life is also short, you can easily wake up one day and ask the question “Who stole my life” and miss out on so many beautiful moments and memories with friends and family.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

    Absolutely! What started as just an office share with a Father/Son managed branding agency ended up in not only a successful and profitable working relationship but a huge growth period for me over the course of 8yrs. I got to experience working in an environment that really felt like a family, a team, a support system that was needed when you’re running every aspect of your business on your own. The relationship has grown to not only a beautiful friendship but one I consider to be like family.

    What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish, both personally and professionally?

    Professionally it would be taking all that I’ve learned over the past 11years and applying it to the new business as well as helping other women on their entrepreneurial journey.

    Personally-more vacation time. I tend to stay inspired and motivated through travel. It is something I do not do enough of. Getting back on the tennis court after 1yr + plus hiatus due to injuries.

    What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy?

    I made some differences in someone’s life whether it was small or large. That I was good and kind to people.

    You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!

    My movement now lives within Ascot Manor. I really want to be a part of not only continuing to develop athletes in a way that sets them up for life after sports but to be apart in supporting and advancing under-resourced kids of color and junior American players in the sport of tennis who have the goal of transitioning to the pro circuit.

    How can our readers follow you on social media?

    Instagram @missl0123 @officialascotmanor

  • “Why to be positive.” With Tyler Gallagher & Lora Wilson
    09 July 2020

    Look outside your industry for inspiration and ideas. My PR career began in the technology industry and it wasn’t until I spent a few years doing PR in the consumer and corporate markets that I realized how much I could learn about the PR discipline by spending time working in another industry.

    Ihad the pleasure of interviewing Lora Wilson.

    Lora is the managing director of Global Results Communications (GRC), responsible for cultivating new business and implementing high-impact public relations strategies for industry-leading companies and the visionary executives driving them. With more than 21 years of experience in high tech, telecom, consumer, electronics and healthcare, she is a trusted advisor, overseeing every aspect of account management, from media training to team and campaign development. Fueled by intellectual curiosity, she understands her clients’ complex products, solutions and services from the inside out, studying the competition, industry and stakeholder groups, current economic and political environments and which consumer behaviors are defining new trends. Prior to joining GRC in 2009, Lora held executive-level positions at renowned agencies in Dallas including Springbok Cohn & Wolfe and GolinHarris, where her client roster included Verizon Wireless, Ericsson, Coors Brewing Company and Target among others. Most recently, she was vice president in the technology practice at Ketchum Public Relations, where she led programs for Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks and IBM.

    Lora graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a bachelor’s degrees in English and communications/public relations. A lifelong learner and mentor, she is a volunteer with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which focuses on programs that help improve children’s health and quality of life, and serves as the agency’s liaison for local universities, where she guest lectures and invites students to participate in GRC-hosted PR bootcamps.

    Thank you so much for doing this with us Lora! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

    Going into public relations wasn’t random for me, because Communications/Public Relations was one of my majors in college, way back in the 1980s in Wisconsin. I also earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and a minor in writing. After graduating from college, I dabbled for a few years in sales and merchandising positions before working for 6 years as a technical writer for a power tool company in Milwaukee, Wisc., and then as a marketing writer for a trade association in Tacoma, Wash. It was there that I realized I wanted to specialize in public relations, because I wanted to take on earned storytelling and work with the media. It was when I moved to Dallas in the late 1990s that my now ex-husband encouraged me to “get closer to the money,” as he called it, by going to work for a PR agency, rather than working in an in-house public relations role. He explained that, unlike in-house PR positions, agency positions were closest to the money because their work is paid for directly by clients. He was in the technology consulting industry and he said the same was true in his industry. I did go to work for a PR agency and haven’t looked back now for 21 years.

    Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

    I’ve been with Global Results Communications for just over 10 years now. Within the first few years of joining the firm, I found myself working with a number of companies and/or people who were former clients of mine, from my earlier years in PR. It was a reminder that it’s a small world after all, even in the huge, global technology industry in which I work, and a good lesson about not burning your bridges, because you never know who will come back into your life.

    Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

    Especially in the earlier days of my PR career, I was a media hound. I loved to chase stories for clients — big or small, but of course mostly big! And, I had no fear, which is a blessing, but it can be a curse if you aren’t well-prepared when talking to the media. One morning, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal and thought the reporter who wrote it would be the perfect reporter to talk with one of my clients. I made the rookie mistake of not scanning through previous articles she’d written, not reading her bio in our media database, and not talking to co-workers to see if they knew her — before I found her phone number, picked up the phone and called her to pitch my client. Turns out, she was an investigative reporter, on the hunt for sensational stories. At the time, I was still getting up to speed on my client and wasn’t able to answer many of the questions she asked me about them. She mistook my naivete for evasiveness and some kind of cover-up for my client. She thought she smelled blood … an investigative reporter’s dream … and wanted to interview my client straightaway. By this time, I realized, she wasnot the perfect reporter to talk with my client, but how could I get out of it to push for an interview. I was a complete novice and didn’t know how to handle it, but I didn’t feel comfortable talking to my supervisor about it because I didn’t want her to think I didn’t know what I was doing or couldn’t be trusted. I eventually set up an interview with my client and hoped for the best, which was also a foolish move. During the interview, the reporter quickly learned there wasn’t a big story to “crack” or to reveal to the world and in fact, I was just a PR novice with limited knowledge of my client and there was no story at all. In the end, it turned out as best as it probably could have. The client never knew the “back story.” The reporter was satisfied to have had the interview, even though she didn’t write, and I learned my lesson about doing due diligence before picking up the phone to talk with the press.

    What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

    I think what our clients say is even more impactful than whatever I might say about us. Our clients tell us we stand out in a few ways. One is that we deliver results. The founder and owner of our firm likes to say, “We didn’t name ourselves Global Results Communications just because it sounds good,” and she’s right. We are global and we deliver results. Second, clients tell us our client-service and responsiveness is “over the top.” We’ve heard stories about PR agencies not returning emails or calls for days or weeks. That’s simply not acceptable to most clients in our connected world. Third, clients praise our industry knowledge and our understanding of their businesses. I recall a time when one client told another at a trade show that we don’t merely “work in” the tech industry, but that we are “part of” the industry, by way of our industry involvement, connections and knowledge. Fourth, clients say we make it easy to work together. We don’t tie clients into long-term contracts. We don’t “nickel and dime” them for every hour we spend. We do what’s right on behalf of the client and we work as best we can to make programs and our relationship mutually beneficial.

    Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

    Our agency is launching a podcast, PR 360, which we are very excited about. We will be interviewing guests from among our clients as well as other thought leaders about a variety of topics related to public relations and communications. Although our firm specializes in the technology industry, our guests will come from a variety of industries. Through it, we hope to provide listeners with valuable insights, best practices, and useful information for marketing and communications. These will be lively conversations that we also hope will entertain people. The podcast will be syndicated on iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify and all of the major podcast networks.

    What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive? What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

    I don’t believe the “golden rule” — that is, to manage others as you would want to be managed yourself — is the best we can do. I advise managing by the “platinum rule,” which is to manage others as they would want to be managed. In order to manage by the platinum rule, you have to know the people on your team individually and understand each person’s social style. There are countless workshops and seminars on social styles, and even online workshops that work well for teams that geographically dispersed. David Merrill and Roger Reid developed a very popular social style theory, with books and learning material to support their work, but there are others, many rooted in Jungian theory. Whatever tool you use, in my opinion this is a crucial step in order to strengthen relationships, build trust, improve teamwork, and to create an engaged and positive culture.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

    I’ve been fortunate to have had many good mentors and role models in my career. A former boss once told me, “It’s not what you do, it’s what you get done.” That was at a point when I struggled with project delegation and often fell prey to the mistaken belief that if I wanted something done right, I had to do it myself. The problem is, I couldn’t keep up, and that was part of our discussion that day — about how I’d fallen behind. Even though she was appreciative of my dedication and the time I was spending, she wanted me to learn to delegate and to focus on the results, not just the time I personally spent on the work as a hallmark of achievement. As simple as her words were, they were powerful, and stick with me to this day.

    How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

    I haven’t done anything on such a grand scale, but I give back locally through my membership and volunteering for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Now in its 150th year, the Elks invest in their local communities through programs to help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of veterans, and improve the quality of life in local communities. Many people aren’t aware that second to the U.S. government, the Elks are the largest benefactor of college scholarships in the country. My Dad was an Elk when I was young and I have fond memories of times spent with family and friends at our local lodge events and other Elks activities in Wisconsin, and it feels good to carry on the tradition in our family.

    What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

    1. Don’t take things personally. It’s easy to take criticism, no matter how constructive or well-intended, personally. Most people want to be accepted and liked, and we often perceive feedback as criticism and criticism as an attack on ourselves and our worth. We might even feel rejected. But, if we reject feedback and if we aren’t self-aware, we often over-compensate by showboating with arrogant, egotistical behavior to cover up for our perceived shortcomings, rather than face ourselves honestly and work to be better. In my experience, people who are aggressively critical of others are often overcompensating in some way for their own vulnerabilities, and in fact their “mean-spirited” attacks say more about them than about you.
    2. Look outside your industry for inspiration and ideas. My PR career began in the technology industry and it wasn’t until I spent a few years doing PR in the consumer and corporate markets that I realized how much I could learn about the PR discipline by spending time working in another industry.
    3. Build relationships with the C-suite, even if you don’t work with those individuals every day. While it’s critical to have strong, trusted relationships with your day-to-day clients, it’s all too easy to lose the client if your day-to-day contact leaves and if others in the organization don’t know you and understand your value. I’ve experienced this first-hand, more than once.
    4. Get a life coach and/or therapist. Whether it’s working to understand your past or present behaviors, beliefs and patterns and how they stand in the way of achieving your full potential, a therapist or life coach can help you understand why you’re wired the way you are and then help you modify your wiring to work toward a goal or set of goals. About 30 years ago, a worldly girlfriend of mine, with a MENSA IQ, told me, “Everyone can use a good shrink.” Her comment perplexed me, because up to that point in my life, I hadn’t been exposed to the notion of therapy and I had the mistaken belief that “shrinks” were for people with mental illness. How wrong I was!
    5. Get speaker/presentation training. I’m far from shy and don’t suffer from social anxiety, but early in my career I was nervous to speak in front of an audience. I think it stemmed from a high school speech I had to give to an audience of several hundred honors students and their families. I figured, “I’m not shy and I’m never at a loss for words, so I don’t need to pre-script my speech. Besides, I don’t want to sound robotic and over-rehearsed.” When I got up on stage, I froze like Cindy Brady in the Brady Bunch episode when she was on the television spelling bee. Although I didn’t have any Cindy Brady moments in my PR career, I was always nervous, especially if I had to stand in front of a room. PR people are expected to be “expert” communicators … as if perfection in anything is achievable. It would have certainly helped if I’d sought training early on.

    You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

    I can answer this in one word: #Kindness. Even in periods of conflict or when someone else is in the wrong or has done something egregious, we have the power to practice kindness in our response. It doesn’t mean you have to avoid confrontation or pretend that everything is ok, but it costs nothing to treat people with kindness. People have asked me how to do this in cases where another person has said or done something horrible. My advice is that we take issue with a person’s behavior, but not with the person. In other words, don’t make it personal. No name calling or personal attacks. In today’s digital culture, it’s easy for people to express their opinions and there is so much vitriol, whether it’s about politics, gender, race, celebrity, environment, business, food, lifestyle, and more. If I could inspire just one person to communicate and act with kindness and not hate, I’d consider it a small, but meaningful start.

    Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

    Years ago, I fell in love with Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, within the first few pages I read. I love his quote, “The mental suffering you create is always some form of non-acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is. On the level of thought, the resistance is some form of judgment. The intensity of suffering depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment.” Similar to other thought leaders on mindfulness, Tolle’s guidance is that, “If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.”

    Tolle’s teachings are relevant for both my personal and professional life. I’m far from always living in the present moment, but when I catch myself straying from now and thinking about the past or future, and I stop to pay attention to what is actually happening now, I see and hear things I would otherwise have missed. Sometimes it’s as simple as catching the smile and hearing the giggle of my 11 year-old nephew that I might not have noticed if I were buried in my phone. Other times, it means I don’t miss an important detail that a client mentions on a conference call, or I see that huge tumbleweed on the freeway that I might have otherwise run over.

    We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them

    Eckhart Tolle. Although he’s written about some of the factors that inspired him to practice living in the “now,” I’d like to learn more about those factors and about him as a person.

  • “Listen, listen, listen.” With Tyler Gallagher & Caroline Beckman
    09 July 2020

    Who you are is not what you do: I believe that identity is one of the most under-discussed and understood aspects of leaders. Specifically of young leaders. So often your work becomes your identity. One of the best pivots that happened in my personal life over the past two years is that I am surrounded by community who supports me however they care very little about what I do and care a whole lot about who I am. This was the most important shift I made in my personal life.

    As a part of my series about how leaders can create a “fantastic work culture”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Caroline Beckman.

    Caroline Beckman began her career in the health industry during her teenage years. At 18 years old she joined Suja Juice, one of the fastest growing beverage brands in history, as a founding employee. After dropping out of university to pursue further health research, she was backed by tech entrepreneur, founder of PayPal, and first investor in Facebook, Peter Thiel. Currently 25 years old, Caroline has founded, advised and invested in over 10 food and beverage companies. Caroline is excited to be introducing her new venture Nouri, a company created to deliver gut health solutions that empower consumers to take a proactive approach to their health. Nouri’s first consumer product line delivers clinically-supported proprietary probiotic blends encapsulated within plant-based omegas 3,6, and 9 (Ahiflower oil) and will be launching retail and e-commerce nationally in January 2020.

    Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

    Thank you for having me! I have been a big fan of Thrive for years. It’s awesome to have the opportunity to share more about my journey with you. The career that I am in the midst of today began at an oddly young age. When I was 18 years old I dove in full-time with health and wellness product development. By the time I was 19 I knew I had found my “lane” at the intersection between business and health and wellness. What I am working on specifically with Nouri was born out of my own personal painful realization that we are 10 times more bacteria than we are human and, that bacteria controls how we are feeling in each moment. While working in the “health and wellness” industry, I was personally struggling with gut health related ailments. As I looked from left to right on the market, the solutions spoke to a reactive market versus a proactive market. I dug in deeper and the more that I learned about gut health (such as the fact that our country spent $134 billion dollars on GI related disease last year alone), the more that I believed there was opportunity to deliver proactive solutions to millennials.

    Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company? What lesson did you learn from that?

    Today I am 25 years old and I have been leading in some capacity since I was 18. That’s young. And no matter how many books you read or podcasts you listen to I believe that wisdom truly comes with time. One of the pitfalls that my lack of wisdom has brought about is a spirit of self-reliance, that I can make it all happen and put more on my plate than what is possible to complete. This is really common of most early-stage startup or organization leaders, because frankly there is so much to do and so few people to make it happen. From this I have learned to vocalize my strengths and weaknesses. Today, I am not afraid to clarify what is in “my lane” and what is not. I allow others around me to lead and trust them to do so.

    What are some of the factors that you believe led to your eventual success?

    There are three aspects of Nouri’s core that I believe will set us apart and ensure we deliver results to our consumers every time: clarity, science, and endurance. First, we stand firm on the belief that clarity is kind. Right now in the category we are entering, many competitors are not clearly labeling where their ingredients are coming from for reasons of sourcing and cost savings. As a result, the quality of product is not always efficacious in delivering what these products promise. Nouri is joining forces with regulatory bodies to ensure that consumers receive clearly labeled products always. Secondly, we believe in science. Before launching any of our products into retail we sponsored our own research study to ensure that everything our technology promises is backed by real science. On the market today, only 35% of probiotics are supported by any sort of science. Nouri is committed to ensuring all we do is rooted and rich in science. And last, I believe our endurance will seperate us. Many brands today are playing a venture-backed race. Often times there are good outcomes however more often than not the consumer is the one who loses. Nouri’s positioning is to be around for decades and decades, delivering solutions to all ages, all across the globe. That is a big vision and big visions require endurance. We take one day at a time, treating each day as if it were simultaneously our first and last day.

    What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or example for each.

    1. Listen, listen, listen, and then speak: One of my biggest learning lessons has been to slow myself down before speaking. Even though as the leader you often timesdo have the answer, that is not the point. To build strength into those around you the best thing to do is to listen three times as much as you speak, specifically during meetings.
    2. Begin with the end in mind: I will never forget the first time someone asked me where I wanted to be in five years. At the time, I was 20 and honestly hadn’t thought of much past the day that I was living. I quickly realized that the greatest leaders provide the greatest visions of what the end result looks like. At that moment I began to think in decades time. I thought of not only what I wanted to accomplish in 10 years but more importantly who I wanted to be in 10 years from now. Today I continue to make decisions for that version of Caroline, 10 years from now.
    3. Consistency is the enemy of anxiety: the birth of anything new creates absolutely chaos. As I mentioned earlier, you are continuously battling a long list of “to dos” with a short list of those capable of doing. This makes consistency really difficult. I learned the hard way a few years ago that in order to lead your emotions, and not have your emotions lead you, consistency is essential. Start easy, begin with a dedicated time each day without any media, phone, or other distractions. Begin to train your brain that each day there will be consistency to rely upon.
    4. Who you are is not what you do: I believe that identity is one of the most under-discussed and understood aspects of leaders. Specifically of young leaders. So often your work becomes your identity. One of the best pivots that happened in my personal life over the past two years is that I am surrounded by community who supports me however they care very little about what I do and care a whole lot about who I am. This was the most important shift I made in my personal life.
    5. Set boundaries: The results of learning the word “no” and building the muscle of saying that word often will never cease to amaze me. For example, in order to accomplish all of what is being discussed in this interview, there are hundreds of “nos” involved. I hope for all entrepreneurs and CEOs that they relieve themselves of the pressure to be a “yes” person. From my experience thus far, boundaries create a difference in your life that make you more attractive to others, and not vice versa.

    What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

    Burnout is near and dear to my personal story. By the time I was 21 years old I had entered complete adrenal fatigue due to a lack of boundaries in my work life. So, this has been and continues to be a journey of mine each day. There are many things that have helped me including: diet changes, physical training each day, and time away from work. The most powerful change, however, was implementing quiet time each morning. For the past few years I tend to get up at 4 or 4.30 am and spend the first couple hours of my day reading, writing, and in complete quiet. That hour or two each day requires me to set some massive boundaries around other areas of my life, however it has paid off tenfold. Most weeks I am in multiple cities and moving at a fast pace so I decided that in this season of life I would need to fight burnout each day, not each month or each year. Quiet time in the morning, coupled with changes to diet and daily exercise have helped me tremendously. I strongly recommend doing whatever you need to find at least 30–60 minutes a day of uninterrupted stillness and quiet. And do so consistently. Consistency is the ultimate enemy of anxiety.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

    The most influential business and personal leader in my life is my Mom. My Mom made a massive sacrifice early on in mine and my siblings lives to homeschool us. This was unconventional at the time and was a decision challenged by many. Today, when I think about how I “learned to learn”, homeschooling plays a part in every aspect of my business life. My mom taught us to be self-starters. There is so much power in the independence and confidence that began without me knowing it at three years old. Mom is an entrepreneur herself yet instead of putting pressure on any one of us to perform, she worked endlessly to provide an environment of creativity, discovery, and growth.

    One of my favorite stories happened this past year as we had the opportunity to travel back to London together, a city that we have been going to for the past 14 years. We began going each year to serve a non-profit while being homeschooled. During these trips Mom taught me not to be afraid of the unknown or to hesitate in asking directions, two skills I use everyday now. This year during our visit we were in London for another reason: visiting the suppliers of Nouri. An idea that was spurred out of asking directions and not fearing failure. It was a complete full-circle moment for us both, witnessing the fruit of her sacrifice over the past decades.

    What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish, both personally and professionally?

    I am continually challenged and inspired to increase human life. This is why working on consumer health has always sparked my curiosity. This year, I joined forces with the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper. This is a commitment that I have until the time that I am at least 33 years old. Our team will be working on the most important issues globally, including advancements in human health from all angles. Specific to my industry, I am currently focused on providing sustainable resources for daily commodities such as plastics and paper.

    What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy?

    I have never felt like I have “worked” a day in my life. I truly believe this is because each day I am doing what I am called to do. My work and my purpose here on earth are one and the same. A few years ago I learned that the root of the word “vocation” derives from the Latin “vocare” which means “to call”. Our work and our calling are the same, and the two together will build whatever legacy we leave. As long as I continue to live out of this calling and remain honest to what I am individually created to do, I feel that whatever I leave behind will point to something much greater than myself. That is my ultimate goal.

    You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!

    One of my greatest desires while on earth is to see human trafficking come to an end. Most people don’t know that the buying and selling of human beings is currently the fastest growing crime in the world. And this problem is rampant in the United States. This industry is currently generating over $150 billion dollars per year and less than 1% of victims are ever rescued.

    I am personally committed and inspired to work as diligently as I can to see an end to this. I would love to see industries created as solutions to the root economic causes of trafficking. For example, I would love to see products distributed by women who would otherwise be selling their bodies and their children into trafficking. I am inspired to create and support “win-win” solutions that increase lives wholistically. Each day we are exploring and working on what this will look like for Nouri in the US and beyond.

    How can our readers follow you on social media?

    You can follow along on our Nouri socials @dailynouri as well as my personal Instagram @caroline_beckman. And as always, feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback. My email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and our number is 917–900–8434. We would love to hear from you!

  • Five Science-Backed Strategies to Build Stress-Resilience
    09 July 2020

    Be Compassionate

    Compassion is a beautiful phenomenon that allows us to emotionally relate to other human beings with a desire to help.. Having self-compassion and compassion for others both can provide you with a cushion and a sense of balance, which will keep your relationship with yourself and others harmonious and productive.

    Researchers have found that practicing compassion makes the person exercising it becomes more resilient under stress; it lowers stress hormones in the blood; and strengthens the immune response.Psychologists Diener and Seligma suggest that connecting with others can bring about a healthy physical and mental state. Given that so much of our lives are spent at the workplace, then why not practice compassion with our own team first? The more compassionately we connect, the deeper our satisfaction, according to an article by Hallowell, a child and adult psychiatrist in the New York Times. You can become a better manager by strengthening your ability to express compassion. You can move from a stressful state of mind to a peaceful one.

    Cultivate Forgiveness

     How to deal with the baggage of the past? That’s where forgiveness becomes important. Forgiveness is just like dropping away a heavy metal of ball from your hands and walking forward with light heartedness! The simple formula is to let go… When we fail to forgive, we fail to work towards reconciliation. And we cultivate an atmosphere of blame, which cripples creativity. Or we become defensive, which hampers trust-building in the workplace.

    Let’s see it with this example: David, the project manager, missed the deadline to submit his work along with the team. He’d had some problems that took more time to resolve. When the CEO found out about the missed deadline, instead of blaming, she offered special assistance to David and explained how to resolve the problem. David was grateful for the CEO’s gesture and came away with a sense of togetherness with the company.

    When people work in a forgiving culture, they expand creativity, foster compassion, and build a sense of togetherness and team spirit. By the same token, when we forgive others, we free ourselves and move ahead with a clear conscience and without the weight of anger. Fred Luskin, in his Stanford Forgiveness Project, concluded that â€œForgiveness may prove effective in reducing anger as a coping strategy.”

    Practice Gratitude

    The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for what IS, is gratitude.

    A study published in Psychological Science reveals that expressing gratitude even when nothing big is underway can increase your well-being and help regulate stress, and even making little effort to express gratitude can have a meaningful effect on the recipient of your thanks. In fact, token of gratefulness blossoms your heart and their heart too. It’s an absolute two-way process and a win-win situation. Why not make gratitude a part of your daily life?

    There are lot of times when we might try to get it perfect and stop ourselves from expressing gratitude. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, it’s better to say it than saying nothing at all. Your simple words like, you’re amazing or you made my day, can elevate entire environment around you and can act like an easy-instant-mood-booster too. Our relationship with others is the greatest determinant of our happiness. So, it meaningful to think of people around us to build the gratitude. Your Happify activity of expressing gratitude may involve people or situations to be grateful for.

    According to a research study by psychologist Adam Grant and Francesca Gino, a thank you can go a long way. As a senior if you express thanks you can make your employees feel a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. The study also revealed that being thankful can create a ripple-effect of trust and cooperation among teams.

    Volunteer

    Volunteering doesn’t only help you in staying fit in terms of finding a mental engagement, but it also gives a deeper dense of purpose to life.  Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota. “It seems to run against the strong dynamics of self-interest. There is simply nothing in society that says that someone is mandated to help anyone else.” 

    Volunteering gives deeper satisfaction to life. It is also helpful in teaching valuable skills to thrive together. It not only boosts our self-esteem, but it also gives a bigger vision to understand the valuable aspect of being “selfless and helpful” to others. Though we volunteer thinking that we will make a positive difference to others life but if we introspect carefully, we will find that we make a huge-positive impact to our own consciousness first. I volunteer as a Facilitator for SKY Campus Happiness Program, while helping students transform, I have noticed deeper transformation in myself.

    Meditate and Breathe

    Science has proved that practicing meditation and certain breathing techniques nurtures both alertness and a relaxed state of mind. A growing number of studies show breathing techniques are effective for anxiety and insomnia. These techniques influence:

    1) Physiological (by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system) and;

    2) Psychological factors (by deflecting attention from thoughts).

    Practicing techniques for a relaxed and peaceful mind helps us achieve mental focus and heightened awareness. Meditation is the means through which you can strike a balance between activity and rest. If you decide to meditate even for ten minutes each day, accompanied by breathing practices, the meditation will start to calm your mind, discipline your brain and bring you joy. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, says, â€œThe secret lies in our own breath. Through breathing exercises, certain breathing techniques and some practice of meditation, we can rekindle positive vibrations within and around us.”

    I hope with those five ways to build stress resilience supported by science, you will achieve your professional and personal goals.

  • “Connection is key to engagement.” With Tyler Gallagher & Claudine Zachara
    09 July 2020

    Make time for company and team bonding. Establish recurring programs where your team or whole company break out of the day-to-day environment and get to know each other outside of corporate walls. This can be a philanthropic initiative or just an unexpected surprise outing that helps people spend time together doing something other than their work. Connection is key to engagement.

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Claudine Zachara.

    Claudine Zachara serves as President & Chief Operating Officer at ThinkWhy, where she is responsible for managing the organization. Her focus is driving the vision, values and culture for the company, setting direction for strategy, creating sound operational procedures, and delivering profitability. She brings 20 years of experience in commercial operations which includes serving as CMO and Senior Vice President of Revenue Operations for three prior SaaS organizations. Her experience includes leadership roles in private and public companies, board positions for non-profits and municipalities, building high-performance teams, and driving sustainable growth. She is an experienced speaker, having spoken at local forums on economic developments within those areas.

    Zachara earned her B.A. from Arizona State University, and her MBA and graduate certificates in marketing management and brand strategy from Colorado State University.

    This interview was originally done before the COVID-19 pandemic and updated in late June 2020 before publication to reflect the new realities caused by the pandemic.

    Thank you for joining us Claudine! What brought you to this specific career path?

    Perhaps it’s in my hard wiring that I’ve embraced new challenges in my career and possess a quest to learn and excel. Directly after receiving my bachelor’s degree, I earned a role as an account executive with a prestigious cosmetic company. It provided business exposures and responsibilities that few my age would have the fortune to receive. I owe that exposure to a woman who saw my potential and took a shot on my talent. Shortly after my start, I decided my purpose and “why” was to find and nurture talented individuals — “find the diamond and let them shine”, if you will. My “why” is to impact peoples’ career lives in a profoundly positive way, and in turn, inspire them to do the same. It’s not only good succession planning; it’s my life’s legacy!

    Ron Johnsey, ThinkWhy’s Founder and CEO, approached me in the summer of 2018 to help refine a business concept he was working on . . . I hesitated. I’d taken on challenges before, but this would be a whole new scale. It would require building a SaaS company from scratch, branding it, recruiting the leadership team, developing operational procedures, guiding all growth strategy, and the list goes on. After careful refection, I realized that building and leading the organization would allow me to realize my “why” on a much broader scale; allowing me to inspire others, teach leadership and smart business practices, and leave a legacy that would (hopefully) be magnified through the skills and efforts of others.

    Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

    Running a startup is a constant balance between strategic planning and managing curveballs that get thrown your way. There are many contenders for most interesting story, but in the year that I’ve been building and leading ThinkWhy, one specific positive story comes to mind.

    One Monday morning, our CTO informed me our product development would be delayed another 3 months. For a COO motivated by speed to market and concerned over escalating time and costs associated with our team of employees waiting “to launch”, my initial reaction was volcanic. After an evening of weighing options and looking for a better way to move forward, I pulled the launch team together and they created a better launch plan and rose to the challenge I had given them. The result? A more enhanced product, employee goal focus, and a lesson in one of our core values — adaptability!

    The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit ofempowering our readers, can you share with our readers a few of the work-related challenges you faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?

    The pandemic has forced everyone to adapt; this is especially true for businesses. The instant and constant change was initially a challenge — and staying connected with our people as we adapted to remote, virtual environments.

    We had to stay on top of state and local regulations so we could strategically plan and ensure continued productivity and great service to our clients. We have constantly monitored the evolving state of the labor market and the economic impact on businesses and jobs — to make sure we were informed and stayed adaptable to what was evolving. We are forecasting a significant economic recovery as restrictions are lifted and business re-open, but the situation will vary by metro and industry.

    And, most importantly, always making sure our team has the support they need and know their mental and physical health is our main priority.

    Frequent, open communication has been key to overcoming these challenges. Listening to our teams and ensuring they feel safe and are healthy has bridged into continued productivity and development of our product and organization. Our tech and data teams have ensured our LaborIQ application maintained top performance. We’ve continued to deliver the most current labor market and industry impact analysis. Early on, we made sure our employees took their laptops home each day so they would be able to work remotely, if ever needed. Throughout the pandemic, our sales and client success teams have maintained a high level of service, and we’ve enhanced our communication protocols even more.

    For me, I’ve learned to trust my instincts, as the right questions and pivot when necessary.

    Obviously, we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?

    The recovery will be uneven across location, industry, and occupation, so recovery will vary.

    Offer companies answers to their key pain points, and you’ll remain in business. This virus has changed the way entire industries function. Restaurants, retail, travel and entertainment have been restricted. Workers have been laid off and furloughed. Some businesses face uncertainty. Many people who worked in offices are now working from home. Parents have had to become teachers, some caregivers of their parents. We must be aware that decisions will not be made in the same way and there will be an evolving impact on consumer behavior.

    B2C companies that figure out how to make their product or service entertaining, essential, convenient at home — or add comfort — will strive. For B2B businesses, it is about helping an organization make or save money right now.

    As states and businesses continue to reopen, there’s a need for real-time information on the locations, industries and businesses that will recover fastest and which will maintain growth. Businesses need answers. Answers for rehiring. For where to best focus time, money and energy to grow their business. That’s what we know LaborIQ can deliver so we remain determined and optimistic about the opportunities ahead.

    Ok, lets jump to the main part of our interview. According to this study cited in Forbes, more than half of the US workforce is unhappy. Why do you think that number is so high?

    Managers and leaders should identify their employees’ strengths, be transparent and present employees with opportunities to find success and feel valued. Equally important is expecting the right outcomes for their performance and challenging them when they are not meeting expectations. Purpose can be ignited by the employer and their investment in personnel. And, purpose can and should be sustained by the success and accomplishments of the employee. In short, there needs to be a mutual fit in the key drivers that the organization and individual possess and it starts from doing the research during the interview process and ensuring the company’s values align with those of the individual. In just five years, 75% of the working population will be composed of Gen Y (Millennials) and Z. Boomers and Gen Xers should be adapting and quickly pivoting to the generational changes in order to create best outcomes for the greater good.

    Based on your experience or research, how do you think an unhappy workforce will impact a) company productivity b) company profitability c) and employee health and wellbeing?

    To achieve success, a company must create and maintain a motivated team of contributors and leaders. Transparency, collaboration, investment in upskilling, coaching and true leadership at the helm helps employees understand that their work is meaningful and valued. As a natural consequence, the cascading impact is that employee health and well-being is addressed through the same efforts. That is why ensuring ‘right people, right seat’ and hiring for culture and fit are an essential application for an employer. When your workforce is physically and mentally healthy, they motivate one another, and productivity and company traction is the cascading impact.

    Employees should want to contribute to the company’s mission, represent the company, and be excited about the work they do and the people they work beside. Happy employees want to work — and they tend to stay with organizations that share their vision and goals, helping create positive change and growth.

    Can you share 5 things that managers and executives should be doing to improve their company work culture? Can you give a personal story or example for each?

    1. Keep your office door open or remove doors altogether (open space culture). Leaders who are easily approachable, for a variety of reasons, break down barriers for their employees. The intimidation factor is a non-issue when employees interact with leadership daily because this builds a productive relationship and loyalty.
    2. Keep employee engagement in focus — always. Understand what keeps your teams engaged — is it a mid-day break, or a new challenge? Find the balance between work and play and provide “A” talent with opportunities to take the ball and run.
    3. Conduct periodic organizational culture audits. Talk to your employees. Survey them on what their expectations are of a good workplace culture; what would make them appreciate it more; where the company can improve; invest in events that create engagement, collaboration, and the trust necessary for honest feedback. Take steps to address the feedback with staff and in policies or programs. Have quarterly “state of the company” meetings so that employees are part of the process and know that they have been heard and understood.
    4. Make time for company and team bonding. Establish recurring programs where your team or whole company break out of the day-to-day environment and get to know each other better. Even in a virtual environment, team members can do happy hours, icebreakers and group activities. Connection is key to engagement.

    It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but it seems like we have to “change the culture regarding work culture”. What can we do as a society to make a broader change in the US workforce’s work culture?

    Change is always tough. Whether it be in your career, personal life or within your organization. Something about it makes people uncomfortable — but how would we grow and stay curious without experiencing “discomfort”? A good friend of mine, Keith Walters, often says “Comfort is over-rated.” Change can be especially difficult for corporate organizations that are seeking to be more adaptive and innovative.

    Change needs to happen at an individual and systemic level in order to shift workplace culture. First, business leaders need to recognize the need for change and lead by example. They must become the leaders who collaborate and understand their workforce, their needs and their wants; empathize with them and show curiosity for their ideas to foster trust; and demonstrate optimism, transparency and honesty on a daily basis.

    And, business leaders must ensure that their company’s approach to hiring and business planning is aligned with modern values and today’s labor market drivers. To do this, they need tools that shed insight on what the market demands — only then can companies make sure they are finding the right talent and compensating them in a way that supports retention. Hiring the right people for the right seat is a win-win — engaged employees equals a thriving company!

    How would you describe your leadership or management style? Can you give us a few examples?

    At ThinkWhy, all of our leaders and managers have a workstyle that is complementary. We all roll up our sleeves and do what it takes to remove roadblocks and create traction. No job is too small, and no one ever utters “that’s not my job”. The example is set by our CEO, Ron Johnsey, who casually empties the dishwasher at 6:40am. It profiles a hands-on workplace where no job is off-limits. Similarly, I am a hands-on type of leader and encourage my team not to be afraid to tackle any task at hand (or at least address it). How will you know you can’t do it until you try, right? We tackle issues with transparency and openly embrace conflict. It’s all done in a productive, professional way. This provides a foundation of trust, which leads to respect among colleagues. This approach requires discipline and regular meeting cadence.

    While leadership styles can change over time with experience and wisdom, it is one’s grit that stays the same. Being a “doer” allows me to strengthen the collective vision in our organization, and make sure everyone is on the same page and up to speed. To achieve this vision, I surround myself with people who demonstrate passion, determination, adaptability, accountability and are caring. It then becomes easier to have a pulse on where things stand within our company and to ensure we are all rowing in the same direction — up!

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

    There have been several great experiences, responsibilities and learning opportunities on the way to where I am today. However, I work with one person who not only saw my capabilities as a leader, but also trusted putting his company in my hands! Ron Johnsey’s faith and trust inspires and motivates me every day. He has no bias in the gender debate and sees only passion and skill. We do not agree 100% of the time, but we always come together with the right solution for the organization. His style of leadership has inspired me, from our days at a previous company, and now at ThinkWhy. He trusts that I will do the right things to lead ThinkWhy, and I confer with him routinely regarding alignment and strategy. We make a great team.

    I will never take for granted that I get to realize “my why” every day because of Ron’s faith and trust in me. No matter how challenging the week or month may be, I live my purpose and passion daily which is the most satisfying sense of fulfillment a person can have in her career life!

    How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

    A valuable, worthy question. My first reaction is to respond, “I have not done enough — yet!” I am a work in progress and continually evolving as an individual. Depending on the road(s) in life you choose, everyone’s path and journey is different. I’ve chosen my “why” to be about exposing career opportunities and challenges to people who demonstrate the same type of drive and determination that I possessed at a young age, regardless of experience. Those opportunities change lives for the individual and their families, and of course, cascades through to the community.

    Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

    “I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path and I will leave a trail.”
    — Muriel Strode

    My friends and family would tell you that I’ve never been a follower. Even as a child growing up in Hawaii, my parents enrolled me in hula lessons, and the class would go one way, and I would go the opposite! I hope my life’s journey is always defined in this way, as I seek to carve out my own path and find new and better ways of doing things. And, I hope that my style inspires others to trust themselves and go for it! Never forget to thank those who helped you along your path of leadership!

    You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

    Pay every single woman on this planet equal to men for the same jobs. Give women no special accommodations, just equal pay. Watch what happens to the well-being of humanity and civilizations. I believe that more children will be fed and educated, and generations will be uplifted. Let’s envision a future world, say 10 years from now, with no special accommodations or forced hiring methods. We simply hire the most qualified person(s) for the role, pay them equally for that role, and provide them with organizational cultures that build trust and career equality. At the end of those 10 years, I believe issues around high school dropout rates, homelessness, hunger, college affordability and enrollment and student debt will be significantly improved. The cascading positive impacts will be felt in all areas of society.

    And, imagine being able to soundly sleep at night knowing you’ve done your part to create positive change in humanity and leave a legacy that cannot be measured!

  • “Why you should work together.” With Tyler Gallagher and Pam Wolf
    09 July 2020

    My advice is to work together. Collaboration and interaction among like-minded professionals can be the key to finding new and interesting ways to go about doing business. It sparks new ways of thinking and allows for sharing of ideas.

    As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pam Wolf, owner of The Parlor NYC..

    Pam Wolf is a serial entrepreneur and retail real estate expert with a keen interest in the beauty and wellness industry. Seeing how this move allowed them to run their own business, but avoid the hassles of dealing with operational matters such as real estate, maintenance and office staffing, Pam saw an opportunity to use her retail real estate and entrepreneurial skills to take the already existing business model to a whole new level with The Parlor NYC. In 2001, Pam founded the NY Kids Club, a children’s private enrichment and preschool with almost 20 US locations and 110 in China. As CEO, she disrupted the children’s education market by combining enrichment classes, preschool, camps and events in one convenient location predominantly in ground floor class A real estate. Pam sold the NY Kids Club in 2016 to a prominent private equity firm and now chairs the board. She leads all real estate acquisitions, with over 50 lease negotiations to her credit. Beyond NY Kids Club, Pam founded a prestigious pharmaceutical recruitment agency, representing top firms and clients. Prior to the agency, she founded and operated two antique and collectible fairs in Soho and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

    Pam’s “pay it forward” approach to life can been seen in her ongoing personal and professional mentorship programs. She resides in Manhattan with her husband and four children.

    Thank you so much for doing this with us Pam! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

    Asa serial entrepreneur and real estate disruptor, I have had a track record of successful New York Based businesses which have been directly inspired by my life and my children. I had a recruitment firm and left work in 1991 to have my first daughter, Jessica. I had my second child, Jared, 15 months later and two more children after that. I never got around to going back to work — at least not for anyone else.

    While I enjoyed being a parent, my entrepreneurial passion was alive and well. I found myself looking for a new outlet for expression that would allow me to keep my children close. In 2001, I came up with the idea for the New York Kids Club, an enrichment center with a preschool and a variety of classes under one roof. Over the next 15 years, the business thrived and changed parents’ and children’s lives. After I sold the company, I was looking for something new.

    Again, it was my personal life that was the impetus for The Parlor NYC, the luxury full-service collaborative space for a curated membership of beauty and wellness experts. I was constantly scheduling, carving out time for, and rushing to and from beauty and wellness appointments. My favorite hair stylist, manicurist, acupuncturist, and nutritionist were all located in different neighborhoods around the city. I knew that having one destination for all of my wellness needs would maximize my time and productivity, and thus came The Parlor NYC.

    Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

    When I started in business, it was not about working together to achieve a goal but getting the upper hand. The world of business has changed and the mission is now to build a community where everyone wins. That is happening with The Parlor NYC. The ‘members’ are taking a leap of faith and the result is that we share the best practices. It is less about complication and more about amplification and sharing.

    Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

    There have been many mistakes along the way, but I learned a long time ago that you have to find humor in even the most challenging of circumstances. When I get the call that a pipe has burst in the dead of winter, flooding a location in the middle of the night, I’ve trained myself to first think, “Alright, should we add indoor ice skating?”

    What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

    What makes The Parlor NYC stand out is that re-imagines the workspace for industry leaders and entrepreneurs, building an artfully designed, singular club to encourage the sharing of talent, service, knowledge and ideas. From a business perspective, The Parlor NYC offers the unique opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs to have a business of their own Manhattan. I wanted to change the traditional beauty and wellness service model by creating an artfully designed luxury space that is perfect for service professionals seeking to grow their businesses. I recognized a boom in the wellness economy and the slowing of traditional retail, which confirmed my thought that The Parlor NYC would be an attractive tenant to landlords worried about the ‘Amazon effect. The Parlor NYC is where wellness entrepreneurs will work for themselves but not by themselves. It allows them to create a community that stimulates cross-sales for maximum profit per square foot, a collaborative space for the wellness and beauty communities to commune and thrive.

    Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

    The Parlor NYC, which will open first quarter 2020, promises to help entrepreneurs by taking away the problems that arise when opening a brick and mortar business in New York City. The practitioners, which we call ‘members,’ will have the chance to open and operate their own business without worrying about all the administrative and operational issues that most independent owners face. They will have access to shared concierge services, shared cleaning services, shared relaxation rooms, and shared publicity opportunities. The Parlor NYC will offer a flexible workspace concept that supports beauty and wellness experts and their clients and offers professionally appointed rental suites, as opposed to dedicated storefronts.

    What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

    My advice is to work together. Collaboration and interaction among like-minded professionals can be the key to finding new and interesting ways to go about doing business. It sparks new ways of thinking and allows for sharing of ideas.

    What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

    You don’t have to go it alone; you have a team you can work with to maximize your success. There is a team of ‘members’ at The Parlor NYC, leading stylists, aestheticians, doctors and health and wellness professionals and each has a different skill, something unique to bring to the business. By working together with my team, it will maximize the overall success of the business.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

    When I started NY Kids Club, I didn’t know what classes to offer and after I opened, I realized that I didn’t understand curriculum. A friend, who specialized in gymnastic programing jumped in and worked 10 hours a week for an entire year to help me get things on track. He helped write the curriculum and had a “pay it forward” mentality/ He didn’t ask for any compensation from me despite me bringing it up multiple times. Since that day, I too have taken a “pay it forward” approach and spend 20 hours a month mentoring others.

    How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

    Over the years I have worked to change people’s lives and mentoring has always been an integral part of my mission. It is a gift that benefits both parties and has always been a passion of mine. Success has allowed me to help others reach their potential, whether it be the children at New York Kids Club or the entrepreneurs at The Parlor NYC. Creating the perfect environment to help others thrive is my way of bringing goodness into lives, which hopefully spills over to the world.

    What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

    1.Focus on achieving work-life flow, rather than balance. I’ve learned through the years that you’ll be much happier and much more effective.

    2. Pay attention to the small things, the rest will fall into place.

    3. Don’t compare yourself to others, being different is cool.

    4. Children are like chips, you can’t eat just one. I have four children who have changed my life in so many ways.

    5. When you think you’re done, think again. I have had numerous careers, each has been fulfilling and I’m proud of my accomplishments in business and in life. But there is always something new on the horizon.

    You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

    The movement I’m trying to inspire, with The Parlor NYC and in life, is the movement of collaboration and the sharing of ideas.

    Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

    The biggest challenge is remembering that health, happiness, and charity must begin at home. It is easy to put everyone and everything first — side-lining your own personal well-being along the way. You have to take care of yourself before you can be good for anyone else. That’s not selfish — it’s smart.

    We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them

    I’m a huge fan of Katie Couric — I’ve followed her through her ups and downs both in her career and her personal life. I’m inspired by her ability to navigate the hard times, her total devotion to her children and the facts that she’s such a strong woman.

    How can people follow you on social media

    https://www.instagram.com/wearetheparlor/?hl=en

    @wearetheparlor

    Website: www.theparlornyc.com

Life Blogs

09 July 2020

Life Blogs
  • This Morning Exercise Routine Will Change Your Day
    09 July 2020
    This Morning Exercise Routine Will Change Your Day
    There are no secrets to leading a full and healthy life. As long as we try to eat a healthy and balanced diet, complemented by regular physical activity, it is enough to avoid many health problems in the future and live a healthy life. Exercises are very necessary for good health. So, we need to start physical exercising regularly in the morning or evening and also control our eating habits.

    And since we are talking about exercises, there are very good reasons for you to consider starting your days with a daily routine. Benefits that will not only be reflected in your physical state, but also emotionally. Regular exercise will also help you lose weight if you have any weight loss plans.

    The importance of starting the day with an exercise routine can be summed up in one essential word: oxygen. Carrying out physical activities at the beginning of the day will guarantee greater oxygen to your brain, which will give you enormous doses of lucidity throughout the day.

    Many times, we are victims of day to day. Work schedules and commitments make us skip our exercise routine if we have it in the afternoon or evening. Establishing a daily rhythm in the morning will ensure that you do not miss the opportunity to exercise, and fortunately, over time, physical activity will end up becoming a necessity to be full of energy during the day. Morning workout routine will also help in boosting your metabolism which makes you feel good the whole day.

    In the morning or evening?
    Workout

    There is a lot of controversy between what is the best time to exercise, and the answer that best fits reality is: it depends. It depends on what your goals are and how you exercise. Also, it's up to you that you want to be a morning person or want to be night owls.

    The advantages of a morning exercise routine lie in the correct oxygen of the brain, the speed of metabolism, the secretion of endorphins, among others. However, one factor to consider is low body temperature in the morning. 

    This can lead to muscle injuries, as well as decreased performance when exercising. However, performing the routine correctly, having full knowledge of our capabilities and limitations, will help minimize any risk of injury. 

    On the other hand, at night the body temperature is in optimal conditions, as well as our hormonal levels, which, in theory, helps to repower our exercises.

    Routine to start with energy

    If you do not have much experience, or you stopped exercising for a long time, it is recommended to start with a moderate routine. Any excess effort will lead to injury and, therefore, not being able to train regularly due to recovery times.

    1. Stretch: When you get up, stretch your arms pointing towards the sky and bend your back until you touch the balls of your feet. Perform ten repetitions focusing on your breathing. Take a deep breath as you sit up and exhale as you lower your arms.
    2. Waist rotation: The second exercise consists of rotating the waist from one side to the other. With your feet planted at shoulder height, rotate your hip clockwise and counter clockwise. Ten repetitions per side will be more than enough.
    3. Arm circles: To release tension from the arms, shoulders, and back, make wide arm circles. Ten forward and ten backward.
    4. Squats: Finally, do squats. This is the most intense exercise in the series, but it is undoubtedly one of the most beneficial since it acts on large muscle groups, so caloric expenditure will be higher.

    This routine is a great alternative for beginners or elderly people.

    Morning Exercise
    Routine for greater strength

    If your physical capacity is greater, you can do the following routine, or better yet, combine both.

    1. Arms and pecs: 20 plates or push-ups to strengthen arms and pecs.
    2. Sit- ups: 20 sit-ups. You can help yourself with a stick to make sure you do the exercise correctly.
    3. Thighs: 20 seconds sitting against the wall. This exercise will strengthen your thighs giving you great resistance over time.
    4. Triceps: 20 triceps dives. On your back, rest your hands on a chair and flex your arms.
    Morning Workout

    You can repeat this routine between 2 and 4 times a day, depending on your level of conditioning. Do not forget to consume a light breakfast before starting your activities. A piece of fruit or a low-fat dairy accompanied by toast and fresh cheese will help you provide that extra energy you need to enjoy your day to the fullest. 

    It is essential to include exercise into your daily routine. Many people choose to exercise in the morning and this is popular for a reason.

    Doing morning exercise boost your energy throughout the day. It also keeps you from getting pulled into a long meeting, having to forgo after work plans or making other excuses to not exercise after work. You don't need to go to the gym every day to exercise and stay fit.

    There are many ways to work physical activity into your time at the office also. Going for a short walk during your break or standing up and stretching at your desk will increase your daily exercise, which has been shown to increase your productivity over the course of the day. 

    Plan Ahead

    The best time to plan your morning workout is not when your alarm goes off in the morning. If you want to make exercise a regular part of your morning routine, you need to plan ahead.

    "You should know: What is my plan? How many days of the week am I going to be active? "

    "Am I going to do resistance exercise daily? If so, how am I going to split up my body parts?"

    "Am I going to walk every single morning, and if so, how many steps and how do I build on that?"

    Make it as easy as possible to get up and go. If you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to exercise in the morning, the less likely it is that you'll actually get up and workout. So, if you want to increase the likelihood of working out in the morning, you need to make it as easy as possible to get up and get moving.

    Stay Healthy, Stay Fit.
  • Rowing Against the Grace of God
    09 July 2020

    Just your average, run-of-the-mill spiritual experience, right? Well, there’s more to the story, and it really comes to life for us when we come to terms with how Jesus himself interprets it, as well as when we understand there are layers to stories like this, not just one point. In fact, it’s helpful (even necessary), especially with biblical narrative, to read it as though it has a “divine” and “human” side to it, in the same way that Jesus himself, the Word in flesh, is both divine and human. In this way, Jonah is both a picture of us and a picture of Christ at the same time. Sprinkle on top some law/grace contrasts and I think you have a well-rounded theological “take” on Jonah 1 that doesn’t just leave us with an overly simplified moralistic lesson, but shows forth the entire story of redemption in one fell swoop.

    Commands lead to disobedience

    The story begins with shockingly quick, almost instinctual disobedience. God called Jonah to go prophesy against the city of Nineveh. But then,immediately in verse 3, he fled in the opposite direction and set out to sea, away from the presence of the Lord. But God pursued him and “hurled a great wind upon the sea so that the ship threatened to break apart.”

    Alright. Lesson #1: Jonah is not unique. He is just one more person in a long line of stubborn human beings like us to run the opposite direction when God gives a command. Patterns underscore significant truths in the Bible and this is a big one to see. When God gives commandments or laws, people immediately disobey. In Genesis 3 when God says, “Don’t eat the fruit of this one tree,” a few verses later Adam and Eve are sinking their teeth into it, like they can’t help themselves. In Exodus 20 when God gives the ten commandments to Moses, soon thereafter the people are already breaking them by throwing the world’s first frat party, fashioning a golden calf, and bowing down to the works of their hands. Even in the New Testament after Jesus clearly commands the healed leper not to tell anyone about the healing, he immediately tells everyone anyway. The point being: the Bible wants us to see that commands lead to disobedience. When the law comes in, it incites, exposes, and provokes. We simply cannot keep the standard; even worse, most times we don’t even want to. So, another solution is needed altogether, and in Jonah’s case, it looks like God pursuing him mercifully, in spite of his blatant disobedience — the storm not being punishment per se, but an expression of God interrupting his flight with loving force.

    The futility of rowing

    The crew in Jonah’s boat teaches us the same thing. After the storm picks up in intensity, Jonah realizes that he’s the reason for the storm, and offers a surprising solution: â€œThrow me into the sea and the storm will quiet down for you.” But, what did they do? They rowed hard against the waves to try to get back to land themselves. But the harder they rowed, the worse the storm got. So, at wit’s end, they threw Jonah into the sea and the storm immediately stopped.

    Note first that the men disobeyed Jonah here, like Jonah disobeyed God. Commandments, again, led to stubborn disobedience. But the bigger thing to see is the contrast between the works of the hands of the crew and the “work” of Jonah’s death. The more we try to rescue ourselves by rowing out of our own storms of sin, the worse things get. Like those building the tower of Babel, the more “good” we do (or think we do) the farther from God we find ourselves. The only solution is the grace of God, seen here in the throwing of Jonah overboard, which — according to Jesus — is a forerunning picture of his own death. In Matthew 12:40 Jesus says, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Note how Jesus helps us connect the stories here: in both cases a prophet who is known for falling asleep on boats during storms is killed (willingly!) to save others from “perishing” (Jonah 1:14, John 3:16), but also saves them from their futile efforts to save themselves.

    There are many ways this “rowing against the grace of God” can look in our lives — and I mean for Christians, not just people who have yet to believe — whether it be our feeble attempts at keeping God’s perfect laws themselves, thinking we are something when we are nothing, beating the drum of “if you put your mind to it, you can do anything,” or looking down on others for not living up to your “level” of Christian spirituality.

    Put down your oars!

    But the good news of Jonah 1 is: put down your oars, put down your swords, and look to God, a God who saves not by demanding but by dying.

    He has sent his son from heaven to be thrown into the storm of sin and the belly of death for you. He has taken the brunt on the cross and replaced — with his body — our failed attempts at “rowing” the commandments, like the glorious New Testament replaces and fulfills the failures of the old system, so that we can yet again come to see and savor the fact that sinners like us are saved by Jesus’s spilt blood, not by our works.

    And in the end, though the law drives a wedge and makes the storm worse, it’s God’s grace alone that softens our hearts. It interrupts our selfishness, and gives us the right motivation to love, because we can only love rightly after we’ve come to the end of ourselves and have realized that we’ve first been loved by God to the uttermost, to the belly of the beast, to hell and back, undeservedly.

    Chris Wachter also blogs at nowyouarespeakingclearly.com

    The post Rowing Against the Grace of God appeared first on Key Life.

  • LPT: You can get persistent nuisance callers (like collections people) to stop calling you by calling them. A lot.
    09 July 2020

    Once upon a time I had a collections agency turned on me for a false claim based on a closed account... Having unsuccessfully tried repeatedly to resolve the issue with both the original company and the collections agency... I stopped talking to them.

    This resulted in a ratcheting up of harassment whereby the collection agent started calling my family, and eventually my work. Because i had originally tried in good faith to resolve the issue, I found this inexcusable. After the third day in a row where the new agent repeatedly called me at work leaving her extension on my voicemail about an "urgent business matter"if I didn't pick up, (i was external tech support at a company that manufactured proprietary data logging weather recording instruments), I'd had enough. Each time I had picked up I'd refused to identify myself, promptly told her not to call me anymore, and then hung up on her. She'd ignored that and persisted. On my way home, it came to me...

    Every day for the next week, whenever I wasn't on a call, I'd call her...say "stop calling me" when she answered, and then hang up. After the fifth or sixth time, she started sending me straight to voicemail. You get 2 minutes...use your 2 minutes. Occasionally I read her articles from the newspaper, but mostly I just opined about what a terrible life she must've lived to wind up doing such scumbaggery for a living. My goal was 30 messages a day, and to tie up her phone as much as possible, because you always have to listen to the first few seconds of a message before you can safely delete it. (I also practiced accents and voices for fun.)

    Within a few days, no more calls. But I finished out the week, just for good measure.

    TL:DR Using collection agent phone harassment tactics against collection agents can be a fun way to get them to stop harassing you.

    submitted by /u/Vtwookie
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  • Arches of Mexico
    09 July 2020
  • Freedom and the Fourth | Steve Brown, Etc.
    09 July 2020

    It’s the Fourth of July Weekend – Independence Day! But is independence what we REALLY want? This week, the Etcetera gang (sans Steve) hangs out to talk about freedom, our favorite 4th traditions, and what the holiday means this year in light of everything happening in our world.

    The post Freedom and the Fourth | Steve Brown, Etc. appeared first on Key Life.

  • LPT If your arm or leg falls asleep, rolling or rocking your neck side to side can help quickly stop that pins and needle feeling.
    09 July 2020
  • Stress from an Expert | Key Takeaways
    09 July 2020
  • LPT: Drink water after sips of coffee to reduce dehydration, coffee breath, and teeth staining.
    09 July 2020
  • A Nation of Scientists
    09 July 2020

    At the same time, you’re not passive, either. I don’t start off with “If I drop an uncooked egg on the kitchen floor, will it make a big mess?”  No, I say “​I believe dropping an uncooked egg on the kitchen floor WILL result in a mess.”  ​ And then, I set about to prove or disprove my hypothesis. 

    If my prediction was correct, I win.  If my prediction was wrong, ​I still win.

    The prize isn’t self-aggrandizement, it’s learning.

    In short, the scientific process enables you to move forward boldly and yet, counterintuitively, there’s an element of humility baked into the thing.

    It was Alexis De Tocqueville who first likened America to a great ‘experiment’ and I’d be hard pressed to think of a better metaphor.

    We’ve moved forward boldly in testing our original hypothesis, that all human beings (not just those born into nobility) have been given freedom by God Himself and that governments should be formed to protect that freedom.  And in testing this idea of self-determination, our country has established a greater degree of liberty and broad prosperity for the average person than any other country in history.

    But we’ve also had some missteps.  No, not ‘missteps’ – mistakes.  We’ve made some tragic and unconscionable mistakes along the way.  Mistakes that, ironically, denied some the very freedom that we had enshrined.

    All of this leading up to today as we celebrate the founding of that uniquely free country.  But how can we truly celebrate without addressing the elephant / donkey in the room?  

    Our sinful nature (and I mean all of us) has been putting its graffiti all over everything.  And while this has always been true, 2020 has been a banner year…

    This group of people is using their second amendment rights in legal, but deliberately provocative ways. 

    That group of people is using the pretext of protests to grab a new TV.  

    This group is blaming everything on that group.  

    And that group is shaking their self-righteous heads in judgement while all of this goes down.

    It’s a lot to take in and I find myself unable to make sense of much of it.

    I find myself looking for some simple, small thing I can use as a compass as we navigate this new landscape.  How about this:

    “…he has told you what he wants, and this is all it is: to be fair, just, merciful, and to walk humbly with your God.”  (Micah 6:8)

    With this in mind, I can move forward in confidence – in boldness.  

    In regard to my fellow man and woman, I can deal fairly, justly, mercifully.  Am I passive, not having any kind of hypothesis about what God wants?  No, I do know what He wants.  But that said, it’s not about me being right, so I don’t have to hesitate when I’m shown to be wrong.

    We’ve all made a mess – and we’ll make more – because this experiment is never finished; there is never a final arrival at some utopia.  Rather, as we see our mistakes, we keep testing to help us broaden the freedom and prosperity for the common good of all.  It’s these ongoing learnings that propel the experiment forward.  

    And so…

    Let’s keep experimenting boldly.

    Let’s keep learning joyfully.

    Let’s keep walking humbly. 

    Happy Fourth of July.

    Read more from Matthew here

    The post A Nation of Scientists appeared first on Key Life.

  • LPT- You only have to be in line before the polls close in order to vote
    09 July 2020

    You don't have to cast your vote before the polls close. As long as you're in line, you're legally allowed to vote.

    submitted by /u/bloggadocious
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Happiness Blog

09 July 2020

Happiness Blog
  • Positive Psychology Takes a New Look at Happiness
    09 July 2020

    via Psychology Today by Susan Krauss Whitbourne

    The emphasis inpositive psychology has, since its inception, focused on happiness as the key feature of well-being. The most widely-used survey studies of well-being typically ask participants to rate their current, momentary, happiness on a scale of 1 to 10. Using these results, entire countries base their policy decisions on how happy their citizens say they are.

    Ask yourself how you would rate your happiness, this very moment, on that 1 to 10 scale. As you do so, what becomes the basis for your response? Did something good just happen to you? Were you scanning your social media feeds and a friend just posted a funny video? On the other hand, have you just learned some disturbing personal news? Did a friend fall ill to the coronavirus? Or were you scanning social media and learned that a favorite celebrity passed away? You may therefore be providing two very different happiness ratings depending on the chain of events to which you were recently exposed.

    This idea of rating how happy you are as the key factor to examine in positive psychology, as you can see, has some inherent messiness. According to a new paper by GUI Galway’s Michael J. Hogan (2020), that type of positive psychology is version 1.0, or PP1.0. Advocated by University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman, for example, PP1.0 “pointed to simple happiness solutions” as “a stark contrast with dystopian worldviews.” In other words, positive psychology in its initial approach stood as an antidote to what you might call “negative psychology,” or an emphasis on psychopathology rather than psychological health.

    Now, returning to your own happiness rating, the assumption of PP1.0 is that you’re marking your score based on how good you are feeling at the moment. However, the new version of positive psychology, or PP2.0, emphasizes that a more useful measure of well-being takes into account more than just your fleeting happiness. As Hogan observes, PP2.0 rests on the four pillars of virtue, meaning, resilience, and well-being rather than on the single criterion of happiness. You may not be “happy” right now, but you can still feel your life has meaning and that you have the inner strength to cope with the challenges that come your way.

    To address this disconnect between happiness and deeper levels of satisfaction, Hogan proposes a model that characterizes people as falling into one of four well-being types. One group tries to optimize their positive emotions while also denying the reality of some of their negative experiences. A second feels unhappy because they see the complexity of the world around them but fail to sustain their own positive affect. The third group, most at risk of poor psychological health, includes people who have a negative view of themselves and the world. Finally, those in the fourth group maintain high levels of positive affect while, at the same time, allowing themselves to empathize with the problems in the world around them…

    … keep reading the full & original article HERE

    #happiness #happy #psychology #positivepsychology

  • Finding Purpose in Life Can Boost Your Health
    09 July 2020

    via Medium by Marta Zaraska

    A group of elderly Japanese women sits around a long table, its surface covered with sheets of paper and stacks of pressed flowers. The atmosphere is cheerful, full of friendly banter. An energetic 84-year-old, Michiko, shuffles through the supplies, picking up petals, then carefully arranges them into an artful composition. She likes coming here, to this senior center in one of Tokyo’s many suburbs, and does so on a regular basis — with flower arrangement class being one of the top attractions. She says that the hobby and resulting friendships provide her withikigai, a reason for living. As such, it may be at least in part responsible for Michiko’s enviable health and vitality.

    Ikigai is a word you hear a lot in Japan. People will readily tell you that “my children are my ikigai,” “my work is my ikigai,” or “volunteering for my neighborhood is my ikigai.” The word does not translate easily into English, but roughly it means “the reason to be living.” The top dictionary in Japan defines ikigai as “joy and a sense of well-being from being alive” and “realizing the value of being alive.” No matter the exact definition, however, many Japanese people believe that a culture of cultivating ikigai is one of the reasons for the population’s longevity. With an average Japanese person outliving an average American by over half a decade, there may be some important lessons to be learned here.

    Research certainly supports the notion that ikigai can boost health and add years to our lives. One particularly large study that followed over 70,000 Japanese people for about 12 years found that those who said they had ikigai had a 26% lower risk of death for men and 33% for women — that’s comparable to the effects of following the famed Mediterranean diet. Having ikigai also translates into a lower risk for strokes, and less cardiovascular disease. Although Western scientists find it challenging to study ikigai directly, since the idea is not easily translatable from one culture to the other, a very close concept — that of having a calling or purpose in life — has been well examined in the U.S. and across Europe. And the findings are also very encouraging, health-wise.

    People with purpose in life sleep better and have more gray matter in their brain’s insula, lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and less of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva. They even walk faster and have a stronger hand grip â€” both signs of good health. What’s more, finding meaning also lowers the risk for cognitive impairment â€” even in the face of Alzheimer’s disease. If a 90-year-old with a clear purpose in life develops Alzheimer’s disease, they are likely to keep functioning relatively well despite very real pathological changes in the brain.

    The impacts of finding meaning in life, or ikigai, on health and longevity are so pronounced, in fact, that the Japanese ministry of health has included ikigai into their health promotion strategy…

    … keep reading the full & original article HERE

    #happiness #happy #meaning #purpose #psychology #positivepsychology #ikigai

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  • Steenbok: deze zomer vind jij een nieuwe bron van veerkracht
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    Het is tijd, Steenbok, om je niet te veel te laten meeslepen.

    Met Mars in de zone van huis en familiezaken kun je het gevoel hebben dat je moet vechten voor je thuisbasis, voor de mensen die je dierbaar zijn. Dat kan in juli beginnen als er irritaties optreden met buren. Vanwege lawaai of een barbecue in de tuin bijvoorbeeld. De aanleiding is klein en onbeduidend, maar je kunt erg overtrokken reageren. Dat heeft te maken met een dieper gevoel dat je een dreiging voelt door wat er in de wereld gebeurt. En je wilt je familie en je veilige plek daar tegen beschermen.

    Meebewegen met het leven

    Maar het kan gebeuren dat je een beetje doorslaat. Dat je gevaren en bedreigingen ziet die helemaal niet zo groot zijn als ze lijken. Het is belangrijk om nuchter te blijven en je niet te veel mee te laten slepen in grote en kleine strijd. Verderop in de zomer, kan dit gevoel van onveiligheid toenemen en kun je er niet langer omheen: dit gaat niet over de wereld, dit gaat over jou. Het is tijd om te accepteren dat het leven risico’s met zich meebrengt en dat jij je niet overal tegen kunt beschermen. Als je dat beseft, kun je een nieuwe bron van veerkracht aanboren.

    Ben je een ander sterrenbeeld? Lees jouw zomerhoroscoop van 2020 hier.

    Meer Happinez?

    Het bericht Steenbok: deze zomer vind jij een nieuwe bron van veerkracht verscheen eerst op Happinez.

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    08 July 2020
    When you define milestones for yourself, you build a ladder to your goals. The more rungs you add, the easier the climb. Taking those steps can be challenging. But for those who haven’t done it before, the tougher challenge actually comes first: carving out the steps. What do appropriate milestones look like, and how are they placed? Let’s start with a definition. What Are Milestones? According to Merriam-Webster, “milestone” has two definitions.((Merriam-Webster: Milestone)) The first is literal: a rock used as a milepost. The second, “a significant point in development,” is what most people refer to when they talk about making progress toward a goal. “A significant point” is what you make of it—if you’re learning to cook, making eggs over easy without breaking the yolks may be significant to you. If you’re a professional chef, making eggs might not even count as a warm-up. How do you decide what’s significant? By looking at your larger goal. To the professional chef, the goal might be to master the full English breakfast so it can be added to the menu. The amateur may simply want to cook himself a quick meal before work. That’s what makes setting milestones so tricky—you need to understand your start and endpoints to know which markers to set in the middle. And on top of that, you have to plot them on a timeline, stay motivated, track your progress, and learn from your mistakes. How to Define Milestones for Yourself Defining milestones for yourself can be a tall order. Here are ways you can do it. 1. Define Your Endpoint What do you actually want to accomplish? Is it securing a job in your field? Boosting your grade point average above 3.0? Remember, goals come in many colors. They might be personal, financial, professional, social, emotional, or spiritual. There’s no “wrong” goal, just as long as you know your “why”and are committed to it. 2. Start Where You Are To set milestones, it’s not enough to know where you want to end up—just as important is where you’re at now. Looking at yourself objectively is tough. Think about it, and ask others for a gut check. If you’re not sure how your basketball skills stack up to people who eventually go pro, ask a trusted coach or teammate for their opinion. 3. Be ‘SMART’ About it Once you know where you stand and where you want to be, you’re ready to plot some waypoints for yourself. Define milestones just as you do your big-picture goals—with the “SMART” system. Milestones should be: Specific To be meaningful, milestones need to be carved out precisely. If you’re trying to get fit, what does that mean to you? Would you like to lose a certain amount of weight? Build muscle? Overhaul your diet? All of these might be milestones toward your goal. Again, if you aren’t sure, ask a professional. When I decided to get healthy for my kids, I knew I wasn’t aiming to be an Olympian. For some “normal dude” coaching, I reached out to a friend at IVRY Fitness.((IVRY Fitness: How it Works)) He helped me truly understand what specifically I needed to be my best self. I always tried to just jump on the Whole30 bandwagon or whatever was the hottest fitness goal at the time. He helped me understand that to achieve sustainability in your goals, they need to be targeted for you. Measurable To stay on track in my fitness regimen, my checkpoints had to be measurable. In some cases, this was a simple “yes or no”. One of my milestones, for example, was eating a real lunch every day. In other cases, my milestones were numeric in nature. For the cardiovascular component, I set a daily step goal for myself. To build strength, I needed to gradually increase the amount of weight I was lifting. Making each of these measurable helped me know whether or not I’d met the milestone. Achievable Not all measurable and specific milestones make sense. There’s no way I was going to bench press 400 pounds the week after I set my health goals, for example. Trying to do too much too quickly would have discouraged me, not to mention the risk of injury. For each milestone you’re considering, ask yourself: Is this a “stretch” milestone, an easy one, or a “goldilocks” one? Again, ask someone who knows you well if you’re not sure. Relevant Milestones have to make sense in the context of your larger goal to be worth setting. If you can’t explain how your milestone actually gets you closer to that goal, set a different one. For example, mental health is an important part of fitness. But because I wasn’t depressed, there’s no reason I’d define a milestone for myself like “see a counselor once a week.” Time-Bounded When do you expect to reach your milestone? Is it an hour away? A whole year? Any time horizon is fine, so long as it’s factored into the milestone you set. Remember that milestones must be achievable. 4. Take it One at a Time If setting a dozen milestones at once is too daunting, try setting a new milestone only after achieving the last one. If you’re learning to swim, for instance, you might decide which stroke you want to learn next depending on how difficult you found the last one. Doesn’t that make achieving your overall goal more difficult? Not necessarily. You just need to know the general arc. With the swimming example, your plan may be to learn a new stroke every other week. The specific strokes don’t matter until it’s time to practice them. 5. Write it Down When you set a milestone, write it down. Not only does doing so help you further define the milestone — remember the SMART system—but it also makes you more likely to achieve it. Milestones really are goals nestled within larger goals, and research shows writing down goals makes you 42% more likely to reach them.((Inc.: This Is the Way You Need to Write Down Your Goals for Faster Success)) 6. Be Flexible Try as you might, you won’t meet every milestone you set for yourself. Don’t punish yourself. Learn from your mistake, and set another—and hopefully more achievable—milestone. Do you need to scrap other milestones down the road because you failed to meet one? Not necessarily, but you may need to delay them. If you didn’t pass your driver’s test, you probably need to push back practicing merging onto the highway. To ace your test, you may need to first reach a new milestone of memorizing road signs. 7. Reward Yourself Along the Way Rewards aren’t just for reaching your big-picture goals. Motivate yourself to keep setting milestones by giving yourself small gifts along the way. Be careful, however, that they aren’t too small. Just as you wouldn’t give a friend or client a cheap gift, nor should you give yourself one. John Ruhlin, a gifting expert I know, recommends this rule:((Giftology: Obsession With Cheap (Don’t Let This Be You))) Give yourself something you’d never normally buy but would love to own. Obviously, don’t go out and buy yourself a new car because you hit your step goal. But a high-end, personalized water bottle might be just the ticket. 8. Give Yourself Breaks Another way people demotivate themselves is by working themselves into the ground just to reach that next milestone. They beat themselves up, for example, because the nice dinner they enjoyed on vacation blew their calorie budget. Life is bigger than any one milestone. If you have something to celebrate, indulge a little. If life deals you a setback, realize it may take some time to get back on track. What’s important is that you keep a positive attitude. 9. Get an Accountability Partner If you’re struggling to set and stick to your milestones, don’t give up; get a partner. Make sure it’s someone who will be firm but fair with you, like a family member or a close friend. Don’t insist that the accountability partner progress through your milestones with you. Everyone has their own goals to achieve. Do, however, ask him or her to hold you accountable. Suggest some light consequences in case you aren’t progressing toward your goal like you’d hoped. Even if you can't get an accountability partner, you can use one of your calendar apps to set daily goals that reminds you of each goal. At the end of the week, go through your calendar and track which goals you accomplished. Final Thoughts Some people already find goal setting difficult, so what more if they have to set milestones? To define milestones also means to progress toward your larger goals. Defining milestones on your own may not be easy at first, but you can start with these 9 tips until you get used to it. More Tips on Setting and Achieving Milestones
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