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It's In The Work

Every job, no matter how glamorous, has work you'd have to push yourself to do and details you'd find uncomfortable. Do the noble work that your work requires without complaining and then you won't have anything to complain about. -- doug smith  

Trophy Time?

It's silly to expect applause on every single task. Let doing the task bring its own satisfaction. -- doug smith  


 There is more power in your smile than in anyone else's frown. -- doug smith

Talk About Your Goals

Do you have any secret goals? My temptation with ambitious goals -- a temptation I'm working to overcome -- is to keep them secret. There's no pressure on me then, if no one knows about them.  But if a goal matters, people should know about it. We should talk about it. We should energize ourselves and others toward that noble goal. You don't know how much help  you might get on your goals until you talk about them. If you don't get any help, well that tells you something about your goal. If you do get help, then your goal just got easier.  Get the help. Talk about your goals. -- doug smith  

You Are Unique

Who has shared your life the most with you? No matter who that is, they haven't shared every moment with you. No one other than you has always been experiencing what you've experienced. You are unique. Not alone. Not isolated. But unique. Distinctive in your gifts, talents, and abilities. Distinctive in the challenges that you've overcome. One of a kind among many, you are unique. Everyone other than you has missed what you've been through. Where you take your distinctions from here is completely up to you. What will you build? What will you grow? How will you serve? It gets ever more exciting from here, doesn't it? -- doug smith

Create Enough Positive Energy...

What do you do when you feel doubt? It could be doubt in your abilities, or doubt about your capacity, or even doubt about your mission. We all have doubts sometimes. Those nagging feelings are there to protect us from danger. That's useful. But sometimes those nagging feelings just hold us back.  To achieve your goals you must create enough positive energy to overcome the naturally forming negative notions. There's nothing magic about positive energy. It won't ever be enough all by itself. But, we go farther faster when we power up with the positives no matter how many doubts wander our way.  Create enough positive energy, back it up with work, and your results are bound to improve. Improving performance is everybody's job, isn't it? -- doug smith

A Map to the Treasure

You CAN get there from here.  When you think about it, you can't get anywhere except from where you are. We always start where we are. We always grow from our current level of development. We don't always know what that level is, though. Seeing our level of development is like finding a map to a treasure. The treasure is the better you, the better us, the better world. What does it take? Development, learning, and growth. To reach our potential (which may well be unlimited) we need to keep moving. To keep moving, we need to know where we are.  We can identify our level of development by asking the people we work with what works, and what needs work. We can attend training both in the skills we need in our work and in knowledge and skills that may not (on the surface) have anything to do with our work but that keep us growing. Growth is on your side. Go with growth. -- doug smith What have you learned today?

What If Everyone Was a Coach?

Who provided you with the best coaching ever? It could have been an athletic coach, a choir director, a business coach, a therapist, maybe even a partner -- someone who listened with your own best interests in mind and then provided you with a skillful combination of support and challenge. Support because stretching yourself can be tough, too tough to do all by yourself,  and challenging because we tend to relax into being relaxed, assuming a kind of stasis that leads nowhere. Whoever that person was, imagine how much tougher it would have been for you without them. And, if you don't have someone like that you remember, imagine how wonderful that is -- because it is indeed wonderful. It doesn't always feel wonderful at the time, but the results are splendid indeed. In that sense a coach is a bit like a meditation partner. A bit like your inner voice who keeps you alert when you tend to relax too much, and a calming support when you tend to get too frantic. Coaches help us stay

Communication Flexibility

Have you considered flexibility in communication? I thought about this yesterday when my first impulse as a response to something that someone said to me was to share my own experience, my own advice, my own perspective. But I didn't do that. It would have been easy, but it would have been wrong from an emotional standpoint. The other person hadn't asked for my advice.  If she did, I was ready. The advice, the point of view, was all ready to go. But she didn't so I simply listened. Quiet can communicate so much. Staying flexible in the moment, knowing the options and then selecting the most compassionate, caring, useful response greatly improves communication. Conversations can be dances where we don't step on each other's feet. Conversations can be fluid, flexible, light, and still substantive. Flexible. Even when I am absolutely sure that I know the answer... There is always more than one answer. -- doug smith

Curiosity Sparks Questions

Do you like to argue? Whether or not YOU do, you probably can think of someone who seams to enjoy disagreeing. Arguments are contagious. I've gotten pulled into many arguments that eventually went nowhere and didn't contribute any progress to anything at all. So why argue? We argue to prove a point. We argue to convince. We argue to change behavior. But, how effective is that? Not very. Whenever I catch myself arguing now, I pause long enough to breathe deeply and think of a question. And then another question. And then another question.  It's harder to argue with a question. And with a question, we both might learn something. -- doug smith What have you learned today?

Dealing with Lies

What do you do when someone lies to you? It's probably happened to you several times today. People lie for so many reasons -- to spare your feelings, to fool you, to avoid work, to navigate blame, to gain an advantage...even out of laziness. The trouble with lies is that they are always inevitably discovered. What has become a disturbing trend is that even when someone is caught in a lie, they often simply just lie again. They lie about the lie. They lie about the truth. They lie about whether you should even care if the tell the truth. Geez. We've all told lies, but there comes a time to stop. There comes a time when the lies pile up so high that we can't even try to see our way to the truth. There comes a time when the lies cut relationships to shreds and turn communication into dread. There comes a time when no matter how dramatic or risky it may seem we should tell the truth. Exclusively. No lies at all. That time is now. Now is the best time to deal with lies. First (a


Stay relentlessly positive today -- and then again tomorrow.     -- doug smith