Joys Of The Season to You And Yours

Joys Of The Season to You And Yours

As always, the winding down year came with ups and downs, but as it comes to a close, and we think back on all that happened, it is the good things we should choose to focus on. The kindnesses we received and and ones we gave. Beautiful moments that shone through like the sun catching rainbow sparkles on fresh fallen snow. And joys sprinkled throughout.

Most likely there were people who helped you during the year, who offered support or guidance or an introduction to someone you’d been trying to meet. Maybe your boss gave you an opportunity to expand your abilities, or a co-worker offered a ride share while your car was in the shop. You can probably think of hundreds of things that happened through the year that made your days brighter.

Focusing on the positives shines a glow of thanks over the whole year. By bidding the year farewell with a thankful heart and well wishes, we set the tone for the one to come.

Until we meet again in the upcoming year, the joys of the season to all from all of us to all of you.

Six Questions To Ask During Your Next Interview

Six Questions To Ask During Your Next Interview

You’ve done all your prep for your upcoming interview. You’ve researched the company, you’ve got a handle on their attitude and aspirations because of all your scoping on social media. You have prepared answers to questions you know they will ask you, like Where do you see yourself in 5 years? And What is your greatest flaw? Great. Now what about the Do you have any questions for us? Question. Are you ready for that? Here are six possibilities:


What would a typical day be like in this role?

When you ask this question, you demonstrate that you are already picturing yourself in the role, figuring out exactly what will be expected.


Can you describe the corporate culture?

If you’ve done your homework you should already have a pretty good idea of the answer to this question. Still, it’s always good to ask because they probably don’t post everything on social media.


What are some of the company’s initiatives in regards to extra learning?

This demonstrates your excitement about expanding your credentials and growing with the company.


What are some of the possible future opportunities associated with this role?

This question indicates that you are envisioning a long-term career with the company, as opposed to taking the job as a stepping stone to something else.


How would my performance be measured?

Will you be assessed monthly? Quarterly? Who will be doing this assessment? It’s important to know.


What are some of the company’s long term and short term goals?

With this question you can determine whether or not this company is a place where you actually want to invest a large swath of your time and dedication. If for example you want to be part of a large organization and this small company is planning on expanding then it would probably be a good fit for you. If however they’re more interested in staying small then maybe it’s not quite right.


The questions you ask should be two way. Helping them realize exactly why you are the perfect candidate and also helping you figure out if this is somewhere you would actually like to work.

The Purpose of Success

The Purpose of Success

Everyone wants success. Some people talk about it, some people dream about it, some people take definite, concrete steps toward achieving it.


It’s all well and good to want success and having a big house and a nice car are pretty good motivators for working toward it, but those types of goals don’t always sustain people through the long hard days. Or the inevitable failures or the mornings when they simply don’t want to get out of bed. The thing that does sustain is purpose. Solid reasons for wanting to achieve that success.


Three questions to help you find your purpose


In order to help you define that purpose, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What can this success do for others?
  2. How will success change my life?
  3. How can my success leave the world a better place?


Put others first


Most of us don’t just want success for ourselves, we want it to help others, our families people less fortunate than ourselves. Remembering the impact we can have on others is often a greater motivator than thinking about the impact we have on ourselves.


Live for the experiences


Success brings things other than the ability to afford material possessions. It brings the ability to enjoy experiences. Experiences like travel and more time. By working hard in the shorter term, successful people provide themselves with extra time to devote to other things later on.


This wonderful world we all live on is not solely here for any one of us. When people achieve the success they’re after and they’ve helped out family, they invariably look around and see circumstances of others and want to do more. Thinking about the impact you can have on the world outside of your immediate surrounds make your purpose even stronger.


Start each week by looking at the answers to these questions and you’ll be well on your way to that success you’re after.

Life is Not A Sprint, It’s a Marathon

Life is Not A Sprint, It's a Marathon

You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know who William Shatner is. James T. Kirk, captain of the Star Ship Enterprise. Star of T. J. Hooker and Boston Legal.  Musician, author, director and pitchman for (among others).


Bigger than life

He’s also famous for being William Shatner, the nickname The Shat, a bigger than life personality who makes as much fun of himself as others do with the characters he’s portrayed over the years.


Fall from grace

With so much William Shatner always going around, it’s hard to believe he spent a significant amount of time living in the back of his truck. Not before he hit it big as Captain Kirk, but after!


After Star Trek was cancelled no one in charge of casting could manage to separate William Shatner from Captain Kirk. Roles dried up and The Shat lost his house. During that period he was so desperate he would take any roe that came his way including small party appearances in people’s homes.


The climb back up

Despite a lack of prospects, despite more nos than most people are prepared to tolerate, William Shatner persisted. He did the game shows, did guest appearances on a variety of shows and a string of commercials.


During those years Star Trek was gaining popularity all on its own through reruns and a new opportunity opened up in the form of conventions –  then captain’s chair on the big screen.


No longer type cast

Although Captain Kirk was back among the stars, hobnobbing with aliens and traveling through time, William Shatner was no longer stuck being typecast. On the contrary he was being  given all kinds of roles on TV and in the movies. He’s got a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.


Living in the back of his truck, job offers few and far between, it would have been easy for William Shatner to have given up, but he did not. No matter how hard it got he knew, he was made not for the short dash, but for the long run.


Why It’s Important to Put Pen To Paper

Why It's Important to Put Pen To Paper

We are not actually going to talk about pens today. What we really wanted touch on, is the importance of written communication. Although the majority of what you write escapes out of your fingers through your keyboard, The Triumph of Typing didn’t seem to quite hit the topic with the same punch as The Power of the Pen.


Long Live The Written Word

Once you’re out of school you might be inclined to think it’s okay to leave your writing skills behind with all the text books you either packed up to never look at again, or left in the last room you had occasion to open them. Not so. Good writing is an indicator of good thinking and will set you apart from average thinkers (and no thinkers).  Don’t worry, we are not talking about good writing as in – I just completed my first novel! Or What rhymes with orange? We are talking about well thought out, easy to understand, comprehensive writing.



Organizing Your Thoughts

The difference between writing out your thoughts and speaking them (aside from you hear one and see the other) is often time.  Sure you can scribble something down nearly as quickly as you can blurt it out, but if you’re trying to make yourself understood you’ll probably take a lot more time to write it out. The process of writing slows you down, it makes you think about what you’re trying to say. Re-reading what you wrote, you often change the order, expand on some parts and cut back on others.



Listen To Your Editor

The key to good writing is to keep it to the point and simple. Longer doesn’t mean better, it usually just means the writer didn’t take the time to edit out what was unnecessary – like repeated thoughts and sentences. Repeating something doesn’t make your point stronger, often it only results in that oh-so-important point getting diluted in the ocean of words.




By planning out your words through the slowed down, organizing process of writing and then listening to your editor you are far less likely to come away from the communication with the dreaded I wish I didn’t say that. Or, If only I’d thought to say this.  You’ve had time to edit out what you didn’t want to say and add in what you did want to say.


Good written communication is less ambiguous than spoken communication. It gives you the opportunity to express exactly what you need to express. Access your  power. Pick up that pen. Or hit that keyboard.

Don’t Waste Time Searching For What Isn’t There

Don't waste time searching for what isn't there

When people start on a new venture they often scan the long road ahead and wonder if there’s a way of getting to their destination a little faster.  So they spend time searching for shortcuts to that destination.


Some people find the answer quickly, others take longer, but eventually everybody comes to the same conclusion. The shortcut to success is hard work. Work hard at learning everything you need to know about what you’re doing or what you want to do.


No magic bullet


If you’re not expecting to somehow run into the magic bullet for success you won’t waste time searching for it. You will spend your time wisely, working diligently on one thing to the next. You will set goals and work toward them, one at a time.


Hard work is a state of mind


As much as anything, hard work is a state of mind. It’s the decision to put all your efforts and dedication into what you’re doing instead of wasting time searching for an easier way. In the words of the great coach John Wooden, “Success travels in the company of hard work. There is no trick, no easy way.”


Work hard. Fail or succeed at each task before you, learn from it and move on to the next thing. That is how you will find success. Hard work will inspire you to search out people who can help with advice or suggestions.


With the right mindset hard work doesn’t feel hard at all


Each accomplishment takes you closer to that destination you’re heading for. That sense of accomplishment inspires you to keep going and keep working. With the right mindset, hard work doesn’t seem hard at all. It feels like the shortcut you’re looking for!

Help Others Cultivate Their Potential

Help Others Cultivate Their Potential

How do your favorite people treat you?

Think about your favorite teacher in school. If you’ve had a boss you really enjoyed, think about them for a moment. Do you remember what you liked about them? Were they kind, or friendly? Did they treat you as not just a student or employee but someone who could be trusted and shared with? Did they treat you as you could be, rather than what you were? Was your potential cultivated?


Acknowledge potential

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey points out how one person can have a tremendous effect on others. Most of us have been in a position where we felt like we didn’t have much wiggle room in our work or assignments. For the most part our teachers have treated us like students. This doesn’t sound so bad, they’re there to teach. But what if, instead of treating you like a student or an employee, your teacher or boss treated you like someone who could run the company some day?


Create confidence

That could be by offering you more responsibility and bigger tasks. Tasks that you can handle and excel at, that will enable you to grow your role. You’ll feel more respected and important, and in turn you’ll start acting with more confidence in your work.


This isn’t just for people who have others working under them either. You can do this for your coworkers as well. Treat your coworkers as people who can both help you and bring new ideas to the table, rather than just people you work with. You may find that they’ll go out of their way to help you in the future.

Making Each Day Better

Making Each Day Better

Feel like your days could run a little smoother? Here are four easy things you can do to improve each day.

1. Wake up early


Why would you want to wake up early when your bed is so comfortable and inviting and you don’t actually have to get out of it yet? The reason you want to get up earlier than you have to is to give yourself some mental space to think about what you want to do with the day. To plan and to simply breath without worrying about whatever has to be done next. You’re early, you have time to set your mind and spirit for the day.


2. Work harder than you did the day before


Imagine how much you could accomplish if every day you made a point of working harder than you did the day before. If you gave each day 100% of your attention and focus. If you managed to find a little bit more energy than you thought you had.


3. Exercise


We exercise to get stronger to look better and feel good about ourselves, but do you realize exercise is as important for the mind as for the bod.  Exercise helps clear negative emotions, it helps us feel more alert and it’s energizing. You may not be able to do a full workout everyday but you can certainly go out for a walk. Don’t sit around for long stretches of time. Insert breaks into your day to move.


4. Read


During your downtime after working harder than you did the day before, all you may want to do is flake out in front of the TV and rest. Rest is great, but some rest is better than others. Although from the outside, reading and watching TV look pretty similar, TV is passive. You are sitting there while things pass by. Reading (whether for pleasure or learning) is active. Your mind and your imagination are engaged. It’s exercise for the brain.


These are simple suggestions, but by incorporating them into your life each day and guaranteed your days will run smoother.

Getting Over Rejection

Getting Over Rejection

Rejection sucks. When someone turns their back on you, whether it’s a boss, friend, client or otherwise, it’s always tough to take. Usually you start by asking, what did I do wrong? Why am I not good enough? Rejection happens to everyone. Ask any writer and they’ll tell you how often their work was rejected before finally making it. The trick with rejection is learning from it and growing from it.

Take Some Time

If you’ve fallen off the horse, you don’t have to get back on it right away. Take some time to sort your feelings out. Rejection hurts, and you don’t have to pretend it doesn’t. Give yourself the space to feel crappy about it. However as with all things, moderation is key. So go ahead and feel crappy for a while but don’t use it as an excuse to spend days and days wallowing in ice cream, cheetos and terrible TV.

Talk it Out

A common emotion to feel following rejection is shame. We feel like a failure and that’s not something we want to air out. Keeping all your feelings bottled up will do more harm than good. Find someone you care about and trust to share with. Tell them what has happened. You’ll feel better instantly and your friend may even be able to give you some helpful advice.

Understand Why It Happened

When someone rejects us or our ideas, we tend to think that we’re the problem, that we’re not good enough or smart enough. In truth, rejection often has as more to do with the other person. There are lots of reasons that could have led to us being rejected; from timing to the other person’s own insecurities. The best thing you can do is look at the situation and find ways to improve. Maybe there was a typo in your resume, maybe your idea needs to be tweaked.

Use it

Once you’ve taken some time, talked it out and figured out why it happened, use that knowledge to work harder. This isn’t a call for revenge, but rather a call to take failings and make them work for you. Use the rejection as fuel to achieve even though others thought you couldn’t. One day, looking back, you may even be thankful that it happened.

The Potential For Something Very Special

The Potential For Something Very Special


One of billions

Astronomers tell us there are billions of stars in our own galaxy alone. Mind boggling as that is, it gets even more boggling when you realize that every one of those stars mostly likely has a planetary system revolving around it. Potential for billions of opportunities for life, possibly intelligence right here in the Milky Way. Out here on this remote arm of the spiral, kind of far away from all the action in the middle of the galaxy it’s easy to feel un-special. An average being on an average planet, revolving around an average star.

One in a billion

At this point we don’t know what else is out there in the vast unknown potential. But we do know what we have here. A species of featherless, wingless bipeds that have mastered flying to the point that we have flown clear off our planet. Communications to the extent that we can check in with our associates, loved ones (and others) all the way around the world with not a wire between us. We’ve even mastered time travel – in a way. We can perceive light so old that it has been traveling since nearly the beginning of time.


We may be ordinary in that we are one of billions of planets, but we’ve also made strides that make us one in a billion planets extraordinary.



Raging potential

As individuals on this extraordinary planet it’s true none of us likely has much to do with space flight or time travel, but within each of us is the raging potential to do something special. You may choose to pursue that potential professionally, you may choose to pursue it in extracurricular activities. The key is to never lose sight of the fact that no matter how insignificant a planet or person may seem, they hold within them the potential for something very special.