What does control mean to you? To some, it means the ability to influence others. To others, it’s the ability to influence yourself.

What about the circumstances that we find ourselves in every day? Can we really control those?

We’ve all heard that saying about being granted the patience to deal with those things we cannot change. But it’s really true. If there is something we cannot control, what benefit do we gain by worrying about it?

Instead, we should focus on what we can control and how we can react to things that we cannot control.

In the IT world, I preach to my team that we need to be more proactive. Work on preventing future pitfalls, accidents and incidents as best we can. This makes our jobs easier. Of course, we can never be 100%, so then I reinforce to my team that is is not the mistake or incident that matters most, but how we react to it.

When we can’t control the negative, we must do what we can to make the most positive out of it. It is not always easy, but it is possible. When we learn from the things that we cannot control, our jobs become much easier.

The same can be said for life, in general. We cannot control everything, but we can learn. Learning is one of the keys to success and happiness. Learn what makes you happy, control what you can to achieve that happiness.

If we learn that we can’t control everything, anything can happen.


Thunder and Lightning


Have you ever went to talk with someone and they just go-off, explode, bite your head off, etc…?  Have you ever done that to someone else?  It happens, a lot, and usually takes the receiving party by surprise.

Have you ever met someone who is very sad, maybe depressed, and unsure how to react?

I bring up these emotions, specifically, because I have found that they are more impacting than their positive counterparts.  Very rarely do you meet someone who is so OVERJOYED that you think back on that moment the next day and say, “Wow, Kyle was really really happy yesterday.”  It’s more likely to be said, “Man, Kyle really bit my head off yesterday.”
**The previous statements were meant to be generic.  If your name is Kyle and you were either REALLY happy or you were REALLY mad, that is completely coincidental.**
In my experience, when these sorts of events happen, we usually take them at face value and either get offended or put-off by them.  However, what we are experiencing is the “thunder”.  As you have probably heard, thunder always follows lightning.  So, the root cause of such a strong reaction, has more than likely already taken place well ahead of when you came across the situation.

More times than not, we hold things in and let them build until a flood of emotion comes out, usually in a negative sense.  The point is, you don’t usually know the whole story of why someone acts the way they do.  Furthermore, both parties involved could benefit from that knowledge being shared.  A lot of times outbursts are cries for help, a desire to be heard.  It’s easy to be quick to judge, harder to ask deeper questions.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to swallow an outburst, especially if it seems aimed at yourself.  I can’t tell you how many times an outburst ends up causing me to outburst onto someone else.

There’s definitely a time and place to start probing for what lies underneath the surface.  So, take time to cool off (or let them cool off) and bring up the subject again.  This clears the air.  Not only that, but it allows for negative energy to dissipate, thus ending the cycle of lightning and thunder.


No Left Turn


A strange thing happens when you’re in a hurry.  You end up making compromises.  For example, I drive my kids to daycare and school each morning before I go into work.  When I get to the school, there are signs along the driveway carefully ensuring you navigate to your destination without causing undue traffic.  One sign is a “No Left Turn” even though you see that you can turn left to drop kids off at the secondary school.  The reason for this is the school would rather you drive forward another 50 feet to the roundabout, come back and turn RIGHT into the secondary school entrance.

Makes sense, right?  Well…it does unless you are running late, then that left turn looks SO tempting.

I know this….because almost every day as I am leaving the school grounds, I get stopped at that same exact spot when a secondary parent has turned left before the lane was clear, thus blocking my exit. 🙁

Now, I get it.  I’ve been late more times than I would like to count.  I have made the same type of decisions that ultimately impact others while not actually gaining any real benefit.  I THINK there will be a benefit.  However, when it is all said and done, I have not gained anything, but I have negatively impacted others.  As I was negatively impacted in the above scenario.

Ironically, I have multiple situations during this same drive that create the same cause/effect scenario.  When I drop my son off, he likes me walking him into school.  So, instead of pulling up to the curb and dropping him off, I go to the side parking lot, park, walk him in, then walk back, get in my car and go on my way.

Funny thing.  By the time I leave, there is a line of parents waiting to drop their kids off at the curb.  Important note:  the line to the curb is a LEFT turn….in order for me to exit, it’s a RIGHT turn.  Now, take your DOL handbooks out…who has right a way?  Yep…the right hand turner, me.  🙂  Who ends up waiting for someone who is turning left to let me through, me. 🙂

Again, it’s not costing them anything to let me pass, they won’t lose their place in line.  They won’t even be delayed, because they can move up the line after I pass and still have 30-40 feet to go before they can actually drop their kid off.  But they PERCEIVE that they will benefit from turning and not letting me in, when instead they are only delaying my departure.

What’s the point?  Am I just ranting?  Well….maybe.  HA!  Just kidding.  Honestly, I don’t even mind.  It’s not a huge drain on my time frame.  I’m either already running late and a few more minutes won’t cause me harm, or I’m on-time and still have the freeway to delay me.  Either way, I’m going to be late!

The point is that perception will beat reality.  I’m sure that while reading this, you’ve probably recalled these scenarios….both being the delayer or the delayed.  But, let’s be honest, how many times have you been the delayer and actually realized that there was nothing gained by delaying others?  Probably none.  I know I hadn’t realized it…until I did, and decided to write this post about it.

It’s all perspective, right?  And what better time to try and gain it than when you are sitting in traffic or waiting in line.  Try to put yourself in the other side, the other mindset, and that might might make things easier to digest.  Yes, running late is not a great feeling, but is it worth making others run late as well?  Maybe by working on NOT being the delayer, you will end up not being the delayed.





Just a quick note that we will be returning to posting very soon. We will be revamping the site a bit as well.

If there are any topics you would like to see, please reach out! Until then…


A Motherly Perspective

A Motherly Perspective

A friend of mine, Molly, posted the following on Facebook:

I’m in the bathroom sans kids so here comes another moment of enlightenment since that’s the only place I seem to have clarity: The older I get and the more things I put my body through (traveling, mountain climbing, marathoning) the more I am amazed at what these bodies are capable of. But it has been the 2 pregnancies and the endless caring of my children that has afforded me a new found grace and awe of this temple I reside in. And it is the unconditional love and support of my partner and husband that allows me to add to it confidence. My wobbly bits are multiplying like rabbits, but the 3 most important people love me more with each passing day and that makes me so proud of the journey that has gotten me even closer to a love of myself and a reason to smile when I catch a glimpse of the newest gray hair or saggy spot – I am truly, wholly loved by them, so I want in on it, too! I wouldn’t be me without any of them and without any of them I wouldn’t be this better version of me!”

With this quote, she fully expresses (whether she meant to or not) the best parts of what this site tries to preach.  It’s not what you necessarily believe about yourself or what other’s believe about you.  However, with the right combination of the two, gold can be found.

It’s about surrounding yourself with love and giving it in return.  It’s about recognizing that you aren’t alone, that you have support, if you know where to look.  With that support, the possibilities are endless.

The people who you choose to surround yourself with play an important part of who you are and it is important to ‘want in on it, too!’

I want to thank Molly for sharing the above quote and hope that any and all mother’s out there can relate and remember what amazing people they are.  To all of you, a Happy Mother’s Day!


You Can Always Try…

You Can Always Try...It is amazing what wonderful lessons you can learn from your children.  Lately, my son’s answer to us saying we can’t do something has been “You can always try…”

More times than not, he’s absolutely correct, so we end up ‘trying’.  Whether it’s flapping our arms to see if we can fly or reading the macaroni and cheese on the lunch plate, we usually give it a try.

We have found that this offers my son dual lessons.  First, it reinforces his already set belief that we can try anything.  Second, it also teaches him that we can’t, in fact, do everything we set out to do.  One of the reasons my son is so awesome, is because he doesn’t get too discouraged when his thoughts of dairy-infused literary magic doesn’t pan out.  Instead, he then looked up at me and said, “we don’t read mac and cheese, Dada, we eat mac and cheese.”  His logic is infallible.

So, that’s all well and good, right?  A 3-year old learns that he can’t do everything and that mac and cheese is still delicious.  What does that have to do with us?  The answer is…Everything.

At what point in our lives do we stop trying.  The fear of failure sweeps the American society and we become inactive, thus unproductive, members of society.  That’s an extreme illustration, but you get my point.  Individually, there are things we have not tried to do because we are either afraid of failing or believe that we can’t accomplish whatever it is.

As always, there are things that cannot be done, we know that.  But if there is a chance that it can, then what’s the hurt in trying?  As a throwback to the last post, it’s not failure that’s the crime, but holding our sights too low.

So, get out there, try something new, you may be surprised.  In the meantime, I’m going to grab the latest issue of The Daily Pasta and see if they offer flying lessons.



Sights and Targets

Sights and Targets

Bruce Lee once said:

“Don’t fear failure.  Not failure, but low aim, is the crime.  In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

I love this quote because it sums up the way goals and priorities should be set.  I’ll further promote the idea by saying that it’s not the failure that matters, but what you do with that failure.  Learning from the mistakes, recovering and moving on is the only way to succeed.

We don’t live in a black-and-white world.  It’s not all or nothing.  It’s not just success or failure.  Every failure has the opportunity to be a partial success if you let it.

This post may be short, but sweet.  There’s not much too it, because it’s simple.  Set high goals and succeed.  If you don’t succeed…well, try try again.


Karma: Good or Bad?

Karma:  Good or Bad?

We’ve all heard of Karma, but how much of it do we believe in?  For most of us, it’s a fun way of explaining things.  Like when that guy weaves in and out of lanes while speeding down the highway and we see him pulled over a few miles later.  We say, “That’s Karma”.  Or when I find a good parking spot at the mall, I call it “Parking Karma” which really doesn’t make sense, does it?

More importantly, do we ‘invoke’ Karma equally?  I mean, do we focus on the positive as well as the negative?  The Buddhists define Karma as “the law of moral causation.”  It’s more complex than this, but basically, do good things and good things will happen to you.  Same with bad things.

It’s a nice thought, but does that mean that WHEN you have bad things happen to you, it’s because you’ve done bad in the past?  Vice versa with good.  Or is it the ‘balance’ of if something good happens to you, then something bad will happen at some point to even things out?

Well, I don’t know the answer completely, but I can tell you if you dwell/worry about either of the two preceding statements, it will drive you insane and add unnecessary stress to your life.  And I’m pretty sure that’s anti-Karma…or anti-Buddhist…or well, just not good!

I experienced a loss recently.  Without going into any details, I’ll tell you that it’s the first time in a long time that I, personally, questioned whether or not I ‘had done something wrong’ or “Karmic-ally caused the loss”.  Usually, I don’t go down that road.  Everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t know what it is.  Timing, Fate, whatever.  But this time it hit harder than anything had before.  I’ve come around to the thought that the reason will become clear and that sometimes things just happen.

I can assure you that doing good and leading a happy lifestyle surely can’t hurt.  Whether one believes in Karma or not, it never hurts to hedge a bet.  This is what you’re doing when you put good out into the world.  By doing so, it allows more and more goodness to penetrate and absorb into the world around.  And that’s never a bad thing.


The Key to the Future

The Key to the Future

The notable quote is that “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” That’s what we remember it, but the true quote is “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” For the sake of this post, I like the second a bit better.

Let me tell you a story.  A few years back, I went back to school and got my master’s degree.  My intent was to educate myself and work my way into a management position.  A couple of years later, I got that chance and became a manager for a company that I had worked for previously.  Since I had no real management experience, I knew it was a very fortunate circumstance and put all of my effort into making it work.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago.  I was recently laid off from that position.  It was heart breaking.  I’m not going to sit here and make excuses.  I will admit that I failed.  I failed my employees.  I failed my boss.

It was hard, but what it did was force me to reflect on the time I had there and determine what my next steps would be.  I ended up being hired within a couple of weeks, and again with today’s economy I am grateful for this fortune.

In my reflection, I came up with a couple of revelations:

  • I wasn’t up to the expectations of my previous employer, thus I failed.
  • I do give my all to the success of myself.
  • I have confidence in my skills and abilities.

Even though it was heartbreaking to lose my job, I took heart in the 2nd and 3rd revelation and this allowed me to pursue a job search and interview with complete confidence.  I ended up getting an offer that was higher than the job posted (both in position and salary) and I attribute that to being sure of myself when presenting why I would be an asset to the organization.

Now I sit in a position, that isn’t management, but is of seniority and look to the future.  It is bright because I can look back at my recent failure, see what I did wrong and not repeat the process.

This is the combined power of reflection and looking back.  I did not dwell on the past, but turned it to my advantage for a brighter future.  What I learned most was that I should do this, not only in times of crisis, but on a semi-regular basis to make sure I am still aligned.  Examination leads to enlightenment, enlightenment leads to success.


Does It Get Better?

Good, better and best conceptEmotions are an amazing driver.  They make the highs higher and the lows lower.  They can sharpen focus as well as cloud judgement.  They are the epitome of paradox.

However, when we’re up, we don’t necessarily care nor acknowledge what’s coming next.  When we are low, though, we completely shut out what’s coming.  Our emotions can drive us so low, that we tend to ask ourselves:  does it get better?

This is also the first thing that Others tell us.  “Oh, don’t worry, it’ll get better”.  “Well, there’s always tomorrow.”  Heck, I’m a huge culprit of this.  This entire site is built on such a sentiment.  However, does this really help out those whom we are targeting?

The answer is No….and Yes.  No, by itself it doesn’t help.  However, the love and sentiment behind the words do.  It’s reassurance that there are brighter days ahead which helps, however it does not give any finality of the pain and suffering.  It’s ice for the wound, numbs the pain, but isn’t a cure.

So…DOES it get better?  Yes!  How do we get there?

That, my friends, is the question that can only be answered by everyone on a personal level.  The only person who can rescue us from our lows is our self.  We have to make the decision that today will be better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be easier than today.

The keys to success is to examine and find the positive.  Hold on to what works, don’t dwell on what doesn’t.  Simple in practice…Hard in execution.  Well, Hard at first, but start small and build from there.  Go from Good to Better to Best.