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Bright Moments

Your character should never be a question.

When people think about you,
there should be no doubt about whether you’ll
do the right thing, take the high road,
or make the strong effort when it matters.

No one should wonder whether you’ll
steal their ideas, take their credit or poach their relationships.
Not even a little bit.

There isn’t a gray area here.
You block your own opportunities when you compromise your character.
If no one else knows what you’ve done, you still do.
That knowledge chips away at your sense of self-worth
and informs you that you’re not entitled
to those riches with your name on them.
Your behavior becomes distorted from the normal you:
You become outlandish or defeated, neither of which serves you well.

Your character needs to be above reproach,
primarily for you.
And, yes, the higher ground often requires the harder choices.
Sometimes you’ll have to speak your mind or your heart,
You’ll have to take the less popular action.
You’ll have to dispense with the drama intended to distract.
You’ll have to suspend judgment so that you can hear.

But the benefits are tremendous.
For you, there’s the tranquility of knowing
that you’re being the very best person you can be.
For others, there’s having your courage and stature to model.
For all, there’s recognition that
the world is better because of your presence.

Out with the Old

Bright Moments


This is not about the promises you’ve made to launch the New Year,
as wonderful as they may be.

This is about giving closure to the unresolved issues of 2012.

That “stuff” can clutter your path, you know . . .
tripping you on the way to your new goals.

It tugs you to “come back,” to become entangled again. You close your eyes, drop your head and sigh at the thought, feeling your energy drain almost immediately. The issues are too complicated/time-consuming/irritating/irrelevant/boring/however-else-you’d-describe-it. They consume your oxygen. You know these, right? Has the tug already begun?

Your ability to move forward with long, light strides requires that you relieve yourself of the nagging load. Your spirit needs the room to leap, unburdened by, well, stuff. So deal with it – but on new terms.

Decide that this is the time that you will step face-to-face with each issue, this is the time that they will stop haunting you because this is that time when you will take control. You will no longer be at their whim or subject to their exasperating impact.

Put the issue in perspective and in its place:

Name it . . . NOW.
(Don’t run. Dodging the issue simply gives it license to visit you again.)

What is it that you wish could be resolved as quickly as humanly possible?

Okay. What would it do for you if this issue were behind you?

What else?

So be it. What one thing can you do right away to get the ball rolling?
(It doesn’t have to be momentous; just one small effort in the right direction.)

When that’s done, what should you do next?

You know this drill. It’s one step at a time, pushing yourself to do the next single thing that’s required. A point will come when one step is too slow and your desire to get the thing done will create momentum. Intensity will kick in when you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe you just saw that light.
Take it as a sign that dealing with the issues
won’t be as bad as you thought.

Get started. Feel good about doing so.
It clears your path for a great New Year.

Here’s to Resolutions!

How Divine

Bright Holidays

How divine you are.

Your inner gifts are like none others’.

Your spirit is unique.

You walk a road that is exclusively paved for you.

Every power you need is at your disposal.

How divine.

In this season of reflection and beauty and wonder,

Call upon your gifts, your spirit, your path and your power.

Direct them to the service of others:

Lavish kindnesses.

Commit to open-heartedness.

Wrap and give away your time.

You are divine. You can do it.

And in your glory, be humble.

Your divinity is not of your creation.

It is your gift beyond the season, a gift for life.

Use it well . . . with clarity, honor and duty.

How divine.

Give Praise


Seriously, do you really want to make a difference?
Do you want to change the course of events?
It is totally within your power!

All you have to do is:

Show up with praise! 

In your office, among your friends, within your family and across the globe, the

#1 Motivator of People is Praise

Do you want people feel better and be better?
Do you want them to be attracted to you and support you?

Praise generously!

And while people appreciate hearing, “You did a good job. Thanks,” these statements are not nearly as impactful as they could be. There are specific steps that, together, are far more powerful. Take a look. More, try them out with someone in the next hour.


As soon after you observe the positive event as possible (even if it was last week), approach the person using her name.
With very specific language, describe the good thing that she did.

Explain the impact that her behavior had on you, on the project, on the team or on the company, again, in detailed terms.

Encourage her to do more of this and similar behaviors.
Thank her and, once again, use her name.

(Quick tip: This works equally well with men!) 

This technique will trigger several positive mental and emotional responses in the recipient. Imagine the silent dialogue in her head: Wow! I didn’t realize you were paying that close attention. I’m glad you noticed me. You think what I did had that effect? How nice! I hoped my efforts would matter and, from what you say, they did. Do this again? You bet! I like what’s being said to me here. Wow. He’s sincere. The smile and “Thank you” you’ll hear in response won’t begin to match the impression you just made and the renewed energy she’ll give to her tasks.

Why not become known as the person who regularly offers clear, authentic, amazing praise? Imagine how that will position you. Imagine how people will want to show you their best. Imagine what a source for good you will become up, down and across the ladder. Imagine how good you’ll feel.

Show up with praise today. There are a lot of people waiting to hear it!

Show Up!

Bright Moments

How do you show up?

When you re-trace your steps from yesterday, from waking up until the end of the day, what did you do?

You are accountable for your impact.

If others share your household, did you interact with them in a way that left no doubt that you’re glad they live with you?

When you walked into work, was there a strut in your step, or at least a bounce, that announced that you were in charge of your day?

Your confidence is contagious.

Did you enter that meeting with conviction, committed to offering at least one good idea and to praising an idea offered by somebody else?

Your approach is one that others model.

When you heard someone struggling with a concept or problem, did you stop to give them a sounding board or a path to new understanding?

Your paying attention affirms their importance.

When you saw conflict wreaking havoc on a relationship that is interdependent, did you intervene and facilitate a solution?

Your courage is powerful.

When you observed someone at life’s low point, did you suspend judgment, recognize your good fortune, and extend a hand or kind word?

Your compassion generates hope.

How you show up matters. Don’t fool yourself: your day is not inconsequential. You make an imprint on everyone in your presence.

What will you do today?

Powerful Beyond Measure

Bright Moments


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?

. . . Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine . . . .

Excerpts from A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson

Surely you’ve had that quiet conversation with yourself that says, I am capable of so much more than this. I have abilities I haven’t tested and opportunities I haven’t pursued. Why haven’t I gotten myself to just do it?

Most of us entertain the question for a moment, think of some random excuse – as sad as it may be – and move on to the next distraction that grabs our attention. If you wrestle with the question for a while, though, some interesting realizations often peek through. You see a mental flash of yourself in a larger arena – and then quickly erase the picture. You sense the responsibilities that come with your greatness then retreat from them in instantaneous overwhelm. You envision the grandeur of your spotlight then withdraw so you won’t be exposed as a fraud. The sheer possibility of your brilliance scares you. You create obstacles to throw in your own way, not so that you will stumble, but so that you won’t venture down the path at all. You play small.

What an incredible loss. There’s a child who quietly watches you because he admires you so much. He’ll not know that he can be greater than he is because he’ll never see you expand your wings. There’s a co-worker who wants to break the mold, but sees in you that it’s not safe to try. There’s a community organization that just needs a moment of your example to rally its troops, but you’ve never fully stepped in to lead your own. There’s a company whose next breakthrough idea is yours, but it remains uncomfortably confined to your brain.

You were made to shine. What will it take to raise your chest, your chin and your eyes? What do you need to stand tall, think big and execute exquisitely? What will you do to stun yourself with the power and capability you possess?

You need to decide. Your time is now.



Give what you have . . . from inside.

There’s a lot of wealth in there:

A reminder to a co-worker about a great idea she had.

A message to a boy about what it takes to be a good man.

Sharing the load of someone’s grief.

Two bags of food to someone who needs it.

Time . . . to listen attentively to a girl’s story.

A strong arm for walking an elderly woman across the street.

Mowing a neighbor’s lawn.

Revealing to a colleague a secret to company success.

Publicizing the success of a colleague.

Twirling, falling and swinging with a toddler.

A call to someone just to see how they are.

Saying “I understand” and meaning it..

Sitting close and saying little, when he needs it.

Leaving an inspirational statement on a desk.

Telling someone – lots of some ones – how they make your world better.

Giving your time knowing you’re giving your life.

Handing resources to someone who can never repay you.

Slipping in a kind word on an apparently difficult day.

Telling a great joke and enjoying others’ laughter.

Leaving a banana with a message: “You’re the top banana!”

Leaving an apple with a message: “You’re the apple of my eye.”

Leaving a piece of yourself, with no intention of getting it back.

Saying grace and giving grace.
Do one of these today . . . and one tomorrow . . . and tomorrow . . . .

Precious Gift


A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains

found a precious stone in a stream.

The next day she met another traveler who was hungry,
and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.

The hungry traveler saw the precious stone

and asked the woman to give it to him.

She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left rejoicing in his good fortune.
He knew the stone was worth enough to give him
security for a lifetime.

But, a few days later,
he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable this stone is,
but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something
even more precious.

Give me what you have within you that
enabled you to give me this stone.”

Sometimes it’s not the wealth you have
but what’s inside you that others need

Don’t Settle


Get it through your mind:
Good enough is not good enough.

When you have a dream, a goal or an expectation,
Settling half-way there is simply not okay.
You’re not destined to be three-quarters of your potential.
You’re destined to be all of it!

What is that you told yourself that made it acceptable for you to be “less than”? Was it fear? Due to time? Because of difficulty?
Really now. What was it that made you build a glass box around yourself so that you could peer at possibilities but not move forward?

Your mind. YOUR mental shackles. Your THINKING.

And that’s what you have to change first.

Your thoughts influence your attitude, which affects your actions, which impact your conversations, which sway how people respond to you, which guide the way you think about yourself, which influences your attitude… and you wind up settling. Got the circular picture? Change your thinking, followed by all of the rest.

Here’s how not to settle:

State what you really, really want. Write it down. Post it up. Drill it into your psyche.

After analyzing it, determine which aspects of it are non-negotiable. Commit that to paper, too, and don’t compromise on these.

Decide – ahead of time – what things reflect work-in-progress and advancement toward your goal. Give yourself rewards for heading, forthrightly, toward it.

Identify the warning signals, the things you know you do that derail you and sabotage your outcomes. When you see them, stop them dead in their tracks.

Build in reality checks. Be relentless in this. What progress did you make? What set-backs occurred? What recoveries did you activate? What was your quantity of effort? What is the quality of your result? Be bold and candid here. Your future, your concept, your dream is at stake.

Ignore limiting voices, first of all, your own. Don’t accept the reasons, the excuses, the “just trying to help” rationales from you or anyone else. They’ll pull you down and into complacency.

You were not meant to be mediocre. Don’t become it.
You were not meant to settle. Don’t do it.
Good enough is, in fact, not enough.
Be aggressive. Go grab your soul’s desire!


Bright Moments

In what ways are you settling?

Did you abandon a dream, compromise a belief, or tolerate a situation?

When was it that you gave yourself permission to be less than you’re capable of being? When you succumbed to fear or pressure or inertia?

Why was that okay to do? Because you didn’t have to deal with it any longer, to continue to be frustrated, or face up to the truth?

How’s that working for you?

Do you feel that angst rising in your stomach? Your jaw tightening? The sigh escaping?

Does that tell you something?

Have you noticed that settling in one area makes you more willing to settle in others?

It’s something to think about, isn’t it?

Up to this point, what you’ve read here have all been questions. That chatter in your mind that you hear? You’ve been providing answers. You’re not done with this issue yet.

So, now what?

What’s one small thing you can do today to settle less and reclaim your self-worth, your dignity or direction? It doesn’t have to be huge. It just has to be meaningful.

And then, when you’ve taken that step, smile to yourself and say, “Well done!”