Don't get out your Fall clothes just yet...

You can feel it in the air. The nights are cooler and the days are a little shorter where I live. Fall planters are on the shelves at the garden centres. I saw Halloween candy being stocked in a store. Schools are back this week or next week depending where you live.

Where did summer go?

I've been thinking a lot about how we end things. I've got more to say on that topic coming up. I've worked with people and organizations in transition for a long time. I've been through many of my own transitions. I love change. I can hurry into something new with barely a glance back. I think I am becoming wiser as I age. I am more eager to try and enjoy what is and not be in such a rush.

In my work with people in transition, I have become aware of how important it is to end well. Good closure can help us transition well. So, before you get out your flannel sheets, I'm suggesting you take some time to end summer well. You'll thank me in February for reminding you now to squeeze out every drop of summer.

Here are some thoughts I have for you to consider:

  • What could you do to savour these last weeks of summer?
  • What is something that you wanted to do this summer but didn't get around to doing? Is it too late or can you fit it in still? I wanted to go stand up paddle boarding - I think I can still fit that in on one of the warm days remaining.
  • What are some of the things you can only do in the summer that you love? Make plans to enjoy as much of it as you can now.
  • How long can you go before you need to stop wearing sandals?
  • Can you get away from your desk and get outside for lunch as much as possible this month?
  • Will you dare to wear white after Labour Day?

It can be so tempting to rush into the new season. And for some personalities we are drawn to 'what's next.' As we head into the last official long weekend of the summer - take time to enjoy it and be in the moment. It will end soon enough.

Nevertheless She Persisted

I’ve been thinking about persistence lately. It probably started earlier this year when U.S. Senate chair Steve Daines, of Montana, interrupted his colleague, Elizabeth Warren, as she was reading the words of Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell intervened to prevent her from finishing the speech. McConnell, later, remarked of Warren, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” If you aren’t familiar with the story read this article. It didn’t take long for the internet to explode with the meme, “Nevertheless she persisted.”

 Click on poster for details.

Click on poster for details.

I’ve been thinking about persistence in my own life. I like to see results quickly and when I don’t, I feel the lure of the next idea or shiny object. Or I start thinking maybe I should go back to what I've done before. This past year, I’ve been working hard and hardly working all at the same time. I’ve been putting in all the hours. I've been writing, working on my website, podcast, marketing and doing everything to shift my work away from corporate to working with women who want to identify what’s next in their lives and create a path to get there. I look at the faces of the women in the picture above and think about how they persisted against some pretty big barriers And yet, they did. And I keep coming back to my need to persist with my dream and to help you with yours!

Last night I watched The Founder on Netflix. It’s the story of Ray Croc, the man who took a small hamburger business and turned it into McDonald's. I was surprised by how much I’ve been thinking about it today. He was ambitious, ruthless and persistent.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when it comes to persistence. I think many of us give up before we have a breakthrough. We get discouraged. We feel anxious about our results. We don’t see progress fast enough. And so we settle for less. And the world never benefits from our best gifts. So, I’m challenging myself this week - and you.

Let’s be women who persist, who don’t settle for anything less than living our lives truthfully, because the world needs us.

Let me ask you:

  • Do you want to make a change in your life?
  • Have you tried and quit?
  • Are you not wondering if 'you've got what it takes?'
  • Are you afraid?
  • Do you need help creating a plan to get there?

It's almost September. I happen to think that is the perfect time of year to focus on what is important to you. It's time to persist. Get in touch.

What really matters?

I was about twenty years old when I first read Victor Frankl's book, Man's Search for Meaning. It was a time in my life when I discovered, like so many in my generation, self-help books. Over thirty years later, I still recall two books that stood out from all the others - Psycho-Cybernetics and Man's Search for Meaning. Both of them, in different ways, provided me with an understanding of the power of the mind in achieving goals and in overcoming challenges in our lives. Frankl's book also left me with an understanding that we can endure great things in our lives when we believe there is meaning in our suffering.

I think that there are times in our lives when we experience a need to define or redefine what gives our lives meaning. Life transitions are times when we find ourselves asking some of those deeper questions.

Typical transitions include:

  • young adults as they transition to independence
  • marriage or divorce
  • becoming a parent
  • death of a loved one
  • health challenges
  • loss of faith or alienation from religious systems
  • financial challenges
  • ageing
  • empty nest

There are many more. I've read a list of over 30 life changes that lead us into a transition. Transitions are that time between what was (the old reality) and what will be (when the changes have been integrated into our lives). Changes are generally an event that lead us into transition. It is during the transitions that we begin to make sense and find meaning in our new reality.

This week, a friend gave me a book to read called: The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters.  I read it in three days. In the introduction the author, Emily Esfahani Smith writes:

The rise of philosophy, religion, natural science, literature, and even art can be at least partly explained as a response to two questions, "What is the meaning of existence?" And, "How can I lead a meaningful life?" (p.4)

Esfahani Smith is part of the growing movement of Positive Psychology, a discipline that originated to investigate what makes life fulfilling and worth living but became increasingly focused on measuring happiness in people's lives. The irony, researchers discovered, was that the more we focus on happiness in our lives the more unhappy we become.

I won't turn this post into a book review, I will say that I enjoyed this book and I am going back to review all my Post-It flags and highlights and to do some journaling and reflecting on what stood out for me. I'm going to re-read Viktor Frankl as well. At the end of the day, I think we all want to live meaningful lives. What gives you meaning in your life? Sometimes, we need to have a conversation with someone to help us clarify what gives us meaning. If you want to explore that with a coach, email me.