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Teachers, Teaching, and Top Traits

Quick – name a teacher who helped shape who you are today. If you’re like most people, and like me, you can name a few.

Mrs. Sharrett, my 4th grade teacher, who made paying attention pay off. She used operant conditioning on her willing subjects, making intentional mistakes and paying the first student to point it out with a piece of candy from a special drawer in her desk.

Mr. Buhn, my high school physics teacher, a man completely grounded in science and yet still fun in the way he taught his passion. He was delighted when his class gave him membership to the Flat Earth Society. He used their monthly newsletter as a springboard for lessons on how things really work.

Miss Gardner, my performing arts teacher and coach, who took raw talent, lit a fire under its container, and created the knowledge and belief that I would be a performer. And I was, for three decades, a very successful major market radio personality. Thank you for believing in me, Miss Gardner!


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Will You Honor the Bonfire in Your Heart?

Tomorrow is May Day. It’s also Beltane, a holiday that you may not be familiar with unless you’re from County Limerick or County Wicklow in Ireland, where the Beltane tradition has been constant from the earliest writings in Irish literature. Beltane/May Day marks the midpoint between the spring and the summer solstice, a time where the earth starts producing food, flocks start producing babies, and the heavy summer work of providing for the community and putting up for the cold months of winter begins in earnest.

Humans have observed and celebrated the changing of the seasons throughout recorded history, and that continues today. The winter holidays are wrapped around the winter solstice. Easter, Passover, and Carnival occur near or on the spring solstice. Summer solstice in June is when school winds down and vacations ramp up, and the fall solstice is when vacation season winds down and school ramps back up. Toss in an election, a spooky holiday and a food-laden one,...

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Want to Live a Better Life? Pets to the Rescue!

leader pets success Apr 09, 2024

If I told you that there’s one thing that provides you with all the following benefits, would you rush right out and get it?

  1. More active lifestyle
  2. Lower blood pressure
  3. Lower cholesterol
  4. Significant decrease in heart disease/heart attack
  5. Lower likelihood of depression
  6. Lower anxiety levels
  7. Lower BMI
  8. Increased social interaction
  9. Stronger immune system
  10. Fewer allergies
  11. Stronger bones

There are more benefits – I didn’t want to wear you out with the exhaustive list. As you look at that list of 11 benefits, how many of them would you like to achieve? You can get them all – get a pet. Oh, you already have one? Yay, you! Then you’re already reaping the mental and physical benefits of sharing your life with a living being who depends on you. If you’re not already a pet owner, this is an impressive list of benefits, and you should still be sure that your life can support a pet before you add one. They are completely dependent on you, which means...

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The Many Hats of Leadership

Today let’s talk about leaders, and the leader that lives inside each of us. It’s easy to think about leaders as those who are somehow above our level – the president of your division, the president of your company, the president of the United States – and those are all leaders.

Did you know that you are a leader?

Today, let’s talk about what makes a good leader, and where leaders show up in our lives. Take a look at these examples:

  • Have you ever sat behind someone at a red light and when the light turned green, they started driving? That’s leadership skills right there. A good leader pays attention to the conditions around them and reacts appropriately at the right time. If you don’t believe that taking off when the light turns green is showing leadership, think about how you feel when the person in front of you fails to go when the light turns green. Do you get irritated? Wonder if they’re on their phone? Clearly, they aren’t...
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In Honor of Spunky Old Broads

Do you equate age with wisdom? Many people do, and there’s science to back it up. While youth is revered in our culture, wisdom is, too, and when people are looking for advice, it’s their aging friends and colleagues they turn to. It is true that memory functions can fade with age, and it's also true that the frontal lobe, where logic, reasoning, and problem-solving happen, continues to develop.

As we age, we develop more emotional intelligence. That means older people generally are more concerned with the wellbeing of others, make significantly better choices and decisions, and process information and thoughts more holistically, so take in multiple perspectives and can share them more clearly.

Doesn’t that sound like someone you’d go to for advice, counsel, and coaching?

Last Wednesday was Spunky Old Broads Day, and February is Spunky Old Broads Month. Chances are, you know a spunky old broad or two, and maybe you even are one. I’m not sure when it...

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What Dogs Teach You About Leadership

Do you have a dog? Two? More? Are you dogless and get your dog love from friends’ dogs? Or maybe you’re someone who just doesn’t see the appeal of dogs?

If you love dogs, you’ll probably love this article. If not, read on anyway because there’s probably something here for you despite your distaste for this nearly-perfect being. (Oops…my bias is showing!)

In the early part of the 20th century, Will Judy, the editor of Dog World Magazine, who was a WW1 veteran and an ordained minister, devoted his life to helping people understand what he saw as a spiritual bond between humans and dogs. Of dogs, Will Judy wrote, “The most loyal thing in the world is your dog. Whether you come home from Congress or from jail, whether you have lost your fortune or made a million, whether you return home dressed in fashion’s heights or in rags, whether you have been hailed as a hero or condemned as a criminal, your dog is waiting for you with a welcome...

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Do You Encourage Silliness Sometimes? Should You?

What started as an inside joke has turned into a day of silliness that’s celebrated every year on September 19th. Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day – avast, ye mateys, and I’ll tell the tale of the scurvy lads who created this sorry excuse for revelry!

Two friends were playing racquetball on June 6, 1995. John Bauer, AKA Cap’n Slappy, and Mark Summers, AKA Ol’ Chumbucket, played hard, resulting in an injury to one of them. In pain, he cried out “Arrrrrrrgghhhhh” and the silliness was well begun. It was an inside joke between them for a while, until they sent a letter to humorist and nationally syndicated columnist Dave Barry, who loved it and wrote about it. Boom – a holiday was born! In deference to the lives lost in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, the men decided to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th instead of D-Day.

The day took on a life of it’s own as people learned to speak Piratese, and it tickled the...

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Are You Strong Enough to be Quiet?

This week’s topic might make you roll your eyes. That’s OK. This week’s topic may make you think, “I’ve tried and it doesn’t work for me.” That’s OK, too. Keep reading for the why’s and how’s about adding … gasp! … meditation to your daily routine.

There are a lot of reasons people give for not meditating – they don’t understand what it is, they don’t understand what it does for them, and maybe they think they don’t have time for meditation. Let’s take those reasons, one by one:

What is meditation? It’s simply quieting your mind for a few minutes while remaining awake. That’s all. Most major religions have meditative practices, though meditation itself isn’t a religious activity. You don’t need special clothes, music, flexibility, or space to meditate – comfy clothes, a comfy chair or couch, and a space you can be undisturbed for a short period of...

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Staying Afloat in a Sea of Uncertainty

Countries are at war. Banks are failing. The stock market is teeter-tottering. Inflation is behaving like a spoiled brat, refusing efforts to control it. Politicians are taking dirty laundry and gleefully hanging it out for all to see. And all of this is coming in the wake of a worldwide pandemic, which created a mental health crisis worldwide.

If you’re feeling a bit more stress, world events could be playing a role. If you want to feel less stress, read on for some scientific news and some practical ways to easily lower the angst.

To say that times are uncertain is an understatement. To say that every person has to feel the pain of the uncertainty, live in the stress of the uncertainty, and rule their lives based on what can only be guesses at possible outcomes is incorrect. Not everyone has to suffer in uncertain times. As a matter of fact, visionaries, great leaders, and innovators often thrive in uncertain times, because they see the opportunities that the upheaval...

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How Can You Be as Happy as This Cat?

Happy Act Happy Week! And if you’re not happy and you know it, it’s OK to not be able to give an Oscar-winning performance. In this week’s newsletter I’ll help you find your way back to happy with a few mental wellbeing tools you can use any time, in the privacy of your own head. Or you can just watch funny cat videos - whatever works for you is good.

Have you ever thought about our amazing range of emotions and how quickly they can switch up, based on what’s happening around us? Research at UC Berkley identified 27 distinctly different emotional states of mind, and also showed that they are interconnected, allowing us to slide easily and quickly between them. What are the 27 emotions they identified through a research study with over 800 participants? Here you go: admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, craving, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, excitement, fear,...

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