Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Have You Embraced Your New Normal?

Wouldn't it be great if change in our life was flagged with this sign?

I woke up today, finally realizing that I am in a new era.

Perhaps for the rest of my life the following will be true:

I can no longer comfortably drink coffee while driving

My tennis forehand smash is officially retired.

The books I write will not be handwritten or typed - they will be dictated

Grabbing a gallon of milk will be with most certainly be with my left hand

My right forearm will join my knees in helping predict precipitation

Packing a piece of carry-on luggage will no longer be overstuffed

I could go on and on about the way my life will be in the future without the full use of my right arm. But I won't.

I am going to embrace my "new normal."

I'm not going to focus on what I won't or cannot do anymore because of  permanent partial damage to the radial nerve in my right arm. It's been a long 13 months coming. From the first diagnosis of my radial nerve palsy to the more extensive radial tunnel syndrome, I have lived with the pain, frustration and hopelessness that is watching something you took for granted slowly slip from your grip (no pun intended). After surgery 9 months ago, I naively thought that "all would be alright" and I'd go back to "normal," soon.

Well "soon" never came. And may never come.

So I'm letting go of the thought that my right arm will return to 100% strength and sensory functionality. And what a freeing exercise this is turning out to be. Immediately, I am starting to see what I CAN do with the limbs I have.

Am I going to stop my strengthening exercises or heat therapy? Not a chance. But I have put aside my thoughts of full recovery as a condition to do anything. I am no longer postponing anything in my mind.

What about you?

Is there a "new normal" you've been running from or hoping against?

Often times change that catapults us into "new normal" is swift and sudden. Not a lot you can do to prepare. Other times, it's slow and incremental and gives us glimpses that we often ignore to our own detriment.

Take it from me, your "new normal"  will catch up to you one day.

Why not join me and embrace your "new normal" today?

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Biggest Favor You Can Do For Yourself

Over the last few weeks (and I knew it would be this way - it always is this time of year) it has been hectic. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at my calendar and been completely shocked and overwhelmed.

However, I was reminded of the importance of making time for things that matter during a lunch date. A lunch date that I'd completely not recorded on the calendar but committed to weeks before.

Your calendar is a direct reflection of your priorities. Whether you like it or not.

What we allow ourselves to spend our precious earthly minutes on, gives a message to all of what is important to us.

My favorite example of this is my house - take a look at this dining room table.

I am not proud of that. At all.

However, it is an indication that I - wife, mom, marketer, public servant and entrepreneur have prioritized "Clean dining room table" lower on my list. It will get done. One day. Eventually.

But I did order my daughter's birthday gift in time.

I did remember to teach my son how to tie his shoes in time for 1st grade.

I did get a Facebook page up for a new business venture.

I also presented to the Chairman of my day job on Monday morning.

I had lunch with a new friend.

I took time to explore one of my "fears" on Tuesday.

I'm posting to my blog today.

Are you smelling what I'm cooking?

Time is not renewable resource. It is here today and gone tomorrow. We must be conscious of the choices we make with our time. And how we communicate that.

The very next time you find yourself saying you "don't have time to" fill-in-the-blank, please stop and think about the truth of that statement. Is it that you don't have time or haven't made time?

Now I am not saying go around telling folks - they are not a priority but I am advocating being honest with yourself and those you do life with. Perhaps instead you can say... "I'd love to ________ but it's not going to work out with the other commitments I have that week."

Who can get mad at that? Better yet, you put yourself in the driver seat of your time and commitments and there is no better feeling than that.

How do you "make time" for what's important to you?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

K. E. Y. To Getting What You Want In Life

Credit: Marek @fotolia
Almost a full week after my annual leadership replenishment exercise, I am still reeling from all the great wisdom imparted upon me.

No less than 3 different topics clog my mind right now to blog about as it relates to relationships and what I learned... but it really all comes down to the illustration above.

Keep Extending Yourself

Speaker after speaker. Marketplace or Church based. It didn't matter male or female - all the speakers pointed to using your individual power, motivation, unique story and skills to propel you to your calling. Your dream. Your life's work.

"We are all conditioned to be picked, PICK YOURSELF, " said Seth Godin.

"Believe in the future by creating it first" or "Don't worry about what you want to do, think about what to do NEXT,"  implored Len Schlesinger.

"Resist the temptation to stop or step back and just move forward," pleaded Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil.

Powerful words.

Actionable words.

I share them because they are the jumping off points for the next phase of my growth. Each give me specific instruction, specific movement. And they can do the same for you.

Keep Extending Yourself towards what's important to you. In my case, it's revolutionizing relationships on planet Earth.

Don't shrink from your work, your dream because of what you see around you. Take a few minutes to read the words above and apply them to your specific situation. Your specific scenario.

In just 6 days and I've already seen a difference in the opportunities that have surfaced for me and Relationships Matter Now and my other leadership roles. Our world is dying for great leaders. Stop looking for "them" and BE them.

Keep Extending Yourself and see what happens.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two Of My Favorite Days Of Every Year

Thirst quenching.

My drink of choice any day. Water is what I thought of this day as I look ahead at my upcoming week. Because later this week, I will participate in two of my favorite days of every year - the Willowcreek Association Global Leadership Summit.

As a leader, these are two of the most important days for me every year because they represent all those traits I wrote about my favorite drink above. I'll elaborate on the three most important.


My walk as a leader gets weary at times. Things happen. Things DON'T happen. And many days, I feel as though my very life is being sucked away from me. Time at the the WCA GLS is like a life line and it always comes on time. I am certain that minute one, day one - I will be injected with insights and learnings that will literally bring me "back to life."


Dictionary definition of nourish is "to provide with substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition." The growth, health and good condition of a leader constantly needs attention. And throughout the year, I do many things to contribute to that. I read. I attend workshops. I work with business coaches and advisers. But every year since 2006, the WCA GLS has served as annual super injection of nutrition. This year will be no different. 


This one is the most important for me personally. It is always easy to get inspired when locked away from your real life for two days with leaders from around the globe. It is a slam dunk to be motivated by the likes of Harvey Carey, Patrick Lencioni, Bono, Jim Collins, Carly Fiorina, TD Jakes and Gary Hamel - not to name drop - teaching you in an incredible setting. What's tough is taking those learnings home with you and applying them.  Which is what makes the WCA GLS work for me. There are tons of resources distributed leading up to, throughout and after the conference. Not a year has gone by that I have not referenced past conference notes or principles. Last year, I started distributing my notes to a small group of folks who have been interested in attending. I even found myself carrying materials around for months after the conference. And this year, I am excited to bring one of my business partners as a guest.

So I will work super hard Monday - Wednesday and do my best to get a good night's sleep on Wednesday night because come Thursday,  

It's on.

Learn more about WCA Global Leadership Summit here.