Lighten Up, Francis

Cut yourself some slack. That is the best advice I can give you. Now and always. In whatever you’ve got going on. Cut yourself some slack. Or to quote old movie lines, “Lighten up, Francis.” Oh my dears, we are so hard on ourselves. When it comes to writing or biz or life in general, we drag ourselves into the mire of SHOULD DO, MUST DO, HAVE TO. We compare, compare, compare. And we judge. Ourselves. We let self doubt take the driver’s seat. We start a never ending to do list and we beat ourselves up for not polishing off enough from the...

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Just do it

Why was the Nike slogan of JUST DO IT so effective? It was clear. Succinct. To the point. They didn’t rationalize, convince, weigh all the options, ponder the what ifs, listen to your fears and commiserate with you …. They said JUST DO IT. Those words resonate. We need to hear that. Jeepers creepers, if you want to do something, just do it. We wafflers of the world need to be told JUST DO IT. As I look at my whiteboard of inspiration over my desk, I do not see that phrase up there. Hmmm. I have lots of things written to myself: No...

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How karoake makes you a better writer

Do you sing in the shower? in your car? in your kitchen? I am not a good singer and have stayed mute for years. The first time I did karoake (just two years ago) was a Big Deal. To get up in front of people, and sing into a real microphone (not my hairbrush) was a leap in confidence. I will never be paid to sing (or even asked to sing for free), but singing out loud did not kill me, nor anyone within earshot. It did give me a huge benefit. Freedom. Freedom of expression is a right we tout in America, yet we are pretty good at squashing what...

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Doubt kills more dreams than fear

“And so what do you do?” goes the typical question at American gatherings. “I work at the IRS.” That answer left me either suddenly alone as the person quickly vacated the premises to get another drink or engulfed me in a tirade of the ineptitude of the IRS as the person bombarded me with a heated diatribe against government workers. It’s no wonder I left the auditing job. Not my cup of tea and not much fun to talk about. Fast forward to now. I love talking about what I do and people are genuinely interested and intrigued to learn about how I...

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Candle snuffers

I swiped J.M. Barrie’s phrase “candle snuffing words” a while back, and wrote a column on the nuances. It’s time to revisit the concept. There are two types of candle snuffing folks. The first group is those that outright squash your hopes and desires with mocking tones or cut to the bone comments. Their candle snuffing words are hot puffs. These people, and words, are actually easier to ignore or dismiss. Blatant candle snuffers have long given up on their own dreams so they are very harsh to anyone with a spark still in them. You can sense...

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