A dear friend contacted me recently, out of her mind with frustration. It seems her employer had just derailed her pet project again, changing his mind and her team’s direction for the third time in two months. The change, sadly for her, will mean longer hours, heightened stress, and the certainty of a missed deadline for which, inevitably, he will hold her responsible. But perhaps even more significant, to her the change means a total disregard for her expertise and a lack of appreciation for the hours and dedication already poured into the work. After years of experiencing this dysfunctional pattern, my once passionate friend, a driven project manager, is now feeling nothing more than ineffective and deflated. Unwilling to expend her energy on what seems to be a losing battle, she has decided to stop trying so hard and simply “go with the flow.” But even as she says this, I hear the doubt in her voice. She wonders out loud, “Does this acceptance mean I’m growing up or does it mean I’m giving up?” Continue reading
There’s a section of the Alps between Austria and Italy that’s so incredibly steep and high, that it was considered impossible to cross years ago. Because it was treacherous even for pack animals, travelers had no choice but to take the long journey around it. It was inconvenient. It was costly and it was time consuming. And even though people wished for a path through the mountains, they also said it couldn’t be made. Carl von Ghega built one anyway. It took twelve years and 20,000 workers, but the determined engineer designed and oversaw the construction of a railway that consisted of 41 kilometers of track, 14 tunnels, 16 viaducts and 111 bridges.
But the most amazing part? He built the railway before there was a train in existence that could make the trip.
There are times in life when everything seems to come together in perfect harmony. But there are often times when everything seems to be a mess – Nothing feels quite right, bad luck seems to follow you everywhere, and the background music of your life is an insistent cacophony of grating dissonance that announces, very clearly, “Your life isn’t working.” We’ve all been there, but have you ever wondered how you got there and why? Continue reading
They say “change is good” and, for the most part, I agree. After all, without a healthy dose of change life would be boring and spiritless. But what happens when the force of change doesn’t knock on the door but, instead, knocks down your whole house? Continue reading
No one likes to make mistakes. In fact, we can be downright haunted by them. Mistakes have the power to make us feel foolish, expose our weaknesses and reduce carefully laid foundations to rubble. Whether it’s a vision in mind for a particular project, intentions for a valued relationship or carefully laid plans for the future, mistakes that alter our objectives can be devastating… or they can be unexpected game-changers – great opportunities for success. Continue reading
They’re always out there… People who not only seek to knock you off of the path you’re navigating, but people who find pleasure in doing it.
I have a friend who is a scenic artist. She’s smart and incredibly talented, and has worked on films starring big names like Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Kevin Bacon. She can transform any surface into an artistic illusion; marble… rust… any patina imaginable. So you can imagine my surprise when she recently whispered to me that she’s afraid of being “found out” – that people will realize she has no talent. Continue reading
Years ago, when I was a decorative painter, a client called me for help with a unique challenge. She and her husband had built an extension on their home to accommodate their growing family, which meant creating a solid wall in their oldest child’s bedroom where her only window used to be. Wanting to make it up to the 7 year-old who loved gazing out at the backyard trees and garden, they wondered if something could be done to make her space feel less confining. We talked about faux finishes, new furniture, and even new bedding and window treatments. But none of that addressed the real issue, which was how to bring the outside inside for the little girl who lived there. That’s when it hit me… Continue reading