Archives for September 2011

Practice Feeling Good – For No Reason!

No matter what I’m spending my time doing, I have learned through many, many choices that I also have a choice about how I’m feeling while I do whatever I’m doing. Years ago an inspiring teacher changed my life with a sentence. Maybe it will do the same for you. He said:

“I need no excuse to experience and express pure joy.” – Paul Solomon

It is helpful to practice. To actually practice feeling good – for no reason. It’s not difficult. All you have to do is smile. That’s it. Go ahead. Put a smile on your face, and hold it for 60 seconds – SIXTY WHOLE SECONDS – and try feeling bad. Can’t do it. It’s very hard to smile and feel bad at the same time. Try it!

Think about times when you were happy, when you did feel joy. And notice that just thinking about such times, causes you to begin to feel the way you did then. (Feel a little smile curling up the corners of your mouth?) The more detailed the imagery of your memory, the more imaginary senses you involve, the more intense the emotion (positive or negative by the way).

So, practice feeling good for no reason, and when you find yourself not having a reason, remember – you don’t need one!

At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Dr. Rob Pennington, psychologist and professional speaker is author of Find The Upside Of The Down Times: How To Turn Your Worst Experiences Into Your Best Opportunities. You can get more information about having Dr. Pennington speak to your organization by going to his bio at: or catch more of his entertaining insights on this topic and others from his blog at


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I am a Star, You’re a Star


It’s true.


They made a stamp for me.  That makes me a star.

OK, maybe not quite. But when I read this little item about stamp designs in the New York Times, I couldn’t resist having a little fun with the images.

The United States Postal Service…announced Monday that it was tossing out its rule that its stamps honor only dead individuals and will be opening up this postage-stamp-size billboard space to the living, as well.

And why not you? I’m a star. You’re a star. We are all wonderful miracles that defy the norms of the universe.  So why shouldn’t we all have a stamp designed in our honor?

We live! We think! We feel! We believe! We love!  See how great we are.

We are stars, indeed.

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Leadership done right

I (guest blogger Chris Hammer) help new and aspiring leaders fast-track the learning process; successfully navigating the challenges and uncertainties that come with the task of managing others.

And a common mistake I see with new leaders is that they too often try to jump in too quickly without establishing a solid framework for who they want to be as leaders and what they want to accomplish (and why they want to accomplish it).

Too often the new leader will try to assert his or her authority too quickly; changing systems and delegating tasks without really thinking it through. This often sets up power-struggles and/or sets the leader’s reputation on shaky grounds.

I’ve noticed that exceptionally good leaders take time first to observe – to really understand the past and present workings of their environment, and to understand the explicit and implicit lines of influence and sub-cultures that have evolved over time.

So the first step to being a good leader is exploration: take the time to observe, and ask more questions and give fewer answers.

Also think about what leadership skills you already have, and work to develop these further. Think about leaders you admire, and identify what common traits and behaviours they have – and work to emulate these.

Conversely, identify what you notice about poor leadership – and make a point to steer away from those practices! Leadership ability is a skill that can be developed; Masters in Public Administration degrees provide teaching to help develop leadership skills.

This is a guest post by Chris Hammer. Refer to the free ebook and articles on for more ideas, and check out the “Be a Leader” ebook for the rest of the steps!

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