Tag Archives: Stretching

More Potpourris

DSC03125Some things that I’ve come across that I feel fit in with my theme on this blog, please check them out:


3 Steps to Turn Any Setback into Success – this article provides some great points to ponder while you lick your wounds and plan your next move – my take on this topic was Its Just Practice.


This one provides some clear cut information about achieving the ‘sweet spot’ of just the right amount of assertiveness – How to be Assertive (Without Losing Yourself).


How to Undress for Success is by Jeff Haden, one of the people who post useful and thought provoking things on LinkedIn, but manages to seem really just like one of us at the same time.


© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations


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First Solo Moment

There might be that rare individual out there that doesn’t know about self-doubt, but the rest of us all experience that first solo moment on a regular basis.  It is that moment when your training seems to abandon you as you must alter from student to responsible party.

Sadly there is no photo evidence of my first driver's license, so I'm substituting my son's.

Sadly there is no photo evidence of my first driver’s license, so I’m substituting my son’s.

I vividly remember the first moment when this phenomenon became apparent to me.  I was 15 and in Driver’s Ed.  I’d driven a simulator a few times and even the family car maybe twice with my dad.  Now the school had turned the summer empty, vast parking lot into a driving course.  Paint lines and orange cones covered the crumbling asphalt.  There was a row of compact cars on loan from a local dealership and the instructors were either installed at the top of the observation platform in the center of the lot, or standing in the grass on the edge.

I had been looking forward to this moment for ages.  While I waited my turn, I critiqued the performance of my classmates harshly in my mind and I could see from the facial expressions around me that I wasn’t alone in my hubris.

Then it was my turn and I was assigned to a car.  I believe it was a Volkswagen Fox. (Yes, this dates me.)  I climbed in and adjusted everything as I had been taught, the seat and all the mirrors.  Just before I was told that I could start the car, it hit me that I was alone in a vehicle for the first time in my life.  Additionally, the full responsibility of managing this machine landed squarely on my shoulders.  My ears stopped working and I had to carefully focus on how to breathe.  One of the instructors in the grass had to come over and tell me to start my car.

I don’t recall how I did on that course that day, but I know that I didn’t distinguish myself as I had hoped.  The biggest lesson from that day has remained the awareness of the importance of ‘getting in the driver’s seat’ but retaining the openness of a student.

© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations

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Coming to Your Own Conclusions

Everyone has an opinion on what you should do for this or that issue in your life.  You should do ‘x’ because my cousin’s boyfriend’s sister had the same problem and this is how it went wrong for her.  You should do ‘y’ because I read this article in a magazine that said it’s best to do it that way.

You do your own research and find a variety of potential solutions presented by all types of experts.  Some of these solutions even contradict each other.  They use these very definitive words – never do this, always do that.  All this emphatic information leaves you feeling queasy and less certain than you were to start with for crying out loud.

How can they all seem so assured when their solutions are so different?


They are assured because they found a means to come to their own conclusion about the issue at hand.  Your job is to examine the criteria that they applied to their conclusion to determine if it applies to your situation or if you should set aside their recommendation because it is not helpful for you at this time.

Hopefully they have provided some background and key points to prove the validity of their conclusion that you can use in your review.  If their reasoning begins and ends on some form of ‘because I said so’, then they have not provided a compelling argument for you to emulate their actions.  (In my opinion)

Now you have narrowed down your expert examples, you can take a closer look at the criteria listed in the remainder and start to build your own conclusion based on these specifics that make sense in your individual issue.  Not necessarily taking on as your own their conclusion, but using it to help you to make sense of your situation and the best solution that you can apply based on your overall intent or goal.

© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations

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Being Spectacularly Yourself

A few years ago I had a very difficult year.  There’s a list that pops up periodically in articles of serious stressors and I was affected by a fair number of them in this particular year.  This isn’t about stressors or difficulties, though.  It is about finding your joy by understanding yourself.


“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.”

~Albert Camus


I learned many, many things that year, but two stand out as beacons to me still.  The first is just as Mr. Camus states above, only my personal expression is that there is joy to be found.  It is in such varied and unexpected places if we can only keep our minds, ears, eyes and hearts open to absorb it.  Or since such constant vigilance is difficult to maintain, remind ourselves of the possibility on a frequent basis.


The second was an idea that took hold of me then that every person has within them a ‘great thing’.  Some people have more than one; some people may never realize their great thing.  But it exists and just waits to be discovered.  No one else can tell you what your great thing is; you must look inside yourself and then nurture it.


By saying great thing, I don’t mean to imply that it is something that will bring fame and riches or indeed any sort of renown necessarily.  (And I am deliberately not capitalizing great thing because it is personal.)  Your great thing will most likely play a part in your definition of success.


“Do not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”

~James Thurber


I have a friend that posted on Facebook shortly after this past New Year that while at a party she was asked the traditional question about her resolution for 2013 and on the spur of the moment she answered to sparkle.  Isn’t that just grand?  She has had her trials, but she chooses to sparkle.  (She is possessed of an excellent wit, so I have no doubt that she will be able to fulfill this resolution.)


Finding joy, nurturing your great thing, or sparkling won’t prevent the trials and tribulations of life from pecking at you, this is true.  But each will help you to achieve contentment, and internalized, will flavor all your endeavors.


© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations


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February 11, 2013 · 9:21 am

Re-Energize Yourself

Sitting at a desk hour after hour can be deadly, literally so we are now finding out.


Here are some simple exercises that you can do at your desk to keep your blood flowing and your muscles from getting too tense:


(My thanks to Real Simple for posting this information.)


I learned most of these the hard way, by going (and paying for) physical therapy due to neck and back injuries.


Try getting up to go and see someone else in the office when you need to talk to them instead of using the phone or email.  Or take the long way to the restroom or break room at least once a day.


Be proactive, take a minute and try them out now.  Your muscles and your brain will thank you.


© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations

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