How to Cope with the Shorter Days

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

It’s 4:30 at night and already I have my headlights on as I drive home.  The sun is nearly gone, and by 6:00, it’s so dark outside that I feel like it’s time for bed.  The early darkness makes me feel confused and bored and a little disoriented.

Sound familiar???

I’ve heard so many people complain about the longer evenings, about how much they hate it.  And if I’m honest, I have to admit that I’m one of them.  However, the short days are here to stay for the next few months – and there is nothing we can do to change that. 

So, how can we deal with it?  How do we find a positive twist to something we can’t control?

As you already know, I give presentations on how to keep a positive attitude in any situation.  I often refer to “flip the switch” and offer suggestions on how to find something good in everything that surrounds us.  And as I was driving home, I found it!  I figured out a way to deal with the darkness.

There, surrounding me, around every corner, houses and yards were lit up with beautiful colors.  There were homes with red and green lights twisting around the fence; I saw a Santa’s face all lit up smiling at me;  and a snowman family seemed to wave to me as I drove past.

That’s when it dawned on me – the early darkness gives me more time to enjoy all these beautiful holiday decorations.  They light up my route as I drive home and actually make me smile.  In fact, the lovely deer pictured here greeted me as I pulled into my own driveway.  What a beautiful sight!

So now, I look forward to the darkness so I can see what new decorations are in my neighborhood.  This weekend I’m heading to Zoo Lights.  And who knows what else?

Take a look around and tell me what festive decorations surround you.  What are your favorites?  Which ones make your darkness a little brighter?

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
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How To Tame a Negative Nellie

Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow and everywhere I look, I see articles on gratitude.  Now don’t get me wrong – I’m a HUGE fan of gratitude.  Keeping a gratitude list actually helped me turn my life around several years ago when everything was crumbling around me.  In fact, I wrote a series of five blogs on the topic of gratitude and being thankful.  If you’d like to read them, start here then scroll through the next four:  They’re pretty insightful.

But today I thought of a little twist.  What about all those people who aren’t moved by gratitude – don’t know what it really means, how to use it or even care about it.  Do you know anyone like that?  Maybe someone who complains a lot, or isn’t aware of the amazing things that surround them.  Do you sometimes have to share the day, whether it’s a holiday or not, with a Negative Nellie? 

How do you handle that?  How do you keep from getting sucked into their bad mood?

Here’s an idea – give them a compliment!  Yes, you heard me right.  In the middle of all their complaining, moaning and groaning, tell them you like their shoes, or you like the color of their shirt, or the cake they brought is absolutely delicious.  Derail them!  Make them stop in their tracks and figure out how to absorb something good in their life.

I’ve tried this a few times and it works!  Maybe not all the time, but when it does, it’s amusing to see the look on their face.  It’s a good feeling to know you’ve turned their attitude around, even if it’s only for a moment or two.  You’ve made them stop and take notice.  Besides, it keeps you from reaching for the aspirin. 

Try it – what have you got to lose?  Watch the impact you can have on someone else.  Then you can go back to having a lovely day of your own. 

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Positive Thinking Professional Speaker
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Paint by Number Life – Is That You?

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Do you sometimes feel like you have a paint by number life?  All the 1’s are blue, the 2’s are white, so on and so on…  You’ve gotten into a routine that’s almost robotic.  You drive the same route to work every day, and on some days, you don’t even remember how you got there.  You think: Did I really drive through town?  Did I stop at that red light?  But somehow you get to work without remembering anything along the route that got you there.

So if you should find yourself in a ho-hum, almost boring phase of your life, try these simple tips to help you add a little spice to your life:

  1. Check out the community board at your local coffee shop, grocery store or restaurant and see what’s going on around town.  You will find a variety of activities, anywhere from who is giving music lessons to the latest movie festival.  The photo I posted here was at an Einstein Bros. Bagel restaurant in Naperville, IL.  Lots of options!
  2. Did you know that many local high schools, junior colleges or universities offer adult classes?  Many times they offer topics that are quite interesting at a very reasonable price.  I personally have taken some on traveling, decorating or how to make the best martini imaginable.  All of these classes were just for fun.
  3. Don’t forget your local library.  Many of them offer free programs.  I’ve been to some that show free movies, offer cooking classes and even share simple lessons on how to use your computer.  YES – this and more programs at many libraries.  If yours doesn’t offer any classes, check out the one in the next town or suburb.

Sometimes we find that we are living a life filled with no risk, no creativity – and no mess.  If your life or your job looks like everyone else’s, and you’d like to shake it up a little, try one of the three tips above.  It sounds simple, but it’s not easy.  Because guess what?  You are the only one who can do it.  You are the only one who can shape your life into what you want it to be.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker Uncategorized
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Flip the Switch

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

The older I get, the more reflective I become.  That phrase “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” has become my daily mantra.

The way I see it, there are three C’s in life:




Every day you are faced with choices; and many times you are forced to take a chance that will make your life change forever.  Change is hard, especially if we like our life the way it is right now. But we don’t always have an option to keep change at bay.  Sometimes change enters into our life and we don’t even see it coming.  It could be a simple check-up that brings a diagnosis we’re not ready to hear, or a spouse who wants to move in a different direction (without you), or a boss who has to downsize his team and you were the last one hired.  Overnight, your life can change.

So how do you cope with it?  How do you keep putting one foot in front of the other?

Know that you have a choice.  Maybe not over the situation, but certainly over your attitude.  Once you can finally accept the change, finding the best way to deal with it becomes a whole lot easier.

Think of a light switch; now picture yourself flipping the switch.  That’s what I like to call it.  When I am faced with a new challenge – one that I just don’t want – I mentally flip the switch.  I try to think of the best outcome possible or how this change can help me discover something new about myself.  I know I’m making this sound easy – and it’s not.  It’s really hard!  But sometimes the only thing we can change is our attitude and it helps us keep our sanity.  It helps us get out of bed the next morning and try again.

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