Take a Chance

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

In the wise words of…Abba

“Take a Chance on Me”

For some reason, that song kept playing in my mind as I took a trip with two new friends.  One woman was just an acquaintance – I hardly knew her.  What did she like?  Dislike?  How would it be to spend four full days with her 24/7?

The other woman is a newish friend.  We’ve spent some time together and a new friendship is budding but now we were planning to be together for several days!  Who knows what can happen.

But off the three of us went, driving from Chicago to Cleveland to see an art exhibit.  Was I sure it would work out?  NO!!!

But I took a chance.  I jumped in with both feet and focused on the positive.  And as the song says:

“Listen to some music, maybe just talking.  Get to know you better…”

That is exactly what we did, and as a result, a new friendship was formed and a second one was deepened.  They took a chance on me and I took a chance on two women who I shared four days of laughter, friendship and unforgettable experiences.

So, what do you think?  Is there something you’d like to take a chance on even though you have no idea how it will turn out?  Are you daring enough to take a chance on yourself?  I’d love to hear the new stories you will create.

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Starting Over From the Middle

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We’ve all experienced it.  We’ve all faced challenges that have changed our lives forever. Sometimes I like to call them:

  • Road blocks                                                       
  • Hic cups                                                        
  • Set backs

One thing is for certain though – in order to survive we have to find a way to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.  But this time, think about it as starting FROM THE MIDDLE.

So many times I’ve heard people say: “I have to start all over again.  It’s like I’m back to square one.”  But if you really step back and take a hard look at your situation, you’ll realize that you learned a lot in the process.  Whether it’s a:                                                         

  • Halted career
  • Sick child                                                           
  • Lost love

Or anything else in between. You are definitely not the same person as you started so you cannot go back to the same place from where you came.  Because of your experiences, you are now smarter, stronger and more resilient.  Mostly, you know that you can survive the hic cups in your life because you’ve done it before.

So the next time life throws you a curve, take a deep breath, acknowledge all that you have learned and start over again – but this time, start FROM THE MIDDLE.

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Are You True to Yourself?

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“Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you’re born to stand out.” Ian Wallace

There are so many times in my life when I was afraid to stand out; when I conformed to be like everyone else.  And in the process, I lost myself.  I no longer knew who I really was.

It’s taken many years of experiences, triumphs and challenges to finally be comfortable with the person I am today.  Through that journey, I have learned to embrace my flaws and celebrate my strengths.  And  isn’t it funny – they have both changed over the years.  Those traits I viewed as flaws in my twenties have suddenly become my shining moments today.

When I was much younger, I did not take criticism well.  In fact, I got quite defensive, annoyed and aggravated.  But today, I actually seek it out.  Of course, I’m talking about constructive criticism.  Actually, with my business as a Professional Speaker, I need to know what my flaws are so I can get better and better in my profession.

Now I’d be lying if I said it was as easy in my personal life, but I am much more accepting of what people have to say, both good and bad.  The key is to always take a hard look at WHO is giving the advice.  Then I take a moment – or two – to absorb it and decide if I agree.  Maybe I’ll use their advice, and maybe I won’t.

Today, I still work hard at remaining true to myself.  Most of the time I can feel it in my gut.  You know what I mean; you can usually tell if something is right for you.  That’s when I picture the little ducks in a row and see the one that stands out.  I like to picture myself as that true-to-yourself person, no matter how hard it may get.

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You’re Just Like Your Mother???

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There was a time when I felt insulted when someone said: “You’re just like your mother.”  It usually came from an old boyfriend – or husband – who was trying to ruffle my feathers. And they were usually quite successful at annoying me with that one sentence.  But with time, I have come to realize and appreciate and be humbled by all that she did for me; by all that she gave up for me.

As long as I can remember, my mother worked the midnight shift in a factory.  She often told me stories of her co-workers losing a finger because they reached too far into the machine she called a punch press.  It happened so often that the company had to figure out a way to solve this problem.  And you know what they did?  They chained everyone’s hands to the table so they couldn’t reach so far into the machine.  Can you imagine being physically chained to your desk for eight hours each day, every day?  Obviously, this was before the days of OSHA.

Well, because of my mom’s feistiness, her co-workers voted her to be the shop steward so she could fight for their rights.  And because of her, definite changes were made to make it a better workplace for everyone.

To say that she had a strong personality is putting it lightly, and because of that I have become the strong and independent woman I am today.  So now on those days when I feel a bit of a setback, and it sometimes feels like the walls are falling in around me, I draw from her feistiness.  I can honestly say that I am proud to be her daughter – to stand up and say:

“Yes, I’m just like my mother!”


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The Possibilities of Aging

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One way to ruin a compliment is to follow it with the words: “for your age.”

     “You really look great – for your age…”

     “You’re a great dancer- for your age…”

     “You have a lot of energy – for your age…”

What scares me the most is that several of my friends are buying into the theory that they can’t accomplish certain things because of their age.  They truly feel that they are just too old to even start.

Well, did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder, the famous American writer who wrote the Little House on the Prairie series, began her writing career when she was 65 years old.  She was surprised at her success and told an interviewer after writing her first book: “I thought that would be the end of it.  But what do you think?  Children who read it wrote to me begging for more.  I was amazed because I didn’t know how to write.  I went to little red schoolhouses all over the West and I never was graduated from anything.”  Yet she didn’t let her age stop her from writing her first book – then another and another and another. 

And then there was John Glenn.  His mission of almost nine days on the space shuttle orbiter, Discovery, launched when he was 77 years old.  It made him the oldest human to venture into space.  He didn’t stop and think – I’m too old for this.  He just followed his passion without any regard for the number attached to his age.

And the list goes on.  There are so many more people who experienced success far into their “twilight” years.  So the next time you are feeling that you can’t do something because of your age, think again.  Maybe this list will give you some inspiration: https://bit.ly/2KLAIlx.

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