Those of you who know me well know that I love books and the topic of self-development.  In fact, first thing I do each morning (besides let the dogs out and get the coffee going) is take in the daily entries in three of my favorite books: 1) Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening, 2) Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way Everyday,  and 3) John Jantsch’s Self-Reliant Entrepreneur.

After that, as the coffee kicks in, I do some journaling. Sometimes my writing is based on what I’ve read. Other times, it’s based on what I’m thinking about or working on.  This is my favorite time of the day.  It lasts until my coffee is gone – or my pups give me their look of solidarity that says, “Are we ever going to go for our walk?”

Today, Book of Awakening was especially inspiring.  The exercise at the end of today’s reading included three questions that seem simple enough, but are actually incredibly powerful.  You can use them whenever you’ve experienced a failure, a disappointment, or any situation that didn’t turn out as you would have liked.  This can be anything: a conversation, a relationship, a meeting, a social gathering, a project, a presentation, or even a book you read and didn’t enjoy. You name it.

By asking yourself – and answering – these three questions, you will discover that, okay, maybe you didn’t get exactly what you were hoping for.  Instead, maybe you acquired or learned something far more valuable.

Want to give them a go? Here are the three questions:

  1. What was I hoping for?
  2. What was at the heart of my hopes?
  3. What did I receive from this experience instead?

Again, let me emphasize that these may seem like really simple questions. But I guarantee if you sit down and ponder them – better yet,  journal about them – you will discover for yourself how insightful they really are.

Let me know if you try it, if you agree, and what you learn from them.

In the meantime, here’s what else is going on with me:

  • I finished up my speaking / workshop work in 2019 by leading sessions at two incredible women’s leadership conferences. I also designed and delivered a half-day workshop to an enthusiastic team of teaching professionals who are preparing for leadership positions in their professional association.  These events were a ton of fun and very well received.  I really enjoy working with leaders and emerging leaders who are ready to learn, grow, and be challenged!
  • So far in 2020, I’m spending a lot of my time working on my new book, which focuses on conversation and connection. It seems like I’ve been researching and writing forever, but I am reminded by my book coaches that good books take time. I’m currently working on the chapter on Listening, which, as it turns out, is far more important (and difficult) than talking.  Stay tuned for more on that.
  • Next month I’m giving the opening presentation at NSA Austin ‘s meeting on Saturday, February 1.  Our headliner will be the wonderful  and so very wise Patricia Fripp.  If you’re in the Austin area that day and want to learn A LOT about how to really bump up your presentation skills, please join us!
  • On a personal note, I calculated that I went to the gym 170 times in 2019. Some days I lift weights; other days I do cycling class.  Naturally, I’m on a quest to break that record in 2020.  Seems like the older you get, the more work it takes to stay healthy and keep that pesky scale from tipping in the wrong direction.  I’ve also cut way back on sugar, which has been my nemesis for a long time. I am really surprising myself here!

What’s new with you?  What are your aspirations for 2020? What are you working on and how are you working toward being your very best self?  If I can be of support or service to you as you pursue your vision, intentions and foals for the year,  just let me know!