Thinking for a CHANGE 2009

As you read through this issue you will find a few links to nowhere. If this is the kind of thing that drives you nuts, e-mailChrisand she will try to find the missing resource for you.

December 16
Have you enjoyed the TV series Monk as much as I have? After watching the series finale last Friday, I remembered one of my favorite lines delivered so masterfully by
Tony Shalhoub.

“There’s risk in everything, “ Monk said. “That’s what life is.”

As 2009 comes to an end and you think about your desires for 2010, don’t let risk get in the way of your dreams and aspirations – it’s just what life is.

December 9
Have you enjoyed the TV series Monk as much as I have? After watching the series finale last Friday, I remembered one of my favorite lines delivered so masterfully by
Tony Shalhoub.

“There’s risk in everything, “ Monk said. “That’s what life is.”

As 2009 comes to an end and you think about your desires for 2010, don’t let risk get in the way of your dreams and aspirations – it’s just what life is.

December 2
Seems like I’ve spent most of the day today trying to coordinate all the holiday/family events for the remainder of the month of December. Between school programs, office parties, and family traditions, it occurred to me that in the midst of all the holiday cheer there lurks the potential for difficult human interactions. We all know people who approach the holiday season with dread instead of eager anticipation. If you find yourself nodding in agreement, allow me to offer CHANGE as a solution.

It’s early enough to review your plans for the balance of the year, so consider Tim McGraw’s comment during a recent interview,

“Sometimes you have to get uncomfortable to get better,”

and look for different ways to have the interactions that will bring you joy this season!

November 18
My friend and inclusion expert, Lenora Billings-Harris, CSP, and I were talking about the power of our minds to influence change. She shared a significant quote from Henry David Thoreau.

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."

What a great reminder. Change, whether personal or professional, needs to be approached with both action and thought. I have to do something different AND I have to think something different. I think that changing your thinking might be more challenging than changing your actions. What do you think?

November 11
Every once in a while Miriam forwards me the Daily Buddhist Wisdom email she receives. Recently it contained the following from Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.

“When you see a truck bearing down on you, by all means jump out of the way. But spend some time in meditation, too. Learning to deal with discomfort is the only way you’ll be ready to handle the truck you didn’t see.”

Action and meditation – a powerful combination for facing change.

October 28
Last night I attended a-little-kids-only version of my every other week book club. As I observed them figuring out how to play nicely together while the adults sat around the dining room table and talked and talked and talked, I recalled reader Georgia Finnerty’s email after a recent Thinking for a Change edition.

“As one mom/teacher I know puts it: ‘You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.’”

How much energy do we waste throwing fits when a change is presented that we’re not happy about? How much better it would be if instead of getting stuck on things we can’t control, we focused on things we can control and those we can influence. Wouldn’t you know that a mom/teacher combination would have such great insights!

Thanks, Georgia!

October 22
Many of the changes that we all deal with have to happen in our minds first. A recent article offered a suggestion to make that fact work for us. Need to think better?

“Studies show that moments of insight often arrive when you’re not aware that you’re thinking of the problem, such as during a warm shower or a long stroll. This is because insights are typically generated by a rush of high-frequency gamma-band neural activity in the brain’s right hemisphere, and a mind is better able to tune in to that hemisphere when it is stress-free.”

So, facing a change? Long walk or long shower? Your choice.

October 15
My husband, Frank, came home from a sales trip to Minneapolis and dropped a section from the Star Tribune on my desk. Pointing to the column by Harvey Mackay, a colleague of mine in the National Speakers Association I read with interest as Harvey recounted the story of a mother’s question to Albert Einstein. “How,” she asked, "can you raise a genius?” “Read the child fairy tales,” Einstein responded. Applying the concept to slightly older individuals, Mackay further suggests,

“Your imagination can take you to plenty of places you’ve never been.”

Got me to thinking that maybe imagination is a key to successful change. I’d bet that when a change presents itself, you can quickly envision the disasters that might follow. What if you pointed your imagination in the direction of positive possibilities? That just might be a place you haven’t been lately.

P.S. What fun! I received an email last week from Lori McEathron who wanted me to know that she was now living and reading Thinking for a Change in Suzhou, China. Who knew that our circle of ideas was so large! Hi, Lori.

October 8
Okay, I have a Facebook page, I’m LinkedIn, and I know how to Twitter. I also don’t, in my heart, know why people spend hours using their time and attention on them. My inclination is still to pick up the phone and hear a friend’s voice, hold a picture printed on paper in my hands to look at it closely, and to study the handwriting on a well-chosen card. Maybe those deeply embedded impulses just make me old. Then I ran across Dennis Miller’s thought.

“Human beings are human beings. They say what they say, don’t they? They used to say it across the fence while they were hanging wash. Now they just say it on the internet.”

I’m always fascinated to find the thing that doesn’t change inside the things that are changing. Here’s the one I found this time: relationships – no matter how, it’s still and always will be about relationships.

September 30
A recent trip to Chicago’s famous Museum of Science and Industry not only opened my mind, but provided several interesting quotes to ponder. Here’s one by John Cearde.

“Intelligence recognizes what has happened. Genius recognizes what will happen.”

I’ve been thinking about the implication of this statement. Since most of us, me included, aspire to be seen as smart (intelligent) we’re limiting ourselves to looking at the past. What would happen if our aspirations were higher and we positioned ourselves to be geniuses? We’d have to keep looking forward – at possibilities. Feels uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Now it’s your turn to think about your strategy for becoming a genius. Don’t let the discomfort stop you!

September 23
Looking for a card to send a coaching client, I rummaged through my seemingly endless supply of blank-inside greeting cards. I paused when I found the one with a quote from Sebastine Chamfort.

“The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed.”

I really believe this statement to be true and got to thinking that given the world we’re living there are many - maybe even you - who don’t encounter much to laugh about. So, here’s my no-cost, little-time solution. Get yourself to a store that sells cards and read away. You don’t have to need a card, buy a card, or send a card. You just have to read a bunch of them and if you pick a good store – laugh out loud. It will be a good day!

September 16

“We don't accomplish anything in this world alone... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something." -Sandra Day O'Connor.

I believe that with all my heart and need your help to prove it. As many of you know, my eldest grandson, Quinn (now 9), was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 22 months old. It is my dream that a cure for this difficult disease that affects millions of children and adults will be found - soon. The work done by JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) is getting closer to making that happen. But research takes money. If I could do it by myself, I world, but this is a tapestry that needs other weavers.

Our family, as Team Q, joins other committed people annually, for the Walk for a Cure. This year we walk on October 3th. We invite you to either join us in person or via a donation. Click here to go directly to the JDRF site where you can register or pledge your support. (If the hyperlink doesn't work, cut and paste this into your browser: Once at the Walk Central Page, search for Team Q or Chris Clarke-Epstein. Then choose to donate or register to walk.

Every week over 6,000 people around the world read these messages about change and many of you have supported us in the past. This year, especially, times are tough for many and spending-your-money decisions are difficult, but think of how you'll feel when they announce a breakthrough for Type One Diabetes and you'll know it was because you cared AND acted.

Please know you have my eternal gratitude for reading and commenting on these messages over the years. Your participation on this particular tapestry means we can change the lives of so many!

September 9
What do you do? Who do you do it with? Do you consider what you do your craft? As a writer and speaker, I do. But I also thought that I was practicing a craft when I sold health insurance, waited on tables, and ironed clothes for my next door neighbor. I believe thinking of your work as a craft and a profession no matter what you do, makes you a more fulfilled person on a daily basis. Evidentially author/educator Parker J. Palmer does too.

“The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it.”

In tough economic times, it’s a good idea to work on growing your craft with your fellow workers. What if you were the one to pour the coffee and start the conversation?

September 2
Ever wonder why so much of the nightly news and current movies releases stem from negative subjects? I have. A recent interview with Scott Rudin, an executive producer of Julie & Julia, contained this insight.

“Conflict,” he said, “is immediately captivating. Happy is harder.”

I was thinking about the conversations I overhear as I eavesdrop my way through life. What about your focus on a daily basis? Do you let yourself get captivated by the conflict or are you willing to work a bit harder and find the happy? It’s there. I promise.

August 26
Have you ever been in a situation where, in the moment that someone told you something, you realized that you could never be the same because of what you now know? Or, maybe it’s just me. Evidently Robert Hellenga feels the same way.

“Change represents the end of your old self. You can look back, but you can’t go back.”

Think of the person you used to be and compare that person to who you are now. What changes have you experienced? Who are you today? What do you want to be tomorrow? What are you planning to do to get there? Sorry for all the questions, but I’m confident you can find the answers.

August 17
Ask either of my children to finish the following sentence, Life is… and they’ll say without missing a beat, …not fair.

Part of my parenting philosophy was to help my children create realistic expectations. That little sentence was used over the years during lengthy discussions to redefine both lows and highs as experiences to learn from. I was reminded of its place in our family lexicon by this quote from Sylvia Boorstein.

“You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you get.”

Maybe your family would like to discuss the implications of that one. I know I’ve been thinking about it.

August 12
The quote started with "When the world seems to be falling apart..." and that caught my attention. How could it not given current circumstances? It got even better when I realized it was a Joseph Campbell quote.

"When the world seems to be falling apart, hang on to your own ideals and find kindred spirits. That's a rule of life."

So, I'm wondering, how clear are your ideals these days? Have you formed a tight bond with kindred spirits? If your answer to either of these is anything but a resounding YES - get to work! It's a rule of life.

August 5
These days there is one thing everyone is changing – their change – the dollars and cents type of change that is. How we think about our money, getting and spending it, is under review. When I think about money I always end up talking to my friend, Max Jaffe, a wonderful speaker as well as a creative-thinking CPA. During one of our conversations, Max said:

“The only use for money is to spend it. The caveat is that we spend it wisely and be good stewards of our money. Try a new perspective: think about the time it takes for those dollars to roll into your pocket; time is what one is actually sacrificing to make a purchase.”

Max has this idea that money is more about time than currency. His new iPhone application, myCost, helps you make buying decisions from that unique perspective. (So does anyone else think it’s as cool as I do that I know someone who has created an iPhone app?) If the current economic situation is affecting your family’s reality try looking at money from Max’s perspective. It just might make you a better money-decider. I know its helped me change some habits.

July 29
I'm so excited. The new Meryl Streep movie, Julie & Julia, opens next weekend. I will be in line to see it on opening day. I recently re-read Julia Child's book, My Life in France, and it was like a trip abroad. Following her journey to become a master chef was inspirational, especially the stories about her failures. Listen to this:

"Of course, I made many boo-boos. At first this broke my heart, but then I came to understand that learning how to fix one's mistakes, or live with them, was an important part of becoming a cook."

One could say that learning how to fix one's mistakes, or live with them, is an important part of becoming adept with change. Certainly challenges your perspective on mistakes, doesn't it? Yet another delicious thing I've learned from Julia Child - that plus how to make a killer English Trifle.

July 23
I’ve literally just returned from the 2009 National Speakers Association Annual Convention. (Which, of course, explains why this edition of Thinking for a Change is a day late.) At each year’s convention, I look for a word that stands out, gets repeated, and tickles my fancy. This year’s word was (you do the drum roll):


Not as in, Will you marry me?, but as in, Are you encouraging people to participate? It was used with people meaning audience members, employees, customers, children, co-workers, team members, and the person standing next to you in the check-out line. In times like these, we as a society cannot afford to have anyone sitting on the sidelines just observing. Leaders need to monitor everyone’s involvement, coach everyone into participating, and encourage everyone’s efforts. No matter what your job title, we need you to insist on everyone’s best thinking, best planning, and best actions. So, just what do you need to change in order for everyone in your world to be fully engaged? I’m counting on you.

July 15
Greetings from Phoenix, Arizona. It was about 50 degrees when I boarded the plane this morning (in Wisconsin) and it's currently 103 degrees. Talk about change! Warning: this edition is slightly longer than usual. At 103 degrees, I wasn't eager to write fast, wrap it up, and leave the hotel room.

On the plane I was reading Desolate Angel by Chaz McGee, a slightly better than average mystery with a clever twist. The main character, Detective Kevin Fahey, is dead. Yeah, I know, weird but interesting. As the story unfolds, he's following the very living Detective Maggie Gunn who's working to solve one of his old cases that it appears he bungled. Seems Kevin spent more time perfecting his drinking skills than he did working on his detecting skills. In the story he walks into one of his old watering holes and reflects:

I used to feel so at home when I pushed through the front door...I had thought of the bar as a cocoon that protected me from the disappointments waiting outside its doors. Now it seemed like little more than a waiting room for death, a place of false hope and seductive inertia. A place where life leaked away and people squandered the time they had left. A place to give up, then deaden yourself against the knowledge that you had given up.

Now I realize this isn't my usual uplifting quote and reflection, but bear with me. As I flew over the Rocky Mountains, I realized lots of people use change like Kevin used the bar. The staus quo has become a cocoon that protects rather than challenges. A place where giving up is acceptable. Kevin learns that the bar - far from a place of protection - was a place of failure. I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm eager to find out what other insights he gains as he looks back at his life and changes. What about you? Is there a place that, while comfortable, is actually limiting your chances? If there is, get out! Kevin does. Pretty good insight for a $6.99 paperback.

July 8
Stanley Drucker is retiring as 1st Chair Clarinet player in the New York Philharmonic after 60 years - yes you read that right - he's been playing for 60 years! I heard him quoted on NPR's All Things Considered.

"The real ingredients of a great performance are joy and passion."

The next time you think your performance has been less than great, check it out. Which was missing? Joy or passion? Remember, he did it for 60 years! Expert advice in my book.

July 1
A Business 2.0 study from a while ago found "the difference between success and failure among small companies operating in a depressed region of the US came down to either accepting resource constraints and giving up, or seeing possibilities others didn't."

Since all the regions of the US seem to qualify as depressed these days - small or big businesses, individuals or teams - maybe we all need to change our attitudes about possibilities and do some serious looking.

P.S. Today marks the launch of a new project for Miriam (my daughter, editor, and writing partner) and me. Open Your Notebook is a bi-weekly eLetter that will give writers something to think about and most importantly, something to write about. It is our hope that subscribers will be inspired to find a new notebook and make a date to write every time Open Your Notebook arrives in their mailbox. Since many of you have taken one of Chris’ Writing Classes, we thought you’d like to know about this new opportunity to continue to polish your writing skills. Click here to send Miriam an email and get yourself on the list (including your first and last name in the body of the email is appreciated).

June 24
Conflict. Just the word makes you queasy, right? If you're in the midst of change there's going to be conflict. Either out in the open (actually that's the best) or underground (just waiting to explode). Conflict is one of the reasons change is difficult. How about a new perspective from Stewart Levine.

"Learning to treat conflict as ordinary and expected is the goal. When you learn that, you can focus your resources on creative solutions."

Like any skill, it's going to take a while to get to conflict and ordinary in the same thought bubble. But it is worth working on it!

June 17
I love thinking about the power of stories. From my granddaughter Josie's opening "One upon a time" to grandson Elroy's, "Let's do an imagine" they remind me that making a story helps find order in our world whether we're little or grown-up. Catching up on some shows stored on my DVR while ironing brought me to this line in an episode of Castle.

"There's always a story - you just have to find it."

Maybe the next change you face needs a story to give it perspective. It's there, you just have to find it. Let me know if I can help.

June 10
Are you a leader? Do you have a vision? Does everyone know your vision? Are you obviously passionate about seeing that vision happen? Jack Welch says you need to answer yes to all four questions in order to really BE a leader.

"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion."

What's your score?

June 3
Preparing for a session with the board of Mid State Technical College last week, I came across this quote from Sara Little Turnbull.

"If you don't stretch, you don't know where the edge is."

I remember when I realized that I wasn't frightened of heights - it was (and is) the edges thatI feared. How about you? Maybe your reaction to a change is fueled by a realization that you're being taken to an edge. Could it be that a yoga class would make us all better at changing? I'll let you know.

May 27

A few weeks ago I sent a Change message that referred to caterpillars and butterflies. As a response, my friend and fellow speaker, Tim Durkin, CSP, of Dallas, Texas, sent me the following:

"There is nothing in the caterpillar that lets you know it's going to be a butterfly."

Which got me to thinking about a variation on his theme,

there is nothing in a change that lets you know right away it's going to be a good thing

. The key is the words,

right away

. Given enough time, even after a tough change, most people come to the conclusion that the changes turned out to be a good thing for them. The trick is to keep yourself positive until you can feel the value that the change allowed into your life. Thanks, Tim. I enjoyed the thought process.

May 21
I had lunch with my brother today. Ken is an admirer of our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt. My conversation with Ken reminded me of this Roosevelt quote:

"Do what you can with what you have, where you are."

Great change philosophy. Instead of focusing on what you can't do or don't have, spend your energies figuring out what you can do and do it. Teddy would say, "Bully!"

May 13
In this Sunday's Parade magazine there was an article by Alix Kates Schulman entitled "Finding Joy in Frugality." I enjoyed reading it and appreciated all the article offered for the reader to think about. Toward the end, Alix wrote:

"Like most true transformations, becoming frugal involves a change of mind, heart, and perception, not merely of habits."

It struck me that all change is like that. The first step is to change a behavior, but to sustain a change you're going to have to change your thinking, your emotions, and your outlook. No wonder change isn't easy. Make certain your change efforts assess all four areas and watch your success rate soar.

P.S. Next week we're going to change the system we use to send

Thinking for a Change

. Our old system, while simple, is taxed by the number of people who now get these messages. We're expecting everything to go smoothly, but you know change. <G> Thanks for understanding any hiccups. We'll keep you posted.

May 6
Sunday night, May 3rd, was Pete Seeger's 90th birthday. As a 60s folk singer myself (The Corydon Trio - we were big on the Luther League circuit in Chicago) I read the article in Monday's USA Today about the concert in Madison Square Garden with great enthusiasm and nostalgia for the list of performed songs. During a sing-along version of "Amazing Grace," Seeger was reported to have turned to the audience and said,

"There's no such thing as a wrong note as long as you're singing."

It occurred to me that maybe if we all tried to sing our way through change, our attitudes would improve greatly.

P.S. Send me the name of your favorite song about change and I'll compile and publish a list. Lately I've been reflecting on "Some Change" performed by Boz Scaggs. We can sing together!

April 30
One of my friends from NSA (National Speakers Association), Jana Stanfield, CSP, quoted an unknown author in a recent edition of her newsletter as saying:

Before you can change the world, you must first let the world change you.

Being open to change has always been important but in the current environment it is critical for survival. It would be a great idea for you to check your flexibility. If change comes along, will you be ready to accept it?

April 22
My mom, June, and I share a love of the Mrs. Pollifax mysteries by Dorothy Gillman. She's been re-reading them lately and shared this line from one.

"There is no happy ending, only happy people."

I see that all the time in organizations going through change. The people who are happy - change or no change - get the happy endings. Of course they also get the happy beginnings as well as the happy middles...

April 15
Youssou N'Dour, hailed as the African Artist of the Century (check out his music on iTunes), appeared on the back of my Starbuck's cup recently.

"People need to see that, far from being an obstacle, the world's diversity of languages, religions, and traditions is a great treasure affording us precious opportunities to recognize ourselves in others."

Of course for that to be true, we'd all have to change a bit!

April 7
People often experience change as something that's going to add to their burden and miss the fact that some change allows you to eliminate activities. It will never remove something from your plate unless you speak up. You might want to quote Michael Porter's thoughts about strategy.

"Strategy is as much of what you say 'no' to as it is what you say 'yes' to."

Think about both your


AND your



April 1
Bob Minzesheimer, a USA Today reporter, interviewed Michael J. Fox about his just released book, Always Looking Up: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. He asked Fox for five specific things that make him optimistic. Read the third reason Fox gave.

Public response to tough economic times. When things are tough, you can respond in one of two ways. You can ask for a lighter burden or for broader shoulders to absorb the added wight. I see a lot of people working on their shoulders.

What's your approach to difficulties? Do you whine and wish for a lighter burden or do you focus on building your strength? If you know anything about Fox's situation, you know he definitely takes the building-his-shoulders approach. I'm eager to read his book. I think those of us working to be better at change will learn a lot.

March 25
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. - Anonymous

Many of you know or will remember that I have periodically updated you on my Weight Watchers Journey with my daughter, Miriam. (Who is, by the way, the editor and sender of these messages.) I wanted you to know that last Saturday at weigh-in, Miriam achieved the 100 pounds lost mark!

Pause for cheers.

As I've watched her reach this remarkable goal, I have observed determination, discipline, and delight - all critical components of a successful change effort. She believed in her ability to succeed even when the going was tough, when she got off track, she went right back to doing what she knew she had to do, and she freely and joyously celebrated little victories. Don't tell Miriam that you can't change.

Please join me in giving Miriam a 100-pound congratulation!

March 18
Van Morrison (who made my granddaughter Josie's theme song Brown Eyed Girl famous) was recently interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning. During the course of the interview the VERY introverted Morrison said this about the creative process:

"When it doesn't come you have to make it happen."

Not a bad philosophy for us all to apply to our work and lives - especially during times of change.

March 11
Monday's USA Today Money section had an interview with Laurie Schmald Moncrieff, the third-generation owner of Schmald Tool & Die near Flint, Michigan. She was quoted as saying:

"You can sit there and talk about all the bad things that are happening, or you can do something. I'm trying to do something."

Seems to me that if someone tied to the auto industry in Michigan figured that out, we - wherever we find ourselves - ought to be doing something, too!

March 4
During Obama's Inauguration Ceremony, Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill, and Gabriela Montero played John Williams' new arrangement entitled Air and Simple Gifts (you can see it on if you missed the ceremony. Trust me, it's worth it.) Simple Gifts has always been one of my favorite songs, so this morning I listened to the version (with Yo Yo Ma and Allison Krauss) that I have on my iPod. Like it happens so often, this time I registered some of the words in a new, deeper way. At the very end, Allison sings,

"When true simplicity is gained, to bow and to bend we will not be ashamed. To turn, turn will be our delight, till by turning, turning, we come round right."

I've never thought of change as turning and turning. I do now with the bonus of a lovely melody playing in my head.

February 19
Anyone who thinks change is easy hasn't encountered a significant change recently. Difficult change requires multiple skills practiced almost simultaneously. Reminds me of a Maya Angelou quote that I found in one of her cards.

"Strength partnered with tenderness makes for an unbeatable combination."

If you or someone you know is going through a tough change you might need to figure out how to be both strong and tender in order to help them (or yourself) through the transition.

February 11
This week we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Our grade school history might not have told us his whole story. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a longtime Harvard professor taught me on a recent edition of CBS Sunday Morning.

"He was flawed," Gates said. "He was a human being just like we were. He was a recovering racist. He told darkie jokes and used the 'n' word. He wanted slavery ended but actually proposed shipping the freed slaves back to Africa. He was ambivalent about equal rights for blacks. He did change; the fact of the matter is that Lincoln did change."

"Would it be correct to say that it's how he evolved in his position toward black people that you admire most?" the interviewer asked.

"Oh, that he evolved at all, that he was willing to confront himself and overcome his prejudices and do the right thing," Gates said.

Let's face it. All of us, like Lincoln, are human and therefore flawed. The key is whether or not we're willing to confront ourselves, overcome our prejudices, and do the right thing. That's the stuff heroes are made of. How about you?

February 4
I tear things out of the paper all the time. When I'm on the road I can tear as I go; at home I'm supposed to wait until Frank has finished with the paper. Some are articles I want to share with others. Some have thoughts and quotes I want for these messages. Once torn, I stick them in the yellow marble notebook I take with me and then at some point I sit down and go though them all. Like I just did. I found a wonderful essay by Lori Borgman about people who love books too much that I plan to copy and share with my book club. Under the essay, there is a headline.

"Stop whining and start figuring out your future."

That's it. Just the headline. Why, I've been trying to remember, didn't I save the article, because that's a powerful statement. In times of change, it's easy to fall into the mentality of victim. "Everything's happening to me," people wail. How much better we'd be if we had that headline posted in a prominent place. Maybe I don't need the article after all.

January 28

Po Bronson, author of very interesting reading, has a unique view of success. I thought you might like to ponder it.

"Failure's hard, but success is far more dangerous. If you're successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever."

Any chance that there is a success that's got you locked in somewhere?

January 21
At this beginning of a new year for Thinking for a Change and the day after the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, you can imagine my delight in hearing these words in Obama's Inaugural Address:

“Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true.”

Did I surprise you? I chose the part of the speech that focused on the unchanging as a perfect assignment for a New Year’s


reflection. We will all have challenges to face as 2009 unfolds. It is critical that you identify those values that YOU intend to hold on to as you face them. I like the President’s choices a lot, but I'm working on my own list. Allow me to challenge you to do the same!

Chris Clarke-Epstein, CSP 2013 | | (414) 719-0905 | Contact Us