We are all procrastinators to some degree.  We postpone or delay until some future time something we have already decided to do.  There are a variety of reasons why we procrastinate.

  • To escape an overwhelming or unpleasant task.
  • To excuse poor quality work.
  • To gain sympathy.
  • To get someone else to do the job.
  • To protect a weak self-image.
  • To avoid change.
  • To avoid the realization that the task or opportunity is no longer appropriate to our needs.

But we pay an enormous price for the ‘luxury’ of putting it off.  Perhaps the greatest price is putting off living in the present, which in turn blocks our sense of fulfillment.  Other costs of procrastinating include the boredom of inactivity, the anxiety of working under extreme deadline pressures, the emptiness of “safe” but impotent goals, the constant frustration of unresolved problems, and poor interpersonal relationship which result from our crippled approach to life.

When procrastinating, we are at rest, and the hardest part is getting started.  Once in motion, our momentum tends to keep us going.

Don’t quit ~ get the job done!



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The Vast Difference Between Managing and Leading

“People who are managed are cared about, people who are led are cared for and if you don’t understand the difference then you are likely having a hard time actually leading your people.”

Lead Today

Leading and managing are seen as nearly identical, interchangeable words by most people. Even people who should and must know the huge difference often don?t. That?s why I write about the difference several times each year.

The difference between managing and leading is more, way, way, way, way more, than mere semantics. The difference in mindset between someone who attempts to manage people and someone who actually leads people is gigantic.

The people who are managed feel that difference everyday. It feels as if they are a cog in the wheel, a bit player with little or no opportunity to grow into something more. You may be able to force the compliance of a managed human being but you will never earn their commitment. Only a leader can earn the commitment of an emotional being.

Managing is mostly about stuff. We manage budgets, plans, inventories, buildings, etc. All the ?stuff?…

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A Letter to Ryan

This is a beautifully written letter to a special young man who touched my life as he passed through. Ryan Waltman left too soon. Please reach out to each other and always share kindness as we never know how someone really feels.

Thank you Matthew Bawalan.


Dear Ryan,

I hope you’re doing well.

I got into college at UC Merced for Computer Science Engineering! It’s quite a ways away from San Clemente, but I’ve since gotten used to the drive. It’s about 270 miles, and just about the same distance from San Clemente to Las Vegas! I never knew what you majored in but I wondered if we could make conversation over medical robots and AI…

I changed a lot since your senior year. I’m a lot more outgoing, I crack selfless jokes and dry humor all the time. I see you in so many people in Merced, from all the jokes to simply being awesome. I thought about joining a fraternity, too. I saw you in your feed with FIGI and wanted to ask about it, because I’ve gotten so many different answers.

I really wish I had met you earlier, because you made light…

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In the Pursuit of Happiness

“Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” ~ Jim Rohn

Too often we miss the moments in our lives that lead to the ultimate goal.

Working with different personalities gives me perspective into their struggles and often they are unhappy as they wait for the ‘prize.’ Acceptance from friends, teachers, coaches, that boss and family.  Enrollment in college, being chosen for a role or position on a team. Every day becomes waiting for the goal versus enjoying the ride. Here’s the thing, the ride is the prize. Having health to get up every day and deciding to make it the best day ever is the choice. It’s not until you understand your time is limited that you’ll enjoy the ride to the fullest. In my pursuit of happiness, I do something for me every day. I journal, walk Goose (my dog) and take that time to express gratitude for my family, friends and the place I live. Next, I focus on what is good and right about my clients and those I choose to work with. Yes, there will always be someone who gets under my skin as I have a passionate spirit for kindness and get pissed off at dunderheads, but I remind myself to ‘chill.’ I also read a lot about working with others. Here’s a great book if you struggle with the people in your life:

‘Dealing with People You Can’t Stand’

Whether you’re dealing with a coworker trying to take credit for your work, a distant family member who knows no personal bounds, or a loud cell phone talker on line at the grocery store, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand gives you the tools for bringing out the best in people at their worst.
Here are five ways you can establish a better working relationship with even the most annoying person.
  1. Accept that you don’t need to be friends with all of your employees. …
  2. Figure out why they bother you. …
  3. Remain positive with them. …
  4. Focus on how they benefit your team. …
  5. Don’t let emotions hinder your leadership.

Be part of the community through causes. Choose something that tugs at your heart strings. Relay for Life, Community Outreach Alliance, San Clemente Junior Women’s Club are a few I enjoy.  There’s something about focusing away from ‘me’ that brings an understanding of others and of course fosters relationships with like minded people. I’ve met life long friends along my philanthropic ride.

Philanthropy  “the love of humanity”—love in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing, or enhancing; humanity in the sense of “what it is to be human,” or “human potential.” In modern practical terms, it is “private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life”—balancing the social-scientific aspect emphasized in the 21st century, with the long-traditional and original humanist core of the word’s ancient coinage. This formulation distinguishes it from business (private initiatives for private good, focusing on material prosperity) and government (public initiatives for public good, focusing on law and order)


Volunteer – Choose a Cause



Go somewhere! It doesn’t take a lot of money to explore or day trip. Plan ahead and make it happen. There are so many places to visit. I love photography and have often taken solo trips to regroup when I couldn’t convince a friend to join me. Don’t wait for others to discover what’s around the corner.


“Tell the truth all the time”

Keep your side of the street clean! Always live in the truth. Here’s an interesting blog Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways

Be grateful! Seriously, this one is important. Find something every day, even on bad days when all you have is a bed to sleep on and a roof over your head. Then wake up and choose to start the day in gratitude because you woke up breathing. In making it that simple on the hard days, you’ll learn to be motivated by less.


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 the action of leading a group of people or an organization.

Positive reinforcement

The use of positive reinforcement is a successful and growing technique used by leaders to motivate and attain desired behaviors from subordinates. Many reinforcement techniques such as the use of praise are inexpensive, providing higher performance for lower costs.

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“Don’t be afraid to explore;

Without exploration there are no discoveries.”

Deng Ming-Dao


Every day provides an opportunity to explore.

We get one shot at this life and regret at the end should not be the target.

Tell yourself:

‘I will learn something new every day.’

Take a yoga class, hike, cycle, learn to play and instrument, start reading books, write in a journal, visit an animal habitat, etc. The list is yours. Remember when you were a child and the dreams and desires you imagined? Write those ideas down. Try to think outside the box you put yourself in as an adult and explore life while you have one.


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10 Ways Careers Fail


  1. Not knowing why you were hired ~ Stop telling yourself you’re not qualified for your job, and start focusing on what you can achieve.
  2. Following up too slowly when managing staff ~ your boss says ‘get rid of him’ yet you go to his defense biding time, if your authoritarian boss sees you as insubordinate you may soon join him out the door.
  3. Ignoring the Peter Principle ~ getting promoted to a job you do not like. If you do not like people, you should not take a management role if you are offered one in a promotion.
  4. Ignoring the corporate culture ~ you do not wear t shirts when everyone wears button downs, etc.
  5. Wanting to be liked by everyone ~ decisions should be dictated by the situation, not by your sympathies or personal feelings.
  6. Failing to protect yourself when a new boss appears ~the arrival of a new manager signals significant changes. Don’t ignore or underestimate them. Resist the new leader, who in turn opposes you, guess who usually loses in this scenario?
  7. Going public with your private thoughts ~ if you must gossip about your peers and superiors, save it for your family at home.
  8. Day-to-day problem solving calls for solid judgment ~ Blowing up one day because of a problem and taking it in stride the next makes you look unreliable.
  9. Blaming bad news on someone else ~ there’s no harm in admitting you have made a mistake.
  10. Asking employees to do something you will not do yourself ~ if you won’t go the distance, how can expect others to put in long hours?
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Psychology of Managing/Mismanaging Time

Mismanaging time can pay off in some rarely revealed ways that many of us unconsciously take advantage of.  Some of us mismanage time to get attention or gain a sense of power.  Mismanaging time also can serve as a way to avoid unpleasant tasks or shirk personal responsibility.  It can be used to resist change, sidestep new feelings, avoid feeling close to others, and deal with that age-old fear of feeling “too good.”  Uncovering your “hidden payoffs” may give you insight into your problems of time mismanagement.

  1. Getting Attention Notice how much attention the “late arriver” gets at a party or meeting.  This person either makes a “grand entrance” or arrives late and breathlessly apologizes for having been too busy, busy, busy to come to the event on time.  This elicits responses of disgust (negative attention has payoff value too) or paternal/maternal nods of sympathy or amusement for the offender.  Habitual lateness can be a lifetime, learned technique for this person.
  2. Secret Power Slaves sometimes slowed down their work in order to exert a control over their masters.  Production workers can slow down in a power struggle against management.  In modern society, many of us feel powerless over controlling our own destinies and unconsciously slow down or delay activities in certain areas of our lives in order to feel a false sense of power.  You might, as part of a team, slow down your efforts in order to control what others are doing.  You may delay doing something requested of you by a dominant person in your life, even when you fear the consequences.
  3. Avoiding the Unpleasant Finding excuses for putting off some unpleasant duty is a reward of mismanaged time.  If you are “running behind” all day, you have an excuse for not doing that history assignment (a course you don’t like anyway).  If you fill your life with too many committees, outside obligations, and social events, you have a built in excuse for never cleaning the garage or studying for classes (that is, if you find these tasks unpleasant).
  4. Avoiding New Feelings You can avoid certain emotions or self-evaluations if you put off the activities that call on them.  These can be positive feelings: love, acceptance, success; or negative feelings: rejection, criticism, failure.  You might put off taking a class in dancing or golf because you fear awkwardness and failure.  You might put off preparing some of your poems (your friends say they are good) for publication because you can’t handle success.  So, you get “too busy” in some other area of your life which might involve you in feelings or evaluations you would rather avoid.
  5. Avoiding Personal Responsibility If you catch yourself saying, “Why didn’t you remind me?” often, you are shifting the burden of being where you should be and doing what you should do to someone else.  Then you can mismanage your time and “forget” your responsibilities, passing the buck to the one who was supposed to remind you.
  6. Resisting Change Familiar ways of doing things are comfortable — “It’s always been done this way.”  Time mismanagement may be your natural way of doing things, fitting you like that old, comfortable chair or worn pair of shoes you hang onto.  A new chair or pair of shoes would be uncomfortable and hard to wear-in for a period of time.  So would a new way of managing your time.  Think about it.
  7. Fear of Feeling “Too Good” An illogical but common fear.  If you have been well-organized and are ready for the test, but others are cramming, SOMETHING must be wrong with you.  You feel too good.  You will probably fail.  A lot of us were raised on this.  If you feel too good, watch out!  SOMETHING bad is going to happen.
  8. Avoiding Closeness  If you are constantly buried in your work, hobby, or other interest, you may be “too busy” to establish or develop relationships with coworkers, friends, or family.  The mismanagement of time which keeps you always in one area of your life may allow you to avoid the closeness with others that you fear.
  9. Stimulation, Excitement, Defiance, and Your Time  The way that we fulfill our own individual Stimulation and Excitement Quota affects our time.  We all fill our quotas, positively or negatively, knowingly or unknowingly, according to our individual needs – large or small.  If we harbor feelings of defiance, we also use time to satisfy these.
  10. Time and The Guilt Trap Guilt is implicated in more wasted time and poor time management than any other single emotion.  Sometimes, when we sit down to do something important, we feel guilty about the things we are not doing.  This clouds clear thinking for the task at hand.  Or, we may stick with the task until it is done perfectly, based on our personal standards.  We may not even know what these standards are, but we feel guilty if we don’t meet them.  Many “perfectionists” are neurotic and ulcer-prone.  We might also confuse “busyness” with accomplishment–“I am busy, therefore I am needed, and my existence is justified.” And guilt is portable; when you finish the job you have been feeling guilty about, you transfer you yoke of guilt to the next job you should have been doing.

Most habits–productive or nonproductive–stem from repetition and reinforcement.  That’s why they can be changed.

To help alleviate the guilt you may be feeling about a task, ask yourself:

  • Specifically, what am I feeling guilty about?
  • Is this something that is really an essential or central concern to me or someone else?
  • Today, how can I best do what really counts?

Every day identify what counts most and Do It First, even if it means putting off secondary matters, doing them less perfectly, getting someone else to do them, or not doing them at all.  Take care of Life and Business ‘first things first.’

Image credit
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Spending During the Holidays

Tis the Season for gifts and spending…be careful!

Bad money-management habits, especially during the holidays often affect people’s relationships with others. Conflicts over money can cause stress in families and marriages. Disputes about money are among the leading causes of divorce.  Try not to go into debt during the gift buying frenzy of Christmas commercialism.

A good way to make the right spending decisions is to develop goals and shopping objectives.  Better yet, invite your friends over for a nice warm cup of cocoa instead of giving him an expensive gift you’ll regret when the credit card bill comes in January.

Cheers to spending less and celebrating more during the holidays!

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Stress in life is inevitable…how we deal with it is our choice.

Crows looking into our house through the skylight after watching the movie The Birds ~ stress becomes a photo opportunity.

Have a safe Halloween and beware of the scary costumes that provoke fear related stress!

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first-career-transitionAutumn is a time of transition, summer is over, kids return to school, the days are shorter and there is something in the air that feels like change.

It’s not easy at first, but as we transition into our new schedules, friendships and responsibilities we begin to realize our potential to achieve something new and exciting.

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly” Henri Bergson

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