Shy One

As a Dale Carnegie instructor, I taught people that they didn’t have to be loud and boisterous to be an effective speaker.

In fact, it’s the other way around.

Nothing is more compelling than a soft voice full of passion for their subject.

Trying to be what you’re not is a formula for failure while channeling your authentic self is always the road to success.

The moment dictates what part of you to reveal.

The reason polls constantly show fear of speaking ranking higher than the fear of death is because speaking requires the confidence to be and sound like your authentic self.

Panic Button

Now is not the time to stop a panic attack.

Learning to live with them before they happen is.

People prone to anxiety overload (all of us) who cultivate the sense of being able to deal with panic are better served than those walking around harboring fear of the next one.

That opportunity will come soon enough but being ready with skills and coping techniques is more effective that waiting in fear.

“Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear” – Steve Maraboli

The Louder Leader

Louder is not a leader.

Leadership has nothing to do with volume.

The ability to inspire others to listen, to trust you and to join you comes from being comfortable in your own shoes.

A leader is recognized not by the volume with which they speak but the number of people who are addicted to being around someone grounded in gratitude, willing to share the burden as well as the success.

Whose Anxiety?


How much anxiety can be traced to you and how much coming from those around you.

You won’t be surprised that our brains are like sponges – we soak in the angst of others and carry it around as if it is our own.

Here is a research study that indeed proves stress is contagious, but most of us already have it.

Today:  wring out the sponge.

Whatever stress we are picking up from others, squeeze it out of your day and just cope with your own anxiety.

Facing a Sourpuss

One of my students shared with the class that he decided to employ the famous Dale Carnegie principle “smile”.

So, he smiled at about six people and observed that most of them didn’t smile back.

When I asked him whether he felt any better for smiling, he launched into a two-minute response that proved the point that in life there are things we need to do for ourselves sometimes.

For example …

Smile to make US happier.

The same is true of forgiveness – we’re not doing it for the perpetrator, but for ourselves so that in overreacting we don’t become them.

Past, Present and Future

The past is filed away in a cabinet or computer to be accessed when needed to give us information we may need but keeping that file open in the present is the road to unhappiness.

The future is a blueprint – a concept, an idea, a way of deciding what is important to pursue, but living in the future is the original virtual reality.

The present is currency to be spent now or lost later.  It’s the only place that life truly exists – the only place that brings happiness and gratitude at the same time.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” — Kierkegaard

One More Time

It isn’t the person with the brains that clearly outperforms everyone else.

It’s the one with the work ethic – more specifically, the person who never gives up.

Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before he successfully invented the light bulb – who would do that?

Here’s his most memorable and inspiring quote from the man that did:

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

A Stress-Free Home

So, in my family, my parents and two sisters always talked politics at dinner and we lived to survive the differences, passions and heightened emotions.

Now I know why.

The American Heart Association discovered that 91% of parents notice their families are less stressed when they share meals together.

The psychologist and author Martin Padovani (“Healing Wounded Relationships”) says dinner together is an absolute must.

84% wish they could dine together more often – the real number is 50%.

This seems like a safe, quick and effective workaround to stress – even when you’re arguing about politics.

And almost 60% of those who eat together say they make better food choices.

Start the day by texting all family members to be on time for dinner tonight, ask for menu wishes (mine was always some type of pasta) and phones off – that includes the adults.

Everyone wants dinner together and it’s got all benefits – be the one to make it happen more often starting tonight if possible.

Taking Something Away

You can’t take something away without replacing it.

Which is why trying to get kids and loved ones to use their phones less and focus on paying attention can be challenging.

I have had 4 students this semester thank me on separate occasions in front of their classmates for requiring them to stow their phones out of site (turns out there is research that says people will constantly glance at a phone that is off but nearby almost as if it will turn itself on).

If you take away a phone, give new power (such as the ability to decide when you need an extra break to check it out in the hallway, participate from their seat instead of in front of the entire room, etc.).

Asking children to get off the phone at home will work if there is something better for them to do – like take a walk with dad or mom, do something together, etc.

When we take something away or have it taken from us, it is much more acceptable when we try to replace it with something as good or better.

Start the day focusing on one thing that has been taken from you or that you must take from someone else and come up with something else to distract from the loss.

Life Lessons from a Radio DJ

  1. A small room can be made into a wide world – embrace it
  2. Authentic never goes out of style
  3. People can hear a smile without seeing it
  4. The secret to effective public speaking is to feel like you’re talking to one person at a time.
  5. It’s what’s between the music that counts – in radio and in life.

Start the day choosing only one of the 5 life lessons above, use it all day and see why 100 years after radio began, success still comes from being more relatable.