Media/Internet

A Path to Greatness

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I have been trying to walk during my lunch hours and listen to podcasts that focus on certain themes like leadership and improvement.  Not only does it allow me to be close to nature, it’s also an opportunity to learn and grow and also just have time to think on regular basis.  When was the last time you spent time just thinking? I have spoken about this problem before: We as a society don’t know how to carve out even just a little time to THINK.

Lewis HowesLately, I am enjoying The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes. Howes is an American author, entrepreneur, and former professional Arena League football player who hosts The School of Greatness, a talk show distributed as a podcast.

“The goal of the School of Greatness is to share inspiring stories from the most brilliant business minds, world class athletes and influential celebrities on the planet; to help you find out what makes great people great.”

During my walks, while I am listening, I find myself regularly noting down advice or things that strike me as relevant. I usually send myself a text so it doesn’t get lost. Last week, I was listening to The School of Greatness podcast entitled Become Superhuman at Any Skill with Tim Ferriss. In this podcast, Lewis wanted to learn some things about Tim that most people don’t know.

If you aren’t familiar with Tim Ferriss, he’s a noted speaker and author of the Four Hour Workweek. He’s a pretty cool, innovative and interesting guy.

Tim was asked to name three people in his life (beyond his parents) that made an impact by showing him kindness.  This question struck me for some reason.  Maybe it was having to name three people. How many people can clearly identify three people (in the past or today) that fit that description?  How did those people impact your life trajectory?  It’s not a question I have ever really considered and I am not sure that I can name three people that have had a marked impact on my life’s path by their kindness. I have had lots of kindness shown to me throughout the years, but have not had the pleasure of finding a mentor, coach or leader that I would put under that category. Kind of disheartening if I am being honest.  When I think of kind people, my first thought is my husband Scott. He is seriously one of the kindest people I have ever met – from day one until today. He rarely if ever has an unkind word to say about anyone and I credit him with teaching me to see see things with a different perspective.

What about you? When was the last time you thought about who in your life has shown you true kindness and helped set you on your path to greatness?

Why Am I Not As Happy As I Think I Should Be?

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Believe-when-you-are-most-unhappy-that-there-is-something-for-you-to-do-in-the-world..-Helen-KellerBelieve, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world… Helen Keller

I’ve been doing some more soul searching the past week –

The past few days have been pretty stressful. Scott’s mom is in the hospital. My dad and step mother got into a car accident this past weekend. Their car is totaled, they are banged up but going to be OK. The thing is, experiencing your parents’ getting older is tough especially when they didn’t take particularly great care of their health in general. It’s another reminder that lifestyle definitely catches up with you as you age.  And when you are experiencing it from a distance – it’s hard to really see how bad a situation is. You have to rely on your parents to tell you what’s going on. Reality is different depending on the filters we put on.

In other stressful news, Scott and I are both not feeling well with different maladies. Nothing too serious but enough that we both went to the doctors last week and are on meds. And to top it all off – Scott’s car broke down on Friday evening and a bunch of money $$$ later, the car should be fixed by tomorrow.

All of this has me thinking about what I really want out of life and why am I not feeling as happy as I think I should be?

Career wise: Do I want to continue heading into an office and working for someone else? The culture and company I am looking for based on my experience with my last position is a lot more clear than it has ever been. The issue is, I’m not sure my current situation is meeting the requirements as I had hoped it would.  In the past 90 days of me starting, there have been a ton of changes and restructuring. Things I didn’t know about when I accepted the position. The changes aren’t really in line with my background, interests or what I was looking for. It’s disappointing to say the least. I was hoping to be able to grow, learn, be challenged and thrive in this environment. At this point, it’s not really looking like many of those opportunities exist. Never say never, of course, but having learned my lesson at my previous job, I realize that if it doesn’t feel right, I need to explore options.

I am stressed out and feeling a bit lost. Life sure doesn’t stop for you to catch your breath…

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Louis C.K.’s Shocking ‘SNL’ Monologue Compares Child Molesting To Eating Candy Bars

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The Reality of Fear

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I came across 23 BRILLIANT LIFE LESSONS FROM ANTHONY BOURDAIN and thought so many of them were worthwhile. I especially liked this one…

“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” 

Fear I think this one resonated with me because it’s the advice I would give my younger self. When I was in my twenties, I was so gripped with fear of instability that it caused me to see things in very rigid terms. The person I am today realizes clearly that that fear held me back from so many adventures and experiences.  They are the things I look back at and wish I had just jumped into the opportunities that presented themselves during that time. I guess that’s the beauty of hindsight though. I know it’s never too late to jump in and go for it but there are adult life responsibilities that have to be considered that prevent me from just dropping everything and going for it now. What I can do is take chances and travel when opportunities exist and encourage my kiddos to not be controlled by fear as they grow up and taken on the world. They can learn from the lessons I experienced…

This doesn’t just apply to travel either. How many things in our lives do we avoid or quit because we are scared? Scared of what’s on the other side. Afraid of change. Afraid of the unknown. I’m not sure who wrote the following “Reality of Fear”, but it definitely gives you some points to consider as you start to confront fear holding you back…

REALITY OF FEAR:

You’re not scared of the dark;
you’re scared of what’s in it.

You’re not afraid of heights;
you’re afraid of falling.

You’re not afraid of the people around you;
you’re afraid of rejection.

You’re not afraid to love;
you’re just afraid of not being loved back.

You’re not afraid to let go;
you’re just afraid of accept the fact it’s gone.

You’re not afraid to try again;
you’re just afraid of getting hurt for the same reason.
Reality of Fear

 

 

Verizon Buys AOL: Deja Vu or An Uncharted Adventure

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It’s well known that my husband has worked for AOL for 20+ years. We met at AOL and it’s where I started my post college career. When I finally left for good, I had 12 years under my AOL logo belt. AOL is a big part of our history together and the thread that binds us with many of our closest friends. Today’s announcement – Verizon to Acquire AOL: Deal Creates Unique and Scaled Digital Media Platforms for Consumers, Advertisers and Partners may or may not have a profound affect on us.

Get Comfortable Being UncomfortableBut it will have some affect I am sure. Scott and I were both at AOL when they merged with Time Warner in 2000. What was so exciting in the beginning,  ended up being one of the biggest failures. It’s no wonder that this morning’s announcement has many former AOL’ers recalling previous experience and wondering whether it will play out the same.  AOL’s current leader, Tim Armstrong, seems to feel strongly that it’s the right direction. In CNBC’s coverage online, Why we sold to Verizon: AOL’s Tim Armstrong says “the Verizon deal was the biggest, fastest way to provide a return to AOL’s shareholders and a bright future to its employees.” This explanation is pretty nebulous and not unexpected since the merger was just announced.

I am not sure what to think about this merger yet. Like many others, my first thought upon hearing the news this AM was “How will this affect my family?” Until I feel comfortable with that answer, the rest isn’t as important. I am curious what others out there are thinking. A former respected AOL colleague shared his thoughts with me…

In 2000, our deal was about “content and cable distro”. Problem was, people fought, and won, and we never got onto TW cable. That, plus illicit conduct, ruined the deal. I had thought in 2005, that they should just fill up CC2 w/ mobile app developers, and let em rip. This deal, is about content (and ads management) on mobile phones. In 2 years, 80% of all content will be consumed on a device. Vz needed reliable content production, with ad platforms built in. TA will get a huge job at Vz. He hit it big, again. Overall, prob a good thing, and maybe becomes a good place, again?

All any of us can do when things like this (aka change) happen, is to be as prepared as you can and learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

 

Last Dress Ever: Tina Fey Nails It

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Who doesn’t love Tina Fey  – not only being super funny, but also subtlety showing the lengths women go to conform…

Tina Fey strips down to her Spanx as a farewell to David Letterman

21 Inspirational Quotes From Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Amy Schumer: Girl You Don’t Need Makeup

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Once again Amy Schumer is awesome. This completely captures what women are faced with day in and day out. We are beautiful inside but yet – we feel like we have to perfectify our looks before we are worthy.

AMY SCHUMER CONTINUES TO CRUSH THE COMEDY GAME WITH “GIRL, YOU DON’T NEED MAKEUP”

And I love that she started a twitter hashtag: 

Amy Schumer: A Fresh Funny Force For Women

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Amy Schumer You have to watch both of these videos below. I have a what can be called a slight crush on Amy Schumer. I think she is fresh, funny and brilliant! And she pokes fun of herself to prove a point about how most women feel…

Watch This!

This is brilliant: Amy Schumer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette Brilliantly Expose Hollywood Double Standards in This Sketch 

 

Inside Amy Schumer – Football Town Nights

The unbelievably hilarious Amy Schumer had Ellen crying she was laughing so hard

Symptoms of a Personal Boundary

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Beauty in NatureA big challenge that I have been facing lately is confronting the fear I have felt about taking the next big step in my career. I have a lot of doubts and anxiety about whether I could handle the next level but with this new job, I decided to just jump into it. Yesterday, my brother David sent me a quote he said reminded him of what I am currently feeling:

“To be clear, the goal is to feel the emotions caused by your state of ignorance, not to dismantle them. This is because your emotions powerfully indicate that you have hit a personal boundary”  Excerpt From: Jason Apollo Voss. “The Intuitive Investor.” SelectBooks, Inc., 2010. iBooks.

I need to feel the emotions because they are a symptom of a personal boundary: My doubt and lack of confidence in my experience and abilities. This year I am committed to breaking through this boundary and moving onto the next one. Life is full of personal boundaries waiting to be taken on if you think about it.

I want you to take time today and read this: Lottery Tickets: Grieving for a husband.  It’s definitely not an easy read. It’s a heartbreaking story, but so beautifully written that you will be better having read it. Her story is very intimate, you can feel the heartbreak and sadness but there is also hope — it’s a reminder that life is short, family is important and love is grand.

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Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, And Jimmy Fallon Go Head-To-Head-To-Head In Historic Lip Sync Battle: 

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Blah Go Workout

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Boxing 1 Hour

Boyhood: Growing Up is Hard To Do

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If you caught the Golden Globe awards last night, you may have heard about the movie Boyhood.

Boyhood Movie - Live Fit and Sore!

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It’s impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. (c) Sundance Film Fest. 


I watched it a few nights before the Golden Globes and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  I’m not sure what it was about the story that really touched me – was it the experience I had growing up with a single parent, or the perspective that I have now as a parent watching and participating as my own kiddos mature and navigate their adolescence? The highs/lows of it — and ultimately the questions that arise like “what’s it all about if they just leave the nest?”. I often find myself glancing at my kids, being completely aware of the situation we are engaging in and noticing they seem just different to me — older maybe. The conversations we engage in have changed, their comprehension of what things mean keeps growing, their tolerance for parental affection and involvement weans. It’s great in so many ways, but heart crushing too. This movie, although not similar to my own family’s experience, brought the growing up experience to life. It was so brilliantly crafted that it didn’t matter that the story wasn’t my own.  The characters were all of us – and  experienced feelings we all can relate to.  I thank Richard Linklater so much for having the vision and talent to make this movie – what a wonderful piece of art.

Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who loved this film – it won best director and best movie last night. Well Deserved!

It really spurred me to reflect on my own childhood and remember moments that profoundly affected me. Do you remember certain moments or experiences from your childhood that you can recall with such clarity including the emotions and thoughts? I  have maybe da handful that I can attribute to thought patterns and behaviors that I still grapple with today.

Here’s some info posted in 2007, but still very relevant and helpful: 18 Habits from Childhood That Affect Our Relationships Now

Cancer Sucks: RIP Stuart Scott

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Cancer Sucks

Yesterday’s death of ESPN Sportscenter Stuart Scott really got to me as it has affected a lot of others out there. I have mentioned previously that many times when I hear about cancer claiming someone else, it reminds me how close my family came to the same outcome. Reminds me how thankful that I get more time with my husband. All of the news stories, recaps, tributes are wonderful but I can’t help but think about his two girls. He was their dad. He was the love of someone. He was a friend, son, mentor to many. Not just a sportscaster. A large family lost someone they loved. A real person.  RIP Mr Scott. My heart and thoughts are with your family. May they find peace and quickly learn to adapt to their new normal…

Making Changes in the New Year

Jump and a net will appearHappy New Year! Have you written out some goals for yourself this year yet? This weekend, I plan to sit down and quietly think about 3-4 things I want to focus on improving in my life and some ideas to help me continually step outside of my comfort zone.

One will definitely be going to the Trapeze School in DC for a class.  I’m scared/nervous about it but it looks like so much fun and completely outside of my norm. So why not!

Another change I am making that will happen later this month is I am switching jobs. Over the past month, I have been exploring other career opportunities and have found one that I believe will be a great fit for me. My current job is FINE – but that’s what it is – it’s FINE. I want to be enlightened, learn new things, and have fun and make some real connections. I just have not been able to get my feet wet here – some of it due to the overall culture that has been developed over years and some of it is the industry that I am currently working in. It’s just not that energetic or vibrant, no matter how much you try to spin it.

One thing being laid off under less than ideal circumstances has taught me is that life is too short. Things will work out and even if you fail at something, you will learn from it.  What I like about this new opportunity is that it will allow me to mentor a small team, come up with creative strategies to market to a niche market, and work in a small, impactful environment.  It’s really the next step to mature in my career.

So there you have it – I needed to find an opportunity that was more aligned with how I see my future panning out.  I’m very excited and energized to start. I’m also nervous to take this step – but I keep hearing this one particular quote in my head: Jump and a Net will Appear. 

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