Thursday, May 26, 2022

Being Your Own HERO!

A  hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

~ Christopher Reeve

Who is your hero? Do you immediately think of a relative, teacher or coach? Many of us do...

And, if you could have a superpower, what would it be? Flight? Mind-reading? Teleportation? Super strength?

While they are all fantastic for various reasons, even super, dare I say, they are fantastic because they are based in fantasy! It's fun to imagine these superpowers, and yet here on earth, secure in reality, it is important to know you are super and you, in fact, can be your own HERO!

How so? Think of embracing and living these four concepts:

H – Happiness

E – Empathy

R – Resilience

O – Optimism


When you decide to be happy, you realize it is a lot about your choices and your perspective...meaning it is up to you. Sure, that means you embrace that life’s not a RomCom and that yes, you are responsible for your own happiness, and that others will simply enhance your happiness or detract from it. Move closer to those who enhance it, and move away from those who detract from it. Similarly, there is no need for or place for FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, and there is a ton of room for what I call JOCO, the Joy Of Celebrating Others. Skip the words "So jealous" and/or "You are so lucky", and practice saying and believing "You deserve it" and/or "So happy for you"! When things don't go well for you, name what happened, don't blame anyone, and simply reframe what you're experiencing for moving forward. No matter what, the mantra of happiness is "Gossip is garbage, jealousy is junk, comparison is crippling & settling is stifling." Be honest with yourself, then you can be honest with others.


As you honor happiness and truthfulness fully, you are able to empathize with others. Empathy is NOT thinking or sharing what you would do in someone's situation, rather it is making the effort to imagine what someone else may be experiencing, and respecting that with grace. Using “I can only imagine” or "I cannot even imagine" over “I understand” and "You are in my thoughts and on my mind" instead of "I feel so bad for you!". Additionally, you can replace judgment with assessment when you ask before assuming and respecting self and others. Do practice kindness through actions. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself. It is most likely you will sincerely be empathetic when you are comfortable and confident in your own skin and life!


This is your "bounce-back-ability", and having the capacity to focus/re-focus. In a resilient state of mind, we admit when we are wrong, without constant apologizing. You find being focused on now and not the past allows for sorrow, for being disappointed in a situation while you won't be devastated as a person/leader. When you are resilient, you can, and will see something different for you…and for others!


You can learn optimism as an outlook and adopt it as forward-thinking positioning. Now this is NOT confetti kindness or popcorn positivity, as that is toxic, and optimism is a true belief that you’ll get through, not get over whatever is happening. The altruistic outcome of optimism is the get to a place that is right, just, and best. It is not “it is what it is”, rather it is what you make of it. Please look at optimism as self-belief, meaning a reliance on self ...with room for others.

With superpowers in our dreams, being your own HERO is both dreamy and deliberate! HEROism is here and now when you know and show happiness, empathy, resilience and optimism! While others may be heroic, keep in mind that you are, in fact, a HERO!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Lessons Learned from a Decade of Service

It was a dedicated decade in which I was grateful to serve, and do not regret for one day...

During the 10+ years being involved with our local military installation, much was experienced, and many things were learned.

Whether on base or off base, with/through military or civilians, it was memorable in many fabulous well as in others. Nonetheless, such volunteerism is all about impact and outcomes, and I am honored to have shared and also glad to have resigned from my post. Through it all, here are a few lessons learned:

Supporting our military does not mean you agree with everything happening in the government or even in the military or a branch thereof. If you do not support our military, you absolutely have that right, it simply isn't right for me not to think and feel "Thank you for your service" every time I see/meet someone who serves our country.

There is a huge difference between learning leadership and learning followership. And the lack of speaking up or reaching out implies you are complicit. Speaking up only for your benefit is self-absorbed. Speaking up for what is best for the situation and/or to right a wrong, is part of true leadership!

Some people serve those who serve to be grateful and give back, while others get connected to the military through the community to get attention and give themselves (and others) a sense of them being good people. Learn the difference and rely solely on the former!

No matter what happens, and how wonderful things can seem or be, there is a time to leave and let the next generation of people have opportunities. Leave while you are still having fun or while the fun memories are still fresh so someone else can have the spot and make the most of it as you did!

So, when you accept an honor, honor that bestowment, yes, and also, importantly honor yourself and your standards...if it is for the military, a chamber, or other community groups, a paid or unpaid role, and do so if you have been there a year, a term, or a decade!

#ProfessionalDevelopment #PersonalDevelopment #ThankYouForYourService