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Faking It

For nearly a decade, I’ve been participating in or leading a November Gratitude Challenge. I’m all-in on the concept and fully believe in the benefits, but this year has been a test for obvious and not-so-obvious reasons.

Someone recently said to me,

“I get it, I mean, it makes sense, but it’s pretty surface-level, isn’t it? It’s not really addressing the tough stuff, and I don’t know, it just feels like I’m faking happiness or something.”

I can’t stop thinking about that conversation, and I want to go there, but first, let me say this, what works in life is what works. …

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Disney’s Frozen 2

On December 7, 2019, we took our three children to Frozen 2, sixteen days after it opened. It was not quite a year ago, but it feels like a decade ago. Pandemic-life has changed everything we thought we knew about how humans experience time.

Back then, waiting sixteen days seemed impossible, but we agreed to go as a group, and 12/7/19, was the first date that worked for everyone. We were so busy then — remember that? Remember theatres or group activities?

How much has changed in a year? How much have parents aged this year? Ahhhh, don’t answer that. How much more tech-savvy and less innocent are our children? …

Surrender Instead — It Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

“Surrender allows the unknown to happen as humbly as possible. Success is when we are ok with the unknown we invite in.” — James Altucher

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Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Who, through this crisis, has realized they put a lot of their identity in their work?

Who, through this crisis, is rethinking their approach to parenthood?

Who, after more than nine months of quarantine life, is seeing everything a little differently?

If you haven’t been in an office, or if you’ve been managing your children’s participation in remote learning, or if you’ve been maintaining social distance for the protection of your loved ones, are you feeling a little bit lost or disconnected? …

I started writing right here in January 2018. This is what happened next.

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1 Million Words Later

When I left Corporate America, I didn’t know what was next. I did know I wanted to write — that was the one thing most urgently missing from my corporate career.

In January of 2018, I joined Medium, downloaded Grammarly, and wrote my first post. I set a goal to write one million words.

I could have set other goals, a book deal or 10,000 followers, but when I looked at all the ways I could become a great writer, the one that stood out was to write a lot. It took over two years to write 1 million words.

We tend to overcomplicate the journey of becoming what we want to be. If you want to become a writer, write. …

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Photo by Mister B. on Unsplash

Some of us have been counting down to next year since March.

Others have already put up the Christmas tree.

Some of us have detoxed from social media.

Others bought a Peloton.

We’ve all found coping methods this year, and if it works (and it’s relatively healthy), stay the course.

But if you’re thinking ahead to 2021 and long for a better future, let’s try a weekend reset.

On Saturday, Forgive

When you grieve this year (and if you haven’t yet done that, it’s probably time), try to face what hurts the most. Maybe it’s the trips you didn’t take, the friends your children didn’t make, or the missed milestones that you looked forward to (for years). …

While some are making peace with the term, and let’s be honest, the concept of “ambitious women,” ambitious women are quietly changing the world.

No one knows what it took for you to get where you are. No one knows what was hard, what you had to overcome, when you struggled, or when you soared.

Your journey is your journey — own it.

Embrace the milestones, hold the vision. Celebrate your victories and your resilience, tenacity, and endurance. Messy progress, imperfect work, stops and starts — it all matters.

Women have greater opportunities than we’ve ever had, and we still have miles to go. …

What if 2020 is Not an Anomaly?

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

2020 was disruptive; trends that we thought might take years to develop — like remote work, virtual learning, and unprecedented climate change — accelerated in ways we couldn’t imagine.

Leadership has struggled to keep up.

The problem isn’t change, or even exponential change. It’s the combination of perpetual, persuasive, and exponential change.

Conditions for accelerating change have been building for years. Advancements in information technology, automation, human interconnectivity, Artificial Intelligence, and the network effects among them, created a new reality where change is much more rapid, continual, and ubiquitous. — HBR

But what if 2020 is not an anomaly?

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Photo by Kristin Hoel on Unsplash

Discernment is the Leadership Quality that’s Lacking.

Discernment is smart judgment in a broader context. It’s the ability to see beyond the obvious to anticipate opportunities and threats, right and wrong, understand cause and effect, and trust ourselves at a core-level. …

Three Strategies to Reduce Stress and Stay Positive Even When You’ve Simply Had Enough

Let’s be fully present today. Let’s share our election experience, not be stunned or outraged or indignant together, but unflinchingly face what happens, what it means about, and for our country.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

One Ball For All

We are all feeling it, the stress and anxiety of today’s election. A little bit relieved that it’s finally here, but worried about the outcome and afraid to get our hopes up. We aren’t sure it will really be over today or anytime soon for that matter, or that a decision will resolve anything.

Last night, we watched David Attenborough’s documentary/witness statement on Netflix. It might not seem like an obvious choice for someone already stretched to her anxious edge, but I’ll tell you why I picked it: The U.S. …

Even during a pandemic, travel can make you happy.

Our children have three years to wait before they receive their Hogwarts acceptance letters. I have to be honest; I don’t know how we will make it. Some days the anticipation is so impassioned that if we see an owl in the big tree in the backyard, they almost burst from excitement.

When was the last time you were that excited about anything?

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Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

The last time I was that excited was when we were anticipating our 10th anniversary trip. It was no small feat packing, planning, and scheduling a family of five for 30 days away from home.

But instead of focusing solely on logistics, we kept motivated by anticipating the emotions, the sights, and the shared discovery. For instance, I knew we would have three or more formal nights, so I imagined how cute my son would look matching dad in their tuxedos. …

How to Reinvent Yourself

There is a reckoning of sorts that happens in your 40s. It’s not the same as a mid-life crisis, but it is as awareness that you’re mortal, that the work you do matters, and if you want to have a certain kind of life, either you must be all-in on making it happen, or accept what you have now, because time is running out.

McConaughey isn’t the first to describe this reckoning — Eat, Pray, Love and Untamed are two other gorgeous examples — but his book, Greenlights, is a recent buzzworthy example.

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“McConaughey is a talented actor and a fine writer, but a total genius at living.”


Kristi Andrus

Happiness and success coach. Inspired living. Writer for 20 pubs. Sign up for my gratitude challenge:

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