What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

Remember the first day of school? “What did you do on your Summer Vacation?” was the question we all got when we went back to school after summer vacation.
When I grew up, school started the day after Labor Day. That’s today. And the first question the teacher would ask is, “what did you do over your summer vacation?”, sometimes we had to write an essay. The challenge was to pick the one stand out experience that would help influence who we would become moving forward.
Thinking about that now is not a bad exercise. Can you think of one thing you did during this past 3 months- summer time that will have an influence on you moving forward? Was it a place you went, a person you met, or was it something you learned or did that changes the way you look at the world?
For me this was my summer of bucket list moments. I got to zipline over a waterfall in Alaska and try hang gliding in California. The results of both are mixed and I’ll touch on that later…. But I can say, I don’t regret it, any of it.
As my birthday approaches later this month… I now look forward to what I will do on my next summer vacation. How about you? What did you do this Summer that will make a difference in your life? I’d love to hear all about it!
The Pursuit of Better

The Pursuit of Better

What if competition was all in your head? What if it was only about you? Instead of comparing yourself against someone else’s current state of being, what if you only looked at yourself and where you are in comparison to where YOU’VE been. That is the Pursuit of Better.

I just spent a week in my professional association (NSAspeaker.org) learning from, and networking with some of the people who are the best professional speakers, consultants, thought leaders and influencers in the country.
Here are a few of the prime take-aways, that apply to any business.
1. There is nothing more important than staying relevant. One of the best ways to stay relevant is to continue in the pursuit of better. We can all get better. We can update our knowledge, our training and learn what is applicable NOW, in 2022. We can see how the past informs the present, but learn from others as to how the present will inform the future.
2. Your personal and professional image need an update as everything has changed over the past few years. Is your image, personal and corporate as up to date as it could be? While at the convention in Nashville, TN, my friend, Dr. Mary Kelly and I hired a professional photographer to update our headshots and generate some brand new images to use on social media and correspondence with our clients. What are you doing to update your image and to stay relevant? (See the above image as an example of updated as of this week!)
3. Set goals for the future.  Are there people in your industry with distinctions, accolades and credentials that you admire? Is it time to aspire to achieving those for yourself? My dad always said, if you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. That’s all you can do. Is there somewhere you would like to be by this time next year? Take care of yourself, and for your own well being, work into the pursuit of better. – Carolyn

 

My 2022 New Year’s Prayer

My 2022 New Year’s Prayer

“AT LEAST ” 

May you have at least enough work to fulfill your sense of purpose.
May you make at least enough memories to keep you warm when you get old.
May you have at least enough humor to laugh everyday.
May you have at least enough adventure to appreciate your downtime.
May you have at least enough joy to make you smile.
May you have at least enough freedom to appreciate boundaries.
May you have at least enough dreams to pull you into your future.
May you have at least enough friends to satisfy your heart.
May you have at least enough support to take a risk every once in a while.
May you have at least enough blessings to share them with others.
2022-Carolyn Strauss

Finding Joy in the Completion of 2021

Finding Joy in the Completion of 2021

‘Tis the season to experience comfort and joy. It’s also the time of year where we aspire to complete 2021 powerfully and positively. As we attempt this, I encourage us to pause for a moment and reflect back on the things that brought us actual joy this year.

If that is a challenge for you, here’s an idea:

Make a list of the people you spent time with who brought you energy, positive feelings and uplifted your spirit.

Make a list of where you want to go and what you want to experience in 2022 (flexibility is the key here…)

Make a list of things you’re grateful for this year which will attract more of that in the coming year.

I’ll start: Some things I’m grateful for:

*The opportunity to Emcee for organizations who are committed to having all of their members engaged and feel appreciated.

* For the friends that have reached out and connected with me over this past year.

* For my newest venture “Communication Skills for Wicked Smart People” which serves biotech, science and medical companies to support them in getting their brilliant work out into the world in a way that that stakeholders can hear it.

* Mostly I’m grateful for you for being in my world.

Wishing you a healthy, happy, beautiful holiday season. Merry Everything! Love, Carolyn

A New Way of “Holiday-ing” in 2021

A New Way of “Holiday-ing” in 2021

It’s November. Conversations, advertisers and in store displays have the Holidays front and center … already. However this year, before we make our holiday plans, I want to invite you to consider that you’re probably different now than you were pre-holiday 2019. (I’m skipping over the holidays 2020 as that was such an anomoly… and much of the reason for the premise of this post).

Here’s the thing. Everyone I’ve encountered, spoken for and consulted with over the past months have noticed that they are different. Are you changed in some way from this recent globally shared pandemic experience? The whole point of the human experience is to evolve and change. Can you identify how you have shifted since November of 2019?

These 3 questions might help:
1. Is there something I enjoy now that I didn’t know I enjoyed 2 years ago?
2. Are there people I’d rather be around now and others maybe not so much?
3. Are there aspects of my work I’d rather be focusing on, and others I’d rather delegate or spend less time doing within or outside of my current work situation?

As we move into the holiday season of 2021, just be aware, that everyone you will encounter is different in some way. Having compassion for them is the kindest thing you can do. Also, the only way for the people in your world to know how you are different is for you to share what is true for you now.

Here are a few things that are true for me moving into the holiday season 2021.
1. I love working with organizations to create teams that function better and are able to do more with less through my certification as a Working Genius Facilitator.
2. I love and appreciate the opportunities I have to Emcee conferences with “wicked smart” attendees, (people in the fields of Medicine, Business and Government, so far for 2022).
3. I’m looking for more laughter every single day. If you’re funny reach out and say “hi”. I also aspire to create laughter in every conversation I have, and through my podcast Another Day Above Ground.

Wishing you a joyous and evolved holiday season! –Carolyn

Valentine’s Day Can be Everyday if we Pay Attention

Valentine’s Day Can be Everyday if we Pay Attention

There is so much advertising around Valentine’s Day that if one is not careful, we can get caught up in the “comparison” game. Is my relationship “romantic, special, exotic” enough?

One key to avoiding this trap, is to appreciate your unique situation, especially during this unique year. If you are single today, appreciate the freedom you have to make choices that serve you without having to compromise. If you are married or in a committed relationship, appreciate the support, comfort and stability of having that person that is always on your side (if that is not the case, it may be time to renegotiate your partnership… and that’s for another post, but hang in there). And if you are somewhere in between, appreciate the family members, friends and pets both in person and virtually that have brought you joy throughout this past year.

Remember, Valentine’s Day comes but once a year, but the ability to notice the love and support that surrounds your life is there for you each and every day…even if it is hidden behind a mask, it’s still there! With love and appreciation of you….. Carolyn