The 7th – and Last – Secret of a Can Do Life!

Find and keep a sense of humor.

Why? Because life it hard enough – being a grouch or always serious just makes it harder.

Song in my HeartBack when I had just started chemo, I was talking with a friend when, I out of the blue I remembered a movie I loved as a kid, With a Song in My Heart.  It is the story of Jane Froman, a singer who toured Europe to entertain the troops during World War II, who was seriously injured in an airplane accident. Painfully and slowly, she rebuilt her life, always keeping a song in her heart. Jane Wyman played her in the movie and I can hear the song in my head as I type.

That was how With a Song in My Heart became my mantra during chemo, reminding me not to take myself or my situation SO seriously. I learned to laugh about the indignities of chemo – from rashes to the runs – and to laugh at myself in the process! That lighter and more playful attitude helped me grow and learn so much more about what is important in life during my chemo and recovery experience.

A sense of humor balances us. And, laughter bathes the brain in endorphins which shutterstock_45929179soothe and heal the stressed out places. I believe that laughter allows the gratitude in your life to take root in your heart.

One of the most important places to be able to laugh is at work, with the caveat of being respectful, and being careful not to be inappropriate. I have worked in several very high risk, high intensity programs where how a crisis was handled could mean life or death, or at least risk of serious injury. But, even in those environments, maybe especially in those environments, I have appreciated the ability of my colleagues and employees to balance the stress with some lighter moments. I have discovered that sharing a laugh with colleagues helps create bonds that create a carry-over of positive vibes that can be quite helpful during stressful meetings.

Once, long before my Can Do days, during a very intensive program proposal writing process, a colleague who was a partner in the project called and said he had something important to tell me. I took my eyes off the narrative to pick up the phone, thinking “this better add another $10K to the project’s bottom line, or I will scream!” After I said hello, he said, “if at first you don’t succeed,” then paused.  I, somewhat tersely, responded, “yes, what?” to which he answered, “don’t try sky diving!”  It was just what I needed. And more than 10 years later, I still remember it!

catnap

Finding and keeping a sense of humor – so full of wisdom that adds years to our lives and life to our years. And in today’s era of technology, being able to laugh is as easy as finding the puppy, kitty or baby videos on YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube (how is that for a finessed transition!?), I have posted two short preview videos for the new Live YOUR Can Do Life online workshop that launches on Friday!  Click here for the Intro to YOUR Can Do Life and click here for Making Possibility Decisions… One of the promises I can make about the workshop series is that it will be engaging and, yes, even fun! While registration is open until March 27th, I encourage you to sign up today to get the most from the workshop videos, tele-workshop on March 18th and the Live YOUR Can Do Life Workbook. Click here to learn more!

Thanks for joining me on the Can Do Blog during these last seven weeks to learn about the Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life!  Writing these posts has been great fun and allowed me to understand and live the secrets a little deeper myself.

The fun does not stop here!  Be sure to sign up to be on the email list for the Can Do Blog. (From the menu, it is on the right side of the Can Do Blogs page.) I have made a commitment to post a blog or podcast every Wednesday. It’s kind of my anti-hump-day statement.

monkey-headerNext Wednesday, I will be posting the Can Do Dialogue podcast that my colleague and friend Troy Thompson and I are recording about his fascinating, meaningful – and funny, I might add – No Evil Project. We won’t just be monkeying around, either!!  Come back and check it out!

In the meantime, stay well and remember that you can change the world by making the commitment every day to have a positive attitude, grounded in gratitude and based in reality.

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3rd String :-)

???????????????????????????????What a Can Do week for my Ohio State Buckeyes. They are in the FIRST EVER college football championship game next Monday night, playing the Oregon Ducks.

What impressed me most about the post game celebration was the tweet that their quarterback sent out after the game.

Only 11 characters long:

CJones 3rd

Yes, that is right.  For those who don’t know, Cardale Jones is Ohio State’s 3rd string quarterback who started his first game in the Big Ten Championship game last month after the 2nd string quarterback, JT Barrett was injured in the Michigan game.  And, JT had played in that position all year because the first string quarterback, Braxton Miller injured his shoulder before the season began and everyone thought Ohio State’s season was OVER before it started!

So, when I think of all the reasons I give to myself and everyone else for not getting something done with excellence, I stop and think about my buddy, Cardale, aka 3rd String.

OSU had all the reasons in the world NOT to advance to the biggest game in college football.  But they did. Led by their third string quarterback, they crushed Wisconsin to get to the Sugar Bowl.

Then, everyone (well, many people) said that they would never beat a Southeastern Conference Team, especially the powerhouse, Number 1 ranked Alabama.

Led by their third string QB, they did just that.

Bring on Monday night, I say! It’s the Bucks versus the Ducks – let’s see what they Can Do!  (On a side note, I will be in Dallas on business but not going to the game. Not that I did not try, but the nosebleed tickets start at $550! Alas, Cardale, I will cheer you on from my cousin’s home, about 10 miles away! So close, yet so far… Go Bucks!)

So, what have been your excuses?  What has held you back from achieving – even working on – your dreams and goals?  What is stopping you now?

Are you one of the dozens of people from across the globe who have signed up for the Seven Secrets Workbook CoverFREE Seven Secrets of a Can Do Workplace virtual workshop series?  Yes, that’s right! There are workshop participants in Europe, Asia and South America – how cool is that?

What is even cooler? It’s FREE!

If you have signed up, check your email tomorrow for your reminder about Wednesday’s tele-workshop at 1PM Eastern.

If not, there is still time to sign up!  Click here and enter your name and email at the bottom of the page to receive the links to the videos and podcasts, the access code for the tele-workshop on Wednesday and the Seven Secrets Workbook. Registration is open until January 16th.

Cardale Jones and I are having a Can Do 2015 – We hope you are too!

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Can Do Reflections on a Rainy Morning:

rainy leavesAs I sit here this October morning listening to the steady rain, I am reflecting on the comments that people have made to me in the last week after they have read The Can Do Chronicles

I had lunch with a colleague yesterday who called the book a “page turner” because of all the problems we had before we moved. Others have remarked about how taken they are with the number of serious challenges we faced during these last three years. They speak as if – and sometimes I think as if – those months were a time apart from my current life, and that that time is over.

My CAN DO reflection for today is: The Journey Never Ends. And things do not go back to “normal.”  As I used to tell my counseling clients, Normal is a small town in North Central Illinois.  I need my CAN DO outlook and approach to life as much today as I did when I started chemo; as much as I did when Ned’s job evaporated.

It is not over.  

It is never over. The scenery changes… the seasons change… and companions on the journey can come and go. My CAN DO outlook helps keep me ready for the ups and downs and ins and outs that are inevitable because I have no idea what is going to happen today or next week on my life’s journey. My remission did not come with a guarantee. My Dad’s declining health is of increasing concern to the whole family. My car and our roof are both OLD. Then, there are the larger, systemic threats to my world over which I have absolutely no control, such as the government shut down and the debt ceiling.

smiling-heartOn this rainy day, I renew my commitment to keep the smile in my heart. To find, and share, a bite or two of inspirational nourishment through the day. To stay in good spiritual shape and continue to get in good physical shape. To say thank you to God for the blessings that I have.

So, I went looking for a bite of inspiration on the Pope’s Facebook page… it does not get much better than this: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

shutterstock_126333485It’s what I CAN DO to make the journey as life giving as possible on a very rainy fall day.

What CAN you DO?

How can I help?