Archives For Personal Development

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” and so Rumi aptly advises us.

But, who is this breeze?
What if the breeze could be you?

Leadership can take the form of the breeze in Rumi's quote (i.e. Being the Messenger)

If you had the chance to be the breeze in someone’s dawn, would you take it?
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at

In the garden,

a lone unusual flower blossomed at the end of a branch.

Snapping a shot, I tweeted:

“TakeThisMoment #Leadership #Thought:
Go ahead, go out on a limb. Something good will blossom.”

This tweet about leadership resonated and was retweeted, but held a secret. Photo credit: Jackie Yun |

This tweet about leadership resonated and was retweeted, but held a secret.
Photo credit: Jackie Yun |

Then a breeze blew in

from @szark_1 , not a follower of mine but a follower of @ghani_b who follows me and I him.  Quietly responding to me and @ghani_b, @szark_1 tweeted:

what looks so beautifully is a strong poison ‘Datura’“.

Continue Reading…

My old college roomie, years ago, sent me a book called:

“What Would Jackie Do?”

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Don’t Get Stuck When A Difficult Leadership Situation Pops Up!
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subtitled: “An Inspired Guide to Distinctive Living”.  If I were to follow the wisdom of Jackie O as outlined in the book, I could know what to do and bloom!

My old roomie would raise her eyebrow if she knew that some on my team asked that same question: “What Would Jackie Do?” — thinking Jackie Y instead of Jackie O — not for “distinctive living” but rather to figure out how to handle difficult work situations.

It was an effective crutch for their leadership (glad it worked!) and an ego boost for me (we all need that sometimes! ~ thank you, team!!), but …

As a leader, you don’t want to be the crutch for people long term. 

You want people to graduate from You! 

You want to see the core values you set for the organization become their own — internalizing these so they become leaders in their own right and make decisions from their minds and hearts.

Mission statements can be a helpful guide, but how memorable and inspiring is yours? (If yours is like mine was, it’s time to review and update. Some tips in this article from Business News Daily.)

For a simple approach with needed internal heart fueling power …

Try the “3 Words Exercise” 

Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group and NY TImes Best Selling Author, created this exercise for personal growth and as “something that would work within our thought process daily”.

Here’s how to get started.

Continue Reading…

Spring makes a statement.
Encouraged, my heart blossoms.
Johnny Jump Ups cheer.

Don't let Reluctance Negatively Impact Your #100HappyDays in a Row!

Johnny Jump Ups Cheer Away Your Winter Reluctance and Let You Jump into Spring!
Photo credit: Jackie Yun |

This is my haiku offering to Carol Varsalona (@cvarsalona). She tweeted me an “invitation to find the connection between digital photography and poetic expression”; asking me to submit a photo and original poetry to be part of her “Reflect with Me, April Awakenings Literary Event”.

And from that …

On Day 3 of #100HappyDays
I celebrate leaving my cocoon!

In a cocoon, there is no dancing, no walking, no breathing, not even a wink of the eyes. It is comfortable and sleepy; an intense and very familiar home.
When we begin to examine that comfortable darkness – look at it, smell it, feel it – we find it is claustrophobic.
We want to stretch out and walk, dance, even jump.
from Chogyam Trungpa, “Shambhala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior”.

Though afraid to Jump.

I pushed off the reluctance

To write Spring haiku.

It wasn’t simple.

Reluctance with its comforting scent of status quo can tug hard at me.

Even when I know all the benefits of jumping and I want to jump, the cocoon calls.

“Jump” was one of my 2013 #Threewords.  I wrote about it in the comments of Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter’s post.  Thank you, Jacqui (@ValueIntoWords — Master Resume Writer / Sailor), for introducing me to the #ThreeWords concept.

But, I did not jump at Carol’s invitation.  I tweeted to her that I was not a poet.

Does reluctance pull at you in the same way?

My advice:

When reluctance pulls,
pull back fiercely;
pull it out like unwanted weeds
by asking these 2 Q’s …

Continue Reading…

 Who Can Resist 

Texas Chewie Pralines from Lammes  


Salted Brown Butter Texas Pecan Brittle Chocolate  

from The Chocolate Makers Studio?

“Yum-O” as Rachel Ray would say.


#100HappyDays: “There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy ...” ― Betty MacDonald

“There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy …” ― Betty MacDonald
Photo credit: Jackie Yun |

 On Day 2 of #100HappyDays 

Sweets are on my happiness radar.  

I’m the type who asks for the dessert menu before ordering the entree.

My favorite holidays are Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and  Christmas.  (Chocolate, anyone?)

And My Advice to New Leaders: 

“Lead through a Bowl of Candy”

My candy bowl was filled with Reeses®, Snickers®, 3 Musketeers®, Milky Ways® and more.

A bowl of candy can become one of your best and favorite leadership tools.  Here’s why: 

Continue Reading…

Details, details, details.  

It’s in the details.  

Lovely, delicate, intriguing details.  

… On Day 1 of #100HappyDays … 

The details are the harbingers of happiness

from my garden to my heart.

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment ~ Georgia O’Keeffe Photo credit: Jackie Yun of

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment ~ Georgia O’Keeffe
Photo credit: Jackie Yun |

I say: “Hurrah to Being Detailed-Oriented!” because


  • The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. ~ William Morris
  • It’s the little details that are vital.  Little things make big things happen. ~ John Wooden
  • This is what customers pay us for — to sweat all these details so it’s easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. ~ Steve Jobs


I say: “‘Being Detailed-Oriented’ is NOT the answer 

Continue Reading…

Letter From A Pumpkin

October 28, 2013 — 10 Comments

The wisdom of trees has long been written about.  You can find this wisdom in the works of the literary trifecta of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mary Oliver and John Muir — works that leave us loftily moved about life and leadership.

Wisdom directly from a tree is just as illuminating.

Life & Leadership Wisdom from a Tree

Life & Leadership Wisdom in Nature

These words are from “Advice from a Tree” written by Writer-Artist-Imagineer, Ilan Shamir.

Inspired, I took my pen (that is, keyboard) to create an homage to Ilan Shamir and to a well-loved large squash — because nature, being abundant, doesn’t restrict wisdom to trees.

A Pumpkin’s Message

Dearest Friend,

Sometimes there is a mask carved on our outsides, put there for protection.  I say to you: “Shine brightly through that mask.”

Be the Authentic You!

Let Your Inner Flame Glow!
Image courtesy of hin255 at

Be the authentic you and #leadfromwithin — be willing to lead not just yourself, but others, too.

Continue Reading…

This Girl Is On Fire - She's Ousted The Inner Critic

Releasing the Power of the Inner Critic
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This Girl is on Fire!

I could hear Alicia Keys’ ♫♪♬ voice in my mind. Standing up on that table with my black kicky boots in a warrior stance, my arms jabbing at the ceiling and with my voice unwavering — for just a second — I had successfully F@CKED OFF my Inner Critic at the behest of my coach with my fellow class attendees as witnesses.

Not my usual style, yet strangely cleansing.

Precisely the reason why Sarita Chawla, our coach and senior faculty leader, had chosen this particular exercise for me. Putting me in my Un-Comfort Zone was a way to “out” my Inner Critic who had become too comfortable in my mind and psyche.

The Inner Critic Is Not Your Friend; No Matter What You Think!

Perhaps you are thinking that you don’t need to get into the uncomfortableness of your Un-Comfort Zone because you can make peace with your Inner Critic.  You can quiet it down, live with it, even use it for your own betterment. You may be thinking you wouldn’t be as good without its promptings.

The Inner Critic is Not Your Friend

Don’t Be Fooled! The Inner Critic is NOT Your Friend
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at

Banish those insidious thoughts — that’s your Inner Critic speaking!

What we saw, felt and heard in the New Ventures West’s “Thwarting the Inner Critic” class was this:

  • “The Inner Critic causes you to sacrifice freedom for safety.”
  • “The Inner Critic usurps your own essential strength and uses it against you.”
  • “The Inner Critic dampens your aliveness (the true you vs. who the Inner Critic thinks you should be).”
  • “The Inner Critic syphons your energy.”
  • “The Inner Critic super glues you to your seat!”

Those observations prompted this tantalizing thought from David Kinsman, fellow coach and attendee:

“We need to meet the world in a different way”.

I take this to mean…

Eradicate Your Inner Critic Now!

And you can begin the eradication with these 3 exercises from the “Thwarting the Inner Critic” class. Continue Reading…

Are You A Character Based Leader?

Are You A Character Based Leader?

It was a kick to the abdomen. Negative energy spiked across the room. The collective shield went up. The message they heard was that they and their work were nothing special. None of their efforts counted. All because THAT word was used at an all-hands meeting to explain the reason for outsourcing.

That word was “commodity”.

Per ~ A reasonably homogeneous good or material, bought and sold freely as an article of commerce.

And yes, this actually happened!

The outcome (even with outsourcing as part of the plan) would’ve been very different, if our executive had followed Jane Perdue’s advice. Continue Reading…