Adversity & Resilience

How to Bounce Back from a Setback

bounce back from a setback

It’s easy to stay motivated when everything’s going well. But our plans don’t always go smoothly. Perhaps you’ve experienced a setback on your way towards a particular goal:

– An injury that stopped you working out and achieving the level of fitness you wanted.
– An unexpected bill that put a massive hole into your hard-won savings
– A rejection letter from the job that you really wanted

… it could be almost anything. Whatever the details, the setback was something that made your heart sink. Your plans were abruptly derailed.

How to Bounce Back from a Setback Read More »

Lessons for Dealing with Disappointment & Letting Go

dealing with disappointment

“As for the future, your task is not to forsee it but to enable it.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Today I lost my job. There may not ever be a great time to lose a job that accounts for the majority of your monthly income, but this was a particularly low time to be told my services were no longer needed.

When I graduated two years ago, degree in hand, I kicked my feet up and waited for the job offers to come pouring in. Needless to say, they trickled — never poured — and the financial abundance I was waiting for never actually showed up.

Lessons for Dealing with Disappointment & Letting Go Read More »

How to Keep Your Composure When Life Deals You a Bad Hand

keep your composure

It’s inevitable that when you play the game of life you’ll occasionally be dealt a bad hand. But as any real winner knows, your experience of life will come down to how you play the hand you’re dealt. Poker players sometimes emerge victorious even when they have terrible cards because of their ability to maintain their composure.

Problems are part of the human experience, but, handled the right way our biggest problems often end up being the biggest blessing in disguise. There are a few simple things you can do that will help you keep your composure when you get dealt a bad hand.

How to Keep Your Composure When Life Deals You a Bad Hand Read More »

Why Failure is a Part of Success


As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I kept a journal faithfully throughout my school years and entered every story writing competition I could. I’d write short poems in the margins of my science lecture notes and even penned comic book stories about all my friends being superheroes. With good grades and stacks of finished stories, I felt like nothing could stand between me and a promising career as a writer.

Except that life interfered. Despite my best intentions, I ended up curtailing my dream once I hit college. Studies overrode novel writing. I picked up a boyfriend, who took up most of my time. I did try to keep writing by submitting short stories every now and again to collegiate magazines, but none of them were accepted. After several rejection letters, I shelved my writing dream in lieu of other pursuits. Once in a while I would find an old 3.5” floppy filled with story ideas and imagine “what if,” but things didn’t get much farther than that. I was unhappy about it, but I felt I should spend my time doing “adult things.” At the tender age of 23, I felt I had failed at writing.

Why Failure is a Part of Success Read More »

How Pain, Heartache and Loss Can Make You Better


Pain and loss is a reality that we all have to deal with in our lives from time to time. It can control our lives and bring us down, or it can actually cause us to change in good ways and make us better.

It’s easy for us to want to push aside our negative feelings and not acknowledge their existence. We want to feel good and be happy all of the time.

And there’s nothing wrong with wanting happiness.

But what if when pain, heartache, or loss strike us, they can actually change us to make us better people? And what if it can help us deal better with future occurrences of pain?

How Pain, Heartache and Loss Can Make You Better Read More »

Are You Choosing the Right Challenges?


I think this is one the most important articles I’ve written. I think this topic is so important, and it’s rarely talked about.

I wasted a lot of time in my life and gone through a lot of suffering because I didn’t get it, and I’ve watched a lot of friends, colleagues, and classmates do the same. If you agree, please share the message.

As a coach, I’m frequently in conversation with clients and friends facing dilemmas. Option 1 or Option 2? Job A or Job B? School C or School D?

Are You Choosing the Right Challenges? Read More »

How To Grow During The Downtimes


How in the world does a person grow during the low points in life? How can we take our setbacks and turn them into something great? What can we learn from our perceived failures? If there’s anything I’ve learned in all my 23 years, it’s how to use my darkest hours and lowest points in life to learn a lesson and eventually create a success.

To better understand where I’m coming from today, I want to open up with a quote from the late Randy Pausch:

How To Grow During The Downtimes Read More »

An Invisible Cup of Tea, and Other Ways to Take Shelter From The Storms of Life

storms of life

The rapid fire pace of daily life takes its toll and often fails to give us even a moment to pause, recover from, or even consider what’s going on around us. Our world is more frenetic, more overwhelming and more opportunity- laden than at any time before in human experience. Modern life has become a hail storm of input, activity, connectivity, and a never ending flow of information. Pressured situations come at us from all sides – at work, in social settings, or at home.

If we’re to make the most of the whirlwind existence sweeping around us, then it’s a good bet that we’ll need some shelter from the storm from time to time. We can’t stay inside forever — literally or figuratively— not unless we want to give up participating in the world and the company of our fellow human beings. So, how do we find a moment of shelter from the storm?

An Invisible Cup of Tea, and Other Ways to Take Shelter From The Storms of Life Read More »

When the Wheels Come Off

VW Camper Van

I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when parents still told their kids to go outside and play. My friends and I would spend all day in the yard and when we got hot and sweaty enough we’d run to the back patio, open the water spigot on the side of the house and get down on our hands and knees so we could get low enough to turn our mouths up for a drink of water that splashed all over our faces and down our necks. In the evenings I remember seeing my parents shaking their heads as they watched the oil crises in the 1970’s unfold on the nightly news. Gas prices skyrocketed to 73 cents a gallon! “Turn it off,” my mother would say to my dad. “Good grief! The wheel’s are coming off but they make it sound like the world’s ending.”

Like me, as a child you probably hoped for a life that would exceed your dreams but as those dreams collapsed along the way you’ve simply wished for a soft wing of hope but instead have gotten life in a culture of ungrace. That’s not a word but it should be. If you don’t know what ungrace is just listen to most people who didn’t vote for any sitting president, watch how fast Hollywood turns on a star who no longer sells at the box office or turn on the news anytime during the day. Ungrace pulsates in our workplaces, communities, and in the media and tells us that regardless of what has happened we must do better, look better, and make ourselves better. But to love and accept someone regardless of their flaws and failures is a breath of hope in a world that turns more upside down than right side up. That is the gift of grace. It’s being dirty and smelly and turning your face up under the spigot. Sometimes the wheels need to come off and you need to get pretty low before you appreciate grace.

When the Wheels Come Off Read More »

How to Survive and Thrive When A Snow Day Arrives

snow day

There are days that arrive — some anticipated and others landing with an unexpected shock—that can stop us from even walking out our front door. Whether it’s the literal Winter outside our homes or a metaphoric one in our souls, relationships or circumstances, we all have ice storms and snow days that play havoc with our lives.

In the ancient of days, before the weather channel, snow and ice would get to sneak into town more often. You’d wake without warning to a landscape to enchant you, possibly being the answer to a fervent grade school prayer, or to ruin your day, depending on where you needed or wanted to be.

How to Survive and Thrive When A Snow Day Arrives Read More »