Entries by gmader

How Great are YOU willing to be?

Maybe that seems like an odd question to ask. Who wouldn’t want to be Great? Perhaps it’s not as straightforward as it seems. It is my life’s goal to ignite, energize and empower people. In fact, it’s my job, and most of it is in the workplace. My work is about empowering people; reminding them of who they are and how great and able they can be. When people are empowered in the workplace, it spills over into other areas of their life – work, marriage, parenthood, family, and social circles. But I have noticed that often people are not that eager to become empowered.  Despite what they say they don’t seem to be interested […]

Living Courageously Through Journaling

My last series of blog posts focused on living courageously: doing something everyday that scares us, eliminating cynical and jealous thoughts, making time for self-improvement. Courageous living means identifying your dreams and goals and taking an honest look at the situations and circumstances between you and your dreams. A great place to start your journey to a more courageous life is in a daily journal. The Benefits of Journaling Scores of studies have been done on the benefits of daily journaling. By turning into ourselves and disclosing our feelings and thoughts in a safe environment, we are giving ourselves permission to process, reflect on, and take responsibility for our actions and reactions. Daily journaling has […]

What Scares You?

Living courageously doesn’t mean that you’re never scared. It means that you learn to embrace your fear and move past it — to allow it to strengthen you rather than weaken or paralyze you. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I love this quote, because it helps me remember the importance of stretching myself, of pushing myself out of my comfort zone and taking a stand for the things I want in life but am afraid to pursue. Stay True to Who You Are The key is to align your choices, behaviors and actions with who you are or who you want to be and what is most important […]

What’s Killing Your Courage?

Courageous living is powerful, rewarding and, in my humble opinion, the only way to really live life. But while the concept is simple, applying it is not always easy. Living courageously means learning to ignore the naysayers — including the one in the mirror. The Enemies of Courage The biggest enemies of living courageously are negative emotions and attitudes, such as cynicism, resignation and jealousy. People often become convinced — by things others have said or by their own unenlightened thoughts — that they can’t have what they want, that they are not capable or worthy of achieving their dreams. I have seen many people stop believing in their goals and dreaming about their desires […]

Are You Living a Courageous Life?

While most of us would agree that courage and bravery are positive qualities, many people would not use these words to describe themselves. Most people are still too afraid to live the life they truly want — afraid of taking risks, of failing, of being disappointed or of what others might think. However, everyone has the ability to live courageously. As the Wizard of Oz tells the Cowardly Lion in L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s story, “You know, of course, that courage is always inside one.” So what is courageous living? How do you know if you are living courageously? Courage Starts Inside Courageous living is our innate ability to take a stand for the […]

Generating Breakthroughs in Challenging Relationships (Part 4): Rules of Future Engagement

How do you take a challenging relationship — personal or professional — and transform it into one built on trust, respect and intimacy? Over the last three weeks, we have examined the first three steps for generating this kind of breakthrough: Both parties must authentically desire a transformation and commit to having the conversations necessary to take the relationship to a new or better place. Have an honest, open, rational conversation about the history in order to drive closure, complete the past and bring the relationship back to the space of nothing (zero). Generate rich, exciting possibilities for the future of your relationship. This week, we’ll cover the fourth and final step: Turn the new […]

Generating Breakthroughs in Challenging Relationships (Part 3): Starting From Scratch

How do you take a challenging relationship — personal or professional — and transform it into one built on trust, respect and intimacy? Over the past two weeks, we have examined the first two steps for generating this kind of breakthrough. The first step is that both parties must genuinely want to take the relationship to a new, better place and commit to having the necessary conversations. The second step is to have an honest, open, rational conversation about the past so that you can complete the past and “zero it out” so you can start over. This week, we’ll discuss the third step of the conversation: generating a rich, exciting possibility for the future […]

Generating Breakthroughs in Challenging Relationships (Part 2): Zeroing Out the Past

How do you take a challenging relationship — personal or professional — and transform it into one built on trust, respect and intimacy? Last week, I outlined four steps for generating this kind of breakthrough. The first step is that both parties must genuinely want to take the relationship to a new, better place and commit to having the necessary conversations. This week, we’ll examine the second step: Complete the history of the relationship by fully getting each other’s reality and experiences. This requires an honest, open, rational conversation about the past. Setting the Stage for Change Start by setting the time and place for the conversation. Obviously, if possible, do it in person. However, […]

Having Effective Conversations to Build or Restore Trust in Any Relationship

There are some people with whom we easily build trusting, productive relationships — people with whom we connect and take our relationships to the next level without much trouble or controversy. But there are other relationships — personal and professional — that require more work, either because past dealings or misunderstandings have created mistrust or animosity, or because different personalities make it harder sometimes to find common ground. Sometimes there is a problem in the relationship that we need to address or react to. But at other times, even if the relationship is functioning sufficiently, we want to take it to a higher, better level. Communication: The Key to Transforming Relationships Trust, relationships, partnerships: These […]

Courageous Living: When Ignorance Is Not Bliss

This is the final blog in my three-week series on blissful ignorance and awareness. Over the last two weeks, I have discussed the ways in which ignorance of certain information can be both empowering and disempowering (Is Ignorance Bliss? & Blissfully Ignorant or Blissfully Aware?). This week, I will discuss the areas of our life in which we definitely want to be aware—and how to ensure we stay awake and aware in these important areas. While there’s a lot we don’t need to know in order to be happy, even information that we are better off not knowing, there are a few areas of our lives in which awareness always trumps ignorance. These are the […]

Blissfully Ignorant or Blissfully Aware?

Is ignorance really the key to bliss? Is it awareness? Or is it, perhaps, a combination of the two? In last week’s blog, we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of being aware or ignorant about certain information and why it’s important to deliberately manage a balance between the two. But how do you know when knowledge is power and when it can be disempowering? Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether you really want to know more: Is this information true? Benjamin Franklin once said, “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.” Most of the information we use to make decisions is not based on fact. […]

Is Ignorance Bliss?

The phrase “ignorance is bliss” is often used in sarcastic, critical, and judgmental ways—as if it means burying your head in the ground like an ostrich to avoid dealing with the real challenges of the real world. But is that really true? Is staying ignorant and protected from certain information or conversations a blessing, or a curse? On the one hand, the older I get, the more I understand the validity of the idea that knowledge, or information, is power. The more facts you have in an area that is important to you, the more empowered you are to make informed and effective choices. When we lack information, we are more likely to make rush […]