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The Perfect Gift – The “giving season” is upon us – shed some joy where ever you go

Ah, the search for that perfect gift. The one that will light up his or her face, the one that will never be returned or regifted. It’s that time of year again when we know we should be celebrating the joy of the season but we’re stretching our budgets and our time, trying to make sure every person on our list gets from us what they want, what they expect or what they only dreamed of. We usually end up feeling like we just couldn’t be enough things to enough people which leaves us fetched up on the eve of the New Year too exhausted to make resolutions, let alone keep them, and so deep in debt our first resolution has to be to work harder to pay off the credit cards before next December rolls around. Not to sound like a cheesy ad for a cosmetic dentist but did you ever consider giving a smile? Doesn’t cost much (unless you’re shopping for the perfect smile instead of the perfect gift), doesn’t take but a second, and it doesn’t need fancy gift wrapping. When I was very young and very naïve I had a little game I played. It was called “what will it take to make you smile?” I smiled at everyone I met, and sometimes that was all it took. Sometimes it took a little conversation, sometimes it took more than one encounter. But I was out to prove I could make anybody smile. In my early 20’s I worked at an accounting office in Lawrence, Kansas. The partners all knew about my little game and they...

Roadblocks, Speed Bumps and Stepping Stones

So you’re barreling down the Career Super Highway and, oops, what is that you see on your horizon? A roadblock? A speed bump? A warning sign? A detour? Or maybe just a helpful stepping stone to bridge your way between where you are and where you want to go? We’ve all had those days, sometimes they turn into weeks, when every step we take seems to lead to one more roadblock. We make plans, they fall through. We set goals and something gets in the way. We worry about things like the stock market, the job market, the farmer’s market and the price of eggs in China. (Okay, I just made those last two up but ‘I’ll bet someone somewhere is worried about them.) So how do you handle mysterious things that get in your path? Do you come to a screeching halt and think “I’m safe where I am so maybe I’ll just pull over right here and hang tight until that thing goes away”? That’s what I’m seeing a lot of individuals and companies trying to do right now; hunker down, ride it out, wait and see. Well that’s a sure way to stall your career or your business but it is not a sure way to still have a career or business next year or even next month. Or do you think “well it’s going to be rough so I’d better just step on the gas and try to get ahead of the pack”? Determination is a wonderful attribute but if it really was a roadblock you can do a lot of damage when you hit...