Bee, Profound

rainbow bee

Humans have worshipped the bee and given it pride of place in our pantheons of gods and goddesses, in popular songs, sayings, artworks and products. Bees are hard not to love, for everything they do to bring life to the world. Especially true these days with our rare and wee friends dying off at alarming rates because of pesticides and pollutants and invasive species, it’s hard not to feel sad about the precious bee, the life giver to other plants and animals.

“Busy as a bee” is a phrase we’ve all heard, but bees are more than simply hard working. Bees literally create life and allow seasonal flowering of countless plants, trees and even crops. Bees are also amazing communicators, using scent and their own bodies to signal very specific things to keep the pollen coming to the hive day after day. Bees even help the Trappist monks stay in the mead, which as any Trappist monk might tell you, is a tremendously good thing.

The bee has been a profound symbol of healing power and life since ancient times. From Wikipedia:

“According to Greek mythology, perhaps reflecting Minoan culture, making her the daughter of a Cretan king Melisseus, whose -issos ending is Pre-Greek, Melissa was a nymph who discovered and taught the use of honey and from whom bees were believed to have received their name. She was one of the nymph nurses of Zeus, sister to Amaltheia, but rather than feeding the baby milk, Melissa, appropriately for her name, fed him honey. Or, alternatively, the bees brought honey straight to his mouth. Because of her, Melissa became the name of all the nymphs who cared for the patriarch god as a baby.

Bees have been associated with the gods and goddesses across cultures, from the Mayans to Hindu mythology to the Greeks and Romans. One of the Mayan gods of bees and honey was called Ah-Muzen-Cab, “The Diving God”, and is depicted flying upside down. In Egyptian mythology, “bees grew from the tears of the sun god Ra when they landed on the desert sand.” And in Hindu mythology, “the bowstring on Hindu love god Kamadeva‘s bow is made of sugarcane, covered in bees.”

Mankind has worshipped the powerful and life-giving bee for thousands of years. As far back as there are pictures and stories you will find bees bringing life to mankind from the gods, or as gods themselves.

These days, too few people think about the importance of the bee. In the power they hold over the human story. In the way we see ourselves and our world in the small and mighty bee. It’s been this way for thousands of years. Our best qualities we see in the bee, industriousness, reliability, teamwork, working daily to provide for the winter, spreading the seeds that makes success, and the world, possible.

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Kissing The Fishes

man kissing lake trout

There are millions and millions of people using online dating apps these days. The growth numbers in the online dating space are staggering. According to a new report, eMarketer estimates 25.1 million users will use a dating app at least monthly, a 5.3% increase from the amount of users in 2018. By name alone, many of us are familiar with them, from Tinder to Match, and everything betwixt and between. When you’ve exhausted the bar scene, and find out grocery shopping for a date is probably not the best way to go (“is this cantaloupe ripe?” is probably a poor conversation starter), many of us turn to creating a profile about ourselves on our dating app of choice. We go fishing. And what we sometimes see is not just hilarious but an absolute swipe left. After researching this with friends and girlfriends, trading stories about profiles gone wrong, there seems to be a common theme: people have trouble understanding what makes an attractive profile.

It might seem obvious to you that the simplest and cleanest way to create a dating profile is to show a recent and clear picture of yourself, fill in your profile and interests, and be honest.

But for some reason so many men, we will talk about women in a minute, seem to think their best look, the one that women want to see the most, is of them kissing fish. Doesn’t seem to matter the species of fish. I’ve seen men kissing mackerels, trout, sturgeon, pike, and salmon. I have also seen them posing with something they killed in the bush, deer, elk, moose. And then there are the mirror selfies missing anything above the neck. And then there are the mirrored sunglasses! Nothing says get to know me as well as a pair of mirrored aviator glasses. Call me old fashioned, but I still like to see a person’s eyes.

For the ladies out there, believe me, no man wants to see a profile picture with you and your ex boyfriend or husband in the picture. If you try to crop out your former lover, or tear the photo down the centre, make sure you don’t leave a portion of head or shoulder to show you really had that picture taken with someone you broke up with (bad look); you might have loved how you looked in that photo five years ago, but it really says you don’t care enough to take a new one. No one wants to feel like they might be the next cropped victim. Also, though you might be the life of the party and like to let your hair down, primary photos of you swilling chardonnay or beers might not attract the best candidate. It’s a decent guess. And the number of bathroom mirror selfies and sunglasses…women!…don’t get me started!

The mass of terrible profiles makes me really wonder what people think they’re doing? Attracting the right partner obviously means putting effort in. If you love fishing and hunting, that’s great, it just might be something to put in your bio, or discuss at a first date. If you love partying and chardonnay and aviator sunglasses, maybe make that part of your first date instead of your introduction. The common theme to all this is that women and men are sharing without understanding their audience and who they want to attract. Men, do you want to attract a fishing buddy, or do you want to attract that special someone? They might be one and the same, but I’d say you are probably attracting your fishin’ buddies to the fish photo and not your potential life partner.

This brings me to recruiting, profiles and resumes. While I don’t see the same free-wheeling attitudes and images in recruiting, I do see people being careless with their profile. Spelling mistakes, no photo, a laissez-faire attitude in email, in person or on the phone. If you really care about finding a match, you need to try harder, put your best self forward, and don’t limit your potential by assuming what you like or think is important, or even what you think might be funny, will resonate with someone else. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential date or your potential recruiter. Be as attractive as possible. You will expand your pool of potential matches and land the catch you want.

There’s a match for everyone in life and work. Just put the fish away.

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The Work Dress Dilemma

Female Models On The CatwalkWhat to wear at work in 2019? The experts weigh in.

As Dylan said, “the times they are a’ changin’”.
That goes for what to wear to work, too. When it comes to work dress, fashions come and go, and what was old is new again, from wide lapels and flared pants, to longer skirts to shorter skirts. Trends of fashion may change from year to year or decade to decade, but there is a real debate raging online and in the street about what’s appropriate to wear to work: is it still the traditional work uniform, the heels and dark power suits, or something less formal? How less formal? Could onesies to work really be a thing soon?

The Guardian has written a few thousand words recently about the shifting trends in work wear, which is having an affect on fashion design itself. When we start seeing politicians and business influencers at work in boho leisurewear, scuffed sneakers, scruffy beards, and worn jeans, looking more like dressed-down Silicon Valley start-up CEOs or my unemployed brother-in-law on a Tuesday, it begs the question, what can you wear to work? What should you wear?

Many organizations have their dress codes styled from the familiar, button-down past from Monday to Thursday, throwing in a casual Friday to loosen things up. Casual Friday usually means no tie, maybe jeans (if they look new or expensive), and a blazer. Open collars and jeans are supposed to be a freeing experience, showing staff the company knows how to relax (a bit), but there is still a Friday code, which doesn’t really scream personal freedom or self expression. And what are clothes if not a way we express ourselves as people? Some would rather never wear a tie or put on a business dress or high heels. Most people want to wear what makes them feel comfortable while looking good. But what is acceptable?

What if you showed up in a Yeezy workwear jumpsuit and sneakers without the laces? Some might applaud your forward fashion choices, while others might wonder why you didn’t get dressed for work. Wearing brand track pants and Adidas could be more acceptable in Los Angeles working in IT or entertainment than it would be working at a bank in Bonn or on Bond Street. So, does it really boil down to your industry and what’s still acceptable or not acceptable inside the four walls of tradition? How do you wear what you like while still respecting your company culture and the people you work with?

In the end you might be at the mercy of the corporate direction on workwear 9-5, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding ways to be comfortable in your own clothes at work. In the way not having a cell phone is a sign of “arrival” (some famous celebrities have eschewed owning a phone as a sign of their status), dressing down for work seems to be a sign of the times we might just have to get more comfortable with.

The Guardian, interviewing fashion influencer, Dan Rookwood, put it this way: “Dan Rookwood, formerly US editor of the menswear site Mr Porter, was once rarely seen without at least eight items of exquisite tailoring. He has recently taken a job as creative director at Nike, moved from New York to Portland, and adjusted his attire accordingly. ‘I now have the best wardrobe I’ve ever had – a proper walk-in wardrobe, where I can see all my clothes,’ he says. ‘But what it shows me is that I can’t wear the vast majority of it anymore. It’s all made-to-measure suits and shirts and ties and bench-made shoes that I just can’t see myself wearing outside the occasional wedding as the winds of style have changed. It’s like a museum.’

“Rookwood notes that the shift away from formal is industry wide. ‘Men’s fashion changes more slowly than women’s fashion. But if you look at what men were wearing in 2014 compared to 2019, it is markedly different. This is a big change. We’re just not as buttoned up as we were.’ The emphasis has moved from fine tailoring to luxury streetwear; from Milan and London to New York and Los Angeles; from Don Draper on the front of GQ to Kanye West on the sneaker site Highsnobiety. While in the past, a woven silk tie from Brioni sent a subtle cue about status, now it’s more likely to be limited-edition Yeezys. There is a whole new set of rules to fall foul of – as the billion-heir Kendall Roy discovers in the HBO TV series Succession when he fails to impress some prospective clients by wearing a pair of Lanvin calfskin sneakers to a meeting.”

Compared to previous generations, today’s careerists grew up with hip-hop, Missy Elliott, The Beastie Boys, grunge and other culture statements and street styles that have now come so far into the mainstream in ways that might make Brooks Brothers choke on a wingtip. Still, showing up to work in your pajamas might be a clothing choice too far, at least for now. But who knows what 2021 holds as the gig and freelance economy ramps up? When you don’t have to “go to work” to be at work, is there any fashion off limits? I would say yes, but I digress.

When it comes to work clothes for 2019, Pinterest puts together a list of search terms for major trends called the Pinterest 100 report, a kind of forecast of what people will be wearing based on search terms on the platform. Check it out, along with ways to shop for anything that strikes your fancy. Statement sneakers are in, along with snakeskin prints and bamboo bags. Who knows? You might start a new trend at work. Still, you might want to check with your boss before you wear Balenciaga’s Triple S sneakers to your next new business or board meeting. Unless the boss is wearing a pair.

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Your Draft Picks


How do you know when you’ve found that perfect candidate? It’s a great question. I’ve written before about processes that can help reduce your risks in hiring someone new, and getting the qualities of personality and skill you’re looking for. But, like any road you go down, you can drive and drive past all of the signs in search of something better. More personality. More extraversion. More experience. Greener grass is always the next and next stop, another one to interview, another mile down the road. When do you stop and say, “this is the one”?

I have recruited executives for hundreds of companies, including North American and international companies and organizations. Big and small, I have seen some of the same tendencies when it comes to recruiting new team members: “we want to see them right away and we want to see more candidates.” In these situations, I’m reminded of the adage we all know well, and probably have experienced somewhere: “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush”. It’s commonsense enough, but it’s not followed by a lot of companies looking for talent. I have seen companies pass on gem candidates in the hope that the next one and the next one will be better than the last. And so it goes, down the endless road to nowhere. As a recruiter, we always bring our top long-list of candidates forward, they are our superstars. I’ve had situations where organizations believe that seeing volume is better than quality. In these cases what happens, months later, after a long process and rounds and rounds of candidates, they ask: “can we see the first person we interviewed again?” Well, the first candidate is long gone, already moved on, working for someone else, perhaps even a competitor, while we go in search of “better”, somewhere. Invariably, better almost never comes.

When we’re recruiting for companies at executive and professional levels, I like to think of it like we are in the draft. Anyone who loves sports knows the importance of the draft. The draft is built to take the best players first, and so on down the line. Sometimes, rarely, there is a player who is great but drafted in late rounds. But this is the rare exception. Most of the best are drafted in the top 10. The same goes with your recruiting efforts. Your recruiter should always bring the best forward first. When they do, passing on the top recruits in pursuit of something better in later rounds is completely illogical. No one would let you or me build a competitive sports franchise this way. We would be fired for being insane. So, how is it any different as you look to bring the best to your team and franchise? In the draft, decisions are made quickly before the best players are scooped up by other teams. In recruiting, I often see the opposite of what happens in the professional draft: slow decision making, passing on the top candidates, while requesting more interviews with new candidates who come later. As things go, talent slips through their fingers as they wait for a miraculously undrafted or under-drafted candidate to appear, like some unicorn. Fairytales might work this way, with wishful thinking, but real recruiting doesn’t work this way. Not only are you at risk of losing the best candidates when the “greener grass syndrome” sets in, your company becomes paralyzed by indecision, and those candidates you might have gotten are gone. You might have even done a lot of damage to your company’s reputation by creating an endless loop of recruiting that goes nowhere for no one. The top draft picks will move on to something else, and take their memory of your processes and attitudes with them. It might even be harder for you to attract candidates once you’ve passed on the top ranked players. No one wants to play on a bad or poorly performing team, after all.

Building teams isn’t easy, as countless coaches will tell you, and it’s the most serious business you undertake as a business. There is a reason why the professional drafters in the NFL, MLB, MBA, NHL, and Premier League soccer move swiftly on top prospects: they are ranked for a reason, they are valuable, and they are taken first. Professional teams want the best players to help them to the championship. Recruiting top talent to your organization is no different: act swiftly once you decide on a candidate that you think meets your needs; don’t wait for something better to come along, because it rarely does; and don’t ignore the top draft picks put in front of you; you might find them playing against you later, to your loss and detriment as a business. Don’t settle, choose the best players you can, while you can. Don’t pass on great prospects with the hope that there will be something better down the road. As the adage goes, you could be left with nothing at all, starting all over again, in your search for the best.

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Leadership: Show, Don’t Tell

Somehow there exists this idea that leadership is about telling other people what to do. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Great leaders can motivate with their words, no doubt. There are easy examples that come to mind, from Michelle Obama to Vince Lombardi. Take your pick. We all have our idols and favorites. But do we idolize and favor them so much for what they say, or do we actually love them because of what they do, and what they do with the words they choose?

When I coach business leaders and people climbing in their career and looking for direction, there is a lot of two-way communicating going on. We talk a lot about aspirations, how they feel about where they are today, why they might feel stuck or unsure of what to do next. It’s a process. But a big part of that process is also showing the way, not just describing the path to their goals, whatever they may be. Mostly people come to me not sure of the next leg of the journey. Some of these people are long-time high achievers, who feel unsatisfied. Sometimes these are people starting their careers who lack the knowledge to know what the options are. After all of the conversations, and all of the advice I give based on my experience, I still feel the most valuable thing I do and achieve for anyone is to show them the way to the next step. Telling someone how to do something is so much less impactful to that person than showing them the way. How do I do that?

First, I really listen to the words, and not just the words, but the feelings behind them. I have become good at reading between the lines of what people mean when they say certain things. I dig in. I ask further questions about what’s really important to them, what they feel they’re missing, and what they really want to achieve for themselves. I take all of that away and develop a plan for them; it’s not a plan on paper, it’s not even a map of directions. It’s me finding ways to help facilitate their goals and help them actually achieve the satisfaction or the direction they lack on their own. I walk the journey with them, from signpost to signpost. We test the weather together. We walk through the rain and enjoy the sunlight together, so to speak, in walking by steps into a new future. It’s difficult for people to make any decision alone. Being an ear, an experienced voice, a person who has been there herself, I don’t ever simply give “advice”, because who am I to condescend to anyone about their life. But I do try to give myself as an example to people I coach, as someone who knows what it’s like to struggle for answers, who also keeps learning, who also has hopes and dreams and fears. I create a safe place for deep conversations, and I inspire, at least I hope and try to inspire this way, through my own actions and my own way of working and being in the world, which has also been a work in progress. Just like everyone else.

Ultimately, leadership to me is showing rather than telling. When Vince Lombardi brandished his newspaper roll under a fedora to inspire his team with words, his words were actually the underpinning, the text, of his actions and the inspiring way he led. Michelle Obama, exactly the same. We admire and love her not just for what she says, but more importantly, for how she acts, and how she involves us in the journey towards being our best.

In leadership, show, don’t tell, is my motto. It’s the best way to pass knowledge that sticks. Be true. Don’t just say it. Be ethical. Don’t just use the words. Words are words. How you are tells the story. Show, don’t tell.

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Profound Ideas

Profound Ideas


“There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the water.

“So that my individualism is really an illusion. I am a part of the great whole, and I can never escape. But I can deny my connections, break them, and become a fragment. Then I am wretched.

“What we want is to destroy our false, inorganic connections, especially those related to money, and re-establish the living organic connections, with the cosmos, the sun and earth, with mankind and nation and family. Start with the sun, and the rest will slowly, slowly happen.”

D.H. Lawrence, Apocalypse, 1931


“From the moment of birth, when the Stone Age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father, and their parents and their parents before them, have been. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities.”

R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience, 1967


“It is quite certain that unless we can regulate our behaviour much more satisfactorily than at present, then we are going to exterminate ourselves. But as we experience the world, so we act, and this principle holds even when action conceals rather than discloses our experience.

“We are not able even to think adequately about the behaviour that is at the annihilating edge. But what we think is less than what we know: what we know is less than what we love: what we love is so much less than what there is. And to that precise extent we are so much less than what we are.

“Yet if nothing else, each time a new baby is born there is a possibility of reprieve. Each child is a new being, a potential prophet, a new spiritual prince, a new spark of light, precipitated into the outer darkness. Who are we to decide that it is hopeless?”

R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience, 1967


“This is the sea.”

The Waterboys


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(Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away

Get Rich Quick

Everybody wanna get rich right away
Right away, right away, right away
Everybody wanna get rich right away
Everybody wanna be king for a day
Everybody wanna get rich right away
If you wanna be rich and you wanna be wealthy
I believe I’d rather be poor and healthy
If you wanna be rich and you wanna be wealthy
I believe I’d rather be poor and healthy

Songwriters: Mac Rebennack (aka Dr John)

It sometimes takes a while to realize that health really does matter more than wealth. But we aren’t really told that when we are young, and if we were, we’d ignore it, being young. Youth is never wasted, but time gets precious and choices change as you find your career in life.

With us approaching warp speed information overload, we are fed more of the pixel pudding that says keeping up with the Jones’ matters more than ever. But, as the man said, what you own ends up owning you. That’s the truth. These days, if you don’t achieve the Instagram ideal, or become rich or famous and show that off, then you aren’t living a full life. More than ever our social currency is all about aspiring to some artificial ideal. We hear stories of people crushed and despondent when they can never achieve it. It’s a strange time to live in with everyone holding a mirror up to total artifice and wanting the mirage they see, and like every mirage can never reach. The day someone took TV and put it into telephones and then put those telephones into our hands, changed the game for a shift to a material world the like of which the world has never seen. And it’s hard on modern health. According to the American Institute for Stress, 62% of Americans are stressed about money, second highest after “future of our nation” at 63%. A national health report from Everyday Health states, “Our research shows that chronic stress is a national epidemic for all genders and ages, particularly those who are 25 to 35 years old. To unpack this problem is a matter partly of mental health and partly of physical health. Here’s the hard truth: The causes and solutions to chronic stress are a complex mixture of socioeconomic, environmental, genetic, physical, and spiritual factors.” The authors go on to say: “As a country, we are struggling to address many mental health issues that, it turns out, are closely tied to chronic stress; there are not enough specialists or practicing healthcare professionals to address them. Is it any wonder people turn to social media to feel less isolated — only to find that social media itself can turn into a source of amped up, toxic stress?”

Stress is an epidemic around the world that seems to grow worse every year.

In that gazing pool we call mobile phones, we can very easily lose sight of what matters because we are encouraged to think other things, like I need a Maybach or a million-dollar house or some other thing. As the lady said, you can’t take it with you. When we lose what we care about for ourselves, which is ourselves, we can get really lost and lose everything important to us along the way. The pursuit of money as we all know isn’t everything. The world shows us that it is, more than ever before, and we are shown we are so much lesser than those who care about “having it all”. In my estimation, I’d like to have my 20-year-old liver back or my figure that has become abundant due to the many “rubber chicken dinners” I’ve had. I’d prefer not to do business in the common fashion, which seems to be a drinking culture capped by dessert with a room of people who don’t actually want to be there at all, everyone looking at their phones, finding their excuses to leave early. So-called “showing face” is important in business we are taught, but is it really true? Is it actually good for us if we chaff at the situation we’re in? Or is it only a face, a mask, worn to satisfy the crowd of Jones’ you’re trying to impress, behind which you feel like you’re faking it?

These are questions of personal health when it comes down to it, meaning, what doesn’t satisfy our souls and nourishes us finally kills us from the inside out.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to be with certain people a lot, they bring me energy and joy. And there are many causes I care about. And I care passionately about my clients and the health of my business. But you have to remember, which I did after three hip surgeries, that life is precious and feeling healthy matters more than being “at everything” and pushing health to the side for the sake of a never-ending expectations hanging overhead with no end in sight and no real reward. Money isn’t everything. Having been partner with a national recruiting firm, and now operating my own (much better) international firm, I’ve made myself, my mind, and my body, healthier by finding a better way to work, for me. Smooth processes, choosing who I want to work with, choosing the things I support because they one hundred percent align with my values. These things make my heart happy and bring me peace of mind no matter what else is happening around me. Enduring chronic high stress and late nights at something you don’t find joy in can only lead to health problems, binge eating, anxiety, insomnia, depression, self doubt and worse. This is no way to happiness or health.

Your inner joy matters. Is it that voice inside that whispers to us as we drive to a job we really despise but we tell ourselves we need it and it’s too scary to do something else? Is it what keeps us awake at night when we feel bothered and we can’t really understand why we toss and turn? Is it that feeling of “there’s something missing” when we realize money never did or could bring happiness? The answer to all of that is an emphatic YES.

Do what you love. Not for the love of money. For the love of you.

When I made the choice to go out on my own, I felt a weight lift from me, that feeling you get when you know inside that you made the right choice. No end of people looked at me with wide eyes when I sold my partner shares and started my own executive and professional recruiting firm. “Are you sure you want to do that?” and its variations daily showered down, most difficult coming from those whose opinions I valued most. I had others try to tell me where I fit in the scheme of things (mostly somewhere down the ladder from where they felt they belonged). It was like people wanted to see me either not try or try and fail. And neither of those things happened. I felt healthier inside, looked happier outside, and I felt like I could really feel my powers and passions again.

Do what you love. Not for the love of money. Do it for the health of your heart and soul. What seems to happen, really, in the end, is when you follow your dreams, the richest of the riches come your way, and the money follows, too.

Do what’s good for you.

Dr’s orders.

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Learning Strength Through Humility

“It is great folly not to part with your own faults which is possible, but to try instead to escape from other people’s faults, which is impossible.”

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Until I was in my 40s, and learned a lot more about myself, including keeping healthier and real boundaries with others, I can say I performed this trick of mind on myself many times, the very thing Marcus Aurelius warned against almost 2,000 years ago. In order to create the best boundaries of self, we need to recognize our faults and ‘part with them’ or we will always be victimized by running from or into the faults of others. I like to think of our faults not as the negative but as a positive area for our growth and learning. Learning is often re-learning and remembering what was already lived, felt, and understood by the greatest minds of our past and present.

We can cure ourselves of our faults, part with our faults, by becoming humble, and through humility, become our best. Humility is self-knowledge as well as knowledge of others. I was re-reading Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea today and the narrator says about Santiago, the old fisherman, “he was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. But he knew he had attained it and he knew it was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride.”

I think this is the same self-knowledge Marcus Aurelius wrote about. Santiago the old fisherman in Hemingway’s novella knows himself, in his bad luck with fishing and then his trial and loss of the giant marlin eaten away by sharks. None of that matters because the character of the man is not just intact, it is elevated through his actions, manifestly the result of his natural humility in the face of all things.

The child in Hemingway’s classic loves the old man, for the man he is, the man that the boy models himself against. The boy asks Santiago, the old man, his friend and mentor and ideal,

“But are you strong enough now for a truly big fish?”

To which the old man replies,

“I think so. And there are many tricks.”

The biggest trick, I learned myself, is to know and accept yourself. Part with and learn from your faults and be your best self. Then the faults of others you neither must avoid or run from. You won’t try to change others or be affected by them and their choices. You will be exactly where you need to be. Courageously you in full, all you need to be for every situation, as you were meant to be, fully and presently human.

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My Top 7 Favorite Sayings For Overcoming Obstacles In Life And Work

Overcoming Obstacles

When you think about the successful people in your life or those you admire, it’s easy to forget that the people we admire and look up to also have the same challenges in life and work to overcome.

When I think of the people I admire, and the quotations they inspire or coin themselves, I’m always drawn to perseverance. The writer Kurt Vonnegut once famously said he wanted two simple words etched into his tombstone: “He Tried”. It’s both funny and profound, those two words. “Trying” has been said in different ways throughout human history. To inspire you any day of the week, these are some of my favourite quotations on perseverance that help me see the forest for the trees during the most challenging times in my own life.

These are 7 of my favorite sayings that celebrate adversity and the individual who strives to achieve despite life’s obstacles:

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.

We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
– Barbara De Angelis

Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.
– Lou Holtz

There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.
– Woody Hayes

“Every flower must grow through dirt.”
– Proverb

Adversity has the same effect on a man that severe training has on the pugilist: it reduces him to his fighting weight.
– Josh Billings

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
– Chinese Proverb

What are some of your favourite, inspiring, and strengthening sayings? You can submit them to for fututre postings to share with and motivate others in the ProFound universe. Your name and email address will be withheld for privacy; we just want to hear what drives you to achieve every day despite the mountain ranges you need to climb to get to where you want to be.

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