(Issue #556) Gratitude. Pride. Lessons.


A quick strategy to acknowledge thanks, achievement, and growth.
All of which help with resilience.

An article I read suggested an alternative to a gratitude journal: a Power Journal. It inspired me to keep my own for 30 days. Here’s how I structured my Power Journal and a bit of what I learned.

I created a four column digital table. You could do it in a traditional journal book as well. Or on a piece of paper. Label the columns as follows:

• Column One: DATE.

• Column Two: GRATITUDE TODAY X 3.

o List three things you are grateful for that day and be specific. Avoid generalities such as I am grateful for my family or I am grateful for my job. If those examples come to mind, go deeper. Gratitude comes in all sizes. “What is it about my family today that makes me grateful? What is it about my job today that makes me grateful?”
o A sample from my list: 1. My home gym (Roxie calls it the Garnasium). 2. A 1968 Dean Martin holiday special. 3. A car ride down A1A (the beach road) with Hoppi and Roxie.

• Column Three: PROUD TODAY X 3.

o Write three things that you did today for which you are proud. Three accomplishments, achievements, actions, or thoughts that you did or had. Again, avoid saying something like I am so proud of my son. Rather concentrate on something you did today that allowed your son to make an accomplishment. Like the second column, you are looking for three specifics that happened today .
o One day I listed: 1. I volunteered to help with a Hospice online bereavement group. 2. A friend texted that he felt better after talking with me earlier in the day. 3. My sunrise photos brought comments of joy on social media.

• Column Four: LESSON TODAY X 1.

o When you think back on the last 24 hours what lesson did you learn as a result of your experiences.  The point is for you to look at what you learned on this day. And it does not have to be a large lesson. Lots of small lessons populate our lives. Perhaps your daily lesson becomes a goal or part of a larger goal as you look at 2021.
While there may have been many, focus on one lesson a day. The lesson may be a reminder of something you have forgotten.
o  To show that the lessons can range from large to tiny, I have listed three from three separate days. 1. Small gestures, when authentically delivered, matter. 2. “Ready Patch” is easy to work with and does the job I need it to do for repairs. 3. Read about labyrinths and got an app to help with meditation and mindfulness practice.

So there you have it. A quick strategy to acknowledge thanks, achievement, and growth. All of which help with resilience.

May your new year bring you opportunities for growth and continued resilience. Thank you for all you do for your community, for your friends, and for your family. And as you look at 2021, may you be grateful, proud, and open to learning.


Video recommendation for the week:

I first saw this video seven or eight years ago and shared it with my students.  As I watch it again, I hear the gratitude that flows from one person that may very well be the moment of pride for the person on the receiving end. And the lessons flow from there. Enjoy.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

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(Issue #555) Tags And Quotes To Ponder


Ten concepts that help guide us.

Blog posts typically have “tags” associated with them. The tags connect blog topics over time. Think of them as an index to find common concepts and themes.

Below you will find the Top Ten tags used over the last 555 weeks on The Growth and Resilience Network® blog.  I have added a quote (and its attribution) to highlight the concept.

  1. Resilience

“Do not judge me by my success. Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up.” ~Nelson Mandela.

  1. Goals

“Recast your current problems into proactive goals.” ~Suze Orman

  1. Awareness

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ~Steve Jobs

  1. Leadership

“It is you, the young and fearless at heart, the most diverse and educated generation in our history, who the nation is waiting to follow.” ~Barak Obama

  1. Community

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller

  1. Collaboration

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. ~Phil Jackson

  1. Growth

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  1. Dreams

“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how great you can be.” ~Maya Angelou

  1. Motivation

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.” ~John Lewis

  1. Communication

“Be brief. Be bright. Be gone.” ~Steve Piscitelli (Click below for the recording studio production of this song from my first CD, Same Tune Different Song.)


Video recommendation for the week:

This video (with more than 154 million views) reminds us that when you have someone to stand by you (or you by them) many of the top ten above come into play. Enjoy a classic.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

(Issue #554) Active Listening: A Refresher


We move from collective monologues to
authentic dialogues through active listening.

While this blog has addressed civility often, given what is in our rearview mirror, a quick review is in order. The following is an excerpt from one of my student success textbooks:

“The reality is that unless you plan to live the life of a hermit, you will interact with people for the rest of your life. You will have intimate relationships, casual friendships, and important professional associations. Your ability to communicate a message of confidence, competence, and civility will affect how people perceive you. Developing effective interpersonal relationships can be the difference between a group that maximizes its resources and one that squanders its opportunities….

“Not all of your relationships will be harmonious. If you interact with people long enough, conflict will present itself. It is part of the human drama—but it can be a positive force in your life. The key to dealing with conflict successfully is first to recognize when and why it is happening and then to develop a healthy plan for managing and resolving it. Doing so requires practice, patience, and persistence.” (p. 194)

Part of the practice of civility involves active listening which requires attention to the person in front of us. Consider these seven steps to enhance (or reinforce) your active listening skills:

  • An active listener has to be quiet and focus on the speaker.
  • The active listener needs to quiet his or her mind.
  • An active listener pays attention to what is said.
  • The active listener lets the speaker know that he or she is listening.
  • Active listeners not only hear the words but “listen” to the body language.
  • The active listener often asks questions about what the speaker has just said.
  • Finally, the active listener attempts to repeat what he or she has just heard to ensure the message has been understood.

We move from collective monologues to authentic dialogues through active listening.


Video recommendation for the week:

An old video with timely advice.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on  Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

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(Issue #553) A Blogger’s Retrospective for 2020


May you create, share, and savor powerful moments
in the coming year and beyond.


Video recommendation for the week:

A short gratitude note from me to all of you who have read, shared, and commented on my blog posts.  I appreciate you.  May you have a healthy, prosperous, and meaningful 2021. Following the video you will find an easy-to-use listing of my posts from 2020.


While sitting in an Austin hotel room at the end of May 2010, I wrote my first post for this blog. At that time, I had three goals:

  • Experience a new(for me) aspect of social media (remember, it was 2010).
  • Develop and flesh out new ideas.
  • Provide something of value—not just another cyber rant.

I believe I have accomplished the first and the second. It is up to you whether I have accomplished the third. My blog posts contain videos, book recommendations and summaries, questions to ponder, and always a takeaway to apply immediately to life.  I have remained true to my commitment to publish one blog post per week.

This post marks the 553rd consecutive week.  That marks a little more than 10½ years.

And I know that I am #alwayslearning!

Since that first post, this blog evolved into http://www.thegrowthandresiliencenetwork.net.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing.  I would love to hear what you find of value on this blog. And, please feel free to share any ideas you have for future posts.

As has become tradition, this last-of-the-year offering lists each of the posts I added this year. Along with each title, you will find a teaser. Perhaps a nugget or two will provide inspiration. I have linked each title to the actual blog should you want to read it, re-read it, or share it. Thank you for your continued support and comments.

I also have included the TOP FIVE blog posts (by number of views/visits) since I started this blogging journey in 2010.

*Top Five All-Time Posts by Views on this Blog (Since 2010)* 

#1. (#194) Honor the Past. Celebrate the Present. Embrace the Future.
#2. (#86) A Model for Critical Thinking
#3. #18 Crab Pot Mentality!
#4. (#93) SQ4R: Strategic Reading Strategies for the Classroom and Beyond
#5. (#219) The First Day of Class: People Before Paper!


*The 2020 Blog Posts in Chronological Order*

  1. Will You Dance Your Dance? * “Oh God, to reach the point of death only to find that you have never lived at all.” -Henry David Thoreau-
  2. Identify, Integrity and Purpose * Start a movement within our ranks.  A Vaclav-Havel-type of reclaiming our profession from those who either don’t know about it or have lost touch with it.
  3. The Fragile Beauty and Randomness of Life * “A terminal illness is a lens through which that which matters most can shift into perfect clarity. Anger and sorrow do not dictate my life.” -Marina Pomare Kaplan-
  4. Orange to Blue * This helps me determine if what I say I prioritize is what I actually prioritize.
  5. Thoughts about Curiosity * Where can you ask, “What if?” How can you allow “yes, and” to help you grow? Imagine what you can do.
  6. Progress, Challenge, and Focus * It’s a matter of perspective.
  7. Is Your Help Helping? * “If I knew a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.”—Henry David Thoreau
  8. Listen to Your Heart: Physically and Emotionally * When what we do does not match who we are, we suffer. Pay attention to that which brings and sustains your life.
  9. The Third Grader in the Room * Posing questions sets up a vulnerability of sorts. Publicly admitting, “I don’t understand. I need you to help me.”
  10. Voice in Your Ear * What can you learn? How can you grow?
  11. Reflecting on Cam Over Noise * I hope they inspire you (remind you; reinforce you)
    to look at the grandeur that surrounds your place on this planet.
  12. Noise: The Ear of the Beholder * How do you tune out the noise and allow in the useful and timely?
  13. Which Road? * If you get sidetracked, what tools have you developed to help you move toward your happiness? 

    Photo by (c) Steve Piscitelli

  14. Marbles * That got me thinking about a mindset for saving money. Are we encouraged by punishment or reward?
  15. Perspective * “We have the ability to either give into our misery and pain and die. Or absorb the physical pain and keep our mentality, our soul….” —Aaron Elser
  16. The Rule of 30 * Tomorrow we find out if we are better than we were. Today we create our tomorrow.
  17. Ever Consider a Low-Bad Diet? * Just about every measure of human well-being has improved except for one: hope. The healthier we become, the gloomier our worldview.” —John Tierney and Roy F. Baumeister—
  18. Lessons From a Dragon and His Friend * Can we look to a time when we will be able to wipe away the tears, emerge from the cave, and once again play along the cherry lane?
  19. What Will Change? * Yes, a lot has changed. How, though, have you used that change to exact needed change in your life for good? How has the time helped your resilience?
  20. Sunrise, Clouds, and the News * Some people and groups focus on the darkness and what might happen. Others ignore warning signs and look only at what they consider to be brightness.
  21. Learning. Appreciating * And just like that, 2010 flew by. And so did 2011, 2012…2019….
  22. Giving, Receiving, and Gratitude * It could change the world for one person.
  23. HTRB: Resetting the Reset * While hitting the reset button has merit,
    we may need to reset our view of what reset means. Will the reset, in this case, mean a complete redesign of societal institutions?
  24. Ethical Wills * Connect generations to come by sharing questions, messages, challenges, accomplishments, connections, and experiences.
  25. Grateful for… * I had to stop this week and remind myself….
  26. Criticism and Your Counterfactual * “I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.” ― Douglas Pagels, author—
  27. Writer’s Block? Probably Not * There have been days when I felt like I could not even write out a grocery shopping list. 
  28. Time to Revisit Our Big BUTs * Recognize which BUT is taking control. Then kiss your BUT goodbye!
  29. The Lesson of the Handyman * Getting your stuff done!
  30. Questioning Normal * What is it? What was it? Will it return? And maybe more importantly, should it return as it was?
  31. For What It’s Worth * Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. ~Stephen Stills.
  32. Find Your Wave: Ride the Crest * If I do not get into the water, I cannot ride the wave. And if I do not ride the wave I will never experience the exhilaration and view from the crest.
  33. Physically Distant Yet Socially Connected * As you, your family, and community practice physical distancing, how are you nourishing the appropriate social connections vital to your wellbeing?
  34. Conveying Your Story * In their story lies their strength for a better future. The same for you.
  35. Inspirational Hatchling * It did not let a force bigger than itself keep it from its goal. It did not quit. A lesson taught. A lesson learned.
  36. Critical Thinking Revisited * Critical thinking is not only looking for information that supports what we want to hear, see, or believe. It helps us see the fallacies in our assumptions.
  37. The Package and the Person * Maybe if we focus on the person, we may come to see the packaging in a different light.
  38. They Share. We Share. * Online resources have the capability to be symbiotic.
  39. My Community Has A Sense Of…My Community Struggles With…. * Growth (professional and personal) benefits the community and the people it serves. Just as importantly, the growth can stimulate and sustain personal resilience.
  40. Message Over Marketing * Words that had to stand on their own.
  41. Who I Am. Who I Was. * Will you settle or amplify?
  42. How Will You Remain Vigilant? * How will community be sustained? Will core values change?
  43. Themie * When we empower a person, group, or community to tell their story in their voice we help them share and add to their legacy.
  44. Adventure. Risks * What might be driving us forward, holding us in neutral, or pushing us in reverse?
  45. What If? * The what if mindset can end up creating an emotional vulnerability that leads to debilitating self-doubt.
  46. Standing With Empathy * “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” ~Alfred Adler
  47. Celebrate. Embrace. (Reprise) * Pay attention to where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re headed.
  48. Aunt Philomena * When times turn difficult, it benefits us to remember what is working.
  49. By The Numbers * Be aware of  and understand the assumptions you make when establishing your goals.
  50. Music To The Rescue * Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.” ~George Eliot~
  51. If You Could Write A BookWhat lessons can a reader take away from your proposed book?
  52. A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2019 in ReviewThis last-of-the-year offering lists each of the  previous week’s posts I added this year

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) looks at community from the perspective of seven core values. Seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book augment the stories and lessons.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in awareness, Gratitude, growth, Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #552) If You Could Write A Book


What lessons can a reader take away from your proposed book?

How to say it without sounding cliché? 2020 has been a hell of a year. One that most of us have not experienced before in our lifetimes. And hope not to repeat. It has brought immense suffering and lifestyle changes. Employment and consumerism have seen monumental shifts. Life going forward (again, a cliché) will, in many ways, bear little resemblance to what we lived on January 1, 2020.

We have gained lessons as well. For us, our families, colleagues, and community.  You may have even said to yourself, “Geez, I could write a book about this year!”

For this blog post, I invite you to consider the book you could write based on your experiences this year. And I suggest you start small—with the Table of Contents. What will your book cover?

When I pick up a non-fiction book, I thumb to the Table of Contents (TOC).  These few pages provide an overview of what I will find between the covers. One of my books provides the readers with three TOCs to help the reader navigate the content. (See the video selection below.)  The third edition of my student success textbook, for example, features a fourteen-topic TOC.

The TOC of any book leads the reader through steps that build a message.

So, here’s your chance to begin your new book. What topics will you cover? Why these topics—and why in the order you propose? What lessons can a reader takeaway from your proposed book?

Next week I will post my annual “A Blogger’s Retrospective” in which I will provide a quick summary of and link to each of my 2020 blog posts.   Look for my year-end video—a moment of gratitude from the beach to you.

I appreciate you.


Video recommendation for the week:

A short video overview of the TOC in my Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need To Be An Island and the challenges associated with establishing a TOC.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

(Issue #551) Music To The Rescue


“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.”
~George Eliot~

How about a break from the written word? For today’s post you will find a few videos I shot over the years. Each one brings me back to the time, place, and people. They bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart.

A few months ago, my long-time friend, singer-songwriter Mike “Shack” Shackelford, shared his thoughts on how music can transform. A snippet of his experience:

…If you break, music can mend…if you hurt, it can heal…
my love of music and it’s connection to my soul will never let me down. Ever.

Amen. Enjoy the clips below.

*You never know when music will just “break out.” Like at the beginning of a keynote presentation.


*Almost five years ago from the date of this post, Steve Shanholtzer performed this tune at the Atlantic Beach (FL) Songwriter’s Night. Mike Shackelford adds his harmonica chops.


*Title song from my second CD. The afore mentioned Shack along with  Billy Bowers and Robin Soergel made the song come alive in the studio.


*After speaking at Sitting Bull College (Fort Yates, North Dakota) I was invited to attend a Pow Wow. A short clip of one of the drum groups.


*Frances Bartlett Kinne played piano for me after we recorded a podcast at her home. She was 99 years young on this day.


How does music keep you going?


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

(Issue #550) By The Numbers


Be aware of  and understand the assumptions
you make when establishing your goals.

So, we’ve made it to the last month of 2020. You might feel like you need a long hot shower or an extended meditation retreat. Or a nice bottle of red wine. Think back to this time last year. December 2019. Besides getting ready for the holidays, perhaps you examined and plotted your goals for the coming year.

You planned, prepared, and put your best foot forward on January 1, 2020. Then the 2020 train of events took us on a journey we had not booked. Your goals may have been derailed, altered, or put on hold. Now we stand in the station, facing 2021, and wondering what this ride will bring.  You may even think, “What’s the use to plan? I’ll just let things happen.”  I encourage all of us to keep dreaming, planning, and moving toward our future. It (the future) will be coming whether we prepare or not.

Below you will find abbreviated versions of strategies I have written and spoken about to help put goals in perspective. With each strategy you will find a link to a more in-depth post. Some of the models overlap. I hope they get your juices flowing. Maybe you know someone (colleague, family member, a student, or a community group) who could benefit.

  • Six Dimensions of Well-Being
    • When looking at your goals consider the various dimensions of your life. Which one (or ones) need your attention moving forward? Which provide your strength?
      • Social
      • Occupational
      • Spiritual
      • Physical
      • Intellectual
      • Emotional
    • Six Ds for End-of-Year Review
      • Meaningful goals require thought about what you want to do, how you will do it, why you will do it, input from the team/mentors, and reflection. Then repeat. As you, your team, and your community look to the coming year, consider The Six Ds for an End-of-the-Year Review.
        • Delve
        • Describe
        • Discuss and/or Debate
        • Digest
        • Do It Again.
      • The Second R.E.A.D.
        • We all have different versions/definitions of what success looks like and how we grade ourselves. Be aware of  and understand the assumptions you make when establishing your goals. Give your goals a “second R.E.A.D.” to make sure they are authentic for you. How do your goals connect to these four categories?
          • Relationships
          • Excitement
          • Authenticity
          • Difference
        • The Seven Rs for Purpose and Growth
          • As you develop your goals pay attention to your core values.
            • Relationships
            • Resources
            • Relevance
            • Rainbows
            • Reflection
            • Responsibility
            • Resilience

Best wishes as you chart your course forward. Don’t put off your dreams.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli©2020


Video recommendation for the week:

Leo Buscaglia reminds us not to wait. If we wait it might then be too late.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

(Issue #549) Aunt Philomena


When times turn difficult, it benefits us to remember what is working.

Thanksgiving nudges us to remember the abundance in our lives.  The experiences, the opportunities, the words, the music, the animal companions, and the people who add to our lives.  At first this blog post was going to list a few gratitude quotes—reminders for a positive mindset.  But as happens with most of my writings, my my muse took me in another direction toward the words of one person in particular. My Aunt Philomena.

As a child I learned about safe places. Those spaces for retreat from chaos and dysfunction.  One such pace was my Aunt Philomena’s home. Aunt Phil, as I knew her, was a giant of a woman in a 4-foot-9-inch body (give or take an inch). She always greeted people with a large smile and hearty hello. Whether you walked into her home or met her in public, she was the embodiment of someone for whom a stranger was merely a friend she had yet to meet.

Aunt Phil

To be sure she had struggles in her life but her strong Italian Catholic background gave her strength and purpose. She constantly gave back. Like the nursing home (down the street from her house) where she volunteered up until her death. And no matter what life tossed at her, she sallied forth undeterred.

So, in my mind’s eye I saw her standing at the stove, reaching up to stir the sauce and meatballs. Then tending to the pot with calamari before continuing the preparation of the antipasto.  Every so often she would put the spoon down, pick up a glass of wine (homemade red wine, thank you), raise it and say, “Who’s better than us?”

Aunt Phil Dances at Steve & Laurie’s Wedding (1976)

That is the quote that raises to the top of the list for me.  Not an arrogant or self-indulgent question but, rather, one that asks us to remember the goodness we experiences. When times turn difficult, it benefits us to remember what is working, the gifts we enjoy, the life-affirming experiences we have had, and the people who extended a hand of love. Like Aunt Phil

Instead of a video recommendation for the week, I offer the following quotes and their attributions:

  • “‘Enough’ is a feast.” ~Buddhist proverb
  • “If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.” ~Robert Quillen
  • “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” ~Willie Nelson
  • “This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” ~Maya Angelou
  • “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ~Abraham Lincoln
  • “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” ~Bob Marley
  • “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~Dr. Suess
  • “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

I raise my glass and toast you with a hearty, “Who’s better than us?”

______________________________________________________________

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

(Issue #548) Honor. Celebrate. Embrace. (Reprise)


Pay attention to where you’ve been,
where you are, and where you’re headed.

 Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across this quote by Vern Law: “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

It reminded me of a Soren Kierkegaard quote I referenced in the most read (nearly 16,000 views) post on this blog (February of 2014, Honor the Past. Celebrate the Present. Embrace the Future): “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Both apply to our journey through this pandemic. We have definitely been tested. We look at what has happened, what we have learned, and how those lessons will help us moving forward. As I reread the above-referenced post, the words could have been written today.

A few excerpts:

Honor the Past.  “Sure there are moments, events, people and issues that may be troubling at best and traumatic at worst. ‘Honoring’ in this context means to recognize that from those times, you have grown into the person you are.”

Celebrate the Present. “When we hold on to the past (going beyond honoring to ‘stuck in the past’) it robs us of our present.  When we live in the future, we vacate the present.  We cannot get the present back.”

Embrace the Future.  “Planning for the future takes place in the present. Today is the tomorrow you prepared for (or not) yesterday.”

You can read the full post here.


Video recommendation for the week:

A short (90 seconds) video to remind us to appreciate—past, present, and future.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

(Issue #547) Standing With Empathy


“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” ~Alfred Adler

Notice the common and critical word in each clause above?

With.

When we empathize we are with someone. We do what we can, as best we can, to understand and share. Share in this case does not mean sharing our story but, rather, sharing as best we can the feelings of the person in front of us; do what we can to understand their story. Developing empathy takes practice. It is difficult. Well-meaning people make mistakes.

In Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017; 112-113), I wrote of three types of empathy that Daniel Goleman explains. (Note: In the Goleman link in the last sentence, he covers the potential downside to each type as well.)

  1. Cognitive empathy. With this we can say to someone, “I know what you are feeling. I can see things from your perspective.” We communicate and connect.
  2. Emotional empathy. Goleman said that this form of empathic connection allows us to sense what another person is feeling. “I feel your distress.”
  3. Empathic concern. Here we go beyond “feeling” another’s hurt. We want to help the person navigate the hurt. It becomes the basis for our concern. Transformational leaders give effective feedback and help people and teams grow.
Photo by Steve Piscitelli. ©2020

Empathy for someone is not your story. It remains their story. And you are with them as best you can be.

More than four years ago, Laurie and I offered ten suggestions to help avoid unintentional missteps in an already difficult period in a person’s life. At that time, Laurie was navigating breast cancer and we experienced each of the well-meaning but unhelpful missteps. I wrote, “We found if you keep your heart open and remember not to deny the patient and family’s story or privacy you will be doing good. Thank you all for standing by and with us!”

Notice the word in the last sentence—with.


Video recommendation for the week:

Being there with someone.

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My new book has been released.
eBook ($2.99) Paperback ($9.99). Click here.

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.
Click here for more information about the book.

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • My book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
  • Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®


Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments