(Issue #461) Projects or Purpose?


If something, however, seems to be missing it might be time to pause,
hit the reset button, and ask why you do what you do?

When my father-in-law, in the late 1980s, approached the end of a long career as an engineer, his company provided a series of workshops that addressed the “how” of retirement. Beyond finances, these meetings focused on having something to do moving forward after leaving the workforce.  To what does one commit his/her life force after punching the time card for the last time?

Perhaps you have seen or know people who struggle in retirement. They cannot wait to be done with work so that they can do “what they want when they want.”  Ask them what they have planned, and you might get a recitation of projects: clean the garage, travel, paint the deck, go fishing, play with the grandkids, exercise more, go to the beach, or have coffee with friends.  All worthy activities but something might be missing.  These are projects that, for the most part, will either have an end date soon and/or not connect to a larger goal or drive.

Of and by themselves they (probably) lack a purpose.  Purpose creates a larger meaning, drive, reason, or life direction.  For instance, I might say I want to have more coffee dates with my friends. By itself (probably) a worthy and enjoyable project. Now, if I go further and say I want to have coffee to strike up conversations that will lead to a more collaborative community, there is a larger purpose behind the project.

For the past four years I have recorded and aired one podcast episode each month.  Each individual episode is a project. Taken as a whole, my purpose for the podcasts is to allow guests the opportunity to find, further develop, and/or share their voices for personal growth and resilience.

One more example.  When we engage in a community service activity–like cleanup a park or the waterfront–we participate in a project.  Collectively, all of our community services projects may have the purpose of helping to connect neighbors with one another and the resources around them.

Projects can and will end. Then what? We could go to the next project, and the next, and the next.  If something, however, seems to be missing it might be time to pause, hit the reset button, and ask why you do what you do? Is there a greater purpose that might lead to a more satisfying and balanced life? A life well-lived.


Video Recommendation for the Week

Author and business coach Richard Lieder shares three insights about a life well-lived.



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. 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® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

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

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

Posted in amplifying, assumptions, authenticity, awareness, feedback, generativity, Goals, Life lessons, resilience | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #460) Gratitude for the Journey


My background has been my driver, my brake,
my accelerator, and my protector.

Gratitude is a potent force. It shows appreciation for the actions, words, and considerations of others. In a fast-paced-breaking-news-alert world, we might forget to pause and appreciate and acknowledge the good people in our lives.

This week I encourage you do just that—and to focus on one person. You.

Not in a conceited I-am-better-than-everyone-else kind of way. Rather, take time to acknowledge the path you have traveled, the people you have met, your accomplishments, your failings, your talents, and your contributions. Especially your contributions.

Perhaps your gratitude note would read something like this:

Each year, day, minute, I continue to learn who I am, what I fear and embrace, where I can grow,  and how I  make a difference. I am grateful to understand and appreciate how I have arrived where  I am. My background has been my driver, my brake, my accelerator, and my protector.  I am grateful for who I have met, my accomplishments, my failings, and understanding why I have done and do things. Thankful for my work ethic, my talents, my shortcomings, and recognizing there is so much in this world to experience—and give back.  I have been blessed and hope I have been a blessing to at least a few on my journey.  I thank myself for learning to breathe and appreciate.

Song Recommendation for the Week

In 2007 I wrote and recorded the song, I Wanna Be a Kid Again. It appeared on my first CD.  The song is about a little boy who was searching for a safe place to land—and how as an adult that little boy was still a powerful life force—and a positive force.

I performed the song in February 2019 with young singer-songwriter Izzy Moon Mayforth at the Atlantic Beach, FL Songwriters’ Night. Thanks to her mom, Tansy, for shooting this video.

(https://youtu.be/nCDRdJRX8h0

 



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. 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® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

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

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Gratitude, Life lessons, Reflection, Reflective practice | Tagged , | Leave a comment

(Issue #459) Resilience: Where Can You Make Changes?


This week’s blog post draws on the seventh, and final, core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019).
Resilience: The ability to connect adaptability, recovery, growth, and discovery.


The Seven Core Values for Purpose and Growth provide interconnected stepping-stones for vibrant, communicative, and respectful communities. You will find it difficult to discuss one without focusing on two or three other “Rs.”

The book’s first transformational story focused on the power of relationships and how they contributed to the resurrection and sustainability of a spiritual community.  Relationships play a pivotal role in establishing, bolstering, and sustaining resilience for individuals, groups, the workplace, and neighborhoods as well.

Whether it is a cancer support group providing resources and companionship, or community exercise group pulling each other through a five a.m. workout, or, forward-looking leaders promoting authentic and continuous growth opportunities for their followers, resilience requires attention.

The typical definition of resilience points to one’s ability to rise above, recover from, move on from, and learn from adversity. Does that mean we only can develop resilience as a result of—maybe especially because of—difficult and horrific situations? Are there strategies your community members can or do employ before adversity hits to strengthen their grit and resolve? While traumatic stressors can have a devastating impact on our health, it’s the mounting smaller stressors and crises that take a toll on our bodies.

In short, we must be pay attention. Be mindful. Establish a plan. Execute the plan. Evaluate the plan.

What resilience plan do you have for the coming week? What is the autobiography you have created for yourself? Will there be a revision? What about your community?

Your Call-to-Action

In what ways does your community contribute to its own growth and resilience? Conversely, what do your struggling communities lack when it comes to resilience? What kind of support (emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial) is available in challenging situations? Do your communities provide opportunities to have difficult conversations about difficult topics to heal and grow?

Create two lists. Title one: “Our Community Has a Sense of….” Title the other list: “Our Community Struggles When It Comes to….”

Exorcise that which no longer serves or nourishes your community. How can you minimize or eliminate the pernicious effects? Where does this fit with your prioritization of resources and actions? Who will help you identify these factors? Where will this fit in your prioritization?

Where can you make changes?


Podcast Recommendation for the Week

In this brief clip (120 seconds) Bobbi de Cordova-Hanks (founder of Bosom Buddies a support group for people diagnosed with breast cancer) talks about building resilience as a victor–never a victim. Thriving is a mindset.

Relationships. That matter. Resilience.




My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. 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® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

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

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in authenticity, awareness, Being selfish, boundaries and limits, change management, collaboration, Community, community development, consideration | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #458) Reflection As A Non-Luxury Good


This week’s blog post draws on the sixth core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019):
Taking time to consider, ponder, remember, analyze, evaluate,
and appreciate the various connections of life.

It sounds logical, commonsensical, and a no-brainer.  We would do well to slow down, pause, and reflect on what is before us. But has reflection become “a luxury good?”

Whether driven by inner motivators (demons?) to never relax and keep pushing forward at all costs or choosing to (addicted to?) viewing one digital distraction after another, reflection may seem a quaint and antiquated notion.

How does your community reflect on its journey? Does it reflect?

How often do you and your neighbors consider and celebrate the beauty of what exists in your community? Often, we can miss the now in our community. We leave for work before daylight, return after sunset. Drive into the garage, close the door, and remain sequestered for the rest of the evening.

Or maybe we live in an area of tenuous safety where closed doors and windows offer a modicum of security for a lone family. Isolated from its neighbors.

When we fail to pause, we can lose sight of why we are doing what we are doing. We need honest people around us who will help us understand what we do well—and what we need to tweak or totally change. Reflective leaders help place cause and effect in proper perspective. And then they guide their team forward with consideration, conversation, and collaboration.  They ask difficult questions. The state unpleasant (not mean-spirited) truths.

Who asks the authentic, yet difficult, questions your community needs to hear and grapple with to grow?  Who sets the agenda for your community? Why is this the case? How is this working?

mindset Give yourself some time to think, reflect, set YOUR course, and then invite them onto YOUR agenda. the news does direct what we think about if we allow it.

Section Six of Community as a Safe Place to Land begins with the transformational story of two community leaders/activists who understand that someone needs to be the grown-up in the room. The supporting pieces that follow offer words for reflection that can help us honor our community’s past while embracing its present and anticipating its bright future.

As you read, you will be encouraged to view things a bit off-center.  Where can you shift your focus to see a problem, an opportunity, or a major community decision from a different perspective? Going a little off-center, we start to see things that can enhance our view.

The provocative questions in this section can help you facilitate a conversation about the need to consider before acting. When your community reflects, respects, and reaches, it gives itself a gift of larger possibilities.


Podcast Recommendation for the Week:

In this recent TV segment (February 21, 2019), I address the importance of considered conversation as a crucial step to community building. We must listen to each other. Understand what we do well and what we need to improve. Then act.



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. 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® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

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

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in assumptions, authenticity, awareness, change management, collaboration, common sense, Communication, Community, community development, growth, Integrity, intentionality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#457) Responsibility: Important Questions to Consider


This week’s blog post draws on the fifth core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019):
Act with RESPONSIBILITY toward others and ourselves.

Our personal dreams and challenges give us direction. Our actions (or inaction) create our reality. The same goes for our community dreams and challenges.

When a challenge confronts community members how do they respond, or not respond (which is a response)? Do excuses, finger-pointing, and blame drown out considered conversation? In what ways do your communities work to ensure responsible conversations about issues that matter? For instance,

  • What excuses seem to be hindering your community?
  • Why do these excuses exist? Fear? Laziness? Lack of leadership? Absence of time or money? Lack of training?
  • What impact do these excuses have on your community?

Dig a little deeper. Consider a challenge confronting one of your communities right now.

  • How do you know this is truly a challenge?
  • Why do you believe this challenge exists?
  • What actions does the community need to take to address or eliminate this challenge?

A facilitated dialogue can help. Discussions, disagreements, debates…and repeat.  Listening, communicating, questioning…and repeat. Where do you diverge but, more importantly, where do you share commonalities on which to build?

Not easy and desperately needed if a community is to move forward. It takes effort and a bit of discipline.

It can be too easy to put it off until tomorrow or the next day or whenever ….  I read a tweet recently that reminds us to act now.

Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life.
Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in right now.

In a word, responsibility.

Large ideas can create enthusiasm. But absent consistent and responsible action, those big dreams have no legs. They remain fantasies. And the community can stagnate.


Podcast Recommendation for the Week:

Section 5 (Responsibility) of my book opens with a transformational story of how one struggling inner-city neighborhood found its voice. They did not do this by yelling or threatening. Rather, they created a movement of respect, education, and support.  In this brief clip, the Executive Director of The New Town Success Zone shares how he asked the community two questions. What do you want? And, what are you willing to do to get what you want?


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017), by clicking here. Another university recently (January 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. 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® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli

Posted in accountability, action, Critical Thinking, Dreams, Goals, Life lessons, responsibility | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#456) Rainbows


This week’s blog post draws on the fourth core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019):  Give voice to our RAINBOWS—our dreams and aspirations—and act to move toward them.

Goals represent hopes for a brighter future.

Research tells us, though, that hope requires three ingredients: goals + pathways + agency. The goal—a rainbow that attracts and draws your attention—must be valuable to you. A pathway—a plausible route to the goal—must be present. And, you intuit that you have the ability, the power, and the talent to reach that goal.

Just like each of us individually, our communities have dreams as well. They could be for complete streets, access to fresh food and medical care, a vibrant park system, transportation for shut ins, or transparent connections with community leaders.

Residents consider what is in front of them now and what their community will need in the future. We construct stories of what is and what we think will be.

What stories do you and your neighbors share about the future of your community? What do you see as the top priorities for your neighborhoods? How do you know these are, in fact, priorities? According to what standards or observations?

Your Call-to-Action

  • Walk through your community, pause, and look. Really look. What beauty have you taken for granted? What areas of concern have you overlooked? Take the same walk with a neighbor or two. What do they notice?
  • Based on your observations, what relationships and resources will your community need to (1) take full appreciation of its beauty and (2) work on its challenges?
  • What can you do this week to move from observation to action?

As you move forward, consider the reminders right in front you and your neighbors to stay open to the possibilities of where our dreams can lead us. And, to live passionately.


Podcast Recommendation of the Week:

In this short clip from an upcoming (March 2019) podcast on The Growth and Resilience Network® podcast channel, we hear how one community (Atlantic Beach, FL) uses music as a resource to connect neighbors to neighbors.



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017), by clicking here. Another university recently (January 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. 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® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

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

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in amplifying, awareness, Choice, collaboration, Community, community development, consideration, Creativity | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#455) Resources: Find, Learn, and Use


This week’s blog post draws on the third core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019):  Discover and use RESOURCES to increase chances for progress, growth, learning, and connections.

“Knowledge is power.”  But if acquired knowledge is not used or if it is inapplicable to the issue at hand, does it still have power? It might possess potential power. But it loses value if not used.

I often told my students that college offered them more resources than they probably would ever see again in one place. But they had to do three things: Find them. Learn about them. Use them.

Think of the communities to which you belong. A spiritual community. A residential neighborhood.  An athletic team.  A walking group. A youth organization.  A campus service club.

Each of these communities has resources for its members. Sources of support for connection, growth, and resilience. Your group might have an abundance of resources while other communities have a diminished basket of support from which to draw.

Think of a dynamic community to which you belong. In what ways do the resources in that community contribute to its growth and resilience? Do members use them? More importantly, how do members create and maximize collisions between resources and people so even more people will benefit?

Now, think of a community struggling to maintain its cohesiveness. When it comes to resources, what does it lack? What is being done to gather those resources?  Is there a leader (a resource in and of itself) to coordinate the needed resources?

Your Two-Part Call-to-Action

  • First, consider a challenge your community faces at this moment. Why does the challenge exist? Is it because of a lack of resources, a failure to use existing resources, a breakdown of resources, or some other factor related to resources?
  • Next, develop a list of resources that could address the identified challenge. Which of the resources does your community have? Which does it need to develop? Which exist and need tweaking to make them more effective? How do you know? What is your next step?

In order to grow and maintain a sustainable community, you need knowledge about what it needs to grow. Then you need to do something with that knowledge. That takes vigilance, questions, and leadership. What do you need to be more aware of in your community?


Podcast Recommendation of the Week

This short clip reminds us of the importance of listening when developing a program and its resources.


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

 


Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017), by clicking here. Another university recently (January 2019) adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. 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® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

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

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

Posted in assumptions, awareness, collaboration, community development, core values, effective teaching, faculty development, growth, leadership, resilience, resources | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments