(Issue #562) Sacrificing Self For Space?


Do we have encouragement to be bigger, bolder, brighter, and better?

Perhaps you have heard reports (like this one) of one COVID consequence: People looking for bigger homes. They no longer feel they can fit into their space. So they hunt for appropriate room.

Reminds me of a quote, “Stop shrinking to fit places you’ve outgrown.” In this case, we are not considering housing and property. Rather, the emphasis rests on personal growth. (I’m not sure who is the originator as I’ve seen many posts, posters, photos, water bottles and the like with the inscription urging us to “stop shrinking.” For instance, here.)

Like the family that evaluates its space needs for work, living, leisure, and storage, we would do well to pause and evaluate the space—physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual—we inhabit and determine if it is encouraging or stifling.

When I look back at my teaching career, I am thankful that I found myself in a space (many spaces, in fact) that never smothered or suppressed me. I had mentors, colleagues, and students who encouraged me to stretch and be more. I was fortunate.

When I got into publishing, one of my editors listened, pushed, and pulled so that I would grow. The same with speaking engagements.

In those cases the space was never restricted (or at least not unreasonably so) and I did not have to settle for something less.

Again, I was fortunate.

This short post is a reminder for us to look at the space (personal and professional) in which we exist. Who and what inhabits the space with us? Why? Do we have encouragement to be bigger, bolder, brighter, and better? Or do we feel shut down and confined as our dreams and talents slowly become a memory?

How does your space look? What is your next step?


Video recommendation for the Week:

I came across this scene on one of my beach walks. The sea turtle hatchling reminds us that some beings will not be deterred from finding that larger space to grow. Even against overwhelming odds.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. 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: No Need to be an Island (2017). One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.

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 #561) Age and Wisdom: Questions For Your Consideration


Circumstances change.
Does wisdom and the vessel of that wisdom change as well?

Katherine Esty’s EightySomethings: A Practical Guide to Letting Go, Aging Well, and Finding Unexpected Happiness and  John Leland’s Happiness is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old inspired me initially to think about wisdom and how it is passed along.  “Of course,” I thought, “wisdom comes from experience. Lots of experience. It is passed down to us by the elders of the community.”

Wisdom is typically associated with experience, knowledge and sound judgment. But is it a trait held only by the old? Does wisdom have an age threshold?  That is, do we have to reach a certain age before we can “have” wisdom? Is wisdom about telling, asking, and/or listening?

Can a twenty year-old and a fifty year-old experience job loss? Of course they can and do. Are the perceptions of the experience the same? Can the younger have wisdom to pass along to the elder in such a situation?

I once read about an official who served during the Clinton administration. Referencing domestic threats he reportedly said, “You have to be careful about always fighting the last war, because the next one is going to be different.”

Perhaps it is the same with wisdom. If we have been brought up that age bestows wisdom because that’s how it has always been, do we risk missing a wealth of wisdom from our younger generations?

Years ago I came to know an octogenarian who worked out in the gym most mornings.  He often said, “You are where I was. And I am where you will be.” True enough.

One of the subjects of Leland’s noted book above had a similar saying: “I was once your age but you were never my age.”

Perhaps we can riff on this looking backward. At times an elder might dismiss a younger because of lack of experience. Maybe the younger should say/could say, “Yes, you were once my age and I was never your age. But perhaps you have forgotten what it was like to experience my age.  Or perhaps my age is not the same as it was when you were my age.”

Wisdom comes in statements, reflections, and questions.

Circumstances change. Does wisdom and the vessel of that wisdom change as well?

I’d love your thoughts.


Video recommendation for the Week. Actually two this week.

First, one I shared with my students often. From the mouths of the elders.

Second, a thought to change perspective about age and wisdom from philosopher Alan Watts.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book can be found in
eBook ($2.99)  and paperback ($9.99) format. 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: No Need to be an Island (2017).  One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.

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 , , , | 2 Comments

(Issue #560) Renewal Of Vows


A reminder that it can become too easy to say,
“Oh, I said that. She/He knows it.”

NOTE: The annual Renewal of Vows ceremony in Savannah, Georgia
will be virtual this year.  See the end of this post for a news clip and link to the event.

The year was 1976. Our nation celebrated its bicentennial. Pittsburg beat Dallas in Super Bowl X. A new figure on the national political scene won the Democratic Caucus in Iowa—and eventually the presidency. The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team came into existence Steve Jobs created Apple Computer Company. The Ramones released their first album. The Cincinnati Reds swept the New York Yankees in the World Series.

And Valentine’s Day 1976 Laurie and I said our wedding vows for the first time.

I say first time because since that day, we have repeated those vows somewhere in the vicinity of twenty times.

In 1997, Laurie and I were in Savanah, Georgia for our anniversary. On our way to dinner in the City Market, we stumbled on and participated in a Renewal of Vows ceremony. Total serendipity. We fell in love (pun intended) with the ceremony and the officiating couple, The Reverend Billy Hester and his wife, Cheri Hester. Whenever possible, we have returned each Valentine’s Day.

On February 14, 2003, The Savannah Morning News published my article “Love and Marriage in City Market” about the event.

Renewal of vows. “Why do that?” you may ask.  “I said them once. Don’t need to repeat them.” Maybe the idea of renewing marriage vows seems redundant, overly sentimental, or awkward. Initially, the same thoughts crossed my mind. But over time I came to consider (and appreciate) the need for repetition.

From experience I can tell you it is sentimental to stand there holding hands with your partner, gazing into her eyes, and recommitting in public.  Touching, tender, sweet, nostalgic. And the first time we renewed our vows I did feel awkward standing in a crowd of strangers as we reaffirmed our love.

I’ve come to see this ceremony as anything but redundant. Consider the following, if you will.

  • “Well, I’ve said that prayer once. No need to say it again.” Or,
  • “I said that meditation mantra/affirmation once. No need to repeat it.” Or,
  • “I’ve cheered the school fight song once. No need to repeat it.” Or,
  • “I’ve done crunches and stretches. No need to repeat that.” Or,
  • “I’ve heard that wonderful song/poem/sermon/speech. No need to do that again.”

And perhaps for you, renewal is redundant and you do not need to ever repeat anything.

For us (and that is all we can speak for), renewal has become a reminder about what and who is important in our lives.

A reminder to remember.

A reminder to recommit.

A reminder that it can become too easy to say, “Oh, I said that. She/He knows it.”

A reminder that I need us; that we need us.

A reminder that all the trials, challenges, stumbles, faux pas, heartaches, not-so-bright spots, bright spots, laughter, hugs, and morning kisses represent learning points. They present stepping stones.

In “Remember When,” Alan Jackson sings:

 Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now looking back, it’s just a stepping stone
To where we are to where we’ve been
Said we’d do it all again…Remember when….

My second CD includes my first stab at a love song. While it is not Alan Jackson quality by a longshot, “Coffee and Candles” does have a turn on words that I am proud of:

 When young turns to old
And fast becomes slow
No matter the pace
Together we’ll go…..

Photo by (c) Steve Piscitelli

Video recommendation for the Week:

Savannah, Georgia’s WTOC did a piece about this year’s renewal of vows ceremony. They journalist interviewed Laurie and me for the segment. Here is the brief piece (https://www.wtoc.com/2021/02/11/savannah-keeps-valentines-day-tradition-going-with-virtual-vow-renewal-ceremony/)  that appeared on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

This year’s Renewal of Vows ceremony will be virtual due to COVID-19 precautions and protocols. For those who may be reticent to renew vows in public, this might be a way to renew in private. Who knows, it might become a tradition for you as well.  The link to the event can be found in the above article. Or click here at 7 pm tonight.

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My newest book can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and in 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®

 

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

(Issue #559) Who Me? Write A Book?


Why not you?

One of my previous posts encouraged readers to consider the statement, “Geez, I could write a book!” Let’s dive a little deeper and assume you really want to write that book. What I offer comes from experience I’ve had, mistakes I’ve made, and great mentors I have followed. I offer the following as thought developers for you. This is one writer’s view of moving from the thought process to the action process.  Got to do that before you get to the publishing part of the endeavor.*

Each of my first 13 books developed from curiosity.

Each time I have started a writing project I have had to identify my inner desires, strengths, and challenges. Before I began each book I had to identify what I wanted to share with the greater community.

Maybe by the end of this post, rather than saying, “Who am I kidding? I’m not a writer!” you will begin to consider and take steps to act upon, “Me, write a book? Why not me?”

A Few Starting Questions. I suggest you write the answers to these questions. Note: There is another list of questions to consider once you decide your work is ready for publishing. That could be the subject of another post.

  • WHAT will I write about?
    • What’s the idea I have and need to share?
  • WHY do I want to write a book?
    • Is it career related?
    • Is it related to a personal passion?
    • Does the community need it?
    • Do I want to make money?
    • Other reasons?
  • WHO cares about my work—and why should they care?
    • When the book is published, who will want to read it?
  • HOW do I develop a supportive learning community of colleagues to develop my writing talents?
    • Who will help me critique my work?

And the final question, WHEN will you start? After all, if you are going to write….you have to write!

Best wishes. Let me know when your book is released.

A few resources to consider:

*Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. Rather, consider this a reminder to ask yourself the question: “What are the important questions I should be asking when I consider writing?

Video recommendation for the Week:

Rather than a video, enjoy this podcast I recorded with Shawn Eager about creative spark and spirit; importance of teachers; connection of art and creativity; listening to the internal dialogue; and mental locks and schooling.

Want more? Got to Episode 5 with Shawn. Topics include: inspiration; completing the process; importance of story; confidence; persistence; criticism and feedback.


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®

 

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #558) Curiosity As A Literacy Skill


Curiosity stimulates basic literacy skills, nurtures conversations,
builds collaboration, and opens our minds to what could be.

This past week, Atlantic Beach Elementary School (Florida) celebrated its annual literacy week. The principal reached out to a few people in the community and asked us to shoot a short video talking about how literacy has inspired us. You can find my short video in the “Video Recommendation for the Week” below.

While most of us associate literacy with reading and writing, I chose to focus on the skill of curiosity. I told the students that each book I have written started with questions—authentic questions about why I was writing a particular book. Who was the audience? Why does this audience need this book? Why do I want to write the book? What do I know about the topic? What do I still need to learn about the topic? On whom can I lean for help, guidance, and mentoring? How will I publish the book after I write it? When will I write it? What do I need to do before I begin writing? Where will I write it?

Each of my first 13 books developed from curiosity…and so will the next one…and the next one…and the next one….

In short, I have to be curious about a lot of pieces and parts in the writing process before I can write a book. Curiosity stimulates my reading and writing skills.

You see, curiosity opens our minds—but only if we ask authentic questions to learn. Check out this particular post.

In an article addressing inquiry-based learning, the author suggested ten strategies to stimulate curiosity. Near the top of the list: “Teach Students How to Ask Quality Questions.”  That was a skill I did my best to model (another top ten strategy) as a classroom teacher. Always asking questions—and never being afraid to say, “I don’t know. Let’s figure that out.”  I would suggest, as well, that such a mindset helps businesses grow and prosper.

The asking and digging associated with curiosity begins the inquiry process. But we have to listen as well. Or else how will we learn. As the Dalai Lama was reported to have said,

“When you talk, you are repeating what you already know.
But when you listen, you may learn something new.”

We ask questions. We listen. We reflect. We ask more questions. We listen some more. We grow.

Curiosity stimulates basic literacy skills, nurtures conversations, builds collaboration, and opens our minds to what could be.

Video Recommendation for the Week:


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®

 

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

(Issue #557) Agree to Disagree: A Conversational Fire Extinguisher?


“We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace.” ~Amanda Gorman

 As I read Tom Nichols’ The Death of Expertise, I thought back to previous posts on this blog about conversations, dialogues, and resistance bubbles.

Nichols asks us to consider how we can have a meaningful give-and-take when disagreement is viewed with anger and condescension? Just because someone says your wrong—and offers factual support—does not mean that person has demeaned you. In an attempt to avoid uncomfortable conversations, some revert to “ Well, I guess we’ll have to just agree to disagree.”

True, there are times when further conversation seems pointless. Especially when two ideologues yell at one another with no intent to hear another side. Maybe we step away hoping to return at another time.

But to “agree to disagree” seems to be an end; an obstacle to understanding.  Perhaps we think that if we don’t talk about it (whatever IT is) we will return to a peaceful state. Nichols believes that “agree to disagree…is now used indiscriminately as little more than a conversational fire extinguisher.”

Peace?

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

How can we learn, change, educate, and grow? We will always have disagreement. Our nation was born out of disagreement, debate, compromise, and eventual movement. And as we have seen, movement has not always been in the correct direction.

Again, Nichols: “Principled informed arguments are a sign of intellectual health and vitality in a democracy.”

And I’d add, those same principled arguments can work in family, business office, church meeting, and community meeting, too.

Whether due to a lack of critical thinking skills or clinging to confirmation bias, we become entrenched. We turn up our vocal volume.

And then I heard Amanda Gorman deliver “The Hill We Climb.”


Video recommendation for the week:


“Where can we find light,” she asked, “in this ever-ending shade?”

We can throw shade. We can agree to disagree. We can close our minds. Or if we take the brave step to seek understanding, to shed light, and maybe see other points of view through informed, civil, discourse.

Then maybe, again in Ms. Gorman’s words, “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace.”


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®

 

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

(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®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(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®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

(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