Community Bright Spots! Public Beach Accesses


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

I have posted a few of my (recent) favorite photos of beach sunrises. Always a peaceful and reflective time of the day to get in touch with one’s senses.

But to enjoy the sand, surf, sea breezes, and sun, one has to be able to access the beach.

I am fortunate to live in an area that provides access to the shoreline. (Now, parking at some accesses can be an issue.)

If you were to peddle your bike or jog from the northern end of Atlantic Beach, through Neptune Beach, and end up at the southern end of Jacksonville Beach, you will pass more than eighty (80) public beach accesses. Some offer a fair number of parking spaces others a few street-side spots. You will find benches, bike racks, trash cans, and showers. Some access points have sand paths through the dunes. Others have walkover structures. Click on the links above for specific information on the location of beach access points.

Public access to a wonder of nature. A true community bright spot!

Enjoy a few of the these access points below.

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

The next expected bright spot: Public Skateboard Parks in the beach communities.

And if you’d like to hear about bright spots from the mouth of a dog, check out Roxie’s bi-weekly blog. WOOF!

My weekly blog can be read here.

©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

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

Issue #589) Fill the Gap


When we reach out to fill a gap in our community (large or small) what we do is
see a need, acknowledge that need, and act to address that need.

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw a re-post of the following message:

“My dad died when I was eight.
Every week a few of the dads on my hockey team would offer to tie my skates.
Not in a big showy way, in a quiet kind of way.
They filled the gap.
Find a way to fill the gap for someone.
It will make you both better.”
~attributed to Jonathan Torrens

Those poignant words reminded me of a few life lessons.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli ©2021
  • There are gaps all around us. From neighbors needing a hand with home repair, to a child searching for a mentor, to a friend suffering through a family crisis, or, maybe, a family member with whom you need to reconnect. Before we fill the gap, we have to recognize it exists. Eyes wide open.
  • The quote above notes the gestures were made “not in a showy way [but] in a quiet kind way.”  Those dads stood out for their gentle connections. They did not have to bloviate and say. “Look at me and what I am doing!” No, they stood out by not standing out.
  • When a gap exists sometimes the best action is to address it head on. Like a suggestion I offered in a previous post on this blog: Rather than ruminate on “Why isn’t our community a better place?” we would be better served (and serve better) to ask, “What can we do to make our community a better place?” Yes we have to know the why–just don’t let it get in the way of the what that is needed in front of you. The child in the quote above needed the love of tied shoelaces more-so than a dialogue on why the shoelaces were not tied. Tie the shoelace and that may lead to deeper conversation addressing the nature of the gap.

When we reach out to fill a gap in our community (large or small) we see the need, acknowledge the need, and act to address the need. Why? Because in that moment we remember the gap that separates provides an opportunity to create bridges.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli ©2021

~~~~~

Video recommendation for the week:

One of my favorite podcast episodes came when I had the chance to sit down with centenarian Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne. Her life motto speaks to filling the gap by bridging connections: “Life is not about me, it’s about others.” Enjoy!

~~~~~

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.  Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. 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.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

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

Community Bright Spots! Seawalk Pavilion


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

Perhaps you have been here. Maybe to enjoy a music festival. Or visit an art vendor. Or savor an offering from a food truck. Or enjoy the ocean breezes and sound of the waves as you jog, stretch, or bike. Or marvel at the holiday spectacle of lights and decorations.

Just a block off the ocean, Jacksonville Beach’s (Florida) Seawalk Pavilion and Latham Plaza provide a venue for a plethora of community activities. The photos below capture its charm early one quiet summer morning. At other times it generates energy and fosters connections. Like here and here and here.

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

Next week’s expected bright spot: Public Beach Accesses.

And if you’d like to hear about bright spots from the mouth of a dog, check out Roxie’s bi-weekly blog. WOOF!

My weekly blog can be read here.

©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Community | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Issue #588) A Different Kind of Principal’s Office


Got me thinking of the good-natured fun you could have
naming drinks in your workspace or community group.

Maybe even for a family get-together.

Last week, we visited the Schoolhouse Inn in Fernandina Beach, FL. Built in 1886, it housed the first school on Amelia Island. 131 years later (2017), the building was renovated into a cozy 17-room inn with quaint decorations, furnishings, and accoutrements. Cozy accommodations in the historic district.

When you walk in the front door, you will find “The Principal’s Office” off to the left. Unlike what I remember the principal’s office to offer, this one served up alcohol.  And it had a sense of humor.

The bartender told us there have been various incarnations of the drink menu, each adding a little twist of an educational term or practice. Like: Teachers Aide, Paperplane, Spring Break, Hall Pass, Burnout, and TGIF.

Of course, our imaginations began to kick in with new names for the menu. You know, like The Valedictorian or Schoolyard Crush or After-School Party or Teacher’s Pet or Merry-go-round or The Scholar or Time Out! Or ……

Got me thinking, also, of the good-natured fun you could have naming drinks (alcohol and non-alcohol) in your workspace, book club, or community group. Maybe even for a family get-together.

You know, like one named for those gosh awful meetings we have all been subjected to: The Sleep Inducer. Or The Goofy could conjure up the office jokesters. Top Dog could feature top-shelf servings.

So what names are popping into your Egg Noggin right now? (OK. Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)

~~~~~

Video recommendation for the week:

Quick video featuring drinking quotes, with a splash of humor!

~~~~~

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.  Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. 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.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Community Bright Spots! Sunrise on the Beach


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

Roxie (my canine companion) make our way to the sand just about every morning to take part in one of the brightest bright spots of our community: The rising sun over the ocean.

On occasion I’ve heard someone remark, “Oh, the sunrise? They all look the same to me.”

Really?

I never tire of the peace, serenity, colors, texture, sounds, and scents. And each sunrise is different-even only for the promise the new day holds for each of us.

For this post, I have gone back and pulled a few 2021 sunrises that Roxie and I have enjoyed. Enjoy! Some of the brightest spots present themselves each day.

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

And if you’d like to hear about bright spots from the mouth of a dog, check out Roxie’s bi-weekly blog. WOOF!

My weekly blog can be read here.

Posted in Life lessons | 1 Comment

(Issue #587) Serendipity, Beshert, and The Red Thread


Does serendipity lead to destiny or create destiny?

In April of 2017, I delivered a keynote address in Caesar’s Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. My topic: Purposeful Collaboration in the Workplace. One of the examples I shared with the audience in that ballroom came from Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos. 

April 2017

Hsieh wrote that we need to “maximize collisions to accelerate serendipity.” That is, we need to put ourselves in the position to connect with as many pertinent resources as possible in order to increase chances for progress, growth, learning, and connections. Unthinking isolation can create separation.  

Zappos office complex. Old Las Vegas.

Laurie and I spent the next afternoon touring the architecture and history of Downtown Las Vegas. Also known as Old Las Vegas, this area is a few miles north of the famous Las Vegas strip.  We were fortunate to explore the area with Paco, the Art Curator for Zappos. I had been hoping for a chance encounter to shake hands and get a photo with the legendary founder of Zappos.  Chances were slim.  However, during the last five minutes of our more than two-hour walking tour, who did we bump into on the sidewalk? Tony Hsieh.

Tony Hsieh and me. April 2017. Serendipity.

Serendipity or destiny?

A few nights ago, I was introduced to two concepts that reminded me of that serendipitous meeting on a Las Vegas sidewalk: Beshert and The Red Thread.

Beshert is a Yiddish term that can be translated as fate, destiny, that something is meant to be. Like the inevitability of a relationship developing.

The Red Thread can be found in the Chinese and Japanese cultures. With slight variations, the read thread is what connects those who are destined to meet. The thread remains throughout life, pulling us toward a situation like a relationship that we felt destined to find. In tough times and in good, the thread connects.

When I heard the explanations of Beshert and The Red Thread I thought of Hsieh’s “collisions” for “serendipity.” If we remain walled off in an office, our home, or some self-imposed isolation, we limit our collisions. We minimize our chances to “bump” into someone or an idea.

Do we, as a consequence, tinker with our destiny?

Think of a serendipitous community connection that introduced you to a project you knew you were destined to lead. Or a blind date that led to a lifetime relationship.

Coincidence or destiny? Meant to be or up to your actions?

Does serendipity lead us to destiny or create destiny for us?

~~~~~

Video recommendation for the week:

A video explaining The Red Thread.

~~~~~

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.  Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. 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.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in beshert, destiny, fate, Relationship, serendipity | 4 Comments

Community Bright Spots! Beaches Town Center


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

Travel east on Atlantic Blvd and you will find Beaches Town Center where the ocean meets the road. Shops, restaurants, boutiques, and more wait for you to enjoy. During the day and into the evening it buzzes with energy from Atlantic Beach (FL) and Neptune Beach (FL) residents, visitors, and the good vibes of business owners.

At dawn, BTC also provides a breath of serenity. I took these photos at sunrise. At that hour you will find the streets with joggers, walkers, canines with their humans, and the quiet of a few coffee shops getting ready for the daily bustle. And you will hear the ocean waves. A serene backdrop to start your day.

I encourage you to go to the BTC site and see what it has to offer.

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021

Expected post next week: Beachfront Sunrises.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

And if you’d like to hear about bright spots from the mouth of a dog, check out Roxie’s bi-weekly blog. WOOF!

Posted in Life lessons | 1 Comment

(Issue #586) Good, Not-So Good, and Why (x5)


Go beyond listing a goal statement.
Before acting, make sure you understand the why of your what.

I have written separate posts on this blog about bright spots, not-so-bright spots, weak signals, and the five whys. Today, let’s look at how we can use the five whys as a way to take a deeper dive when analyzing what has worked, what has not worked, and what is to come. I will focus on a bright spot example.

Bright Spots

Identify something in your community, workplace, organization, or a personal relationship that works well. Whatever you identify, it must be something that stands out for (example) its meaning and/or excellence and/or accomplishment for the greater good. Whatever this bright spot is, it has made a positive difference.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Write that bright spot in one clarifying sentence. For instance, maybe your community has a farmers’ market. The bright spot might be described as

My community has a weekly farmers’ market that allows residents
to have access to fresh, organic, and affordable food.

Now apply the five whys. 

1. Question: Why is it important for my community to have a weekly farmers’ market that allows residents to have access to fresh, organic, and affordable food?

Answer: The market provides an alternative to big box grocery stores.

2. Question: Why is providing an alternative to big box grocery stores important?

Answer:  Residents have the opportunity to talk with vendors and growers and learn more about healthy food options.

3. Question: Why is this opportunity important for residents?

Answer: The local farmers’ market provides an additional source to purchase non-processed food products from local vendors.

4. Question: Why do our residents need an additional source to purchase non-processed food products from local vendors?

Answer: Food options may provide the opportunity for a healthier diet.

5. Question: Why do our residents need food purchasing options?

Answer: Some of our residents live in food deserts and such community markets may bring them closer to healthier nutrition choices and healthier lifestyles.

Obviously, you can come up with alternative Qs & As.  And if you give the initial bright spot statement to 10 people, more than likely you will receive 10 different Q & As. More options to help understand the issue at hand.

The point is that this process can help us get beyond platitudes, glittering generalities, and pre-conceived ideas. It will help us drill down on the reason we do what we do.  And it may help us generate more ideas.

Once you have gone through the five whys for your bright spots, do the same for the not-so-bright spots. These could be outright failures or items, events, issues, and initiatives that just did not gain any traction.

Or maybe something your organization does seems to have lost its mojo. Identify the particular item and then go through the steps as above to drill down and get a deeper meaning for why this not-so-bright spot exists.

When you are done with the positive and not-so positive points above, move on to any weak signals you have identified for, let’s say, your organization. The five questions help you dig deeper into what promising practices you see in the future.

Go beyond listing a goal statement. Before acting, make sure you understand the why of your what.

~~~~~

Video recommendation for the Week:

This video starts with identifying a problem. Think of that as a not-so-bright spot.  And then go from there as you attempt to figure out why the problem is happening. It can help you identify the root cause of the challenge.

~~~~~

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.  Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. 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.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

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

Community Bright Spots! The Sand Dunes


NOTE: You can find more information about the mission of this page here.

The sand dunes provide a barrier to protect property. The sea oats help stabilize the dune structure. Photos below show a few dunes in our beaches area today (2021) and how the same area looked as a result of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. With dune restoration (https://news.wjct.org/post/jacksonville-beaches-sand-dune-restoration-begin-after-hurricane-matthew) and community volunteers the dunes and sea oats have rebounded.

6th Street Walkover, Atlantic Beach, FL. 2021
6th Street Walkover, Atlantic Beach, FL. 2021
6th Street Walkover, Atlantic Beach, FL. 2016

6th Street Walkover, Atlantic Beach, FL. 2016
6th Street Walkover, Atlantic Beach, FL. 2021

Fletcher High School Marine Science Club and community volunteers have been instrumental in planting sea oats.

All photos ©Steve Piscitelli. 2021

Expected post next week: Beaches Town Center.

Enjoy your week. And remember to stop and appreciate your Community Bright Spots!

And if you’d like to hear about bright spots from the mouth of a dog, check out Roxie’s bi-weekly blog. WOOF!

Posted in Life lessons | Leave a comment

(Issue #585) Sharing Wisdom Across The Ages


“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”
~attributed to Immanuel Kant~


Last week I left you with a question, “Do you think a twenty-something and a seventy-something share life lessons, questions, and advice?”

I sent an email to friends and neighbors asking for their  answers to three specific queries:

  1. What do you see as the biggest LESSON you have learned to this point of your life?
  2. What ONE piece of ADVICE would you like to pass along to the younger generations—those who represent the future?
  3. As you look ahead to your future, what ONE QUESTION would you like to ask those who are older than you? (What is something you are curious about?)


    Below you will find a few of the answers I received for each question. (I have just provided three responses for each category.) You will not find author analysis or scientific fact-checking.  Read their words. Compare the age groups. (At this point, I have responses only from people 40 years old to 89 years old.) What differences jump out? What similarities do you notice? What conclusions can you draw? What conversations can you start?
Photo by Steve Piscitelli ©2021

Lastly, how would you answer the questions. I would appreciate the opportunity to read and share your thoughts. Post to the blog or send me an email (https://stevepiscitelli.com/contact-us). Thanks!

Question 1 (LESSONS):

Wise people feel, listen, read, consider, apply, reconsider, and pivot with new data and context.  They view the ability to engage in this process a strength, aligning with environments and people that allow for this evolution.
~45 Year-Old Female

Don’t take it personally. Some people are angry, troubled, depressed, etc. It has very little to do with you.
~52 Year-Old Male

Life will unfold according to natural law and human action.  No vast benevolent power will come to the rescue.
~89-Year-Old Female

Question 2 (ADVICE):

You have the power to be anyone, go any place, and do anything you want, you just have to work hard, know who you are, where you want to go, and what you want to do. 
~57 Year-Old

The one piece of advice I would pass on is to hold on tightly to your own personal integrity against the onslaught of outside judgments and criticisms-especially if you are an empathetic soul.
~65 Year-Old Female

As you transition into adult roles, don’t get so serious or cynical that you lose the sense of playfulness you had as a child or the idealism you had as an adolescent.
~72 Year-Old Male

Question 3 (QUESTION):

Are you where you imagined yourself to be right now?
~62 Year-Old Female

Since I’m already old (72), I’d ask those in their 80s and 90s if and how their views of life, death, and an afterlife have changed as they move closer to the end of life.
~72 Year-Old Male

Is your peace in service or faith?
~83 Year-Old Male

~~~~~

Please consider sending me your thoughts to each of the three questions above.

~~~~~

Video recommendation for the Week:

A riveting message from Denzel Washington about wisdom he found in life. “Fail forward,” he urges.

~~~~~

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 
here.

.

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story.  Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. 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.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in Life lessons, question skills, resilience | Leave a comment