(Issue #530) The Lesson of the Handyman


Getting your stuff done!

This blog has addressed the topic of procrastination.  Whether in the boardroom, faculty room, classroom, church hall, town hall, or community center, it can derail plans, goals, and dreams.  We do well to remind ourselves that we don’t wait for a goal—we work for the goal.

This week, a handyman reminded me of this truism. Or, I should say, the lack of a handyman.

I am not a handyman-type.  I can do basic home maintenance but not much more. I do stay on top of what needs to be done in our home and on our property.  If I find some wood rot, I fix it. Same for a leaky toilet or hot tub maintenance. If a problem arises that is too much for my meager skills, I call someone.  Because of this, we have never watched a small problem grow into a large and expensive one. My wife and I have been fortunate over our years as homeowners to have had some skilled and dependable handymen and craftsmen come to our assistance.

Recently, we found ourselves in the position of needing a new “go-to” handyman. Let’s say it has been a hit or miss journey. One good experience, one almost good experience, and three misses. As I deal with those frustrations (and continue to build a list of contractors/handymen-women to interview), I am thankful that I learned along the way (from past handymen) to stay on top of repairs and renovations. Not just think about repairs. Not just cogitate on a renovation. Act on those ideas.

We did not kick the can down the road with an excuse of “That wood rot can wait. It’s not that bad.”  We stayed on it. We fixed it. And thus, it helps keep our home in good shape.  We didn’t think of repairing it. We repaired it.

That proves prescient now as we look for a new handyman/woman in what is proving to be a drawn out process.

And it is a metaphor for goal achievement. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, what can you do today to advance your plans?

Example: You want to write a book but you don’t have a publisher. So…you wait. And nothing happens. As Hugh Prather said, “If the desire to write a book is not accompanied by the actual writing, then the desire is not to write.”

Our handyman hiccups do not mean we do not need the service. It means we need to continue our search. And we must continue our work and get our stuff done.

Just like our goals.


Video recommendation for the week:

An oldie but a goodie. Are you getting your stuff done?


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

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(Issue #529) Time to Revisit Our Big BUTs


Recognize which BUT is taking control.
Then kiss your BUT goodbye!

I have written on this blog before about excuses and how they can derail our plans and dreams. (See here, here, and here for instance.)

For this week’s blog, let’s revisit the Top Ten Big BUTs—with an addition.

Yes, our BUTs have continued to grow.

Eleven BUTs that have the potential to keep your life and any group you attempt to lead in neutral–or maybe slip into reverse.  After a while, the BUTs become noise. Obstacles to any meaningful progress.

The first step is to recognize (be aware of) how your BUT is taking control.  Then make the decision to kiss your BUT goodbye! And, if your organizational management problem is due to the Big BUTs in charge, it might be time to consider a leadership change. Effective leaders listen and learn. If you hear a lot of BUTs, question the listening and learning that is going on. Probably negligible.

Frank Lloyd Wright claimed, “An expert is a man who stops thinking because he knows.” And a big BUT is a powerful block to clear and progressive thinking.

Top Big BUTs

  • The I-Know-Better-Than-You BUT. Have you ever been in a meeting when you were asked for ideas and suggestions? You and your colleagues offered them. And then the leader (poor manager?) had to tell you all why those would never work. “That’s not a bad idea BUT we first must do this.” OR “OK. BUT that will never work.”  Can you say no conversation and lack of collaboration. None. At. All.

  • The Fearful BUT. This can be a paralyzing BUT.  The fear factors can be many.  The economy, opinions of people, lack of confidence, a desire to remain “in charge,” attempting a new project, and lack of support (financial, social, or occupational) can cause fear to raise its head.
  • The Fatal Resignation BUT. This BUT plays out for people who have convinced themselves that their life (or the organizational life) “is what it is” and nothing will ever change. You know, let’s just keep doing what we’ve been doing because to make a change would require rewriting our autobiography–and we are quite comfortable with our autobiography, thank you!
  • The Whiny BUT.  This can end up being a close cousin to the Fatal Resignation BUT.  “I would do it BUT, you don’t understand what I go through.” Or “Easy for you to do what you want. I would, too, BUT everyone is against me.”  Yes, we don’t live in another person’s skin. And yes, we don’t know what they have to live with. And no, this does not make light of difficult situations.  The point is, if all we do is whine about the adversity we face nothing will change. Think of a major decision confronting your organization. Is this BUT prancing around to stop forward movement?
  • The Self-Serving BUT.  This person will move forward BUT only if you do something for him or her. Action is predicated on what the payback will be.

  • The Time BUT.  Many of my former students had a lot on their plates.  Between child care, transportation challenges, work, relationship issues, and adjusting to college expectations, they could easily fall into this trap. “I would work with a tutor in the Success Center BUT I just don’t have the time.”  The problem, though, is not time. It is priority management.  Don’t blame time. Review your priorities.
  • The Blaming BUT. We have all heard this cognitive trap. “It’s not my fault!  I would have been on time BUT the traffic on that bridge is always backed up.”  Really? If it is always backed up, then why don’t you leave earlier? “I would BUT I can’t get up in time.”  Why don’t you go to bed earlier? “I have tried BUT you just don’t understand!” (See Whiny BUT and/or Fatalistic Resignation BUT above.)
  • The Rationalizing BUT.  This person has a reason why she is not doing what she knows she needs to do–or what she says she would like to do.  Her intentions might be great.  She has difficulty translating intentions into action.  “I know I should lose ten pounds BUT I am under a lot of stress now. I’ll do it later.” This person is always waiting for the perfect situation to present itself.   (See Fear BUT, Time BUT, and Money BUT.)

Photo by Steve Piscitelli.

  • The Lying BUT.This person has no intention of moving forward or changing or doing what he says he will do.  He can use any of the other nine BUTs on this list as a way to cover his true intentions.
  • The Money BUT. This can be closely tied with the Rationalizing BUT.  “I would start my exercise program today BUT I don’t have the money for gym membership.” Maybe you could just begin walking around the neighborhood? “I would BUT I need a good pair of walking shoes.”  (See Rationalizing BUT.)
  • The Lazy BUT. This is pretty basic.  Pick any of the BUTs above, strip away the reasoning and get to the core: This person is not motivated to change. The couch is comfortable. The jeans are not that  tight.  I don’t like my job BUT it is just too much trouble to go back to school or look for other employment.

Video recommendation for the week:

Effective leaders know they have to let go of their BUTs and lead. Here are five characteristics real leaders I worked with exhibited. And I very seldom witnessed them clinging to their BUTs.


Which BUTs are affecting your life, your organization, your progress, and your dreams?  What can you do about that today?

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

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(Issue #528) Writer’s Block? Probably Not.


There have been days when I felt like I could not even
write out a grocery shopping list.

Inspired this week by Anne Lamott. One a quote. And one a book chapter.

First the chapter from her work Bird by Bird. For writers looking for tips, strategies, and excuse busters from a writing pro, check out this book. I’ve read it a few times and refer to it often.

We’ve all heard of writer’s block. The so-called wall that keeps us from getting anything on the paper. You sit at the keyboard or with pen in hand…and…nothing comes. Or say you tell yourself. You beat yourself up. Or worse, you quit the project.

Writer’s block can come due to exhaustion, perfectionism, lack of discipline, fear, or  insecurity.  It might be due to the belief that meaningful words should magically flow from your mind to your fingertips. If they don’t, then, you reason, you must be flawed and need to put away your quill for good.

Lamott writes about awful first drafts and the need—the importance—to get something on paper despite how pathetic it may look and sound to you.  I have found this a sound strategy with my most-recent project.  With the exception of my last book, I have written textbooks for students or facilitation books for professional and community development. Now I have moved (wandered?) into a writing arena that requires a much different skill set.

There have been days when I felt like I could not even write out a grocery shopping list. Nothing flows. The easy thing to do? Quit.  Lamott reminds us that “almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”

In other words, don’t let the voice in your ear deter you.  Keep moving. Get something down. And then revise. And learn. And continue. If you don’t, that great novel, song, poem, community initiative, or home renovation plan may never take hold. Ever. Lost for fear.

And that brings me to the Lamott quote:

“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written, or you didn’t go swimming in those warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”

In deed.


Video Recommendations for the Week

A short video clip where Lamott speaks to the need to be consistent and push through.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

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(Issue #527) 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—

An American journalist observed that “a critic is one who walks down the hill, after the battle is over, and shoots the wounded.”

If you spend any time on social media, watching the “news,” or attending community gatherings (in person or virtually), you have witnessed your share of critics and their volleys. Some attempt to educate; some to pontificate; some to initiate; and, still others, to irritate.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli. ©2019

Perhaps you have seen some of the posts that say something to the effect of, “If you ever wondered what you might have done during slavery, the Holocaust, [fill in the blank], you’re doing it now.”

One writer judged (criticized?) these “exhortations” this way,

…I’m almost certain such exhortations make people less likely to take constructive action. It’s the sort of message that makes you feel as if the only response to a crisis … is to quit your job and dedicate your life, and life savings, to the cause. Or at least to spend all of your free time on it. Suddenly, whatever little thing you might have actually done – a small donation here, a protest march or petition-signing there – seems so pathetic as to be worthless. So you end up doing less, in response to a serious situation, than if you hadn’t been persuaded it was so serious.

A more useful message, though it lacks the drama of the original, would be to “choose the right counterfactual”. In other words, compare your actions with what you otherwise might have done – not some ideal world in which you became Mahatma Gandhi. If the real choice is between a small action and nothing, that small action is far from pathetic….Ask what you might have done today, if this issue had never arisen. And then make sure you do at least a little more than that.

What or where is your counterfactual? That is, rather than comparing your actions to someone else’s idealized version of what “should” be done, where and how can you make a difference?


Video Recommendations for the Week

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

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(Issue #526) Grateful For …


I had to stop this week and remind myself….

Do a Google search for “how the pandemic has change our lives” and you will come up with more than 143 million hits.  It’s become cliché to speak about the “new normal.” Here in June, we long for what we might have considered mundane back in March.

We miss what was and no longer is.

Life has changed, and will continue to do so, on many levels.  (Another cliché.)

We read about and view scenes of what “reopening” looks like. Some encouraging signs. Many not so.

And with people hurting from the challenges associated with unemployment, housing, healthcare, discrimination, indifference, and more, it can become disingenuous to say, “consider all you have to be grateful for.” Almost dismissive.

But…

…I had to stop this week and remind myself of the people, places, events, and insights for which I am grateful. Those things that remind me that I am fortunate. I had to (and will have to continue to) remind myself. I offer the following list as one that has worked for me. It may not for you. It does not dismiss the experiences of those who hurt at a much deeper level than I do. The list is incomplete. It, however, is a reminder for me to stop and consider that I am grateful for:

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

  • My wife
  • My canine companion
  • Friends
  • Where I live
  • The Source that makes all things possible
  • Sunrises
  • Former students who have become my teachers
  • People who have spoken up about and acted on injustices
  • Health
  • The community service projects I get to do
  • My writing time
  • Exercise in our “Garnasium” (that is, the “garage” that holds our “gymnasium.” 😊)
  • Biking around my community
  • Civility
  • Respect
  • Teachers
  • The first responders who perform service for the entire community
  • Caring neighbors
  • Healthy food and drink
  • Meditation time
  • Experiences past
  • Experiences to come
  • Community builders
  • People who listen
  • The beach
  • The park
  • Choice
  • Today
  • Yesterday
  • Tomorrow

Video Recommendations for the Week

Remember and Hope.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

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(Issue #525) Ethical Wills


Connect generations to come by sharing questions,
messages, challenges, accomplishments, connections, and experiences.
Continue reading

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

(Issue #524) 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?


Video Recommendation for the Week

Bob Dylan’s prescient words (recorded in 1963; released in 1964) included:

“…And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin‘”


Every week I end my blog post with the suggestion to “Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.” A reminder to stop, pause, and recalibrate your journey.

I first introduced the HTRB (Hit The Reset Button) concept on this blog in October of 2011. A student of mine that semester inspired the writing.

Fast forward almost nine years, and our world finds us in situations unimagined just a few months ago.  From a world-wide pandemic to global demonstrations and protests, we live in a time that seems to have turned all that was “normal routine” on its head.  And with each passing day, we understand changes will come our way that end “the way we used to do things around here.”

While hitting the reset button has merit, we may need to reset our view of what reset means.

For instance, the local coffee shop I visit used to have straws, stirrers, napkins, and sugar packets sitting by the coffee spigots. Today all of those items are behind the counter and have to be handed to each customer by a cashier.  As this business has reopened (reset for customers to come into the building), the straws et. al. will not move back to their previous locations.  Reset in this instance means moving to a new position—a new normal as has become the go-to lingo.  In the grand scheme of things, a tiny adjustment. Still, a reset of the reset.

Also consider things like: Will we go back to touch screens as we know them in public locations? Will our local grocery store chain reset to a time when plexiglass did not separate the customer from the cashier?  Will we go back to handshakes when greeting people?

And look at the depth, scope, and magnitude of the “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations.  Do you think our society (local and global) will go back (reset) to the day before the protests and move forward? Or do you think this reset will be a complete upheaval of what had been accepted and expected practices?

Will the reset, in this case, mean a complete redesign of societal institutions? In what ways will our interactions reset themselves? How will the nation reset? Where is the button located, who does the pushing, and what role do the rest of his have in the eventual resetting?

Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

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

(Issue #523) Giving, Receiving, and Gratitude


It could change the world for one person.

 With all the dislocations and dysfunctions the pandemic has wrought, aren’t you encouraged and energized by the acts of graciousness you have read about or witnessed?

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Like the pizza maker sending 300+ pizzas per day to healthcare workers in New York. And that act of giving led to the owner receiving help from his landlord.

Like pen pals that have befriended residents in nursing/retirement/assisted-living homes. A similar program exists in the Community Hospice (Jacksonville, Florida) for which Roxie and I volunteer.

And like the Puppuccino Man.

In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra speaks about the “dynamic exchange” of giving and receiving.

The best way to put the LAW OF GIVING into operation—to start the whole process of circulation—is to make a decision that any time you come into contact with anyone, you will give them something…a flower, a compliment, or a prayer. In fact, the most powerful forms of giving are non-material…When you meet someone, you can silently send them a blessing…. (p. 33)

We do not (or, at least, should not) give in order to receive. We do so to circulate joy.  Leo Buscaglia said something to the effect that if you give a gift expecting a return, then what you really gave was a loan.

Small acts of kindness and assistance can have a bigger impact than we know in another person’s life.

“Helping one person may not change the world,
but it could change the world for that one person.”
(attribution unknown)

And it could change the world of the one giving as well.

Photo ©Steve Piscitelli. 2019


Video Recommendation for the Week

The cycle of giving, receiving, and gratitude.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

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

(Issue #522) Reflecting. Learning. Appreciating.


And just like that, 2010 flew by. And so did 2011, 2012…2019….

On May 31, 2010, I ventured into the blogosphere. 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.

Ten years of weekly blogging later, it has been a permanent part of my life. Regardless of “situations,” the posts have appeared every Sunday since that first offering in 2010.

While most of my context has involved the learning and teaching dynamic, each post has addressed the theme of growth and resilience. Positive and uplifting thought provokers. At least that has been my goal.

As I looked back through a few of those posts, I noted weak signals for what was to come. Or, I should say, what has arrived.  Take my first post (Issue #1. “Social Media: Know When and How to Use It.” Inspired by a program I had co-facilitated in Austin, Texas, I smile now reading two of the points I made then:

*People are interested in SKYPE. The ability to video conference (two people) computer to computer for FREE and with good quality is attractive.  Audio conferencing with more than twenty people at a time is also available. One participant yesterday was excited about the prospect of using this technology to connect with students on various campuses.

 **Social media is not a fad. It is not going away.  We should do what we can to help shape the discussion about appropriate uses of the technology for teaching and learning.  This is important for the classroom and the boardroom.

Like so many weak signals, the observations seem obvious now.

Issue #400 (“Do We Live in as Post-Fact World”) asked the readers to

…remember the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?”

Have we evolved/devolved to a time when the question to ponder has become, “If a fact is offered and no one ‘likes’ it, is it a fact?”  How do we combat this? Can we combat this? How do we train and coach teachers to do this so their students live in a truth-based world?

Indeed.

As I move into the 11th year of The Growth and Resilience Network® Blog, I ask that we all take a moment and contemplate milestones and what they have meant to our lives—and what they will mean. Here is what I wrote in Issue #100 (“Milestones: Endpoints or Checkpoints”):

For me, milestones remind me of the possibilities in life.  They ARE those markers (like mile markers on the highway) that guide us.  They are something to shoot for. But they are not the end of the journey.  Key West may appear to be the end with mile marker “0”.  All that means is that we can adjust course and head east…or hop on a boat and continue west to Ft. Jefferson.  Mile markers mark the progress along the journey.  They are not the end of the line.

Where is your next mile marker…and the next…and the next…?

Thank you for reading, commenting on, and sharing my blog posts over the years. I appreciate your company on the journey. On to the next mile marker…and the next…and the next.


Video Recommendation for the Week

One quick look at the year 2010 and some of its milestones.  As the video shares: “and just like that, 2010 flew by.”

And so did 2011, 2012…2019….

Appreciate every moment.


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

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

(Issue #521) 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.

First, the sunrise.

I have found the best time to view sunrise on the beach comes about fifteen or twenty minutes before the sun pops out of the water. That is when nature’s spotlight of orange, pink, and yellow tints streaks across the sky. Intense and vibrant.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Add clouds to the mix, and the textures magnify the spectacle. Whether Cirrus, Stratus, or Cumulus, they add drama and beauty to the scene.  Combined with the sun’s colors, nature provides a fabric we can almost feel.  The clouds add to the story.  Rather than distracting, they provide more context for the hours ahead.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli

Now for the news.

Last week, I saw a piece on the news (read about it, too) about airline passengers, masks, and seating assignments.  The piece showed overcrowding (read: no social distancing) and inconsistent mask usage. The reporter helped paint a dire picture with words.

These were the clouds if you would allow the metaphor.

Even with the dramatic decrease in airline flights due to the pandemic, I wondered how representative this news was of flights in general.  Maybe it was. Maybe not.

I do not know how many flights flew in the country that day.  Maybe I missed the stories about the flights that had a better experience for its passengers. But we did not get those rays of sunshine.

The highlighted flights do have lessons to which we need to pay attention. So do the flights that have no or minimal incidents.

Why concentrate (solely) on the clouds? Why not take in more of the view and see the bright spots?

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.

And there are those amongst us who embrace both.

Photo by Steve Piscitelli


Video Recommendation for the Week

I shot this video on a sunrise ocean kayak paddle in Atlantic Beach, Florida.  Take it all in. The blue sky, colors, clouds, reflections, and the water. Oh, and don’t miss the pod of dolphins just off my bow. I would have missed them if all I did was focus on the clouds (or colors, or reflections).


Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.

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

Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.

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

In the meantime, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

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

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

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

©2020. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

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