Pause Gem #24: Go Ahead…Celebrate Yourself!
August 7, 2013
Reflection & Action: When I bought myself a bunch of flowers recently, the florist asked if I wanted a gift card to go with them. I declined, saying they were just for me.
“All the more reason to add a card, ” she declared. “I always write myself a card when I buy myself flowers.”
When I asked what she wrote, she replied, “Well, it depends on the day. Sometimes it’s … Thanks for being you. Other times it’s … Wow! You’re smart and gorgeous, too!”
We shared a chuckle. I left with the flowers AND a card in hand.
It was a simple reminder of an important lesson. The florist is someone who knows how to fill her own wellspring of appreciation. With her own spirits freshly topped up, she’s in a much better position to share her good will with others.
Do you take yourself for granted way too often? (more…)
PAUSE – 13.24 – Are You Present to the Presents?
June 19, 2013
Reflection: How present are you to the everyday gifts of your everyday world? That’s what I asked myself after last week’s activities. And, on reflection, I noticed that every experience brought with it something to savor.
Tuesday’s commitment – facilitating a team retreat – took me on a trek to north-east Saskatchewan – a 3 hour drive each way. I realized as I traveled, what a treat it is to cruise through the spring greening of the crops in the country. The sun in the sky, an interview with Joni Mitchell on the radio, fresh coffee at hand…it was beyond pleasant. The gift of a road trip!
The planning committee for Wednesday’s engagement (an Art of Insight presentation for the Leadership Saskatoon Alumni) went all out to make their guests feel at home. Personal greetings at the door, rose bowls replete with flowers and paint brushes on the tables, tasty nibbles, and a very inclusive welcoming atmosphere! The gift of hospitality!
On Thursday, I joined a group of close friends and colleagues for conversation and dinner. We’ve been meeting a few times a year for a decade to support each other in our lives and businesses. We problem solve, strategize, laugh, cry, and generally lift each other’s spirits. They are GEMS, every one of them. The gift of being known and appreciated warts and all!
Friday, I facilitated another team retreat. The session design was highly interactive. I learned again that when people connect deeply to each other and commit to the focus at hand, more energy is created than consumed. The gift of engagement!
Action: Here’s this week’s challenge. (more…)
PAUSE – 13. 06 – Out In The Cold?
February 13, 2013
Reflection: With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this seems an especially timely story to share.
Our second grandson arrived on the last Saturday of January. Little Leon (named after his maternal grandfather) is a beautiful baby with a relaxed and contented way of being in this world. He’s easy to be with and (in the way of all newborn babes) easy to love. Not that I would be biased in any way!
I was lucky enough to be able to set everything aside for a week to spend time helping his new-to-parenting Mom and Dad, while getting to know the little guy, himself.
The baby’s arrival was delightedly anticipated by all – with the possible exception of grandson number one, Leon’s five year old cousin, Ethan.
When asked why he wasn’t all that excited about the arrival of the new baby, Ethan explained. Using the kitchen counter as a drawing board and his finger as a pen, he pointed to Spot #1 saying, “This is me.” As he drew a circle around Spot #1 he added, “This is all of you paying attention to me.”
“When the baby comes, he’ll be over there,” he continued, pointing out Spot #2 at the other end of the counter. Drawing a circle around Spot #2 (the new baby), Ethan predicted, “This will be all of you paying attention to him.”
And, pointing forlornly at Spot #1, he whispered, “I’ll be over here all by myself.” (more…)
28 Days … 28 Gifts
February 7, 2013
Last February’s 2012 ‘heart month’ give away (29 copies of Press Pause…Think Again in 29 days) was a real hit. This year, I’m offering another chance for you to encourage others in this very tangible way.
As February unfolds I will be giving away 28 copies of my booklet: ‘Take A Bow…67 Ways to Pause For Applause, Celebrate your Success, & Keep Your Spirits High’. These will go to people YOU want to encourage.
Here’s how it works. Think of someone in your circle of acquaintance who could use a lift or who you’d like to recognize for who they are and what they do. Email me that person’s name along with a thought or two about why you’d like to give them this gift. ( email@example.com )
Use the words, Take A Bow, in the Subject line of your email message. And, include your postal address in each entry. Include only one person in each nomination message. Enter as many times as you wish.
Each day I will draw the name of one lucky recipient from the entries received. If your nominee is chosen, I will personalize the booklet in their name and send it to you so that you can have the fun of presenting it yourself.
All entries received will be included in the draw bucket right through to the end of the month. I’m excited to be helping you help others to ‘Take A Bow’. Happy February.
PAUSE – 12.26 – Uncommon Clarity
October 10, 2012
Recognize Mr Magoo? He's the myopic old cartoon codger who could never see clearly enough to get anywhere without running into, off of, or over something or someone. I loved that guy!
Reflection: It was the fallout from the ‘too-much-ness’ of life that triggered the launch of my business those oh so many years ago. And, although time has marched on, the challenge lingers.
A central concern of many of my readers and clients is that there is still too much to do and not enough time and energy to accomplish it all. Expectations have mushroomed, the fallout is more widespread than ever, and the dust of confusion still hangs overhead.
Perhaps that’s why I felt an immediate kinship when I was introduced last week to the work of Ann Latham and her organization, Uncommon Clarity.
When it comes to dealing with overload, Latham boils it down to the essentials. In her view there are five possible responses: accomplish more, delegate, cut corners, postpone, or abandon.
Well, actually, she acknowledges a sixth possibility as well: not choosing at all. However, that option pretty much guarantees more of the same – or worse – by way of outcomes.
Action: As you tackle your load this week, pause to see if this five-part triage brings any clarity to the dust ups in your daily life.
- Is there a way to accomplish more by focusing more tightly on the task at hand, or adopting some other take on that old saw, work smarter, not harder?
- Who might be better positioned, by virtue of available time or ready skill, to take one task off your hands?
- Is there a way to streamline an action or to reduce a standard without causing significant damage to the outcome or your reputation?
- Can one or more tasks be delayed or postponed to another time – fixed or indefinite – to offer more ease in the moment without creating a crisis later on?
- Given current circumstances and resources, is it time to simply abandon a project or an idea instead of burdening yourself with the weight of another ‘would be nice, but isn’t going to happen’ expectation?
Quote Of The Week: We will get better results and live better lives if we are careful, thorough, accurate and consistent where it counts, and speedy, efficient, and satisfactory everywhere else. – Ann Latham
Resource Of The Week: For more ideas on addressing life’s overload, check out Latham’s article, The Worst Mistake You Can Make When Overloaded.
Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Take A Bow, Pause reader JR writes: I’m loving how you can also paint with words. This reminded me of the strange antics of geese this past week while volunteering at my daughter’s school field trip – which reminded me that I was volunteering! Bow taken! Merci!
P.S. – And JR’s closing, ‘merci’, reminds me that I had an inquiry this week from a reader who works with our federal government. She wanted to know if the Take A Bow booklet was also available in French. If you are part of a bilingual organization that would also be interested in a French version, please contact me. If there’s enough interest, I’m open to the idea.
Pause Readers Comment on Advice (Pause 12.10 – Ce M’est A Vis)
March 20, 2012
Last week’s meandering about the place of advice in our lives (Pause 12.10 – Ce M’Est A Vis) really struck a chord with Pause readers. Rather than try to excerpt just one comment for the Readers Write section of this week’s Pause message, I decided to provide this link that summarizes the reactions. You’ll also find a lively commentary of post-backs at the end of the Blog post for the same message.
Thanks to all who took the time to write and share their views. Special thanks to a couple of my Francophone readers who so kindly corrected my French noting that the title phrase should actually read: “C’est Mon Avis”. I’m always grateful for those who are able to fix my errors. And, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me that the Old French source (circa 1300) would have evolved to something more current.
Enjoy the read!
JR writes: Ce m’est a vis was… brilliant! Best quote and resource of the week ever! Who is more expert in advising me about my life and career than the person who created them in the first place? I find, when the ship’s taking on water, my internal muse goes mute, and I flail for a friend’s PFD rather than buoying myself up with my own truth. Thanks for this very timely reminder. (more…)
29 Days …29 Gifts
February 1, 2012
As February unfolds I will be giving away 29 copies of Press Pause…Think Again. One book a day. These books will go to people YOU want to inspire and encourage.
You probably know that February is heart month. It’s not only a time for people to tend to their physical heart health, it’s a time for us to tend to the emotional heart health of those we care about. I want to help you with that cause. Here’s how it works.
Think of someone in your circle of acquaintance who may be struggling or disheartened – someone who could use a little more balance, perspective or appreciation in their everyday life at work or at home. Email me that person’s name and postal address along with a thought or two about why they could use a lift and a gift. Put these words, 29 Gifts, in the Subject line. You can find my email address in the Contact Us area of the Pauseworks Website Home Page.
Each day I will draw the name of one lucky recipient from the entries received. When your nominee is chosen, I will mail your honoree a personalized complimentary copy of Press Pause…Think Again as a gift in your name – and let you know it’s on its way.
Send as many entries as you wish. All entries received will be included in the draw bucket right through to the end of the month.
I’m excited to be helping you help others to ‘Press Pause…Think Again’. A Happy Heartfelt February to you all.
Convention Take-Aways – Food For Thought
December 4, 2011
I just returned from several days of learning and sharing with my speaker colleagues at our annual CAPS Convention in Toronto. As with most experiences, I try to harvest the goodies before they fade into the background and life moves me ‘on to the next’.
Here are some of my take aways from this year’s conversations. Some are more specific to the entrepreneurial world of speakerdom – but many have general life application. So I thought I’d share them all.
Alan Weiss: Real wealth is discretionary time.
Bob Gray: If you want to remember something – or want others to remember – tie the idea to the whackiest, goofiest, silliest, most disconnected image possible. It confuses the brain and anchors the memory.
BG2: ‘I’m too old!’ really means ‘Leave me alone. I’m in my comfort zone.’
Mike Domritz: If you want to have more of an impact, ask people how they are going to USE the information they’ve just heard. Don’t ask how much they liked you, your information, or the presentation itself.
Donald Cooper: In reply to a question about retirement: I’m doing the best work of my life. Why would I stop?
Laura Stack: Stop trying to break through the wall. Go for the open door and the people who already want what you’re doing.
LS2: A brand is what happens in the brain of your audience.
Cheryl Cran: Want to know how your work is received by Gen Y (the millenials)? Ask one of them to critique your presentation, your writing, your materials, your website. They’ll tell you what they think.
David Gouthro: What’s your mindset? Critical or appreciative? Choose to travel your day as a Gem Collector not a Crap Detector.
Cameron Hay: We cannot afford speakers who are mediocre in front of our members. Our program is our brand.
Mark Sanborn: There are no singular solutions. We each offer a piece of the puzzle.
MS2: Success is just an early warning indicator of failure.
Sam Horn: People don’t want more information; they want epiphanies.
Hope these ideas give you a little food for thought, too.
PauseWorks Studio Art Launch On Web
November 19, 2011
After a summer decision to start marketing my artwork on the web, it’s taken a bit of searching around to find the right service. I think Fine Art America might just be it. And so, as of today, I’ve launched a new art website.
In addition to making originals available for sale directly through the artist (that would be me), it makes reproductions of the images available in all kinds of formats from greeting cards, to paper based prints (on their own or matted and framed) to reproductions on canvas and acrylic. And FAA handles the order fulfillment and delivery, so I can spend more time painting and share my work as I work.
Check out the Pat Katz – PauseWorks Studio offerings. Let me know what you think of the service – and of course, the art. I look forward to keeping in touch and sharing more of the art from the PauseWorks Studio.
What A Celebration!
September 10, 2011
On September 8, between 50 and 60 friends, family, clients and colleagues joined me in celebrating my 25th anniversary in the speaking business, the launch of my latest book (Press Pause…Think Again), and the public debut of my watercolor paintings and prints.
It was a great afternoon. It felt so good to be surrounded by all of these supporters and encouragers. I’m grateful for their presence in my life.
I’m also delighted to still be doing what I love after all these years – helping others ease their loads while building a more thoughtful and appreciative world.
I’m relieved to finally have the latest book off the press and on its way into the hands of people who are looking for a bit of relief and encouragement.
And, I’m tickled by the positive reaction to my adventures into the world of art.
I thought you might enjoy sharing in a few images from the event. You can see more photos from the day in my Facebook album. You can learn more about the new book and arrange for your very own copy by visiting the Pause Shop. Please stay tuned for upcoming bulletins on the art front.