Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 12.10 – Ce M’est A Vis

: I am all too aware of the irony of what I am about to say. That’s especially so, since I’ve made a career of offering advice and counsel on all kinds of issues – from time and organization, through stress and balance, to encouragement and appreciation. And, since I regularly hear from readers and clients how highly those ideas are valued, I have every intention of continuing.

Still, here’s the thing. There are days when I find I’ve had it with advice! It’s not so much the offering of advice – although there are times when I do grow tired of listening to myself talk or write. It’s more the seeming streaming nonstop nature of external advice that swirls and flows around me. Some days I experience that more as bombardment and less as encouragement.

It’s an interesting state of affairs for someone who likes words and loves ideas. But, I find there are days when I literally want to shout, “Enough Already!”

Facebook posts run rampant with recycled wisdom in the form of ‘words to live by’ and in the jazzed up form of quotes turned mini-posters. On quote-heavy days, a quick scan of the FB News Feed leaves me with ‘motivational whiplash’.

Newstands and magazines overflow with how-to, where-to, and why-to cautions and admonishments.

Our local paper even features a quote of the day as part of the header on the Obituary page. That seems just a bit too late in the game to qualify as a word to the wise.

I recently found myself chuckling heartily when I heard Kellogg School of Management professor, Harry Kramer, observe, “I have virtually no answers, but I have many, many opinions.” (Yep – another quote!)

Wordsmith that I am, I had to look up the source of the words: advice and advise. Turns out they spring from an Old French phrase, Ce m’est a vis (translation: It seems to me) or Latin phrase, Mi est visum (translation: In my view).

Perhaps this suggests the simple step of giving our own thoughts and views – at the very least – equal time.


ACTION: I don’t know if you ever experience advisory overload, or if you do, how you handle it; but, for what it’s worth, here’s my strategy.

I turn down the volume on the inbound flow. Then I crank up the connection to my thoughts – tuning in to my own experience and observations about the state of the world.

That gift of breathing space often brings relief – a most welcome guest in this bombarding, ‘join-the-conversation’ world we live in.


QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  Your wisdom here: …


RESOURCE OF THE WEEK:  The mind and the heart you carry with you every single day.


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Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines

9 Responses to “PAUSE – 12.10 – Ce M’est A Vis”

  1. Lynette Jordan

    Wow Pat, Talk about synchronicity!! I have just posted a note on my Facebook page covering a very similar topic, just from a more personal perspective. Maybe you’d like to check it out:

    And I love the origin of the words advice and advise. They are VERY interesting. 🙂

    Thank you for a great message once again.

  2. Pat Katz

    I just popped over and read your posting about your experience trying to support your Mom and the insights you came to about the limits of ‘knowing what’s best for others’. What a helpful recount of a challenging experience. I encourage the Pause Blog readers to check it out.
    Warmly, Pat

  3. Ahmed Shalabi

    Original thought based on Orwell:

    “Those who control the present, control the past. Those who control the past, control the future.”

    Isn’t Facebook, the Media, Information, ideas, thoughts …just a way to control the present?

  4. Linda Clark

    I live by my quotes and quips. Facebook bombardment is another story however. Simply don’t need a minute by minute ‘status’ report on what my friends are doing. There is enough of my own ‘stuff’ in my head without the input from Facebook
    It really is just the simple things that make life a joy! PICK UP THE PHONE, SEND A HANDWRITTEN NOTE, STOP BY FOR A FRIENDLY HUG AND CHAT!

  5. Pat Katz

    HI Linda
    I love your comment, ‘There is enough of my own stuff in my head’! So true!
    Warmly, Pat

  6. Bobby-Jo

    What a timely reflection: I just returned to work from a conference that while enlightening and worthwhile, has left me overwhelmed with too many opinions, too much advice. I awoke this morning feeling inadequate, and somewhat incompetent. Your words – were just what I needed to hear – so my thanks.

  7. Pat Katz

    HI Bobby-Jo
    I often have this same kind of experience when I attend US and Cdn Speakers’ Conferences. As helpful as it sometimes is to hear about other people’s strategies and accomplishments, it can lead to an overwhelming feeling of ‘not enough-ness’.

    Made me think of the comment I received this morning from Jackie, another Pause reader who wrote: “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.” Love her choice of words.

    Good luck as you step back to consider what fits for you.

    All the best, Pat

  8. Kathy Lynn

    I love this blog. I have taken to ignoring all the poster comments.
    Too obvious and sucky for one such as I.
    I put out a recent blog about being silly with your kids and it has received more readers than any advice column I have ever written.

  9. Pat Katz

    HI Kathy:
    How interesting that the post on ‘being silly with your kids’ was so popular with your readers. Why do you think that was?

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