How to Not Complain: 11 Tips for Staying Positive

1. Realize that work, pain and frustration are not a curse, though our attitudes can be.

2. Wear yellow.

3. Compliment liberally, criticize minimally. (Tweet this positivity!)

4. For every negative thing that’s said to you by the “Debby Downer” types, immediately turn it around to the positive.

DD: Oh well. Looks like rain today!

You: Rain is so beautiful! Don’t you love it?

DD: No.

You: Did you know your body is made up of two-thirds water? You are rain!

DD: *walks away thinking you are weird because you’re so positive*

5. Hide the friend on Facebook whose updates start with “ugh” or “rant warning” or anything that resembles something Eeyore would say.


6. Create something–give it away. Continue reading “How to Not Complain: 11 Tips for Staying Positive”

How to Cure People Pleasing

Michelle Brea via Compfight

Sometimes I’m a people-pleaser. I think many artists are bent in that general direction.

As artists, we often want applause, recognition or just the satisfaction of knowing we’ve made a difference. None of those things are innately wrong…until they become an obsession.

I know I can be overzealous at times.

I want to be wanted.

I like to be liked.

And I pretend it doesn’t matter to me if someone doesn’t like me–but it does matter.

Why? Because making people happy makes me happy–that’s why I love humor–that’s why I love entertaining, writing and any type of creating that changes something in someone.

Laugh it Up

So how do we fix a people-pleasing mentality?

I don’t know, but the only thing I can suggest is a bit of humor for tempering.

In that light, I present to you three miserable attempts at people pleasing, compliments of my dayjob…

1. Refuse to call people by their actual, real-life names.

There’s someone at work who’s name I got wrong when I first met her. She gave me a look as if to say “and you’re our PR Manager?”Look well deserved.

I called her the wrong name again this past week–and I’ve known her for about six months now. Impressive? Prolly not? Continue reading “How to Cure People Pleasing”

The Company You Keep

[box options]Today’s post is a guest post by Haiku Kwon. Haiku is a traveler, foodie, writer, and wanna-do-everythinger. You can follow her journey of starting all over again on her blog, Life’s a risk… and I’m all in. She would love to make a new friend on Facebook.[/box]

Take a look at your friends. No, really–not just a cursory review, but an in-depth assessment of their character, integrity, passion, and motivation. Do you feel inspired and energized after spending time with them, or do you feel drained and frustrated? Continue reading “The Company You Keep”

Honor: Pass it On

Happy Memorial Day! We’ve so much to be thankful for, don’t we?

Granted, some of you are reading this post outside of the American boarders yet we all have one things in common: honor.

The following video was created by my pastor’s son Brandon Hess. He excellently communicates honor with pictures, music, and story. I know you’ll enjoy it.     [box options]Share the honor by sharing this video by clicking one of the share options to the left. Happy Memorial Day![/box]

remembrance part 2:  eternal thanks to those who served
Jack via Compfight


Introverts: Creative Quiets

I masquerade as an extrovert.

But it’s just an act, a role played in pretend-land. Sooner or later, I’ll need to cocoon myself away for a bit to enjoy some silence.

I don’t think I’m alone, am I? Many creatives are introverts, preferring fewer words, fewer friends, and fewer parties.

Extroverts: we marvel at you. We marvel at your abilities to mingle at gatherings. We stand (preferably silently sequestered) amazed at your bombastic, never-ending ability to communicate with your host of friends while we struggle to maintain contact with the two or three friends in our close-knit circle. We’re jealous of your confidence in social situations.

Continue reading “Introverts: Creative Quiets”

Very Much Muchness

I’ve got a problem.

You probably have the same problem.

We all enjoy this… together.

Wait, what? Sorry. Did my phone just buzz?

It’s not so much a problem as it is an abundance. The very muchness of it all.

I need to message them.

I can remember spending hours at a game table laughing and talking. Monopoly marathons lasting weeks. Just sitting on the neighbor’s porch, wheelin’, dealin’ and talking.

I haven’t updated my Facebook status. Continue reading “Very Much Muchness”

Nontroversy: Let Your Words Be Few


+It’s when the news makes a big deal out of stuff that’s not really a big deal but they make it seem like a big deal. What’s the word for that?


(For more nontroversy visit John Ridley’s Top Nontroversies of 2011 article on NPR).


Communicating succinctly, whether in speech or in writing, is paramount. If our listeners/viewers must wade through superfluous wordiness (wordiness intended) to decode the intent of our words, we’ve lost our audience. To accomplish to-the-point-speech (could’ve used the word ‘succinct’ again, but that would be pedantic) we have to make up a few words which don’t exist.

The list that follows is by no means exhaustive. Share your own word shortcuts in the comments for us all to benefit…

Continue reading “Nontroversy: Let Your Words Be Few”

Writer Has Sore Throat, Loses Voice in Social Media Frenzy

I was performing at a theater. Acting. Costumes. Makeup. The whole nine yards. Livin’ the dream and getting paid to do it. Unfortunately, the toll of doing multiple shows a week did not agree with my vocal folds.They wanted a voice rest vacation.

The ear, nose, and throat doctor-guy informed my talking parts that they got to get the vacation they wanted: two weeks of no talking while they rested and I learned to communicate with no phonation. It was odd being at the checkout in Wal-Mart, trying to communicate with the cashier that (using gestures and read-my-lips word-mouthing) “I’m not talking.” Like an English-speaking American in a foreign land, I was treated like a non-native right there in my local Wal-Mart. She proceeded to talk louder and slower, assuming I was deaf or didn’t speak Wal-Mart-ese.

As creatives, haven’t we all been there?

We’re standing at the checkout line in life with insights and ideas we want to share, yet we can’t seem to find our voice. We stumble around, make a few mistakes, and start to feel emotionally flooded. We don’t often know how to get our creations into the world.

Do I blog? Should I tweet more? What about making a video? I gotta get an agent…

Welcome to the land of Overwhelmed. Overwhelmed-land takes us on a journey similar to a roller coaster ride: quick thrills, getting nowhere, back to where we began, no real progress.

Too many choices often leads to no choice at all. I think the glory of all this social media stuff is that we have multiple ways to express our ideas, rants, and opinions. At times, our intense desire to express them amounts to sitting in front of a television as one show bleeds into another; we watch other people’s handiwork rather than creating our own.

If you’re reading this, you are a creative. You have something to express. The only way to so it is to dive in. Right now.

Make all the mistakes you want. And keep making them. Maybe your blog posts will stink. Maybe your next ten auditions will get you nothing but rejection. Maybe your painting will never be in a gallery.

But what if your writing didn’t stink, you got the job, and your art changed how someone saw the world? What if you moved forward? What if you got off that roller coaster and took a step in a new direction? What if your movement created momentum?

“Half of the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.” Thank you Mr. Robert Frost.

You and I have a voice. Even if we don’t know how to fully use it… yet.

What do you have to share with someone today? How are you going to express it?

The sky is not the limit.


Two Sides of the Communication Coin

 “After all is said and done, more is said than done.” Well said Mr. Aesop Fables.

OK, so here’s the big secret. . .

I do not enjoy talking.

If you’re with me, stand up and say . . . nothing! Yeah, you know who you are. You’re the person at a party who does a lot of listening. How do they know us? By ‘they’ I mean the people who see us as walking ears.

Problem #1: I majored in speech communications and vocal music.

Problem #2: Virtually everything I have done in the ‘make a buck’ compartment of my life has had something to do with speaking.

Although I don’t love talking, I love communicating. Big difference between mere chatter and actual communication.

I love seeing that moment of connection when mutual understanding, energy, and clarity takes preeminence over just the sound of rambling words. Communicators, like myself, may not love to talk, but we do love to convey ideas, plant seeds, and foster freedom that brings a change in someone else. We also love sharing mutually in a gentle tennis match of ideation, synergy, and positive consequence.

True communication. True connection.