Tag Archives: thoughts and ideas

A Thought for Thursday

A question to ask ourselves…

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May we all be COFFEE!!

This was sent to me by a friend and I had to share it with all of you.  It’s a great story to remind us that we can choose our response to the things that happen in our lives.  So choose wisely!


Filed under Change Management, Quotes

Leadership Articles

Today I want to share some of the interesting articles I have been reading on leadership topics.  Enjoy!

  • 10 Strategies for Building Confidence in Others at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/.  This is a great summary of things a leader can do to build their team member’s confidence.  I’m going to put Joel Garfinkle’s book “Getting Ahead” on my reading list.

What articles have you read recently that have contributed to your leadership learning?

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Filed under Leadership

Interesting Articles

I thought I would share some articles that I’ve read recently that I found thought provoking about productivity and working effectively.

Safety: The most important uncluttering and organizing standard:  (From unclutterer.com)  I loved the reminder that there is an important side effect to having an unorganized work area either at work or at home.

6 Tips to Get More Time on Your Side:  (From Stepcase Lifehack)  The idea of checking email less often is a big tool that I’ve used to help others get control of their day.  Personally, I have gotten back into the habit of planning my day the night before so I hit the ground running right away.  It’s helped me get back on track and increased my productivity.

10 Questions That Will Improve Results in Any Area:  (From Stepcase Lifehack)  Getting clarity on why and what you are doing is a key to improving performance.  Really enjoyed all these questions and will make sure they are part of my regular planning process.

Are you planting ‘temporary tree’ solutions?:  (From The Organized Executive’s Blog) How often have you been involved in getting something in place to fix a problem that then failed in the long haul?  This is a fantastic look at why temporary fixes have a place yet have a built in failure point.  I can totally relate to the analogy because I had a Bradford Pear fall down due to high wind.

The Slippery Slope of Non-Productivity:  (From simpleproductivityblog)  This was a great reminder of what to do to stop the slide into procrastination and how to keep away from the edge of the slope.

Five Leadership Lessons From James T. Kirk:  This was a fun look at leadership using an iconic character that many people in the U.S. know from TV.   Good points on what it takes to be an effective leader.  His style may not be yours; however, he did get things done so you can learn from him.

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Filed under Time Management

Articles That Inspired

Here a few articles that I’ve read lately that really hit home for me in terms of managing productivity.  I wanted to share some of these inspiring tips.

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Time Management Today:  The first item on this list is something I do with my current task list and push my teenagers to do.  http://daytimer.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/5-simple-ways-to-improve-your-time-management-today

3 Habits that Will Destroy Your Productivity:  I am so guilty of all of these and this was a great reminder to keep these in check.  http://www.simpleproductivityblog.com/3-habits-that-will-destroy-your-productivity

5 Productivity Habits to Rock Your World:  I love these and have just started really tackling the filing in my home office.  As I’m working from home now I have to get it under control.  There’s still room for improvement, but progress is being made.  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/5-productivity-habits-to-rock-your-world.html

A Little Homework Might Help You Reach Your Objectives:  This is a great list of the steps to project planning and getting things started in a productive way.  http://unclutterer.com/2012/02/13/a-little-homework-might-help-you-reach-your-objectives

The Right NO:  This is something I’ve preached for years and have endeavored to teach others.  Overcommitting is a huge drain on productivity and your sanity.  http://theorganizedexecutiveblog.com/2012/02/09/the-right-no

Where do you find inspiration that helps you stay focused and on track?


Filed under Time Management

Hello and Welcome!

Hi there!  I’ve started this blog as a way to organize my thoughts and ideas on personal productivity and effectiveness.  As 2012 starts I am facing a year of change and challenges and have recognized that I’ve lost touch with the things I’ve learned over 20+ years of working and managing a household.  With everything going on in my world I need to get myself back on track and decided to use this forum to help me focus and fine tune the things I’ve learned.

A bit of background on me:  I’m a wife of 25 years and a mother of two teenage boys.  My husband and oldest son both have different aspects of ADHD.  My husband is adult ADD with inattentive challenges and my son is challenged with some inattentive and more impulsivity control issues.  This means it’s up to me to create the structure and organization needed to keep our house on track and calm.  Additionally, I spent 15 years as a process engineer in various manufacturing environments before moving on to supervision, then onto training and development.  Much of my time in all of those roles was dedicated to helping others learn to produce a better product, be more efficient in their jobs and learn skills to advance their careers.  Helping others manage their work better has always been the most rewarding part of my job and is where I am dedicating my efforts moving forward.

As I embark on a journey to create a more productive and creative environment in my life I hope that you will find tips, tools or techniques that will help you become more productive, more creative, and less stressed in your own life.

Please share with me your thoughts and experiences.  Each of us has a unique perspective on life and we can learn so much from embracing new ideas.

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