Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in April, 2014

Risk Taking – 3 Thought-Provoking Questions

As a colleague of Nan’s, I frequently post here when things grab my attention about today’s workplace and sometimes, life.  A few weeks ago, I escaped the last of this cold winter and visited some family in Florida. While there, I found myself in the pool and happened to overhear a conversation between two older gentlemen about one of their sons. The son recently resigned from a very good job. His father said, “I don’t what being ‘happy’ has to do with his job. You and I worked our entire lives for our family; put a roof over our families’ heads and food on the table. We never thought of being ‘happy’ at work mattered.”

I had mixed emotions: sadness for the two men that being happy at work was something they didn’t even consider (I know times were different, this isn’t a criticism); concern for the son, who is unemployed and admiration too; he took a thoughtful risk to bring more happiness into his work life.

Mountain Biker Jumping Cliff



John Burroughs, American naturalist and essayist says, “Leap, and the net will appear. “ This is one of those messages, easy to say, challenging to do. How do you know when to take a risk and LEAP and when is the best decision to stay right where you are?

There are many considerations.  I’m going to focus on a single aspect – Does it matter?

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Hitting Your Stride 

sold-sign-home-for-sale16[1]When we built our house it was intended as an investment property. But our crystal ball didn’t foresee unexpected family bumps, and we needed to move in ourselves. “It’s temporary,” we assured each other. But, by the time we’d caught our breath and decided to list it, the housing market was crumbling.

Fast forward a decade and you’ll find us still in a house we never planned to live in. Our decision to move and simplify our lives was made long ago, but executing that decision has yet to happen. Our temporary has turned semi-permanent.

But for me, it’s a long time to be stuck in limbo. What we want to make happen and what we can make happen aren’t aligning. While we’re not alone with an “underwater” property yoke holding us down, that thought doesn’t help me get emotionally unstuck. I’ve been waiting for the next chapter called “moving” to do that; waiting for a new beginning before adding goals, refocusing priorities, and reassessing commitments.

I’m not alone. Many people put themselves in limbo, responding to life’s challenges like a DVD-pause button, putting dreams or aspirations on hold until the time is just right to push “play” again. We wait (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things 

Column21 - teaser - working from homeI don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel there’s too much work related information to sort through. This week, I’d like to narrow the field a bit for you with four items I thought might be helpful:

Things You May Have Missed, Tips