Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in February, 2016

Shield (975x1024)There’s a line in the movie Gracie that I love. Gracie is a teenager in the 70s who is competing for a spot on the boy’s high school varsity soccer team. In one scene, dejected and on the verge of giving up, her mother, played by Elizabeth Shue, tells her, “If you want to limit yourself, that’s fine. But don’t let other people do it for you.”

Most of us do an impressive job of impeding our own paths with our detrimental self-talk, minimized confidence, and self-esteem doubts without any help from naysayers. Still, too often we blame those others, not ourselves, for shrinking our dreams, aspirations, and goals. We don’t realize that sticking someone else’s critical words or limiting labels to our life potential is our choice.

It’s easier to let the people who challenge us determine our resolve; easier to relinquish our power to the boss who reviews us, believing somehow what she says we’re capable of achieving or not achieving is truth, not opinion. And it’s easier to apply societal headlines that equate money or title or possessions with personal value, than to establish what matters for our own lives.

It’s true that piercing words, harsh feedback, or demeaning critics can diminish our courage or cause us to change direction. That’s why in this age of instant messaging, anonymous blog ramblings, and self-appointed “experts,” thick skin is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to be winning at working.

In virtually every work situation you face, there will be 30 percent of people who (continue reading →)

Tips, Winning at Working 

I’m a colleague of Nan’s. I regularly post here about work, life and sometimes the blending of the two.

On average Americans work 47 hours a week. Yet, according to a recent Gallup Poll – only 32% of workers are engaged at work. Plus, to some work is an unpleasant four-letter word. We spend more than a third of our day where we aren’t engaged. So, what to do about it?

I went looking for ideas and inspiration. Here’s what I discovered from a few successful entrepreneurs and respected thinkers – the biggest index for success is – find something you believe in and love to do.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing you will be successful.”  – Albert Schweitzer

“Really getting to do what you love to do everyday–that’s really the ultimate luxury. And particularly when you get to do it with terrific people around you.” – Warren Buffet Picture-Heart2

“You have to really love and believe in what you’re doing. I think that’s the most important thing. If you start to build something … it’s hard and you encounter a lot of challenges. If you don’t completely love and believe in what you’re doing, it actually ends up being the rational thing for you to stop doing it or succumb to some of the challenges, because there will be huge challenges that you face …” – Mark Zuckerberg

“Believe in your instincts, and (continue reading →)

Tips, Today's Workplace 

handdryerTired and a bit jet lagged, I headed for the nearest ladies room after getting off the plane. As I was leaving the restroom a little girl held my attention. Perhaps three, she stood under the hand-dryer holding her hands in the air, waiting for the warm air to waft down to them.

When nothing happened, she called to her mother who was occupied with assisting a second child in washing his hands. Calling out instructions to her daughter as to where to wave her tiny hands, the little girl giggled as the warm air came, like magic.

As she pulled her hands to her sides, she stopped the wall-mounted automatic hand-dryer. When she raised and waved them again, the blowing mechanism clicked on. Gleefully laughing she again pulled her hands to her sides to make it stop. Again she started it. Again she laughed. Again she stopped it. Again she laughed.

While I may be past the age of fascination by a hand-dryer and my power to turn it on and off, I am at an age of (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things