Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in October, 2017

I still have the email. It’s been years since a highly placed corporate boss, who had the reputation and approach that things were never quite good enough, sent it to me. He was long on critique and revisions; short on acknowledgement and appreciation.

Anyone else reading his message would deem it ordinary. No flowery words, no glowing adjectives, no verbose flattery or deliberate feel-good rhetoric. It was written in a matter-of-fact, straight-to-the-point style that took three sentences.

Yet its mark was indelible. Not because his appreciation was infrequent, but because it was genuine. While it was an out of the ordinary contribution he acknowledged, the message didn’t come in a signature-pen form letter “from” him via HR, nor was it composed and sent by an executive assistant. It came from him. He took the time to notice, comment, and engage. That simple email reconfirmed my commitment and spurred my enthusiasm.

It doesn’t take much to let someone know they’re valued. So why it is that so few people take the time to do it?

According to an online survey, (continue reading →)

Leadership, Trust Inc, Winning at Working 

I’m a colleague of Nan’s. I sometimes post on Current Musings about work, life and the blending of the two. Last week I found myself driving the winding back roads on the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania. It was that unique time of day when the moon is descending and the sun is rising. It felt eerie and tranquil at the same time. As I pulled into a local diner for breakfast, I saw a few groups of men having coffee through the window. I opened the door and was greeted with “Good Morning what’ll you have, coffee is hot.” In the next hour, I was reminded again and again of the benefits of living in the present. I guess you could say I had one of those ‘ahah’ moments.

So, here are a few of my favorite reminders of how to live in the moment:

  • Think of time for what it is – a human concept. The watch on your wrist and the clock on the wall mean nothing to Mother Nature. To her, life is one evolving moment – a perpetual cycle of interdependent impermanence.
  • Pay attention to the small things – notice the world around you. Be thankful for the small things like eating ice cream, listening to music, or realizing you have more time to sleep.
  • Smile – look in the mirror and smile; it can influence how you feel. It will make you happier and help you appreciate the moment.
  • Perform random acts of kindness – selfless acts that help others. One of the easiest lessons for how to live in the moment is to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return.
  • Give thanks – Be thankful. Every now and then take stock of just how good you have it. Express your gratitude in the moment when you feel it.
  • Don’t worry – much harder to do than it sounds. Worrying today won’t change what happens tomorrow. Every second you spend in worry about the future is a second of the present wasted.

With the constant 24/7 noise bombarding us, sometimes we become weary and distracted without knowing it.  Reminders are a great way to get unstuck and moving in the right direction. Whatever that is for you. I know I needed one that morning!

Until next time take good care and be safe out there.




My goal when traveling is to travel light. But less than half the time I achieve that goal. Despite or maybe because of a strong planning tendency, I’m frequently faced with piles of “absolutely-needed” or “just-in-case” stuff that even my spatially-challenged mind knows won’t fit into a medium suitcase. Wading through the items to determine what goes and stays yields a better outcome. But rarely does it eliminate taking more than I need.

Packing amnesia sets in as I forget how encumbered I feel in the actual traveling part. That’s what happened recently on our Ireland vacation. My barely-able-to-close medium suitcase became an annoying daily struggle to find things, repack, and maneuver. All the stuff I brought felt physically and emotionally weighty and confining.

I’ve come to realize life is a lot like my packing. Despite good intentions and self-reflection, (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things, Life