Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things are usually never as bad as they seem at first

Have you ever just had one of those weeks? Well, what started out about a week ago as what I thought was the end of the world is looking pretty bright now.

Anyway, all my personal drama of the past week made me think of a time about 3 years ago when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I had it done in my dentist's office with local anesthetic and a good dose of "I don't care about anything" drugs. Afterward, I thought I was going to die from the swelling and pain. So, I basically crashed and had to be woken up every so often to change the ice (uh...bags of frozen veggies) that I used to keep me iced down to prevent swelling. [By the way, if you ever need ice for an injury, and haven't tried it, bags of frozen vegetables, particularly corn and peas, are fantastic for that purpose.] Anyway, at one point my sweet caretaker put a bag of blueberries on me as we’d run out of other veggies. While I slept, the juice leaked out all over the towel we had wrapped around my head. When the next wake up time came and she saw it, she thought I’d been bleeding profusely and we both about had a panic attack!

It didn't take long to figure out it was just blueberry juice, but the point is that it sure looked like I was in bad shape initially. In the end, it turned out fine. In that case, we switched back to frozen corn and I eventually stopped swelling and hurting and got over the ordeal pretty quickly.

Winston Churchill once said, "If you're going through hell, keep going." Even if your experience doesn't necessarily qualify as hell, I think it's good advice. It's sometimes hard to remember when you're in the midst of a stretch of bumpy road, but I was reminded this past week that a bumpy road doesn't last long and there are turn-offs and other roads much less bumpy ahead. (And big thanks to friends who gave my shock absorbers a boost this week!)

Sorry for the lengthy absence from posting, but I'll get back to posting more regularly in the days to come.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I stumbled across this poem by Rudyard Kipling today and it struck a chord with me so I thought I'd share it. It speaks of character and persistence and so much more.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's about the audience

I love this quote. Every time I give a presentation I hope it's obvious that I feel strongly about my subject. But the most important thing is that the audience takes away something that moves them.

While recently attending a course taught by Garr Reynolds (PresentationZen) and Nancy Duarte (Duarte Design, Slide:ology), Nancy said something that is a great corollary to the Salladay quote. She said, "You can give a great presentation or you can give a presentation that moves the world." Amen sister!