College Bound

1, SF_52WeeksOfWisdom_FINAL COVER_022215, front_edited-1, squareFarrell_Don'tActLikePrey_FULLCOVER_FINAL_090714, cropped_edited-1Are there any women in your life that are going to college this fall?  Someone who has graduated from high school and is starting the next phase of her education?  Someone who has been in the “real world” for awhile and has decided that a college degree is what she needs to accomplish her career goals?  Someone who is going back to college for an advanced degree?

If so, my books would be great gifts to let them know you are thinking of them, as well as assisting them in meeting their goals through self reflection.

Don’t Act Like Prey! A Guide to Self Leadership for Women uses stories and metaphors to discuss the costs of being passive, the costs of being aggressive, the benefits of being assertive, and how to find the delicate balance of assertiveness.

52 Weeks of Wisdom, A Guide to Self Leadership for Women provides 52 short stories to encourage the reader to think about what she does, why she does it, and does she want to change.

For additional information, and to order from your preferred supplier in your preferred format, go to SusanLFarrell.com.

Show What You Know

dreamstimefree_2404805My husband and I went to a baseball game recently.  Listening to the National Anthem brought back a memory from grade school.  The experience turned out to be one that probably shaped my life more than I thought.

I was in 5th or 6th grade.  The teacher gave us an assignment for the next day:  learn “The Star Spangled Banner.”  I was more than a little concerned—that’s four long verses!  When I got home and told Mom, she told me I’d better start working on it.  After supper, she helped me.  By the time I went to bed, I had the entire anthem memorized.  I didn’t really understand all of it, but I had the words memorized, and in the right order.

At school the next day, the teacher called on my classmates to recite the song.  One by one they went to the front of the class and recited anywhere from a few words to a few lines.  A couple may have recited the first verse.  That was it!

I remember wondering what I should do.  I knew the entire anthem.  That was the assignment and so that’s what I did.  Part of me thought I should stand up and demonstrate what I had done and what I knew.

But part of me wanted to belong.  I didn’t want to stand out from everyone.  I didn’t want to be different.  It would be easy to recite less than what I knew—maybe one verse.  That would be a good compromise, wouldn’t it?  Demonstrate some of my knowledge while not being too different.

I still hadn’t decided what to do when the teacher called my name.  As I was walking to the front of the class, though, I decided to do it.  I had spent the entire evening learning it, Mom had spent time helping me, why shouldn’t I show what I knew?

When I finished all four verses, there was a brief silence (and I thought, “Oh no!  What did I do?!”) and then wild clapping.

My classmates didn’t care that I learned more than they did.  They weren’t going to shun me for that.  It was all good!

I think it is good to show what we know.  If we don’t, no one will know except us.  And others need to know if we are going to succeed.  I have since learned that it’s important to be respectful, to use a certain amount of courteousness and tact at times, but don’t be afraid to show what you know.

Don’t be a Princess

dreamstime_xs_57704287, resizedI really dislike all the princess “stuff” that surrounds us.  Maybe it is just me and the way I interpret things.  To me, a “princess” is someone without power, someone who is dependent upon others, someone who waits around to be rescued.  Ugh!

I think what we should work toward is to be a queen (or empress, monarch, tsarina, whatever term you like) and rule our life.

We have power over our life, we have control over our life, so long as we accept that we are responsible for ourselves and our life.  No one can take our power away from us, but we can give it away.  And too often we do.

Which do you want to be?  A princess or a queen?  How do you live your life, as a princess or a queen?  And what do you promote with your daughters, granddaughters, nieces and other girls in your life?

Avoid the Error Chain

Avoid the Error Chain (Video Link)

dreamstime_xs_55390819“Error chain” is an aviation term. It is a term to describe a series of mistakes that can lead to an accident or incident. There are two basic principles. The first is that one bad decision often leads to another. The second is that as the number of bad decisions increase, the number of good options decrease.

Although the aeronautical intent is to break the error chain before it can cause an accident or incident, it is a concept that we can all use in our professional and personal lives.

How many times have we made a bad decision? How often has that led to more bad decisions? Of course, the more bad decisions we make, the more difficult it is to resolve the situation.

An interesting aspect of the error chain is why do we keep making bad decisions? Do we recognize that we made a bad decision? If so, why do we continue to make more bad decisions? It is a matter of ego, shame, pride?

If we can stop as soon as we realize we have made a bad decision, analyze what we did and why, and make a good decision instead of another bad one, we can break our “error chain.” If we cannot seem to stop making bad decisions, then we need to determine why and address those issues.

20/20 Hindsight

20/20 Hindsight (Video)

Our vision on what we should have done is usually 20/20.  Because we know what we did and what happened because of it, we know what we should have done.

We cannot change what has already happened.  However, how often do we use the lessons learned when similar situations occur?

If we apply what we learned from 20/20 hindsight, we can greatly improve our vision of current situations.  Better vision leads to better decisions.