Life is hard

Recently, as I was working through a personal challenge in my mind, I was reminded of how difficult life can be.  We were not promised that life will always be easy or comfortable, and I don’t know anyone who believes it is.  Our family members battle health issues and financial challenges. Friends lose loved ones and experience family break-ups. Businesses suffer losses, economic challenges and pandemics. Churches and civic organizations face internal battles and external negative forces.  Everyone knows the saying, “It’s always something”, and it is! There is always some kind of a battle going on. We always face challenges large or small. Life is about how we deal with these things, not just what we are dealing with at the moment.

It may seem funny that I am writing about how difficult life is just one week after writing about the importance of being thankful.  I actually don’t consider that to be inconsistent.  Life is challenging, but we continue to be blessed with opportunities and solutions. How you get through your challenges today and this week make you who you are in the days, weeks and years to come.


Thanksgiving 2020 in Perspective

Here we are headed into another major holiday still under the “wet blanket feeling” of the pandemic. This holiday, and Christmas soon to follow, will certainly look and feel different.    We may not be able spend time with loved ones like normal, nor will we have the excitement of public gatherings that we enjoy during the holiday season. We might be  lonely or feeling depressed. Possibly we are frustrated and overwhelmed. Whatever the case, it will be a different and potentially challenging holiday season.

As tough as things may seem, let’s keep things in perspective.  We are still blessed.   If you woke up this morning in good health with a roof over your head, you should be thankful.  If you and your family know you will  have three meals today, be grateful.  If you have the ability to see and read this message, don’t take that for granted.  If you have family and friends who love you, even though you might not get to hug them this Thursday, you are blessed.  If you have all of these things you are in a very small percentage of the world from a wealth and comfort perspective.  We may not get the holidays that we are used to, but we are blessed and should remain grateful for the things we have. Consider the real meaning of Thanksgiving and maintain perspective.  Happy Thanksgiving


Sixteen Years of the MMM!

The Monday Morning Minute was born sixteen years ago this week.  It began as an encouraging internal communication at Fleetwood Retail Corp. Since then it has grown into a widely distributed blog with the goal of starting your week with a challenging or encouraging thought.  People need a jump start on Monday morning to get back into work mode.  We all need a reminder about our leadership roles as we begin each week.  More importantly, we must continuously learn and grow.

 Some of you have been along for the ride from the very beginning, others have joined more recently.  Many of you I know, some of you I do not.  Whatever the case, I hope you get a little something from my shared thoughts each Monday morning. 



My son grew up playing in-line roller hockey.  When he was young, and I was helping coach his team, it was hard to get kids to understand that by the time they got to the puck it will have moved.  The key is to skate to where the puck is going to be!

Have Vision.  Anticipate!  Vision is a key to leadership.  Good leaders can see and anticipate where the puck is headed.  Having vision means seeing the big picture, anticipating the future, planning ahead.  Vision is not easy; consider some of these failures to anticipate the future….

 “Groups with Guitars are on their way out.”

                    Decca Records, turning down the Beatles, 1962

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.”

                    Ken Olson, President Digital Corporation 1977

“I don’t need bodyguards.”

                    Jimmy Hoffa – One month before his disappearance

We may not miss out on foresight of such magnitude as these examples, but we need to try and see around the corner.  On a daily basis try to anticipate problems, foresee the implication of choices, and think ahead about the impact of changes in the world around you. 

 Have vision…Skate to where the puck is going to be.


It’s still okay…

This MMM is a fresh repeat from just March of this year. I have found myself still in need of the reminder that it is okay to not be okay. When I first wrote this in March, I had no idea that I might feel the same way at the first of November, yet here we are eight months later and still in the middle of a pandemic.  Take the time to remind yourself and your love ones of the challenging times that we are facing, and that the frustration and overwhelming feelings we may have are acceptable and maybe even necessary to help us get through these times.

It’s okay…

It is okay to not be okay.  These are crazy challenging times.  You would be unique if you were perfectly fine.  Our lives, families, businesses and finances are all being impacted by this virus.  We are in uncharted territory and none of us really know how we are supposed to handle this.  We need to instill hope for our families, employees and organizations.  We know it is important to continue to lead.  We will get through this! 

It is okay to not be okay.  Don’t fret if you feel worried.  Who isn’t somewhat depressed? I know I feel overwhelmed.  Business owners are facing tough decisions. Uncertainty is prevalent and none of this is comfortable.  It is okay to be frustrated, even angry, by these feelings.  You have permission to breakdown occasionally.  A good cry might be a healthy thing.  However, you can’t let it overtake you.  Yes, we need to be strong for our kids, but we don’t have to be strong 100% of the time.  Crawling in a deep dark hole is not an option.  We need to be realistic without constantly succumbing to the negativity.  Acknowledge your feelings; respect the challenge you are facing and get back at it.  Don’t let the negativity overwhelm you.

It is okay to not be okay.