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Siobhan Kelleher Kukolic

Words to inspire the belief that we have all we need to be the change we wish to see.

Category: Article (page 1 of 50)

The obstacle is the way

I just finished reading The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.  What a great book.  When it first came out, Michael Lombardi and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots picked it up.  They shared copies of the book with players and coaching staff and the team won the Super Bowl that year. Continue reading

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

A study was recently published by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management that reminds us what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

The study looked at scientists who were applying for research grants for their papers.  They followed those who just made the cut and those who just missed it.

Ten years later, the scientists who just missed the cut were 6.1% more likely to have published a hit paper.

Which means the scientists who were rejected by the process were more likely to succeed.

This was the group that was turned down and did not get the grant money to continue their research but never stopped their quest to find answers and share them.

What didn’t kill them made them stronger.

By embracing failure, taking the lesson and persevering, they were more likely to succeed.

As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

What is something we can continue to work on even though we’ve been rejected?  What can we learn from the process and how can that help us grow?

Rejection is redirection.  Now that we know the new path we should be following we must start walking.

More than three priorities

Author Jim Collins said, “If you have more than three priorities in your life you have none.”

That really hit me this morning.  Three seems like a low number.  When I think about that list for me it would be my kids, growing my mind and walking daily.  But we also have to balance projects, pay bills, care for family or friends in need, do chores, cook meals and interact in society.  The list can be endless.  How can we only have three priorities? Continue reading

Bird by bird

In Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird, she reminds us how to get through writing and life when she says, “Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day.  We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.  Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.'” Continue reading

The landlord owned the land but not the building

I read this story in the book Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins and it made my heart flutter.

The year was 1598.  Two brothers, Richard and Cuthbert Burbage, had inherited a theatre from their father when he passed away.  The problem was, for a number of years they were not able to perform any shows in it as the landlord wouldn’t let them out of the contract and the rent was too steep.

Then they realized something.  The landlord owned the land but not the building.  Continue reading

Led Zeppelin

I just read this story in the book Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins.  In 1971, Led Zeppelin was one of the most popular bands in the world.  Some critics accused them of being all hype and no substance.  So they decided to take a massive chance.  They released their fourth album anonymously.  Without the band’s name or any of the singers or musicians listed on the cover. Continue reading

Why generalists triumph in a specialized world

After hearing author David Epstein speak on a radio show, I have added his book to my reading list.  Epstein wrote Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.  It piqued my interest because I’ve always seen value in spending your time in multiple lanes as that way you don’t know which rules you’re not allowed to break.  Creativity comes from connecting dots from far flung places and it’s hard to see those dots when you’re specializing in just one area.  This, along with the fact that our young people will be working one day in jobs that don’t even exist yet.  So how can you prepare?  You can be a creative, critical thinker.  Epstein talks about embracing trial and error in life in order to triangulate (almost like finding a given cell phone by comparing the pings off a number of towers) and figure out which signal suits you most.  You find out where you belong by finding out where you don’t belong. Continue reading

Dead Poets Society

I watched one of my favourite movies with my kids this weekend.  Dead Poets Society.  I remember seeing it for the first time as a 16-year-old high school student and it made such an impact on me.  Continue reading

People lived where they were born

In Stumbling on Happiness Daniel Gilbert writes, “For most of recorded history, people lived where they were born, did what their parents had done, and associated with those who were doing the same.  Millers milled, Smiths smithed, and little Smiths and little Millers married whom and when they were told.  Social structures (such as religions and castes) and physical structures (such as mountains and oceans) were the great dictators that determined how, where, and with whom people would spend their lives, which left most folks with little to decide for themselves.  But the agricultural, industrial, and technological revolutions changed all that, and the resulting explosion of personal liberty has created a bewildering array of options, alternatives, choices, and decisions that our ancestors never faced.  For the very first time, our happiness is in our hands.” Continue reading

To find happiness you have to have struggle

My brother is a high school drama teacher and playwright and he said something to me recently that really hit me.  He said that in order to find happiness you have to have struggle.  And this is an issue with many people as the world we live in allows us to move through it with very little push back.  Immediate gratification, everything online at our fingertips, same day shipping, participation medals, no consequences for bad behaviour or missed assignments.  Without the storm we don’t notice the sun.  Continue reading

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