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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.

The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary

I’m reading The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary by Dr. Ronald D. Siegel, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. In it he writes, “Most of us feel proud of our achievements at first. When we learned to walk as toddlers, or successfully put multicoloured plastic rings on a post in size order, most of us felt pretty good about ourselves  — and enjoyed showing off to anyone willing to watch. Remember how it felt to be able to catch a ball, ride a bike, or go to the store alone? How about graduating from grade school, high school or college? Having your first girlfriend or boyfriend? Getting a job or a driver’s license? Or perhaps getting married, renting an apartment, owning a car, buying a house, or having a child? Most of us work hard for these milestones and feel buoyed up when we reach them. Continue reading

Stories

As the new year dawned, I was reminded once again of the clean slate, the blank page, and the importance of stories.

Stories help us decide where to live, what schools our children attend, what meals to make, what restaurants to try, what books to read, what countries to visit, what jobs to take, where to change our tires, cut our hair or exercise our body.

We learn through stories. We communicate with stories. We are inspired by stories.

The poet Muriel Rukeyser once said, “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”

Continue reading

Unprecedented

What a few years it’s been. Who knew we could use unprecedented in so many situations? I mean, how do you prepare for a once in a lifetime pandemic? For changes to everyday life that have never happened in your memory.

And yet, here we are.

As we look forward to new chapters, it’s hard not to look back. Continue reading

As I approach half a century

As I approach half a century on this magical globe rocketing through the universe I must say, it’s been quite a ride. And I am so grateful.

I always loved to write, and I have been blessed to publish a book, post a weekly blog, and work as a copywriter and communications specialist.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom and I have been gifted with three wonderful children who challenge me, inspire me, teach me, and love me. A gift that can’t be bought.

I always enjoyed travelling and I have been lucky to visit countries like Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Greece, Portugal and many parts of the United States and Canada. My passport is a prized possession because it allows me to fly, literally and figuratively.

I always adored reading and I have travelled to many places and eras through the pages of countless books. This recently led me to join an outstanding group of local women in a book club that has brought me laughs, learning and lifelong friendships. Continue reading

We need evidence

We need evidence.

Of being a good parent, friend, colleague, sister, daughter, or neighbour.

We want someone to say, “You did a good job.”

As Oprah once shared, no matter who she had on her show, from regular folks to presidents, the first thing they asked when it went to commercial break was, “How did I do?” Continue reading

The Storyteller’s Secret

I just love a good story. I’m reading The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo and it’s chock full of golden nuggets.

Gallo writes about Danny, who never wanted to be a lawyer, yet ended up at dinner with his uncle the night before writing the law school entrance exam.

When he told his uncle his true feelings, his uncle asked why he didn’t do what he had always loved? Danny didn’t know what that was, and his uncle said that he should open a restaurant because he was always so into food.

Danny wrote the LSAT the next day but never went to law school. He left a sales job making $125,000 a year to earn $250 a week as a restaurant assistant manager and loved it. Continue reading

To be or to do

Author Ryan Holiday was talking with Tim Ferriss on The Tim Ferriss Show and he said, “To be or to do? This is a key question that comes to us from the great strategist John Boyd who, as he mentored young men and women in the Pentagon, would see that you kind of can go down two paths in life. There’s the person who wants to look important, that wants to achieve a high rank, that wants to be in the newspapers or on TV. Then there’s the person who wants to quietly get things done. I think it was Truman who said, ‘It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t care about who gets the credit.’

To be or to do is largely about credit. Do you care about accomplishments, or do you care about impact? Do you care about credit, or do you care about getting things done? You have to ask yourself, ‘Am I trying to be an important person? Am I trying to accomplish important things?’ And this question is critical, ‘To be or to do?’ How are you measuring your life?

Hillel said, ‘If I am not for me, who is?’ And then he said, ‘If I am only for me, who am I?’ This, I think, is related to the idea of to be or to do.” Continue reading

How messaging can affect our outlook

I was listening to Professor Heather Cox Richardson this week talk about current affairs and how messaging can affect our outlook and actions. Driving some to do terrible things for a supposed cause or take part in a figurative war that those holding the societal marionette strings want to see come to fruition.

She used the example of Shakespeare’s Othello. Iago was jaded about being passed up for a promotion, so he started whispering in Othello’s ear. Gaslighting him. Telling him stories about his life and his wife. The story ends badly for Othello and those he loves. But it got me thinking. Continue reading

Four Thousand Weeks

I’m reading Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. What an eye-opener. The premise is that we have four thousand weeks if we’re lucky. And how do we plan to spend them?

Constantly chasing after the next carrot, running on a symbolic treadmill, or simply accepting that we can’t do it all and focusing on what matters to us the most? Continue reading

The chance to do a very special thing

I saw this quote from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and it made me think. He said, “To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”

Our finest hour. Do we even know what it may look like? Does it happen at the job we are doing now? Is it part of a future job that we can’t even imagine doing today? Will it be using a skill we would define ourselves as having or something far deeper, that we haven’t even discovered yet? Continue reading

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