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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.

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Halloween during a pandemic

As we approach Halloween during a pandemic, I started wondering.

Do we really feel like donning a costume mask after wearing one in our daily lives for six months?

I have heard people say that they notice how eyes smile more now that many are in masks.  Or they meet new people who are wearing masks and then when they finally see their face, they do not recognize them as their brain created a face under the mask that did not match reality. Continue reading

Your ten-year plan for a remarkable life

Debbie Millman, designer and author, was a guest on the Tim Ferriss podcast that I listened to this week.  After multiple rejections in her career and overcoming a traumatic childhood, she wrote six books, co-founded the world’s first masters in branding program, started one of the world’s first podcasts entitled Design Matters, and was the editorial and creative director of Print Magazine for a time (a magazine which was in print from 1940 to 2017).

She mentioned that one of the things she has asked of her students over the years is to write, “Your Ten-Year Plan For A Remarkable Life.”  This is something she learned as a student of Milton Glaser (who created the I Heart NY campaign which I remember vividly from my childhood.) Continue reading

International Day of the Girl Child

The International Day of the Girl Child was this past weekend and I saw something posted that really made me pause.  It mentioned that at age 15 Joan of Arc led a French army in a victory battle, Anne Frank had written a diary about being a Jewish girl hiding in a city occupied by the Nazis that went on to become a world-renowned book, Greta Thunberg inspired a global movement to stop climate change, and Malala was shot for speaking out in support of girls’ education and has since graduated from Oxford and won the Nobel Peace Prize.   These girls changed the world. Continue reading

Give yourself permission to be creative

I watched a TED Talk by actor Ethan Hawke entitled, “Give yourself permission to be creative.”  He said you must ‘play the fool’ sometimes and be vulnerable.  Go out on a limb.  He caught the acting bug after his first stage performance at age 12 and he has been at it ever since.  When he and his brother walked out of the movie Top Gun years ago, they were both so affected by the tale.  It made Ethan want to tell stories as an actor and it made his brother want to join the military.  They both followed those passions and were extremely successful with acting awards for Ethan and a decorated military career for his Green Beret brother. Continue reading

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in the 1930s.  A vastly different time than today.  Considering that, it is remarkable that her mom left savings for Ruth to go to school before she died at a young age of cancer, that Ruth went on to be a lawyer (and was one of nine women in a class of 500 at Harvard Law), and that her husband took care of the cooking and as Ruth said, “was the only young man I dated who cared that I had a brain.” Continue reading

What are you unwilling to feel?

Podcaster and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss mentioned something he heard from psychologist, author and mindfulness leader Tara Brach.  She asked, “What are you unwilling to feel?”

What a question.  What are you unwilling to feel?  And by not feeling it, does it lead to alcohol, gambling, drugs, relationship problems, commitment issues, stagnation and more? Continue reading

A kind of mental infection or parasite

In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari writes, “Ever more scholars see cultures as a kind of mental infection or parasite, with humans as its unwitting host.”

This made me stop and wonder.  We understand that physical viruses move through their hosts, making them sick and maybe worse, before moving on to the next person.  Is that what is happening to our thoughts as well?  Are we catching a story and then trying to make it true for us? Continue reading

The hero and the coward

In a Tim Ferriss podcast where he discusses highlights from his book Tools of Titans, he touches on courage.  He mentions Cus D’Amato who coached Mike Tyson in the years before he became the youngest heavyweight champion of the world.  Cus said, “The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs.  It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters.”

Brené Brown talks about us having to choose courage or comfort.  We cannot have both.  And by having uncomfortable conversations we can grow and change the world around us.  In fact, Tim Ferriss says, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

Brené is also well known for sharing President Theodore Roosevelt’s words when he said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The person in the arena.  The person with the courage to try.  The person who knows that they may fail but takes action anyway.

Are we choosing courage or comfort?  In our family, our work, the way we think about things that are happening in society.  In the story we tell ourselves about ourselves.  Do we toe the line or question if things could be different?

We all have fear.  And we also all have it in us to be the hero of our own story.  Are we willing to use our fear as fuel and fly?

 

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