Category Archives: What I’ve Learned

Happy 88th Birthday, Mr. Rogers!



Mr. Rogers would have been 88 today. His message of “I like you just the way you are” is as deeply healing and profound today as it was decades ago when he first said it.

Thank you, Mr. Rogers, for showing us how to be genuinely kind and how to live a life of rock-solid integrity.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Insanity Versus Genius,_Thousands_participate_in_mud_run.jpg,_Thousands_participate_in_mud_run.jpg



The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. ~Bruce Feirstein


How many times have you not followed where your Vision was leading because you were afraid others might think you’re crazy?

Yeah. We’ve all done this at least once in our lives!

The real trick of today’s quote is realizing that, actually, it doesn’t really matter if people say we’re geniuses or if they say we’re the craziest thing since the dawn of time. It really doesn’t matter because, regardless, we still have to live our lives.  We still must achieve our destiny.

Focus on your Vision then take the next, most logical step. Break it into small parts and little pieces if you need to, but keep moving toward your dreams.

You can do it, I know you can! Keep going!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Happy 95th Birthday Earl Nightingale

I am forever indebted to Earl Nightingale. Through his messages, he helped me pull myself up by the bootstraps one of the first times that Life knocked me flat. I found his gravely voice comforting and it made me feel that things weren’t so bad. His messages gave me hope that there was enough room in the world for me. He taught me that it was my attitude more than anything that would help me work my way through challenges and obstacles.

Even though Earl Nightingale has been gone now for many years, his work is still relevant. He doesn’t talk about the latest gizmos or gadgets, and doesn’t talk about the latest fad business technique. Instead, he talks about a life philosophy that has stood the test of time–millennia, actually. It’s the same message as what the greatest thinkers in human history have been telling us from way, way back in the day.

Earl Nightingale talks about the very same principles that people like Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, and many others, used to become bigger than their humble beginnings and go on to live lives that impacted the world. We’re still feeling the effects of the fact that they lived.

So if you are looking for direction, I highly recommend his work–click here to be taken to his page on, the self-development company he founded with Vic Conant.

Happy Birthday, Earl Nightingale. Thank you for generously sharing what you knew to be True. My life is better for it.

Thank you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



Another Thought About When Bad Days Strike

In yesterday’s post, we talked about things you can say to yourself when you’re in the midst of a bad day (click here to be taken to that post).

Today I want to talk about another thing to say.

When my daughter was young, it seemed as if the world was a very dangerous place. There were wars and conflicts and “police actions” everywhere, it seemed. Taxes were high, prices were going up, and it looked as if new diseases were popping up daily.

I remember walking out to the mailbox one day and I was uptight and on edge because of worries about the state of the world and feeling anxious and inadequate protecting my daughter from all the “bad stuff” that was out there.

Standing in front of the mailbox. I had a moment of astounding clarity. In that moment, I realized I was okay. My daughter was okay–better than okay, actually! My family was okay, too.

That day happened to be a beautiful spring day and I remember feeling the warmth of the sun on my shoulders and hearing the birds chirping. It occurred to me that if the world was that terrible of a place, the flowers wouldn’t be blooming, and the air wouldn’t be springtime-fresh.

In that moment, I knew all was well.,_1894_-_Mother_with_Child.jpg,_1894_-_Mother_with_Child.jpg

Over the years I’ve returned to the saying “all is well” over and over again because it’s usually true. From one moment to the next, all really is well–even in spite of issues that I may have to deal with. Any perceived unpleasantness is usually in the future, not in the moment. And if it is unpleasant in that particular moment, it does not last forever and very soon, I can go back to saying in each moment that all is well.

Action Plan: along with the other mirror work you’re doing that was mentioned in yesterday’s post (click here to be taken to that post), add in the statement “All is well.”

During your day, remind yourself of this fact–especially when you find your thoughts veering off the road into the ditch of negative thinking. Pull them back by reminding yourself that right now, right here, in this moment, all is well.

Let me know how saying “All is well” works for you in the comment section below. If you’ve come up with tweaks that make it work better for you, feel free to share those in the comments below as well. Thanks for sharing!

You’re awesome!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



When Bad Days Strike

The most important thing to do when bad days strike is to keep control of your mind.

Do NOT let negative, worrying, angry, or demoralized thinking move in and set up camp.

It’s natural to have these types of thoughts pop into your mind, but don’t let them stay!

Talk to yourself with positive and hopeful words and phrases. Stand in front of the mirror as you do this. Smile and be upbeat.

Say things like:

I can do this. I can take things one step at a time and work my way through this. I know I can! I may not have all the answers right now but I have answers enough to take the next step. I know that as I keep moving forward and doing everything I can each day, the answers will come to me as I need them.

Another thing to say to yourself in front of the mirror is:

Nothing lasts forever and this, too, shall pass. This is just temporary. I can hurry it along by taking the next logical step and the next one after that. As I keep doing this, soon I’ll see brighter days.

It may seem silly to talk to yourself like this but it’s vitally important that you do. It’s important that you stop those negative thoughts and turn them to something more helpful–and to do it as quickly as possible.

Give it a try and let me know in the comments section how it worked out for you.

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



When Getting Advice From an Expert, Follow It!


As I was thinking of yesterday’s post about putting in the effort (click here to be taken to it), my thoughts wandered to a business networking group that I had belonged to years ago.

We met every other week for breakfast to discuss local business trends as well as to support and advise one another regarding questions or concerns we may have had about our own businesses.

One evening, we were to attend a lecture, hosted by the local chamber of commerce, featuring a speaker who was a successful businessman and a legend in the region. The best part  was that, before the lecture, our group went to dinner with him because one of our members was a good friend of his.

Needless to say, all of us were excited and grateful for our good fortune!

We had a lively and informative dinner with the speaker, although one of our group shifted the focus to her and her struggling gift shop. Even though he generously tailored his comments, suggestions, and guidance to her, all of us were able to extrapolate useful information that we could immediately apply to our particular businesses.

The businessman’s lecture afterward at the Chamber of Commerce was fantastic. He packed it full of useful information, including tips designed to help business people work more effectively, which then would translate into increased sales.  All of the attendees were thrilled with his presentation and, to this day, I still use the suggestions he gave us!

I noticed, though, that the gift shop owner seemed a little down-in-the-dumps. I was surprised because I figured she’d be hopeful, at the very least, with the one-on-one consultation she had with the businessman at dinner plus the additional information we got from the lecture.  I chalked it off, though, figuring she was tired after a long day.

The next morning, our group met for breakfast. As expected, everyone was still excited after the dinner and lecture the night before.  One of the members told us he couldn’t sleep that night because he was buzzing with ideas.

The gift shop owner was silent. Another businesswoman remarked that the gift shop owner must be eager to get to her store so she could apply the excellent suggestions the businessman had given her.

She turned to her and said there was nothing to apply because the businessman didn’t give her anything she could use. She went on to say that he didn’t understand her particular business, he didn’t know what he was talking about, and his success was probably a result of dumb luck.

We were stunned. Speechless.

Are you surprised to learn that she went out of business a year or so later?

As I think back to that evening and the following morning, I’m still astounded at the gift shop owner’s dismissive attitude. She was the one who sought out the businessman’s advice, yet she rejected every single one of his suggestions.

It’s a cautionary tale for the rest of us.

When WE seek advice from experts, we should at least try a few of their suggestions.  After all, we asked them for guidance because their success means they’re doing something right; we should heed what they’re saying!

Action Plan: Think about advice and guidance you’ve received over the years.  Is there any of it that you didn’t use because you thought it didn’t apply to you?  Take a thorough look at it and figure out ways to incorporate it now.

I believe in you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


What I’ve Learned: You Gotta Be Willing to Put Forth the Effort

As you know, I’m trying to get Yes I Can Pep Talks onto its feet. In the US, we have an organization called SCORE, which stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives. They are comprised of retired business people from all types of business and their mission is to mentor other business owners and aspiring business owners.

Also, by asking around, you can probably find groups of business people, and other like-minded individuals, who meet on a regular basis and offer support, guidance, and encouragement to one another.

I discovered SCORE midway through last year when my local library hosted a few of their seminars. It didn’t occur to me until the end of last year to contact them about mentorship. I signed up and have been meeting with them since January.

When SCORE told me they had found mentors who were knowledgeable and had expertise in the area of my business, I was ecstatic.


…then they told me the mentors were an hour and a half’s drive away.

At first I thought: Darn. That’s going to be really tough to fit that into my schedule because I’ll have to give up the better part of a day.

I hoped they could help me through email correspondence, which SCORE indicated was one of the methods of mentorship. I resigned myself to that, knowing that it would be great and very helpful but also knowing it would be the same as in-person mentoring.

But then I thought: How short-sighted am I?? This is a golden opportunity and it’s handed to me on a silver platter. I’m being ridiculous for not immediately jumping at it and then moving heaven and earth to make it happen!!

I’m glad to report that I have been meeting with my mentors each month regardless of the difficulty–except when we had an ice storm and it was too dangerous to drive.

You have to be willing to put forth the effort, no matter what, to make your dreams come true. Yes, it will be hard; yes, it will be inconvenient; yes, you’ll have to make difficult choices. But the payoff–the payoff of moving closer and closer to your dreams–is well worth the time and effort!

Action Plan: Take a look at what you aren’t committing wholeheartedly to. What are you holding back on and not going “all in” on?

Even though the experts and folk wisdom may advise you to not put all your eggs into one basket, there are times–like this one with the SCORE mentoring for me–when putting all your eggs into one basket will be the smartest move you’ll ever make.

Do it! I know you can! I’m here to let you know I believe in you!

If you need a boost, write in the comments section below and I’ll formulate a pep talk just for you!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


PS:  SCORE is a national organization; check out their website to find your state and local chapters: They offer one-on-one mentoring as well as in-person seminars and workshops–often in collaboration with local libraries and chambers of commerce–and they also offer web-based seminars and workshops. And it’s all FREE!

Additional Things I’ve Learned About Pressing the Reset Button

I was thinking about yesterday’s post that was inspired by the quote by Aung San Suu Kyi: “if you’re feeling hopeless, help someone.”

It occurred to me that what makes that quote work is to have “skin in the game”, as the pop culture saying goes.  For instance, my mood was lifted when I helped my friend–not a stranger–achieve his goals–locate the areas of his writing that need some shoring up.  This is important to him and, as his friend, it’s then important to me, too.

Same thing for Julie, who commented on yesterday’s post. Her spirits are uplifted when she babysits for her grandson and also when she spends time with and helps her mom. In both these instances, she has plenty of “skin in the game.”

I’m all for performing acts of kindness to all–stranger and friends alike. But it seems to me that the biggest boost–and sustaining the boost–comes from helping people close to us: family, friends, colleagues, and others we know.

Have you tried this and have you found it helpful? Did you tweak it to make it more effective?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

You’re spectacular!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


PS Happy Birthday to everyone celebrating their special day today!


What I’ve Learned About A Bad Day: How to Press the Reset Button



If you’re feeling helpless, help someone. ~Aung San Suu Kyi


Today I was totally deflated. It was the fourth time since the beginning of the year that I’ve had to take my laptop into the shop to be fixed.  It’s been doing some strange things such as vaporizing a file with important work in it–vaporizing it to the point where there was no trace of it, even using specialized software to find it.

When I picked up my computer last week, after they told me the sad news that they tried everything to recover the file and just couldn’t, the technician assured me that they thoroughly checked it out and cleaned it up and I shouldn’t have any problems.

For the past few days my computer worked fine.  I was glad to have the problems behind me…or so I thought.

Until this morning when I turned on my laptop to use it and found that Word, Excel, and Powerpoint had mysteriously disappeared.

At first, I thought I just needed to turn off and then turn on my computer.

No luck.

Instead of using the shortcut on the task bar, I tried to find the icons on my desktop.

Not there.

Looked for them in the list of programs.

Not there.

Tried turning off and turning on the computer again.

No help.

That’s when I had to face what I didn’t want to face: there was something seriously wrong with my laptop and it had to go back to the shop.


I felt like someone let the air out of me just like an old birthday balloon that was once full of bounce and floated near the ceiling and now was dull, slack, and dragged along the floor.


I had a lot on my To Do list and couldn’t afford to mope listlessly about. I thought that giving myself a break for a half hour to just sit with my feelings would help me process and release them.

No help.

Then I thought sitting in the sun would help. Sometimes I find being outside breathing fresh air and absorbing the sun’s warmth into my being can be very soothing and comforting.

No help today.

I tried listening to uplifting music and all that did was annoy me (!!).

Sometimes straightening up my workspace or working on an easy or fun work task helps me shift gears, but no help today.

I didn’t know what the heck to do to get out of my own way and press that reset button!

Turns out, a friend of mine sent me a few pages to critique (we’re in a writing group together). I started working on them and soon I noticed my mood changing.


That’s when I remembered today’s quote by Aung San Suu Kyi:  If you’re feeling helpless, help someone. 

It helped me and I think it can help you, too.

Action Plan: Keep today’s quote handy–tape it in a place where you’ll see it often.  The next time you have a day where you feel mopey, sad, worried, angry, frightened, or just not yourself, remember to reach out and help somebody!

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve found this quote helpful.  Also, if you know of someone who’s having a bad day or going through a rough patch, feel free to pass along this post.  Thanks!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Friends and Family



Please note:  tomorrow is Leap Day and that’s when the name of this blog will change to Yes I Can Pep Talks.  You shouldn’t notice any change and should still have the blog come to your inbox as always.  If you have problems, please let me know at


I was talking to a friend this morning and he paraphrased a quote that he attributed to Jim Rohn and it struck home with me, especially since I had stayed up late last night reading the book by Bronnie Ware entitled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.  The quote fit in perfectly with what I’d just read because one of the regrets is people wishing they hadn’t worked so hard, spent so much time, at their jobs.  Another regret is people wished they’d put more time and effort into relationships with family and friends.

Here’s the quote:

No business success is worth failing at home. ~Jim Rohn

I probably mangled the quote because I heard it second-hand from my friend. Although I couldn’t find the exact quote online, I’m sure I’ve captured the spirit of what Jim Rohn meant.

I can speak from personal experience that as I’ve navigated through the different challenges in my life over the years, including now as I’m re-building my life, the greatest gift I have received then and now is the heartfelt caring from friends and family. The biggest, most profound gift is knowing–and seeing it played out first-hand–that, when I’ve really been up against it, my friends and family are there, doing all they can to help and encourage me (and, naturally, I’m there for them).

Does that mean we never get on each other’s nerves from time-to-time? Of course not.  But through it all, the bond, the connection, remains unbroken.

Your homework today is to let your friends and family know that you’re thinking of them and that you’re grateful they’re in your life.  Then schedule in time each week to either spend time with family and friends or to drop a note to the special people in your life–or both!

Life is short; do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,