Charlotte Byndas

Inspiring Success in Many

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The Age of Melancholy?

Picture 954Have you ever realized that when you reach your birthday, lets say 50, that you have actually started your 51st year. Yep, I can thank my dad for that sobering realization. When you hit your birthday you are celebrating the anniversary of that year.


Don’t you think this would make a great T-Shirt? So why if we all share in this human experience are we not better at the aging process? So many are so sad over the fact that life is changing and will never be what it once was. Is a melancholy tone the tone we want to create for our children, our children’s children. I think not. With the aging Baby Boomers population we are running this risk.

A little skill development would come in handy here. What skill you ask? Let’s start with the ability to learn new things. Many people have lost this ability. When this happens the world starts to close in around them. If this is you, stop now and pick something new to learn. It could be anything just needs to be new. If your life “practice” is continually learning new things there is always something to look forward toward. And if what you have falls apart you will be well equipped emotionally to move on to the next great thing, albeit a new job, house, dog, area, or relationship.

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Shirt and Shoes Required

NO Shirt Shoes Service

Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

This is the gentle reminder hanging at the door of my favorite beach side restaurant.

Outside, extreme casual works

Inside it doesn’t.

The same rules apply when communicating online.

Wikipedia on Textese:

SMS language or textese (also known as txt-speak, txtese, chatspeak, txt, txtspk, txtk, txto, texting language, txt lingo, SMSish, or txt talk) is a term for the abbreviations and slang most commonly used due to the necessary brevity of mobile phone text messaging, in particular the widespread SMS (short message service) communication protocol.


Textese is the super cool you at the beach.  No shirt, no shoes, no problem you can do what you want.

Sending an e-mail, creating a resume, writing a blog post, or making online comments is the ready to paint the town looking sharp you.  Textese is not good for these formats.

k, good, tyl, LOL

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Yesterday was filled with news of Steve Jobs and his surprise announcement that he was stepping down from his position. As the reaction hit the social media circles I found myself drawn to the video clips of Steve Jobs speeches. The one that really hit hard for was his commencement speech to the graduating class at Stanford. It really is a must watch for everyone.

I had two immediate reactions to watching the video. First that cancer really does suck and that it does not matter how famous, rich, or connected you are, cancer can get to anyone. Second that life is brief and that we are called to use our lives in positive ways.

The stories of famous people who are  fighters,  like Steve Jobs,  that fight valiant battles and share the details with the public  help shine  light on the disease and the devastating effect it has on families.  My  hope is that this attention aids in the fundraising efforts that fund the research efforts to find a cure for cancer.  At the same time I can’t help thinking about the ordinary people who also fight this battle.

Years ago I had the opportunity to partner with an entrepreneur (Lorie Brady) who had survived several battles with cancer. She has quite the story. How many of us could imagine dealing with cancer once, but could you imagine three or four times? This is Lorie’s story.   It  was impossible to work with Lorie and not be inspired like Steve Jobs  positive energy follows her everywhere she goes.  Matter of fact if you had not been told you would never know that she carried the burden of cancer on her shoulders.  She was one of the most upbeat, giving, supportive  people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

Lorie writes about her journey with cancer at

I am inspired by the  stories and grateful that both Steve and Lorie have had the courage to share them.

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Justifying Slip Ups and Slacking

Do you have a goal? If you are reading this post I bet you do, we all want to improve something about ourselves and/or our lives. While we are on this topic I wonder how many of you have written down your goals? I bet only a few, and even fewer that have shared their goals with another person. Deflecting a bit here from the topic, but you know that these two steps, writing down your goal and making it public will greatly increase your chances of meeting your goal, don’t you?

It takes discipline to reach a goal, we all know this. Discipline is defined by what you are doing daily (your actions), it is the routines that make up your life. Good routines lead to good outcomes, bad or lack of routine will lead to bad outcomes. (BTW, you are not born with discipline and unlike finger prints you can change your ability to be disciplined like you change your socks.) Many of us have great intentions to be disciplined but falter. As an example let’s say you have a goal to exercise at least ten minutes a day, you accomplish this task for a few days and then allow yourself to slack off a day for good behavior. You know how this sounds “I went to the gym four days this week, so today I can take the day off”. Right then your goal is slipping away. Does this sound familiar?

Wanting life to be easier I think we look for the short cuts leading us to the belief that some good behavior justifies straying from the actions that will lead us to our goal.

Today I thought I would share what has helped me counter this behavior. Using tracking systems that then become motivational tools help me stay on track to reach my goals. These systems are as simple as a daily activity log or a physical countdown calendar recording the set of activities that are leading me toward my goal.

As an example in my professional life I need to reach out to a set number of people each day. If I have a sheet in front of me with boxes representing each call I need to make that I tick off as I make those contacts it is much more likely that I will not slack off after getting half way. This check off list becomes my contact discipline tool.

In my personal life if I need to ride at least 20 miles a day for 30 days to build the endurance necessary to complete a century ride (100 miles), I create a 30 day calendar in which I can rip off one sheet each day. Watching the days disappear is great motivation to keep going.

Staying disciplined is hard work, be sure to find the strategies and tools that will help you stay the course!

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Are you willing?

“If you’re willing to do for a year what others won’t, you can live for the rest of your life the way others can’t.” Author Unknown

This quote has been sticking in my mind for the past few weeks. Such a simple statement but so true as my teenaged kids say in RL (real life). Becoming something great (whatever that may be) requires that you do the things that others COULD do, but don’t.

Remember back to your third grade class, how many of your classmates went on to become doctors, lawyers, CPA’s or engineers. Maybe you did, but maybe you are like me and moved forward in life without those honors. Many of my friends invested the time and effort doing what the rest of us did not and now they have the credentials to prove it. They were not smarter, more talented, or blessed in ways that I was not they just did what I was not willing to do. BTW, I might argue that they would have been better off becoming sales professionals but I will save that thought for another post.

Stop and think about this for a moment, isn’t it exciting? The 10% edge that you are looking for rests right in your hands. All you need to do is identify where everyone else stops, and do those things. Equal opportunity here…. applies when you are in a job search, running a business, managing a group, or starting off your career.

My dad was my first example of this concept in action. He started off working in a factory attending engineering classes at night. Not much of a lifestyle, and not what most of us would choose. Five kids and years later he got that engineering degree, launching himself into a successful engineering career in the auto industry.

Embracing this concept is critically important in today’s economy. Turn off the news and partner up with those that are successful they will give you the clues of what you need to do to go the extra mile and find success.

Hoping that the next time we connect our conversation starts off this way….”I got to the successful outcome I was looking for because I was willing….”

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Great Men Walk Amongst Us

It is a sad Monday for Scouters  all across the country who have awakened to the news that Assistant Scout Master (ASM)  Arthur Anderson was killed over the weekend while leading a crew of boy scouts on a hike.   This terrible event is magnified by the fact that Mr. Anderson was killed in a random act of violence by a young man, just a few years older than the boys out on this hike.    No one could have been prepared for an event like this, not even a boy scout leader.

Mr. Anderson was doing what he loved, leading scouts on an adventure.   In his 50 years of service to the Boy Scouts  he is sure to have led hundreds of hikes just like this one.  Hikes that were filled with laughter,  discovery, knowledge sharing and skill development.   Who in their wildest imagination could have predicted that the day would turn out as it did?

Thing is we never know what will happen next in our lives.    As the community gathers to mourn the loss of  ASM Arthur Anderson I would imagine everyone will be reflecting on a life “lived well”.  Will no doubt be a fitting tribute to the great man that he was, an everyday hero whose service probably went without fanfare or attention until now.  It often takes a tragedy to shine the light on the good that goes on in our own backyards.

We all  have the same opportunity to play a role in our community.  Question is how many of us will rise to the challenge and take that job?  How many of us will dedicate the time and resources needed to give back to our communities? There is always a good reason not too.

Is refreshing  to have the opportunity to  interview  professionals  looking to make a job change and hear that they are looking for a role that will allow them greater flexibility to serve the community.  Their stories (passion) are all different it may be scouting, church,  youth soccer, the “Y”, or feeding the needy but they have put an importance on the role they play in the community.   It is what I believe is the growing trend toward LIFE/work balance.

This is the  “kick in the ass”  kind of  event for me helping me  stay focused on what is most important in  life;  faith, family, friends, community and finally my job.   In sharing this story I hope it does the same for you.  Join me in praying for Arthur Anderson’s family and the community of boy scouts that were blessed to know him.

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Dedicated to the great task…

In 1863 it was about the people.  In 2011 it is about the people.   The challenges, the players, the date on the calendar all have changed but the great moments in our history remind us that it always comes down to the people, this never changes. When was the last time you heard the words in this video clip, 4th grade?  Take a moment and listen to each one, for they are as important today as they were in 1863.

“Dedicated to the great task remaining before us”..Lincoln

The economy is slowly recovering and it is the courageous who are willing to take risks and dedicate their lives to creating opportunities that are leading the way.