Some say that birds of a feather flock together. To expand your world, you may wish to

Some say that birds of a feather flock together. To expand your world, you may wish to seek out and embrace an odd duck now and then.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Kevin Gedge

Take a few minutes to examine your personal and professional communities.

To what degree do the people around you look, act, and think like you?

Where and in what areas of your life do you observe and participate in groups of people with diverse backgrounds?

Where do you notice some odd ducks that challenge your thinking and your comfort?

Where might you be the odd duck, feeling out of place and awkward?

How do these experiences expand your world and help you grow?


How does flying with your current flock limit the places you can go?

How would a few detours with some different birds reveal some new sites to build your next nest?

We’re better off when we’re all better off

“We’re better off when we’re all better off.”

Eric Liu, American writer and founder of Citizen University

Image from Unsplash by Brett Jordan

I read a wide variety of blogs on a daily basis. Their wisdom and perspectives offer many ideas to add my two cents from time to time. Today’s quote was recently shared by Stephen Amant, who writes the Savenwood blog, which I encourage you to explore and consider becoming a subscriber.

Liu’s quote about bettering the lives of others as well as ourselves satisfies my spirit.

It helps me see that by leaning in to serve and support others in my communities I, too, will rise.

The idea of bettering myself while leaving others to do the same leaves me feeling empty.


Where and how can you raise up others in your communities so that we are all better off?


“We need to stay current with each other.”

“We need to stay current with each other.”

—Angeles Arrien, PhD, late Basque-American cultural anthropologist

Image from Unsplash by Aleksey Oryshckenko

I hope you had a happy holiday and the chance to safely be with family and friends. Catching up with those you love is a great bonus to the food, drink — and of course — your favorite sporting events and binge-watching interests.

How many holiday cards did you send and receive? How many of these well-wishing cards had photos of families with kids growing like weeds or even a separate insert with the highlights of the past year?

Staying current with our close and extended communities has been considerably more difficult due to Covid. Even with texting, e-mail, and video chats, many of us still feel isolated and alone.


What efforts can and will you make this year to remain current with the people you care about the most? Who could your reach out to today that you may have missed over the holidays?

“Following the crowd never gets you very far.”

“Following the crowd never gets you very far.”

—Robin Sharma, Canadian Author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Image from Unsplash by Chuttersnap

It is human nature to want to belong to our professional and personal communities. We tend to thrive and live longer, happier lives due to the supportive relationships around us.

Following the crowd and group think, however, is rarely associated with extraordinary levels of achievement and excellence. When one looks at the subject of personal mastery, important relationships with role models, mentors, teachers, and coaches are always involved. And yet, they evolve and change over time, to propel people forward, often leaving once valued relationships behind.


Where in your life have you and are you following the crowd? How has doing so held you back from going even further in either your personal or professional life?

What bolder, more courageous actions can and will you take to realize even more of your fullest potential?

“When you edit your soul, no one wins.”

“When you edit your soul, no one wins.”

—Erin Loechner, Author of Chasing Slow

Image from Pinterest

To what degree have you done more than a bit of soul searching over the past several months?

What have you discovered about yourself, those you care about, your community, and the world?

It appears that many of us are reading deeper than at any other time in our lives, to a more soulful and sacred place in which passion, purpose, and our very best selves reside.

Another quote from Erin’s book is “Keep slowing down. You’ve got a race to lose.” This may be pointing us to the “rat race” many of us run unknowingly.

Consider your soul as a kind of Pulitzer Prize of Life, which requires no editing.  It need only be read and re-read, expressed and shared generously.


What are a few soul-searching activities you engage in on a daily basis?

How can and will you bring forth the very best of you so everyone wins?

Friday Review: Community


How strong is your sense of community?  Here are a few community-related posts you may have missed.


“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”




“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but being moved to help relieve it.”




“There comes a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go.”




“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Milan Degraeve

Where are you finding yourself these days?

How would you rate yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually?

If you feel down, stuck, and in a rut, almost everyone in your personal and professional worlds can relate!

The wonderful news is that friends, family, and our numerous communities are coming together to lift one another up.

I am sure you are helping those around you as well.

Sometimes, however, we do not take the time to lift ourselves out of these holes. On many occasions, we tend to dig them deeper and make things worse.


Where in your life are you finding yourself in a hole in which you are—knowingly or unknowingly—still digging?

How can and will you stop adding insult to injury, and start filling in and repairing these areas?

Feel free to reply to this post to share the hole-filling efforts you take.

“Everybody Matters.”

“Everybody Matters.”

—Bob Chapman, founder of Truly Human Leadership

Where do you stand on the two words of today’s quote?

More specifically, where do you stand as it relates to the following communities:

  • Family
  • Neighborhood
  • Your organization or place of employment
  • Your city, state, country
  • The upcoming 2020 census
  • The world and all global citizens
  • The plants and animals that share our earth

As a boy, I attended Creighton Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of my fellow students was Kim Sledge of the singing group, Sister Sledge, who became pretty famous for their hit song, “We are Family.”


Where can and will an “everybody matters” family approach to your various communities improve your world? What difference could this make to improve our planet if we all treated each other this way?

Consider checking out Bob Chapman’s book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People like Family.


It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

—Jiddu Krisnamurti, 20th Century Indian philosopher, speaker and writer

Image of a woman wearing a surgical mask

Image from Unsplash by Ani Kolleshi

How healthy are you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? What daily habits, rituals, and practices do you engage in to optimize your well-being?

What factors do you consider when you evaluate the health of your local, state, national, and global communities? To what degree do they require a rigorous annual physical, and a health optimization plan for the years ahead?

Unfortunately and to a certain degree, we all can be a bit selfish in that we tend to prioritize our inner worlds and our local environments to protect, insulate, and secure ourselves from the considerable negative and sick elements of society.


Where and in what ways can you more fully optimize the health of both your inner and outer worlds? What would be possible if all people on our beautiful planet did this as well?


True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but being moved to help relieve it

“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but being moved to help relieve it.”

—Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence Author

Image of three senior citizens at a sporting event

Image from Unsplash by Piliippe Leone

When I visit my 92-year-old dad in his assisted living community, he often says, Getting old is not for sissies! Before moving into this community, he lived with my mom in a senior community with about 15,000 other residents, living as happily and fully as possible.

As someone who tries to be mindful and observant of my surroundings, it is easy to see the various levels of physical and emotional pain most people experience. To my delight, I also observe tremendous compassion within these communities. It is common to see how the majority of the people do their best to help each other.

These efforts give them purpose and at least temporarily take their focus off of their own troubles.


Where are you currently moved to help relieve the pain others may be experiencing in your world? What one action can and will you take today to demonstrate a higher level of compassion?

Consider reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande to explore aging and how we can better support one another through this process.