What helps you take the challenging aspect of life in stride

What helps you take the challenging aspect of life in stride?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Copper and Wild

FULL QUOTE: “What helps you take the challenging aspect of life in stride? What lollipops of love do you give yourself and others to make the world a little sweeter?”

Wendy and I recently spent several days with the family of a very close friend who passed away suddenly.

During this time, family and friends from near and far gathered to acknowledge and celebrate this wonderful man.

Along with the tremendous outpouring of love and support, many of the people in attendance brought all types of treats for everyone to share as we offered sweet stories from the life of this very special soul.


How do you serve and support others in your communities facing challenging times?

What gestures and offerings ease the pain to help make life a bit sweeter?

Embrace all of your wins no matter their size

Embrace all of your wins no matter their size.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by National Cancer Institute

As we begin a new year it is a common practice to reflect on the year gone by to see how it compared to our expectations.

Far too many of us experience regret and even shame for coming up short of our grandiose plans. With the wind knocked out of our sails, it’s increasingly difficult to shoot for the stars again in the year ahead.

Instead of looking through these lenses, consider the phrase What I got done today is what I got done today.

Acknowledge all your wins, in which you met the many challenges that landed in your lap the past 365 days.


Display the phrase What I got done today is what I got done today on your bathroom mirror.

Reflect on its simple wisdom each morning and night as you brush your teeth for at least two minutes.

Better dental checkups will be an added bonus!

“The path of least resistance is a terrible teacher.”

“The path of least resistance is a terrible teacher.”

Ryan Holiday, American author and host of the podcast The Daily Stoic

Image from Unsplash by Taylor Flow

Look back on your life and consider your most impactful teachers.

Which of them left a lasting impression where — even today — you still refer to their lessons?

How often do you recall wanting to be challenged and stretched versus going for that easy “A”?

In today’s convenience-centric world, the goal most often seems to focus on maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.

What has this approach taught us and how has it weakened our spirits and resolve?


Consider reading Robert Fritz’s book, The Path of Least Resistance to see what it has to offer.

Feel free to let me know your top take-aways as you wrestle with this concept.

See the humanity in others. We are all wrestling with our own stuff

See the humanity in others. We are all wrestling with our own stuff that is making life messy and difficult.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Bud Helisson

To a certain degree we are all narcissists. We can’t help but look through the lenses of our own trials and challenges each day. Doing this can often create a separation between ourselves and others in our communities. We can come to think that the burdens we carry are somehow unique to us and are of far greater magnitude.

I recently watched the National Geographic series 9/11 One Day in America. and got a big wake up call at how our troubles pale in comparison. I’ve also realized in the past few years since Covid the wrestling done by most people is far more than I ever imagined.


To what degree do you take the time to fully embrace the humanity in others? Take a few extra moments today to be interested rather than interesting and see what you discover.

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”

Truman Capote, 20th Century American novelist, playwright and actor

Image from Unsplash by the blowup

Wendy and I recently spent a week in Florida to help celebrate one of our dear friend’s 90th birthday. This special lady is only four feet eight inches tall and probably weighs only a bit more than my five-year-old grandson.

During our time together, I had numerous chances to discuss some of her challenging life events and pivotal moments that helped shape who she is.

It is often said that good things come in small packages—in her case, I’m sure that her keen wit, energy and enthusiastic love of life had folks come from near and far to celebrate her flavorful life!


How would a shift from seeing failure as a bitter pill to a tasty condiment give your life more flavor to savor in the years ahead?


Deep roots are not reached by the frost

“Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of The Rings

Image from Unsplash by Ross Stone

Over the last month, much attention has focused on the many wildfires in Canada and their significant impact on the air quality in many North American cities.

Canada has 28% of the world’s Boreal Zones, which represents 552 million hectares (a hectare is about 2.5 acres or 10,000 square meters). About 75% of this area is forest and woodlands.

Forest fires have a renewal capacity to keep these relatively young forests spanning the earth in other countries including the United States, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and China.

Some additional good news to counter the carbon releasing aspects of these fires is that their roots go deep enough to keep these trees alive through the often-bitter cold winters experienced in these regions. Many bird species and animals—such as caribou—count on this deeply rooted ecosystem to thrive.


Where in your life are you deeply rooted?

How does this capacity help you survive and thrive during the burning and frigid aspects of life?

“When elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.”

“When elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers.”

—African proverb

Image from Unsplash by Jonathan Plugaru

Who are the elephants in your world? Take a look through your personal and professional communities. Look also beyond your immediate communities to national and global elephants that are throwing their weight around.

How are their skirmishes and all-out brawls impacting the grass and smaller, less powerful creatures beneath their feet? How much disruption, destruction, and scars are left that may never fully heal?


Where and how can you use the sunnier, milder days of the coming spring to calm the elephants in your world?

What actions can you take to reseed your world for all creatures to graze in peace?

Friday Review: Challenges


How do you perceive and react to challenges in your life? Here are a few challenge-related posts you may have missed.


“No-one would ever have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.”





“Some of the best gifts come wrapped in sandpaper.”






“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.”








“The challenges that we face test us and help reveal our true potential.”

“The challenges that we face test us and help reveal our true potential.”

—Jon Gordon, Author of The Carpenter

Image from Unsplash by Taylor Wilcox

In school, we receive a lesson and then take the test. In life, we are tested and challenged—and only then do we sometimes embrace the lesson.

How and in what ways are your personal and professional circumstances testing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual capacities? Where are you being pushed and pulled to stretch beyond your perceived limits?

Where does your true potential lie beyond your current view of yourself?

Answering these questions many not always give us a full picture of our potential growth opportunities. Sometimes members of our communities who act as sounding boards or mirrors can reveal even more than we can visualize on our own.


Identify at least one family member, professional colleague, mentor, or coach to explore the various challenges and tests you are facing. Explore how such relationships can reveal even more of your true potential. Consider how taking on such a role for others can also enhance your own growth.


“Global Warming = Atmospheric Cancer.”

“Global Warming = Atmospheric Cancer.”

Seth Godin, American Author

Image from Unsplash by nikohoshi

For the past century—and particularly the last few decades—most of us have been paying increased attention to climate change.

Signs of our industrialized society include increases in local and global temperatures, receding glaciers, and melting Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves. Even the lessening ability to see a night sky full of stars is an indicator.

One non-scientific observation I’ve made recently is the seeming bluer skies and fresher air I experience on my daily walks. My neighbors and their dogs seem to notice as well.

Perhaps taking our feet off the gas pedals of our lives is giving our beautiful planet time to breathe and begin healing.


How can we all continue to take far better care of our extraordinary planet as we continue to combat, treat, and prevent the impact of COVID-19 and other local, national, and global challenges?