As I’m thinking of winding down my career and doing something – dare I say – that really interests me, I am thinking that this is the perfect opportunity to reinvent myself.

Well, I may not want to reinvent myself, but it is a nice feeling to think that I could if I wanted to.  I realize now that much of my sense of self has connected with my work.  Somehow I now feel like I have more control over who I am and more freedom to do what I want.  What a great feeling.

But with that comes a sense of responsibility.  I have a much higher expectation for my next fifty years, knowing that I’m not so heavily influenced my parents, friends, being concerned about what others thought of me, etc.

So, here’s the big question… how will I make the next fifty years really count?

Brilliant.  Ground-breaking.  Our competitive advantage.

What a rush to hear such descriptives from company leaders regarding a project that I’ve put a lot of time into.  The power of praise is an incredible thing. And one that I must use much more with my own team.

But just as these simple expressions buoyed my spirits all day, a negative sentiment expressed without thought was what I focused on all night.

DSCF0413I am not alone in putting undue emphasis on small stuff at times.  More often than I’d like to admit.  How do we keep it all in perspective?  Why do we allow someone else to control how we feel about ourselves?

It’s one of the great mysteries in life.  I try to remind myself that no can alter my outlook… only I have that power.

I am a real fan of salad bars.  I love choices.   The thrill of discovering water chestnuts.  The disappointment of no garbanzo beans.

I prefer to check out all of my options P9121654before I make my choices.   Some might say that I am too choosy.  I remember my boss observing me with amazement (unbeknownst to me) as I agonized over choosing just the right cherry tomato.  Getting the perfect balance of ingredients in the salad is an art.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get a preview of our options in life before making choices?   Think of all the time we could save.  All the mistakes we could avoid.

But maybe it’s a good thing that we can’t always know what lies ahead for us.  Disappointments would be unavoidable.  Surprises would be non-existent.  Salad bars will have to suffice.