Monday, 19 April 2021

Friday, 16 April 2021

April 16, 2021 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   The other day I read something about a business in Japan that has a 100-year plan that is guiding their business and daily practices. 

   Now, while I understand that they are making sure they are around long-term, I don’t agree with the whole concept of long-term planning like that.  Heck, I don’t even agree with 5-year plans (I have had to make a few in my past, and been held to them even though conditions had dramatically changed).

   The biggest problem with planning is that we make the plans based on where we are, and the current conditions, and no matter how innovative our thinking, we cannot envision what will be available in the future.

   Someone making a 100-year plan back in 1921 and using it as their template for their business, had no concept of the technology we have available to us now (even Steve Jobs didn’t have any idea of how pervasive the smart phone would ultimately become in our society in such a short time period), or even how societal norms are changing the face of business, as well as other sectors of life.

  And, yes, all business owners plan to be around forever when they open a business, but how many sectors have been dramatically changed, or even been rendered completely obsolete in the past 100 years?

   We can, and should, prepare as much as we can for possible eventualities, but in terms of creating a PLAN to guide us, well, if nothing else, this pandemic has taught us that plans can, and do, change suddenly.

   I have often joked that I’m on plan M or N in my day as things have shifted so much that I’ve gone through plans A to L already.  And that is the way life is.  We have to make a tweak in our schedule here, or totally abandon a project there, we have to cancel an activity today, or take a detour tomorrow, and the next thing you know, any plans have been totally tossed out the window in frustration.

   Does that mean we can’t have goals, or a future destination in mind?  No, it just means that we need to be more open to the opportunities and adjustments that occur and change our directions as necessary instead of getting hung up on some particular plan that we have created.


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Wednesday, 14 April 2021


The real secret to getting things done
 is knowing what things need to remain undone.
  - Robin Sharma

Monday, 12 April 2021


It’s not so much all we actually have to do 
in any one week that kills us, 
it’s thinking about all we have to do. 
 - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Friday, 9 April 2021


If it wasn’t difficult at the start, 
it wouldn’t be real change. 
 - Robin Sharma

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Monday, 5 April 2021


Every morning starts a new page in your story. 
Make it a great one today.
 - Doe Zantamata

Friday, 2 April 2021

April 2, 2021 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   The other day, I was reading a bit about the science behind habit formation.

   Now we all know that “good” habits are hard to form, and that “bad” habits are even harder to break.  We’ve all heard that it takes 21 days (though some experts say it’s more like 90 to 120 days) to form a new habit, and the easiest way to make a new habit stick is to toggle it onto an existing habit.  And, most of us (adults) have been told at least once that there is a particular habit (or more than 1) we “should” or “must” change or implement for better health, or lifestyle improvement.

   But no matter what we’ve been told about habits, I realized that the habits that really and truly stick, are not the ones we think we “should” have, or have been told we “have to have,” but the ones that we just do because they are so enjoyable.

   Think about it, why are bad habits so easy to pick up and oh-so-hard to put back down?  It’s because on some level the habit is making us happy in some form, AND we don’t feel pressured at all to do the habit.

   Instead of trying to create a new habit in 21 days, we’d be better off if we could find the particular FORM of the habit we want to create that is easy and fun for us.  For example, rather than forcing ourselves to do a specific type of exercise for 30 minutes per day because we’ve been TOLD we should, we would be much more successful if we find a type of movement we enjoy doing, and then do it more often during the day.

   For me, I’ve created habits both ways.  I’ve implemented habits I’ve been told I needed to (and most I dropped as they didn’t work for me), and I’ve created long-term habits out of something that interested me.

   Last year, just for fun, I decided to draw a very simple cartoon/comic drawing (in ballpoint pen on plain white paper) that I could complete in 5 minutes or less.  By the time this is published, I’ll have competed approximately 267 of these drawings, completing one EVERY DAY (see below).  Now, if I had wanted to create the habit of doing these drawings I’d have probably made it much more complicated than it ended up being.  That’s another secret - besides fun, make your habits super simple!


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Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Friday, 26 March 2021


Let us postpone nothing. 
 Let us balance life’s account every day...
One who daily puts the finishing touches to his life
 is never in want of time. 
 - Seneca

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Common Sense

Everybody gets so much information all day 
long that they lose their common sense.  
- Gertrude Stein

Monday, 22 March 2021


We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, 
while others judge us by what we have already done.
  - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, 19 March 2021

March 19, 2021 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

    March is the final month of the year-long mentorship program that I joined in 2020. 

   When I made the decision to join last year, I was at the end of a 6-month creativity program which seemed to have brought me right back to where I was when I started it, COVID was just becoming a concern and the lockdown was a very new (and we thought temporary) reality, plus, I was getting a glimmer of hope that I may actually really and truly be getting healthier.

   A year later, and I am definitely healthier, but I have (in all honesty) not even come close to completing my main goal for the year - which was to have the house contents all sorted and dealt with.  That said, I have made significant progress, but more importantly, I have accomplished things that weren’t even part of any imminent goals or dreams.

   I met (virtually) two of the most amazing women from Australia, and we’ve been meeting weekly via Zoom for almost the entire year, as we encourage and support each other.  I created the labyrinth in my garden, and I self-published a chapbook and two wisdom decks.  There were other smaller accomplishments, that all together, add up to a very impressive year of growth and accomplishment.  All in all, I’m happy with my progress and look forward to joining for another year.


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