Sunshine for Your Pocket

The world can seem pretty ugly these days, can’t it? Is it any wonder we turn to entertainment for escape? Sometimes, we just want a happy ever after, a joyful place to visit for a bit. The Oscars are this weekend, offering up all kinds of beauty and one of the soundtracks caught my ear.

One of Original Song nominees is Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling. I’ve mentioned this song before but it’s worth repeating – how do you not get up and dance along?  It looks like pretty much everyone has a little sunshine in their pocket.

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Timberlake produced the music for Trolls and his fingerprints are all over it, including a cover of Earth Wind and Fire’s September – apparently, this is the first time the band re-recorded it, so they were in the studio with Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. Do you remember?

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Been knocked around in traffic (see Traffic Jam)? How about Get Back Up Again, featuring Anna Kendrick?

Hey!

I’m not giving up today

There’s nothing getting in my way

And if you knock knock me over

I will get back up again

If something goes a little wrong

Well you can go ahead and bring it on

‘Cause if you knock knock me over, I will get back up again

Feeling a bit whimsical? The opening song on the soundtrack is Hair Up. I’m half tempted to get a bucket of gel (5 gallons might do it)and put my hair in the air. Yeah, it’s a little silly but everyone could use a dose from a glitter bomb. YOLOoooooo!

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Want another take on Sounds of Silence? Yes, seriously (more singing). It helps me relax. 😉

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And, if you want some pure beauty, watch this video of Kendrick and Timberlake performing a cover of True Colors at the Cannes Film Festival. If you’re a cynic about live performances and lip synching, this one will restore a little faith. Ahhhhhhhhh. There’s that sunshine feeling.

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Have a fabulous weekend, may you all have a little beauty. ❤

 

Faith

Wow, it’s that time! countdownTwenty eight years ago, I walked into 633 Folsom in San Francisco, both nervous and excited to get started. My only goal? I wanted to work for a company that would give me room to grow. After my first day, my first week, my first month, my first year (!) I couldn’t believe they were paying me to do this stuff. (Yeah, that was not the first time I realized I was a nerd on a cosmic scale….. I can hear y’all snickering.) All these years later, I am so grateful for all of the adventures and opportunities I’ve had.

I’ve been so, So, SO fortunate to have y’all in my life and to have you share yours. I’m most grateful for your inspiration and I hope y’all know how much you’ve meant to me. There are not enough words (and y’all don’t have enough time 😉 ) for me to list all the things we’ve accomplished together. I have to mention, however, the most important of these was the world we built. We brought out the best in each other and I wish y’all the best as you carry on the AT&T community.

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As I sign off from AT&T for the last time, I leave you with this song –  Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande’s Faith (From “Sing”)

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Every time I see it, I’m reminded of the faith we have in each other, I’m reminded of y’all.

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Every time you see it, I hope you think of those in your life that need you for their inspiration.

Thank you for having faith in me and best wishes for a fabulous 2017!

Caryn

Have a Little Faith

Good Morning and Happy Monday!

Today’s sermon is Have a Little Faith.  😉

Let’s start with you. At the bottom of each metaphorical hill, do you think you’ll manage to climb it? Most days, we each have faith in ourselves, even if we can’t see exactly how we’ll manage it. After all, getting out of bed some mornings is the biggest act of optimism we have.

Now let’s move on to those you love, your closest family members, by blood, marriage, or otherwise. Do you doubt your loved ones’ ability to rise above, to learn new things, to right yesterday’s wrongs? Of course you do. I remember I cried when our oldest was accepted into college, not because I doubted him, but because we were so happy for him. Even when he doubted himself, we knew he could do it.

Let’s move further out, to those you know but aren’t invested in, like the neighbor who’s up for a promotion, the barista who’s working their way through college or your co-worker’s child, who’s saving for their first car. Do you have faith in their ability to learn, to change, to achieve? Or do you doubt them? Of course you have faith. It costs you nothing and you’re pleased when they accomplish their goal, right?

Up the challenge a bit, though. If the individual in question does something you don’t understand, or worse, don’t like or agree with, do you still have faith that they can rise to the challenge? Or do you focus on their flaws? Many of us focus on the flaws, especially if we’re not invested. We find ourselves expecting the worst. Children misbehave, jerks cut you off in traffic and “those people” always mess with your day. (Notice it’s always “those people” and not “my people” who mess with you.) Maybe you even doubt your own loved one. After all, the last time they were late it was because…. (fill in the blank with whatever awful thing they’d done in the past) …. and why wouldn’t they keep doing something thoughtless? It’s a wonder you bother with them at all, given how horribly awful they are, right? Isn’t the definition of faith seeing something that isn’t proven?

Expecting the worst of people takes no faith. Expecting others to do their best takes tremendous faith, especially if the individual has history. But don’t we all? Don’t each of us want to be measured on what we accomplished today, not what we failed to do yesterday?

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The joy of living in our culture is that we have the power of choice. We can choose to be optimistic, and have faith in each other. Or we can choose to be pessimistic and expect the worst. I choose faith. I choose to see opportunity. I choose to see the value in those around me. This is not because I’m naive or blind to their flaws, or that I’m happy with the consequences if (not when) they fall short. It’s because I don’t want to live in a world where everyone expects the worst of each other. I want to live in a world where we expect the best.

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How about you? Do you choose to have faith? I know many of you do because you’ve shown that you have faith in me. You’ve shown appreciation when I got it right and given me constructive feedback when I got it wrong, even when you didn’t know me well. We’ve grown together as a community and as friends because we have faith in each other.

As we go through challenging political times, I have faith in each of us to find the best, most productive path forward. I have faith that we really are better together, not in spite of our disagreements, but because we know that we are more in common than we are in difference. Even if we have apprehensions, I hope we all have a little faith that we will find our way. If you need a little musical inspiration, here’s is John Hiatt’s Have a Little FaithJohn Hiatt’s Have a Little FaithJohn Hiatt’s Have a Little Faith.

Have a great week!

Caryn

 

Get Back on the Bike

Good morning!

Are you ready for Monday? It’s the last week of 2Q and the midpoint for 2016 – can you believe it??? The year is half over!!

We live and work at a fast pace; I’m sure you know about the pressure to keep up and also get it right, day in and day out. How do you balance the two – faster, faster, faster versus accuracy, rigor and sureness?

if we wait until we're ready

That wise sage, Lemony Snicket, said it well, “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting the rest of our lives.” Isn’t that the truth? Taking too long to get something done is often the same as doing nothing. Yet, we often take more time, not less, to make decisions. Why is it so difficult to move faster? My bet is most folks would say the risk of not getting it right makes them cautious, sometimes overly so. Reality bites. Failing isn’t fun but it’s also completely normal because real life is full of failures and recoveries. If we only worry about the failures, we miss the opportunities, don’t we?

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One way of taking the sting out of failures is to talk about them. By hiding them away, or hoping folks don’t see them, we make them bigger than they really are. Instead, how about we talk about our failures, big and small, and also what we learned from them? Let’s think about them just enough to put them in context and then put them aside.

I’ll get you started, here’s a random list of my failures:

  1. Didn’t make it into Stanford.
  2. Had to withdraw a tariff filing.
  3. Called someone by the wrong name on multiple conference calls.
  4. Didn’t pass an undergrad biology class.
  5. Fell off my bike. Repeatedly. While standing still. In front of a bunch of other riders, some of whom I worked with. Pfffft.

Now here’s that same list with the other half of the story:

  1. Graduated from UC Berkeley.
  2. Fixed the tariff and refiled it.
  3. Apologized.
  4. Took the class again and passed. Graduated summa cum laude from two graduate programs.
  5. Got back on the dang bike and pedaled.  Crossed the finish line of the Hotter Than Hell. Whoot!

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I’m ok with my failures. I’m even better with the other half of the story. How about you?Does thinking about your failures and putting them in perspective make it easier for you to take a risk? I hope so. I hope they inspire you to keep trying!

Have a great week, let’s wrap the month, the quarter, the first half of 2016 STRONG!

Caryn

Bring Out the Best

Welp, it’s Monday! Are ya ready??? I hope so, ready or not, here we come!

Y’all have heard me talk about bringing out the best in each other, right? This means that we look for the best in each other, we accept each other and we find ways to be better together. Last week I read about this philosophy in action.

Some of my team has had the privilege to work with Clearlink. They are a very successful sales company and I believe it’s because of their inclusive culture; their mantra is ‘create and maintain valuable relationships’. Named One of the Best Places to Work by Outside magazine (2013), Clearlink’s vibe is so strong that you can feel the energy every time you step in the door.

Recently, Jordan Jarvis, one of Clearlink’s sales managers, posted Losing Everything to Find Myself, a story about his personal struggles and journey to overcome them. In it, he talks about Aaron Hansen, VP of Sales and how Aaron invested in him. Instead of seeing Jordan’s struggles, Aaron saw Jordan’s opportunities and gave him room to grow into them. If you’ve worked with Clearlink, you’ve witnessed their positive approach. Many of us have been lucky enough to witness this firsthand. Whoot!

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Do you have someone who has done the same, who has invested in you? Do you do this for someone? Jordan’s story reminds me of one of my favorite books – Leadership and the Art of Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box. It’s all about expecting folks to succeed and not assuming they’ll fail. It’s a great read if you want to explore relationship building. If you want some concrete steps to bringing out the best in each other, Fast Company’s Six Habits of People Who Know How to Bring Out the Best in Others is a good read.

Make the week great!

Caryn

Always Trust Your Cape

Congrats, you made it through another week!

On Monday, we said goodbye to a number of folks at work – some who have been with the company for 40 years. Today we say goodbye to a long time teammate, John Devenney. He’s going on an awesome vacation before moving to new adventures and I cannot wait to see his photos as he explores the world.

Bittersweet is the best word I can find for saying goodbye – we hate to see someone go but we also know they’re going to have a great adventure.

In honor of all those who are moving on, here’s one of my favorite Guy Clark songs, The Cape. He has such a way with lyrics –

He’s one of those

Who knows

Life is just a leap of faith

Spread your arms

An’ hold your breath

And always trust your cape.

… He did not know he could not fly

And so he did.

 

Isn’t that the message every parent should give their kid, every one of us should give each other? The cape is a great metaphor for trusting your ability to take risks.

kid cape

If you need a little more inspiration to get you through a bittersweet week – How about Rusted Root’s Send Me On My Way or Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now (this version with Adam Lambert, playful and all about the crowd). I’ve got these on my Friday playlist for a reason – upbeat, energizing and inspiring – what’s on your playlist today?

To all of our friends leaving the business – ciao, adieu, adios, auf wiedersehen, au revoir, until we meet again, Godspeed!

Caryn

How much do you love me?

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Before

 

I was thinking a lot about forgiveness this weekend, after I had a discussion with a retired minister. The conversation started with us discussing something my husband, Martin, did. A couple of weeks ago, when I came home, Martin greeted me with, “How much do you love me?”

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Before

 

Hmmmmmm. As a conversation starter, what does that inspire in you? My reaction was A) What did you buy? or B) What did you do? In this case, it was B; he’d seriously messed up one of my finished pieces (y’all know I knit, right?). It was a gorgeous wool vest that shouldn’t be machine washed because it shrinks – seriously shrinks, as in, fits-a-child-shrinks.

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After, compared to another version that is original size.

 

Anywhoways, the point is, hubby did something and was worried about my reaction. Sweet, right? I couldn’t get mad; it actually made me laugh to look at it. (It also made a bunch of my fiber friends laugh…) And therein lies the point of the discussion with the minister.

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After. Definitely after.

 

She (yes, she; bet y’all thought it would be a he…), she said that this was very forgiving of me, as if it cost me something to not get mad about the ruined vest. I thought differently – it would cost me wayyyyy more to get mad. Here’s why: First, I appreciated that he felt bad (after all, he did ruin it) but I also felt bad that he felt bad. People make mistakes and we need to give each other room to do so without judgment; empathizing with them is part of this and judging others degrades your relationship in my view. And really, what’s more important to you, the relationship or the mistake? Getting angry about it would put the emphasis on the mistake and not on him. Since he’s so much more important to me than any object, it makes sense, right? It also helped that it made me laugh (one reason I married him) and that he didn’t mind when I shared a picture of it with some friends and we laughed ourselves silly. I ask you, did forgiveness cost me or benefit me?

 

Our friend Patrick models the new-and-improved vest, errr, hat.  Whaddaya think?

Our friend Patrick modeling the after version as a hat.         Whaddaya think?

Why this topic, this day? Because today is when we honor the Reverend Martin Luther King, Junior. He’s famous for many things; one of my favorite quotes on forgiveness is his:

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King, Junior.

Not every instance of forgiveness is easy. It’s usually quite difficult but that’s beside the point. Forgiveness is often more about how we think of the world and forgiveness, or a lack of it, affects how we act and how we influence others. If you get a moment today, think about forgiveness. It’s one way to honor Reverend King’s legacy.