Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The other night I was on the phone with a good friend of mine who was worried about his upcoming birthday. He (as I will in about six weeks) will turn 25. He started to freak out a little about where he is in life and how he thinks he should be someplace else. It made me think...

I think so many of us go through a quarter life crisis because we are confused. Through our lives, everyone our age is just about at the same point. At five we go to kindergarten. At six we are in first grade. At 13 we are in middle school and at 18 we graduate high school. After high school, most of us are ushered off to college because that is what we are "supposed to do." Some go their own way, but they are in the minority at this point in society. At 22 we graduate college with a degree and big dreams. As we spend our last summer days soaking up the sun, we each start to go our own direction and this is where many of us get lost.

The days of being a student are over...or just beginning for those who choose to return to higher education for advanced degrees. Some start applying to "real" jobs to start their careers while others have their eyes on husbands, wives and children. This is where we all branch off and move with our dreams and goals and therefore, land in all places imaginable.

Those who move home envy those who move out. Those with low salaries envy those with high salaries. Those who hate their jobs long for careers in which they have a passion. Some surpass careers to live their dream of starting a family. In all these situations, everyone is in a different place and this is where your parents old words of wisdom come in handy: Don't compare yourself to others. This is the time, more important than any time before, to realize who we are, what makes us happy and where we want to go. It is not a problem if we aren't quite where we want to be, as long as we know where we want to go.

As my dad (good 'ol Euge) said to me the other day on our drive back from the gym, "You know, life is like driving. As long as you know where you are going and you don't get lost when you encounter detours and construction, and know how to merge safely, you will arrive at your destination after the long journey. But if you don't take the time to stop at the stoplights and look out the window, you will miss the scenery. You won't get to see the things you are passing as the journey continues. It's about where you end up, but more importantly about the ride and the fun you have getting there." Advice you always hear, but it can't hurt to hear it one more time.

Good for you, Euge.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I Am Not Jewish (posted a little late...oops)

I guess I should learn something about the Jewish religion being that everyone assumes I am in fact, Jewish. I work with people who are Jewish and since Rosh Hashanah was this past week and Yom Kippur is approaching, I thought I would inquire within.

My colleagues were more than happy to share with me about their religion and after hearing what they had to say, I was intrigued.

I am by no means a “religious” person. I believe in God and I believe that he can hear me and helps me through life. I believe that every obstacle I face was put there for a reason and that every person who comes and goes in my life, was meant to be there at the very moment in which they were.

I also believe that we know the best we can be…we either chose to be that person or ignore the vision. We inherently know if each decision we make is the right or wrong decision and how it might make us feel. It is the choice that we make that determines who we become.

The time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a time for self-reflection. It is a time to reflect on the events and decisions of the past year and the person we are today. It is a time to reflect on how we can become better people and achieve personal satisfaction. Although I do not believe any one person is satisfied with who they are, they can at least be satisfied knowing they are on the way to becoming the person they want to be…and that is what it is all about. As said many times, “life is a journey, not a destination.” I mean, where are we going anyway? If we think destination is the end, then that would be death and who wants to travel along the road considering death to be the end?

To me, the journey is the road to molding who we are and who we will become. It is deciding what we want to accomplish and how we can leave every place a little better than it was when we got there. It is about touching lives and putting our goals in sight knowing that we need to embrace those on our way to get there. It is a journey of emotions, accomplishments and self-fulfillment.

So at this time when Jews are reflecting, I think everyone should take time to do this. Although setting New Year’s resolutions might be similar to this, we are not forced to “reflect,” just to decide how to improve. We should all, as I like to put it, take a step outside of ourselves and look from another’s point of view. We should compare our image to our identity and our reputation to our character, notice the discrepancies and determine what we need to change to continue the journey in the best way we know possible.

If we all took a minute to do this and a lifetime dedicated to the journey, the world would be a better place…how commercial.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What and Why.

When you grow up, your career is basically what leads your life. It is about 75 percent of who you are and affects who you will become.

When you are young, people always ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?” A simple [insert job title here] is accepted. No one continues the question and asks “why?” The answer to the “why” might just be more important than the answer to the “what.” Think about it…

As we grow up, the “why” starts to become even more important. It reflects who we are and who we want to be. If we cannot answer the “why,” then maybe the question should be restructured or our answers should be rethought. Maybe the sequence of the questions should be reversed and we should focus on “who do you want to become and what do you want to accomplish?” Then “what profession will help foster those accomplishments?”

As I sit here, about to go on an interview (the reason the question “why” popped into my head), I know that I want to make a difference. I want to be a role model, a positive influence and an inspiration to those around me. Often times I see the good people, the obstacles they overcame to be standing in front of me, and I want them feel appreciated and know that dreams can be achieved. The keys to success include support, the right attitude (confidence) and the inner strength that can sometimes be so hard to find. I see too many people who just got to their job, do it and leave...or worse, do it for the wrong reasons. They don’t go home and think about if they are satisfied, fulfilled or are on their way to accomplishing what they planned. They just do it without passion.

As I write this, I sit in the park at Independence Hall and watch the school kids run around. I wonder who each of them will become and where they will go and how lucky those teachers are to be directing them to sit by the tree for lunch and more importantly, directing their lives. Hmmm, I wonder why I took that wrong turn in my life and I am sitting here looking in, rather than being on the inside looking out….

It’s okay because one day, I WILL teach. I will be a positive influence and will have people listen to me and think “that is something I will never forget and will help me get through life.” Teaching, sharing, influencing—those are the gifts I was given and who am I to be so selfish as to keep them to myself? :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


One of the things that force you to reflect is when you make a mistake. It could be something you did unknowingly or something you did and then knew it was a mistake right away. Or it could be the kind of mistake you don't realize until you look back—and as they say hindsight is 20/20.

The mistakes that really make me think are the ones we make more than once. It is the mistakes we make and know we should not do it again, but chose to do so. Why?

I think sometimes it is for personal reasons. It might be a way to make ourselves feel better in the moment, but know the consequences will be felt after and that is something to not be concerned with at the present time. Maybe sometimes to prove something to ourselves or to others—prove we can do something or that we have the guts to make the wrong decision. Or sometimes we have no idea why we made that decision (and might not want to think about it), but we did it.

These mistakes, like the others, make us who we are...but is that who we want to be? Can we face reality and understand that who we are relies on what we do?

At times we all do things we don't necessarily agree with or believe are against our morals...but are they really if we do them? We become our mistakes even if we can't see it happening. Even if we rationalize and try to convince ourselves that it was a one time mistake or blame it on other was still our bodies and our minds making that choice in that situation, which is exactly what we wanted to do at that one single moment of time.

The challenge is then not to identify the mistake (because inherently I believe we all know our mistakes), but to find out why we did it and decide if that is who we really want to be…

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Isn’t it weird how sometimes someone says something that is right on point. They say it and you literally feel like a light bulb lit up on top of your head. Then you kind of think, “why didn’t I think of that it is so obvious?” Duh!

But it is that step outside of your own mind, the perspective of an outsider, that is exactly what we need to understand a situation and what we need to do, or not do. It is usually our closest friends or family that refuses to sugarcoat the truth and just lays it down like it should be. It is those people, the ones who are straightforward and know that no matter what they say, your relationship with that person will endure all opinions, and they will be helping to make you a better person in the end that we need to keep close. Those people are the ones who deserve our respect. They are the most valuable people in our lives and the ones we should turn to when we know the truth just might hurt.

You just have to squint and stay strong, pull it together and hear the truth.

… then the hard part is ensuring that your actions are aligned with what you heard, what you know you should do and what you actually do--That is all up to the individual and a true test of character.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


During parts of our lives, it is ok to be sad. We don’t have to feel guilty for being unhappy or unsatisfied. People often think that because things could be worse, they have no right to be unhappy…but that is not true.

The difference is being unhappy and giving up. Sure times get rough and many of us want to throw in the towel. Even when we try to be positive and assure ourselves that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes the tunnel closes and leave us deeper in despair and less hopeful.

It is those times we must continue to be positive. Giving up is taking the easy way out. It takes a lot to embrace the hard times and just consider them as a lesson to be learned rather than just quitting. But what do you learn from quitting? You learn that it is easy, but not fulfilling and it does not accomplish a thing.

There is always going to be something better on the way. You might hit a few potholes on your way there, but the reward will be waiting at the end and you just have to keep faith that it will be there.

We can be unhappy and embrace the hard times, but we must remember that not giving up means understanding why we are sad and doing something about it. Taking a step back to examine the situation and planning an attack will lead us closer to achievement.

Emotions are what make us. We should feel sad. At the times we are truly sad, it feels good to know that a person can feel so deeply. It also means that at the times we feel happy, we are truly experiencing the full feeling of that emotion. If we didn’t feel anything, what would drive us? What would make us want to achieve and do better?

Being sad and emotional is not a bad thing…it means we are human.

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Our business attitude might often parallel our relationship attitude. Those who want to succeed in life, those who accept nothing less than success, we strive to make everything work. As a smart friend once said, “You believe that when you work hard at something, when you put your heart and passion into it, you expect it to work.” Isn’t that the truth?

I am ambitious, I set goals and I do everything in my power to achieve them… So when something doesn’t go as planned, I am shocked, critical and not sure what I could have done better. I seek the constructive criticism that comes with work and school and in a relationship, there is not always something that “went wrong” or could have been controlled.

And that is a difficult concept to swallow.

Not everything goes awry due to an intentional or unintentional action. Often times it is because of emotions, situations or again, timing.

So the business concepts of not giving up and working hard to make things work become less important in personal matters. We must understand that giving up on a relationship that isn’t working is okay. Working hard to make things work and having them fall apart is okay. These are not things we can necessarily control and if we could, think about those dangers.

Not everything can be controlled. Emotions are emotions and the idea of not giving up and trying to fix what is broken sometimes become useless morals in love. So, give up when you should, know that not everything can be fixed… but when you know your heart is right, fight for what you want and fix what you can…

The key is to know what is a matter of business and your brain, what is a matter of the heart and which reigns in each situation.

Now that is something to ponder…