My Blog

Wicked

Life Is Your Stage

When Ed and I were in London a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to see the show Wicked. Every time I see it, I think Popular is my favorite song, but then they do Defying Gravity, and I almost lose it. Then towards the end, they perform For Good, and I actually do…

Jacqueline in Oxford

What Are You Capable Of?

Ed and I recently returned from visiting our daughter, Jacqueline, in England, where she is studying for a semester at Oxford University. I am so happy that she has this opportunity to learn, grow, and travel, but most of all, I am happy she has the opportunity to see what she is capable of on…

Get To or Got To Question Marks

Get To or Got To?

How many times have you said the phrase, “I’ve got to…” I’ve got to go to work. I’ve got to go to the grocery store. I’ve got to go to the gym. What if you changed it to I get to? I get to go to work. I get to go to the grocery store.…

Extra

Extraordinary

Words have always intrigued me. I love to read and write, and whenever I am writing, I try to choose the exact right word for the circumstance. Take the word extraordinary, for example. I cannot remember exactly when I discovered this, but extraordinary is actually two words—extra and ordinary. What a revelation it was when…

Working

What Are You Working For?

Every time I teach a class, I tried to ask my students what they are working for. Whether it is a fitness class or a public speaking class, students always say they want to get stronger—stronger muscles, stronger minds, stronger wills. But on the way to pursuing these goals, things always seem to get in…

Circumstances

What Controls Our Lives?

Sometimes when we are in the midst of a difficulty or a hard situation, we cannot think beyond the immediate circumstances to see how matters could play out. We imagine that our circumstances are unjust and that we do not deserve them. Case in point: I have always had to work hard to maintain a…

Barbara Bush

The Choice Is In the Fight

This week in my public speaking classes, we watched a speech from 30 years ago by Barbara Bush, who was then first lady of the United States. She was delivering the commencement speech at Wellesley College, a top-tier, all-women’s school. It was 1990, and Bush was 65 years old. She had supported her husband through…

Voice or Echo Microphone

Do You Want to Be a Voice or an Echo?

This was the first week of classes at Georgia Southern University, and it is such a joy to be back in the classroom teaching public speaking. There is something about a new semester, with a clean slate and eager students, that makes it seem like anything is possible. I always stary my classes with a…

Pressure

Under Pressure

What do you do when under pressure? Do you break? Or do you bend and find another way? Palm trees bend to withstand hurricane winds. They are meant to withstand pressure. So, too, are we, but we have to make that choice. Will you choose to be strong in the face of pressure by finding…

Checklists

My Checklist for Life

I am a big fan of checklists. I love to add something to a list and then check it off later when it is done. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment and makes me believe I can accomplish even more than I thought, since I usually add a lot to my lists. The…