My Blog

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…

Rock n Roll Adam Lori Katie Shannon

This Is What Victory Looks Like

This year was the 10th anniversary of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon, and once again, I had plans to run it with my friends. After a few years of not participating (COVID and conflicts), I was really looking forward to running this year. I had written a 14–week training plan for me and…

Sorry

Own Your Sorries

How many times a day do you apologize? I hear the qualifying phrase, “I’m sorry, but…” all the time, and I do not like it. Usually, the speaker goes on to say what they truly believe. How is this being sorry? I have noticed that women tend to do this more than men. It is…

Inspiration

Inspiration

A steady stream of inspiration can be life changing. What are you doing to be inspired? Reading uplifting books? Watching uplifting shows? Listening to positive music and podcasts? Or… Are you doom scrolling? Listening to negative music? Watching depressing and violent shows? You have a choice. You have greatness in you. What are you doing…