PAUSE – 15.19 – Take Advantage Of Those Everyday Opportunities For Joy

Thimble Bucket Joy-w
My Thoughts:

Much energy is given to contemplating the idea of a bucket list – the aspirations we have for those once-in-a-lifetime experiences (like sky-diving, canoeing the Amazon, or visiting the pyramids).

There’s nothing wrong with thinking and dreaming big. The challenge is that so much of our everyday life plays out on a much smaller scale.

Because of this, Jennifer Louden recommends writing yourself a Thimble List. That’s a list of tiny thrills and joys that you want to experience often – things like:

  • surprising a client with an unexpected kindness
  • savoring a bowl of juicy strawberries
  • sharing laughs and adventures with a two year old
  • reading a great novel while stretched out in the shade

Ticking items off the bucket list is great; and engaging in small pleasures can be every bit as satisfying.


Your Thoughts:

Pause for a few minutes this week with pen and paper in hand.

Start your very own Thimble List. Post it somewhere to prompt you to take advantage of those everyday opportunities for joy.


News Notes:

Travel Plans – Most years, my husband and I usually plan our travel adventures for ‘off season’. This year, we’re trying something different and adventuring across the pond to experience the height of summer in points European. While we travel, I’ll be taking a month-long hiatus from creating these messages. Look for your next Pause ezine in your mailbox on July 22.

Malaise News – Thanks to all who offered their opinions on possible titles for programs on the topic of malaise. These phrases were amongst the top runners:

  • From Bored to Restored
  • Engagement Is An Inside Job
  • Spark A New Journey
  • Moving Through & Moving On
  • From Tired To Inspired
  • From Deflated to Elated

Although I haven’t yet settled on the final title, your feedback was very helpful in sorting the list and advancing the cause. Much appreciated!

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Life in General, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.18 – Character Is Every Bit As Remark-able As Accomplishment

Reflection: A noteworthy accomplishment or contribution is the most common trigger for extending appreciation to colleagues.

  • They’ve gone out of their way to lend a hand or pave the way.
  • They’ve committed their time and energy to something – perhaps even going above and beyond the call of duty.
  • They’ve certified, qualified or been promoted.
  • They’ve met or exceeded goals for sales, transactions, or deliverables – whatever is measured that’s deemed to count.
  • They’ve met a mid point project milestone or wound it up completely and sent it on its way.

Celebrating what others DO is important.

So, too, is the celebration of who people ARE – their character and their way of being in this world.

  • Perhaps someone is just naturally friendly or cordial – day in and day out.
  • Perhaps someone is very approachable – the kind of person who injects warmth into every interaction with colleagues and clients.
  • Perhaps someone is quick to quip – to crack a joke that lightens the mood.
  • Someone may be especially compassionate – highly tuned to the feelings of others and skilled at finding just the right words in a tough situation.

These characteristics – often taken for granted or overlooked – don’t always trigger a reading on the old appreci-ometer.

But they could and they should; because it’s precisely these ways of being that make such a positive difference in our relationships and our workplace cultures. Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Communication, Pause E-zines

PAUSE – 15.17 – Likely More Weary Than Lazy

not lazy bouchard-w

My Thoughts:

This is such a compassionate message. So often, I talk with people who do and have been doing such great things.

Yet they often say they are falling short of their ideal performance and not living up to their own expectations – much less the expectations of others.

Could it be, as Burchard suggests, sometimes we are simply tired? Worn out from pushing and pressing so hard for so long?

Or perhaps we’ve grown weary from going through the motions of life’s old familiar routines, and are just a tad too worn down to even consider something new? Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.16 – Are You Tending To The Tugs?

Vic Harbor Boat-wReflection: Seaports are fascinating places.

What I most enjoy watching are the tiny but powerful tug boats as they guide the larger Mother Ships in from and out to the sea.

Tugs are built for action not for show – rarely shiny nor streamlined in shape or finish. But despite their lack of polish, the port would be a mess without them. They’re essential in moments of transition.

Watch them at work and you’ll see they apply pressure in different ways. Some nose in at a right angle to the ship and nudge from the side. Some work in tandem from both sides at once.

Some tugs latch on up front and tow the ship in the desired direction. Some push from the rear – adding power from behind to guide the ship through the water.

Tugs help ships avoid collisions, come safely to mooring, navigate through tricky channels, and head confidently out to the open sea.


Action: As we navigate the murky waters of our everyday lives, we too rely on tugs. They may not be as visible as those in port, but they are present nonetheless. Read More…

Posted under Communication, Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.15 – Choose Today For A Better Tomorrow

Do something today -w


My Thoughts: 

It is far too easy to get caught up in the daily grind of responsibilities giving very little thought to how today’s choices affect tomorrow’s experience.

But impact the future, they do – one choice at a time. Minimize future resentment and regret by making at least one choice each day that honors your health, your relationships or your aspirations.


Your Thoughts:

  • What’s one action that will create a healthier you? Think movement, nourishment, or rest.
  • What’s one action that will enhance an important relationship you hope to enjoy well into the future? Think presence, connection, or appreciation.
  • What’s one action that will move you in the direction of your aspirations? Think experimenting, learning, or adventure.

Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.14 – He Didn’t Have to Do That

Abstract #10 - Pausegarden Props-wReflection: It’s nine o-clock on a Saturday. (Sounds a little Billy Joel-esque, doesn’t it?) However, it’s morning – not evening – and there’s not a piano in sight.

I pull into the parking lot behind the building where I’ll be attending a meeting scheduled to run till 3:30 that afternoon.

A commissionaire is already on hand writing a parking ticket for some poor soul. As I step out of my car to feed the meter for the day, he calls across the lot asking, “Are you staying long?” “About six hours,” is my reply.

He stops writing the ticket, and crosses over to tell me that there are a couple of meters in the lot that aren’t working. If I park at one of those, I can do so all day long for free.

He suggests I get back in the car, and he’ll guide me to one of the freebies. I do, and he does.

I express my thanks. His reply, “Glad I was here to help you out!” And off he goes.

As I turn the corner from the parking lot headed for my meeting, Billy (not his real name) approaches. Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.13 – Get Out There And Play

Outside & Play-wMy Thoughts: 

At one time or another, I’m sure that every parent has ordered a child to ‘Go Outside and Play’.

Translation: stop whining, get some fresh air, and work off some of that misdirected energy.

What if we took that advice to heart ourselves? What if outside meant more than just outdoors?

Suppose outside meant outside our cares, outside our concerns, outside our everyday habits of life and work.

And what if play meant more than riding a bike or kicking a ball?

What if play meant entertaining new ideas, connecting with new people, or trying new things?


Your Thoughts:

Go ahead. Give yourself permission to go outside and play this week!

  • What threshold will you step over?
  • What world will you explore?
  • What difference could it make to your well-being?


News Notes: Big thanks to the 425 of you who have invested the time and responded to the Survey On Malaise. I’ve taken a peak at a few of the early comments and am excited about analyzing the results.

If you’ve been meaning to weigh in, but you’ve been suffering a bit of malaise or overload in your world, there is still time to express your opinions. Survey closes April 30th. So hop on over today and share your views.

PS – You are most welcome to share the link with colleagues or friends whom you think might also have some valuable input or appreciate a chance for some guided reflection on the concept of malaise.


Mom’s Day Special:

PPPOCover-100wKatz-PPTA-100wLooking for a Mother’s Day gift to honor a mom in your world? Books last longer than flowers.

Gift her with copies of Press Pause…Press On and Press Pause…Think Again. She’ll appreciate the inspiration and remember your thoughtfulness as she makes her way through the easy reading pages. Each book features 64 of the most impactful Pause messages interspersed with quotes, anecdotes and
sketches as well.

This link will take you to more complete info on the books, including sample excerpts. On the info page, the Duo Deal#1 link will let you place your order for the twins.

PS – For every order placed before May 10th, I’ll toss in a complimentary copy of the booklet, Take A Break.


Posted under Appreciation, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Pause Poster Message, Wellness

PAUSE – 15.12 – Vet It Before You Voice It

Taste Your Words-border-wReflection: It had been several years since I had last seen either one of them.

She strode forward to greet me, stopped and remarked in a disappointed tone of voice, “Oh … I always think of you as much younger.”

As he put out his hand to shake mine, he observed, “I see someone’s been giving the scales quite a workout.”

You know, their words were true. I was a few years older and 10 pounds heavier than when I had last seen them. But, how to receive those comments with grace? That was my challenge.

I have learned over the years that there can be several voices rattling around in my head, each eager to put their spin on any situation.

First up with an interpretation was my uber-sensitive teenage self. She was spitting mad that I had just been insulted and dissed – told that I was old and fat.

Then my wiser more mature self took her turn. She suggested that the comments said more about the speakers than they did about me. Perhaps my friends have a few concerns about their own advancing age and expanding waistlines – neither of which have much at all to do with me.

I searched for a voice that genuinely believed their comments were offered with the kindest of intentions in an effort to lovingly express their care and concern about my well being. Nope – not happening! Read More…

Posted under Communication, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Wellness

Survey On Malaise

Asleep at The Wheel-wI know this invitation was included at the end of last week’s Pause blog post, but in case you might have missed it I want to make special mention of it in a separate post.

I’ve been doing some R & D  work on a particular aspect of engagement in work and life – the concept of malaise.

We’re all pretty familiar with stress and burnout – that dramatic stretched-to-the-limits, crash and burn phenomenon. Malaise is different.

Malaise is more like rusting out, feeling stale, bored, lethargic, restless, joyless or adrift – suffering the dis-ease of being under-challenged or feeling under-engaged. It can be every bit as challenging as burnout.

My interest was triggered by what I have been noticing in some individuals as they reach the latter part of their careers. Although I don’t think malaise is restricted to that stage of life, it does seem to be more prevalent there.

I’m interested in learning how we might avoid long stretches of malaise and move more quickly to light a spark and find a path through to a more joyful and enthusiastic experience of life and work.

To that end, I’ve done a number of interviews on this issue, and just last week I released a survey to start gathering more input.

Here is the link to the survey:   I would be delighted if you could take five to ten minutes to respond to the survey.

I’ll be collecting replies up until the end of April. if there are other people in your circle whom you think may have an interest in sharing their thoughts on the issue of malaise, please share the access link as freely as you wish.

Although I haven’t reviewed all the 300 responses submitted so far, some of the early comments are showing that people are finding the questions intriguing and very helpful in guiding them to think about their own experiences with malaise in their lives and organizations.

I’ll keep in touch, and share more on this subject as my work unfolds.

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Wellness

This post was written by Pat Katz on April 21, 2015 Add a Comment »

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PAUSE – 15.11- Can You See It Now?



My Thoughts:

Kazantzakis suggests we already have at hand what we need to create a more ideal future.

Could it be that our own lack of vision or lack of action are all that may be holding us back?


Your Thoughts:

What’s your vision of Paradise? What’s already at hand that could move you in that direction?

What’s your next step? And, when will you take it?


News Notes:

Uninspired. Unsettled. Uneasy. Lifeless. Restless. Joyless. Stuck. Have you been there?

I’m talking about malaise – that generalized feeling of being ‘out of sorts’. It grinds away and wears us down, robbing our lives of spirit, energy and joy.

As I mentioned in last week’s Pause, I’m doing some writing and programming on the subject of malaise.

Experience tells me that the more deeply I understand a phenomenon, the stronger my work, and the more helpful it will be to others.

To that end, I’m inviting you to weigh in with your thoughts and experiences. This link will take you to an online Survey on Malaise that will take 5-10 minutes to complete.

I’m most grateful for your help. A thousand thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom.

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Pause Poster Message, Wellness