Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 16.03 – A Better Way To Bounce Right Back

Off Balance-wReflection: Loss of opportunity – imagined or real – small, medium or large – can be a stressful thing. More than once in my life I’ve been frustrated by an outcome – or lack thereof – only to discover that what ended up happening was just as good or better. Maybe that’s happened to you, too.

I recently ‘lost’ a potential speaking engagement that I was eager to undertake and thought was a sure thing. As it turned out, on the scheduled day of the event, the weather delivered freezing rain and ice-glazed roads.

Had the contract come through, I would have been facing a treacherous drive or a tough decision about whether to go or not. In the end, I was content to be spending the day in my office, safe and dry.

We recently made a special trip for breakfast to a top chef’s restaurant. Featured attraction: eggs benny on a salmon cake. Mmmmm. My mouth watered in anticipation and then soured in disappointment. A glance at the menu and a word from the server confirmed that this was a weekend brunch special. We’d missed it by a day.

After a brief pout, I reset my expectations and ordered another breakfast specialty: carbonara flatbread. It turned out to be a delicious treat I would otherwise have missed.

I could go on – as could you – with examples of disappointments far more serious and far more trivial. But, I’m sure you get the drift.


Action: The ability to make peace with disappointment and embrace what arrives in its place is a keystone of resilience and an antidote to stress. Too strong an attachment to preconceived notions about how things were supposed to go (or should have been) will keep you stuck every time. Read More…

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

This post was written by Pat Katz on February 17, 2016

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PAUSE 16.02 – PAT ANSWERS VIDEO: What Is Malaise Anyway?

Welcome to the first in a six part series of short (3 minute) videos that explore the new topic I’ve been developing: Rekindling The Spark – Navigating Mid-Life Malaise.

Today’s focus: Malaise – What Is It AnywayOther topics in this series will be released in the weeks ahead. For details on what’s coming up, see below.

Just click on the image below to access the video for this episode. Enjoy!


PAT ANSWERS SERIES Malaise Episode #1-400w


Watch for upcoming PAT ANSWERS Videos in this series:

  • Episode #2: Malaise – Who cares? Why does it matter?
  • Episode #3: Malaise – Isn’t it just an ‘old folks’ problem?
  • Episode #4: Malaise – How do people deal with the challenge?
  • Episode #5: Malaise –  What can you do to find your way through?
  • Episode #6: Malaise –  How do you help those caught in the grip?



Engagement Series – I’m partnering with the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan to deliver three spring sessions as part of a brand new Engagement Series. Sessions include: Fueling Enthusiasm, Boosting Energy & Tapping Passion. Sign up for one or save a bundle by registering for all three. This link takes you to the Engagement Series Info.


Pick Me – Are you one of the 94 Pause readers who have already entered your name in the draw to celebrate my 30 years in biz? If not, you’ll find the scoop on the three prizes and entry details at Celebrating The Leap.


Posted under Life Balance, Pause E-zines, Spark/Malaise, Video

PAUSE – 15.39 – How Happy Can You Be?

Leon Juicing-w outline

My Thoughts: 

I don’t normally use family photos in my Pause messages, but today I’m making an exception. Pictured here (with his and his parents’ permission) is my grandson, Leon, who is closing in on three years of age.

This boy LOVES machines of all kinds – from juicers and coffee grinders to garbage trucks, diggers, and front-end loaders.

As he recently helped his Mom turn fruits and veggies into juice, the goofy grin on his face never wavered. He gave voice to his glee proclaiming, “I’m so happy my face hurts!”

How amazing to be so present to the thrill of the moment, and to find the words to express that joy!


Your Thoughts:

This could be the season to practice those skills!

What makes you so happy that your face hurts?

And, how can you make sure you are present for those simple moments of delight? Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.38 – Try Being More Curious And Less Certain

Being Curious-wReflection: Sometimes it seems to me that the more we ‘know’, the tougher life gets. Our certainty about situations can lead to a hardening of the ‘heart-eries’, and ultimately more stress and frustration.

Certainty says: This is good and that is bad, or I am right and you are wrong.

Certainty can lead us to repeat the same actions with greater force and speed, exhausting ourselves as we create ever more disappointing results.

If you’ve ever been stuck in a snowbank and continued to step on the gas, certain that just a few more spins of the tires will be sure to get you out, you know what I mean. It doesn’t work. You simply dig yourself a deeper hole. Things get worse, not better.

A more helpful way of ‘c’-ing can be to substitute curiosity for certainty.

Curiosity leads us to look more closely at what’s happening or not happening and invites us to experiment in new ways with the potential for better – or at least different – outcomes.


Action: The next time you find yourself rooted in certainty, try being more curious about other ideas and ways of being. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.37 – Me & Fred & A Date With TED

Katz TEDX 5w


My Thoughts: Well, truth be told, there is no Fred. It just rhymes so well, I couldn’t resist!

However, there was indeed a date with TED. On October 24th here in Saskatoon, I delivered a TEDX talk titled: Lighting A Spark – Navigating Mid Life Malaise.

My gift to you today, is the link to that message. A click of either the image or the title will take you to the video.

What’s it about? Causes of malaise, common responses, a three-step process to help you navigate your way through life’s transitional fog, and examples of others who are making their way to what comes next.

Grab a coffee. Take a look and give a listen.


Your Thoughts: I hope the ideas in the video help you think more deeply about rekindling your own spark when your fire grows dim.

I welcome your comments, reactions and insights. Fire away!


News Notes: Since delivering this 17-minute TEDX talk, I’ve expanded the message into a 60-90 minute keynote. With more time, I’m able to explore how this issue plays out in organizations, how we can support others as they attempt to rekindle their sparks, and to share more real life examples of ways that people restore excitement and engagement to their lives. Read More…

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

Take A Bow Seasonal Bundle

Red Bow Small-w

I’m feeling the spirit of the season, and delighted to pass that good will – and savings – your way with the Take A Bow Seasonal Bundle.


To celebrate the booklet’s success and its third printing – and to help you celebrate this season of light – I have packaged up 12 bundles that each contain the following:

  • 100 copies of Take A Bow
  • One bonus copy of each of my other four publications: Take A Break, Press Pause…Press On, Press Pause…Think Again, and Sketches of Saskatoon
  • Plus a bonus original PKatz watercolor painting surface mounted on a 6×8” mat ready for framing

Take A Bow is the perfect gift of encouragement for colleagues, employees, clients, friends and family. It offers simple, doable ways for people to feel better about who they are and what they do.

Take A Bow retails at 6.95 for a single copy. However, in the TAB Seasonal Bundle, it will be priced at 2.65/copy – its lowest price ever. Cheaper than a greeting card – with much more value and staying power. The bonus items (books and painting) are included at no extra cost for you to enjoy yourself or share with others. All told, it’s an $850 value.

The Take A Bow Seasonal Bundle is priced $294 (includes shipping and tax). The fine print?

  • Only 12 bundles on offer.
  • Only available in Canada.
  • Order before December 24/2015.

Order your bundle today and delight others tomorrow!

This link takes you to the Seasonal Bundle order form. If you’d like to take a peek into all the publications, this link will take you to that info.

Posted under Appreciation, Communication

PAUSE – 15.35 – There’s More To Life Than Choosing Happy

Pick Happiness-w


My Thoughts: I’m all for optimism and uplifting thoughts, but sometimes they don’t come easy, and sometimes simply choosing happy may not serve us well in the long run.

As we’ve seen with the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and so many other places in the world, frightening and unexpected events drop into people’s lives with no warning and dire consequences.

Those experiences fuel reactions and feelings that aren’t easily sidelined by substituting light and uplifting thoughts. Nor should we expect that to be the case.

A wise friend recently reminded me that sometimes we need to pause in the shadows to touch a fear that is all too real and oh so present. It matters that we take the time to be with those tougher emotions and not just speed through them or try to avoid them on our way to a lighter, brighter place.

A deeper understanding of what matters most to us springs from being present to both the dark and the light. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.34 – Ditch the Digital Dipsy-Doodling

Time Sink-wReflection:  When I deliver sessions on overload and overwhelm at work and in life, these are questions that often arise. Maybe you’ve asked them yourself!

  • Why can’t I focus in the midst of distractions?
  • Why do I keep interrupting myself, even when I’m on a roll?
  • Why do I feel exhausted at the end of my day?

The answers vary. But there is one modern habit that definitely contributes to these experiences – our 3D habit of Digital-Dipsy-Doodling. (I love that phrase – and wish I could take credit for it, but I can’t. See resources of the week for the origin and two articles that say more about this experience.)

You may well be familiar with 3D behavior, yourself. It’s the practice of jumping around between email, twitter, facebook, instagram, and the many other diversions of the web at large.

Why do we do it? It could be FOMO – fear of missing out. Or, it could be (as neuroscience suggests) that fresh doses of info send zingers of dopamine to the brain. Dopamine feels good. And, so, we Dipsy-Doodle – again and again – moving ever further away from what we had initially set out to accomplish.

While we are busy jumping around like grasshoppers on Red Bull, we may not even be aware that all this switching takes energy. The more we leapfrog, the less we accomplish, and the more exhausted we feel.

Doped up and depleted was probably not how any of us envisioned our days unfolding. Welcome to the downward spiral of digital distraction!


Action: So what’s a busy body to do? Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.33 – Not Every Task Is Yours To Do

don't have to do what evrybody is doing

My Thoughts:

Peer pressure can be a formidable force through childhood and the teen years. And, it continues to be a presence as we move into our careers and through our adult lives.

As colleagues deliver webinars, package on-line learning, crank out manifestos and e-books, and travel hundreds of thousands of miles a year … I find myself pressed to join in the frenzy.

Then I remember to listen to the voice of my own longings, and realize that I don’t really want to do all those things. I remind myself that I can pick and choose the ones that fit, and let the rest flow by. Not every task is mine to do.


Your Thoughts:

Are there things you find yourself grasping for that you know at your core you don’t really want?  Could you make a different choice? Read More…

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

PAUSE – 15.32 – Let Life Flow When You Don’t Quite Know

Begin end in MindReflection: One of the most frequently referenced sources of advice about how to live your life is Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. ‘Start with the end in mind’ is one of those habits.

It’s a laser-beamed and focused approach that’s not without its challenges. Most notably you have to come up with the ‘end’ – the big idea or the grand life purpose – depending on the scale you’re working on. And, you risk overlooking opportunities of iinterest that lie closer at hand.

There’s another approach we could take as well – that of simply being more aware of our current state and the call or appeal of the opportunities that sit directly in front of us.

Those choices are echoed in author Stephen King’s observation that there are two ways to write a book. You either start with your outcome in mind and write in that direction, or you come up with a situation that has tension and see where your imagination takes you. You let the characters respond and the plot unfold. Read More…

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