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They were just turning the corner, quite a distance away. Intent on my mission, I hadn’t noticed. Stepping off the side walk, I leaned forward, nose deeply buried in the fragrant lilac blossoms, capturing that fleeting scent of spring to later call to mind on a bone-chilling Chicago winter day.


Suddenly, as I stepped away from the flowers, they spoke and I jumped. “I’ve been watching you.” A long pause, as I stood frozen. Then they shared a slow smile and the comment, “You’ve inspired me.” They smiled again as they leaned in to smell the lilacs. I smiled and was on my way.   What an unexpected, pleasantly surprising, simple and powerful exchange with a stranger on a sunny, spring day.


We are always being watched. Always influencing others whether we know it or not. That is in simple terms called leadership, an interaction where influence occurs. Depending on our behavior that can be in a positive or a negative way, consciously or unconsciously and with varying impact.


We have a choice every moment of how we want to impact the world and the people in it, a choice of how we want to lead. Whether that is at work, in our home, in the community, on the sidewalk, or at a lilac bush. How will you inspire others? How will you lead? Somebody’s watching.


Have you ever had an experience like this? Share it with us, and we welcome your comments.

7 a.m. on a Monday morning. Stopped at a red light, the young woman in the car is frantically gobbling down breakfast. She races off as the light turns green, stress written in the taut lines of her face.  What kind of day will she experience?

Morning “malpractice”. When we start off the day already stressed, running and multi-tasking, until we’re exhausted and its time for lights out. It’s so easy to slip into a morning “malpractice.”

I’m guilty. I let my normal morning practice of starting the day in a special way just slip away. My workload had exploded so I began my morning “malpractice” of jumping right out of bed at 4am and working until 10pm. Then it started all over. No fun, no friends, no exercise, bad eating. No morning practice. Finally, my body said, “no more,” and slowed me down with a nasty virus.

I pinpointed my downslide to the morning “malpractice.” My ability to stay centered, make balanced decisions, and be highly productive and positive decreased by the day and lead to a distressed body. Lesson learned. I’m back on track. What about you?

We can all find simple things that make us feel good and help us set the intent for a positive and uplifting day. For me, it is lighting a beautiful candle for honor, ringing a special bell, reading a short inspiration/motivation, and a few stretches that make my body smile. Short and easy, but the pay-off is big.

What one thing can you do to start your day in a special way?

Please share your comments and suggestions.



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