A Lesson from Kids: Finding the Good

It might be that kids aren’t yet jaded with the cynical world we live in. They don’t know how to dwell on the bad. They aren’t ashamed to express their emotions in the moment they feel them.

Kids can teach us all a lesson.

Here’s a real story: A little over a year ago, one of my little guys face planted into a book shelf just as we were wrapping up our bedtime routine (it sounds as gross as it was). His immediate response was a scream of agony followed by noises of complete frustration with me as I tried to clean him off to see if we needed to go to the ER (we did). But the entire time we were at the ER? Smiles. Holding my hand tightly when he was scared but letting the doctors do what they needed to do. Saying “thank you” quietly as he slurped his popsicle. Falling asleep calmly in my arms when we finally got home.

And his big brother was just as impressive. Startled when his brother started screaming. Scared when I had him in another room and confused why he was blocked from seeing it all. Calmly getting himself ready to get in the car so we could go to the ER. Keeping both of his brothers distracted. Highlighting the adventure we were about to go on (“we’re going to the ER! To see doctors! So cool!”).

Kids don’t get caught up in the “what ifs” or “could have beens.” They are literally present in every moment, fully participating and making the most of the ride.

Perhaps the greatest lesson kids can teach us is not necessarily just finding the good or making the most of every moment, but really being present to each of those moments, excited to see what it brings, and allowing yourself to be whomever you need to be at the moment.

I can think about how often this is a lesson I need to share with myself. How about you?

Take Action
At this point, I know it’s cliché to hear someone say “just find the good!” or “make the most of every situation!” But I think there’s a reason why it’s cliché – it works. To make the most of any situation you have to be really part of it.

So, when it happens next, ask yourself, what would the child version of me do in this situation?

You just might realize you don’t have to search for the good or how to make the most of the situation because it might be right there in front of you.

We really like this list of 5 ideas to help you increase your gratefulness.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Ready or Not, 2021, Here We Come!

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I’m Feeling Good

I’m going to be honest: I didn’t mind the quarantine.

There were days when it was overwhelming, sure, and there were certainly days when I thought steam would truly come out of my ears. But having my family at home, watching my boys develop amazing relationships with each other, and knowing my family was safe together, was pretty amazing.

But as I sat down to write out the Christmas cards this week, it hit me: we’ve missed so much.

Maybe it was because Thanksgiving seemed like just another day. Maybe it’s because my husband and I were reminiscing with the boys about what we each used to do as kids around the holidays. Maybe it’s because it’s my littlest guy’s first Christmas when he’s aware enough to understand what’s going on. Maybe it’s because Christmas shopping just felt like a chore this year instead of something exciting.

Whatever the reason, I found myself in a low energy for a bit. I just felt sad. I felt sad for my kids. I felt sad for my parents and in-laws. I felt sad for my husband. I felt sad for me.

But I didn’t dwell there.

Feeling sad or frustrated is human; it’s normal to feel every emotion. I’ve written quite a bit about allowing yourself to really feel and experience every emotion you have. They are yours so you get to feel them.

Some emotions are productive and make you feel amazing. Others are unproductive and take your energy down to zero. For those negative emotions and energy (we call them “unproductive”), visit, don’t move in. Staying sad or frustrated about things you can’t control will lead to days of unhappiness.

But here’s something to think about: even difficult days can be happy. For that to happen, we just need to acknowledge the unhappy and look to replace it with something better.

So, I got refocused. I got re-centered. I played some music and one of my favorites came on: Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good.”

“It’s a new dawn,
It’s a new day,
It’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good”

And I found myself agreeing.

Every morning, regardless of how chaotic it is or hangry the participants are, is a new day.

And 2021 has the promise of a new year, the chance to rebuild and redefine the life we want to lead.

So, I’m feeling good.

Take Action
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the changes to your life this year, let yourself feel every emotion. Frustrated? Absolutely. Sad? Probably. Anxious? Yep.

Write down what you’re feeling and why. Putting words to the emotions you feel helps you wrap your head around what’s going on and can help you to literally see how to move forward.

Then, write down one good thing that happened today. Just one thing. Maybe your coffee was absolutely perfect this morning. Maybe the kids gave you an hour of uninterrupted time during the day. Maybe the weather was stunning. Maybe you didn’t hit snooze and got up with plenty of time for a workout and am nice, unrushed hot shower.

What’s the one thing that made you feel good today?

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Why Presence Really Matters Most This Year

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How Your Memories of Childhood Can Improve Your Future

I recently saw Mary Poppins Returns and though I loved the movie, I was surprised by how emotional I felt while watching it. I cried at the obvious things – the song to the wife, the song about where lost things go – but also at other little things, like watching the original Banks children say goodbye to their childhood home and the final scene when Mary Poppins leaves (again).

It took some personal reflection to understand why I was so moved by the movie. I mean, it was wonderful; the actors did a phenomenal job and the story was fantastic (no surprise). It shared the same type of entertainment (singing and dancing), powerful messages (anything is possible) and magic the original movie did. But what made the movie so touching?

I admit, it took a very uncomfortable few hours for me to put my finger on it, but I think I figured it out. Every theme in Mary Poppins was about enjoying life as it is – making the most of every moment – and learning from each moment to make the next one better. The themes in Mary Poppins Returns were also about making the most of life, but with a sad underlying tone about the realities of growing up. The magic isn’t the same.

It made me think about one of the questions we share with our coaching clients: what is something you loved to do as a kid that you don’t do now?

Why is it that as we grow up, we seem to believe that we are required to let go of our big dreams, our magic? Why does it need to be traded in for adulting?

As your coach, I’m encouraging each of you to revisit your dreams and your magic this year. Think about how you defined pure joy as a kid. What were you doing when you felt that pure joy? Why did you stop doing it? How could you bring it back into your life in a meaningful way?

Most of us trade joy for achievement in our ‘get it done’ world. We are taught that doing things for the love of them is less productive than working the to-do list. How will you reflect on your view of work and joy, and intentionally find ways to bring in more of what makes life great?

Take Action
Anything is possible. Such a powerful phrase. Couple that with I love doing this or this is my favorite thing to do and just imagine the opportunities you create for yourself. Take the time to reflect on some of the things you used to do that made you happy. Find a way to make time for them in a meaningful way, and then consider how you can bring others into that joy with you.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Looking Back, What Did 2018 Tell You?

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