Making Sense Out of Your Year

Lost-and-Found SignAt year’s end, so many of us are looking ahead, contemplating new resolutions and goals.  Just as many of us, however, may be reflecting on time and opportunities that have passed.

How about you?  How are you approaching this year’s end?  Are you thinking about all that you will strive to accomplish in 2012?  Are you setting new resolutions or new goals for the coming year?

Or, are the finish lines and personal goals that you have previously established but have yet to reach giving you the most reason for pause and consideration on this last day of 2011?

If you are part of the latter group, I’d like to share this YouTube video clip from the 1995 movie, Sense and Sensibility, based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same name.  In the clip, you will see the character Colonel Brandon reading aloud lines from Spenser’s Faerie Queene to the character Marianne, and, at second 13 of the clip, you will hear:

“For there is nothing lost, but may be found, if sought…”

Consider those words and the implied directive to rethink those goals that you may have already deemed lost or unachievable.

For example, could you achieve your unattained past goals through different means or action? Could you adjust your prior goals, so that those goals could be partially, if not wholly, achieved?

There are Buddhist philosophers who subscribe to the belief that we die to each moment and that time experienced is forever lost to us.

Au contraire, I’m including the line from Spenser in this final 2011 blog post to remind each of you that you still have time to reexamine all new avenues for personal success, even amongst your previously traveled roads.

Cheers to you and all of the success that you find in the New Year 2012!

Peanut butter, poetry and sticky things

What do you think of when you hear the word, “sticky”?  “Sticky fingers,” or “sticky notes”?  Peanut butter?  Maple syrup?  Elmer’s glue?

According to, in economics, “sticky” describes a situation in which a variable is resistant to change.

Yes, there are sticky situations in the world of economics and in life in general.  And, what about sticky words?  One direct quotation that has stuck with me over the years was uttered by Pearl Strachan who famously said, “Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.”

How many striking music lyrics do we often recall?  How many lines of a poem?  How many words from a play or a movie have stuck with us over the years?  And, when do these sticky words, stated or written by others, evidence themselves in our lives?  How many of our statements are 100% original, not having withstood the influence of someone else’s sticky words of wisdom?

Without doubt, the words of our parents, of our teachers, of our favorite writers, of our favorite friends, of our favorite loves, often seem to tarry.

Shakespeare is one of the best examples of someone whose words have tarried on and on.  In his Sonnet 116, which is a favorite of mine, he wrote about the stickiness of true love stating:

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds, 
Or bends with the remover to remove: 
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;”

Shakespeare wrote the words in 1609, and, in 1995, British actress Emma Thompson brilliantly incorporated the sonnet into the Sense and Sensibility movie screenplay that was adapted from the 1811 novel of the same name.  Who could forget this scene from the movie directed by Ang Lee?

What are the most sticky words you’ve ever uttered or written?  And who was listening?

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