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Words of Wisdom

What are words of everyday wisdom?

It started when I was ten – in the 1950’s.  I’d flown, by myself, from San Francisco to Chicago to visit my grandmother whom I adored.  What had she planned for my visit?  A childhood thrill.  She took me with her to the radio station for her daily radio show. 

My Nana was the only person I knew who had her own radio show – five minutes a day, five days a week telling the stories of people helping people, stories from all over our world. 

The station was a beehive of activity.  While I had no idea what anyone was doing, I sensed that everyone loved my grandmother.  

Soon, we were seated across from each other at a circular table in a room with windowed walls.  The door was closed.  The microphone sat in front of Nana who began her show as I continued my gazing, trying to take in every detail. 

In her warm, full voice, Nana greeted her audience and went on to tell them that I was with her in the studio, her granddaughter from California.  That startled me and made me begin to listen. 

To my complete astonishment, she didn’t just introduce me on air, she asked me what I’d like to say to her audience.  Me!  I had nothing to say.  What could I say that was of value?  I was just a little girl.

I was speechless.  Completely.  I could think of nothing to say.  There was a terrible silence til I squeaked my hello.  Otherwise, I didn’t say a thing as I looked at my Nana feeling as If I were a great disappointment.

That was the last time I was caught unprepared with nothing to say.  It was the Girl Scout motto for goodness sakes - be prepared.  It became my mantra.  This was the first of many words and phrases I’ve used each day. 

Over the years, I’ve come to think of these as my Words of Everyday Wisdom.  I’ve added a few thoughts, tips, or ideas to the words that have guided me.  I hope you’ll find that one or two speak to you.

Featured Word of Wisdom

Fifteen-Minute Wins

15-minute wins can be a metaphor for the small daily and weekly wins we make in our lives.

Whenever the task before you seems too big, break it into small, bite-size chunks.  It’s much easier to accomplish small things.  We actually feel in control of small efforts while large undertakings can feel daunting.  The surprising result of small accomplishments?  When added together, small successes can result in big wins.... read more >

Additional Words of Wisdom


In life, attitude is everything.  Attitude decides whether we greet the day with joy or with the blahs.  Attitude decides how our family, our friends, our boss and our coworkers perceive us.

It is not the result of circumstance.  It is not genetically predetermined.  Attitude is in our control, we are in charge of our attitude.  Attitude is a choice we make all day, every day.  Attitude is not a habit though attitude can become habit.... read more >

Baby Steps of Life

Each day we add to our personal wisdom. We crawl before we walk, we learn our abc’s before we read, we even gestate for nine months before we are born. Many of our greatest life achievements are the result of little steps. A step at a time, one foot in front of the other as we learn the ways of life.... read more >

Be Prepared

Thinking forward makes it so much easier.  Whether you’ll be leading a meeting at work, making a proposal at your local club, toasting a friend on their birthday or making new social acquaintances, anticipating your needs helps make the things you do successful. 

Preparing ahead means you’ve had the important talks with your children before they encounter the unexpected.  Preparing ahead helps you avoid a hostile or unreceptive audience, it keeps you from speaking but not saying the things you wanted to say, it helps you dodge mistakes. ... read more >


Everyday we make choices and those choices can influence our lives.

Often, we make choices without even thinking.  We then repeat our choices, making the same choice so often that it becomes a habit, an automatic habit of choice.

We decide what to wear, regularly choosing our favorites.  Breakfast is often a habitual decision whether it’s eggs or cereal or something else altogether.

Some of us choose to greet the day with a smile, even a crooked and sleepy smile. Others of us slip... read more >

Consider the Source

Jen landed the job of her dreams.  She can’t believe she did it but she did.  The only thing standing in the way of Jen and her amazing opportunity is a thousand miles.  That’s right, her job is in Atlanta and she lives in Denver. 

Jen’s not worried, she’ll just fly home a lot.  Besides, won’t everyone want to come visit her?  What a surprise to discover that not everyone is in her corner. ... read more >

Everyday Courage

It’s tornado season.  It’s only March but this year, tornado season started early.  A sudden swooshing wind wiped whole towns away.  We see it on the news, those poor people standing in front of a pile of rubble that used to be their home.  The home where they laughed and cried, had memories and made memories.  That home is no more. 

The very next week, many of those whose homes blew away will be back doing what they do.  Some will return to school, others will... read more >

Give the Gift of You

Take a moment to recall.  How do you feel when you get an unexpected but loving text from someone?  What about an email, a phone call, even a card in the mail? 

What does it feel like when your son or your friend offers to lend a hand?  You didn’t have to ask, they offered.... read more >


This is the corollary to give the gift of you.  Sometimes we give to others; other times, we receive.  Many of us shy away from the receiving side of the coin.  We’re better at giving than receiving.  We learned it at a young age, it’s better to give than to receive.  If that is you, it’s important to learn to receive with warmth and graciousness.

Receiving can sometimes feel like losing control.  You are a practiced giver.  Besides, you are strong and can fend... read more >

Wisdom Quotes

Quotes are wisdom gained from others.  Some of the quotes below are current, from people living today; others come from voices of the past.  We’ll add quotes at the start of every month.  Be sure to come back for new words of wisdom.

Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.  Bruce Lee... read more >