Archive for the ‘Worth Reading’ Category

Tomorrow (28 January 2014) will be the last day I am able to offer this for FREE!!! Write yourself a reminder to stop by Amazon and download it.

Get your free download of The ‘What Matters Most’ Manifesto! It will help you start down the path of creating more meaning in your life.

Share it with friends, colleagues, and family! Then, please, take a minute and review it on Amazon!

Remember: You don’t need to own a Kindle reader to get it. You simply need a Kindle Reader App, which will run on smart phones and tablets.

Click here on 28 January for your copy!

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Now that you’ve had some time to think about your stumbles in 2013 and what you long for in 2014, here is your next step:

Click the link below to register for an experience that will change your life in 2014!

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn!

Begins Tuesday, 4 February, 8-9 PM EST, for 13 weeks.

Don’t miss this Mastermind Group.


If you prefer to make the investment by check (rather than credit card), connect with me directly.

Be sure to share it with your friends, colleagues, and others in your network.

I’m excited about learning with you and watching you grow. In the meantime, have an intentional day.



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The honest answer for most of us is YES!
The important question, however, is: Did you let that failure stop you?
Regardless of your answer, I have something that will help you SOAR in 2014!
On February 4th, I am beginning a 13-week in-depth study (Mastermind Group, or MMG) of John Maxwell’s Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn. We will meet every Tuesday for 13 weeks, from 8-9 PM EST, via conference call (all calls will be recorded so you may listen to them, again)
Every one of us has experienced loss, defeat, disappointment, mistakes, even slips in judgment, during our journey to greater success and higher levels of leadership. This MMG will focus on how we use those experiences as learning opportunities that can help us accelerate our future growth and progress towards our goals.
We will study a variety of principles and concepts including: Humility, Reality, Responsibility, Teachability, Adversity, and much more. We will learn from each other’s experiences. We will develop a support network upon whom we can call as we work towards our 2014 goals. We will emerge from the experience better equipped to deal with the struggles, obstacles, and challenges we inevitably face as we strive to be, do, and have more in our lives.
If you’re ready to invest in yourself and make 2014 the remarkable year it should be, don’t hesitate!
Spots are limited and the MMG will fill up.
The investment is $250 per person, or $475 if two register together.
The first 8 people to register will receive a complimentary copy of the book.
It’s easy to get started! Just send me an email at lauraprisc@gmail.com or call me at 304-916-0348 to register and save your space in this life-changing study.
Please, share this with your colleagues, relatives, and friends. Invite them to join you on your journey to success!
I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, have an intentional day!

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I want to add value to you in 2014, and I hope to do that in a number of ways. To begin, I want to offer you my e-book, The ‘What Matters Most’ Manifesto, available on Amazon.

I wish for you a meaningful, satisfying, and fulfilling year ahead, and that won’t happen by chance. You must be intentional about it…and this e-book is intended to get you in that mindset.

This short, easy read is yours for free on January 2 and 3, as a Kindle download.

This doesn’t mean you have to own a Kindle, you merely need a Kindle reader, which you can use on a smart phone or tablet (I use it on both my iPhone and my iPad).

Feel free to pass it along and share with others, as well.

Please be kind enough to review the book on Amazon when you’re done. I truly want to know what you think of it.

May you enjoy good health and much prosperity in 2014.http://www.amazon.com/What-Matters-Most-Manifesto-ebook/dp/B00GTXGX6W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1388595713&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+prisc

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IMG_0165Several months ago, I participated in a Mastermind Group / Book Club exercise with some people from an organization I belong to called Outside Counsel. The books was What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith. I loved it!

Goldsmith describes 20 behaviors that cause people to get stuck in their careers (although work life is really the focus on the book, Goldsmith acknowledges these behaviors permeate all aspects of a person’s life), even though the behaviors may have actually served the person well at an earlier point in his/her life.

This made a lot of sense to me, as I have lived it. I grew up in circumstances that drove me to become a very self-sufficient, independent, over achiever. I did everything myself, not expecting or accepting help from others, because I had learned — from experience — that you couldn’t necessarily count on others to be there when you needed them. The behaviors I built around these beliefs served me well for a long time in my younger years, and even for a while when I entered the working world after college.

I reached a point, however, when those behaviors no longer served me and, in fact, became destructive. You see, it’s not possible for one person to be completely self-sufficient, to be all things to all people, to be an expert in everything. And, frankly, it was exhausting!

I eventually went through some painful experiences that caused me to become more self-aware and to effect some significant changes in my life. I changed my thinking about needing other people, inviting them into my life and my work, asking for help, and understanding that the end result of working with others is much more than I can accomplish solo.

This is the foundation for a keynote presentation I gave today at the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Women in Leadership Luncheon. I used my story and intertwined it with the concepts Marshall Goldsmith so eloquently outlined in his book, and offered it to the ~160 attendees as a learning opportunity. It was truly the highlight of my week, so far. I have to admit, I’ve been looking forward to this day for some months now, as I felt so lucky when the Chamber’s Executive Director accepted my suggestion for using it as the theme for the luncheon.

I had a great time working with the luncheon’s planning committee; a diverse group of talented, creative, focused women who planned and presented a great day of learning and connecting opportunities for the business women of this area.

My intent was for each person to have at least one aha! moment, one new insight, a new perspective, and that when they left the conference center today, they could say without a doubt, “Attending this event was truly worth the six hours of my life that I spent on it today.” You see, I do strive to entertain people when I have the opportunity to speak, but more than that, I want to make people to think, to learn, to grow. I want to share something that will have changed someone’s life, even if in just a small way.

I hope I didn’t disappoint!

I encourage you to take a few minutes right now to think about your current “Here”…not your physical location, but where you are in your work, your learning, your relationships, your growth, your career. Then give some thought to the next “There” you long to get to. What will it take to get you there? What skills will you need to develop? What behaviors will you need to stop demonstrating? What behaviors will you need to cultivate?

Click here to see the newspaper coverage.

Please, share your stories!

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Further into Ed Gungor’s book, One Small Barking Dog, I encounter the section on Courage. This is big, isn’t it?

As defined by Merriam-Webster:

Courage:  mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

Gungor states we need courage not only to face ordinary life, but to confront the places where we have been broken emotionally or psychologically. These kinds of experiences can be toxic and the residue has the power to poison our lives for many years to come…if we don’t do the work we need to do to get past them.

Exercising courage isn’t quick, easy, or painless. It takes a certain level of fortitude, persistence, and determination. And yet, millions of people demonstrate courage daily.

Others, however, choose to become the victim. This kind of thinking puts one in the place of believing that whatever happens to us has the power to determine who we will become. It can leave us believing that we have no control, no choices, no power to make different decisions. Certainly, we cannot control everything that happens to us in the course of our lives. We can, however, decide how we will respond to what happens. NOTE that I didn’t say “react.” I was very deliberate in my usage of “respond.”

Responding to a situation means we think about what has happened and what our options are in taking some action after. It allows us to consider the risks, benefits, implications, and consequences of our words and actions BEFORE we speak or take them. To simply react is to allow our emotions to take over and when we react, we often speak or act without thinking, and the results can be painful, dangerous, damaging, destructive to ourselves and others.

I was once very close to a person who chose to become a victim. According to him, everything in his life was the result of luck — mostly of the bad variety. He believed he was unable to influence the things going on around him. And the resignation of this position was quite damaging to him; I believe it lead to depression and despair. It was quite damaging to many of the relationships he claimed to hold dear. As the person on the outside looking in, it was very draining for me just being in proximity. Of course, the other side of this is that his belief is 180 degrees away from my belief.

I believe I have the power, ability, and responsibility for what happens in my life. Don’t misunderstand – I have no illusion of being in control of what happens. I believe I have the power to influence what happens. I have the ability to choose how I respond to what happens. And I take responsibility for the choices I make, the way I respond, and what I will do going forward.

I’m not saying I don’t have bad experiences, but the effects typically do not linger long. I find it wasteful to wallow. There’s much to be done and I’m not at my destination, yet, so I must get back up and keep moving forward.

I have been wounded, I have been broken, I have felt lost. But even after my most heartbreaking experiences, I have woken up the next morning to a new day and the realization that if I am, indeed, still here, there must be something I am meant to do…So, I get up and get moving.

Courage means we don’t bury the pain, the hurtful experiences, the negative voices in our heads; rather it means we must confront them. Bring them into the full light of day and see them fully. It’s not easy to get to the root of some of our most self-limiting beliefs, but we are well served to spend the time in reflection, get to some understanding, and commit to moving forward to becoming the best possible version of ourselves possible.

If you are feeling some pain, consider it a gift. It’s telling you something very important. If you listen to it, explore it, come to terms with it — face it with courage, you will emerge better for the experience on the other side.

As the small dog would do (and I witnessed my small dogs — Bean-dip and Houdini — do on more than one occasion), brace yourself; bare your teeth; growl if it makes you feel better; and face your life head on, with courage.

It’s worth it!

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Have you ever spent much time with a small dog? Did you notice the air of self-confidence they exude? To them, external measures are meaningless, as Ed Gungor says in his book One Small Barking Dog. And this, I can say was unequivocally true, at least for one of my two small dogs.

Bean-dip came first. She actually belonged to the neighbors when I bought my first house. They left her alone in the yard, all the time, regardless of the weather, with no suitable shelter. She would find ways to escape the fence and run to my doorstep, where she would sit and whine until I heard her and let her in. And let me tell you, once she was in, she OWNED the place! And after a few “visits” the neighbors decided she didn’t need to come home anymore. She was brash and ferocious and assertive; afraid of nothing. I remember vividly the day she chased a full-sized garbage truck through the neighborhood barking up a storm as she ran…presumably saving the neighborhood from the foul-smelling, giant contraption. She was a Chihuahua-terrier mix, weighing a solid nine pounds on a good day. I don’t have a picture of her with me today, but if you want a visual, think “Taco Bell dog” from the late 1990’s!

Contrast her to Houdini, who I mistook for Bean-dip one rainy evening on my way home from work, silhouetted in the lights from on-coming traffic as he scurried across the road in front of the cars. I thought she had escaped the yard, only to discover this dog was male, an inch or so taller, and thinner than Bean-dip. Same short buff fur, and although according to the vet, he was a Basenji-Terrier mix, they looked like siblings. He was the quiet, gentle small dog, also confident in himself, but more interested in a cozy spot to nap than he was in taking on the world.

One lesson they reminded me of, frequently and in a variety of situations, was that small wasn’t less important or valuable than big, it was just different. But we live in a world that seems to compel us to continuously compare things, and sometimes one thing in that equation will be deemed of lesser value. Often it’s the smaller thing, isn’t it?
Just look at our cars and houses, our drive to accumulate more things, consider the so-called “value meals” in restaurants with ever-increasing portion sizes (of food that’s not necessarily good for us to begin with!)…but tell me, do these things equate to happiness, contentment, satisfaction, joy, and increased self-confidence?

I can speak for only myself, and my answer is “no.” Sure, I enjoy having nice things; I work hard, I buy quality, and I take good care of my things. But I have no misconception about what they are and what they represent. I need to be the right kind of person with a good heart and a giving spirit regardless of how I dress or what stuff I have and no amount of “stuff” is going to make me happy.

When I was working on my Master’s degree, there was a young man in my program. He was from Europe, very nice looking guy and smart. I soon learned he was also missing something significant. He was constantly buying things and when I say things, I don’t mean $10, inconsequential things (although he bought that kind of stuff in excess, as well), but I mean high-end expensive items – electronics, watches, clothing – and the labels and logos were very important to him; he bought whatever was considered the best at the time. One day, he was supposed to stop by to help with a house project. He pulled into the driveway in a brand new Jeep, one of the sportier models, fresh off the lot! He already had two other (not inexpensive) cars, and a motorcycle, if I remember correctly. He was bored, he said. Stopped by the car lot just for fun, and voila! He was now the proud new owner of this Jeep…that he couldn’t afford (his debt was staggering, and his compensation no match for what his monthly payments must have been)…and the next week, he was on a quest for the next thing, that next acquisition he was sure was going to make him happy.

As Ed Gungor says, on page 31 of One Small Barking Dog, “It’s what’s inside that counts most. And there’s another problem (with the big-dog lie): when externals matter too much, it makes you weird.”

Well put, Ed!

What do you think about the power of the small dog? And how does the “big dog lie” play out in your life?

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My sister sent me a book for my birthday a couple of months ago. It’s called One Small Barking Dog, How to Live a Life That’s Hard to Ignore, by Ed Gungor. I didn’t ask her if she sent it because of the content – fitting right in with my passion and purpose – or if it was because of the small dog (I used to have two small dogs, one of whom believed herself to be bigger than anything and everything around her – both in heaven, now).

I’ve been reading through it over the past week, and there is a lot of wisdom in this little book, so I thought I would share some of the pearls with you over the course of a few blog posts.

The first gem that captured my attention is the idea of daring to be small. In today’s society, it seems the goal is for us to be bigger than life, the best at whatever, forces to be reckoned with, driving dramatic change. Gungor presents the idea that, perhaps, truly our purpose is to do the “small” things…to be the purveyor of small acts of kindness, changing the world one act or one person at a time. In fact, he goes on to explain that all too often, we do or say things that have profound impacts on people of which we may be completely unaware.

It’s heartening to me to think this is the right and good thing, after all. You see, I have told people, on more than one occasion that I knew I was meant to do big things, as I shouldn’t actually be here. Considering the circumstances I grew up in, I shouldn’t have been born (or at least the odds of my having been born healthy and “normal” were not in my favor). Many events in my childhood very easily could have been my last. And I’ve done things in my adult life that weren’t brilliant. Based on all these things, I have concluded someone is watching over me and there must be something very important I am here to do; the lesson is that maybe it’s not something big, maybe I’m destined to do small things!

Beginning on page 59, Gungor presents evidence on the improbability of our actually being conceived and born in the first place (255,500,000,000 billion to one – worse odds than the lottery!), not to mention all the odds our ancestors faced—generation after generation—which culminated in any of us being born (this logic is also spelled out in Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything). So, with this kind of logic in mind, it seems clear to me that each of us has a purpose – some important thing we are here to do…and yet, that important thing (or more likely things – plural) may be something small, seemingly unnoticeable by many, but which makes an enormous difference in someone else’s life.

It is heartening to think it’s the right and true thing that each day I have the opportunity to make a difference for someone else. It’s likely my efforts will never earn a front page story or make the Headline News on TV…but to know that in the lives of the people I encounter each day – regardless of my relationship to them – I have the opportunity to be a positive force.

And I’m oh so thankful for the people who have made huge differences in my life over the years, through what may have appeared to be small gestures of kindness or thoughtfulness. The ones who loved and supported me no matter how hugely I blundered. The ones who believed in me when I was unsure of myself. The ones who encouraged me to reach higher and farther than I at first thought I could. The ones who shared their time, attention, and yes, sometimes even money when I needed it. The ones who showed up with some resource I needed, right when I needed it. The ones who connected me with the others I’ve needed to know. The ones who, kindly, redirected me when I was clearly off-track. The ones who have left chocolates on my desk, just because, and made the effort to learn my preference (dark over milk!). The ones who trust me enough to allow me to coach them through the significant changes they are making in their lives.

With this reinforcement, and the knowledge it’s just the right thing to do, I will continue to do those things I believe will add value to others (so if you see me at a drive-thru window – pull in behind me – chances are very good I will pay for your order!) In closing, I encourage you to continue to do those “small” things to help, encourage, and support others. We really have no way of knowing how big the impact just might be.

One last thought…how different do you think the world would be if we took the time to acknowledge those “small” things others have done for us that made a difference?

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