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7 essential benchmarks for progress


Who and what inspires you? Where do you go to find inspiration?


What keeps you pushing and moving forward? What sustains you through hard times?


What do you need to feel supported? How can you get even more?


What does commitment mean to you? What can you to commit to? For how long?


What do you need to feel appreciated and valued? How do you know what you’re doing is working?


Who do you look up to and from where do you receive advice?


What keeps you strong, both mind and body? Where will you learn and how will you grow?

The lost art of looking back (plus a 5-year anniversary)

Anniversaries are a wonderful time for reflection; unfortunately, most entrepreneurs (myself included) are often too focused on task lists, what still hasn’t been done, the goals that are yet to be achieved.

As the five year anniversary of Learning House grows near, I find myself combing through photos and memories. It’s emotional to think about all the people who have helped foster and shape this community from a seed of a dream. (If you’re interested about stats and numbers, I’ll be posting on our nonprofit’s page soon; impressive, like so many of the people we work alongside and serve).

The biggest visions come with challenges and frustrations and disappointments and even moments of despair. But there are flashes of promise and success, too.

Failing to set aside time to appreciate those moments can lead to burnout. It’s a refreshing gift to look back and see all that’s been done.

Yes, focus on your goals. Yes, take daily steps in the direction of progress and improvement. But please, make time for reflection.

Share gratitude with others.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be posting some memories and stories from the past five years on Facebook. I’d love to invite you to follow along and celebrate with us.

Be kind, online and off

Pew Research Center found that 73% of adults have seen someone bullied online in some way; 40% reported such harassment themselves. In fact, 60% of those polled had watched someone use offensive, hurtful names to target another person. Over half of the participants in this study knew these online messages were sent and posted with the intent to embarrass or harm another. 

From celebrities to colleagues, even family members and friends, social media has made it possible for us to watch. Watch and not participate. Sit back without standing up for what is right. Conversations that should be taking place in person are now occurring strictly online. 

Messages sent from behind a screen can cause damage, emotional and otherwise. Talking about personal challenges can be difficult, but keeping problems to yourself can feel isolating and make issues even worse. A quick online search can bring up local and international resources if you are not sure where to turn. Cultivate a network of support. 

If you see a friend is a target of hateful or hurtful speech or is posting concerning messages online, reach out. During the holiday season, it is even more important to realize you and others may be under excessive stress. 

Remember, you are never alone.