Sunny Notes

Weekly Insights for Business and Life

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People Respond Better to Encouragement Than Criticism

Happy Friday!

Here’s an obvious but relevant Sunny Note…with a little challenge at the end.

- People respond better to encouragement than criticism.

You’ve probably run into people who seem to think, consciously or unconsciously, that complimenting a person deters them from doing better. However quite the opposite is true: positive feedback encourages a person to earn more positive feedback. I’ve been fortunate to work with encouraging people who know that finding fault is easy, but providing encouragement, although more challenging, is more rewarding.

Inevitably, all of us encounter the need to elicit more desirable results from people around us – our employees, coworkers, bosses or family members. Instead of going straight for corrective criticism, a more effective approach is to say something nice first. It’s respectful; and there’s always something to compliment – if we don’t see it then we’re simply not looking closely enough.

Today’s note invites you to join me in a little sunny challenge to compliment someone, anyone, this coming week who you wouldn’t otherwise have complimented. Let’s lead by example and hope it’s contagious.

Who knows – yours may be the only kind words they’ll hear all day.


P.S. “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Challenge, Criticism, Encouragement, Inspiration, Motivation, Notes, quote, sunny

Never Assume the Obvious is True

Good evening,

Hurray for Friday! Remember the days of taking multiple choice tests in school and avoiding the obvious answers because you knew they were there just to mislead you? Life is like that. The obvious answer is frequently not the correct one.

“Never assume the obvious is true.”

These are wise words from William Safire, because we’re all at risk of making erroneous assumptions, especially about other people. Today’s note is a simple reminder to look closer, investigate further and make sure we understand the situation or the person before drawing conclusions.

Watch out for “multiple choice” moments – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.” Marshall McLuhan

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Biz, Business, Friday, Inspiration, Motivation, Note, quote, sunny, Wisdom

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This time of year is synonymous with New Year’s resolutions. And that’s okay, because there’s incredible power in planning. So if the new year inspires you to plan, then more power to you. But whatever your resolutions or goals are for 2015 or beyond, remember this simple key to success:

Write it down.

Even though we don’t fully control our destinies, there are things we can do that make a really big difference. This is one of them: write down your goals. And better yet – read them every day! It’s a simple action that exponentially increases our chances of achieving our goals.

Numerous business coaches and motivational speakers talk about the importance of putting goals in writing. David Essel describes it this way, “A goal is a dream until you write it down.”

Don’t be shy. Set high goals. Write them down. Read them. Help them come to be.

And have a Sunny Day!


P.S. “We become what we think about all day long.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Biz, Business, Dream, Goals, Inspiration, Motivation, New, new year, Plan, quote, Resolutions, Success, sunny, Write

Winning Through Change

Good evening,

Happy Friday! As we wrap up a busy week, I once again find myself thinking about the dynamics of dealing with change.

In a seminar I once attended on “winning through change,” leadership consultant Dr. Gary Bradt addressed the fact that we can’t successfully navigate change without taking risks. Trying something new is inherently risky, but it’s worthwhile and ultimately unavoidable. His key to success is:

Adapt fast.

Winning in business requires adapting faster than competitors. Although everyone is facing change, not everyone is as willing or able to adapt quickly. This creates a differentiation opportunity for those who step up to the plate.

Let’s swing for the fences – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Andre Gide

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Adapt, Change, Inspiration, Motivation, quote, Risk, sunny, Winning

Enjoy The Moment

Good morning,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! This is the time of year when everyone is rushing around so much that there’s hardly time to breathe. Last night I attended a lovely holiday party and amid all the hustle and bustle, I reminded myself to just pause and…

Enjoy the moment.

With all the joys and stresses that come with the holidays, it’s important to find a little quiet time here and there to recharge our batteries.

The holidays are a special time to create treasured memories, but if we’re moving too fast we aren’t able to fully enjoy the experiences as they’re happening. Sometimes too much planning leads to not enough enjoying.

‘Tis the season – to have a sunny day!


P.S. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Christmas, Enjoy, holiday, Inspiration, Moment, Motication, new year, quote, Stress, sunny

Pause and Count Your Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Lately there’s been a lot of discussion in the media about various stores that started their Black Friday sales early by opening on Thanksgiving.

One up shot of the debate is that it encourages us to think about the meaning of this holiday; thankfulness, huge sales, family gatherings, good food, the beginning of the holiday season. For me, it can still be summed up in one word:


In the midst of our busy lives, I’m grateful for a holiday that reminds me to pause and count my blessings. Even during the most difficult times, there’s always something for which each of us can give thanks.

Thank you for being a part of my life – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Blessing, holiday, Inspiration, JFK, Motivation, quote, sunny, Thank you, Thankful, Thanks, Thanksgiving, Wisdom

Sit Up Straight!

We’ve probably all heard that spending lots of time sitting at a desk is bad for our health, but the good news is that there are really simple things we can do to protect ourselves.

According to Luis Feigenbaum, director of sports physical therapy at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, “the number one thing that gets people into trouble as far as a downgrade in their health is their posture.” Apparently our parents were right when they scolded us to…

Sit up straight!

The next step according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, is to perform a few simple strength exercises that can dramatically reduce neck and shoulder pain caused by office work. In fact, most of these easy exercises can be performed at work just by keeping a few little free weights handy. Here’s a link to a handy article:

Hopefully having fewer aches and pains will help make it a sunny day!


P.S. “We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams.” Les Brown

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Dedication, Inspiration, Life, Motivation, Posture, quote, sunny, Wisdom, Work

All Good Things Must Come to an End

It’s hard to believe we’re in the fourth quarter of the year already. Fall in Michigan always makes me a little nostalgic for summer that inevitably seems to end too soon.

Life is full of bittersweet endings that offer opportunities to appreciate what we had and then look toward the future. In the words of Dr. Seuss:

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

All good things must come to an end, but hopefully the good things in the past lay the foundation for even better things in the future.

This morning grab a warm coat, put on a smile – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Robert Frost

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Dedication, Dr. Seuss, End, Future, Inspiration, Motivation, Past, quote, sunny, Wisdom

Strive for Balance

Here’s something to ponder on this chilly evening: the difference between “stability” and “balance.”

Sometimes phrases like “I need stability in my life” get tossed around as if stability is a state we can achieve. When in reality, life equals change and therefore in our lives, stability simply doesn’t exist. So instead of seeking stability:

Strive for balance.

Even amidst instability, we can achieve balance. I once heard Dr. Ed Catmull, President and Co-Founder of Pixar Animation Studios, talk about the vital importance of embracing change in order to achieve success.

Dr. Catmull cautioned us against resisting change or being afraid to let go of what we have, because changing and letting go are necessary elements of progress. He said, “When we grab onto what we have, that is when we fail.”

Let’s make the most of the changes this week brings – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged balance, Dedication, Einstein, Inspiration, Motivation, quote, stability, sunny, Wisdom

He Conquers Who Endures

Happy Halloween!

Along with trick-or-treating, cold weather and football season are in full swing. Sunday morning it was fun seeing the Lions win in London.

Afterwards coach Caldwell commented that a key to winning is:

Mental toughness.

“Never give up,” said Caldwell. Talent isn’t enough. If you don’t have mental toughness, you’re not going to be very good.

It’s excellent advice for any area of life. All of us have been in situations where we’ve put a lot of effort into something that hasn’t come to fruition yet and the temptation is to throw in the towel.

Whatever your goal is, keep persevering and have a sunny day!


P.S. “He conquers who endures.” Persius

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Advice, Dedication, Halloween, Inspiration, Motivation, quote, sunny, Talent