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Terry's Original Quote Keepers

A minute of silence can be more productive than an hour of debate.
~Terry Braverman

Arrest yourself when under the influence of a negative thought.
~Terry Braverman

Give me levity, or give me death!
~Terry Braverman

An intimate relationship is the ultimate training.
~Terry Braverman

Clarity of purpose is the ultimate decongestant.
~Terry Braverman

Faith keeps the voice of fear out of your ear.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Be patient, before you become a patient.
~Terry Braverman

Over-analysis causes paralysis.
~Terry Braverman

May the 'farce' be with you.
~Terry Braverman

Plan some time to be spontaneous.
~Terry Braverman

Laugh at yourself, and you will always be amused.
~Terry Braverman

Imagination sharpens the dull blade of routine.
~Terry Braverman

Inquisitiveness cures boredom; nothing cures inquisitiveness.
~Terry Braverman

Feed your soul, starve your worries.
~Terry Braverman

Avoid time in the Tower of Babble.
~Terry Braverman

Release any false sense of insecurity.
~Terry Braverman

Life is a fantasy, made real by our thoughts.
~Terry Braverman

Quote for the week: “Feed your soul, starve your worries.” – Terry Braverman 


In this first week of the New Year, many of us take time to reflect upon our commitments, what we desire to change, and how we want to improve our lives. Today I offer an emotional/spiritual component to the core issue of what inspires us to really live.

This is a prime time to reconnect to life purpose; for some, creating a new purpose, but seriously ask yourself: “What do I live for?” The answer should candidly distill down to a passionate feeling or quality of living, e.g. “I live for joy,” “I live to nurture my family,” “I live for peace of mind.” Mine is, “I live for adventure.” It doesn’t mean that I run with the bulls, wrestle alligators, or confront the Komodo dragon. I live for adventure, not insanity!

It means that I try to find the adventure in most everything that I do. For something as mundane as going to the market, I’m not going just to shop. I preset an intention to talk with or meet somebody on the line at the checkout stand, or elicit a new way to prepare fish from the person behind the fish counter, or learn about a new product. Building my life around that sense of adventure really simplifies things in terms of creating goals and objectives, like inhaling through a tube from an oxygen tank.

If life feels like a hamster wheel of waking up, going to work, paying bills, toiling over household chores, and family obligations without the central soul connection to purpose, it becomes vapid. Purpose is the furnace that your core energy needs to radiate energy and engagement. Distill your purpose in life down to a simple feeling or quality. This is the foundation by which you reconstruct the materials of your life.

Seeking an enhanced sense of purpose in life? Here are five suggestions:


  • Connecting and/or networking with others, personally and professionally
  • Learning new skills
  • Becoming more physically active
  • Giving your time and resources to assist others in need
  • Paying more attention to the world around you 


Next week: the key physiological component for sustaining energy.


A recent study found that having a purpose in life is linked to living longer, regardless of your age or retirement status. The study was carried out by researchers from Carleton University, Canada and the University of Rochester Medical Center, U.S., and was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging. It was published in the peer reviewed medical journal Psychological Science.

Researchers asked more than 6,000 people aged 20 to 70 whether they felt they had a strong sense of purpose in life. This was assessed using a scoring system of how strongly people felt about the following statements:


  • "Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them."
  • "I live life one day at a time and don't really think about the future."
  • "I sometimes feel as if I've done all there is to do in life." 


They were also asked about their social relationships with others. Death rates were recorded for the next 14 years. The study found that people who died scored lower on purpose in life and positive relations with others.

The study only assessed purpose in life using three questions at one point in time. This type of study could therefore only show an association between purpose in life and mortality rate at best. It did not take into account key lifestyle factors such as physical activity, diet, smoking, alcohol consumption or illness.

Although this study lacks the breadth and thoroughness to prove that having a purpose prolongs your life, common sense suggests that it is likely to enrich it.




Quote for the Week: "Peace begins between your ears." - Terry Braverman

It was December 25, 1914, only 5 months into World War I that German, British, and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front (a crime punishable by death in times of war). German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas."

"You no shoot, we no shoot." Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.

A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight. Generals on both sides declared this spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court martial. By March 1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million would be slaughtered.

Not many people have heard the story of the Christmas Truce. On Christmas Day, 1988, a story in the Boston Globementioned that a local FM radio host played "Christmas in the Trenches," a ballad about the Christmas Truce, several times and was startled by the effect. The song became the most requested recording during the holidays in Boston on several FM stations. "Even more startling than the number of requests I get is the reaction to the ballad afterward by callers who hadn't heard it before," said the radio host. "They telephone me deeply moved, sometimes in tears, asking, 'What the hell did I just hear?'"

You can probably guess why the callers were in tears. The Christmas Truce story goes against most of what we have been taught about people. It gives us a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be and says, "This really happened once."


Excerpt from the book, "We Can Change the World," by David G. Stratman


Humor cleverly employed at the right time can be just the perfect antidote to conflict. Some shining examples in the business world:

Budget Proposal

A client kept returning our budget proposal saying it needed to be smaller. No matter how much trimming we did, the client kept pushing for "Smaller, smaller!" I finally took the proposal to a copier and had it reduced to two inches in size. I sent it to the client and said, "This is about as small as I can make it. Tell me what you think." He called me saying it got a huge laugh in his office and that he would now accept the proposal as soon as he could find his magnifying glass.


David Lewis, a Los Angeles attorney, shared a story of how humor defused a tense moment in negotiating for the purchase of a large office building: "The negotiations were going on very hard, night and day, and one night it got to one of those tense moments when two of the guys on opposite sides of the table were arguing about the height requirement for the urinals in the mens room. One of the guys was insisting it was 30 inches, and the other guy screaming no, its 36 inches. They were really going at it, and I jumped in and said, 'Gentlemen, I think were in danger of getting into a pissing contest.'"

"It broke the tension and really resolved the whole situation. Everybody relaxed and we moved into a place of equanimity. They realized it didn't make any difference anyway."

Cutting Costs

Many years ago, the Ford Motor Company went through a period in which the numbers people (accountants) took over the company and were closing plants left and right in order to cut costs. They had already succeeded in shutting down plants in Massachusetts and Texas and seemed to be relishing their newly found power.

Robert McNamara, who was president of Ford at the time, called a meeting of his top executives to discuss a recommendation he had received for the closing of yet another plant. Everyone was against it, but the predictions from the accountants were so grim that nobody was willing to speak up. Finally, a salty Ford veteran by the name of Charlie Beacham said, "Why don't we close down all the plants and then well really start to save money?" Everyone cracked up. The decision was made to postpone any more closings for a while, and the bean counters went back to working for the company instead of running it.

Florist Shop

A businessman storms into a florist shop, demanding to speak the owner.
"That's me," replied the owner. "How can I help you?"

"I ordered a HUGE arrangement of your flowers for my store's grand opening. You sent me a wreath, with a card that said, 'Rest in peace!'"

The owner sheepishly replied, "I'm terribly sorry about it. If it makes you feel any better, we sent your arrangement of flowers to a gravesite, with a card that said, 'Good luck at your new location.'"





QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower



This week I am travelling and time is tight, so let me refer you to a recent study completed on Strategic Workforce Planning.

In today’s marketplace of growing competition for top producers, workplace disengagement among employees, rising demand for flexible hours/arrangements, plus rapid changes in technology, comes a need for greater collaboration between staff, management and data resources.

Strategic workforce planning (SWP) attempts to address these issues with new tools & resources, steering away from compartmentalized processes towards a more holistic approach serving business and organizational needs. SWP aims to put the right talent in position to achieve goals and objectives.

Here is a summary of this new report:
Despite the importance of SWP and its effectiveness in planning for future growth, improving operational efficiency, and addressing skill gaps, it continues to be a challenge for many employers. But those that get it right understand that SWP must be a collaborative process, with full collaboration between people, data, and technology. Although companies may vary in their model for conducting SWP, there are similar processes that can be used by any organization to ensure full alignment between talent needs and overall organizational goals.

This signature research, conducted in partnership between Workday and the Human Capital Institute (HCI), explores the in-depth challenges facing organizations as they seek to adopt an effective strategic workforce planning (SWP) process as well as the best practices that can help them achieve success, based on the survey responses of nearly 400 professionals involved with SWP at their organizations.


View the entire report here:



QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “People work for money but go the extra mile for

rewards and recognition.” – Dale Carnegie

The art of keeping employees engaged and feeling appreciated requires both variety and customization, whether for an individual or a team. 

One time I was hired for soft skills training and morale boosting of bank tellers. They were having a difficult time dealing with rude customers, and looked like a group of doleful-eyed, droopy-eared Beagles in need of a nourishing bowl of food. I told them there is nothing they could do about their customers’ attitudes until they shifted their own attitude from one of frustration to fun. Like Beagles that just heard an eerie sound, their heads collectively turned sideways.

At the end of their workday on a Friday, I asked them to gather around in a circle and reveal their worst customer of the week experience to the branch managers and me. The sharing provoked wild howls of laughter! The managers and I then conferred a reward to the teller with the best “Worst Customer of the Week” story: A customer reportedly took out a can of underarm deodorant from her handbag and sprayed the teller’s window, screaming, “This place stinks!” The teller’s reward was a gift certificate to a fine restaurant. The following Friday, it was a bottle of champagne (which proved to be quite popular).

The tellers felt supported for enduring difficult customer situations, and morale skyrocketed. Now they were seeking out the rude customers: “Excuse me, sir, you look like you may be having a tough day…come forward. I’ll help you out.” With this unexpected response, rude customers suddenly became more civil. The good will snowballed as customers were telling their family, friends and work associates about the unusual attentiveness they were receiving at their bank.

As a result, the bank experienced a surprising jump in new customers. It was a win-win-win situation. Enduring a cranky customer is something that anyone in customer service can relate to; being rewarded for it is a great way to show appreciation.

Some other thoughts from HR professionals on the subject of rewards and recognition:

“Chocolate can make you high for a short time - but its no substitute for ongoing health, happiness, and well being. I do agree that the occasional celebration, or recognition has some merit. However, attention to the daily rigor of Management By Walkabout, talking to everyone, listening, and acting on feedback is more important to the ongoing morale of the team.” – Dr. Gary S.

“When leading a very young HR team I realized the generational gap in recognition expectations. After casual conversations it was made clear that what mattered most was time-off. After checking our organizational rules I discovered I could allow periods of time off so I created on-the-spot recognition certificates that awarded "Report to Work one hour late", "Start Your Weekend Early", "Take a 2-Hour Lunch". These were more popular than plaques, trophies, or parties.“ – James F.

“Last winter with all of the snow days and cold weather, we surprised everyone with a flower on their desk and a note saying we were closing the office early and heading to a local botanical/greenhouse so everyone could enjoy a "Touch of Spring", just let everyone appreciate that winter was almost over and Spring was near. People LOVED it! This got them out of the rut of nasty weather and gave everyone a chance to breathe in beautiful colors and fresh air. Knowing your audience and what will entice the majority of people is a lot of how our decisions are made.” - Courtney R.

“Our Small Team LOVES games and small rewards. If a manager wants their team to hit a certain sales or shipping target, adding in a ‘if your team reaches this target you will get an extra lieu (time off) hour’ always works and creates the friendly competition among the staff. It's nice to be in a smaller company that's not so corporate. – Stephanie D.

“I posed this question to my class (mostly 30 some-things continuing their education) yesterday, the over whelming response was a little extra (PTO) time off.” - Robert L.

“I think you'll find your BEST ideas (i.e. most appreciated) come from the workforce itself.” – Ivette D.






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