Autobiography in Five Chapters

Poem by Portia Nelson from:
There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost … I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
My eyes are open I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5
I walk down another street.

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Forced to Evolve

Are you being forced to evolve right now? One month ago tomorrow the President declared a National Emergency and everything that we once knew began shifting.

During this time I am being called to journal. Here is my entry from yesterday:

Too many days to count since COVID-19 changed our “normal.” All we can do is take one day at a time. We cannot predict tomorrow. Remember to be present and express gratitude in the midst of this uncertainty.

Allow yourself to feel. Feel into the fear, uncertainty and broken expectations. It is ok. Allow those feelings to come, accept them and move on. Don’t get stuck with them, they will creep up at times you don’t expect. Picture them like a cloud moving by.

Focus on the possibility of what your new “normal” will be; a newfound outlook on what really matters. This shift in perspective is what is needed not only for you but for all. We were so caught up in stuff, what’s next and not having enough.

Guess what? In my opinion, we were all just issued a reality check and told by the Universe to sit down and shut up. It is your choice how you allow this to impact your life. You can allow it to push you to evolve in ways you didn’t realize you needed or you can remain where you were.

So I ask, which path do you want to take? Evolve or remain?

Image Credit:

unsplash-logoHello I’m Nik ?

Find Your Focus

Ever have a day where you can’t keep your head in the game? You start off on one project and quickly jump to another task or reply to an unrelated email. Before you know it, you are so far from the project you started on you don’t even remember why you wanted to do that in the first place.

Are you with me? Does that happen to you? What do you do to refocus?

Here are some things I recommend to help redirect and stick to your priorities:

  1. Write a list of your priorities first thing in the morning
  2. Block out specific time in your day for email maintenance & stick to it
  3. Go offline – If you’re in Outlook there is an offline mode you can leverage, otherwise close your email and put your phone on Do Not Disturb.
  4. If you find yourself swaying from the priorities, go for a walk and reset.
  5. BREATHE – Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by all the things that need our attention, breathing helps refocus us. Remember that what you are doing matters and that if you take a moment to breathe it’s not actually going to make you miss a deadline as much as being flustered is.
  6. Step away from what ever you are working on to eat (instead of eating at your desk). Digestion is affected by how we eat, you will feel better and able to jump back in if you take time to eat and digest.

Are you still thinking, this is great but my day gets thrown off by my boss adding higher priority items to my list midday? If so, be transparent and ask your boss directly if what they are handing you takes priority over what you are currently working on. It’s likely they don’t know what you are focusing on and when you tell them they will adjust accordingly.

If you don’t communicate, you are the one that suffers. You are likely to stress and think I can’t believe my boss is giving me another thing to do. If you take that moment to say “I realize XXX is high priority and needs to be completed immediately but I am finalizing project A today. I don’t mind shifting my focus, which is a higher priority for you?”

Regardless of the response you may continue to feel overwhelmed but at least now you have been transparent about what you are doing and set an expectation. Setting expectations and boundaries definitely will help reduce the pressure you are putting on yourself.


How often are we looking back on yesterday or looking forward to tomorrow? Always planning, assessing and obsessing on what we have to do, what we have done and what we SHOULD have done. I ask you for the next week to focus solely on TODAY.

Each morning you wake up think about what is on your agenda only for today. As you do this, I know you will start to appreciate the moments of the day more. You will notice that the day seems to flow better and you will be more peaceful.

Please share your thoughts and experiences about this on Instagram and Facebook and be sure to tag me! @authenticang