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“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
– Shirley Temple  
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  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 12 December 2017  

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Janice Tollini

  PERSPECTIVES COLUMN
  Why never is a four-letter word
  By Janice Tollini

   Janice Tollini has worked in the health care industry as a clinical psychologist for 15 years. She is now a Talent Management Consultant, and is completing additional graduate training in industrial/organizational psychology. In 2017, she will become certified as an executive coach through the World Coaching Institute. Check out Janice’s website at http://talentworksconsulting.com.
My mother always told me I was persistent. Truthfully, I believe she used the word “stubborn.” My boyfriend uses the word “persistent,” but he occasionally alludes to my stubbornness. They are both pretty accurate.
   
   Apparently, tenacity, to use another more flattering word than stubborn, began at an early age. My mother tells me that as a toddler I was not allowed to go to the horse barn (conveniently located just across our backyard) by myself. Seems reasonable; however, I escaped the confines of my crib and ran as fast as my little legs would take me when the moment was right. My mother claims she would hear the back door slam shut (the only flaw in an otherwise perfect plan) and she would see me running for the barn. While I don’t actually remember any of this, I can see where my love of horses would easily overpower rules and parental judgment.
   
   Moving forward 30-some years, I worked as a psychologist in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. I had a family that I had been working with for several years, with a focus on the teenage daughter. She was bright, pleasant and kind and every bit as fixated on what she wanted as I was on reaching those horses. I can remember telling her mother that while she saw much of her daughter’s behavior as stubborn, there would be a point in time when that tenacity would serve her well. Her exasperated mother’s response: “Dear God, I hope you are right.” And I was.
   
   In certain situations, the refusal to accept no as the answer or to restrict our wants and dreams to the limitations set forth by others is seen as being stubborn and negative. In other contexts, we call it “tenacity” and “persistence” and it becomes an attractive trait.
   
   Milton Hershey, founder of the Hershey’s Chocolate empire, failed numerous times prior to his success as a confectioner. We’ve also heard stories about actors who suffered numerous rejections and failed auditions before landing the part that made them famous.
   
   Truth is, it is only after achieving success that we see these people as brave and persistent. While they are struggling and need support, they are seen as stubborn and having “pie in the sky” dreams. How is it that they keep trying and hold faith in their dreams? And more importantly, how do we acquire that skill, that determination, for ourselves?
   
   I believe the secret is not just in the continued effort (which makes me think of those annoying “hang in there, baby” inspirational posters with the adorable kitten hanging from a tree branch). In reality, we learn more by the mistakes we make.
   
   Most of us have experienced failures; many of us have been unprepared or we miscalculated the means to achieve our goals. But what happened at that point? Give up and never make another attempt? Or try again, this time with a slightly different approach?
   
   There is considerable research on the factors that help build an effective leader. Ironically, truly impactful and successful leaders tend to have some blunders in their background. In part, this is because they often engage in somewhat riskier behavior than those who do not reach the same level of success. But they learn from their mistakes. They take the time to review the process that led them to the end result. Tom Brady and other athletes review their mistakes on video and make the necessary changes. Our mistakes may not be available for a video review, but we all have the ability to conduct a personal replay. In doing so, we can evoke a bit of that stubbornness that allows us to be successful, regardless of the naysayers.
  
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  HOLIDAY SALAD

   This quick and easy holiday salad tastes great — mainly because of the dressing, so you can easily substitute other ingredients for those listed here. I always add more cranberries and more walnuts, too.
   
   Here's what you need:
  • 1 16 oz. bag of cole slaw
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 8 oz. blue cheese crumbles or feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 1 sweet onion chopped

   Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup Lemonaise Light (Health food store item, but it’s worth the drive — I get mine from Amazon.) Lemonaise is a non-dairy substitute for mayonnaise but it works great for this salad.
  • 3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (real maple syrup)
Instructions
  • Mix the Lemonaise, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup (I use my Ninja blender).
  • Refrigerate the dressing for at least one hour.
  • Combine all the salad ingredients
  • Pour the dressing on the salad right before you are ready to serve it.
That’s it! Happy Holidays!
   Marylou Bride
  
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