Two words for Friday.

Dear friends,

Source: Super Swoon

This week I spent some time counseling two friends. One just needed a little advice and an honest opinion. The other needed talking off the cliff. I helped both as best I knew how, but upon reflection I wondered if I could had been more encouraging. (I’m known for delivering the brutal truth and a former colleague of mine always ended our meetings with “Thanks for the pep talk, Joan!”)

I also had the opportunity this week to hear three very different but very successful businessmen give advice to a group of college seniors. To a person, they advised working hard and staying true to your values. But one also offered this: “There is very little difference between most people in the world. But that little difference makes all the difference in the world. And that little difference is attitude.”

This from a man who’s made a fortune, built and sold all kinds of businesses, managed tens of thousands of employees in his lifetime — and who’s led failed projects and been fired more than once. “Stay positive,” he added, “even when you fail. Because you will fail.”

It made me wish I had added “Stay positive!” to the advice I offered earlier this week. I know how hard it is in my own life. Now, I also realize how rare it is. And I want to be among the uncommon, among those that make all the difference.

With gratitude {for good advice shared in all directions},

Joan, the aspiring advice doctor, who thinks she’ll print the “Stay positive” poster and hang it above her desk, a la Lucy Van Pelt