I like this word. I don’t know why…perhaps because it is one of those words that seems to express itself in speaking of it. The word means ‘anxiety’—a kind of generalized anxiety with being alive.
The existential philosophers talked a lot about angst. In fact, we normally associate angst with existentialism—existential angst. The word is usually associated with a negative mood such as depression or what Thomas Merton characterized as "the dark night

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Darlene and I have spent a couple of lovely days in Seville. I am learning about Spanish history—which is pretty bloody over all, but also has produced some incredible art and architecture. It is always amazing to me how we require a few days ‘off’ before we begin to unwind, relax and really ‘be’ on vacation. Having the Internet is a bit like cheating, but I am beginning to let go of other commitments for a bit and just take each day in stride.

We were having a conversation this afternoon

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Out of Town

Perspective really is everything. When Barb and Jim tell friends they’re ‘out of town’, they’re not necessarily where you might expect them to be. They may actually be just down the street or in a neighbouring community in the cosmopolitan city in which they live. To this retired couple, being ‘away from home’ translates into days or weeks spent in someone else’s home, soaking up the ambience of the neighbourhood, re-creating days spent in foreign cities, immersing themselves in

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I am officially on holiday. Darlene and I are in Granada seeing what is perhaps one of the two or three top tourist destinations in Europe—The Alhambra. Aside from this site being a unique and spectacular complex of ancient fortifications and Arabic palaces, it also tells the story of how temporal our lives and our civilizations really are. This one had a pretty good run (about 800 years) before it was conquered in 1492, the same year Columbus set foot in the ‘New World’.

Our visit has

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What Do I Want?

It seems to me that we spend an inordinate amount of time thinking
about what we want in our lives. Last week I was working with a group
of people—mostly in their forties—and they shared that this was the
prevailing question in their lives. It got me thinking that this is the
question for all ages. At 65 I still ask it, although with less of a
need for an answer than at other times in my life.

What do I want? Simple enough question, but one that we seemingly don’t
answer or we wouldn’t

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Nostalgia and “What Might Have Been”

I am happy to be home, even when it’s only for a couple of days. Home is where we are when we feel most ourselves. It is, I think, a deep connection to a place, to people and one’s familiar surroundings. Growing up in the military meant we moved a lot and I think I associated home more with our furniture and my family than a particular place or even my friends—people who would, after all, be left behind next time we moved.

This current respite from my schedule is relaxed and enjoyable as

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Forget Me Not

Memory is an interesting and strange phenomenon. I think (as most of us do) that what I remember is more or less what happened. This came home to me a number of years ago when I was dating a woman I had dated twenty years previously and whom I had not seen in the intervening period. We ‘connected’ like old friends and more or less fell into the kind of comfortable conversation that old friends do. As we began to recall our earlier relationship (which was pretty intense and lasted for more

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Agreement and Alignment

In a recent conversation with my sisters, I was reminded that people don’t necessarily have to agree with the how, why or when of a particular possibility. But they do have to be aligned on the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ in order to move forward together—and the ‘who’ has to include a commitment from each person involved to the possibility of the ‘what’. In fact, disagreeing with the specifics of how to create a possibility adds value to the conversation and can inform and, in many

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I’m on vacation in Madrid. I was here once before for a short visit earlier this year to lead a workshop for a couple of friends I knew in Buenos Aires who have opened a coaching school here. This time I am able to just relax and take some time to get to know the country a bit better. It always amazes me how the first few days of every holiday are spent ‘shifting gears’ and adjusting to another context and pace than we have in our ‘normal’ work life. It dawned on me yesterday that this

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Leadership, Legacy and Learning

I just finished leading the first week of a course by the same name as today’s blog. It is a pilot program designed to facilitate and accelerate the transfer of leadership from one generation to the next. Most large organizations and institutions are confronting an unprecedented turnover of executives and managers primarily due to the wave of Boomer retirements. This is not just a personnel problem—it is also a strategic concern because how well we prepare the next generation to take the reins

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