Describe Yourself

It takes some forethought and practice to know how to describe yourself.

I once had a meeting set up by a friend who knew I was starting a new venture.  He knew someone who was generous and who had some experience similar to mine and arranged for us to meet.  I prepared what I had and was very excited to impress this stranger.  I had great ideas, plenty of experience to validate my approach, and some written explanations and examples.  I shared them all.

Finally, I  stopped my “presentation” and looked expectantly at him.  He said, <direct quote>, “You have been talking for 20 minutes and I still don’t know what the hell you do.”

Ouch.  But a really, really good ouch.

I went home and Dave took one look at me and said, “Something just happened to you…and it is good.”  He was right.  I had asked some questions of my “benefactor” and he had headed me in a good direction.  I gathered up a flip chart, post it notes, an easel and a myriad of colored markers and pens and my journal while Dave reserved a suite room for me at a hotel in a town an hour away.  I stayed two nights and three days.  I created and defined and practiced and read and came back with an elevator speech and a list of services I provided.

It was the first time I had heard of an elevator speech and it was the spark I needed to launch a successful coaching and training business that has taken me to some very interesting places, learning some very interesting lessons, and meeting some very interesting people.  It was the start of significant growth for me, professionally.

All from a failed attempt at describing myself and what I do.

I sent a note of appreciation to the man (whose name I honestly don’t remember) and a bookmark with a quote on it with:



It’s never too late. Are you in your third third? Make it your BEST third.






One of my Mantras is, “Be Intentional”.

Do what you say you will do… but think about it first.

Hmmm.   I can’t remember the moment I decided to live with intention, but most people who know me would probably use the word to describe me.  It might have come from watching people not be intentional.  It might have come from the hard lessons of the frustration that comes from letting others direct my efforts or decide my focus.  Whatever the source, “be intentional” has become an almost daily mantra for me.

I can’t just tell myself to be intentional, I have to have a strategy or a plan to guide my behaviors, thoughts, and actions so that I actually become intentional.


[a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.]
Here is my intentional strategy: 

Be Intentional-

  • Know what I believe.  I don’t have to tell everyone every thought and/or opinion I have, but I should know what I believe and why if I want to be sure I am doing or not doing what is important to me.
  • Decide for myself how I spend my time.  There are television shows that I might enjoy or benefit from.  There are books and magazines worth reading.  There are people who will add to my life if I spend time with them.  If I choose for myself, I will be less likely to succumb to advertising and marketing ploys for things I really do not want to steal my time away.
  • Don’t say “yes” or “no” too quickly.  Take time to consider how I commit my time and energy.  There will be consequences to any decision and I am wise to be as much in control of my decisions and actions as possible.
  • Don’t blame others for my own choices and results.  Own my own efforts and decisions.  Apologize when necessary.  Reimburse when appropriate.  Accept credit and praise graciously.  Say thank you and “I am sorry.”
  • Live without regrets.  If I consciously, intentionally decide what to say, how to spend time, who to be with, what to do, then the chances of having regrets is slim.

We can’t become intentional on accident. What is your strategy?



Understanding your sources of energy is basic if you want more of it. In the same way, understanding what drains your energy is just as important.

Do more of what gives you energy + Do less of what drains you

Plan for re-energizing after necessary times of draining activity.

Based on the DiSC model, people are usually either energized or sapped of energy by people contact. For some, being around others is key to their joy and sense of worth, while others are drained from a day of constant contact with other people.  My husband used to come home from a long day of interacting with people and just want to sit quietly. I, however, had spent a day with our kids, longing for adult conversation. I wanted to sit and talk. Energy drains at work!

A task can have the same type of effect….either energizing or sapping.  Give one person a difficult task to accomplish and you charge them up.  Another person, faced with the same “opportunity” may want to run and hide. Those are some basic hints to your energy.

There are little energy drains all around, not as easily defined, that can nag without being identified, if unnamed.


I took an assessment once that came from the idea that there are habits we have or don’t have that drain or give us energy.  If we can identify them and change them, one by one, we will have more natural energy and be more productive.  From the assessment, I found a few habits that I realized really were annoying me….and robbing me of energy.

A silly thing, to some, but as I checked “no” on the statement that “my car is in excellent condition”, I realized that it irritated me every time I got into my car and noticed it needs to be vacuumed.  For years, I had kids at home that I could pay to clean my car.  However, that was no longer an option. They were all grown up and vacuuming (or not vacuuming) their own cars.  My car, was un-vacuumed.  And it took a bit of energy from me every time I got in my car.

As small as it may seem, keeping my car vacuumed and washed, turned out to be a step forward in reducing negative energy for me. I made a small, but energy producing change that made a fairly significant difference.

After getting into the habit of keeping my car a bit more tidy, I tackled filing papers and receipts, updating my will, and consistently contributing to savings—and “no” as answers on my assessment.  Each of those turned out to be positive step to boost my energy on going forward instead of avoiding being annoyed by things I hadn’t done.

Deeply rooted, good character comes from good habits.  An occasional habit-inventory is a good way to keep focused on purposefully living YourBestThirdThird.  Any energy we still have at this stage is important to be positive.



“Your character is the sum total of your habits.”Rick Warren


photo credit: At the pub – Dublin, Ireland – Black and white street photography via photopin (license)

Know Your Strengths


Having a clear Mission Statement is at the core of designing Your BEST ThirdThird.

That’s why we have been devoting this blog to taking you step by step through a process to write your own Personal Mission Statement.

If you are participating and are in the process of writing your own Personal Mission Statement, you have considered and evaluated…

  • How you think of yourself (drew an image),
  • How others have articulated their belief in you (remembered others’ prophecies),
  • Your personal values, and
  • The qualities you most hold dear.

Why? So that you can focus on the MOST important opportunities you have.

And now, you are ready to consider your strengths… how you are wired and how that fits in with your great mission statement.

[It’s not too late to start writing your Personal Mission Statement]

You have a personality (though a common joke when I am presenting on this topic is that someone is fearful that they won’t have one).

It could also be said that we are wired to have certain Behavioral Tendencies. Or, we might suggest that a certain percentage of our emotional make-up is genetic wiring.

Whichever way you want to think of it, it is very obvious that we are each unique, and that we fall into similar categories, depending on…

Whether we are motivated by Task or People.

Whether we are Fast-paced or Slow-paced.

Where on the spectrum of each of those we fall.

How that all fits together.

Understanding our “personality” is crucial to our success in life.  Even understanding a few basics about your strengths will clarify your Personal Mission Statement.


For a basic, quick quiz to give you an idea of your tendencies, click HERE.  After you choose a few options given, it will give you a percentage of each of four “tendencies” and some suggestions as to how you might want to use your strengths in your BEST ThirdThird.

P R A C T I C A L   E X A M P L E 

At some point, I realized that the BEST use of my wiring was to stop trying to become a “pianist.” I could get to the right notes (eventually), but I could never feel, hear, sense the music like some of my friends could.  Instead of the precise, detailed piano playing that was not a natural connect for me, I  eventually helped to recruit and organize musicians for our church worship team instead.

Basically, while I can fill certain roles with some ability (one-handed piano notes), there are other roles that I can actually flourish in (seeing the possibilities in others).

I have other, more in-depth ways to help you tap into your personality and tendencies, if you are interested.

The Tendencies Quiz is a good place to start but there is so much more to discover about yourself. Contact me or leave a comment here if would like to explore more!


Your Values


What you do speaks so loudly
I can not hear what you say.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Values is our next focus for this process of writing your Personal Mission Statement.

What you value is an important part of who you are.

It says a lot about how you were raised and how you have evolved, grown, and changed through your experience of LIFE.

It is what has become important to you.

Here is one definition of Values:

“A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.”

Some synonyms are: Principles, ethics, moral code, standards, code of behavior.

Use this free workbook page for this part of your process.

The instructions should be clear on the worksheet… select the ones that are most important, then, rank them in order.

The two steps are important, even if tedious to choose and then rank.

Take your time.  Don’t rush.

Figure yourself out.

I do this exercise myself every time I ask someone(s) else to do it.  It makes me think, every time.

  • Do I value being appreciated or respected?
  • Is accumulating knowledge important to me?  (Yes….if it is knowledge to be used in understanding.)
  • While I prefer going to the grocery store without having to add up my costs as I put things in my cart (which I did for many years of raising a growing family on a budget) and while I enjoy having some discretionary funds, neither Financial Security nor Accumulation of wealthy ever make it to my list of 10.

That is always an interesting conversation I have with myself after this exercise.

I have consistency… Spirituality and Faith are always #1; Wisdom, Openness, Self-awareness, a sense of humor are always on my list.

Who I am is made up of what I value.

Tackle your worksheet with honesty and thought.

Choose values you hold dear.



Memorable Affirmation

Remembering comments from childhood often first brings negative thoughts.  It’s sort of amazing to me how true that is.  We can remember the scoldings or the mistakes or the failures, but it’s harder to remember any positive affirmation we receive through out our lives.

The stories that you tell about your past shape your future.

– Eric Ransdell in Fast Company

You have positive memories if you will take a few minutes to access them.

So….do that…!

Take a few minutes and remember some positive comments that were made to you about yourself when you were a child.

Who said something to you that shaped you in a positive way?
Who saw in you potential when you were too young or naive to see it in yourself?
Who invested in you in a way that you were challenged to see yourself in a new way?

I have to say that this was hard for me when I first did this exercise.  I did not have a lot of “cheerleaders” in my young life.  I can’t remember teachers singling me out for my intelligence or family members commenting on my positive strengths. No caring neighbor said to me, “You are special” in a personal way that I remember.

I had a softball coach, though.

Ethyl Lee Rehms.

She was my fifth grade teacher, too, and she gave me confidence in the classroom (once, by assigning me as one of four debaters for a class history).  She was also our physical education teacher and she made me see that I could be athletic (She told me I ran like a chicken once and that if I held my arms in, I could take a few seconds off my 50-yard dash).

But, as my softball coach, she brought out the best in me.

She put me at third base when I was 10 to get me strong enough to follow the awesome shortstop who was 3 years older than me.

Once, she sent everyone home except for the first baseman(girl) and hit grounders to me for another 30 minutes in the hot Texas summer sun. (I do think she went and moved her car so protect is from my occasional wild throws!)

Miss Rehms invested in me in my deepest places…..

She saw that I was good at something and she made me better.


You have someone like that in your life.

     W H O   I S  I T ?

Download this free worksheet and write it down.

Commit to remembering a Positive Personal Prophecy someone had of you as a child.  Or more than one if you are so fortunate.

This is important.

That person identified an important part of you that will be an aspect of your Personal Mission Statement.


If you missed my post from Tuesday, go back and read Describe Yourself and work through part one of today’s free worksheet.

Image Credits:

Your Personal Mission Statement

personal mission statement

… and they pass by themselves without wondering.

What is your mission?  You have one, you know. Discovering it is key to living your life with purpose… and key in designing your BEST ThirdThird.

Over the next 6 weeks here on the blog at, we are going to be working through how to discover your personal mission statement.

Why write a Personal Mission Statement?

Defining your personal life’s mission helps make decisions of time, money, friends, profession.
  • If you have determined what is most important to you and distilled it down into a Mission Statement that you know and remember, it will give you solid priorities for making decisions.
  • Knowing your Mission gives purpose to every day. Even if you aren’t actively “on a mission,” you do have a reason and purpose and direction for how you invest your minutes, hours, days.
  • Having a stated Personal Mission Statement gives you the opportunity for satisfaction. When you have drilled down and defined what is important to you, then you can know when you have done it.
  • A Personal Mission Statement focuses energy. And, as we age, even if we are doing all we can to stay fit and active, we face the challenge of focusing the energy we have to maximize it every time!

Your Personal Mission Statement will be…

  • Short
  • Easily understood
  • Easily memorized
  • A combination of what you’re good at and what you stand for.

To get there, work through the worksheets that will be provided each week and they will lead you to a final effort of distilling it all down into a few words that will make sense to you and give you purpose.

If you are not subscribed to our newsletter, you can sign-up below to receive Your Best Third Third content straight to your inbox.

You should know these past iconic examples of people who had an obvious mission to accomplish (especially if you are past age 45). See if you can match the person with their mission:


What is your mission? Let’s discover together.

Change is Possible

At we are declaring February
the Month of Change!


D E C I D E 

The first step in designing your BEST Third Third is deciding to be open to change. Being open to change may mean making a change to a behavior/situation or changing a mindset.

What are subtle thoughts you have that keep you from being open to change and limit you in finding your BEST future?

  • “What I am doing now is the only thing I can do.”
  •  “Where I am living is where I will die.”
  •  “My friends are set.”
  • “I have learned all that my brain can hold.”
  • “My success (interests/options/possibilities) is limited to what is a reality now.”

Change is possible in your ThirdThird and change
is a good thing to think about if you are preparing for your ThirdThird.


Recognize and acknowledge that you have options. You are not stuck… even if your conditions are limiting. You can change something even if you can’t change everything.

Change IS possible.


What might be possible for you to change for the better as you move further into your ThirdThird?