Tag Archives: Susan Cain

JoyReturns 1st Annual Virtual Conference

How to chase the mid-winter blues bye-bye?

Attend a conference, your own conference. I wish I could say this was my idea but I stole it from Chris Brogan.   

Here are a compilation of my favorite Ted and Tedx Talks.

None pertain to joy but if you act upon the ideas in these talks you will find or create joy in your life or the lives of others. Every speech pertains to you no matter what age or what nasty life event you have or are experiencing.

There is a break after every session so you can review notes or rewind to rewatch part of a speech. So grab a pen and notebook and start the conference when your schedule permits.

One day we will all gather in a warm location, wearing bikini’s and speedo’s and sipping tropical drinks with umbrellas in them and listen to speakers live and not via Memorex (Does that even still exist?).

Hungry? Here are some recipes for your conference:

Cherry Cheesecake Tarts: How To Get Out Of The Doghouse

Easy Heath Bar Cookies

Feta, Beans and Champagne – Oh My!


Opening Prayer: How Great Thou Art by Elvis | Jordainaires | Imperials

How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek


Small Ripples Make Big Waves by Abby Kohut


The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown


5 Ways to Listen Better by Julian Treasure


Connected, but Alone by Sherry Turkle


The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain


How To Sleep by Jessa Gamble


Should you live for your resume…or your eulogy? by David Brooks


Closing Remarks: A Pep Talk by Kid President

Music by the BeeGee’sYou Should Be Dancing.  You will understand why I picked this song after you watch Kid President’s pep talk.


Recommended Reading: 

Start With Why, How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek

Daring Greatly – Brene Brown

Connected by Erin Davis (a nice compliment to Sherry Turkle’s speech.)

Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome – Robby Novak and Brad Montague

The Impact Equation, Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?  by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Official Conference Quote: 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

(emphasis mine)

Official Conference Poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Official Conference Scripture: 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

I hope you enjoyed attending the JoyReturns 1st Annual Virtual Conference.

Please let me know what you thought about the speakers. Who would you like to see next year?

Disclaimer: None of these links are affiliate links, so I do not earn any money when you click on them. I have not been paid by anyone for posting links to the talks or the books.

No Joy In Open Floor Plans


Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3

In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain points out the case against open floor plans. After sorting through lots of research (sited on page 295), she indicates the following disadvantages:

  • High staff turnover
  • Impairment of memory
  • Reduction in productivity
  • Making people sick, hostile, unmotivated and insecure.

Now I am not going to give away all the disadvantages revealed, you will just have to read the book to find out.

Not Creative

Open floor plans are not mentally or physically healthy for employees.  Creativity gets stifled because no one has a quiet place to go and work out their ideas – other than the bathroom stall. There are times where you just need peace and quiet to resolve a customer’s problem.

Plus there is one other “minor” issue –

The Federal PRIVACY Laws

None of my co-workers had the need to know the details of my conversation with a customer, other than my manager or the compliance people who periodically monitored calls for quality assurance purposes.

An open floor plan increases the risk of 3rd party information being over-heard by someone who does not need to know.  

If I am sitting in a bank and there are two desks side by side with no walls, the financial counselor and their customer at the other desk can easily hear the conversation I am having with my counselor. 

So before you decide to tear down the walls or not even build any – consider the business you are in and the type of information discussed either in person or on the phone.  You would not want anyone to hear what is going on in your life whether it pertains to career, finances or relationships so what makes your customers want snippets of their life overheard by other people?

Colds & Flu

If you think a cold spreads fast in a cubicle nation, just wait until the cubicle walls come tumbling down or never get erected.

Sneezes can travel up to 100 mph and wet spray can radiate 5 feet.

http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sneeze.html  WordPress would not allow me to link it to the above sentence.)

Now imagine someone suddenly sneezing in an open floor plan.  We’ve all been there, suddenly caught off guard by a sneeze and no time to reach for the Kleenex or cover your nose and mouth. 

While walls will not stop the spread of germs, at least they can slow the spread down.

Cheaper but…

It might be cheaper to not erect walls but don’t be surprised if the money you save is spent on sick time.

Don’t Try To Cure The Children

(Author’s Note: I had planned to talk about open floor plans today but, with the school shooting that happened in Chardon, OH yesterday I changed my mind.)


Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for

I am you God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with

My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Susan Cain’s book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” contains a chapter about introverted children (Chapter 11).  She talks about raising a child who is an introvert and covers educating those children.

All parents and educators need to read this chapter.

One of the most important aspects of the chapter is pointing out how successful introverts are once they get into the working world.  They are successful because they choose the working environment where they know they can excel.

Unfortunately they are unable to choose their school environment.  However, parents and educators can work together to make sure introverted children have the best possible school experience.

Parents and educators:

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.” 

Susan Cain

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”

Work with the children to bring out their best don’t force them to become an extrovert.   Help them learn how to cope with social situations.

Remember one-third to one-half of students are introverts.  They are just as much the future as extroverts.

Please raise and educate them well.  Your children are your future and your legacy. 

I Am An Introvert And This Is What It Means


“Be still, and know that I am God; 

Psalm 46:10

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

When going on interviews or attending networking events, I am always told to be myself and the people I meet will love and accept me.

No they won’t.


Because I am an introvert and the world does not love or even like introverts.

Well I am here to say – I am an introvert & proud of it!


I’ve always known I was an introvert but after reading Susan Cain’s new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, I feel free to admit it.

Susan writes

“If there is only one insight you take away from the book, though, I hope it’s a newfound sense of entitlement to be yourself.”

I do feel more entitled to be myself, I feel more relaxed, confident, and proud of who I am.

Who Am I?

I am a:

  • Thinker
  • Listener
  • Problem Solver

My Value

The value I bring to the world as an introvert is:

  • Viewing issues from different angles and viewpoints, which comes in handy when solving problems.
  • Providing a well thought out answer and avoids making quick decisions which might not consider the impact of the answer.
  • Have always been able to empathize with most people in most situations, they feel as though I understand them.  (
  • Prefers intimate one-on-one conversations.  Hey! I did a lot of one-on-one training at the bank and loved every minute of it.
  • Focus on finding meaning in events.  I believe there is a reason for events that happen in our lives. The Strength Finder people call it “connectedness.”


Susan’s book also points out:

“They have difficulty when being observed (at work, say or performing at a music recital) or judged for general worthiness (dating, job interviews).”

Mom and Dad had me enrolled in acting class when I was a youngster in hopes of helping me come out of my shell.

Then I was on the speech team and in the drama club in high school, so I am probably more comfortable than most introverts when it comes to public speaking.

Speaking of which, my degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication.  The degree focused on public speaking as a form of communication instead of writing.

I will not comment on the dating and job interviews as this post is already getting too long. Suffice it to say those two situations are more nerve wracking for me then public speaking.

Social Events

Yes, I can and do step outside my comfort zone in social situations. I even enjoy social events, but this Cinderella turns into a pumpkin earlier in the evening than most people.

My Reason For Buying Quiet

I hoped this book would give me some ideas, words and or phrases to use for job search. It has and now to use these to my advantage in  job searching.

Are You? 

If you are an introvert, stand up, be counted and be proud.  After all according to Susan’s book up to ½ of the world are introverts.

So be yourself and let the world see just how wonderful you are.

Coming tomorrow – Introverts and Open Floor Plans.

A Picture Of Coming Attractions

Instead of a post about grief or job searching, I thought I would give you a preview of what is coming on this blog.


Playtime Makes Me Smile



Tuesday February 14th, 2012 – Valentine’s Day

No “mooshie, mooshie” post about a hot date or other sordid adventures.  Instead – it is time once again for a Slideshow!  It has been at least 7 or 8 months since I put together a slideshow, so I figured it is about time.  It is my Valentine’s Day present to you.  It will have you waggin’ your tail.  😉

Check out the “Welcome To The (Slide) Show” page for the other ones I have published.


Starting 2/22 there will be scripture verses for the Lenten season and starting March 1st there will be 17 days of Irish Blessing/Proverbs in addition to the scripture verses.


The 27th – the 29th, I will touch upon some things from Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  This book is everything I hoped.  It is a must read in order to gain a better understanding and appreciation for us introverts.

Well those are just a few things I have planned, please stick around because you never know what else I might throw at you  😉


Have a wonderful weekend and remember:

“If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”

Charlie Parker

So live it with joy today and always!

How To Live & See Truly

It’s quote day as because I am in the middle of a project for a friend and I started reading Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” – fascinating reading.  Get the book and learn all about your friends, neighbors and maybe even yourself.   I anticipate the book will give me permission to be myself, even though our society of extroverts does not want me to be myself. 

It all ties in with today’s quotes:

“If we live truly, we shall see truly.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“We grow up carrying and repeating other’s thoughts and beliefs: our own voices are used to give opinions we have heard but never stopped to examine. But when we do pause and think, we may find we are imposters, actors, sheep in wolves’ clothing. That underneath the bluster, posturing, and the often casual dismissal of others who happen not to be as privileged as we are, we are in fact decent people who can extend ourselves, avoid discrimination, decry exploitation in all its forms, and practice and teach the value of compassion and benevolence. Once we start living by the Golden Rule, we live truly, see truly.”

Ingrid Newkirk


Emerson, Ralph Waldo (2011-05-25). Self-Reliance (Kindle Locations 385-391). The Domino Project. Kindle Edition.





Changes and Suggestion Opportunity


“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10

Yes, He is God and He is perfect, there is no need for him to change. 

On The Other Hand

I am not perfect, never have been and never will be. (oops, guess that is the wrong thing to say in case a potential employer reads this.)  God loves me but knows I need to change so I become the person He knows I can be.

My Changes

It’s almost one year since I starting my blog.  This blog has changed me.  My writing skills are better (but still need work), I have developed relationships with my readers, and I got my Christmas Joy back – all because of this blog. 

“Movin’ On Up”

Over the next few days I will be thinking and praying about how to take this blog to the next level and what that level will look like.

What You Will See

I can tell you t there will be a series on the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain hopefully in February.  The release date for the book is 1/24 so as soon as I get done reading it and taking notes, there will be blog posts. Why the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts?” because I am…INFP.  This overly extraverted world needs to know introverts are joyous and valuable people – in our own unique way.

The Continuing Adventures

Other than the “Quiet” series, there will be the continued posts about unemployment and singleness due to widowhood.  I intend on letting people know widows are not to be feared, or locked away in a dungeon.


What would you like to see in 2012?  Any particular ideas, topics or thoughts, I will consider all ideas and implement those which fit my mission:

  • Be an example of joy returning.
  • Support and encourage widows.
  • Educate those not grieving by sharing my adventures.
  • Establish and develop lasting relationships with my readers.
  • Help businesses develop a plan to support widows so they can perform at the level their job requires as quickly as possible.

Please “Express Yourself” in the comments or email me at kearnsdotmrsmichele@gmail.com


“God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way.”

Leighton Ford

Coming Attraction for Wednesday – “Ah Ha!”