For the past 30 years, Madelyn Blair works with her executive clients to help them achieve their dreams for their business, their staff, or themselves. Meeting today’s complex challenges with ease calls upon resilience. Her approach of using narrative, resilience practices, and deepening knowledge builds a strong, sustainable foundation. Dr. Blair speaks throughout the world on unlocking resilience. She has done leading work in the use of story for the last 20 years. Among her positions, Dr. Blair is faculty at Columbia University and blogs on Psychology Today on the topic of Resilient leadership.
My Goal of the Day:
My daily goal is to stay ‘in practice.’ Practice for me is sitting in silence for 5 minutes, reflecting on who I am, posing a question for the day, and last, but not least, deciding on the most important thing I should do for the day. That simple set of practices keeps me resilient no matter what is happening around me – and resilience is essential.
My Thought of the Day:
Bring your whole self to the world every day. It is the finest gift you have to offer. It is your best.
My Action of the Day:
It is my job to choose how I will respond to the challenges each day presents. Staying in the practice for resilience prepares me to choose well.
My Tip of the Day: Be generous in all that you do.
My Pic of the Day:
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
I actually live in the country. My view is of grass and trees with mountains in the distance. That said, I actually enjoy cities very much. New York, for example, is filled with energy. You can feel it when you walk down the street. I seem to be able to do more when I’m in NYC. Washington, which is closer to me, is a city best described as beautiful and heavy with history. I get more done when in New York.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I always prefer to eat what makes my body happy. I have found that staying within this boundary has led me to more energy, clearer thinking, and boundless curiosity. If my body craves green vegetables, I eat them. If it feels like it should have meat, I eat meat. If I remain in tune with my body, everything works better – and I always fit my wardrobe!
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM: I’m a person who expends enormous amounts of energy in the day and so I need a lot of sleep. At 6 am, I’m sleeping until 7. Morning exercise? Absolutely. Just before I hit the office.
10:00 AM: Deep in my first project – usually the one that is the most important for me to do that day.
12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Lunch is always best in my kitchen – smoked salmon on a slice of gluten free toast. When I travel, it is the meal I miss the most.
7:00 PM - Wrapping up for the day which means cooking dinner. As I love cooking, I usually find this energizing and fun—a great way to end the work day.
11:00 PM – In bed, listening to a podcast until I fall asleep.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
One time when I had a bladder infection, I was told to drink water all day long. It became a habit. The more I drink, the better I feel. The water is room temperature, but when I did some work in China, I learned the secret of drinking hot water right after a meal. Perfection.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
The app I use the most is Clock. As I begin the day, I check my calendar and set alarms at 2 minutes before the time I must move to each event. Being freed from checking the time, I can focus deeply between meetings. It’s amazing what you can get done even in short, intense blocks of time.
What should everyone try at least once?
To listen to someone else for as long as they want to talk. And when I say listen, I mean that in its deepest sense. You are not thinking of your response. You are not judging what they are saying as right or wrong. You are not even thinking about how it fits into what you think. You are just taking in what they are saying. At some point, the other person will acquire a look on their face of genuine appreciation. At that point, you will know that you have listened deeply, and you may have made a new friend.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
My favorite place for ‘getting lost’ is when the words in my mind quiet down and I work in the world of patterns. This can happen when I am reviewing data but especially as I put together a jigsaw puzzle. It is the one activity I can do for hours without ever getting bored. To do it demands that you remove all language and work strictly with shape, color, and image. I think every artist knows this place, too.