Achievement is a Seductive Lover

For most of my life achievement was the goal. Career, relationships, health, or athletics - I saw it through the lens of achievement.

Wanting to reach a huge goal (first doctorate in family, first female officer in my fire department), a small goal (complete 2 spartan races within 1 year of wrist fracture with bolts) or a seemingly impossible goal (85lb standing bicep curl?)  created constant motivation. 

 The love I sought outside myself through achievement was a lover who was always unattainable.  I could always be not quite good enough. There is always more, something bigger and better.

 Don't get me wrong, Achievement is valuable, and it has a dark side.

 Often achievement can be a way of avoiding hard conversations, things you don't want to think or speak about.

 Seeking achievement can create busyness.  When we feel constantly moving, working, and achieving you feel there isn't the "luxury" of self-reflection.

 You tell yourself...

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What You Might Not Know, and They Didn't Tell You

You’ll always be successful.  You were born a high performer, a high achiever. It’s in your DNA. 

Your challenge is:

  1. Include others in your journey
  2. Understand it will never happen fast enough for you.  That’s the point not something to push against.

When you achieve something, it is so much more fun when you get to share it.

Investing in connection with others and yourself is your challenge.

Part of you thinks it just slows you down to collaborate or join with others. You can do it alone so much faster.


Yet, your growth will happen when you join.

At the end of your life, you will realize it isn’t about the achievements (they are epic though) it’s about your relationships.

Firstly, with yourself.

Here are a few questions I ask myself and journal about.

What are you not admitting to yourself?

What are you avoiding, resisting?

What do you yearn for?

On life’s menu, what would you like?

With love from my 6th decade wisdom,


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Dead Pilots Didn't Ask for Help

While working towards my private pilot’s license, my flight instructor talked about the kind of pilot you don’t want to become. 

A dead one.

Most folks who want to fly are high performing, successful people. 

And, they have egos.

Egos that may not want to admit they need help.

Even if they know they need it, they may not ASK for help.

Ugh, I thought.  That’s not me!

(Slightly cringing here.)

I’m thinking – I’m not going to be the pilot who dies because they are so proud, they can’t ask for help.

For some context, I learned to fly a Cessna 172. It has 4 seats and feels like driving a ’67 Volkswagen bug in the sky.

 After months of flight training with my instructor,  a major step towards getting my license is my first solo flight.  The pilot in training must fly by themselves to a destination at least 50 nautical miles from where they take off, land the plane, turn around and come back home.

Up to that...

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Everything You Ever Wanted is on the Other Side of a Difficult Conversation

Uncategorized Mar 11, 2023

Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of a hard conversation. 

More money. 

Better Health. 



Better sex. 

Better relationships. 

Yet, you wait for it to be easier. 

It never gets easier. 

You are wired to avoid discomfort. 

You tell yourself you'll get to it later or when life settles down. 

There is never the “right” time. 

The beauty of looking backwards is you can remember how much relief you felt on the other side of these awkward, hard conversations. 

It took me falling off a ladder and injuring myself to tell my boyfriend I might be gay.  That was an uncomfortable and awkward conversation! And the relief I felt and the love I received after that hard conversation changed my life.

It can be a major life change or it can be as ordinary as avoiding an awkward conversation about how something landed wrong with you in a meeting.  

It could be the fear of the...

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You don't Have to Fall Off a Ladder

Uncategorized Mar 07, 2023

My new eyeglasses above contain the carving, "Share Your Stories". So here goes! The slow burn of my vulnerability hangover is sizzling through my every cell. If you've every felt disappointed that your achievements failed to bring the happiness you desired, I invite you to listen to my podcast interview with Dr. Mandy Lehto on ENOUGH.  

Here is the link:

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I'll be Happy when ...

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2022

Most people think happiness will arrive when they:

  • Get promoted.
  • Make X amount of money.
  • Get the perfect home or 2nd Beach home.
  • My icky boss finally retires
  •  get married or divorced
  • its sunnier
  • Covid is over
  • I don't have to work with X anymore
  • This project is complete.
  • My weight is perfect.

Anything on this short list sound familiar?

It's a game we are all playing on some level.

How about this?  Have you ever achieved your goal and enjoyed a moment of joy only to jump into the next goal immediately?

Or, have you simply moved the goal to a higher metric once you are just about to reach it!

I'll be happy when I make X becomes I'll be happy when I make 10x!

I am smiling as I type that. UGH!

What's the solution?

Do you never strive for change and things you want in life?

I have a reminder on my wall that happiness is a choice not something to be pursued.  

As a high performer you'll never get "there" so be happy on the journey.

Don't abolish the...

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Counter intuitive Truth:  Slow Down to be Faster

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2022

Our culture puts a prize on speed and quickness.

In order to get more done, we are told: GO FASTER.

Work harder.

Do More.

You’ve all been there.

Who hasn’t believed in the giant myth that to get more done you simply must put in more hours?

Usually that means less sleep.

Less working out and eating crappy.

Less fun.  Less Play. Less Connection.

It never works.

Or rather, it never works for us. 

It’s obviously not sustainable but you are too busy to notice, right?

It is a recipe for burn out.

You might have been there too.

You might be headed there now.

The first time I was told to slow down to speed up, I was a 38 year old female competing with a bunch of 22-25 year old guys who were faster, taller, bigger, stronger and much younger.

My Lieutenant called me over during my firefighter training and told me that if I wanted to go faster, I would need to be smoother.  To be smoother I needed to slow down.


Did I hear that right?

Speed is...

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Courage inspired by my teen

courage Nov 21, 2021

Learning courage from my teenager


For most of my life, I  thought of myself as courageous.  I became a litigation attorney and practiced in the heavily male dominated field of heavy construction litigation. 

 I became a professional firefighter at age 39 beating out guys in their early 20’s in intense physical training.


This Halloween I learned far more about courage than any previous experience.

The courage to be seen as you. 

To show up exactly as you want.  Wearing what you want regardless of what others my say, think or do.



For Halloween, our son decided he wanted to dress as a French maid. 

Wearing pink.

In a dress.

With a special bodice making the skirt flare out just so.

He wanted to wear it first to a school party and then out in the world trick or treating on Halloween night.


Are you sure you want to wear that?

My stuff coming up loud and clear.

My fears of bullying.

 My fears of physical...

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Not enough Time?


Not enough Time? 


Hey, welcome it, it's Shannon, the creator and founder of and the

creator of sparking insights.

And today I want to share with you something that I hope will spark a really great insight

for you if you have ever found yourself complaining about time.

At the end of the day, you might think you've been busy all day, maybe you said I was busy all

day putting out fires and I don't feel like I got anything done or my to do list is still

massive. Maybe you get up in the morning feeling completely overwhelmed.

You don't know what to do first.

Your in basket and your to do list are completely overwhelming and it feels like

just too much.

And you have this experience that there's just not enough time.

Fantastic. You're in the right place.

I want to share with you something that I hope will really transform your relationship

with Time.

I want to invite you to think of time in a completely different way in order to

experience time in a...

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My Birthday Present to you, Firefighter Style.

Uncategorized Dec 11, 2020

Please take me up on my Birthday gift to you!  Reach out to me at [email protected] and share with me what you might want to explore and some good times that can work for your schedule.

Wishing you the gift of Presence.  And, for a double love choose somebody to give this gift to anytime.  



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