Entries by Denise VanEck

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad Serves 8-10 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1 small garlic clove, finely grated 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper Combination of greens: kale, spinach and mixed 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, shredded with a knife 2 Apples slices 1/4 cup Golden raisins 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1/3 cup almonds with […]

(Non) Random Acts of Kindness

Give a genuine compliment. Tell someone you love them. Smile at everyone you see. Do something nice for a stranger. Donate to a charity you believe in. Volunteer in a local community organization. Plan a fun social event for friends, family, and/or coworkers. Encourage someone to pursue one of their goals. Forgive someone who hurt […]

Validate me.

  Thank you for listening to me when you had other important things to do.   When you had the courage to tell the truth in that meeting yesterday, it changed everything.   You have a way of making me laugh at just the right time.   When is the last time someone said something […]

Have you Noticed?

We have a special role for one of our staff members at Thought Design. Shelley is our CNO. Don’t know what that is? That’s because not many companies (or any?) have one, though I think they should. Shelley is our Chief Noticing Officer. It’s her job to notice stuff. She notices when things are out […]


“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state – it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle… Celebration is […]

Can you Relate?

  You’ve probably heard that if you want to truly master a skill, you need to spend 10,000 hours on it. According to Matt Leiberman, author of Social, Why our Brains are Wired to Connect, you had already spent that 10,000 hours understanding people and how we relate to them by the time you were […]

Your emotions are our emotions

  My friend David has a job that he absolutely loves – except for one thing. And it’s the one thing that may push him out the door soon. David has a boss that is prone to outbursts of anger. David’s boss seems to be a great guy that knows his stuff, but no one […]


  Do you wear “I’m busy” as a badge of honor? Or as excuse for not doing the things you really want to be doing?   If anyone is truly busy, it might Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn. He has been writing on his personal LinkedIn page about a practice that he calls “underscheduling”. […]

Another reason to curl up with that book today

  Need a reason to justify reading Fifty Shades of Gray? Well, here it is: a team of researchers from the University of Toronto recently conducted a study of 100 students that were asked to read either a short story or a piece of non-fiction prior to taking a survey on their emotional need for […]

What’s New?

  A few years ago a friend of mine decided as she turned 49 to celebrate her fiftieth year of life by doing 50 new things. It was a blast to watch her take an art class for the first time, learn to use power tools, and build a birdhouse. She stretched herself all different […]