International Friendship Day was celebrated on July 30th. The test belsimple reminder of what makes some friends your best friends.

Some friends know how to be a polite guest in your home. An authentic friend opens your refrigerator and helps themselves.

Some friends have never seen you cry. A dear friend has shoulders that have been soggy from your tears.

Some friends don’t know your parents' first names. A close friend has texted your parents.

Some friends bring a dish to your party. A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to clean up ... and knows where you keep everything.

Some friends hate it when you call after they’ve gone to bed. A humble friend asks why it's been so long.

Some friends want you to be more like them. A true friend loves you just as you are.

Some people think that a friendship is over after an argument. A weathered friend reaches out with a well-timed phone call.

Some friends expect you to always be there for them. A selfless friend knows that they will always be there for you!

Friendship Day is a reason to celebrate all your real friends who allow you to be the same for them

Gino Pezzani
DIEN Realty
604-418-9366
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A primary care physician is your first line of defense in maintaining good health. Finding one you like and trust may take a little effort. Here’s some advice from the Healthline website:

Check your network. Staying within your health plan’s network can save you money. Look through your plan’s documents to locate primary care doctors in your community.

Talk to your family and friends. Ask who they go to, and whether they like and trust them. You can also look to other health care workers you know such as your pharmacist, physical therapist, eye doctor, and other health care professionals.

Consider the location. Is it easy for you to visit the doctor’s office? Ask about public transportation, parking, and other access issues. If your doctor’s office is inconvenient to get to, you won’t go as often as you should.

Check availability. How busy is the doctor? Will you be able to get an appointment when you need one? Are tele-visits an option? You should be able to see a doctor quickly when you need to.

Meet the staff. You’ll be interacting with nurses and assistants, not just the doctor. On your first visit, see if they’re friendly and helpful so you’ll be comfortable sharing your concerns with them.

Group vs. Individual practice. In a group practice, you may not always get to see the doctor you choose. On the flip side, if the doctor is a solo practitioner, their availability may be limited.

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What advice would you give to your younger self? The website of the World Economic Forum shares these insights from some successful female CEOs:

Ellison Anne Williams, CEO and founder, Enveil: “Careers are nonlinear. At each step, choose opportunities based more on what you think you will learn from it than on where you think that it might take you. A diverse set of experiences is invaluable in building a rich career.”

Netta Korin, co-founder, Orbs: “Above all else, dare. Do not let fear get in the way of your success or of your choices. Do not look at your role models and wonder if— or fear that—you are not enough, or that you do not have what it takes.”

Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech: “Be positive. See the potential for good outcomes, while still being aware of the risks. Focus on the prize—if you fail, course correct, learn, and move on!”

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All of us are born with creative minds, but some of us lose the habit. The Entrepreneur magazine website offers these tips for getting your creative mojo back:

Practice mindful observation. You look, but do you really see? Make a practice of observing and appreciating the details of your surroundings. You may see, hear, smell, or feel things you never noticed before, giving you new ideas and insights.

Rev up your curiosity. Make a point of asking questions about everything you see and do, even if you think you already know the answers. Exploring situations more deeply can yield fresh insights into everyday problems.

Free your mind. Forget limitations. When you brainstorm, think beyond boundaries and conventional wisdom. Don’t accept the tried and true—instead, teach yourself to look at what seems impossible. You could find a way to make the impossible come true.

Practice being creative. Don’t wait until a problem erupts to flex your creative muscles. Your mind will be in better shape if you look for opportunities to be creative every day. Imagine a small problem and spend a few minutes thinking of new and different ways to solve it. You’ll be ready when you really need a spark of inspiration.

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The origins of some figures of speech are obvious—putting the cart before the horse, for instance. Others are a little more obscure. From Jeff Rovin’s book The Unbelievable Truth!, here’s a look at the explanations behind three common expressions:

Pulling the wool over their eyes. In the 17th and 18th centuries, thieves and robbers would yank their victim's wool wigs down over their eyes so they couldn’t see who was attacking them.

Blackmail. In 16th-century England, mail meant “rent” or “tribute.” Debts that had to be paid in silver were called “whitemail.” A debt that could be paid in any other way— from livestock to property—was called “blackmail.” Because blackmail did not have a set value, the person collecting the debt could extort any amount or anything they wished from the debtor.

Red tape. For centuries, it was British custom to seal important documents with red wax and red tape. Cutting through it was the only way to get at the documents and read them.

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Communication is at the heart of good leadership. Here’s some advice from Forbes on what kind of obstacles to look for and how to overcome them:

Insufficient communication. Employees need information to do their jobs effectively. Keeping them in the dark about what’s going on in your organization and industry prevents them from serving customers efficiently and making good decisions about priorities. Some information is confidential and proprietary, of course, but you should generally strive to share as much as possible.

Too much information. On the opposite extreme, employees can feel overwhelmed if you communicate too much. Don’t send dozens of emails to your entire workforce. Target information to the right people, and keep them short so people can find the point quickly and easily. Make more information available for people who want it instead of dumping everything into one huge message.

Difficult communication structures. Don’t place too many rules on how people communicate. Requiring employees to reach out to other departments only through their managers can slow or even strangle the flow of information. Encourage open communication in all directions throughout your organization.

Not listening to employees. Communication shouldn’t be a one-way street. If you’re doing all the talking, employees will tune out. If you’re not asking questions and listening to people, you won’t know what’s going on in your organization. Get feedback from all levels and pay attention to what people are saying, or you’ll miss important news and developments from the front lines.

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Selenium is a nutrient necessary for good health. It supports reproductive health, the thyroid, DNA production, defense against infections, and more. Selenium deficiency can lead to heart disease, infertility, and arthritis and may be related to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive decline.

The Medical News Today website advises eating these foods that are rich in selenium: 

Brazil nuts, tuna, halibut, sardines, shrimp, turkey, beef liver, chicken, cottage cheese, brown rice, eggs, whole wheat bread, and baked beans.

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A Zen master once gave his student a piece of silk fabric that had been twisted and tied into many knots. Yet he told the student it was a beautiful kite that he should fly in the garden.

The student took hold of the mess he’d been handed, unsure what to make of it. Then he carefully began to undo each knot and twist. With the fabric smoothed out, he attached the frame and tether.

He released the kite, and the wind carried it high into the air. The student admired the ease with which the kite sailed through the air.

At that moment, he understood that for his life to be as light and free as the kite, he would need to undo the problems that kept his heart knotted up and tangled into a hard lump.

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A man was visiting the zoo one day. As he was passing the elephant enclosure, he suddenly stopped. The majestic creatures were restrained by only a small rope tied to their front leg—no chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break free, but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer standing nearby and asked why the elephants did not attempt to get away.

“Well,” the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them.

 At that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they continue to believe they cannot break away. They think the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

 The visitor was amazed. These enormous beasts could break free from their bonds whenever they wanted, but they felt they were stuck because they thought they couldn’t.

 Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that restrains us simply because it held us back once before?

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Well, it’s August which means it’s hot! Summer is in full swing, and the sun is burning bright. Burning, like fire. Every time I think about the fire, I think about transformation. Think about it, when you light a fire and place something in there, it turns into something else: ash. And it will never be what it once was. You cannot get it back. It’s been transformed forever.

We are evolving beings, so we change. My message for you this month is one of transformation. If you’re finding yourself in a middle of a shift, let it happen. It’s likely uncomfortable, but that’s okay. It’s supposed to be.

Imagine the classic visual of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. I’ll bet if that caterpillar could talk, it wouldn’t say that time in the cocoon was all roses. Sit with the discomfort of change, knowing that the benefits will soon outweigh the discomfort. And always remember to be gentle with yourself; you are a work in progress.

If you’re finding this change to be particularly challenging, I encourage you to look back at another hard time in your life. Without reliving the painful memory too much, ask yourself, “How did I overcome this? How do I feel about it now?” I can almost guarantee your feelings about something that once felt unbearable, in hindsight, doesn’t sting as much today. All things take time, including whatever you’re moving through at this moment. Always remember, this too shall pass, and just like the sweltering heat of summer… this too shall pass.

Warm Regards,

Gino Pezzani

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