Weekly Blog

We’re All Overwhelmed

Can you identify with the hamster on the wheel in the glass cage, watching the world go by around you? Take me for example…for the longest time, I was trying to make that wheel go faster and faster. I couldn’t catch my breath. I couldn’t find a way to jump off the wheel. Didn’t know if anyone saw me on the wheel. If anyone else was on the wheel with me. If anyone would catch me if I fell off the wheel. I couldn’t keep up; I was massively stressed, exhausted, frustrated, and deflated. I was overwhelmed. 

We’re all overwhelmed. Here’s what I also figured out…I was just as overwhelmed when things seemed to be going well as when things turned bad.

An example of the good times – for over 10 years, I worked every Sunday, 7AM-Noon, meeting my family for 12:30 Mass, believing I wasn’t missing any family time. I was crazy. I used to travel 2-3 days per week. When in town, I’d work from 6-8AM at my desk at the house, then taking the kids to school. I would race to the office for a frenetic pace of meetings and phone calls, working through lunch, going home late afternoon/early evening. 

I would eat dinner on the run, running the kids to their practices and events. I coached many of their sports, so I’d often be on the field with them. I’ve always been an exercise enthusiast, so I always got in my exercise, typically late at night (lots of sleep deprivation). I had business meetings some nights, other meetings other nights; we had a social life. There was always too much to do and not enough time to do it. I was overwhelmed, but because I thought I was in control I didn’t notice. In fact, I was energized by it…I was important because I was busy (so I thought). 

Then there are the bad times, where we have relationship issues, challenges (i.e., COVID), and experience the busyness of everyday life. We’re stressed, frustrated, deflated, exhausted, and very aware that we’re overwhelmed. 

We have the Internet, wifi, social media, smart devices – not only do things move much faster, but there is no way to disconnect; we have no downtime. In the background we’re concerned about our careers, our compensation, needs of our families, college, retirement, paying for houses, cars, vacations, etc., whatever allows us to keep up or get ahead. 

I’d suggest that it afflicts everyone…whether you’re in high school or college, newly graduated, just starting out, advanced in your career or retired; single, married, empty nester or house full of kids, young, old, wildly successful or not. And most believe that once they reach that pinnacle of success, what society says will make them happy, that everything will be good. Believe it or not, just the opposite is true; it often intensifies. 

Does at least some of the above apply to you? You aren’t alone. Join me next week, when we begin to unpack why we’re overwhelmed. Be assured…there’s an answer to this dilemma, how we live lives of peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

As always, please feel free to contact me at with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.  

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

How Did We Get Here? 

We’re living in a time where things are different. They’ve changed pretty dramatically, in a relatively short period of time…roughly 18-24 months. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the left or right, whatever your political affiliation, the truth is that life in America is different. 

If like me, you’ve thought to yourself, “How did we get here? What happened and how so quickly?”  

You’ve heard me say before (or read in my posts) that all the answers to life can be found in Scripture and are taught by the Church. We can point to teachings of the Church as to insights in how things ought to be…as opposed to how they currently are or where we’re apparently heading.  


Chapter 2, Article 1 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) addresses The Person and Society, the role of government as related to the individual. Two paragraphs that make the primary points include:

  • CCC 1881 – Each community is defined by its purpose and consequently obeys specific rules; but “the human person is and ought to be the principle, the subject and the end of all social institutions.
  • CCC 1883 – Socialization presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, i.e. family, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.

Personal Decision Making

Our judgement, given our moral conscience, is spelled out succinctly as follows: 

  • CCC Paragraph 1776 – “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”
  • CCC Paragraph 1782 – Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. “He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.”

What is Truth? 

Truth is not relative, as expressed below:

  • CCC Paragraph 2467 – Man tends by nature toward the truth. He is obliged to honor and bear witness to it: “It is in accordance with their dignity that all men, because they are persons . . . are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth.”262
  • CCC Paragraph 2469 – “Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another.”263 The virtue of truth gives another his just due. Truthfulness keeps to the just mean between what ought to be expressed and what ought to be kept secret: it entails honesty and discretion. In justice, “as a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.”

In contrast to what the Church teaches, in our country (and our world) today, the truth is often blurred, if not dismissed. Many in power don’t want to allow us to exercise our conscience. And governance has little to do with what is good for the people, but instead is all about power, money, and control. 

I just started reading a book (I’ll share the title later should I think it’s worth recommending), where the author does a “bait and switch”. The premise of the book is the crises we’re currently experiencing. He then points to the primary crisis as lack of faith in our culture today…fewer Godly people.  

He’s right. If we had more Godly people, we wouldn’t be here. If we had more followers of Christ, who were adhering to the teachings of the Church, it wouldn’t be like this. 

Here’s the issue. Nobody cares what’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (or Scripture or taught otherwise by the Church) if they don’t know the love of Christ. There are things we can be doing to change things in our country, should we desire. As Christians, I’d suggest we begin with the Great Commandments and Great Commission…love God, love our neighbors, and share our faith…the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. If more people knew these “truths”, we wouldn’t be here.  

As always, please feel free to contact me at with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.  

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph 

Weekly Blog

Leadership is Critical…Some Helpful Tips

Have you ever noticed how a change in leadership can immediately change things…for better or worse? Although examples exist in other places, it’s often most stark in the world of sports. Remembering back 40 years (this year), having won our high school football championship two years in a row, upon my graduation and the resignation of our head coach, a new one was hired for my brother’s senior year. With a comparably talented pool of players, the results didn’t come close.

Why is that? You often times see it in the opposite direction, where a head coach comes in and takes a team that has been struggling, and hardly changing personnel, then excels. As I stated in my August 5, 2020 blog, Great Leadership Doesn’t Just Happen, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a large corporation or small business, the federal government or a family, a not-for-profit, including a University or a Church, or any small group, inside an organization or otherwise. A dynamic, thriving organization always has a great leader. You can count on it”.

In part #2 of that series, I indicated the changes in me that took place, all rooted in my spiritual journey, that have made me the leader I am. In this post, I thought I’d provide some practical tips to leadership. I saw a presentation years ago, where leadership was pointed to as the following acronym:

  • Lead by Example
  • Educate
  • Attitude
  • Discipline
  • Empowerment
  • Receive and Respect Input
  • Sacrifice
  • Humility
  • Initiative
  • Plan, Prepare, Practice 

There’s a lot of truth here, all good things to keep in mind. I’m intentionally not including a lot of commentary on the above or what follows. Please think/pray through it. 

I also strongly believe that our journey as leaders starts from within. It’s based on:

  • Our identity in Christ – understanding and internalizing His unconditional love and forgiveness
  • Personal prayer life – we have to be in relationship with our Savior – spiritually and practically 
  • Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, Accountability – all based on our character (our identity in Christ)

The following are the things I’ve lived by as I’ve grown in supporting my team(s) as a leader:  

  • Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care
  • Love them, love them, love them
  • Affirm, affirm, affirm
  • Be invested in helping them be their very best professionally and personally 
  • Always be willing to do what you ask of others
  • Celebrate successes – individually and collectively
    • Personally
    • In writing
  • They need to know you have their back 
  • Collaboration is critical…people need to be part of developing the solution
  • People don’t need to be agreed with; they always need to be heard
  • Address challenging issues quickly and charitably
  • You can say anything as long as you say it softly
  • If struggling with addressing an issue, identify it and use it 
  • Always over-communicate, especially vision and plans
  • Don’t be distracted in your personal communication; zero in on person in front of you
  • No favorites – hold everyone to same standards; morale suffers otherwise

As always, please feel free to contact me at with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.  

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

A Great Quote from Mr. Rogers

Who among us grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? I know many of my readers are from the Pittsburgh area, home of Fred Rogers. Even if you didn’t watch his show, which included Chef Brockett and Mr. McFeely, aka Speedy Delivery, most of us knew of him. Mr. Rogers was the creator of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001, as well as the host of all 895 episodes, the composer of its more than 200 songs, and the puppeteer who imagined 14 characters into being. Mr. Rogers was an icon who changed children’s television. 

Related to my source for the Mr. Rogers quote, I have a friend named Ed Blank, who spent 39 years as a drama and movie critic for the Pittsburgh newspapers and television stations. A Vietnam vet, I had lunch with Ed a few weeks ago. Now retired, the stories he told were absolutely enticing and included names like John Wayne, Johnny Cash, Carol Brunette, Burt Reynolds, and many more. I can’t wait to be with Ed again. 

During our lunch, Ed told me a story about Fred Rogers, who became a friend of his. He had overheard Fred say to someone, “remember, there is no such thing as a conflict-free life”. Ed later related that story back to Fred, who had no recollection of it. That didn’t mean it didn’t continue to have an impact on Ed, as it did me.  

“There is no such thing as a conflict-free life”. With the exception of “God loves you unconditionally”, there may not be a truer statement. Conflict can be national or international, like what’s going on in Afghanistan right now…an absolute and arguably avoidable mess. 

Most of the conflict we experience is more personal than global, taking place at home or work, with those we typically interact with most often. Like all other issues in life, the answer is in Scripture or taught by the Church. Related to how we are to handle conflict, check out Matthew 18:15-17. Added to what St. Matthew indicates, I would offer the following points. 


There is no such thing as a conflict-free life 

Consistent with Mr. Rogers as quoted by Ed, there is no such thing as a conflict-free life. If that’s your expectation, then you’re in for a hard time. Conflict is a part of life. We’d all do ourselves a favor in learning how to handle it. 


Although not all conflict is avoidable, much of it is

By establishing ground rules or expectations up front, so as to make sure there are no misunderstandings after the fact, can go a significant way in minimizing or eliminating conflict. Although not always possible or practical, I like to have things in writing. 


Conflict doesn’t have to be confrontational

Many people run from conflict because they think it automatically means confrontation. That is not true. Conflict done the right way is healthy. You could argue that you wouldn’t grow or become a better person without conflict. 


Attack the problem, not the person

Be empathetic. Nobody cares what you know until they know how much you care. You can’t be self-righteous and on-the-attack and expect a good outcome. Instead, be invested in resolution and agreement as opposed to being right. Two sayings that come to mind:

  • Hate the sin, not the sinner 
  • Love your neighbor as your self 


You can say anything to anyone, as long as you say it softly

Tone is so important. An elevated voice (or perception of one) makes people feel like they’re being attacked. No one responds well to that. Speak softly. Smile. Both go a long way. 


Communicate often and early

People don’t like to be surprised. Most are creatures of habit. Most people are planners, albeit sometimes only subconsciously. They don’t like to be left in the dark. They much prefer forewarning. Give people as much advance notice as possible and don’t be surprised by last minute things creating conflict.  


Identify to the other person your struggle with the situation

You may say something like, “You know, I’m not very comfortable bringing this topic up to you. The last thing I want to do is hurt your feelings or bring conflict between us. The truth is though, you’ve hurt my feelings. I’d love for you to help me talk through this. I’d like to understand what you really meant, in addition to sharing with you how I perceived it. I’m hopeful that we can resolve any issues between us. Are you willing to work through this with me?”


Do the above with those closest to you as well

Oftentimes with family (and very close friends), we fear conflict the most. I think that’s because we fear the risk of loss. We also have expectations and often unspoken agendas for those in our inner circle. As such, with emotion we react instead of respond. The suggestions above all work and arguably are most important for those so important to us. 


Thank you, Ed, for the story that prompted this blog. By extension, thank you to Mr. Rogers. Both men have stories steeped in life lessons for us.  

As always, please feel free to contact me at with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.  

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph