Family Dinner Depth & Warm Holiday Wishes


Regardless of the faith you practice this season, it is a universal time for family, personal recalibration, and a collective #pause from the hustle and bustle of survival. For some this is the only time that three generations are together for an extended period of time.

I believe leadership is transferred through the limbic system in addition to cognition. This means that the smiles, the stories, the hugs all transmit collective and historical scars and lessons.

The links I share this holiday are all topics that will be discussed and explored in the Sertl family. It is my hope that your dinner table be willed with laughter, music, memories, deep conversation and good questions. Perhaps a prayer or two as well.

Inclusive of all faiths . . .

Love and light,



  1. What principles guide your life? Don Miguel Ruiz’ The Four Agreements is a wonderful exploration as is Eric Best’s Four Principles to Guide a Life
  2. In an age of oppulence – learning to simplify becomes a discipline of choice. A great touch stone for the question “what is essential?” is Matthew E. May’s Laws of Subtraction 
  3. History always makes a great topic of conversation. Sarah Caldicott  blends past, present and future as she fosters innovation. One of her most recent posts was on the history of the first Christmas lights.
  4. Movies are fantastic teachers. Here is a list of some great holiday classics. The best family movie I saw this year is Words & Pictures a liberal art major’s delight. It is also fun to see Reel Wisdom a compilation of existential moments across 40 films.
  5. Fostering a culture of reading is fundamental to success. Here is a crowd-sourced compilation of the 51 of the most beautiful lines in literature one of my favorites is John Steinbeck’s: now that you know you don’t have to be perfect, you can simply be good.  ChristmasTreeLibrary
  6. A modern deep dive into the exploration of faith ‘My Bright Abyss,’ by Christian Wiman and the subtle sensations of faith also explored by David Brooks.
  7. The most significant life experience I had to date was a hard lesson on “letting go.” End of life discussions are difficult but necessary.
  8. The holiday season is not joyful for everyone. In fact for many it is a season filled with lonliness and depression. For that reason I think it important to create space for mental vitality.
  9. The importance of developing a network of friends and relatives who you can share your emotions with How Optimism Creates Resilience via @BigThink.
  10. We are more creative at solving other people’s problems than our own. Which is why peer learning groups are so effective and also why we need each other. Daniel Pink says “recent research reveals that people are more capable of mental novelting when thinking on behalf of others than for themselves

To make a difference in the face of all that stands in the way of making a difference

~ Don Michael

♫Looping on our playlist is Sara Bareilles




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