when No is better than Yes

Written on March 1, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

On Being offers 5 different ways to say “No.”

On saying No gracefully, Courtney E. Martin writes (excerpt):
1. No, for now.
2. No, but here are some awesome resources.
3. No, but have you tried our mutual friend?
4. No, I can’t do that, but I can do this.
5. Let me think about it.

Get rich quick: scouting for amazing friends

Written on January 4, 2015 by David C. Sarnacki

On Being reminds us “why it’s such an outrageous blessing to have the opportunity to choose our friends.”

Courtney E. Martin writes (excerpt):
So now that the family circus is over for another season and you’re turning your attention to the beginning of a new year, consider this for a resolution: become a fierce talent scout of amazing friends. Make your crew your finest act of curatorial courage. Just as many wise spiritual teachers have argued that our thoughts beget our actions, I would argue that our friends beget our culture. They become the force we measure ourselves against, the source of so much of our joy and courage. They are our respite, and our welcomed responsibility. And all that choosing makes for a very rich life.

You can do it too: ordinary people acting heroic

Written on December 18, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

CNN entices us with the title: “5 ways to be extraordinary.” In discussing five extraordinary people, Brandon Griggs lists these categories:
1. Show courage in a crisis
2. Exhibit grace under pressure
3. Meet evil head on
4. Miracles are within your grasp
5. Share credit for your success

In the darkest moments of our lives: Col. Jessep’s “You want answers?”

Written on December 6, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

On Being highlighted one of my favorite quotes in a post about The Questions We Ask Ourselves.

The words of Rainer Maria Rilke offer a bit of light in moments of blinding darkness:
“Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart… Try to love the questions themselves… Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given because you would not be able to live them — and the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answers.”

Sarnacki Law Firm awarded “Best Law Firms” status

Written on November 3, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

The Sarnacki Law Firm has received a Tier 1 ranking in the 2015 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”

The true cost of Facebook: your marriage?

Written on October 10, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

Ozy highlights a Boston University study suggesting Facebook is “a positive, significant predictor of divorce rate and spousal troubles.” Apparently, Henry David Thoreau* was right about true cost: “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”

Anne Miller writes (excerpt):
While previous studies suggested that Facebook and its ilk make it easier for people to cheat on their spouses, the authors of the new study suggest that men and women troubled by their marriage may turn to social media for emotional support (as opposed to just looking for a little somethin’ on the side).

*Never married. And never on Facebook.

Who has the power to change your life?

Written on September 15, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

CNN celebrated Positive Thinking Day (September 13th) by offering “five expert tips to help you think yourself well.” The point is to take responsibility for your happiness and to do something.

Sara Cheshire included these tips (excerpt):
Be aware of your automatic reactions
Catch and reframe your thoughts
Don’t believe everything your mind tells you
Let go of fear
Find your mood changers

Top tips for conscientious conscious capital uncoupling

Written on September 8, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

The Wall Street Journal focuses divorcing couples on financial planning for “getting unmarried.”

Veronica Dagher offers and discusses these tips (excerpt):
1. Know What You Own and Make Copies. . . .
2. Save and Budget. . . .
3. Watch and Establish Credit. . . .
4. Watch the Timing. . . .
5. Consider Selling the Family Home. . . .
6. Look into Alternatives. . . .

Who do professionals recommend as one of the best divorce lawyers and divorce lawyers in Grand Rapids?

Written on August 18, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

Best Lawyers in America announced that once again, David Sarnacki was selected by judges and lawyers as one of The Best Lawyers in America. He was honored in three practice areas relating to divorce litigation and divorce mediation:
1. Collaborative Law: Family Law.
2. Family Law.
3. Family Law Mediation.

Changing minds: Listen, show you understand the other person’s side, ask to see your side, suggest another outcome

Written on August 17, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

Real Simple suggests how to go about changing someone’s mind.

Amy Spencer writes (excerpt):
The essential rule when trying to convert someone is: Don’t — at least, not at first. “Just listen,” says Dennis Ross [author of "The Missing Peace"] . . . .
. . . After listening, show that you get it.
Next, nudge the other person to see your side. . . .
Then gently, imperceptibly, introduce a new outcome. “Everyone needs an explanation to tell others,” Ross says, “and it’s best if the other person thinks he came up with it.”

Top 5 admissions: Are you trying to kill your children?

Written on July 20, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

CNN’s Kelly Wallace shows how many otherwise good parents admit to choices that put their kids at risk of serious injury and death.

Spilling your guts and other concerns when preparing for divorce

Written on July 13, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

Kim Komando adds 5 things to your To Do List when a divorce is coming, as well as an opening warning to think twice before posting to social media. In the column, Komando has tips regarding passwords, social media profiles, personal information, and the kids.

In her introduction, Kim Komando writes (excerpt):
My father used to say, “Things that happen in the home stay in the home.” Divorce is tough enough. If you’re feeling anger or rage, I suggest not running to an online public forum to spill your guts. The post never goes away. You never know who might read it and share it.

Favors make the world go around: “Social wheels” and relationships

Written on July 5, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

Psychology Today included an item from Susan Krauss Whitbourne’s blog, entitled “How to Ask For a Favor.” She offered 7 specific situations commonly involving opportunities for favors, and she identified 4 core principles.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., explains each of these Four Favor principles (excerpt):
1. Be honest and straightforward. . . .
2. Don’t feel overly guilty or entitled. . . .
3. Recognize that asking for help can serve as a favor to someone else. . . .
4. Be ready to reciprocate. . . .

From sinking to stearing a new course: Divorce later in life

Written on June 29, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

The New York Times highlights the financial problems for divorce in your 50s and 60s.

Constance Gustke writes (excerpt):
[M]ore Americans are going through so-called gray divorces and the downsizing that follows.
“There isn’t much time left to enhance portfolios post-divorce,” said Susan Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. “So you have to be careful to get the best settlement you can. Some people may have difficulty recovering.” One solution, she added, is “having a really good attorney and fighting for your fair share.”

Forget your perfect offering: The cumulative effect of imperfect parenting

Written on June 15, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

On Being includes a post by Parker J. Palmer that, while not intended to focus on Father’s Day, applies to parenting: Have the courage to make small contributions knowing that there is a cumulative power in your imperfections.

Palmer writes (excerpt):
[Leonard] Cohen’s lyrics [in Anthem] remind me that there is a particular kind of courage in the willingness to make one’s small, imperfect offering — saying, in effect, “I don’t have much to give, but I give it gladly as a contribution to the common good.” When we have that kind of courage, we encourage each other. And as more and more people make their small offerings, the cumulative effect can become something big.

She says, you too can rise

Written on May 29, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014), heart, soul and voice of “And Still I Rise.”

“Imagining Jesus as someone who laughed and who had — God forbid — fun”

Written on May 23, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

Marquette University’s commencement speaker is well known to Colbert fans–Rev. James Martin, S.J. His remarks–jokes included–can be found at Marquette’s link here.

Best wedding vows: perfect marriage by following science?

Written on April 30, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

Psychology Today offers us scientific wedding vows.

Samantha Joel’s list includes (excerpt):
1. “I promise to respect, admire, and appreciate you for who you are, as well as for the person you wish to become.”
2. “I promise to support and protect your freedom; because although our lives are intertwined, your choices are still yours alone.”
3. “I promise to seek a deep understanding of your wishes, your desires, your fears and your dreams.”
4. “I promise to always strive to meet your needs; not out of obligation, but because it delights me to see you happy.”
5. “I promise to be there for you when you need me, whenever you need me.”
6. I promise to nurture your goals and ambitions; to support you through misfortune and celebrate your triumphs.
7. “I promise to keep our lives exciting, adventurous, and full of passion.”
8. “I promise to persevere when times get tough, knowing that any challenges we might face, we will conquer them together.”
9. “I promise to treat you with compassion over fairness, because we are a team, now and for always.”
10. “I promise to show you, every day, that I know exactly how lucky I am to have you in my life.”

Essentials, priorities and lifestyle choices: How to set up a quick budget

Written on April 1, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

LearnVest offers a simple budgeting rule to apply instantly to your household. Your take-home pay is allocated among three categories: essentials [50%], priorities [20%], and lifestyle choices [30%].

Laura Shin writes (excerpt):
The 50/20/30 Rule can be easy because instead of telling you how to break down your budget across 20 or more different categories (who could possibly keep track of that?), it splits everything into three main categories:
1. Essential Expenses
No more than 50% of your take-home pay should go toward Essential Expenses [housing, transportation, utilities and groceries] . . . .

2. Financial Priorities
At least 20% of your take-home pay should go to Financial Priorities [retirement contributions, savings contributions and debt payments, if you have debt] . . . .

3. Lifestyle Choices
No more than 30% of your take-home pay should go to Lifestyle Choices [cable, internet and phone plans, charitable giving, childcare, entertainment, gym fees, hobbies, pets, personal care, restaurants, bars, shopping and other miscellaneous expenses] . . . .

Graceful disagreement: Guidelines for giving and taking honest feedback

Written on March 30, 2014 by David C. Sarnacki

On Being highlights the work of Brené Brown and offers us guidance on compassionate criticism.

Mariah Helgeson writes (excerpt):
I’m ready to sit next to you rather than across from you.
I’m willing to put the problem in front of us rather than between us (or sliding it toward you).
I’m ready to listen ask questions, and accept that I may not fully understand the issue.
I want to acknowledge what you do well instead of picking apart your mistakes.
I recognize your strengths and how you can use them to address your challenges.
I can hold you accountable without shaming or blaming you.
I’m willing to own my part.
I can genuinely thank you for your efforts rather than criticize you for your failings.
I can talk about how resolving these challenges will lead to your growth and opportunity.
I can model the vulnerability and openness that I expect to see from you.