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Executive Vice President Travisano’s Secret to Normalcy

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    By Melissa Cabezas
    UM News

    Travisano-2CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 11, 2017)—“I’m normal,” Jacqueline Travisano, UM’s new executive vice president for business and finance and chief operating officer, said last week in addressing more than 100 leaders within the Division of Business and Finance. “Well, at least I try to be, thanks to a set of laws I’ve kept on my desk for more than two decades.”

    Travisano was referring to Friday’s Laws created by Paul J. Friday, the special guest speaker at the August 8 Business and Finance Leadership Forum, a special leadership development event in the division and the first for Travisano. The laws help people gain perspective on daily stressors and problems and help induce a sense of harmony by improving the good and changing the not so good.

    “You will leave here today different than you are now—if I do what I’m supposed to do,” Friday, chief of clinical psychology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center–Shadyside, said as he began his presentation, “Thriving in Times of Change.” He used the hour to review his eight fundamental laws, using comic strips and humorous anecdotes to bring his points to life.

    The laws can be summarized simply: Perception is reality. Change is the toughest thing a human being can do. I am responsible for everything I do and say. I am not responsible for your response.

    These are phrases many of us have heard in one form or another, but oftentimes ignore or forget in times of stress or as a result of the routine of everyday life. 
“We must work to become and stay normal,” said Friday, referring to the special state of being people enter when they understand and accept his laws—the state when our thoughts, feelings, and actions are in harmony.

    “That is the secret to success in your career, your relationships, and your life,” he said.

    While we continually have to call the laws to mind and work on staying normal, Friday, who has presented to national and international forums on topics relevant to cognitive behavioral therapy, took the time to point out one fundamental concept—his final law: The only thing that lasts forever is now.

    “If you remember nothing else today,” Friday said, “remember this, best stated by Robert Hastings in his book The Station: ‘It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.’”

    As Friday noted, we cannot change the past nor predict the future. We must remember to live in the present and take responsibility for our own actions. Being normal will help us become better, as leaders and as people, both at home and at work.

    Only time will tell if the people in the room were changed from Friday’s presentation. If nothing else, they may become a little more normal.

    Read all of Dr. Friday’s laws and take the free brain test.


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