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Great job, everybody! You’ve all managed to amaze me over the months and years with your ability to adapt. It’s no small feat to tackle the depth and breadth of change we face while on our computers. You’ve had to learn new skills, work with different programs and experiment with a variety of devices and systems. Very importantly, you’ve also acknowledged that change at break-neck speed is an integral part of our future.

So, what’s your secret? How are you able to meet all these challenges? What keeps you going?

If you don’t know the answers, see if you can spot them while getting to know a client of mine, Kathryn Maegli Davis. A resident of Menomonee Falls, she:

  • Conducts a lot of research on her two computers (Apple MacBook Air and a Dell desktop)
  • Travelled Europe for 2 years as a young woman and learned to speak 3 other languages
  • Graduated from Mount Mary University as a single mother at a time when “returning student” was not yet coined
  • Is writing her 4th book— the latest a piece of historical fiction about an ancestor of hers who served in the Civil War
  • Served on boards such as the Friends of the Medical College and Mount Mary University
  • Spends time in her kitchen as a gourmet chef
  • Travelled the world with her husband, Dr. Starky Davis
  • Volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house for 25 years
  • Received the 2016 Mount Mary University Madonna Medal
  • Is a life-long learner (This semester she’s enrolled in 20th Century European History.)
  • Was dedicated to her husband’s goal of getting Children’s Hospital built
  • Established the Kathryn Maegli Davis Endowed Scholarship at Mount Mary University (for single mothers returning to school)
  • Donated a Fabergé-like egg to the White House and was able to introduce her granddaughter to First Lady Laura Bush

There’s much more about her that’s not in the list above: some of it having to do with the tragedies and great heartache she’s endured, some of it having to do with her wide and varied interests; some of it about her son (of whom she’s very proud) and his family. It’s all part of a life that is, she says, “almost like a fairy-tale.”

So, what do you and this modern-day “Renaissance Woman” share as your fingers position themselves on the keyboard, your eyes focus on the screen and your brain processes a flood of on-line information? Curiosity, determination and goal-setting.

So many times I get phone calls from clients saying, “Sorry to bother you, Bill, but I was doing such-and-so on my computer and then it crashed,” or, “Just got a new computer and I don’t know what to do next.” I understand the frustration, but will point out that that’s part of the learning process. Just like Kathy, you’re life-long learners and are willing to challenge yourselves. Congratulations!

It would be very easy to simply say, “I want nothing to do with computers” (and there are many, many people who do). Instead, you keep trying. Often I’ll hear, “My husband didn’t want to call you, but I’ve decided he’s spent enough time trying to figure out the computer problem.” In that case, I’m not sure which spouse is more determined, but the point is, you keep plugging away. And so has Kathy, despite many bumps along the way.

Whether it’s (like Kathy) discovering 500 letters from a long-lost relative and deciding to write a book about him, pursuing an education after being widowed, or selecting a new recipe to serve family and friends, you, too, set goals and go about achieving them. There’s no doubt in my mind that most of you, right now, are deciding which upgrade to go with, what network system your small business should use or how quickly you can learn a new software package. Each of these decisions is based upon the goals you’re choosing.

Now do you see what your secrets are in staying computer-motivated? Curiosity, determination and goal-setting.

Many thanks to Kathy for sharing her story (she’d much rather talk about anybody but herself). Many thanks to all of you for sharing your computer challenges with me. I, too, have a goal—keeping you happy with your computer technology.