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April, 23 2008

A Book

I'm excited. I finally am focussing on a subject for a book that I'm beginning to write. The working title is: "Things aren't necessarily what we think they are." I've done the prologue, which is a personal story and I also have the subjects of several essays, which I've outlined. Hooray! I've wanted to do this for quite a while. Yes, I'm sure that it's an ego thing and it is also a profound desire to encourage readers to investigate their beliefs, their judgements and their assumptions. I know that one of my passions is helping my friends, colleagues, and clients peel back the layers of their onions. Now, I know that's not new -- but what's new anyway? I have my unique spin on this and that's the point. We all see the same thing in many different ways and it strikes me that it is incumbent upon us all to inspect the prism in such a way that it talks to us -- makes us more flexible -- more understanding toward others. We owe it to ourselves to always dig deeper. That's what the great philosophers used to do. It's what thinkers have always done. Things aren't necessarily what we think they are! When I told a friend about this subject, she told me about this little episode, which happened to her on a cold winter morning in Washington, D.C. She had parked her car in an underground parking lot of a small office building. It was late morning and no one was in sight. But as she entered the foyer where the elevator was, she saw a man in his late 20's, wearing what the kids call ghetto clothes: baggy pants, oversize shirt, jacket, cap. He had earplugs in his ears and seemed to be in another world. As the elevator doors opened, she had no choice but to step with him though her heart was beating and she felt very unsafe. The man kept staring at her. It took a few minutes for the elevator to begin its ascent. After a minute or two the man looked at her and as her mind whirred, he said simply: "Nice glasses." In a million years, she would not have expected that. So you see, often, -- Things are not necessarily what we think they are!"

April, 06 2008

Don't hold back.

What is about most men and women? We think thoughts but we don't express our opinion.

We plan actions that we never take.

We think we'll stick it out to the end but then we give in at the slightest provocation.

This is unhealthy. It's not good for us physically, mentally, or emotionally to withhold to the extent that most of us do.

I presume that the reason is fear but when you ask yourself the question: "What will happen if...? -- almost nothing terrible comes up. Maybe someone will be angry -- maybe someone will retaliate (but in those cases it is often something we could handle) -- maybe we will lose a friend, alienate someone. Whatever! The surprising thing is that our withholding rarely changes that. The relationship is either already strained or will be. The situation isn't working as it is now anyway. It's likely that we are settling for an o.k. settlement (don't rock the boat, folks) but if we look closely, it's not o.k.

As much as you can, whenever you need to, don't hold back. Be kind certainly. Be generous of course. Be thoughtful always. Maintain your dignity, BUT, take care of you and be honest and forthright. At the end of the day, everyone is better off.

March, 25 2008

Stop the Presses!

Stopping the presses is a good idea because the content, objectivity, and relevance in journalism seem to be missing today. It appears to be more and more like entertainment -- and not very good entertainment at that. The viewer, listener, reader has choices and I, for one, am choosing not to pollute my brain with bad stuff. It's funny -- we worry about damaging the environment, or sending bad messages to our children, but we don't seem too concerned with the junk we feed our brain. What we take in has an effect. Make no mistake, garbage alters our thinking. It changes us. It robs us of creativity. We must rediscover the power we have within -- end the "herd" mentality. Think on our own -- make up our own minds. We can: Listen to music; read good books; watch classic movies; play cards and games with our friends and families; go for longer walks; enjoy silence; call someone we love or like. We can: give up judgement; accept our imperfection and that of others; have good conversations; learn something; go somewhere we haven't been before; do something we haven't done before. The truth is we hold the future in our hands and each of us makes a difference. We can spread hopefulness. We can begin an epidemic of optimism. We need each other more than ever -- not to spread the cancer of fear but to honor our innate goodness. Break out of your box, please, and walk in courage with style and passion. Be my guidance and let me be yours. Live life to its fullest every minute.

March, 09 2008

Are You Obsessed?

Every now and again, when I'm on my "A" game, I notice that I am totally absorbed in what I'm doing. I suppose the house really could burn down and I might not notice. I may get many tasks accomplished but my mind is on a subject that seems bigger than all the others and I can easily prioritize what's most important. I love the excitement...I love the process...I love getting to a result.

As many who know me know, I study successful entrepreneurs so that I can understand what may have made them the way they are and I can tell you that many of them are obsessed with the deal that they are making, the product they are promoting or the enterprise they are leading. They are nearly maniacal in their focus. They combine an energy with a concentration that somehow allows them to see where they are going more clearly than someone else might. It may manifest in different ways depending on their personalities but, by and large, the top guns -- the innovators -- the larger-than-life men and women -- laser in. Do you? Can you? When do you permit distractions? How can you learn this?

First of all, don't make excuses -- if you are going for a solution, go for it with everything you have.

Secondly, don't listen to naysayers -- there will always be someone who will tell you why you can't do what you want to do.

Third, notice when you lose sight of the goal and get back on track -- it's no big deal to let your mind (or actions) wander, but you are the only one who can remind yourself where you are headed.

Yes, maybe some of these individuals I follow are born with the ability to hone in on their goals but my guess is that they have learned how to do it AND SO CAN YOU!

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