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April, 22 2007

A great reminder

Henry David Thoreau, once said, "It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look. To affect the quality of the day - that is the highest of arts."

I wanted to share this quote because I believe it is one that we should review quite often.

If any of us watched too much television this past week, or paid too much attention to some awful weather conditions, or felt the "mood" of the country, we were likely not affecting the quality of our day. Much is being written these days about individual responsibility but I still am observing that many of us make exceptions to this when something happens that is not in our control. The point is to make good what we can when we can.

So -- when I say: "Have a great day!" I really mean it. I want you to DO that and me too.

April, 11 2007

New Ideas

Great New Ideas...Where do they come from? So many people I meet believe that they need to spend a lot of time thinking up new ideas. New ideas are definitely important -- they keep us interested in what we are doing. They are required to stay on top of our game. They help us stay resourceful. We need them but we cannot make them happen. And that's really the point of this message. New ideas often require new processes so that the creation is not just merely a repackaging of an old idea. I used to be involved with a "mastermind" group, which was a terrific breeding ground for new ideas. Why? Because we came without expectations -- we never criticized or cut off discussions and we didn't prematurely "edit." We expanded our thoughts. We had fun talking out loud. I have even gone through the "new idea" process by pretending I'm someone else. (I've even been pretty good at fooling myself.) That procedure came from the thought that I had at one time -- hmmm...I wonder what Katherine Hepburn would do with this right now? I moved right into role-playing and something came to me in that situation that had never come before. Why do an anatomy of a new idea? Because most people get stuck, and when they are there, they think about how to get out and usually the best that comes from that process is a warmed-over idea that isn't worthy of the thinker. I am a coach and this is self-serving -- no doubt -- but one of the greatest benefits of coaching is having someone, who believes in you 100%, help you with the manufacture of new ideas. From seeds that are sown in open-ended discussion comes the harvest. Now, isn't that a good idea?

March, 30 2007


What's it mean? Is it a good thing or a bad thing. I suppose that we should judge ambiguity as bad if someone was purposely leading us down the wrong path with ambiguous statements. And, it's a really, really good thing if you or I choose to "hang" out in our ambiguity because we aren't sure of our next steps. Sometimes life throws us situations and we believe that we must act or lead or decide on a certain path right away. Most often, however, time is on our side and if we just relax into the "not-knowing" a path will emerge, which brings answers and a comfort that we wouldn't have come to without the time in-between. John Naisbitt, the author of Megatrends, used to call this syndrome, the area between the parenthesis. We know what has gone before and we know that something is going to come after but the period in between (the space between the parentheses) is this uncomfortable spot that extends for a certain time (who knows how long?) perhaps even after we have made a decision or taken an action but before manifestation or at least before a path has emerged. I believe that how we handle ambiguity is a sign of our maturity. It's not that this place is any easier to tolerate if we are being grown up about it but each and every time we allow the largeness of life to intrude, we learn from it. The natural ebb and flow of life tends to be lost in this 21st Century. We live in an era of the quick fix. Take a pill and you will feel better -- decide one way or another and you will likely make others feel better. Whichever or whatever occurs as an external force may be taking us away from our essence -- our true being -- and each and every time we allow ourselves the full range of a decision, we grow more into ourselves and the being that we are most comfortable in becoming. It's o.k. to understand that the situation that came right before requires some change. And it's perfectly all right to allow the appropriate change to come to you -- a change that is consistent with your goals -- a change that reflects your best self -- and a change that can hide from time to time behind fears and misgivings and that will definitely emerge as you become confident with your ambiguity. It just may take some time.

March, 15 2007

Lost My Connection

You probably know how it is: The Cable or DSL or Phone line goes out. It plays havoc on your plans. Your ability to communicate is terminated or seriously hampered. We have become so dependent on these connections that it really does interfere with our lives. This time it made me think though about connections in general. When we lose the ability to be in touch with others, it's annoying and requires some resourcefulness to work and be social. But how often do we lose the connection that we have to ourselves? I sometimes feel at loose ends and have a problem with decisions or with planning or with productivity and nearly always it's because I have become disconnected with my "source" or my intuition. I can tell when I'm not smiling as much. I KNOW when I feel that tightness that I am in an inner struggle. It's then I wish that I could call the Cable Guy and have him or hercome out and fix my system. I don't have a formula for "re-booting" myself. Nope, I usually resist for a while and then I notice the disconnect and then I work real hard to become connected again. Like with all inconveniences, I'm kinda glad that the phone and computer systems went down because I now have a wonderful metaphor for what happens to me when I become disconnected, and I hope to learn something from this. AND...I hope I stay connected too...Enough is enough.

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