Thursday, December 29, 2011

If Ya Wanna Play, Ya Gotta Pay

Sorry about missing yesterday. It mystifies me why, if you stay in a budget hotel the internet connection is free, but if you stay in a nice place, like I'm doing in DC, you have to pay for it.

If you're not into sports you may want to skip today. But, believe it or not this issue affects your life and taxes whether you're into college sports or not.

In the last two days there have been articles in USA Today, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal about the beyond-reason power big-time college coaches exert on their universities.

The presidents of The University of Connecticut and Miami University have both said more attention needs to be paid to donors and "sources of revenue that are not a part of the academic mission" of the university.

That's wonderful, coming as it does from the leaders of two universities that are being smacked by the NCAA at this time.

But, the toothpaste is out of the tube on this issue. It's like a coach once said about a great runner, "we can't stop him, all we can hope to do is contain him."

That's the issue on big-time football and basketball. Unfortunately, we'll continue to see problems and they'll come in waves accompanied by handwringing and penalties and the same ole-same ole...are ya listenin' Ohio State?

So, athletic departments can say that the coaches salaries are paid through donations but all the equipment, facilities, most of the scholarships and the upkeep is paid by...us.

Someone once asked Babe Ruth if he thought he was worth his $100,000 yearly salary (this was when a hundred grand was really worth a hundred grand)because it was more than the President of the United States made. Babe said, "Sure, I'm worth it. I had a better year."

Chip Kelly, the football coach at Oregon makes more than four times the COMBINED salaries of the president of the University of Oregon and the president of the Oregon university system. Think about that.

Go Ducks!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Flag on the Play...at Work

I watched football for the 6 ½ hours yesterday and last night.

A thought hit me while I was half-dozed. What if there were referees in the workplace? When someone was slack or messed up or managed incorrectly a referee would come in and throw a flag? And then, the person would be docked a certain number of dollars in their pay?

Also, if someone went above and beyond their job description the referee would come in and drop a little bonus on their desk or put it in their pocket?

If that happened, don’t you think folks would learn faster, watch more closely what they did and said, and be more motivated to go the extra mile?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Whew! It's Over!

Over?

You think it's over?

"IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL WE SAY IT'S OVER!! WAS IT OVER WHEN THE GERMANS BOMBED PEARL HARBOR?!!"

Ooops, channeling John Belushi in Animal House.

All of a sudden Christmas is over and December 26 is such an odd day for most of us. If you don't have to run in to work today can be a day of recollecting yourself, starting to clean up a little (I'm not watering my tree anymore 'cause it's history at the end of the week), maybe seeing some friends you missed last week and over the weekend and building your energy levels for the run at New Year's this weekend.

You could spend some time thinking about resolutions for the coming year if you do that sort of thing. Only 7% of Americans actually keep their resolutions.

You could watch my Tar Heels play a bowl game at 5 pm against Missouri.

You could try to fix that toy your kids just HAD to have but broke within the first five minutes.

You could try and figure out the new technology you received.

You could spend one more moment thinking about the people who were not in your Christmas this year.

You could spend the rest of your time appreciating the people who came into and ARE in your life this year.

Yep, December 26 is an odd day. But then, any day you're vertical and breathing is a good day. Enjoy it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

OK, Put Your Head Between Your Knees and Just Breath

Ok, let’s sit down for a minute…I know, I know, you’re getting more stressed about Christmas being 48 hours away.

But, let’s be honest. If you’ve waited this long to try and find that “just right” present…well, you should have been shopping on Labor Day when the decorations went up.

So, in order to help you out, I’m reprinting my ’08 article about “Men and Holiday Shopping” (©2008 Mike Collins).

Please feel free to forward.

Men and Holiday Shopping

In the spirit of the season here are “The 10 Secrets Men Use When Shopping for the Holidays.” I realize that I am risking my standing with my brothers by revealing these secrets. In fact, this is chapter seven in Things Every Guy Should Know, the book we are given at birth. It is the same book that explains why we leave the toilet lid up and why body noises and The Three Stooges are funny. We are not supposed to share these secrets but I’m tired of hearing the complaining.

The 10 Secrets Men Use When Shopping for the Holidays

1. We understand that the focus is not holiday shopping, it is holiday buying. Shopping infers comparison and that takes time. Men only shop for things we want, like golf clubs, waders, or barbecue tongs. We don’t comparison shop for gifts for others. Spending an extraordinary amount of time searching for and buying “just the right gift” is more of a gift to the giver than the recipient. Buy it and move on. The shopping vs. buying rule is the basic difference in men and women when it comes to holiday shopping, Being buying-focused is the Number One Time Saver in holiday shopping.

2. We are experts at feigned ignorance and incompetence. Men escape more work--not just shopping and wrapping--by faking being clueless than with any other strategies. We buy or do something we know is stupid or inappropriate early in a relationship and then women assume that we just can‘t handle shopping. Think about it, our brothers created The Theory of Relativity, brain surgery, fantasy football and Snuggies. It isn’t that we can’t shop, it’s just that we don’t want to.


3. We delegate. We aren’t shy about asking someone to shop for us. This can be an extension of Rule #2 as in, “Honey, you know I never buy the right gift.” Or, we claim to be too busy, hurt, sad or confused. My favorite is, “I can do this but I know you love the whole shopping experience so here‘s the money, have fun.”
Also, we aren’t shy about letting some thing, a computer, do our shopping. This is where online shopping can help, but any man who does all his Christmas shopping sitting in front of a computer is forgetting the basic rule of manliness, “Every now and then you have to venture into the jungle.”

4. We know that re-gifting is a wonderful example of being environmentally friendly and if it was that good a gift other people ought to get to enjoy it. It isn’t that we are uncaring when we recycle a gift, it’s just plain good sense. Our logic about past gifts is that if we haven’t used it we probably didn’t need it so maybe someone else will enjoy it. A great recycling strategy is to pass on an artifact. Giving an old glove or soccer ball or passing on an item owned by a relative who has, well, passed on (now, don‘t do that aaaaawwwww sound, they don’t need it any more) means we may not even have to leave the house to obtain a gift.

5. We realize that using humor as a strategy makes gift acquisition a form of entertainment. A singing, vibrating, battery-operated hampster costs the same as a 3-pack of socks and squeezing the activation switches on six or seven of the little devices one after the other in the store is worth the trip. And if the gift is opened in front of others it serves a dual purpose, a gift for one and fun for all.

6. We clearly understand the GATT Treaty. Centuries ago men signed the Gift Acquisition and Time Treaty. The treaty states that we do not have to travel so far to get a gift that it endangers getting back in time for the game. The point is that there is no need to travel very far for gifts (See Rule #7).

7. We understand that one source can often fill most, and maybe all, of a gift list. Chain pharmacies have turned into mini-department stores with candy, toiletries, books, specialty items such as eyebrow snippers and singing, vibrating, battery-operated hampsters sitting side-by-side. Gift bags are also available, so no wrapping. I’ve been accused of doing most of my shopping on aisle 9 at CVS Pharmacy. That would be incorrect. Aisle 9 is the one with the incontinence products and I‘m not there yet. NOTE: Do NOT go to the Big Box Stores. The selection is overwhelming which leads to comparison shopping (see Rule #1) and we don‘t want to walk that much without a remote control, golf club, gun or fishing rod in our hands.

8. We look at our list and ask, “How many of these people might cross paths during the next year?” Gift recipients who don’t or won’t know each other are unlikely to compare gifts or givers. We can buy one type of gift (ex. candy) and give it to multiple recipients.

9. We know that at least every five years we can give the same type of gift to EVERYONE. For instance, everyone likes some type of book, cd or gift certificate. One visit to a media store and the job is done. The ultimate one gift is literally that, one gift for everyone on the list. If a man is willing to step up and send his gift list on a cruise it means one purchase and everyone is done.

10. Finally, men know sincerity is the key to true gift-giving. Once you can fake sincerity you’re home free… “I searched everywhere for this and it‘s JUST what I wanted you to have.” One man I know can give a shovel as a gift and have the recipient believe the search for the shovel ranged across continents, took decades, involved wise men and, therefore, is the best shovel on earth. A dissapointed recipient feels terrible by acting miffed.
*
The rest of us realize only a few people really matter to us. We spend 80 percent of our time on the 20 percent of the people on our list whom we truly love. We’ll do whatever it takes to see them smile at the holidays…even go shopping.

END

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Get'n Down and Get'n Up

Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In Roman times the Solstice was celebrated by Saturnalia, a harvest festival honoring the god Saturn who, by all accounts, was a pretty cool dude.

Many of you who know me understand why Saturnalia might appeal to me. Originally, the basic rules of Saturnalia were that the roles of master and slave were reversed, moral restrictions were loosened, and the rules of etiquette ignored. Sounds like a weekend at the Collins house.

According to Wikipedia, “Saturn was a major god presiding over agriculture and the harvest time. His reign was depicted as a golden age of abundance and peace… In medieval times he was known as the Roman god of agriculture, justice and strength.”

Believe it or not, as Saturnalia morphed into a festival celebrating rebirth and the sun (DAMN! Grown-ups ruin all the fun!) Christians appropriated the celebration and most of the aspects of Christmas that we in the West celebrate came from Saturnalia.

Which reminds me; last night I heard a great line from the late business philosopher Jim Rohn that clicks with the concept of rebirth. He said, “You can tear up your life script for the last five years and write a new script.”

Saturnalia was a week-long festival. Why not look at the next week leading up to the new year as a time of rebirth. Tear up your old script and start thinking about a new one.

But, dang, that whole “moral restrictions were loosened, and the rules of etiquette ignored” thing sure sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stealing a Moment to Chat

When I think of the phrase bank robbery two images come to mind: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Robert Dinero and his crew in the best cops and robbers movie ever made, Heat.

But, bank robbery obviously ain’t what it used to be according to the FBI. In the last decade bank robberies in North Carolina dropped from 406 (2001) to 98 so far this year.

Why? The use of new technology by banks and customers has helped.

The biggest factor, though, has been a time-tested method. Raleigh Police Chief Harry Patrick Dolan said, “Birds fly, fish swim and people talk.” Dolan added, “Nothing beats that person picking up the phone and saying, ‘I think I have some information.’ ”

Life is the same. Getting people to talk, to communicate, is still the best way to discover opportunities, challenges, problems and rewards. Great communication squashes assumptions and is the foundation of great relationships, communities and nations.

Do a better job of getting the people in your life talking and you’ll end up with a better life. You might not like what you hear at first, but good, honest communications acts as a guide to the life you want.

So, whataya say?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Karats in the Kettles

Salvation Army workers in Raleigh found a woman’s wedding rings wrapped in a $100 bill in one of their kettles over the weekend. They were so amazed by the rings they forgot to ask where the kettle was located.

There are lots of ways to see this; a fed-up wife rejecting a two-timing spouse, a widow or widower offering a good deed in honor of their late spouse, or, it could be someone rejecting materialism in support of helping those in need. You can create your own story.

The key point in the gesture is one of letting go. The giver could be letting go of the hope for a successful marriage; or the tangible recognition of a marriage ended by death, or a need to let things define a life.

Letting go can be the hardest thing any of us ever do in life. Our hopes, desires, needs and habits are deeply ingrained and aren’t easily released. In essence, we are letting go of the life we thought we would have.

And it…just…isn’t…easy. In the book, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar, Mark Twain said, “Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

There’s some thing, habit or need we all need to let go of?

What’s yours?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Crazy Christmas Weeks

Happy Monday!

Today is the first day of two weeks that can be kinda crazy. Some folks take this week off to get ready for Christmas. Others will vacation next week—the week between Christmas and New Year—because so little gets done.

However, some of you are stressing because it’s end-of-month, end-of-year and you may have quotas to reach, goals to accomplish or tasks to wrap up...in addition to all the Christmas craziness.

Here are three suggestions that get you closer to sending 2011 out on a positive note while lowering your stress level:
- Do a Master To-Do List. Write down everything you need to do before the end of the year…everything…personal and professional. You may be a little overwhelmed by what you see but having a list helps you set priorities and keeps you from forgetting things.
- Ask more questions. You can’t get everything done and asking questions helps you focus on the things that are truly important to you and others.
- Get a little more organized. Don’t leave your house in the morning, don’t leave your desk at lunch or the end of the day, and don’t go to bed at night without taking 30 seconds each time to straighten a few things up. The cumulative effect is stunning. 30 seconds here and there will get you organized and keep you organized. Walking away from your work area on December 31 and being able to look back and see it organized is a great way to send off the old year.

Start with the To-Do List. It’ll only take a couple of minutes. Do it right now.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Gift to You

For all you procrastinators and guys who think it’s cool to wait until Christmas Eve to buy gifts let me be the one to inform you….THIS IS THE LAST WEEKEND BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!

There were seven people standing at the post office door this morning when I showed up to mail my cards.

So, it’s time to get serious about it!

With that thought in mind I want to share a valued family secret and tradition. Don’t tell anyone about this unless you want to send it to all your friends.

My Famous Tequila Cake Recipe...
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
Lime juice
4 large eggs
Nuts
1 bottle tequila
2 cups dried fruit
Sample the tequila to check quality. Take a large bowl; check the
tequila again to be sure it is of the highest quality. Repeat. Turn on
the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add
1 teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point, it is best to make
sure the tequila is still OK. Try another cup just in case. Turn off
the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eegs and add to the bowl and chuck iin the
cup of dried fruit. Pick the fruit up off the floor. Mix on the
turner. If the fried druit getas stuck in the beaterers, just pry it
loose with a drewscriver. Sample the tequila to test for tonsisticity.
Next, sift 2 cups of salt, or something. Check the tequila. Now shift
the lime ice strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar,
or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin
360 s and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the tequila and
wipe the counter with the cat.
Cherry Mristmas

Have a wonderful weekend…see you Monday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rollin' to a Miracle

Dutch paralympic athlete Monique van der Vorst, 27, has been paralyzed from the waist down since she was 13. She won two silver medals for hand-cycling at the 2008 Paralympic Games.

Last year she regained sensation in her legs after a crash during training.

Since then she has trained on an ordinary bicycle and last week won a place on a professional cycling team. Her goal is to compete in the Olympic Games in 2016.

She said, “In sport, everything is possible.”

When all we hear in news is the bad stuff I thought you might like evidence that miracles do happen.

Here’s what I got from this story. Monique wasn’t sittin’ at home praying that something good would happen. She had accepted her reality and was doing the best she could with what she had…and something good happened.

You go, Monique!!

What have you given up on?

Keep rollin’ around. You never know where you’ll find your miracle.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Who's the Real You?

Good Morning, Class! We have a pop quiz today. Who are these people?

1. Clayton Holmes Grissom
2. Allen Stewart Konigsberg
3. Carlos Ray
4. Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra
5. Jo Raquel Tejada
6. Todd Jones

The people above were willing to spend years doing the work necessary to reach the success and dreams they imagined. They were willing to make a life change many of us would find incredibly difficult…they changed their names.

1. Clay Aiken
2. Woody Allen
3. Chuck Norris
4. Meg Ryan
5. Raquel Welch
6. James Earl Jones

You probably don’t have to change your name in order to get closer to the life you’d like to have. What small change could you make?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nobody Wants to Go to Heaven Now

A song and a quote grabbed my attention yesterday because they seemed connected.

Quote: “It’s often harder to have the discipline and self-regulation skills to stop doing an activity that is causing obvious problems than to simply and stubbornly continue,” Richard Winnett (professor at Virginia Tech and author of The Ageless Athlete)

Song: “Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Go Now.” Kenny Chesney

How many states of existence would be heaven to us: Good health, wonderful relationship, spiritual awareness, success at work…but we’re not willing to move away from the comfort-zone habits that keep us mired in the reality we experience today?

Once we get locked into a thought process or activity it’s hard as the dickens (have ALWAYS wanted to find a reason to use that silly-sounding phrase) to stop it, even if it’s not good for us.

So, here are two words that can change your life: STOP IT!

And go to heaven now.

What do you need to stop?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Step Away From the Rocky Road

Two of my friends are in the security business. One sells retinal scan and fingerprint technology while the other has a company marketing a new palm scanner that will link your identity to your health records.

The palm scan technology is pretty cool. If you enter a hospital and they scan your palm they can immediately download your records from your doctor’s office; faster follow-up, better care.

This stuff worries me, though.

Here’s what I see coming: Let's say you're in the line at the grocery store and you have some Rocky Road ice cream.

Wait a minute…it gets me a little swimmy-headed to even say “Rocky Road.”

Anyway, when the clerk swiped your little, plastic, key-thingy the machine scanned YOU. Then it quickly contacted your doc’s office and got your weight, vital stats like blood pressure and cholesterol, and the doctor’s recommendations. (Which, in my case, usually start with, “Hey, Shamu, have you thought about birthing this baby?”)

Now, as your items are being scanned the computer is making a judgment about what is good for you. AND IF YOUR ITEM ISN’T GOOD FOR YOU THE STORE WON’T SELL IT TO YOU!!

Is that a billion dollar idea, or what?!

People get healthier and live longer (it won’t be as much fun, but you get the idea), health care costs go down, grocery stores get smaller ‘cause they’re not selling all the bad stuff (except to those anorexic, bulimic cover models) and farmers who grow the good stuff will be more successful.

Here’s the best part: A humongous, illicit, food industry will be created. There’ll be black ice-cream trucks pulling up to peoples’ houses at midnight. There’ll be a back door somewhere with a naked light bulb flickering above it and a sliding slot in the door where’ll you have to have a secret password and then they’ll slip you a Snickers. Some jittery dude on a corner will have Hot Pockets inside his…mmm….pockets.

In the immortal words of one of America’s great philosophers, Butch Cassidy, when he and the Sundance Kid were escaping the train robbery, “I have visions and the world sees through bifocals.”

Have a great Monday.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Little Something Under the Tree

Last week a Florida woman killed her elderly roommate and hid the body under some presents beneath their Christmas tree.

The woman was caught in North Carolina early this week when authorities tracked her by checking where the murdered woman’s ATM card was being used. Santa’s helper is being sent back to Florida for trial.

Now, it could just be me, but if that don’t give new meaning to “a little something under the tree” I don’t know what does.

I mean, over time there’s not enough Christmas tree scent to cover that up.

I told a friend about this and she said, “Well, there’s a lot of crazy people out here with the rest of us.”

You what? She’s wrong. There aren’t a lot of crazy people out here with us. There are some people who are so stressed or so crazy they’ll do things that any of us would recognize as coloring outside the lines, big-time.

But, if we believe there are a LOT of people like that we start circling the wagons and not going out and not having much contact with others due to fear.

I’m for believing that most folks are OK and some have problems. Remember the saying, “Be gentle with people, you don’t know what battles they’re fighting.”

‘Course, there are some who are crazy as damned bedbugs.

Have a great weekend and get your tree if you haven’t already…and be careful what you put under it.

See you Monday.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It Won't Kill You To Be Nice

Saw Hall and Oates at the Durham Performing Arts Center last night. These guys are the biggest selling duo in rock and roll history and they were extraordinary. When I heard “Sara Smile,” “Rich Girl” and “I Can’t Go For That,” the songs took me back to wonderful memories.

But, after I left the concert I kept thinking about the DPAC employees I had encountered. Each of the five or six people I came in contact with—ushers, security, concession people—were unfailingly gracious, efficient and friendly.

In today’s low expectations culture of customer service these folks were champions.

I immediately thought of an ad used by Hilton Hotels years ago. It said, “We don’t train our people to be friendly we simply hire friendly people.”

I’m willing to bet that the people I encountered are nice, friendly people whether they are working or not.

And, here’s the point…they choose to be friendly, courteous, gracious and fun to be around.

We choose to be who we are. If you’re saying other people make you act like you do you’re wrong. You’ve chosen to react to difficult people or situations in a specific way. You’re using an excuse to blame others for behaviors you chose to exhibit.

To be blunt…if you act like an ass…you’ve chosen to be an ass. “They” didn’t make you do it.

Are you blaming someone today for your behavior?

PS…thanks to the folks at DPAC and Hall and Oates for a great experience.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Four Hours On Cruise Control

Presented a seminar in Richmond, Va, yesterday morning and another one in Lumberton, NC, last night. That’s four hours on I-95 doing about 75 mph on cruise control.

As you can imagine, spending that much time riding gives you a lot of time think and your mind zooms across a wide range of topics. You can solve most of the world problems, find solutions to some of your life challenges, come up with new life issues, solve problems for other people and make a variety of profound observations that, unfortunately, no one else is there to hear.

One observation that kept coming up was that people show you who they are by how they drive. If I had the opportunity to meet some of my fellow I-95 travelers I might have a different opinion of them, but our encounters at high speed were all I had to go on.

You see these folks like I did: The Bumper-Hugger, The Safe-Space Driver, Zoomer, Crawler, Line Crosser, The Irritated “You’re Number One” Finger Giver, God Is a Trucker, The Wave at Everyone Guy, The Left Turn Signal On Since Jersey Woman, The Kids Making Out While Driving, Cell Phone Sandi (that’s what plate on the front of the car said) and The Racer.

As irritating as my encounters were with some of those folks…the drive is over and it’s time to move on. However, you and I know people who would continue to talk about those drivers and the encounters for…ev…er.

Let’em go.

Do the same thing with the irritating encounters you have each day. Don’t drag them into the next day with you…you don’t need the baggage.

Think for a second about the friction you encountered yesterday.

Now…let…it…go.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Look Out the Window!

Most of the time mymethod of checking the weather is to simply look out the window. I have friends, though, who are addicted to the weather channel.

Am in Richmond preparing to present The Perfect Workday for the staff of the Virginia State Senate. It looks a little cloudy outside so I hit the weather app on my iPhone.

Usually, Local Forecast tells me what it will be like in Raleigh.

(Some of you can see this coming) This time the GPS in the phone told the app where I was and I got the weather in Richmond.

For those of you who are thinking, "So what?"...God Bless You...I'm still amazed at what technology can do.

And, you should be, too.

Each week you should learn one, new, simple thing your technology can do. Whether it's your phone, computer or microwave you, me, none of us, understand and use even a small amount of what technology can do for us.

What might you learn today?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Award Shows and Bowl Games...Too Many or Not Enough?

Yesterday during one of the pro games there was a promo for a music awards show. Troy Aikman, Pro Football Hall of Famer and TV color analyst said, “You know, these music award shows are like bowl games, it seems like there’s one every other day.” He immediately caught himself and said, “well that’s an example of ‘open mouth, insert foot’” because his network is the one carrying the show.

However, I agree with Troy. And the networks make tons of money from the award shows and the bowls.

But, take a moment and look at them from a different perspective. Both the award shows and the bowls are tangible rewards for people doing something RIGHT.

I love that thought.

What if we caught people doing things right more often in our day-to-day lives? My guess is that by congratulating and rewarding people more often they’d do good things…more often!

Have your own little rewards show this week. Contact 5 people you appreciate and tell them “thank you.” You’ll be amazed at the result.

Who can you call first?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fins to the Left of Us, Fins to the Right of Us

(Yesterday was the 800th Perfect Workday Blog. Thanks for reading!)

Two men fishing off Wrightsville Beach recently got a visit from an 18-foot Great White shark. Jaws swam around their boat investigating it and eventually bumped the side. At that point the men decide it was time to leave.

When I heard the report I had the thought that hits me every time I hear a shark story: How many people have been scared away from the ocean by the movie Jaws?

Stephen Speilberg told a great story but I’ve often wondered how the money he made for the movie studio and theatre operators compares to the billions lost by coastal communities because millions of people (based on stories by psychologists about shark fears I’m not exaggerating) don’t spend as much time at the beach as they might.

I’ll readily admit, I’m one of those people. I love the surf and will take any opportunity to head to the coast and go body surfing. But, I catch myself constantly scanning the water and looking out to sea anticipating fins.

My hypervigilance lessens my enjoyment of being in the water.

Here’s the catch: You have a better chance of being killed by lightning or bee stings than you do of being attacked by a shark. For the most part, our fears are groundless.

How often do our fears keep us from having the life we could have?

We’re simply the newest version of the caveman who feared venturing out of his cave because of the shadows thrown on the wall by his own fire.

Get out of your cave and have a great weekend. See you Monday.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hello? Is This the Front Desk?

Spent the night last night in a hotel in Greensboro. At about 11 pm I called the desk and arranged a wake-up call for 7. I then set a 7 am alarm on my cellphone.

Then I got to thinking that most of the time in life we get wake-up calls as surprises and often at the worst times. Something happens in our health, families or careers and it jumps up an bites us. The event makes us realize we need to change what we’re doing or make life arrangements we didn’t want to make or had hoped we wouldn’t have to make.

We rarely plan wake-up calls.

But, what if we did plan wake-up calls in life like we do in hotels. Would we call someone or make some sort of arrangements so that we were alerted that it was time to change.

I’d love to say that I’ve got a better idea about how to do this than the simple idea in the last paragraph, but right now I don’t. I think it’s an interesting idea and if you’ve got a way to give yourself a wake-up call let me know at mike@ perfectworkday.com; put "Wake-Up Call" on the subject line.

If your idea seems workable for a bigger audience I’ll spread it here.