Friday, August 31, 2012

Make Bad Hard and Good Easy

A lot of the shopping center developers around here are now putting large, decorative rocks on the curbs leading into the centers. The big rocks keep 18-wheelers from cutting the corners to closely and tearing up the curbing and grass. A driver would really have to work to drive over one of these big chunks of stone.

If you want to make a change in your life make the bad stuff, the stuff you want to move away from, hard to get or get to, and make the good stuff, the change you want to make, easy.

The advice above comes from the folks at Go online and check’em out. You can subscribe for free and they’ll give you a schedule to help you make significant changes in your life. I found their book, Change Anything, to be really helpful. Good stuff.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Horrorscopes, Yes or No?

Yes, I do know how to spell horoscope. It’s just that sometimes they seem like horror.

And no, I don’t always believe them…but, it’s fun to believe the good ones.

Unfortunately, when it comes to what we tell ourselves about ourselves—you know, the voices in our heads—to often we believe the bad stuff and blow off or minimize the good stuff.

What if we believed the good stuff and used the confidence it would create to move ahead in life?

I’m sure a shrink could buy a Mercedes with the therapy fees it would take to explain why lots of us think less of ourselves than others do (the simple answer is that they don’t dream our dreams and see us in the mirror first thing in the morning. YIKES!!).

Try it for a day. Blow off the bad stuff. Believe the good stuff.

Start with this: I look great first thing in the morning!

Well, ok…maybe not that one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We Already Know

“Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.”
Samuel Johnson, English writer and creator of the first English dictionary

We already know most of what we need to know to create the day, year and life we want. There probably isn’t some magic bit of knowledge out there that will change everything. If we simply use what we already know, work with what we already have, we can create magic.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Honey Boo Boo...Are You Serious?

If someone had told me a few weeks ago that I’d be writing about Honey Boo Boo, the 6-year old, little redneck reality princess, I’d never have believed it. 

It seems like there are only about 7 people on Earth now who don’t know who Honey Boo Boo is. If you’re one of them…I envy you.

She was a competitor in little princess pageants and gained exposure (not necessarily popularity) when reporters discovered that her mother was filling her up with “Go Go Juice,” a combination of Red Bull and Mountain Dew.

But, there's a lesson she can teach us.

Honey Boo Boo is one of  those subjects that grabs our attention—which the media loves, because eyeballs mean more advertising dollars—and takes that attention away from what we should be doing.

If we look at our A, B, C To-Do Lists the Honey Boo Boos are often the C’s; those things that, when we’re doing them, make us feel like we’re getting something done…when, in reality, we aren’t.

Ernest Hemingway talked about activity versus accomplishment.

Constantly checking emails or FaceBook instead of creating a proposal that might get us promoted or help start a business is activity.

What’s an A or B we could be accomplishing right now?

I’m going to grab one and get moving.

PS...if you don't know who Honey Boo Boo is...don't Google her. See, you're going to do it anyway.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't Be a Dope

Ok, so Lance Armstrong is being stripped of his seven Tour de France cycling wins for doping.

Gotta tell ya, whether he did or didn’t is, at this point, immaterial to me. What matters is that he came back from testicular cancer, from death’s door, and competed at—and still competes in terms of life—at the highest levels possible.

And if you hear someone yelling, “So, do you condone drug use?” They’re idiots. Of course, you want a level playing field for all athletes.

But, to trash Armstrong and his accomplishments for what may or may have not happened on a bicycle is silly and stupid.

Do we throw out William Faulkner or Thomas Wolfe’s great literature because they were drunk while writing? Do we negate all the profits and accomplishments of business people who work while jacked on Red Bull?

In bodybuilding there are two types of competitions: Open and Natural. At Open contests athletes are not giving drug tests; in Natural contests they are. The differences in the appearances of the athletes is startling and the athletes and spectators make the choices.

The comparison may seem ridiculous, but at this moment, somewhere in the world, there are special operations forces using a wide variety of medications to stay alert and focused on their missions and they are doing it to keep you and me safe and free.

This sort of thing is silly. All of us have bigger issues in life with which to deal.

Have a great weekend. Go ride a bicycle in protest.
See you Monday. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Excuse Me

I love this time of year. Football—high school, college and pro—is starting and I love listening to coaches. 

Granted a lot of them get bad press every year (this year more than most), but football coaches tend to be blunt, focused and not hesitant to offer life lessons.

In the paper this morning North Carolina Coach Larry Fedora was talking about the reasons for yesterday’s poor practice and he said, “An excuse is an excuse.”

A couple of dictionaries and the Internet define an excuse as, “A reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

Read that again. An excuse is an explanation defending a fault or offense…not to defend something positive that went awry. You don't offer an excuse for trying.

Let’s be honest, an excuse is used when you didn’t do something you should have done.

And Fedora was simply echoing every coach who ever lived; an excuse is an excuse.

You didn’t get it done.

I’m guilty, too. I’ve worked up some excuses lately that sounded reasonable to me but when I trotted them out I could see and hear how lame they were. I didn’t get it done.

What are you making excuses for?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Three Question Strategy

If you truly want to be effective and efficient (remember, they can be two different issues) you need to constantly ask yourself three questions;
-        What am I and my co-workers (or family members) doing that doesn’t need to be done?
-        Does anyone really need to do these things?
-        What am I doing that others could do?
It’s easy to get bogged down in the “C” things on your A, B, C priority list. Ask yourself the three questions above—and answer them honestly and act on them—and you’ll wasted less time and get more A and B things done.

Monday, August 20, 2012

uni-ball Is King!

When you find a tool that works you stick with it until something better comes along.

A few years ago I ran across uni-ball pens (they spell the name all in lower case). 

They’re easy to use, feel good in your hand and spread a smooth, uniform line of ink on almost any writing surface.

Believe me, there are cheaper pens out there, but nothing I’ve found is better than uni-ball.

It’s worth spending a little more when you find something that works.

Having a tool you like helps make work easier and more enjoyable. Also, it’s one less decision you have to make.

Is there a simple task you perform regularly? Have you found the basic, easy-to-use tool to help you complete the task?

Have a great Monday!

uni-ball Is King!

When you find a tool that works you stick with it until something better comes along.

A few years ago I ran across uni-ball pens (they spell the name all in lower case). 

They’re easy to use, feel good in your hand and spread a smooth, uniform line of ink on almost any writing surface.

Believe me, there are cheaper pens out there, but nothing I’ve found is better than uni-ball.

It’s worth spending a little more when you find something that works.

Having a tool you like helps make work easier and more enjoyable. Also, it’s one less decision you have to make.

Is there a simple task you perform regularly? Have you found the basic, easy-to-use tool to help you complete the task?

Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Take a Step

Solving problems can be as simple as mowing the lawn if your problem is that your front yard looks like New Guinea.

If the problem you're looking at is creating world peace it all gets a little more complicated.

But, the solutions all start the same: What's the next action?

What is your first step in the direction of a solution?

Lots of folks get tied up in trying to figure out the first step and lots of times they hit paralysis by anaysis and never do anything.

Probably the best thing to do is simple take a step in the direction of the solution...and then take another step.

The solution to some problems can only be found if you seemingly take a few steps back. It doesn't seem like you're progressing, but you are. Look at it this way, it's as if you are backing up so you can get a running start.

Pick a small problem right now and take a step...then take another.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Moment for The King

35 years ago today, in Memphis, The King went home to see his mama.

A moment of silence, please.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stylin' and Profilin'

Had to rent a car yesterday.

Got to the small rental agency and they only had two vehicles available; a mini-van and a black, 2012 Camaro.

The Camaro was only $10 a day more than the mini-van.

Guess which one I chose.

Surprisingly, very often in life it only takes a little more in time or money or energy/effort to get what you really want rather than just settling.

Whataya want? What’ll it take?

And just to let you know, if you've seen one on the road and wondered, the answer is "Yes!" it is as fast and corners as quickly as it looks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Selling Igloos to Eskimos

Someone once told described me as being able “to sell igloos to Eskimos.”

I took it as a wonderfully compliment about being persuasive, but lately I’ve reconsidered.

Why would you want to sell an igloo to an Eskimo in the first place. More than likely they already have one…I mean….they’re an Eskimo.

The better solution is to ask what they need and find a way to get that for them.

How often do we spend too much of life trying to get more of what we already have or to convince folks they need something they don’t.

What do you really need and want?

Spend time figuring that out and then figure out how to get it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Digging Out From Under

We all run into times when we feel like the manure truck has backed up into our lives.

How do we dig out?

We can get to a point at which we believe, “I’ve had enough. I just can’t take any more.”

Here’s a thought to ponder: Emotional energy is an exhaustible resource…but it is renewable.

New research in neuroscience is showing that if you can plan for and experience small, positive experiences in your day…something as simple as taking a walking and spending a moment focused on something beautiful, fun or amazing…the experience helps pull you out of the doldrums.

And, if you can string a number of the simple, positive experiences together the downward spiral slows down and begins to reverse its direction.

You don’t suddenly start laughing and skipping down the street in joy, but the slowing of the downward, depressive cycle helps you more realistically assess and live life.

Try it. Look around right now and find one thing that is positive in your life…no matter how small and simple…one thing.

Now, look for another.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Are the Olympics the Best?

The closing ceremonies for the Olympics will be Sunday night.

As incredible an experience as being an Olympian must be I keep telling people that you have to hope the Olympics are not the best thing that ever happens to all the young people who participate.

You have to hope that being a great person, having children, starting a businesss that provides jobs for lots of folks or saving a life are some of their peak events.

While athletes train for years to compete on the Olympic stage the games only last about 2 weeks and there are so many things that can come into play to sabotage their efforts. The weather, the efforts of teammates, their mood that day, the efforts of opponents, Tweeting stupid things that get them sent home and simple luck can effect the outcome of their try for gold. So much is out of their hands. 

But, over the long haul, life is in their it is ours.

Think about it....are your best days behind you? You make the choice of whether or not that is true. 

You have the power to decide. You have the power to win.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

And Now, From the Red Planet

Anyone who saw the control room celebration when the Mars rover Curiosity touched down earlier this week cannot discount the United States as having lost its edge.

The room was filled with some of the smartest people on Earth reaching an extraordinary goal.

And you didn’t see any whining politicians, preening athletes or vain celebrities.

We have significant challenges in America and we have outstandingly smart people who can solve them. Are we going to let them do it?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dead...and Gone

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a friend.

We touched base occasionally and saw each other in the fall at football games.

He was a good guy, had lots of friends and aquaintances, and the church was packed with 600-700 people.

As the minister moved through his message and my friend's daughter, sister and a colleague remembered him I thought about how many folks we have in our lives who, when they die we think, "I wish I had done a better job of staying in touch."

Too late then.

Pick one person and reach out to them right now....and remember, a phone call is better than an email.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Matter of O's

Yesterday, while driving to a seminar, I saw a hawk swoop into some tall grass. In an instant he was back in the air with a field mouse in his talons.

When the hawk awoke yesterday morning he wasn’t assured of a meal but his instincts told him that if he kept circling and watching he’d at least have an opportunity.

When the field mouse awoke he was oblivious to the fact that he’d be a hawk’s meal before the day ended so he just went about his business.

We all wake up, prepare for the day and walk out the door every morning. Do we do it with a sense of opportunity…or are we oblivious?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Homeroom For Life

Visited with a good friend yesterday who said we should all have a homeroom, the first period of the day in high school, as we get older. For Katherine, homeroom started the day off on a positive note.

She said, “So many of the great friends I have and good memories were created in homeroom.”

I’m sure lots of us have different ideas about what homeroom was all about and lots of folks don’t see homeroom the same way.

But, it's not a bad idea. Think about what homeroom had the potential to do:
-        Get you out of the home mindset and into a work mindset
-        Move your focus away from getting up and getting to school
-        Get you focused on the day’s work
-        Interact with others which, again, gets you ready for the day’s challenges
-        Raise your energy level
-        Introduce you to new ideas
-        Send you out the homeroom door poised for accomplishment

Again, you may not have seen homeroom the same way. I have a friend who consistently blew off homeroom and went to the parking lot to smoke a doobie and drink a beer. Which, come to think of it, probably did all the things I listed above.

Do you have a ritual that acts as a homeroom for you? Something more than drinking a cup of coffee, skimming the paper and catching part of Good Morning America (or listening to a Glenn Beck rant)?

Are you starting your day in a way that prepares you for success or the same-ole, same-ole?

Have a great weekend! See you Monday.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just Shoot Me

This is not a joke. It's not even 10 am and so far:

-        The picture on the new driver's license I got this morning makes me look 102.

-        On the license they changed hair color to grey (from black). The DMV guy was laughing when he changed it and said, “We wouldn’t want an officer to mis-identify you.”

-        When I went to IHOP to celebrate getting my new license the waitress offered me the senor discount

-        After IHOP I went to Home Depot to get a replacement house key. I had locked myself out of the house and couldn’t find the one I hid. I was joking with the guy making the key and he offered, "Oh, you don't look that old, you look like you're early 50s."

Bite me.

Just give me a big shot of Geritol and a room near the window at The Home.